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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My new toy!


Yes indeed some days you get what you are looking for, and this week I have gotten me a brand new toy, a new camera!! A new camera for me and this is a great big step up from the little point and shoots that I have been using. If you look at this picture you might guess that it takes some pretty nice pics, and you would be quite right! It is a Canon Rebel T1i, 15.1 Megapixel. Since I didn't have a whole lot of money to throw at this, I searched for a while to find the best price I could, and then I saved my pennies for a few months until I could afford the nut it took to make the purchase. I hope that I will be able to sell a few pictures to help me pay for this thing!

I was so tight on the money that I didn't even have the spare to buy the kit with a lens, I had to buy the body only version. Fortunately, and with some planning I happened to buy a camera of the same make that my Father already owns, and he has given me 2 of his old lenses that he no longer uses. ( He spent the money on some high-end lenses, so I can have the hand-me-downs!) One is the original that he got with his own Rebel XSi, an 18-55mm zoom, and the other a 55-250mm zoom. They are both great optics, but they have a drawback that pops wanted to overcome, they didn't have enough apeture to shoot clear indoor, sports, action shots. While I may want to do that occasionally, I am much more about outdoor nature shots. Yes, I do lots of parties and performances, but they are either well lit, or I have no problem lighting them with a flash, so it's plenty cool to use the higher apeture settings for me. Plus I have learned how to incorporate the blurred movement of certain things into my style.

It has been many years since I have had the luxury of a true SLR camera at my utter disposal, and I am feeling my oats with it. I have already taken over 175 pictures and I haven't even had it for 48 hours yet! Of course, they are not all good by any means, but I am improving quickly as I get used to the feel and the features of the camera. I really dig the auto focus, but it takes a little tweaking for a picky pixel hound like me to get it seeing what I want it to see. Fortunately that's one of the big advantages of this particular brand, I can set the focal points where I want them and the camera will heel to my becon call. One of the things that I have missed so much in recent years with the myriad subjects surrounding me, is the ability to get such a great adjustment in the depth of field in my pictures. Since the glass on point and shoot cameras is set up to be pretty much idiot-proof ( nothing ever is, because there are always better idiots waiting in the wings!) it is designed with a very limited depth of field capability, even with an adjustable aperature, it only closes down to f8, and that is still a gaping maw compared to the the f22, 25, 0r 28 that I can get with the SLR glass. Now I can have some fun with depth!

Not only that, but because I enjoy the nature shots so much, sometime it will allow me to get in close and personal with certain skittish critters. Like this little guy! He was hiding in the watergarden and I nearly stepped on him before I realized that he had himself stashed in such a tight spot. But I was able to get a bead on him for a few frames before he decided to dash away. I sure hope he got his dinner first! While I am not a fanatic conservationist or anything like that, there are tons of subjects that I love to get pics of, from the frogs and dragonflies, to the deer and game birds that spend so much time within my visual range. If I am lucky I may be able to get some pictures of some crazy birds this year. Maybe a turkey or a pheasant, and if I'm real lucky maybe I get me a partridge ( pear tree optional!)

So far I am pretty happy with what I can do, and I am looking forward to really pushing the limits of what this camera can accomplish, and as I learn all of it's little quirks and intricacies, I will be able to refine my own style of picture taking. I am not the most creative person in the world, but I do know what I like and what draws my attention. I really want to get back into getting people like I have in the past. I have been compared to paparazzi on more than one occasion, because I manage to get pictures of people and things that people don't even notice. Partly because I so often have a camera that it becomes an expectation and people lose their natural inhibitions to being caught on film, and partly because I have this habit of shooting so much around me that it is inevitable that eventually I get a few good pictures!

I wish I had a real crystal ball to look in and see what it is that I need to do to find that moment when I meet my dream, but since I don't, I will continue to play with the things that draw me in. Oh yeah, one more thing, this particular camera also does video, in FULL HD!! so cool! I have only just tried this feature for a few seconds to make sure that it worked, but as soon as I have my high capacity SD cards, I will give it a try for real! Looking forward to having some fun with that also!
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