Yer a wizard, Harry!

Last Sunday, I visited a small Harry Potter exhibition at the Philatelic museum. The exhibits were collectibles loaned from dedicated Potterheads and other enthusiasts.

Anyone who is remotely familiar with my interests know Harry Potter features near the top 3. Always. The books were a huge influence in shaping my reading habits and approach towards literature – particularly the science fiction and fantasy genre – when I was growing up.

At the entrance to the exhibit, which was contained within this tiny room.

There were themes in each of the seven books any teenager in the noughties could relate to – dealing with bullies, having a choice in life, nurturing friendships, being humble, coping with death and most of all, as cliched as this sounds, the importance of love.

My introduction to the series came in 2001, when someone bought me a copy of the “Prisoner of Azkaban.” Beginning in the middle of the series, I wanted to know who was Harry Potter, why was he so special among wizards, why was he living with the vile Dursleys, why was Sirius Black jailed if he didn’t kill Harry’s parents. More importantly, why were James and Lily Potter killed? Quidditch, I thought, was the coolest made-up sport ever.

I worked my way through the book in two days and immediately went in search for more at our local library. (e-books at that time were something that happened on Star Trek, probably.) When I was caught up with the “Philosopher’s Stone” and the “Chamber of Secrets,” the waiting game for the next instalment began.

“Half Blood Prince” is my favourite book because it builds up wonderfully to the finale everyone knew was coming in the final instalment. It does so by taking the focus away from Harry for a change and sheds light on Voldemort, the Black family and Snape. While waiting for “Deathly Hallows” to be released, I spent many hours over at the Leaky Cauldron message boards debating about Snape’s motives for killing Dumbledore, who was R.A.B (totally called this one), and which were the other Horcruxes? 

Musings aside, this was also a good opportunity to bring my new Canon 80D out on a field test. The exhibit was in low-light condition, which allowed for plenty of tinkering with the settings. I like to shoot RAW in manual mode because that’s the best way to learn, even though many people swear by the aperture priority mode.

The manual mode constantly makes you calculate and re-calculate your settings before you hit the shutter. You become more familiar with how aperture, ISO and shutter speed affect your picture in various light conditions.

The lens I used was the EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM, which is pretty decent for close-ups. The 80D has a APS-C sensor, which doesn’t as well as a full frame sensor in low light conditions, but it gets the job done without breaking the bank!

Few weeks ago, I took the camera out to the WTA Finals, which was another good environment to shoot in, given lighting and distance from the court. That’s for another time.

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