October 15, 2015

Photography Day One

There are head decisions and there are heart decisions. 
Two weeks ago I made a HUGE heart decision that I am equally parts terrified and excited.  I bought a really nice camera.  I have wanted a camera my whole life but have no real experience outside of a black and white photography class I took in highschool (which I loved).  And yet, I was the kid in 7th grade, laying backwards halfway down the stairs with a crappy plastic box full of Kodak film, taking artsy fartsy shots, only to be highly disappointed come Rite Aid development time.  Whenever I asked about buying a camera with anyone I knew, I got the same reply over and over... "It's too expensive a hobby!" or "Oh, now you want to be a photographer?  I thought you wanted to start a business!"  And for Christmas, I'd always end up with a 'My First Sony!' point and shoot.  It was NOT legit but I would try... and then I would quit.

For the record, I LOATHE the idea that we're only allowed to have one passion.  I like to do LOTS of things and find that so often people pigeonhole themselves into one little box that they miss out on galaxies full of possibility.  With that said, it's totally my fault for not having a real camera  sooner.  The inquiry about owning a camera was really my pathetic need to get permission from the people around me .  If my heart said 'CAMERA,' I should have bought a damn camera!
So, with that in mind, when I saw a listing on our online Bulletin Board here for a Nikon D7000 that came with six lenses, extra batteries & memory cards, a tripod and only had a shutter count of 200 for $1500?  I quickly tallied what was in my account. 

The way our pay periods fall, October randomly had an extra paycheck.  I also found it extremely intriguing that I was getting random checks from my insurance company and credit card companies, etc. for 'overpayments' which, who are we kidding, NEVER happens.  I had exactly $1500. 
"Oh, it must be nice to have $1500."
Yes!  For that 3 & 1/2 seconds, it was AMAZING!!!  I WAS RICH!!!  You should try it and then buy a camera.  Also, we're changing some details for the wedding.  The BBQ reception has been cancelled for the more casual smorgasbord of  packaged condiments.  Nothing says 'Thanks so much for coming to our special day!' like a few packets of Arby's sauce. You're welcome! 
Anyway, when the stars align, they align-- And I listen to my heart.  During my Great Debt-pression in my earlier years, where I racked up all my debt, I regreted those $300 runs to Target for SHIT.  But during that time I never regretted Windy, my Kitchen Aid Mixer, or Louise the Cuis(inart).  Or my fancy knives.  I don't regret quality... especially when it feeds my soul.
So I bought the thing and let it sit there for two weeks because I was too overwhelmed.  I couldn't even figure out how to get the zoom lense detached.  HA!  But between Lliam who reads manuals like I read funny birthday cards (I do not have his gift) and my own messing around, I'm officially snaphappy!  I'm shooting everything on automatic for now.

 Yesterday I hiked to Blue Lake with the Sadiekins and here are some of my first shots.  This first one is by far my favorite.  

Not only do I not know how to actually use my fancy camera, I have no idea what even makes a good picture.  I know a little about balance & composition from art classes. Yes, I had a point and shoot camera and would experiment with food photography.  Otherwise, I'm pretty clueless! Some of it is technical, sure- like baking!  If you don't get the chemistry right you just have a mess of lumpy mounds.  Some people, however, like a crispy cookie.  Others, like a cakey cookie.  In photography, a lot of it is preference, too!  So these first four Blue Lake pictures are my favorites BUT... hell if I know which one would be considered the better shot out of all of them.  And I have no idea what they might taste like!


These are all shot with the 18-70 lens.  It was such a dreary, dismal day. Lighting was terrible.  Mountains are really hard to shoot regardless. I went home soooo sad.  They all looked like poodely oodely.  And then I color corrected them!  See?  My days as an L.A. actor prepared me for this!  YOU JUST FIX IT IN POST, YAY!  *the sound of 1,000 professional photographers cringing*

So I would LOVE feedback.  I think the first four are pretty. Whether or not they're technically great photos, I doubt it.  But it's a start and I'm okay with pretty pictures just for me right now!

This one was shot with my 70-300 zoom.  I'm just using Irfanview to color correct my photos. I want to invest in Photoshop but my laptop is so crappy, it doesn't make much sense to do that until I upgrade.  Also, it's probably best for me not to depend on color correction when I'm starting out.  (BARF). By the way, how does one color correct anyway!? Are their rules? Is that a class in Photography School? Are my photos super color correcty?  I overspice my soup at the bakery.  I'm sure I overcorrect my photos.  Damn it, Crocker!!! 


 But really... This is why I'd be super grateful to have feedback.  AND... here we are again with the same picture taken fifteen times... Which one is the most powerfully composed?  This is what I ask myself when I'm shooting... "Mandi, are you composing this shot powerfully?"  And before I can answer I fart in my shorts.  Moving on!


This one below looks like a painting so my guess is... YES.

Too color correcty.

(Technical term).


But if you saw the original photo, you'd be glad I made it look like a painting!  HA!  Self depreciating humor... Very important to maintain one's sense of shutter neurosis.


This looks like a Pixar movie.

Or something out of Avatar. 
(Which was EXACTLY what I was going for!)


So these were shots with my 35mm. This is Buttermilk, our rooster.  He was walking around all "bug up my ass!" I soooo wanted this picture to be colorful, crisp and vibrant.  It just didn't happen.  Even with color correcting, this is as good as she got! 

One of Moonbeam's roses.

I like how the sun is peeking over in this one.

But the light on the mountain in this one.
Neither are great!
I've taken better shots with my iphone.

Liberty Bell. 
This might have been with the zoom.

And this is Nora!

So there they are folks!  I'd love your thoughts...
I'm sure there will be a-PLENTY more.

But it's SUPER FUN.
I already look at the world differently.
:)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)

"HELP ME, I'M POOR"- Bridesmaids,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the camera! Those pictures are amazing. I think just living where you do justifies buying a top of the line camera. I lugged my old 35mm around out there and ended up getting all terrible shots. I doubt a better camera could help me. It would just be nice to check the shots as you go and adjust accordingly. Sorry I can't offer any constructive criticism. I think you're off to a great start. If you're taking requests,I would love to see a picture of a mountain goat or a bear. Preferably grizzly(I don't know if they live near you). Just don't forget your mace. Have fun with that thing! Thanks for sharing.