Friday, January 27, 2012

Abraham Lincoln???

My brother-in-law, Andy, is a fun individual.  He loves many ironic things.  I had to take his picture just after Christmas and he got a T-shirt that he is wearing in the picture.  I thought to myself, “Self, he looks like Abraham Lincoln.  All he needs is a top hat.”  So my wife gave him a digital top hat and made the picture look better by making it look more 1800’s. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Choosing the right Camera-Film or digital

If you looked at the titles of my posts last week you can pick any of the combinations and come up with a different camera. Just using six different name brands and not even considering where to buy the camera, or costs, and only using 2 choices for the others, there comes to well over 500 choices. That is why I am spending a good chunk of time on this section, that and because it is important to have the right camera for you and for your needs.

This in my opinion is the easiest choice that you will make, yet it is very foundational to how you will take all your photos. Let us looks and the pros and cons of the film, or 35mm, camera.

35mm Pros

You can blow up the pictures easier and the quality is superb.

You can prove your pictures were unedited, in most cases, which can be important, but generally will not be.

Cheaper initial startup cost

Can use if you don’t have a computer (though you really don’t need one for a digital camera, a computer does make it a lot easier to use)

Digital Pros

Easier to find

Cheaper in the long run if you print pictures

Smaller storage

Easier to back up copies

Quicker print times

Easier to print

More options in the camera

Editing is easier

You can see your pictures before you print them

And really there is so many more options that I do not have space to list them all.

Really the pros of the film camera really are marginally better than the digital, but the digital’s pros are astoundingly greater than the film camera.

Though the quality is better in the film camera, with the technology today it is only slightly better, even in the moderately and economically priced cameras. This is really not a selling point for me for a film camera. Even a few years ago some photo contests required film shots, however, those are becoming dinosaurs, but I still see a few around that want a film shot picture just to prove it has not been edited. Only one out of maybe ten thousand might want to invest in a camera for this purpose, so don’t until you need one. The startup cost may be less, but that is probably because you almost have to go used and even if they were $100 compared to a $1000 digital camera, look at the long term price. (My camera and flash did not even cost $1000) If you take fifty pictures a week with a film camera, you have to print them all because you cannot seem them, while digital camera you can print only the ones you want or as you need them. And with the use of digital picture frames, or in my case we can show them on our monitor (or a TV) just like a one of those picture frames, you will have to print hardly any at all. So for our math for your digital camera let’s say you print 10 a week. Total 2 year cost is Film: $1608 and Digital: $1301.60. By year two you are already saving money and you will have a better camera.

Some people look at the features of a film camera and say that it is more reasonable, but there is a reason when you go into Wal-Mart, a film camera is like finding a Dodo bird in your backyard.

I think it is important to end on why I think the digital camera is the best camera. You can see your picture immediately with no costs (I had to add no costs because the old polaroids you could see them immediately. Those old polaroids were my first camera back in the 80’s.) I just did a photo shoot a few weeks ago. I got hurt during the setup of some new equipment I had just bought and so I was not in a good mood. I was running late and the family had a baby who was not in a good mood either. Nor did the other two boys want to cooperate all too much. So trying to get one good family picture when one boy was crying 99% of the time he was to get his picture taken, and the other two just being boys, getting a good picture was like getting blood out of a turnip. So what did I do? I took over 100 pictures trying to get just one shot. If you look here you will see one of the pictures. You would not know it but this child is in almost full crying mode. This picture was taken when his face was turning from a frown to a half smile from something my wife did behind me, but he was still crying, though you would never know it. Digital photography really revolutionized photography.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Choosing the right Camera-Introduction

This post I know is a day late, and for that I am sorry. Yesterday turned out to be a busy day for me…okay, so it really wasn’t that busy, I just forgot. I wanted a day off to do anything I wanted since today I started headlong back to my classwork for my master’s degree.

Today’s tip is concerning the second most important part of your equipment. Last week we talked about the most important part of photography and that was you as an individual. This week we will discuss the camera.

