Monday, December 31, 2012

Last Light of 2012

It is unbearably cold but I got a set of diopters to fake a macro lens so Sadie and I did a walk about the yard in the last of the day's and year's light to capture some of the colors of the season. Everything is pretty dead and muted, I picked these four out:

I found that all is not drab and ugly, 
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!

From Me and Kyle and Sadiepants to you and yours-
Happy Holidays!

And to all a good night.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Longest Night

Just a quick photo of this year's luminaries for the celebration of the days getting longer to come.
Here's to the longer days ahead!
Warmth to you and yours this holiday season.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I got a new camera. Well O.K. I got a new DSLR and then quickly learned that my money wasn't that well spent and I was lucky enough to upgrade with only the loss of the cost for the backup battery for the first one that won't work with the new one. I'll take that loss any day. What I ended up doing was getting a camera that I could grow and learn with. It has some dummy settings for the times I get flustered, but I'm already comfy with shooting in Aperture priority mode, so I consider that a sign of moving forward.

Unfortunately, I fall into the category of consumer that completely over analyzes everything. I am a professional Internet investigator. Like a present day Colin Laney I scrub the Internet for any last detail on anything to find any shred if information I can. Unlike work stuff, I can sometimes run into dubious territory like I did with my latest research on my new D7000. I found this wonderful site. I thought to myself, "what a goldmine". Ugh. I wish I could have that day back. At least I only spent a day.

Apparently the author of that site is a bit controversial. This article was the last one I found last night.

After thinking I'd found a goldmine of info and stupidly had the guys name tacked to every file my camera shot. I realized that I'd been had. If I wasn't so proud I'd ask my own local photography hero about these things, but as I still haven't learned, I have to reinvent the wheel with each of my endeavors and DO IT ON MY OWN. Jeez, why do I do this to myself? (Don't worry Emily, I'll still be stubborn and want to learn this joyous world in my own way, you can chuckle all you want)

I've reset my camera to factory defaults and started to slowly make my own settings. What was I thinking? Things are looking good for my new journey with my D7000.

Maybe one day I'll post some photos I've taken with this new bad boy...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Its Here!

Its here! Yay! It is big and beefy (to me, I wear large gloves at work). I had the 35mm 1.8 lens already and I've only taken a few shots because it arrived during blackberry jam making and I had no desire to get jam on my new camera. The button and dial locations make so much more sense to me. It still has a few "safety net" settings, but this is going to be my new school for a while. Unfortunately I'm beat from canning and present making, so any semi-decent photos won't be happening right away. I can't wait to see what Emily's new purchase looks like.

Shot with my super-awesome Panasonic Lumix that will continue to be my go-to point and shoot.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Goodbye D5100 or why I love Costco

No photos for this post, as I have no camera. I have a few really neat lenses and a flash, but I returned the very nice Nikon D5100 to Costco today. I love those guys. They seem to get it that since they don't have experts on the floor to help with choosing merchandise, they'll take returns with very few to no questions asked. I bought the D5100 in a kit with two lenses for a great price of just under 1,000 bucks. It included a bag, a 16GB SD card, a bunch of DVD,s, battery, charger, connectors, and a camera strap- not too bad.

 This was my first personal DSLR (we use them at work, but not artistically). It took great photographs and had the versatility my old point and shoot could in no way keep up with. I  pushed that point and shoot hard, I learned how to tweak it to it's fullest extent, but it was never going to reach my creative expectations.

The D5100 has a great sensor in it for sure. The first problem I noticed was more the body construction and design, such as in the battery compartment door. It was really hard for me to open and was, to be honest, really cheaply made. The menu was a bit strange as well. But, ultimately, that damn battery compartment door was really eating away at me. I felt that I might break it if I tried to hard to get it to open.

It also had that rarely useful on-board flash that with most cameras seem to ruin a night shot with the harsh shallow lighting. So I got a nice Nikon Speedlight flash that will take me a long while to learn, but also has idiot-proof settings that instantly made my flash pictures lots better. The only problem is that the D5100 can only use the Speedlight when mounted on the camera, not as a remote. I was outgrowing the camera at light speed-fast.

I had checked out the D7000 a bit, but at the kit price, it was almost twice as much. The pros all say to get a good camera body on its own because the kit lenses are usually cheap (I read that last week). Once I got a nifty 35mm 1.8 prime lens and a really cool cheap real fish eye lens, the kit lenses never touched the camera again (I had it for approximately 1 month).

Luckily the lady at Costco understood my dissatisfaction having spent almost 1,000 bucks on a camera with a crappy battery compartment lid and limited functionality with the Nikon flash system, she gave me a full refund. I will remain a loyal Costco customer and buy all my SD cards, and external hard drives there no problem. I will skip their D7000 kit for 1,499.99 though. I ordered a D7000 (body only, but they threw in a bag, and an SD card) from B&H for a bit less than I originally paid for the D5100 kit.

Thank you Costco, I doubt any camera store would have saved my butt like that after having the camera for that long. (I'm sure the local camera store would have explained the features so that I would have understood what I was getting into in the first place.) Why do I have to be so stubborn and not ask for help from qualified experts? It must be the Lithuanian in me:)

All in all, the experience taught me a lot and I'm only out 1 spare battery I bought for the D5100. I can live with that.