Friday, January 1, 2010

Camera Talk

Happy New Year to all of my Blog fans. If you're not a fan (yet), please pop back in every now and then to visit. Maybe you'll be inspired to bookmark this Blog. Or (gasp!) maybe even become a follower.

I won't go all into my personal list of resolutions for the year (there aren't many), but I will say that one of them is to take more and better pictures. "More" and "better" go hand in hand. Because, in order to capture great shots, you have to take a lot of pictures and/or know how to use photo editing software.

If you could care less about taking more and better pictures, just stop reading now and come back tomorrow because this post will bore you to death.

On taking MORE pictures...

Here's a unique image I encountered recently...

Cool, isn't it? It was taken by Monstergirlee. It's just a Christmas ornament on a tree, right? Here's what Monstergirlee had to say...

"I took 36 pictures of this ornament, something I'd been planning for 3 or 4 days. Or at least thinking about it, how to set it up, etc. I really wanted some nice bokeh and a warm light. I edited 6 of them, and finally decided this was the best mix of all that was desired."

She'd been planning the shot for 3 or 4 days and took 36 pictures of this one, stationary ornament. I'd say that's a lot of pictures, wouldn't you?

Here's one of my favorite, recent, dog pictures...

I took about 30 images of the dogs wrastling. I just clicked away as I watched them play. I know they make goofy faces when they play, so I figured if I just kept clicking I'd catch at least one of them looking silly.

Instead, I got lucky and captured them both looking "psychotic" as one friend described.

That means there were 29 other images I threw away. I might employ a different strategy if I were using film. All that developing would be expensive. (This is where Hubby would tell you, like he's told 50 other people and tells me about once a week, he's the one that had to convince me to use a digital as opposed to film camera. And he's happy because if I hadn't switched, we'd be in the poorhouse.)

Here's another recent capture that I love.

Shots like this cannot be planned. And 99% of the time, you need to click the ole shutter many, many times to capture something like this. Not only that, you need to know how to do some editing (more on that in some other post).

On taking BETTER pictures...

Quite often, when people see me with my digital Canon Rebel SLR camera, they say, "I need to get a good camera like that so I can take better pictures." So as not to sound like a know-it-all, I have resisted explaining what I am about to explain here.

SLR cameras like mine are not the best camera for everyone. Unless you work hard to set up the proper shot, the less-expensive point-and-shoots take better pictures.

What's an SLR camera? A single lens reflex (SLR) camera has one lens used for picture taking and viewfinding. What you see when you look through the viewfinder is what you capture in your shot. SLRs have interchangeable lenses, too, which is both good and bad. Good because you can have a wide range of image options. Bad because lenses are expensive. Also, when swapping lenses, it is easy to get dirt inside your camera. They are not easy to clean and it is very risky. One wrong move and your very expensive camera becomes a very expensive paperweight.

A point and shoot means just that. You point your camera and you shoot. There's no swapping of lenses. Most have zoom features and lots of different settings like macro (for close-ups), landscape, portrait, etc. Point-and-shoots are typically less bulky, too, so they are easier to carry in your pocket or your purse.

Here's some proof that you don't need an expensive SLR camera to take great pictures:

Look at this shot of Ernie in the snow. It was taken with a Blackberry camera phone.

A very nice landscape shot, captured with a Vivitar 6300.

All of Shannon's travel pics were taken with a Nikon Coolpix L18.

Shown below is a Nikon Coolpix L20...

I just bought it and an 8 GB memory card for less than $100. It's an awesome little camera that I can easily carry with me everywhere. And it takes videos. So you know I'll have lots more interesting content here in the future, right?

On choosing the right camera...

There are tons of things to consider when choosing a new camera. Tons. If you are considering a switch, here's a great article that might help you out.

On what you should focus on first...

Composition is the most important thing you need to master. If you just think your images are as interesting as those shot by other people, I bet composition is your issue. There are many aspects of composition that are important. Where in the picture is your subject located? Is your background too "busy"? Are you focused on the right thing?

Lots of stuff has already been written on composition, too. Do yourself a favor and try to work on this sort of stuff before spending even one cent.

I'm sorry if I have bored you fans that could care less about cameras and/or how to take pictures. I promise my next post will have more of the fun and excitement you typically find here.

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To learn all kinds of cool stuff about digital photography, just visit the Digital Photography School. It's free and contains just about everything you need to know about digital photography.


  1. Just stopping by to say I like your picture for the top of your Blog, eventhough it makes me cold just looking at it.


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