OK, for the gear heads out there, here's what I've collected in the last couple of years:
1 Canon 450D + EF-S 18-55 and 55-250mm IS lenses. My original kit, and the gear I've made most of my favourite shots with.
1 Canon 7D. Got that a few months ago. 6 more megapixels than the 450D, 8.5 frames a second for action and wildlife shooting, better low light performance and Hi Def video.
1 Canon 5DII The new baby. Full frame 21 Megapix with Hi Def video.
Lenses: A Canon 10-22 EF-S for really wide angle shooting.
A Canon 70-200mm L series 2.8 IS tele zoom
A Canon 2x extender
And bought with the 5DII, 100mm f/2.8 L series IS macro and another L series f/2.8 24-70mm wide zoom.
Great gear. Problem is, it takes a while to get used to. When I first took out the 10-22 ultra wide lens, I really struggled to use it - but then it became part of me. So when I took the new 5DII and lenses out the other day, I expected a workout. I got one.
I headed for Sullivan's Dam, 10 minutes from the city at the head of Leith valley. It's a drinking water reservoir surrounded by native cloud forest, but no clouds on this day. As usual with new gear, I just wanted to play with the extremes it was capable of, so quickly shot some wides with the 24-70. It's a really sharp and versatile lens. Good in low light, it's going to be my new walkaround lens.
Then it was on quickly to the 100mm macro. Wow, what a beast. With a new toy like that, I'm just obsessed with what it can do before I actually start seeing good pictures. So I shot a whole bunch of close-up stuff, none of it noteworthy, just fun seeing mosses and ferns up way up close.
With a macro zoom, the narrow depth of field is a great creative tool for focusing interest, but it's also a real challenge to work with. It's pretty hard to get more than one small plane of a bug in focus when you're zoomed in tight, but I know I'm going to have a lot of fun with it, and start making some great pictures one day soon.
Just as I was starting to get the hang of things, I had a call from a local tour operator about hosting some pho-tours. I'm slowly developing Southern Photo Guides product range, so this was a very welcome chat, and a long one. Stay tuned for news on that front.
Back down at the reservoir, I nosed around an old shed, shooting with the 24-70. Again, the depth of field was cool to play around with, and after a while I stopped seeing what the lens could do, and started seeing some pictures.
Yeah, right now all this new gear is a little overwhelming, but soon, it'll be part of me.