It doesn't take much to make me happy, but then it doesn't take much to annoy me either.


11 OCT 2020 - LESSONS IN LIGHTROOM - So the picture below was taken at the beach yesterday, and I learned how to apply some selective focus. The RAW file has an aperture of 6.3 with the focal point on my grandson's face. The background is well focused, which I wanted to diminish, plus there's a direct line from my daughter to her son. I decided to try to both lower the exposure of everything except my daughter and grandson's face, and also blur the background.

Using the adjustment brush, I first painted around both faces and overexposed them. Then I closed the tool and underexposed the entire picture, which brought the faces to a reasonable lighting while slightly diminishing everything else. Then I used the adjustment brush again to paint everything but the faces and zeroed out the texture and clarity.

I like the result!


CAMERA - The first thing to consider about starting photography is what kind of camera to buy. I have a Nikon D750 for now, but it was a bit of a circuitous route to get here and with mirrorless models becoming more ubiquitous, it will likely not be my only camera in the future.

My previous experience with cameras had been with a Canon Powershot G1X Mark II. I purposely bought this camera for 2 reasons:

  1. I didn't know what I was doing - HA!
  2. I thought it had a good image sensor.

When looking into why some cameras take better pictures... [more]

NIKON D750 - Nikon released the D750 in 2014, 6 years ago, and as far as technology is concerned that's a lifetime. Many other models, some far less expensive, have better technology than the D750.

But over and over I kept reading that even though the camera design was old, it was so good that everyone still loved them. The model had even developed a sort of mystic because it was just so good. Not only did it take good photos, but other intangibles such as the buttons arranged logically, a menu structure that was not confusing, decent battery life, and nearly everyone said the thing just felt comfortable to hold. I even ran across a couple of people who went back to their D750 after disappointment from upgrading to a newer model.

Another point in its favor is that since the D750 is an older model, it is also in my price range. Sweet.

So what did the newer models have that I would be giving up? [more]

MANUAL MODE - One of the first things I did after getting my camera was learn to take a picture with a blurred background. That. Was. Cool. A blurry background will make the focused foreground image jump out - it's a very nice looking photo.

 I found this could be easily done in aperture mode. Run the aperture as low as it will go while letting the camera automatically adjusts everything else. The background will be blurred while the thing you've focused on is crystal clear. I don't care what you're shooting, for a beginning photographer that was sweet succulent sugar. I took pictures of everything using the lowest aperture setting.

Then I started to notice noise in my pictures. [more]

LIGHTROOM - I don't know if it's good or not, but Adobe has such a great deal on Lightroom & Photoshop that I couldn't pass it up. It's not good because we all hate the subscription model for software, but it is good because $10/month is pretty damn cheap for both these packages. I suppose if I didn't use Lightroom as much as I do it would be a problem, and frankly that concerned me before my purchase. But Lightroom has turned into an invaluable tool for fixing or enhancing photos. The difference is startling:


In the photos above, the one on the left is straight out of the camera... [more]

WORK FLOW - When taking pictures with a digital camera the thing that immediately becomes an issue is what to do with all those photos. I knew right away that I was going to have to come up with a process that both saved pictures in an archived backup as well as filter them quickly to determine which to keep.

Cameras these days have a function that will automatically take pictures as long as the shutter button is held down, and this can be a great feature when looking for that perfect picture with a moving subject. Maybe a ball player on the athletic field, or a bird about to take flight, or kids in the backyard - press the button and take a million pictures hoping one of them is the perfect shot.

I realized early on I would need a way to... [more]



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