Having the right camera is imperative for photography. This does not mean that you need to go out and buy a $2000 camera body dslr system that the professionals use to make good pictures, but each camera has its benefits and its hindrances. For most of us the hindrances of the camera body I mentioned is simply the price and the buck would stop there, but costs are not the most important part of picking out your camera.

The most important part is picking something that fits your needs. For some a $25 digital camera is the way to go and it meets your needs, but for others who may not have a computer might have to go with a 35mm camera, and for others, who want to go professional, shooting for magazines or newspapers, might just have to go for the best camera available.

My blog here is not really meant for people in either extreme, but the middle of the road individual. I will not be covering cameras that are super cheap, nor can I afford to pay for the really expensive equipment.

My next few posts will be concerning picking out the right camera for your needs. Here are the topics for the next few weeks.


Choosing the right Camera-Introduction (This week)

Choosing the right Camera-Film or digital

Choosing the right Camera-Point and shoot or slr

Choosing the right Camera-Features

Choosing the right Camera-Brand, does it matter which one?

Choosing the right Camera-Cash, the limiting factor

Choosing the right Camera-Where to buy?

Choosing the right Camera-Conclusion

These are not set in stone as there may be others that creep in or sneak out. If you have questions please ask and I will try to answer them. If I cannot, then I will try to point you in the right direction.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Before and After: Shutterbug Sunday

Josiah exzema before and after
Recently, we took pictures of this little boy and his family. (During this shoot, we learned a lot about how full of energy children can be!) He has severe eczema. The before picture is actually on a really good day. However, I’m still amazed at the difference post processing can make! In photoshop elements 10, I simply used the healing brush to remove the worst of the spots, and then reduced the reds in most of his face.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Night lights


A week ago today I was in Kentucky, just south of Cincinnati, OH, at the Creation Museum.  There they still had their Christmas decorations up and my wife and I were able to be there late at night.  It was wonderful.  There were so many colorful and new lights there.  There was also a live nativity there.  This picture is of a gazebo type building that is built overhanging a large pond at the museum. 
Water makes great ways to make cool photos with reflections.  Night pictures may tend to be hard to take because many times you won’t see the lights well or they will be all blurry, even if your camera has night mode.  To try to remedy this you must keep your camera still for a long period of time.  This can be accomplished via a tripod, holding it on your shoulder, or resting it on something like a stone fence or a stump.  Your creativity is your only hindrance.
This picture was taken with my Nikon d3100 without a flash on night mode on my camera about 200 feet away.  If you look very closely you can see people in between the arches in the gazebo.  There was virtually no editing to this picture.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

First Things First-Tip Tuesday

Since this is the first post of thousands, hopefully, in Tip Tuesday, let me explain what it is.  Tip Tuesday, is for those shutterbugs out there that are interested in anything concerning photography.  There will be tips on editing pictures, choosing the product that is best for your needs, reviews of products we use, and helpful suggestions.  If you have a question or comment you can always post it under the comments section and I will do my best to find the answer or point you in the right direction for further study.

So you want to be a photographer, but where do you begin?  Probably the most important part of photography is the love of photos.  This may mean that you like to take the photographs, edit the photographs, or scrapbook the printed pictures.  It does not matter what you like in particular about photography as long as your enjoy it.  If you don’t enjoy it, then it will just be a job or a chore, and tediousness will make you want to quit. 

For me, the best aspect of photography is the memories.  I have a really good forgetter and going through the pictures takes me down memory lane.  Each picture of mine that I take speaks to me, sparking an emotion inside me.  It may be happiness, sadness, contentment, or any other emotion.  Another reason I like photography is because it gives other people a chance to see what I see and for me to see what other people see.  Sometimes its the simplest things in life that make the best photo.  Please comment, I would love to know what makes you love photography.

This weeks tip…just enjoy yourself.  Grab your camera, and take a picture of something fun.