Sony a5000

Today marks the first day I am blogging on one of the days I set out to blog on! (Tuesdays and Thursdays). Time for the hard part of keeping up with it—anyone have tips to remain on schedule?

Anyway, a few days ago I ordered the Sony a5000 mirrorless camera from bestbuy.ca. I was mainly looking for a beginner’s professional camera—something that I could learn from and still take amazing pictures on my four-month trip abroad in Europe.

Sony a5000
Source: Saggiamente.com

The four main reasons I chose this camera:

  1. Its size – Compared to standard DSLRs, the Sony a5000 is much more sleek (at the loss of a view finder) and compact, making it ideal for travel photography
  2. The screen – Having a screen that flips up is great for selfie-type shots or vlogging
  3. The price – At CAD $479, I think it’s a great value from what I have researched and compared to other cameras
  4. The quality in low-lit situations – Based upon reviews, this little guy is quite the powerhouse in darkly lit environments (“Score!” says the night-owl.)

I’m really glad I chose this camera! I’ve never had my own camera before, and YouTubing how to put on a camera strap was just the beginning of all the fun to be had.

I also ordered a 55-210 lens for some flexibility, but for now, here are some pictures I just took in my garden with the kit-provided lens:

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Volunteering with House of PainT

So, it’s been a while since my last post, and that’s because I’ve been busy volunteering! It has been quite the experience. Working full-time and volunteering during my down-time has been tiring but enjoyable nonetheless. I still think it beats all the readings and assignments from school. One of the places I have been volunteering the past few weeks is called House of PainT. And yes, that ‘t’ is capitalized! They are an Urban Arts and Culture festival that runs in September with music performances, live art, and many other cool activities.

At first, I began by helping out with social media. This included creating possible tweets for Twitter, along with making lists for badge identification for all involved with the festival. I definitely found the social media aspect interesting; it’s crazy how much of an impact those little reminders you see in your feed have on things like fundraising and getting noticed by the right kinds of people. Much of what happens through these media networking sites requires precision with timing and appropriate tags/hashtags that are easily searchable.

Along with being in their office working on these tasks from my computer, I got to see how people outside of school actually do things. It may sound weird, but it’s quite exciting to see how people interact when they aren’t studying or talking about their classes. I really have no idea what life is like outside of school, and even my boss at work asks me what it’s like to finally be done since it’s been about 18 consecutive years of school with no break! And the past few months I haven’t really had an answer.

But now that I have an insanely busy schedule, I feel more productive than I did in school. Mainly because with volunteering, it seems like I am adding something to the community while meeting new people with similar interests to myself. And with my job in retail, I’m at least saving a lot of money for my future travels which will then benefit my career if I land an internship abroad. As much as there were good times during university, it didn’t feel like I was contributing enough.

There was first the fact of tuition that I paid out in full every semester with my own money (okay, and 25% of help from my parents and scholarships), which was a downer. Then there’s the strange feeling of completing assignment after assignment only to have it marked by someone who was also marking hundreds of very similar papers. It just didn’t feel distinctive enough for me. Those who I were involved with for House of PainT felt more interesting and exciting than the tedious life of the average university student.

Anyways, here are some pictures that I took from the event! There are a few that were taken from last year’s festival, which I personally find quite gorgeous. I’ll have to go back and see what the final version looks like from this year, as I have a lot of pictures that are in the midst of being painted. By the way, the graffiti writers were painting on a bridge underpass, it was the first place in my city that legally allowed graffiti, which was in 2003. Enjoy these pictures! I did edit them, my ancient 8MP iPhone 4s could only do so much.

On a side note, the new Communications Coordinator for the festival (who awesomely has the same name as me) had a lens that attached to her iPhone. How cool is that?! If anyone knows of great, but inexpensive, cameras for taking pictures, please leave a comment! So far I have been looking into the Canon PowerShot G7 X. Within the next year I would like to get a camera for travelling that could also be great for taking shots on the train from London to Paris and Switzerland.

Info for House of PainT:

Website: http://www.houseofpaint.ca

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HouseofPainTFestival

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HouseOfPainT/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/houseofpaint

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ_96kV1v43zBgk2eE8YsAg

Instagram: https://instagram.com/houseofpaint/