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Monthly Archives: May 2011
I’m sort of a generalist when it comes to photography. I don’t limit myself to photos of landscapes, architecture, people, places or things. Nor to any specific style, though I do lean towards black and white photography. But then, I recognize that while I’ve been photographing for a while I’m still learning – nothing worth doing well is easy, and I want to do this very well. So, I shoot a variety of subjects. I guess I’ve always taken a scattergun approach to things.
Mostly this is because I’m still looking for what I’d consider my niche in photography. One thing I do know; I prefer simple images compared to overly complex – and by simple I don’t mean non-thought provoking, but only photos that don’t have a lot of clutter and have a certain symmetry when viewed. That can be a difficult task. It’s like writing a short story instead of a novel. In a novel you have time to develop plot, characters, and the tone you want to convey. Most writers will tell you it’s easier to write a novel. A short story gives you a limited amount of verbiage to deliver the message and to instill emotional empathy for the characters. It has to be concise wording; you don’t have much to work with. The minimal photograph is much the same – the photographer is doing a lot with a little and in the end must impact the viewer so they’ll linger a while longer looking at it.
I’ve done some minimalist type of photography (see my “A Picture is Worth…” entry) and I plan on doing much more, but for this post, I have another pet pic.
Pets are nice to shoot – sometimes (most times) challenging but always entertaining. If you’re working with cats or dogs you can probably be assured of leaving with either a few scratches, or a quart of slobber all over your face. The tough part with pets is getting an expression – animals, especially cats (and here I’m limiting the subject to the two most popular pets mentioned above) don’t usually have emotive expressions on their faces. The pooch is Lucy, our neighbor’s boxer. She’s a sweetheart, despite her somewhat aggressive appearance.
What’ll it be next post? You’ll just have to wait and see. That’s what I do!
Thanks for reading.
I’ve had my Nikon D7000 for a week and a half now, and it spends a lot of time taunting me from the shelf in the bookcase where I’ve temporarily sequestered it. The reason is twofold, it serves as a reminder that I actually bought the thing, and that I need to get out and shoot. Which I’d love to do. But it seems time has become compressed by outside, alien demands ( I read and watch a lot of science fiction) that chip away at those few free hours a week that I call mine. Then there’s the quandary of what to shoot with the limited time. This is Colorado after all, land of mountains, streams and summer snow, not to mention the urban settings of Denver with flowers blooming in innumerable gardens, cyclists zooming around Washington Park, Bison in our backyards; in short, subjects exist all around (as they do anywhere), a cornucopia of callings for the camera conscious (had to dig for that one).
What I need is an Temporal Shift – I’ll flow through time as sand through an hourglass (I used to watch soaps too, many years ago) getting things done that need to be done to keep the domestic peace, and then reset! and I’ll be able to relive those same hours that just passed, with camera in hand capturing images anywhere I care to go. I’ll just have to be cautious and not run into my earlier self, otherwise it could cause a universal paradox and disrupt the space-time continuum and … I’ll shut up now.
We all have the same 24 hours each day, so maybe I should just take this to heart:
The D7000 is a beautiful piece of work – solid and confident in the hand. The shots are gorgeous, and since they’re comprised of much more data than my D80 shots, I have more cropping possibilities. Sure, I’d rather shoot a perfectly composed photo every time, but that’s not reality and cropping often becomes a necessity. Live View is nice, but I see a use for it mostly when shooting video – I still prefer to hold the camera up to my eye to compose in the excellent viewfinder. Shooting at high ISOs is far superior to the D80 – the photo below was taken at ISO 800 and looks wonderful.
I’m still getting used to where some of the menu items are, and using features that have been enhanced or added, but the effort will be worth it.
If I can only find the time…
Thanks for reading!
Okay, after taking an unearned hiatus from my blog (there’s something about winter months that just saps my motivation – good thing I have a day job.) I’ve returned with a new addition to my slowly growing photographic equipment list. This one’s big. I bought a new Nikon D7000 to replace my old, much loved, still used, great DSLR, Nikon D80. The D80 will be with me for quite a while, with the eventual plan to convert it to an IR (infrared) only camera.
I’ve salivated over the D7000 since it was announced last year and made it my number one acquisition goal for 2011. Well, I’ve got it, and as I write the battery’s busy charging. The battery is new for the D7000 and the duration between charges is, on paper at least, impressive. Where my D80 would get about 400 (approximately) shots from a charge, the D7000 battery (EN-EL15) will get me about 1,000 or so. While the battery charger does its thing, I’m perusing the 326 page user manual – I’ve read novels shorter than this! I’m tempted to set the camera to Auto Everything and let it go. I won’t – I’m too techy and besides, I like having control of the image capture process.
Nobody had the D7000 body only in stock and as a result I bought it with the 18-105mm kit lens. I’ll probably be selling this lens, since I’ve already got a 19-28mm, a 50mm and a 105mm lens that fit well within the 18-105 range. What I need is either a 12-24mm or a 10-20mm ultra wide angle and the money I get selling the kit lens will help with that. Or, I could relegate the lens to the D80 and keep it on that camera.
There’s quite a list of differences between my D80 and the D7000 – a few of which are:
- 16.2 MP for the D7000, the D80 only had 10, which for the most part is just fine
- Dual SDHC card slots
- Sensor cleaning
- Higher ISO capabilities
- Less noise at high ISOs
- CMOS sensor vs. the CCD sensor in the D80
- 1080HD movie recording
- Live View
- More presets for jpg shooters, not something I’ll use too often
- Longer battery life
- 14-bit lossless RAW capability (as well as 12 bit)
The list is longer, but you get the idea. The D80 was state of the art in 2006, but in terms of the digital age, it’s obsolete. Still produces excellent images, but I wanted a bit more capability, a bit more resolution. It’s a beautiful, rugged camera that will bring me years of enjoyment – until the next big thing from Nikon that strikes a chord in my feature set/price criteria a few years down the road.
As usual, thanks for reading, and I’m sure future entries will be more frequent for the next several months.