7 Random Objects, One Nikon Lens

As a hobby, I love photography. But I often feel shy (and actually kind of afraid) to talk about about it because I just don’t have the technical know-how to call myself a “true photographer.” It’s not from lack of trying either…my Nikon D300 for Dummies book has seen more action than my stack of “vintage” Domino Magazines (and we know that is saying a lot).

Even with technicalities slipping through my mind like a sieve, I still I find so much simple joy in snapping photos, that for today I’m going to brave the critical voice in my head telling me that you all will laugh me out of blogland (please don’t), and just show you some of the photos that I took with a new lens that I got the other day.

photo taken with my phone

The lens is an AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G (I had to look up what that means exactly, too). Isn’t she a beauty? Even though I take photos all the time, before buying it (my first lens purchase other than the one I bought with my camera body 5 years ago) I still spent hours googling photography terms to make sure that I was getting the right thing. I really wanted something that worked well in low-light situations and would also allow me to get beautiful close-up shots with a milky soft and shallow depth of field. Oh…and I needed to be able to pay for it using the gift cards I received for Christmas (thank you family)…so it had to be somewhat affordable.

Even after all my googling, when my package arrived I was afraid to open the box for fear that my lack of knowledge would land me with something only vaguely lens-related (like maybe a $200 lens cap or a cleaning pad). Luckily (what a relief) I managed to purchase the perfect lens, and got to snapping photos of random things immediately.

I’m obsessed with it! But since I can’t really tell you all the technical how’s and whys of the lens, I’ll let the photos speak for themselves (if you would like more technical details you can read about it here). The only editing done to these photos was a few slight tweaks in the Levels setting in Photoshop.

I have so much to discover about my new lens’ capabilities (I can’t wait for a good low light scenario…and to snap photos at my sister’s wedding later this year), but I can tell that it’s going to be a lot of fun to figure out. xo Ez

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  1. hannah / / Reply

    gorgeous captures! what a treat to discover new points of view like this.
    loving those glittery pencil shots especially!

    love you xo

  2. Ella / / Reply

    Congrats on the new lens! It's so much fun to finally find "The One" and get to play with it. For me, it was the Canon 50mm f1.8, and it still is my favourite lens. And don't ever let a lack of technical know-how spoil the fun! The most important part of photography is the eye for a good shot which you very obviously have, so just go ahead and play, you'll learn lots and lots of things and terms and technical stuff along the way.

  3. Mariel / / Reply

    Stunning photos! Don't be shy about your talent :) It is a gift to others when you share your gifts!

  4. Emma / / Reply

    Your photography is lovely! I have the Nikon 1, before that I had a Nikon point and shoot so I'm working my way up in the camera world. I'm still learning and have a longway to go but your photographs are very inspiring.

  5. Melissa de la Fuente / / Reply

    That is FANTASTIC, you so deserve it hun and the photos are GORGEOUS. You don't give yourself enough credit, you are really an amazing photographer. And now? You will be even MORE amazing! Have Fun!!! :)

  6. Ali / / Reply

    I needed this post. Have been waiting to take the plunge and buy a new camera and this was my lens of choice. Having seen your photos, I'm even more convinced it's the right one.

  7. josie / / Reply

    This post has been so helpful to me! I always wonder how much editing is done in photoshop and get kind of scared by pro photographers posts on all things photography. Somehow the fact that you take such amazing photos yet profess to not know much makes me think there's hope for me yet!

  8. Tiffany B. / / Reply

    Do not be afraid EZ! You are a great photographer. I love the shots you took, your doing a great job.

  9. everkelly / / Reply

    EZ, you have such a beautiful eye + I think that is half the battle of photography. (Says a fellow self-taught picture-taking-addict.) I LOVE it when you share your photos.

  10. Samantha / / Reply

    You shouldn't ever be afraid to share your talents, because you have so many! You are a truly special individual in that you are proficient in so many different skill sets. I love your photos you've captured with your new lens, and even the photos you post in Instagram taken with your phone! Your drawings also impress me, as does your ability to continually find amazing and beautiful things to share with all of us! Thank you for all that you do, and please continue to shine on! And tell your daughter the same thing! (Even though I'm sure you already do!)

  11. Eve / / Reply

    Lovely photos, can't wait to see more pictures!
    If you did want to find out more of the technical side, I've recently discovered "easyexposure" on youtube, a girl called Oxana. She's has the best tutorials I've seen (and I've watched a fair few to get my head round things!)
    Hope you'll have lots of fun with your new lens! :)

  12. Amy Nalette / / Reply

    Lovely! Especially the one of the feather poof — I'm actually wearing a mint green one on my shirt today! :)

  13. Nelja / / Reply

    We are sisters in mind.
    I use and love my Nikon D90 (and sometimes the D5100 of my husband). My favorite lens is the SIGMA DC 17-70mm 1:2,8-4 MACRO HSM. I love it! And of course I use it mainly for macros.
    Respect! Your pics are wonderfull. The photos are important, not talking about the technology.

