Sunday, January 23, 2011

Updates and DSLR drama

If you have SLR camera experience and know all about exposure, shutter speeds and aperture, when you purchase a DSLR, you find things are "different". When you use a film camera, there is only one chance to get the picture right on the film, and you don't know how it is until you expose and develop your film and make prints.  When you use a DSLR, there are white balance settings and various tweaks you can do to your pictures to make them look "good". If you don't set the camera up to do these things when you're out in the field, you'll likely need to do a little handy work on your computer to make them look like they would have if they came off of your film camera back in the day.  You can use the built in software with your computer (Windows and Apple both have decent software that comes with their operating systems) to get pretty decent results. Or you can spent a little bit of cash and purchase something that has a little more power.

Back in October, I picked up the software packages Photoshop and Lightroom from a neighbor friend who works at Adobe. Both are prohibitively expensive if you don't work in industry or don't have a friend works at Adobe. Photoshop has been around since the 1990s, and has been used expensively in marketing and design, and by a lot of photographers when digital photography was new. Lightroom came out more recently, and is geared specifically for the photographer. There are learning curves with both software packages, even if you have past experience with Photoshop, like I do.

Long story short, I thought I was going to spend a bunch of time trying to get to know both packages so I could use them super proficiently and have fantastic looking photos for you all to see. Sadly, I took pictures and worried about how I wouldn't be able to figure out the software quickly enough to get the pictures I let them sit in various places on my computer and waited. 

There's actually a really good graphic floating around the internet that demonstrates exactly what I'm talking about (click to view large):

It's kind of hard to read and understand this graph if you don't have a fundamental understanding of photography, but I hope you get the idea. Note the "Photoshop" on the middle part of the blue line of "How good you think you are" next to "Flickr".

I finally figured I'd edit the photos to good enough for what I used to do so I could get them up. And really, I think that's good enough for now. I'm sorry for the wait, but there are lots of pictures to follow...

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