Fun With Macro

We [and by “we” I mean Laura] found a guy on Craig’s List who posted a ton of Canon photography equipment, most of which we couldn’t afford, but some of the items have been on our list for quite some time. A new 580EX II flash, complete with stand, mounting bracket and umbrella was a great plus, but the big ticket item that we’ve been wanting for a while is a new 100mm F2.8 L macro lens. It’s awesome! We can get some great up-close and personal pictures that are very hard to do with other lenses. So, I took it upon myself to play around a little. Now, I’ve been getting back into playing guitar, so it’s sitting out for me to take pictures of and a guitar makes for good “macro” shots. Here’s a picture taken just a few inches from the end [and yes, that’s a spot of dust on my camera sensor]:


Not stunning at first glance, but let’s zoom in a bit and you can see more detail [maybe even some you didn’t want to]:


Still not impressed? How about this one:


All of these are sections of the same picture. Look at the amazing detail!

This lens is actually for Laura, but she let me play with it. I suppose I have to give it back now. 🙂

Dream Vacation Property?

We don’t have one, but I’ve begun thinking about it. I know some of our friends either have a vacation home that they have for their sole use, or own a vacation rental property that they rent out.

In the first case, most seem to be old enough or sedentary enough to have spent 30 years in the same home – enough time to pay off the main residence to allow them to afford a second property and the mortgage that goes with it. That’s a great idea, and if I can accelerate the payoff of our main residence [which I’m now doing by paying above the payment amount] to be done in around 15 years, then we can focus our full “housing” budget on a new vacation home. That will take quite a bit of patience.

In the second case, I’ve seen friends buy an income-generating vacation rental property that they use to either pay off their existing house or pay off the vacation property with the net gain. Such a thing really doesn’t make sense unless there’s a net gain. I mean – why buy a property that you can’t stay in but a few week per year if it’s still going to cost you a big chunk to keep, right? Of course, doing it this way allows more than one vacation home location since there is a net gain. But then again, the downside would be that we couldn’t just show up at any time since there might be paying customers on site.

With these things in mind, and my initial dream location of a cabin/house/condo in the mountains of Colorado [subject to change upon spousal notification :)], I’ve decided to both accelerate paying off my existing loans [house & car] and begin saving for another house down-payment. This might take years and our goals may change, but saving at any time is a good idea.

So: in 15 years or so when I have many thousands of dollars in the bank and the current house paid off, there may be a ski chalet in our future… or a beach house… or even something else.