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Not Your Ordinary Garden Gnome Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

13 December 2016

We have been informed by our nephew who has recently returned from Iceland that if you get lost in the forest there, all you have to do is stand up. He says he never saw a tree there over three feet tall.

So when we were putting around the garden this morning sitting on a rolling pallet to traverse the brick patio, we wondered if this December visitor were Icelandic. He's about the right height to get lost in an Icelandic forest.

Fortunately we do our gardening chores with a Nikon D300 in our right hand. So we were able to get a good shot of him before he scooted off to the other houses in the neighborhood, apparently on an urgent scouting mission.

But we had the 18-200mm Nikkor mounted and we really didn't like what we were looking at on the LCD. Even at a decent telephoto focal length, the background was distractingly focused.

By some quirk of fate, we were gardening this morning with a Lensbaby Edge 80 in our left hand. By balancing on the rolling pallet like a circus elephant, we were able to use our knees to help transfer the 18-200mm zoom off the D300 into our left hand while moving the Edge 80 from our left hand to the D300.

It was such an elaborate stunt that our visitor was mesmerized and didn't move an inch.

What we like about the Edge 80 for something like this is not only its focal length (which at 80mm we could easily find on the 18-200mm zoom, too) but what it does to the part of the scene that is not in focus. The background was blurred in a much more pleasing and thorough way than on the Nikkor.

And, as a bonus, with a forward shift of the front element, you slip into macro mode. That saved us from laboriously rolling the pallet around the patio to close in on our subject.

So there you have it. Instead of a yet another sermon on post processing from your friendly but verbose gardening acolyte, you get a story about how optics saved the day.

And, as a bonus, you now know how to escape from an Icelandic forest, too.

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