Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy Birthday to my 4th Child

There is no Theme Thursday at Stacy's this week cause she went off and had a little vacation and left us all (jealous!). So I thought I would take this opportunity to write an "Ode" to my 4th child, my Canon 30D. This marks the anniversary of me having my dSLR for 1 whole year. Man, it feels like she's been with me for so much longer. We did tons of shopping in the month leading up the to purchase. I tried every single camera out there, read all the reviews, went to many different camera stores and I still was not convinced I even needed a new camera. My Panasonic P&S was a great camera, still is, and I just didn't know if I wanted to fork over that kind of bank on a new one. But alas, my hubby talked me into it. After an agonizing month of talking/debating/shopping I narrowed it down to two models, the 30D and another smaller, newer, less 'professional' model which we will refer to as "O", so I don't offend. Don't get me wrong, that other model is a great camera, in fact we convinced my in-laws to buy it and they love it. However, this was May of 2007 and this new O model wasn't due out for at least 5-6 weeks. With the impending birth of our third child, who at the time was rapidly approaching being fashionably late, as her sister was, we decided that we should have a newer camera for the big birth day. So that decision came down to pure timing. However, looking back on it now, I totally made the right decision. I was worried that this camera would be more than I can handle in weight and pure learning curve. Well, I got used to the weight pretty quickly. In one year I have taken over 1000 pictures, we calculated. I think I need more HD space. :)

When I got the camera all I knew of modes was Auto, and of course how freaking fast it was! Man it blew me away. This is one of the first shots I took with it playing around the house (and based on the date, it was two days before Miss V was born)


So it was a decent shot, but I had much to learn. I totally loved the DOF that I achieved (even though I didn't know what it was called) shooting totally in auto.

Miss V was born and of course now I had incentive to do a photo shoot with her. I took a black blanket and a pillow and set up a mock studio in front of my living room windows. I took way too many shots and made her birth announcements myself.Bonus! Still shooting in auto and doing nothing to these shots except a plain crop, as I haven't found the power of Photo Shop as of yet, even though I owned the software.

So Anne Geddes I am not, but they were cute enough! As time went on, I joined some Photog groups and Flickr and realized that there was so much more that I wanted to learn/do. I took the plunge and set the camera to modes other than auto. I wanted to be able to control my surroundings and not rely on the camera to make all of the decisions. I was having a tough time with exposure and blur.

Off to read more books and figure out what the problem was. By the end of the year I was starting to get the hang of the triangle, although I wouldn't always get it right. But I was practicing a ton and occasionally (with the use of a tripod) would get something I liked (after doing lots of research to determine exactly how to set the camera up right for this type of shot - is that cheating??).


In February, after insisting nothing was necessary, my hubby got me a new lens and speedlight for VD! How romantic. But its what I always wanted. Now armed with these two new toys, I set out to be able to continue taking pictures in the evenings (wintertime is so dark). Being as I was better with natural light settings, I had a tough time getting the settings on the flash correct.


Armed with the new gear I set out to learn post-processing. WOW, what a new world. More books, more software, more reading, more $$$$! (did I mention this is an expensive hobby?)

Learning how to take this photo:
V Close

And making it look like this:

V Close Take 2

Was eye opening. More obsessing.

Now I shoot in full manual. I play with metering and exposure, I use natural and flash light and I have been working on custom white balance. I have a little studio with plexi-glass for portraits and rolls of paper for backdrops and I started shooting in RAW. (more books...ugh) I have PS CS3 and Lightroom now for my PP, which someday will get better.

Ok so this tribute is getting long so I guess I will wrap up my thoughts with another thought. One year later, much learning, obsessing, frustration, joy, $ spent, new gear - I have to ask, have I gotten better from that first picture I had taken on auto? I want to be the best I can be, with the limited amount of time I devote to it (being that my job gets in the way of my free time). But I guess more important to all that, its been a great learning experience and I wouldn't trade my Canon for anything. It was money well spent. I don't regret for one minute letting this new addition into our lives. My kids may feel otherwise, since I bother them daily.

So I leave this "Ode to my Camera" with pictures (of course) from yesterday.


Mess Face1

Happy Birthday to my companion, and here's to many more! Now off to find your manual that I seem to have misplaced so I can give you a proper Birthday cleaning.


DeAnn May 1, 2008 at 12:07 PM  

OMG this is the best blog ever. I love it, I could have written it myself, such a fun journey. I am glad we both got our babies together (cameras and C/V)

MamaGeek May 1, 2008 at 4:40 PM  

Dear Anne Geddes (yep),

I LOVED this post. Isn't it amazing the black hole that is photography? I swear I'm obsessed with lenses and what not these days. You know, something real cheap. :( But it's a hobby, right?

Happy Birthday 30D, may you get a new L lens for your big occasion!

MamaGeek May 1, 2008 at 4:41 PM  

P.S. The 5D replacement is coming out soon, I'm hoping that the replacement is MY second child and your 5th.


Nap Warden May 1, 2008 at 5:00 PM  

What great shots...If I ever pick my head up out of Illustrator, I want to learn how to take great pictures:)

Golightly May 8, 2008 at 12:15 AM  

Happy Birthday Canon 30D!

Lucky you! I hope to add to our family in August! Probably only a Canon 400D (Rebel) But it's got to better then my point and shoot ultimately. Especially since I am DYING to shoot in RAW!

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Welcome to my family blog. I am a mom to three, work FT and love to take pictures. Please visit my website to see more of my work.



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