Photo: Lilac Dreams

Lilac Dreams
Lilac (purple) flowers at the Daytona State College campus. These aren’t lilacs, but I like the name so I’m using it to refer to the color.

A friend volunteered to let me borrow his lens: a Sigma EF 105mm 1:2.8. I have it till next week, so I’ve been taking pictures of stuff with the different perspective it offers. Everything’s so close; I can’t get any sort of landscapes with this. But it’s interesting to focus on the details, and I can get closer to flowers than I can with the kit lens.

While I take good care of my camera and lenses, one of the worries in borrowing a lens–or anything for that matter–is that it will break in your possession, or you’ll break it by accident. Breaking your own stuff isn’t so bad as breaking someone else’s stuff, because then you (generally) feel obligated to replace it. What happens more often is the lender will say you broke it when you didn’t. Or if anything goes wrong with it in a period of one month after you return it, the lender blames it on you. I’m not sure why this happens, but it seems to be a common human trait.

I believe it’s rooted in fear. We want a scapegoat for everything. People may even subconsciously lend items they know are about to break, just so they can blame the borrower when the inevitable happens. Obviously, this is something that you and me must work on overcoming. Most people are reasonable and down-to-Earth already; I don’t consider borrowing a lens from a friend high-risk. But, I don’t borrow by contract if it’s reasonable to buy the item instead. Contracts are bad because they’re generally with people you don’t know; it’s much better to lend an item to a friend on honor than to a stranger with the threat of law.

Borrowing is actually condemned in the Bible, and it’s not something people used to do commonly. You should borrow if you’re sure you’ll be able to produce a lot of value for the world from the loan. Unfortunately, this is very rare. Maybe one in ten-thousand loans comply with this stipulation. Borrowing (paying a mortgage) on a house is good, but too often people buy a house they can’t support. You should live beneath your means, because that’s the only way you can leverage your remaining wealth to contribute to the lives of others, effectively increasing your means. Living beneath your means does not include credit-card debt.

Editing on this photo involved adding contrast and vignetting. That bug on the left is interesting. I didn’t notice him till just now. He gets to stay, though.

Canon Rebel XTi, Sigma EF 105mm 1:2.8, 1/640, F5, 105mm, ISO100, 2008-09-03T13:03:40-04, 20080903-170340rxt

Location: Daytona State College, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

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Writing on education, psychology, and philosophy