Friday, June 18, 2010

Have you met my (other) new baby?

Why yes, yes that is an incredibly cool new dslr! My darling husband gave it to me for our recent wedding anniversary, and I cannot express how much I love using this amazing camera. (Best gift EVER! probably, though J has given me some pretty great gifts...) Anyway, I had been saving my "knitting money" for this and was not really anywhere near the astronomical price tag, (I think I had enough for one lens) and James came to the rescue. I wasn't entirely sure I was happy with not doing this on my own, but then I got to take some pictures, and my mind was changed  ;-)  I mean, really, I needed a better camera to take pictures of the kids, right?

So, I was never especially interested in photography, possibly stemming from my mother chasing us down as kids to make us pose in embarrassing situations in foreign markets, etc, but I had been noticing more and more how crappy my pictures for patterns were coming out, and it was a problem. I spent a lot of time studying our old camera and experimenting with it to see if I could make do, but really, unless I was shooting in ideal circumstances things just were not coming out great. (Have you tried getting a 4, 2 & 0 yr old to hold still lately?) I think especially for online sales, knitting patterns are sold by their accompanying photography, "yarn porn" if you will. (yes, J takes a lot of pleasure teasing me about my "porn camera") So I researched and planned, and in the process I have become involved in a surprising new interest! I really love taking photos with this thing, I have some amazing shots of the kids, like, photos I never expected to be able to get, so yeah, apparently I am now totally into another hobby.

If you are interested, a helpful site for me has been which I must admit I have been frequenting as much or more than ravelry lately. (I know!) I learned everything I know about photography so far from that site, and there seems to be new articles or "challenges" (assignments for photos to get critiqued, etc...) constantly so I won't be running out of stuff to learn. There is even a used equipment forum where more experienced photographers sell their stuff when they upgrade, so you might be able to get yourself a deal.

My camera is a Nikon d5000,  and I have been almost exclusively using the 55-200mm lens rather than the 18-55mm kit lens b/c I get much more satisfactory shots with it. The slight downside of having to be a bit further from the subject is more than compensated for by being able to zoom in and get interesting bokeh with a larger (I think that is correct, the reverse numbers applied to aperture for depth of field are still a bit confusing to me) depth of field. I am actually thinking about selling the 18-55mm to fund a 50mm f1.8 (called a "prime" lens b/c it doesn't have a variable length, but seems to give fantastic close shots, and has a really low f# for the price) which I think would give the most wonderful close up yarn/sweater shots.

I still feel weird taking pictures in public places, something really makes me uncomfortable doing this around people. S loves to mug for the camera (too much really, it's hard to get shots of her not making funny faces) so I always have (more than) willing participants for impromptu photo sessions, but I worry that I am bothering people or otherwise doing something inappropriate at the farmer's market or playground. It's bad enough that I missed several really good (important for the market bag pattern I am finishing now) shots this past weekend. Plus I am totally freaked out that I might get other kids in the picture when I am taking pictures of S or M playing on slides, etc. As a parent I would not be ok with someone getting pictures of my kids, so how do I handle this? It's not practical to ask every parent at the park if it's ok to shoot and possibly get their kid in a picture. Anyway, these are the things I have been thinking about lately. I think I will find my way as I go with this, and taking the camera out and using it a lot will be key. I need to get used to/find a better way of carrying around this heavy thing! Do any of you have a favorite case/carrying system for dslr cameras? The kit case is designed for the camera and the 18-55mm lens w/space for other stuff, but I can't figure out how to configure it to work for the equipment I actually use. I want something padded, compact, and handy for the camera and 55-200mm lens and possibly the 50mm lens as well.

1 comment:

spinningjezebel said...

(it's Bev, btw.)
beautiful new baby! (both of them, but in particular referring to the one with spare lenses!) i absolutely looooove my own little darling (a canon rebel my family got me last year so i could take better pics for work) so i understand the joy that having a pretty, well working camera can bring.

i have to say -being a kid whose mom ALWAYS took pics everywhere and anywhere!- most people are sort of ok. it's tough while the kids are little because they won't generally smile on cue and getting the exact pic you want can take FOREVER, but generally people don't mind if you take pictures.

and also, you're obviously at the playground with with your own kids, not some creepy person taking pics of random children. try not to get other kids in the pics if you're able to... but if one of them slips in, well, it is digital after all. you can just delete it in seconds.