Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Turning off your flash

Okay, so you turned off your flash because you didn't like the way it ruined your pictures. Now what? Pictures too dark? What to do?

1. Raise your ISO to let in more light.
2. Lower your shutter speed.
3. Open up your aperture.

That's the fast, cheap, and easy way to get around the problem. It's a starting point that will bring you to the conclusion that there must be more to it than simply that. Don't worry, there is a whole lot more to it.

Photography Anecdote

Picture a photography exhibit with photographers standing by as representatives of their art. A visitor says to one of the photographers, "These are really great photographs you took! You must have an excellent (i.e. expensive) camera."

Okay, if this makes you feel sorry for the photographer--I'm with you. But if you agree with the visitor, then you simply don't understand that there's a whole lot more to it than simply having a great camera.

You can take great photographs with a cheap camera if you know how its done. And that my friend, is how I started out. Cheap camera's, no money, no knowledge, and no skills. But along the way I did manage to get in a few lucky shots. And I had a lot of fun.

But now it's getting more serious. I want that excellent camera and I will obtain it by learning to take really great photographs with a cheap camera. And I'll share with you what I've learned every step of the way. Sound good?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Custom White Balance

Does white balance really matter? I didn't always think so, but other people did. They don't mind telling you about it, either. After someone complained about the white balance being off in my former picture, I went and did a Custom White Balance on my camera. It's really easy to do!

Now my colors are true and my background is more acurate than before. Which only goes to show that sometimes your camera needs a little more help from you to do the job right.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Batteries make the difference

If you already own a digital camera, you know you paid a lot for the camera compared to film cameras you owned before. But you perhaps justified the upfront cost due to the money you'd save buying film.

You probably enjoy being able to take many more pictures without the burden of having that film developed. You enjoy the instant gratification of seeing the picture without having to wait a week for it to come back.

There are a lot of advantages to digital over film, it's true. But you go through a lot of batteries? And the one(s) that came with your camera lasted how long? One day?

Here's what I did. I bought a couple of battery chargers. My favorite is the 15 minute charger. I can carry the charger with me if I plan to take a lot of pictures. I have the quick charge batteries because when I'm needing to take a lot of pictures, I can't wait 8 hours for a charge.

The batteries are rated NiMH 2000mAh and the package said they were good for cameras and other high energy users such as games. The higher the number is, the longer the battery life and the better for your camera. The 8 hour charge batteries will give you more charges and last longer in camera, but you have to consider your needs.

Think about the old days when they came out with those alkiline batteries and you paid the extra money because they lasted more than a day. This is similar. Go for the higher NiMH rating and you'll notice a big difference, too.

Your camera needs more energy to perform at its highest level. Whether you choose to buy disposable or rechargeable is up to you.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The real deal

This is a testament to my husband's patience and his faith in me. He bought me this camera after I dropped and broke the first one. Just so you know, if he didn't believe in me he would not waste his time or money on me.
Anyway. This camera cost more back in 2005 than it would today. Some things are cheaper than they used to be! Yay!
Another point I'd like to bring out is that in order for me to show you a picture of this camera, I had to use another camera to take the picture. This is important, because some people will show you a picture of the 'only' camera that they have. Imagine that! LOL

Going Digital

My first digital camera was one I ordered through the mail. The advertisement said it was worth way over a hundred dollars, but they would let me have it for $40. I'm glad I only paid forty for it because it was a hunk of junk.

But it did give me my very first experience with digital photography, and that was worth far more than what I paid. One very important lesson was that if you drop your camera on the floor it probably will not work anymore. That was my experience, anyway. Very important lesson, that was.


Growing up, I was the one behind the camera. It became my 'job' to make sure there were pictures taken of anything and everything important enough to cover the cost of developing the film. Thus, the title Shoestring Photography.

My goal is to share my ups and downs in the process of learning the craft and developing the art of photography. My hope is that you might gain from my experiences somehow. If you have little or no money but a desire to take better pictures then you and I have something in common.

I plan to make this fun, enlightening, and most of all--interesting.