Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday the Photos Are Coming Up Roses

Tim and I planned to do a massive photo practice session this weekend, but temps approaching 100 degrees kind of quelled our enthusiasm. However, the beautiful arrangement of roses Tim bought for me the other day served as the perfect subject for taking some indoor photos. I set the camera to take these in RAW format on my new 8GB Lexar CompactFlash card. (NOTE: I am pretty disappointed, because, although the photos look rich in color on my Dell Inspiron 1720 monitor, I just viewed the same page on my iMac, and the colors were off. Be advised what you see on your screen may not be what I saw when I posted these pics.)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

My First Try at Slow Sync Flash - Critiques? Help?

Obviously I have some improvements to make, but still, I was awfully proud of myself for even this level of shot in the slow sync flash mode last night. It was the first time I tried to do anything artsy with the Nikon, and, it was a lot of fun. This isn't about getting better in my job just for the work that I do, but expanding the creativity in my life outside of Army missions. However, this will, inevitably, benefit me on both fronts. So, I might as well enjoy what I do.

As you can see, the shot came from me having the camera in front of me as I spun around to the tune of slow sync flash.

Comments? Critiques? Please feel free. This is how I learn.

QUESTION: Does anyone know how I can better ensure that I am in focus since I can't really be on both sides of the camera simultaneously, to do so?

Jumping Into the Digital Whirlpool

10 years as a military photographer using a digital single-lens-reflex camera and still I am a beginner at this pursuit. I've clicked the shutter so many times over the years, but never really ventured into the wide range of photographic techniques available to me. Always choosing to set the camera on an auto or program mode, I let it do all of the thinking and the work. I didn't always get the shots I desired. I would see them one way through the lens and then get "okay" shots as long as I took a good number of them. But my photos were nothing to enter into any contests.

I never even found the courage to test my abilities shooting in manual mode. Maybe it was because, if I did, I'd have to contend with a lot of mistakes, and I am often my own worst enemy, expecting things to be perfect the first time around. I tend to get easily frustrated with myself, switch gears and go on to what seem like more interesting hobbies, all in the name of not having to deal with failure.

Fast forward to 2008, and somehow things have changed. I've developed an intense passion for soaking up all of the knowledge that I can, embarking on a photographic adventure of learning. My unit has assigned me a couple of Nikon D200s -- not THE top models, but heavyweight enough for all of my needs, a "pro-sumer" model as cameras of this level are called. I have some quality lenses at my disposal, filters, a sturdy, high-performance flash unit, etc. Suddenly, armed with all of this gear, and having just had an in-depth photo class, with a journalistic mission on the near horizon, and Tim showing a newfound desire to learn alongside me…I am totally jazzed.