Of Dust and Nagasaki, or Why I Want a New Camera

This last weekend I went to Nagasaki City to see the Lantern Festival, a yearly celebration/parade/light…thing to celebrate Chinese New Years. (Nagasaki, due to its varied history as the longest existing international port in Japan, has a thriving Chinese community.) It was my first time to see it–and in the year of the rabbit, too! my year!–so I was pretty excited. While there, I got a lot of comments on my giant ass camera. Well, mostly the lens, I think. Still, a lot of comments.

My camera is not all it’s cracked up to be. Behold:

Same editing except the right has been attacked with the "repair" tool to edit out dust.

Yeah.

Seriously.

I have the Canon 30D.  It’s about, what, four years old now? Maybe five? And I haven’t had a good high-powered air blower attack its imaging sensor since I stopped working at Ritz Cameras.  (Over three years.)  Dust builds up every time I change lenses.  And, since I have an older camera, it doesn’t have technology like “sensor shake” or “dust detection” to automatically get that junk out.  Sigh.  It’s really obnoxious.  Usually you can’t see so much, but the hazy day combined with extra strong almost-highlights meant it really came out.  The moral of the story is, folks: big cameras have their issues, too.

Of course, I did manage to edit out (most of) the dust.  But it’s a real time consuming process, and very frustrating for more textured pieces, unlike this one.  Mostly because my “repair” tool can be a little finicky, and I’m not savvy enough (nor rich enough) to get Adobe Photoshop.

Also not rich enough to buy my next dream camera, the Canon 5D Mark II (or even a full frame pro camera…maybe…).  Or the newest full frame out when I can afford it.

HOWEVER.  Dust on that level is not so much of a problem in night shots.  Like this one:

This is my favorite photo of the festival.

Overall, I really enjoyed the festival.  Not only were the lights beautiful and the food good, but I had great company.  I got to see my friends Sabsy and James, I stayed with a wonderful Irish girl called Lynn and became good friends with her, too, and ended up eating some fabulous Mexican food with other foreigners on Saturday night.  (Mexican food, it’s hard to come by in Japan.)  The festival was also nice because, unlike the ones I attended in China, there were no fire crackers thrown at my feet.  Thus, I didn’t feel so much like I was in a war zone.  YAY.  Something new and different.  What I didn’t like so much?  The lack of authentic Chinese food.  Much like American Chinese food, Japan has come up with it’s own expression of Chinese food.  Not that the food isn’t tasty, but I really coulda gone for some MSG infused dumplings.  Like WOAH.

Regardless: Happy Chinese New Years! Or, 新年快乐!

Oh China, I miss you!

Have you had any good adventures with friends lately, possibly involving Mexican food?  And have you ever been to a Chinese New Years festival and/or felt like your life was in danger at a cultural event?  (It’s…not as exciting as it sounds.  The amazingly fantabulous Nikki can back me up on that.)

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