The new lens.

I splurged a little.  After some hefty consideration and internet research, I decided to buy myself a new camera lens.  I headed over to Best Buy, with a few years worth of gift cards in hand, and bought this guy.  I feel like it needs a name.  Any suggestions?

With my new lens and a quick burst of warm spring-like weather, I headed out to the only outdoorsy place I know in Erie.  (I need to explore more.)

I am so happy I bought it.  It has great detail and amazing depth. Below are 3 unedited images taken with different  settings.  I didn’t realize how much of a difference the aperture can make.   I love the way the f/1.8 looks.  It brings all of the attention to the subject, giving it so much more detail.

1.8

f/1.8

2.5

f/2.5 – The difference between 1.8 and 2.5 is small, but you can definitely tell

8

f/8

Here are some other shots from around Presque Isle.  I had not been out there at all this winter, and didn’t realize how much the lake froze.  The ice came onto the coast in waves, creating a 2nd coastline of ice.  I didn’t realize that I was standing on the “ice coast” until a nice gentleman warned me to move unless I planned on swimming that day.  It felt sturdy, but he was probably right.  It was so warm out,  any crack could have easily opened up, and I would have been out to sea.  With all the big ice chunks floating, I secretly was hoping a narwhal would pop out saying “Bye Buddy, hope you find your dad!”  No such luck.  But I wonder if I could have hitched an ice raft to Canada…

Ice cliff

This guy must have not been warned  about the ice yet…

guy

cave

Further down the drive on the island is a little bay filled with tiny floating houses – probably 2 dozen of them.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  Just little trailer-like houses on dock rafts, sitting in the middle of the bay, dormant for the winter.

floating houses edit

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When you drive in (or out, in this case) of Presque Isle, there is a theme/water park.  I’ve only seen it shut down in the winter, and it looks pretty cool all abandoned.  I’d love to get in there during the off season, and take pictures of everything, but I would probably be arrested for trespassing.  So instead, I just grabbed a picture on the drive out.  (For my mom who is probably reading this:  Don’t worry, I wasn’t driving 🙂 )

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Decking the halls.

Decking the halls.

Not a whole lot makes me happier than Christmas decorations (especially lights). Something about them just makes me all cozy. I think thats one of the reasons I love the holiday season. As soon as I got back to Erie after Thanksgiving, I started decking out the apartment. The thing I love most about my decorations is that most of them are from my family. Whether it was a hand-me-down from my mom (who probably ran out of room in the house because she has quite a few decorations…), or a nativity set that was my grandma’s, each bit of it has a story. It is comforting, especially these last few weeks of the semester when it seems like going home is forever away.