Before I begin, let me preface this blog post by saying that there won’t be any pictures of me in this particular piece like there normally are.
Phew! Okay. Shake it off, Cheri! Get that camwhoring-crack out of your system.
I’m good you guys, I’m good. I swear. I just needed my fix. That’s all. Just a little taste to keep me going. /Twitch-spasm-burp-hiccup-etc.
… I completely forgot what I was writing this blog post abou–OH! My life. Right. My life lately, and where I’ve been, and why I haven’t been posting, and what I’ve been doing while spending my time away from the almighty HeyCheri.com, who I’ve been hanging out with, yadda yadda — all that stuff you guys’ve been hungrily visiting my online diary for since I began blogging around 10+ years ago.
Let’s start with this:
“Oh, Cheri! What a beautiful camera!”
Yes, I know. It’s gorgeous. Say hello to the Sony Nex-7, the latest in Sony’s line of mirror-less, micro 4/3rds cameras, and one of the most currently sought-after pieces of photographic equipment. It’s not quite a DSLR (especially not in size, since this thing is so damn tiny), but it’s still capable of interchangeable lenses, and is also incredibly sturdy thanks to its metal body. It looks fantastically modern, it feels good in a tiny hand, it’s hardly intimidating when shooting street photography thanks to its modest size, and it’s incredibly fun to shoot with.
Without getting too deep into the hardcore pro-photographer details (there are loads of reviews out there for you to absorb), I’ll say this: I take this camera with me everywhere. To clubs, to parties, to street fairs, to dinners with friends — it’s glued to my hand, it makes taking great pictures a breeze, and it’s just so much fun to use!
Here’s a smattering of pictures taken on this thing to give you an idea of how it performs.
I’ll admit that a few of these photos are doctored via Photoshop for sharpness and color (What?! I’m a perfectionist, okay?! I can’t have people running around thinking I take shitty images), but other than that, most of these shots are pulled straight from the camera.
Okay, so maybe I have a few pictures of myself to insert vainly into this post. It doesn’t count as camwhoring if I have friends in the picture with me though, right? RIGHT?!
Pretty incredible, right? And these were taken on the kit lens!
The things you should be focusing on are how sharp the images are and how lovely the “depth of field” is (background blurring/bokeh and all that fancy photo-lingo-jazz).
The only thing that sort of annoys me about this camera is its performance in low-light situations like parties and clubs. Even my basic point and shoot Canon SD1400 can focus in extremely dark situations (even when it’s pitch black), but the Sony Nex-7? Not a chance. Even with its built-in flash, it can hardly focus in the dark, if at all. Such a shame! It takes such fantastic photos otherwise. I keep wondering if a better lens would help improve its ability to shoot in nightclub situations? But I just don’t have the bones for that right now — the Zeiss lens I want is like, $1,000 shells, and I just don’t have that kinda cash to blow right now. Itsucksbeingpooromg.
Another thing that irritates me about the Sony Nex-7 is the shitty pop-up flash. While it’s certainly handy in some situations, it’s just way too harsh and completely blows out the photo (worse than my Canon XSi does). Maybe I’m doing it wrong? Is there some way to adjust the brightness of the flash? Shrug.
And since the 18 to 55mm kit lens is so freaking huge, there’s this ginormous and very noticeable shadow cast on the image every time I apply the flash. The only way to avoid this is to manually tilt the pop-up flash back with your finger when taking your shot, effectively bouncing the light off of the ceiling, the wall — whatever — and illuminating your image that way. But again, this is one otherwise unnecessary hassle that makes me think, “WTF was Sony thinking? When in Sony’s user-testing did ‘let’s leave this gigantic dark shadow on every picture taken with our built-in flash’ seem like a good idea?”
Alas, this camera is too good to not use, and although its poor focusing in low-light and terrible pop-up flash makes it a pain in the ass sometimes, it performs extremely well otherwise, is ridiculously quick, and is amazing to bring around during the day for street use.
Today, for example, I brought this little beauty out during the San Francisco Sunday Streets fair on Valencia Street. I was hanging out with a few of my girlfriends, and they were kind enough to let me photograph the crap out of them (I warned them first, of course, because I’m just like, sothoughtfulorsomething).
A hipster latte from Four Barrel Coffee! The green-eyed barista serving me with a smile dished up some story about what makes Four Barrel Coffee so special, pointing towards these huge, uh, barrels in the back of the cafe that they use to make their own blends or something. I was very impressed at the time, but I was more impressed (and distracted) by that leaf he poured into my latte! So Green Hornet and Kato, right?! *Some of you might not be cool enough to get that reference. I forgive you.
