Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ramblings about Sundays, Cameras, Photography, and Weather in Kansas


studio waterstone
"i heart macro" --   appearing each Sunday on  "Studio Waterstone"

Sundays and Photography--
What I was doing and Hope to do Again:

I meant to post these funky-Kansas weather photos on  Sunday, but well, I mean to do a lot of things that end up getting done on Day 2 or 3 rather than Day 1.   Last year I participated each Sunday in "I Heart Macro."  (I was always honored they let me beginners like me participate. There are some dynamite photographers in that group!)  Well, one Sunday I missed, then the next Sunday too, then suddenly, I was out of the habit!

I got a new camera just before the holidays, and meant to jump back in.   I not only WANT TO, but I NEED TO jump back in and learn to better use this device that IS so important to our business!   (And besides that, the group is just plain fun!)   :-)     Often I'd take closeups of flowers or other items, which is very similar to taking macro shots of jewelry, but with the benefit of natural light.    Nature and my macro setting did all the hard work for me.

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What I've recently learned:

I have been reading a bit, and experimenting with the camera, and even started using Photo Shop Elements to edit (in very basic ways) my photos.   Here is a quick lesson I learned (after I bought one) about the types of digital cameras:

(Yes, I know.   You wouldn't expect a lesson on cameras from me.   It's sort of like in high school when I got an "A+" in Driver's Ed, but was not a good driver.   Turns out the grade was determined by the written tests and the driving test was pass/fail.   I had to explain that A LOT in the beginning!   So I'm admittedly not a great photographer in practice yet, but I'm studying and learning, so here it goes....)

From what I've learned, there are basically 3 types of digital cameras:

1)  My old camera (a very basic compact digital camera) was getting pretty old.  I was still fairly happy with it except it constantly ran out of batteries, and then there was that "lens sticking" problem where it would freeze up and not only couldn't I focus, eventually I couldn't retract the lens at all!    It had a zoom lens of 4x, which was pretty nifty when we bought it 15 years ago!  ha!   But hey, it did the trick!  It had a macro setting, I could adjust the exposure, and it pretty much did the rest for me.   My biggest problem, then and now, involves lighting.

2) The new camera has 20x the zoom, but there are other hand-held digitals that will do even more.   That's not what I primarily use the camera for though, so no worries.   It's a nice camera with a lot of features I haven't learned to use yet.   I can use the manual setting (which I seldom do) or the Live setting (which I usually do), make a few adjustments in light and focus, and snap!    But I want to learn to use all the manual features too!    Put it on the wish-to-do list!    The lens is permanent.  It will do a lot of nifty things, but you cannot change the lens for a different specialty lens.   I admit I had no idea about that limitation or what this type of camera was called until I came across this article recently called, "Types of Digital Cameras."   And I now believe what I have falls into the category of  a "Bridge Digital Camera."

3) For those of you with DSLR cameras, all I can say is "You lucky things!"  They are known for taking the best photos, having changeable lens, and many settings you can adjust.    For some of us though, the barriers  are the expense and the learning curve.   (Still I can wish, maybe next time....)

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What I did, just for fun:

Now you often see the jewelry photos I take.  More "passable" now, but still needing a lot of improvement.   Last week though gave me an opportunity to use the camera in a way that was not typical for me.

The weather, 74 degrees F one day dropped more than 50 degrees and the next morning I awoke to a snow-covered lawn.   I grabbed my camera... Only thing was, it was ccc-oo-l-d out there!  So I stood in the warmth of my house and shot these, finally trying out that zoom rather than macro capability!

Take note, people, this is probably the only decent bird photo you'll ever see me take!

The wind was fierce!   You can see it blowing off the roof and whipping the  flag around.
No, the photo is not blurry, NATURE was blurry that day!
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What I plan to do:

These were fun, but truly, I do want to improve my macro photography. I currently have  3 things I plan to do:

1) Read my camera manual--yes, that has been suggested to me by a dear friend, and I'd say it's time I did it!

2)  I saw this ebook mentioned on a blog today (and please forgive me whoever it was!)  I bookmarked it but forget who it was endorsing it.  Anyway, her photos were fabulous!    So I think it's worth a try.   It's called "Snaptastic" from Kab's Creative Concepts and I'm linking to it so you can find out more too, if you like!

3) I have a light tent I bought last year, but know I'm  not using the proper lamps. I'm planning to research lamps, light placement, indoor vs. out door photography.   I tend to take a lot of photos in the middle of the night, so outdoors is not always an option for me.


So, you'll likely be hearing more from me about photography in the near future.  And hopefully, you'll see some difference in the quality of my photos.    And if you are willing, please continue to  share... about cameras, lighting, your preference for indoor or outdoor photography, or even wacky weather where you live!  :-)   I always love hearing from you!

~Sharyl

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P.S.  If anyone missed the last blog entry with the Give-Away announcements, please click and take a look!   The coupon ends soon!


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3 comments:

Kashmira said...

That's one cute bird, Sharyl, how did you make it pose for you like that? :P Just kidding!

Wow! I remember those fierce Kansas winters! Brrrr!

Carol D. said...

Thanks for this post. I too am learning to take better pics and use my new camera. So I hope you will share anything that you learn.

flourishjeweller said...

Very cute bird and even beautiful surrounded with snow. I love that season.

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