  14. Kerri of TenThings / / Reply

    Ia m right there with you with respect to technicality.

    I still have yet to buy a lens for my Canon Rebel xsi, but I did google to see what the equivalent was to the beautiful lens you just got and it's $100 more…anyway, one day. I was going to buy one many a time, and then a new TV was needed, and then another, and then a DVD player, etc. So the lens has been on the back burner.

    I think all of these photos here are exquisite…I wish you still sold some of your photos. I love the pink painted apple, bird china and blossom minis…I have from long ago on my inspiration board.

    These photos above are knocking me out! You are going to have so much fun with this new lens and I can't wait to see more of your beautiful work.

    I'll let you know when I get mine :)

  15. Laurin G / / Reply

    What kind of camera do you use? I'm in the market for something between a compact digital with changeable lenses and an entry-level DSLR. The lens is great to keep in mind, but I'm curious about the body and what you like, or don't like, about it.

  16. Irene @ Bloesem / / Reply

    wonderful job! Congratulations Ez… you have hidden your talent too long for us glad to see you are following your passions.

  17. Annie / / Reply

    These are wonderful!! I love the perspective on each. Well done. I woukd buy these types of prints too! Tell that little voice in your head to go away and never come back another day!!

  18. Didi / / Reply

    Maybe you don't have technical know how (so you say!) so perhaps it's intuitive. Whatever it is, your photos are awesome! Oh, and those shoes? Beyond the beyonds. Love! I think you're just very humble because it seems you're good at everything. Now stop blushing!

    Love your blog, as always!

  19. Coralie / / Reply

    Hi Ez,
    Don't sell yourself short – there are some beautiful images there!!! Just lovely. As a Nikon girl myself, you've got me hankering after that lens now ;)

    I love your blog, it always brightens my day.
    Coralie X

  20. Lia / / Reply

    Great job! Gorgeous photos and I know exactly how you feel about falling in love with photography. ;-)

  21. Em barrett / / Reply

    Such beautiful photos – they're really inspiring. I too share you 'fear' about techy-photography, but after seeing these beauties, I want to go home and start playing around with my macro lens! Thank you for the wonderful inspiration. Em :)

  22. lisa :: the red thread / / Reply

    Oh I love it! Thanks for sharing these gorgeous photos, they rally help to show off the capabilities of the lens. Following our convo on Instagram I ordered mine and I'm now eagerly awaiting delivery. Thanks so much.

  23. Susanne / / Reply

    Congrats, hope you enjoy your new lens. I got hooked on photography last year my self and loving it ;)
    You bought a prime and the lower the F, in your case 1.8 the more light the lens let in.
    and for indoor photo's this is a great lens.

    I'm a Canon fan, and have a 50mm 1.4 prime along with a couple of L- lenses 70-200 and 24-105
    Before I buy a new lens, I always read a review from this guy, and ask in a forum I'm a member of

  24. Leanda / / Reply

    Whether you think of yourself as a pro or not, these look like they were taken by a pro! Gorgeous images and I can see you are going to have a whole lot of fun with that lens cap :)

  25. Megan / / Reply

    I'm smitten with pictures of the sparkly shoes and the spool of sequins! You really have a fabulous eye for composition and your pics are always so clean and uncluttered. Gorgeous! Yay for new lenses!

  26. Joanna / / Reply

    My first time to comment even though I'm a loyal reader!! I need to find this lense for my canon, I absolutely LOVE the quality of these photos and need a lens with this shallow depth of field. I'm no photographer eather but the lighting in your photos is beautiful!
    Thanks for sharing your new purchase!!

  27. Shannon W / / Reply

    The photos are absolutely stunning. Your sister is one lucky girl, because you have a fabulous eye for photography (and a swanky new lens!). It's a hobby of mine, too, and I may have to go get this lens and hope for the same magic. Thanks for sharing your art with us!!

  28. barb / / Reply

    Well, you may not know the tech side of photography but you sure have a good eye. Beautiful shots! Thank you for sharing.

  29. La / / Reply

    Your photos are absolutely beautiful! I love the blueberries. I am on the same boat as you, I love taking photos but feel silly if I call myself a photographer when I am just taking them for the joy of it and for my business! However, yours are wonderful! be proud. x

  30. mosey / / Reply

    The photos look amazing. You're obviously a very talented photographer and even better than some of my 'photographer friends'. Seriously.

