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:
And making it look like this:
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.
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.