Mistakes Us Newbies Make……..

Newbies to photography never want to take any risk. Hello, my name is Dee, I am a ‘newbie’ and I AM qualified to make the aforementioned statement.

Here’s the problem. Most of us want the results that the pros get, but we don’t want to have to spend the same money. Methinks we’ve forgotten that when the photographs you take have to pay the mortgage and feed the children, you take your craft a bit more seriously. Hence, Professional Photographers will, and are ALWAYS willing to spend more money on equipment to help perfect their craft. If you’re a newbie, you probably haven’t gotten to the point where you have even decided what you want to do with photography. You just know that you want to take pictures.

Let’s talk about how we don’t really like taking the advice that Pros give us, EVEN AFTER WE HAVE ASKED FOR ASSISTANCE. We’ll start with tripods. I purchased my tripod from BestBuy. The brand is Dynex ($35US). Well today, I threw that POS in the trash. Why? Because today I started experiment with my Sigma 70-300. Not making any sense yet? Well, the ‘Siggy’ weighs as much as my daughter and she’s TWO!!! Thankfully, because I KNOW my tripod is cheap, I had the strap around my neck while the camera was sitting on the tripod. Since I’m sure you know where I’m going with this story, I’m sure that you also know that I have a date with Manfrotto. End of story.

Lenses: They cost MONEY.

Bags: They cost MONEY.

Gear: It costs MONEY.

My Big Fat Wonderful Internet Life

Today I attended Scott Kelby’s Photowalk here in Fredericksburg, VA. I had a wonderful time. I met so many wonderful people. Ironically, the more I interacted with the participants, the more I ‘missed‘ my internet photography crew. I found myself wishing that I was hanging out with my international photography family. Don’t get me wrong, I THOROUGHLY enjoyed the time I spent with my new friends on the photowalk today, but I secretly wished that the people who have taught me so much on this journey could have attended.

When the subject of PhotoShop came up, I immediately blurted, “That’s what my Tony does. He’s a wiz at that stuff.” Then I started thinking about my Pats, my Micky, my Kayne…….and then, my home away from home in Canada.

Today also validated the information that I have learned over the past 8 months. I understand more about this camera thing than I am aware. I walked a good portion of the Photo Walk with a retired Marine named Lenny. He’s a Canon Jockey. I was amazed at the information that I was able to share with him. I could explain the settings on his camera without ever having used a Canon. We talked lenses and wish lists. We’re practically neighbors and live about a mile apart.

I learned a lot talking with Danielle from NikonCafe. She’s an infrared Queen! She double-barrels a D200 and a D300 and know’s her stuff. Her IR photos are phenomenal. She brought a fellow Nikonista, Venee. We walked and talked, and walked and talked some more.

I met Patrick, too. Patrick and his wife are expecting their first child in October. He’s gearing up for a life of photos with his family. I’m excited for him and his growing family and wish him all the best that parenthood has to offer.

It was a wonderful day. I hope to do it again soon.

More than bodies and lenses

Photography has been more than a new hobby or obsession. It has become a cultivation of mental travels and cultivation of friendships. In my heart, photography has taken me to England via Spain, Canada, Georgia, Arizona, California and a few other places. I was met with a bit of adversary in Nebraska, but they were ‘kind‘ enough to offer me ‘fried chicken and watermelon’ as a token of their affections.

For me, photography is not about politics, the president, war, peace, love, hate, like or dislike, guns or even rape. It has been about friendships. Photography epitomizes the garden of light that we all can grow together. It’s about fun and interpretation. It’s about celebrating something so wonderful that we can all take a turn and be heard at the same time.

I’ve grown quite a bit during my travels. I’ve learned to digitally scrapbook in Arizona. That seems to be the thing over there. I’ve learned to make clouds smile and anger them while in England. The clouds seem happiest in England. I’ll blame the happy children there for that. Canada is where the party is! Folks truly Nikon friendly there. Must be something in the water. Did I mention it’s cold as heck in Canada? Sheeesh, they even sail in cold weather there. Folks in Georgia really know how to put a smile on a gal’s face. They do loads for my self esteem. They’re watching and ‘minding the store’ even when you don’t know they’re there. Gotta love those southern folks…they share everthing. This is to include those heart-felt moments that really make you feel like you’re a part of the family.

My travels will not stop, even when someone wants to stop the bus. I’m having way too much fun. A tire may go flat every now and then, but the love keeps moving on. There’s a whole lot more to photography than bodies and lenses. A WHOLE lot more.

Looking back…………

Last night I started thinking about what this camera thing is all about. I’ve learned so much, yet still have so very far to go. I started thinking about what I’ve learned and how I learned it. So far my photographs have not been the product of my own independent thought. My photos are the mimicry of photographs and portions of photographs that I have seen before. I am slowly getting to a point where I can appreciate the light in my own special way, but my thought patterns regarding light have not weened themselves of the ideas already planted in my mind. My vision of a beautiful sunset has been handed down to me by other photographers. Their best ideas and end results are my assignments.

When I first purchased my camera, I had sooooo many questions. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know where to start. So many people recommended so many books. I studied, studied some more and then studied. Education via osmosis was preferred, but improbable.

Nothing made sense until I started taking my camera everywhere. It’s almost like I started figuring things out as I developed a need to know. I developed my need to know by watching others. As I looked at photographs produced by others, I no longer asked for EXIF information, I would take a guess and try to reproduce (not always successfully) their creations.

The Eyes DON’T Have It.

Ok, so there’s nothing exciting about this image. I posted it simply to make a point. While tinkering it in LightRoom, I became aware of just how much the camera can actually see. When I was shooting this photograph, I never saw the stars. Upon uploading the picture to my computer, I became aware of them. Initially I thought that they were ‘hot pixels’. Nope. Just stars. It is truly amazing to me how much the camera can actually ‘see’. It puts a whole new spin on the saying, “If you blink, you missed it.”

While out yesterday, I took a picture of an old building. Once I loaded the photo on the computer, again, I became aware of what the camera can actually see and was again, astounded. When I would zoom into the photo, I see what was in the windows. I could see the chipped paint on the door hinges, and a light hanging from the ceiling. I didn’t notice these things when I was taking the picture.

The more I learn, the more excited I get.