  31. Emily / / Reply

    I have the same lens and really love it. It's hard to find an affordable lens that fits your needs, but I've been extremely happy with mine. These photos make me excited to put my camera back in my hands this weekend!

    For what it's worth, I decided to get the 35mm instead of the 50 since my camera isn't full frame. With that in mind, the 35 is actually close to the old school/full frame look of a 50 mm lens.

  32. Emily K / / Reply

    Ez, your photos are lovely! I would feel so lucky to have any of them hanging in a frame in my house!

  33. Floss / / Reply

    Ez, your photos are my favourite thing about your blog, you sell yourself short I think – you are a brilliant phographer and I sooooo want to be able to take the gorgeous shots that you do and don't have any photoshop type things, so to hear you only tweek a little bit is great for the novice that I am and gives me hope. enjoy your new lens

  34. Juliane at Modern Mural / / Reply

    Gorgeous! Loving the clean white. I think the blueberries are my favorite. It's always so much fun experimenting with cameras. I always love the new things I see in different types of wall art. I hope you find what you want with your new photography!

  35. arvee / / Reply

    Love the shots! ;) I also recently got my canon 50mm 1.8 prime lens and I'm totally in love with it! ;)

  36. Krystin / / Reply

    These are stunning. I am looking at this post on a cold, Canadian winter night and boy do I feel summer in my bones now!

  37. Rosa @ Flutter Flutter / / Reply

    As someone who loves photography, but still operates in Automatic, I am with you!! I have a 50mm for my Cannon, and it changed everything… but now I'm going to look into the 35mm. I love your pics! :)

  38. Laura / / Reply

    These photos are simply lovely. I'm looking into buying a dslr camera for myself (my first!) and it's reassuring to hear that even "non-pros" (although your photos look pro to me!) can navigate the purchasing process successfully. It's also nice to hear that I'm not the only one that spends hours and hours googling things. IF you have any advice/sites that were really helpful to you in the camera researching process I'd love to know about them! Thanks, and have a great weekend!

  39. Trude / / Reply

    Gorgeous shots Ez! As far as I'm concerned, there's no such thing as a "true" photographer. You either love taking photos or you don't. And honey, these are stunning. You can't go wrong with a prime (non-zoom) lens! :)

  40. Jené / / Reply

    Thanks for sharing! I just got my first DSLR camera and I am trying to learn about different lenses. It's always good to hear from others on what they like… also, these photos are gorgeous!

  41. caryl lyons / / Reply

    Your pictures are beautiful. I just got a new lens for Christmas too – a 24-70. I love it. I have a 50mm 1.4 and taking pictures in low light will amaze you. People always tell me that your camera didn't flash and I say – that's OK, I don't need it. They are shocked. A great tip that I learned at ALT summit last year from one of the workshops – if your camera has a video component – switch it to that to adjust your white balance. I adjust all my white balance in Kelvin mode and it saves so much time. Enjoy your lens and keep taking lots and lots of pictures. :)

  42. Tania / / Reply

    I love this post…because your photography is gorgeous, but also its refreshing to hear your thought process behind choosing and using the lens…I always assume I'm the only one doubting whether I've made the right choice, that I dont know enough about photography etc….and here you are thinking along the same lines…thanks for your honesty…it's one of the things that makes you one of my fave bloggers!

  43. Sally Mae / / Reply

    Wow! Your photos are wonderful. Thank you for sharing and good luck figuring out your new camera. :)

  44. Melissa / / Reply

    I LOVe my Nikon D300 and 35 mm lens ! The 50mm seems more popular but I think the 35 mm is so much more useable!
    Hope to see you at Alt!

  45. Cate Holst / / Reply

    Your photos are beautiful! I have the Nikon D300 and the 35mm Nikkor lens too (and it never is taken off my camera body). But you have a fabulous eye for styling which I think is just as important as a good camera

  46. Sam Allen / / Reply

    Thanks for posting about your new lens and photo examples, its truly the description of my dream lens as well!

  47. Paige / / Reply

    Great choice! For future purchases, don't be afraid to stray away from Nikon lenses — we purchased a Nikon-compatible 35 mm f/1.4 (capable of providing slightly more bokeh than the one you got) for a fraction of what the Nikon equivalent would have been. This is definitely my go-to lens for everything (my blog has lots of examples of what it can do).


  48. Cynthia / / Reply

    I think they are truly lovely. Don't ever be scared to show the world your work! The truth is, art has critics. Some will love and some will hate, but controversy is how many get discovered or famed!

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