Thursday, September 18, 2008

Saying goodbye to my first love...

This year has been another year of change... lots of things happening in my life, lots of things changing both in my personal life and in my photography life. This Tuesday I just had to end a great 2 and a half year long relationship. It was finally time to let it go and move on.  It turned out much more difficult than I thought, especially after such a long time. I still remember the first day I held her in my hands it felt so natural.  The first time out... it was with fellow photographer JC and his wife Joyce in Laguna Beach... That was the first sunset together... Then there were all the trips we went on... Taiwan, Shanghai, Death Valley, and Yosemite to name a few. She has helped me grow a lot, more than I could have imagined when I first took this path but things are different now I guess. In many ways I've out grown her and needed to move on... but saying good bye is always hard.... I am sure the next guy will take very good care of her.
Here are some of the more memorable photos:

This was at the end of the first photo trip with JC at Laguna Beach. I barely knew how to use my camera, what the difference was between "Av" and "Tv" let alone understand composition, lighting and all that. Heck, I carried my camera using a Ranch 99 plastic bag... As we were heading back to the car, I had this idea of taking this photo... I really liked the little lamps along the walk way and the stairs leading home... To this day, this photo remains one of my favorite and most memorable photos.
From Some random shots

This was shot near my house... I drive past this overpass many times in my life... never thinking to stop until I got my camera... I wasn't sure what I really wanted other than a time lapse shot... I didn't even think about the power lines... All I remember was that I was really pleasantly surprised to see the colors in the sky in the final photo as in reality things were already pretty dark. This was the first time I realized photography is not about capturing what's real, but about beautifying what you see... It is about capturing the perfect image in your mind, not about capturing the most accurate image.
From Some random shots

After taking the above shot, I drove to Spectrum... I didn't understand wide angles vs. telephotos, no concept of "distortion"... or why choose landscape vs portrait orientation... I definitely didn't understand "white balance" when I took this shot... again, it was a pleasant surprise at how the colors came out. In real life I don't think the colors were so warm/gold, but I've really fallen in love with this photo (and is now hanging on one of my walls). I just love how empty and lonely it feels, and then there is the color of the lights which seems to set a different mood. Shortly after taking this shot, the security guard came and kicked me out... Oh well :).
From Some random shots

This remains one of my favorite photos taken in Taiwan. It is now framed in my living room (the frame cost more then the lens used to take the photo....). It's not a great photo, but I love looking at it... it is home to me. Maybe that's not something everyone can connect with, but that is special to me. This is my HOME, this is where I grew up... a place I use to feel embarrassed to call home because I felt it was just a mess and dirty... I soon to learned that there are many sides to Taiwan, and that it had far more beauty to offer than I could ever imagine, and now I'm proud to call it home, proud to say that is where I am from. This photo was taken the day before a typhoon and the air was clean and the weather perfect. A good friend of mine drove me out here, just south of Taipei. I am really fortunate to have such great friends who are willing to take time out of their busy schedules to humor my hobby, no words can express my gratitude to them.
From 北橫, 大溪 (Northern Taiwan mountain route)

This Tuesday... I had to say goodbye to my first "love", my first DSLR lens... the EF-S 17-85mm F/4-5.6 IS. It has been a great companion, the default walk around lens no matter where I go... Boston, NY, Taipei, Shanghai. The flexibility of its range makes it perfect for beginners to pick up and grow with... The Image Stabilization made it great for night time shots which is what got me into photography in the first place. I loved that lens... in many ways, that lens help me become who I am today but I guess all good things must come to an end. With the new 24-105 L lens, I can't justify having the 17-85 anymore... At the end of the day,I just really needed a better lens as the 17-85 was too soft and had too much color bleeding.  I guess it was fate that I dropped my friend's lens so that I'd be forced to upgrade...  I suppose all good things must come to an end. Now the 17-85 is with a fellow Googler, I'm sure he'll make good use of it and hopefully he'll learn as much from it as I did. Thank you for all the memories, all the doors you help open, all the special moment captured that I will never forget.