Monday, June 29, 2009

Photography 101

Mekhi in bathtub
Originally uploaded by rj_ross.rm
What parent do you know without a camera? I think we all want to capture "special moments" of our children (and for many of us just seeing our kid run around the living room is special). For several months I have been "making due" in the camera department. My point and shoot was on its last leg for a long time and it finally reached camera heaven 2.5 months ago. Around that time I received an iPhone that I've used in lieu of an actual camera. I sometimes get good results but I have to be in the right lighting and since my phone doesn't have a flash forget capturing memories in low lighting situations.

I have always been a point and shoot kind of gal but have often admired photos that my friends post and wonder how they do it? It is said that beautiful photography is 90% photographer and 10% equipment but with shoddy equipment even the best photographer is challenged. When asking around about cameras that my friends use it became clear that many of them use dslr (digital single reflex lens) cameras. Last week I finally broke down and purchased one for myself.

I chose the dslr camera for many reasons, one of the most important is shutter speed - trying to catch my toddler in poses rather than natural activity can be trying. With the dslr camera I have more flexibility. If you are interested in learning more about making the switch there is a whole list of reasons pro and con here.

At the end of the day I want great quality photos and I think my Nikon D-40 will help me to deliver. I have a learning curve of course but wanted to share one shot with you that I am especially proud. I took this photo of Mekhi in the bathtub the first day I had my camera.

I love the way the light hits my son and combined with his expression I think this photo is a winner. I plan on sharing more photos and hopefully my progression from someone that knows nothing about photography to actually applying things I learn will be evident.

What camera are you using? Have you studied photography at all or do you just point, shoot and wish for the best?


Amy said...

What a cutie- it looks like you are doing great with it already. It always helps to have such fantastic subjects too :) Congrats on your new camera- I know it has made a world of difference for me & my business.

stickysweetdiabetics said...

I've thought the same thing and I would like to get into scrapbooking. My issue is similar to yours in that my camera is a digital and it's hard to take a picture of an on the go toddler with it. And let's just say my Palm Treo is worthless when it comes to taking pictures unless your really still. Then there's the light. Thanks for the post because I will definitely be checking out the camera.

Can't wait to see more amazing pics!

Tobias said...

Great photo. I have two books that I love for learning more about photography, especially using a DSLR- Bryan Peterson's Excellent Understanding Exposure and Scott Kelby

Diva Ma @ Mommy Fabulous said...

I swear I need a class because I've had my Sony a200 since february and still have so much trouble trying to use it in manual mode and get the right ISO, shutter speed and aperature for the right photo and the right lighting. It takes a lot of practice, but you seem to be off to a good start. He is adorable!

mannequin said...

Hi Renee. He's precious and I love the light play as well. You captured pure innocence, didn't you?
Photography is so much more accessible to everyone these days. No more developing and rolls of film and being stingey with shots. I figure if I get 1 good shot out of 10, it's a good day.

Corina - Down to Earth Mama said...

Nice shot! I think you will really be pleased with the D40. I love the light, how the background is slightly out of focus, his expression. Don't be afraid to click click click and take really bad photos. Don't get discouraged when that happens. It is how we learn. Trust me. I have taken MANY bad photos. But you seem like you are well on your way to becoming successful with this shot!

Jennifer said...

I have camera envy. ;-) I'm still using my Canon Powershot that the hubs bought me three or four years ago... It still works fine.


tifi said...

Yaaaay! I can't wait to see how your skills develop. Love that shot. Can I confess that I've been shooting on auto lately? I would like to take a class, maybe in the fall.

Kathleen W. said...

That's a wonderful shot! I love the contrast of light on his face.

I too splurged earlier this year and got a DSLR (a Canon Rebel Xsi) for the same reasons as you, especially the shutter speed for a fast moving toddler. I can't wait to see more of your photos!

Petula said...

That's a fabulous picture. I use a FujiFilm FinePix A805... I've learned that once I learn the camera and how to be creative with angles and what not then the pictures come out really good.

I also like to point and shoot 'cause I'm quite impatient then I figured out I didn't like the photos 'cause of the way I was taking them. LOL... Now I normally try to take a little more time.

CaraBee said...

That is a great shot! I have a Canon Rebel Xs. I plan to take a class this fall on how to get more out of it. There are so many settings that I just have no idea how to use. I love it, though. The picture quality is fantastic. We also have a Canon Powershot. When I am just running out, it's the one I will slip in my pocket, the other is just too bulky.

Lynn said...

Awesome shot! We use a Panasonic Lumix that we absolutely L-O-V-E! It takes a little time for it to reload for the next photo but we take some good lookin' photo with it if I may say so myself.

My best, Lynn

MBB Founder and Editor Denene Millner said...


Congrats on the new camera--photography is definitely addictive.

You should join I Heart Faces... they have great photography sharing over there, and a lot of wonderful resources for learning how to actually use your instrument. It's been incredibly instructive and helpful for me--way better than reading the manual (LOL!).

Jennae @ Green Your Decor said...

That is an awesome photo! I'm having entirely too much fun with my new Nikon D40 as well. My daughter keeps asking why I'm taking a "billion" pictures of

I'm re-learning all the intricacies of shooting in manual, but the D40 produces great photos on auto as well. I used it to take photos of my mother's newly redesigned front patio, and they came out great!

Immoral Matriarch said...

I think you made the right choice. Just look at that face of his! So cute. :)

I still have no idea what I'm doing, not at all, but I plan on learning as best I can, eventually and then upgrading probably sometime this fall.

ajgallion said...

I have a Canon that I know I'm not using to its full potential. I'm inspired now to get beyond the auto and recorder settings, learn about speeds and lighting, etc. The cakes are beautiful!

Nap Warden said...

I wish I was a better photographer...I just wing it;)

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

I, too, got a new camera a few months ago and have been in love ever since.I just asked for photography help just the other day as a matter of fact! LOL I point and shoot and hope for the best with a little zooming action, but I want to take more artful shots and want to know what the heck I'm doing!

Sheliza said...

look at this gorgeous boy! I love it!

Anonymous said...

Cute Kids. If you have the time join the local Photo Club. Or the PSA

See if there is local Club. I know our club gives instructions (classes) on basics and such.

Most cities have a club.

Wish u luck. Some of my pics are on my web site


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