I think this place is called Taylor Stitch? It’s this specialty shop where you can design your own shirts, jeans, shoes, etc — really cool. Custom stuff is all over the city, so it’s easy to find unique pieces of clothing and really cater to your own sense of style. All of the shops on Valencia Street were super retro, Urban Outfitters-feeling kinda places — typewriters and fedoras for decorations, old school cameras, that sort of thing.
Oh, I should say that a lot of the exploring I did during the San Francisco Streets fair was done on my own. I met up with friends after a while, sure, but I guess I really am something of a lone wolf? Not that I’m opposed to exploring alone (I’ve written blog posts about how much I love being by myself), but y’know, sometimes it’d be nice if people actually wanted to just … I dunno. Wander around.
Or maybe I’m just weird and haven’t found my perfect group of friends yet?
Whatever. I don’t know. I like taking my time whenever I’m going through a new experience — really soaking things in, really staring at stuff, really trying to absorb everything about the moment, freaking out over little things, that sort of junk. It feels like all of my friends have lived here for so long that they’re jaded by all of the things in the city that I still find to be really cool, so it’s hard to convince people to hang out and do things that I find exciting since they feel like most stuff is “old news”.
Or they’re just lazy and don’t want to come out.
Fuckers. /Shakes fist.
If that’s what being a noob in San Francisco is going to be like, then that’s that! Nothing I can do about it, I guess. I’m a big girl. I don’t mind a little solitude. Derp.
And besides! I actually met a lot of people while out wandering alone. Strangers kept stopping me to say hi, to chat, to talk about my camera (go figure), to ask what I was doing out at the street fair, etc — people in San Francisco are just friendly and cool. It’s like, even though you’re alone? You’re not really “alone”, y’know what I mean?
Venus and Jennifer show up! I snap a few pictures of them to get them used to being in front of my camera, and they quickly adjust. I think. Or they were just being polite? I don’t know — whatever! I inform them that I’m looking for something made by a local artist or shop-keeper to purchase as a gift for someone special, and we set off on our mission!
Finding local-made pieces of art proves to be harder than we thought, as most shops are full of corporate crap that you can find just about anywhere. We end up wandering down Valencia in the sunshine, continuing our quest and only stopping to briefly observe the
crazies interesting locals as we go.
After a while of searching, I finally find something that I like. Unfortunately, the shopkeeper wasn’t cool with me snapping pictures inside of his boutique (which is a shame, really, since it’s such a cool place, really well decorated, and I probably would’ve driven him loads of business), so I can’t show you what the actual gift is. Not to mention, I haven’t actually given the gift to this special someone yet, and this special someone reads my blog, so if I reveal it here I’d essentially be spoiling the surprise, soooo … Yeah. Moving on.
Jennifer and Venus take off, mission completed and pleased, and I continue my exploring of Valencia Street solo.
Much thanks to the nice vendor at The Curiosity Shoppe for allowing me to snap these pictures! This is a really cool place with loads of knickknacks and fun decorative pieces to make your home feel artsy and unique: art, sculptures, art books, etc.
Only $1 per book?! What a steal! Y’know, if the books were actually any good. Fail.
Say hello to my new Facebook Cover Photo. Seeing this many books gets my panties wet. Drool.
Oh, just gathering ideas for decorating my next apartment.
I’m very much a “words” person — things like books, typewriters, typography, it all makes me tingle. If I was to ever tattoo something on my body (which, let’s face it, would never happen), I’d get an entire sleeve of nothing but my favorite words in the English language. Maybe a latin phrase here and there. Quotes from my favorite novels, that sort of thing.
A DVD store? WTF? These exist? Perusing these aisles, I couldn’t help but wonder what this shop must have been like back when DVDs were still pretty cool and torrents weren’t popular yet. Especially a DVD store in San Francisco — I can only imagine the types of characters places like this would have attracted back then.
The last place I stopped, Sidewalk Juice, had tons of organic and yummy drinks to try. Whenever I go to a new restaurant or place to eat/drink (alone, anyways), I have this thing where I ask the server helping me what her/his favorite dish or drink is, and whatever it is, no matter how weird sounding, I try it. It makes everything a new experience, allows me to try dishes I never would’ve thought to taste before, and well … It’s just fun. It’s like my little way of attempting to be adventurous.
You get it.
I had a good day, I got to explore, I saw a million new places, met a ton of new people, and I got to test out my camera in very candid situations. Although I still have a lot to learn about this little beauty, I definitely love it and am obsessed with taking it absolutely everywhere I go. If you’re friends with me and we hang out often, expect me to be snapping your picture constantly and shoving my lens in your face. If this annoys you, I’m sorry but you have no choice, and I hope that by apologizing in advance, this makes up for my overeagerness to master the Sony Nex-7 by raping you with pictures.
Sherilynn “HeyCheri” Macale