Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Beyond V-Day

I had been contemplating the idea of investing in a better camera for a long time. At one point in time I was seriously looking into a purchase within the next three months. This week, I gave it a little more thought. My final decision is that I will not be buying any fancy camera any time soon (that probably means at least not this year). I will stick to my basic Canon A2000 (and my Sony Ericsson K770i cell phone camera, if I don’t have my Canon) for my day-to-day photography.

Many friends have encouraged me to get a DSLR for my adventures in Europe, and I do admit it’s going to be quite a loss if I were to insist on getting the perfect images, but really, anything beyond a pocket camera is simply impractical for me at the moment. Not to mention the cost of getting one of these babies, but having to carry a large camera around everywhere I go would be a hassle in the first place. I don’t think a DSLR would be on my list of things-I-bring-to-work-in-my-backpack-every-day, and it certainly is not something I’d like to lug around my neck most of the day. (Maybe I just need to be convinced that they’re not all as inconvenient as I imagine them to be.) My little A2000, however, conveniently fits into my coat pocket and I can draw it out any time when I see anything interesting that catches my attention (examples to follow).

I have no intention of becoming anything near a professional any time soon, although I have definitely developed a strong interest in photography after observing the works of my peers. However, I think I have also underestimated the amount of time that is needed to dive into the field and truly experience the essence of professional photography. I realize that this is time that I am unable to afford at this stage, and so I will remain as an outsider and retain this interest until much later, when I feel that I have the time to take on the challenge.

In the end, my purpose for taking photos is not to have gorgeous colours and effects, though that would be an added bonus. Photographing daily life is a pleasure in itself and does not require any extensive equipment beyond a small camera for an amateur. Of course, travel photography is much more thrilling, but to get a DSLR just for this purpose – with the constraints of budget and time in mind – is not worth it, in my opinion.

Enough about cameras and on with the photos πŸ˜› By the way, happy Valentine’s Day or Singles Awareness Day, whichever one applies to you. Personally I think V-Day is immensely overrated anyway.

 
We start off this post with some adorable animals that I’ve encountered in Bordeaux. The first two photos are of a cat that happened to be staying at a friend’s house for a couple of weeks when I was visiting. It was a shy fellow, always hiding in the corner like a spy observing our every move. It has such sharp and beautiful eyes though, and no, it is not dead in the second picture. Next, friend and I met a small puppy during a walk. This little guy was tricky; I was never able to capture a picture of it from the front, but it was cute, nevertheless. (Click on photos for full-sized version.)

 
This little bird was one thing that I would not have had the opportunity to photography had I not pulled out my camera quickly. The location was the Cenon church, and it was the Thursday night when our fellowship was preparing the decorations for Chinese new year (I would not have brought a DSLR to this occasion if I had one :P). This bird flew in from the door and would not leave no matter what we did; it just hovered from here to there lightly, stopping once in awhile to watch us work. We tried to make sure it left the building before closing off for the night, and we thought it did…but two days later I arrived to find its lifeless body laying on the ground. It must have either starved or frozen to death…I felt so sad and guilty T_____T (Click on photos for full-sized version.)

Peace and calmness at St.Augustin tram station outside of HΓ΄pital Pellegrin as I waited for the tram to arrive.

One path from friend’s house back to my house at night. I’m not sure what those white, semi-circular things are on the walls, but they catch my attention every time I pass by. It’s like the walls had an attack of pimples or something…

Neighbourhood near friend’s house, right beside our Notre Dame church.

LS-san insisted on food, so here you have food. Nothing French, mind you, because believe it or not I haven’t had REAL French food yet – that’s probably reserved till a special time in April. Anyway, first we have hot pot, a student’s haven on a chilly winter night. No, we didn’t only have beef balls and tofu, this was just the beginning. The middle picture was part of my Chinese new year’s eve meal at a colleague’s house. ULTRA delicious and gigantic dumplings and special meatballs wrapped in glutinous rice. The meatballs were AMAZING. Finally, we had a simple yet hearty dinner with a few buddies after work. We had fried rice as our base, lamb as our meat dish (too good for words), and this thing as our vegetable dish. I don’t even know what it is in English, but it’s “tong choi” or “ung choi” in Cantonese and is so amazingly tasty! (Click on photos for full-sized version.)

