February 27, 2006

I have a hobby!

Because I don't get to spend every waking hour with Erik, I find I have a lot of down-time on the weeknights. More specifically, besides the occasional Netflix rental to watch or trip to the YMCA, my focus has been centered on missing Erik - and that needs to stop before I drive us both batty.

As I had mentioned previously, Erik and I had been obsessing over acquiring DSLR's, and on Saturday morning we drove out to Canoga Camera in Canoga Park and spent, geez, a couple hours probing the mind of our helpful (and patient!) salesperson, Josh, checking out the 20D and the 350D. We both walked out with a matching set of Canon 350D Digital Rebel XTs (black, not silver!), and Erik even sprung for some additional lenses.

My first posted shot with my new Canon Digital Rebel XT... OF ERIK!!

So now I have something else to focus on, freeing Erik from my ridiculously annoying "I Miss You!" IM's throughout the evening, so that he can focus on his grad school coursework. Now I have the 350D's manual to become acquainted with - to learn how to change the various, and overwhelming, number of settings I have at my disposal, and how changing them will affect the photo.

Also, I bought the book Adobe Photoshop 7.0 For Photographers a few years back, when my digital photography interest was at its previous peak. But my interests back then were scattered, and I never really sat down and waded through the massive amount of material therein. Now's my chance! If I plan on becoming a proper Flickr whore, I'm going to need to be able to make my photos sparkle and shine like the best of the rest of them.

Speaking of Flickr - that site has really taken on a new interest to me. The ability to browse photos shot by other 350D owners - find one that's particularly interesting or appealing to me in some way, and then check the jpeg EXIF data*** to find out what aperture and focal length they used, whether they used a flash, how long the shutter stayed open, which exposure bias setting they used - is amazing. The wealth of information there is priceless for a newbie searching for tips and tricks.

So there you have it. If you see me geeking around with my camera strapped around my neck, or uncomfortably squatted-down trying to get a killer shot of some stupid flower, or I bring the camera to dinner and spend the entire night taking a gazillion photos of everyone and everything at the table, PLEASE don't laugh out loud... or smirk... (at least while I'm there - feel free to cackle in my absence) I'm just trying to get my learn on.

***Note: Retrieving the EXIF data is not always that easy - or possible - as maybe the original shot was in RAW format, or the user has somehow blocked this data from being accessed. In this case I'm left hoping that the photographer has tagged the photo with some useful information. Lenstagging is fantastic, and there are even Flickr groups for particular exposure settings such as Aperture Priority.

posted by julie at February 27, 2006 12:48 PM

things people have said

I'm insanely jealous of the extra lenses.

I've been saving up towards a new lense for months, and I'm still nowhere near goal. =|

so said: marie b. at February 27, 2006 04:03 PM

marie - the only "prime" lens i'm REALLY excited about acquiring right now is the canon 50mm f/1.8 lens - and it retails for only about $80! i would have bought it on the spot if they had any in stock. they are wildly popular, from what i've read.


so said: julie at February 27, 2006 04:13 PM

I'm fixed on the 100mm f/2.8 lens myself, since I already have a 55mm that does me justice, but it's $500. =|

so said: marie b. at February 27, 2006 04:25 PM

yes, yes - the lenses, they CAN be intimidatingly expensive. it's like being house-poor and not being able to afford furniture - i'm camera-poor and cannot afford to deck it out in fancy lenses and accessories!

so said: julie at February 27, 2006 05:03 PM