May 24, 2009

Camera Blues

1999babies_cr2
Kaden in 1999 - taken with 35mm. Kohen looks like a mix of the kids, no?


I know you are going to laugh at me. But I have to be honest... I have the camera blues. It's not camera ENVY, because I do have a great camera. I'm just unable to use my camera like I want to. I have tried reading the manual. I have tried buying gadgets (like the white balance lens cap). But I'm just not getting the photos I want.

They aren't bad photos. They just aren't ... PERFECT.

That's where the sadness comes in. You see... before I got my 'bigshot' camera (a splurge we made because of a once-in-a-lifetime event my son needed to attend and a cross-country driving trip we had to make)... I had a point and shoot digital. It wasn't the best camera, but many of my blog shots came from that camera and a lot of them are really good quality - despite the lack of tools. One feature that my point and shoot had was a great macro zoom. I was used to just getting down in the weeds with the bugs and snapping their shining little chitinoid faces.

No more.

My Canon 40D has a kit lens. Well, I dunno. Maybe it's a better than kit lens. All I know is that it doesn't take as good of macros as I hoped. And for the money I shelled out for the goods, I should be able to take photos made of GOLD, baby. GOLD; do you hear me?!

It's not just the macro inability, though. It's the bokeh. I want bokeh that makes photographers drool. Soft and seductive bokeh. Amazing bokeh.

And even more. It's the whole light thing.

I bought one of those groovy white balance caps upon Dawn-the-Nikon-Mama's recommendation. I seem to get just as good of results playing with my 40D's automatic white balance presets. The presets have made a difference... but I'm just not THERE yet. Maybe I just don't understand the whole indoor lighting thing as good as I should. Or all those numbers and such. I have "the eye and no brain", as I told Dawn in her comment box this week.

F-stops and all that jazz. Whatever.

I know I got better bokeh and light with my 35mm camera back in the good'ol days of film photography. My old lens was a 2.8 and let in more light. I bought my digital camera thinking my film lens would fit on it. Sadly, it gives me error messages and is a real pain to work with. So I'll have to splurge on a real macro lens if I want to get closer shots.

No macro lens.
No Photoshop.
No Lightroom.

I'm a WYSIWYG photographer. Well, unless you include the free alterations I do in Fast Stone, Picasa or Picnik. I'm no dummy. Free is better than nuthin' baby. Just imagine what I could do if I had the right gear. A girl can dream, can't she?

I'm a photo geek without the tools, baby.

1999babies_cr1
Morgan in 1999 - taken with 35mm. I see baby K in that face.

Hopefully I'll be able to beat these blues one day with a copy of Lightroom, Photoshop, and a Macro lens. I'm sure that day will come. Until then... I'll just keep shooting away and playing with my pictures in Picnik.

In the mean time, if you have a favorite PHOTOBLOG, please share your links. I'm collecting places to waste more of my time online! Because you all know I have nothing better to do as a homeschool mom with a 2 month old in the house, right?!

Love in Him,
Heather


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10 comments:

{ jamie's cottage } said...

I'm a Nikon gal so I can't say I have experience with your 40D, but I'd venture to say that your problem does have much to do with your lens. I know--with the big bucks you spend buying the thing it ought to come with one mack daddy lens, but they usually don't. We've been slowly investing in good lenses ('cause the good ones ain't cheap!)

And as far as all the settings & numbers & such go, I was the same way: the eye but no brain. So I made myself never ever take it off manual mode until I figured it out and got it right. I got a lot of bad shots, but that ticked me off enough to finally figure it out!

And when we get shots up from yesterday's wedding, I'll "tweet" about it! Til then, you can visit our blog or our site (which we've been updating & will update the wedding gallery section soon, as we have two more upcoming weddings in June. ♥)

{ jamie's cottage } said...

Oh, and my helpful hubby says the error messages you're getting with your old film camera lens may be because you have to lock the aperature ring on the lens. There should be a place to set it on a red number & then a little switch to lock it in place. Hope that makes sense; hard to explain in typing! :-)

Dawn @ My Home Sweet Home said...

That whole ISO to shutter speed to aperture gets a girl tangled up, no? Shallow depth of field (lower aperture #) gets you more bokeh, but you have to be careful or you're only focusing on one eye or something.

I think you need Lightroom. That would be just under $100 with the homeschool discount.

Tanya @ texastanya.net/blog said...

I have a Canon Rebel XTi that I received for Christmas a couple of years ago. I just figured out how to operate it in Manual mode, thanks to a photography class at UTA. :)

But, I wanted to say that the lens, while it isn't everything, can do wonders. Three days ago I bought a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM. That puppy is amazing. If it's bokeh you're after - the f/2.8 L lenses can produce it. :)

Tanya @ texastanya.net/blog said...

PS:
These are some of my favorite photo places -
Digital Photography School

Texas Photo Forum

McMama has occasional stuff - My Charming Kids

And of course, The Pioneer Woman's Photography Blog

Anonymous said...

You really have to check out: mycharmingkids.net

After I started reading this blog I kept coming back for the beautiful photos. She's a professional photographer and on the left sidebar has a photography category where she gives mini-lessons in how she achieves such great shots. Latest post is on blurry backgrounds.

HTH,

Christy

Amy said...

I have a dRebel, and my pictures are pretty much good 'nuff for me. (which means that I don't expect too much) : ) HOwever, I do have a 50 mm lens that I love because of the bokeh (is that the blurry background? I hope so).

Just a thought.

Tracy said...

It's mainly a lens issue!
and you also told me to remind you come back after the baby was born and do my 365 Project with us!

http://shotsfromtheheart.net

Jack's Mommy said...

I love Amber's photoblog over at www.Homeschool-Diva.com. She's a professional photographer that takes some really awesome 3D'ish shots. She's a really sweet gal too. :) Her main business website is at http://www.amberbishop.com/. She has a flickr too where she uploads some amazing photos she takes throughout her homeschooling days...

Maegan said...

thepioneerwoman.com

 

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