You love me, you love me not….

Being new to photography is HARD! There’s a lot of education involved. There’s also a lot of money that will have to be spent. Let’s start with the education.

The learning process of photography is endless. There is always SOMETHING to learn. The basics have taken me an entire year and I know full well that the ‘basics’ will never be mastered. The basics are ever changing and not basic at all. The only constants in photography are the definitions. Aperture will always be aperture, ISO will always be ISO. Application of the definitions is immeasurable.

Now let’s talk about the money. Many more experienced Nikonistas seem to not understand why it is a a newbie (like myself) would consider a third party lens. Here’s the truth:

1. At this stage of the game, I still don’t know what the hell I’m doing. What I THINK I know, is only enough to keep me out of trouble. (For example, I’m not stupid enough to photograph a wedding)

2. I don’t make enough money from photography to justify my purchases.

3. Making photography related purchases is VERY STRESSFUL FOR A NEWBIE. I often read reviews where posters write about ‘bad copies’ of a lens and this is an area where I feel I need supervision. For example. I’ve spent the last week continuously researching two lenses that I’ve ordered and I’m scared STILL scared to death. Who’s going to check out my lenses for me? Yes, I’m purchasing them from a reputable dealer (shout out to Frank at Adorama who gets all the money I spend), but what if I have bad copies? How would I know? Is the Nikon label completely free of making bad copies? For newbies purchasing lenses is the equivalent of purchasing a car and later learning to drive…..if it’s a crappy car, you may not know for a while. In a nutshell, I purchase third party lenses because it’s cheaper to take a loss on a third-party lens than it is a Nikkor. Also, if my skill level with photography was a bit different, perhaps my answer would be different.

I THINK I can do this……..

Wow, where do I start? I’ve completed two shoots since my last post. The first shoot was for my son’s soccer team. I did my youngest son’s official team shots. They’re pretty nice. I did myself proud and the parents are happy. I didn’t make any money, but then again, I don’t do this for the money.

Well, if it’s not for the money, why do I do this? Truthfully? Therapy. This is my way of getting over my feelings for my wedding photos. Yes, I’m still sore, because I can’t take back the day to get good pictures at this point. I’m learning photography to help myself figure out exactly what it takes to make bad pictures. So far, I’ve come up with gross neglect. I’ve been learning so much in this process that I truly believe that anyone who takes photos to earn money and has no earthly idea about what they’re doing (other than pressing the shutter) is guilty of gross neglect and is just plain old selfish. There. I said it.

So anyways……… I did an AMAZING shoot on Sunday. I made Pregnancy Portraits for a friend, and I have to say, I’m impressed! Natural light does amazing things for a photo. AMAZING things. I reckon it’s time to connect with my inner strobist.

Cream of the Crop?

Boy, I tell ya! When someone turns on the light to a dark roach-infested room, they scatter! I know, I know. This is a crazy way to start a post, but this is best way to describe the feeling I got when I attached my Sigma 10-20 to my D700 last week. It was almost as if someone had stolen a portion of my picture.

As a newbie, I purchased a D90 and it has an APS-C (DX) format. As I climbed the educational scale, I rewarded myself with a D700 and it has a Full-Frame (FX) format. The fights on various websites persist even at this very moment regarding Crop Factors and which is better. So what does this have to do with anything? Well, when your first experience with DSLRs is with DX format and then you move to FX format, something changes. It’s like a quickening. I’d read so much about the differences between DX & FX, but to be completely honest, I couldn’t ‘see‘ what all the hubbub was about….. well, until last Friday. My 50 mm f/1.8 gave the same results on my D90 as it did on my D700. The ‘stolen’ portion of my Sigma 10-20 photos is what made me see the light.

Take a look at the photo below. On an APS-C format, I’d get the whole room with teh Sigma 10-20. The photo below represents the Sigma 10-20 on full frame. Darn shame, eh? Time for the 12-24.

So what does this all mean? I have to spend more money. When I sold all my old lenses, I specifically saved the 10-20 because I didn’t quite ‘get it’. What a shocker! I ‘get it’ now and it’s painfully obvious that I’m going to have to start rolling pennies to get the lenses that I need.

Photography is not for girls…….

I am the epitome of ‘girl’. I am a consummate consumer of all things prissy, pink and clean. I don’t like to get my hands dirty and I get a manicure/pedicure twice a month. Heck, I even insist on having my nail polish match my clothing, and my makeup, and my shoes, and my camera bag………….. My idea of ‘roughing it’? Room service.

Photography is NOT for girls. It’s for adventurous women. The kind of women that can appreciate the beauty of nature and want to be a part of it. Women that will wade in the water to capture the perfect shot. The kind of woman that has the chutzpa to play with the biggest of big boys and achieve if a not an equal elevation of composition, the master of all masterpieces!

One such woman is Matt’s (Maciek) wife. No, I’ve never met her, but her photos are visible on for anyone up appreciate. Matt posted some of her work a few days ago and I instantly came to the conclusion that I need to ‘step up my game’, as his wife’s pictures are phenomenal. In some cases, her photographs gives his a run for the money!

I doubt that she is concerned about coordinating her shoes to her bag when they’re in the field. Breaking a nail probably never comes to mind either. I think I can say with 100% certainty that eyeshadow and lipgloss is not an issue on those days.

So, what I learned in writing about this? I’ve learned to be thankful for the cover that protects my LCD screen on my D700. Why? Because my foundation has a tendency to rub off my nose when I’m taking pictures. I’ve also learned that I should probably go to the nail salon more often to make sure that my nails stay at an active length and that wearing diamond studs is sure way to keep my jewelry at a minimum! My recommendation for getting the perfect shot while ‘roughing it’? Go on the hotel balcony and don’t use cheap glass. **snicker**

We all have our own strengths and weaknesses.