Aliso Creek and Wilderness Park

Less than a week before I was getting ready to leave for my trip to Florida, I felt randomly and inexplicably compelled to take to the trails with my camera. I had a few spare hours in between trying to cram in last minute work, so I hopped in my little blue convertible and drove to Aliso Creek and Wilderness Park. This was my second time to go hiking there but my first time with my camera.

When I arrived, I had to pee REALLY bad — and just my luck, I could not find a single bathroom anywhere near the entrance to the park. If they have one, it’s well hidden, and there wasn’t anyone around to ask. So instead of going down the main path, I cut off down a smaller path in search of a little secluded spot I could relieve myself. I hiked for a good ten minutes before I found a spot, and by the time I did I decided that I might as well just stay on the path I was on rather than try and backtrack. It didn’t end up being quite as pretty as the trail I had originally intended, but it was still really beautiful and I was enjoying taking photos.

After hiking for about a half an hour, my camera suddenly stopped working and I got an error message: Err 01 – Communications between the camera and lens is faulty. This is an error message I’d never seen before. I fiddled with the camera and tried several things that seemed to help, but after a few more shots I kept getting the same error message and couldn’t take any more photos. Usually I take my bag with me on hikes that has my other two lenses in it, but this time I didn’t. So I decided to call it a day and hike back to the car. On the way back, I saw this beautiful deer that watched me walk by. I took a photo with my phone but it wasn’t the same.

The most interesting thing about the whole experience was my internal reaction to the error message. In the past, I would have been upset and frustrated. But weirdly enough, when I got the error message I suddenly felt incredibly happy. This was just another sign in a long string of experiences validating that my intuition was always on my side. Two days down the road I had a photo shoot scheduled and four days down the road I was going to hop on a plane and go on vacation. If I hadn’t suddenly felt COMPELLED to go take pictures for no reason, this error would have probably occurred in the middle of my photo shoot or while I was on vacation (seriously no bueno.) I now had the opportunity to remedy this problem before it was really a problem. This made me absolutely THRILLED. Life was on my side, yet again.

I went home and tested out my camera with my other lenses — no issues there. Now that I knew the problem was definitely originating from the lens itself (my wide angle zoom lens that I’ve favored extensively for the last five years), I completely disassembled the lens (something I’ve done more times than I can count — this lens has been problematic forever.) But after reassembling it and being unable to fix the problem easily, I finally decided it was time to break down and buy a new lens. I’ve been meaning to for a while now (and honestly need it) but I am definitely guilty of choosing well-loved objects over new shiny ones most of the time; I have a tendency to use electronics until they have lived a full and happy life (read: dead.) While this is generally a good thing, I definitely think there are times when I could be better about taking the time to research and upgrade. Brandon is amazing at this, you’d think I would learn from him.

I plopped myself down in front of my computer and spent a solid two hours researching until I found a lens with most of the specs I wanted that wasn’t a million dollars and still had favorable reviews, and ordered it off of Amazon. Good ol’ Prime — it arrived the very next morning free of charge. There were a few minor drawbacks but overall I had chosen wisely; my new lens was definitely an upgrade, and just in time for my trip to Florida. Hooray!

Now without further ado, I share the final set of pictures I took with my old lens. RIP my friend, you served me very, very, very well.