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I <3 Flickr.

Flickr has been grabbing more of my time lately. The community there is pretty fun and welcoming. I need to grok it a bit better, to get more involved there. Any tips are welcome.

Why do I want to spend yet more time away from writing? I love photography. I started with a totally manual SLR Nikon with a 50 mm lens when I was 12. I continued with it and buying a new Canon to shoot for my High School yearbook. I moved on to doing portfolio shots for artists and my friend’s wedding. All my photography experience was gathered using traditional SLR’s. I have quite the collection of lenses and filters, all heavy as hell and totally obsolete now.

My next big purchase will be a ‘prosumer’ camera, a digital SLR with professional capabilities but with an ‘affordable’ price. This purchase is a long way off, of course. So I am pushing my little Canon SD 550 to its limits in the meantime. Go check out my photography stream on Flickr to see yesterday’s interesting results of a mix of rain, smoke and fireworks. Please add me as a contact there so I can see your pix too. Again, if you are a photography community user and have any tips for me on how to get more involved, please let me know. Thanks!

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  • swbuehler 6 July 2008, 1:58 am

    I just recently bumped up from a Samsung DigiMax S500 (5.2 mpx 3x optical zoom) to a Fuji FinePix S700 (7 mpx 10x zoom), which is a compromise between point-and-shoot convenience and the manual tweaking ability of a DSLR. Eventually I’ll move up to a DSLR, but first I gotta pay for this trip I’m taking to Boston a couple of weeks … 🙂

    • PurpleCar 6 July 2008, 8:18 am

      Steven,

      Thanks for the info. I’m not sure I’ll do a middle step. As a photographer, the problem I have with point&shoots is the lighting. The flash is either on or off and can’t be angled. Also, the speed of the shutter is uncontrollable. This makes most portraits or action shots totally awful. Is there a middle step camera that has a rotating flash and adjustable shutter speeds?

      Anyway, have fun at Podcamp. I’ll be watching longingly from here in Philly.

      -PC

  • PodcastSteve 6 July 2008, 8:54 am

    Hey, Christine. Good pix. You’ll be able to do even more when you go DSLR. The first thing it lets you do is turn off the auto exposure and auto flash, and take back control over the whole photo. And there are a few things you can do that you can’t do with a point and shoot, like pulling the flash off the top of the camera and using it as a bounce light, cordlessly, wirelessly. Nice even light in flash photos, no more deer in headlights, no more redeye — and there are some adjustments you can make so that the background isn’t plunged into darkness by the use of a flash.

    My advice would be to make the leap, don’t spend money going to an intermediate solution that’s still point and shoot. Go DSLR (Nikon D40 is a fine entry level, although if you go with the D70 or D80 you can grow into the feature set rather than having to trade up later.)

    • PurpleCar 6 July 2008, 9:12 am

      Hey Steve!

      How are you? It’s been a while since I’ve seen you in person. Hope you are well.

      I’m a huge Canon loyalist, even though I started on an ancient Nikon. One of the reasons I stick with Canons- I can be a bit clumsy. Canons seem to take more bumps and bruises than other brands. This may be my imagination. I’ve known Nikon to be an impeccable brand, though, when it comes to crisp photos. Is there any reason why you chose Nikon in particular?

      But you’re right about the higher models. I like to go high-end so I have the features available when I need them (and eventually I always need them) so I’ll take a look at the D70 and D80. Thanks, you’ve just started my shopping research. 😉

      -PC

      P.S. Anyone else have any digital SLR camera suggestions? Thanks.

      • PodcastSteve 6 July 2008, 9:29 am

        I compared Nikon and Canon and decided Nikon by a slight feature advantage. At the time the D70 LCD screen was slightly larger than comparable Canon and even the D70s, which had just come out. Of course, now I covet a D300 or D3x…bigger the boys, the bigger their toys, you know?

        The best investment I made, though, was taking the Nikon School of Photography travelling workshop course when it came to Philly. Two days of class with two Pulitzer Prize-winning shooters, Michael Schwarz of Atlanta and Nick Didlick of Vancouver BC. They made it feel safe to take the camera off “auto” and non-threatening to start shooting RAW (NEF, in Nikon nomenclature). And the control you have when you shoot RAW is amazing. White balance errors? No problem, correct in PhotoShop. Underexposed, not an issue. Lots of control.

        Nikon also has what I consider to be the best glass. Even though it may be years before I can justify spending $3,000 for a lens, the size of their lens family makes it attractive as a permanent investment with a clear upgrade path.

        • PurpleCar 6 July 2008, 9:42 am

          Cool! Yeah, I can’t see myself ever buying a $3000 lens, but hey I may win the lottery someday. You never know.

          Great tip on the Nikon School. Found the link: http://www.nikonschool.com/index.html . They are off for the summer but there will be a fall schedule coming up soon.

          • PodcastSteve 6 July 2008, 9:45 am

            I have all the materials from Nikon School, happy to let you take a look. They do a really good job. I came away from the two days with at least a dozen solid tips that immediately improved my digital shooting and workflow.

  • yougenius 6 July 2008, 9:27 pm

    Hey PC,

    I totally agree that you should skip the middle step and get a DSLR. The choice of which one to get is somewhat agonizing (at least it was for me) because there’s so much to compare, but one thing that you shouldn’t overlook is how it feels in your hand. As you’ve been shooting since 12, you’ll probably know this already. Where the controls are, and what controls come to your hand, are just as important as megapixels and ISO. If it feels right in your hand, and you can make the changes you need to make with a minimum of fuss, you’re more likely to be ready to shoot when that magical instant happens.

    I shot with a first generation Canon Digital Rebel for a year, borrowing lenses from friends and renting when needed, and I quickly ran into its limitations. (I’m glad I bought it refurbished, and even more glad I sold it on ebay at only a $300 loss)

    I decided to follow Vincent Versace’s advice and “buy your last camera first”. It’s expensive advice, but you will always have room to grow and your camera won’t be holding you back. So I ended up with a used D200 and I couldn’t be happier.

    Anyway, there are lots of groups on Flickr with lots of advice about which camera is better, or which manufacturer is better. I would probably advise sticking with either Canon or Nikon, just because you’d hate to be stuck with something that you can’t service or get support for because the company went out of business or something. Hey, it happens.

    I’d also like to mention that Nikon has been pretty good at keeping the same lens mount for the last 30+ years. I wish I had started with Nikon when I started in high school, that way I might have a lens or two that I could still use on my D200! Incredible.

    – EH

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