Chinese supermarket with lanterns on sale for Chinese new year. It is kind of sad that I’ve only been here twice throughout my entire 4 months in Bordeaux. My excuse is that I don’t have time to go but the truth is that I don’t really need to go anymore because of all the time I spend having dinner at my friend’s place πŸ˜›

Saw this place as I was walking home one night. It seems like a store dedicated to selling bathroom items. Quite neat, I must say, and rather colourful too. I should take a look one day and see if there’s anything suitable for my tiny bathroom…

Finally, a super happy Valentine’s Day again to all those who do celebrate it, from the bottom of my heart with no sarcasm or cynicism! I present you the enormous chocolate ball that had me totally awed the moment I saw it that it was impossible not to take a picture of it. So much chocolate…I bet PoA and LS and Florence would jump for joy if they receive this as a V-Day gift ^_^

In other news, the weather was fabulous last week, especially on Thursday and Friday. 14 degrees Celsius, and the sun shone ever so gently yet brilliantly. I was almost completely convinced that winter is over and spring is here! Walking through the campus, I had the urge to fling away my work for the afternoon and just sit on the grass under a tree and enjoy such warmth and beauty. This is something I haven’t done in awhile, and I look forward to early summer so very much!

May love, peace, and joy be with you ❀

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6 responses to “Beyond V-Day

  1. Joshua February 14, 2011 at 14:54

    Not getting a DSLR isn’t a bad idea for some people. They are big and expensive, and once you get one if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to customize it even more. I started off with a kit lens a mid-level Nikon and now have 3 lenses, a battery grip, external flash, and other accessories for it. But I like it enough that I have a backpack just for the camera/gear.

    Something you might want to consider is either a manual point-and-shoot, which are much smaller. Nikon makes the P7000 (http://www.nikonusa.com/Nikon-Products/Product/Compact-Digital-Cameras/26233/COOLPIX-P7000.html) and Canon the G11 (http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/support/consumer/digital_cameras/powershot_pro_series/powershot_g11)

    Both are great cameras – in that you can use old-style manual settings like aperture and shutter speed. That’s 90% of a good technical photo, in my opinion.

    If you want an interchangable lens system for about the same price as the above 2, get a mirrorless camera. Check out the Olympus PEN and Sony NEX – I’ve heard great things bout both. And you get to play with lenses.

    Also, I wouldn’t count-out used DSLRs. Canon T2is and Nikon D3000s or D40s can probably be found inexpensively. A friend of mine got a T2i here for $300 USD.

    Just some ideas πŸ™‚

    Good that the weather is decent. We’re having 14C weather here too and I’m sick of it! It was 27 in Kenting while I was sitting on the beach last weekend. Then I come back to Hsinchu and it’s about 12. Ugh.

    Like

    • Annie Bananie February 14, 2011 at 16:50

      Wow thanks for the in-depth recommendations Joshua! I’ll definitely look into these options. Also, the possibility of used DSLRs has indeed been mentioned before. One of the problems is that there seems to be so many models out there that I don’t even know where to start looking, even if I were absolutely serious about it. That’s why recommendations like yours are great πŸ˜€

      I was enjoying the 14C weather until it started raining yesterday and all of a sudden it became winter-like again at night. Then today the sun and I’m happy. Hope you’re living it up over there in Taiwan πŸ˜€

      Like

  2. leafstick February 15, 2011 at 05:41

    Pic 9: COMET!!! O wait…..just a stupid plane that left me behind ugh. sad panda =[

    Pic 10: I like those little discs. They are like oyster mushrooms [which i think is what they were going for] So sexy…mushrooms are sexy…ya they are…..Hush they are.

    Pic 12-14: FINALLY food……well there was food before but this is actual dinner food har har har. Looking forwards to more =]

    Pic 17: There is a god, and it created the little world of chocolate. Watch as it floats effortlessly, radiating iridescent rays of sugary bliss, filling the vacuum of bland and ugh with puffs of “saveur” echoing …. “nom nom…nom nom…nom nom……….nom”.

    Like

    • Annie Bananie February 15, 2011 at 13:22

      You crazy little chocolate fanatic…no chocolate tax for you this year, unless you come over, which would be a good idea because I’m sure you’d like some delicious Belgian chocolate ❀ I like mushrooms, they're cool =D

      Like

  3. Candy February 20, 2011 at 17:54

    I like the first shot of the cat in your blog. In terms of camera, I don’t think you need to get an dslr to start photography. I have to agree with you, it is so bulky to carry again and sometime, you just miss that one moment because you were taking your camera out.

    I think that the Canon s95 would be the best choice in a portable and more of a professional. You can program the ring in the front for the aperture or such. I have seen the quality of the pictures and they are amazing.They also have a miniature (toy) mode. The price is around 400 CAD. Then again, if you add a 2 hundred you can get the Olympus Pen or a Basic dslr. Which is really nice!

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/s95.htm

    I can’t wait to see more food pictures !

    Like

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