The birthday gift


This year my parents gave me a generous gift certificate to Amazon, for my birthday. Leo and I don't exchange gifts for holidays and life events. If we want to buy something we do so when money permits, at the time it permits, which works for us, but it is nice to still get a little spoiled by your parents, a few times a year.

Ever since my trip to TNNA with Julia, I've been thinking about photography, the limits of my point and shoot and the value of good photography to a pattern. If you compare the quality of the photos in Atalanta to those for Willowherb, even adjusting for different lighting, I think the quality difference is clear. The Atalanta shots, done with a DSLR, are sharper, and have more detail in the shadows and highlights than the Willowherb point and shoot images do. I'm generally not unhappy with my own shoots but I'm not unaware of the limits of a point and shoot, for all but the most ideal lighting situations.

So when my parent's gift arrived, I spent a lot of time thinking about whether or not I wanted to put the money towards a DSLR, some lenses and other accessories. You can't just buy a camera body and call it a day. Will better quality photos do enough for my patterns to offset the money I'll spend? Will I be able to develop the skills necessary to even make use of the new camera? Is this the best use of what little disposable income we have? I don't know the answer to any of those questions but I have a new toy tool now.

Hello pretty bird

Ok, admittedly, these awesome bird shots were taken by Leo. He's pretty good at this photography stuff.

Raindrops keep falling on its head

I'm trying to get the dogs acclimated to the sound and look of the new camera. They are so accustomed to the point and shoot, which is held away from the face and is pretty quite. By comparison, the DSLR is a big noisy affair that obscures my face and sometimes flashes unexpectedly.

Thea gives some serious side-eye

Darwin is not impressed

Why is your face weird, human?

But they seem to be coming around.

My sweet Panda Bear

Getting the new camera on a tripod and trying to get good shots of myself, will be an all new challenge, but one I'm looking forward to. If you have any tips and tricks for making the most of the DSLR, I'd love to hear them. Book and tutorial recommendations are definitely welcomed.


Do you have a shutter remote? That's the real trick for tripod-selfies...otherwise you have to keep going back and forth and it's tricky to get it to focus in the right place. They're pretty cheap relative to all the other gear, usually under $20 or so. Totally worth it.

Enjoy your new toy! ;-)

I know it sounds boring, but I recommend starting by reading your camera manual. Even within brands there can be little differences between cameras (for example, on one of my DSLRs the shutter and the aperture are controlled by the same dial and on my other (nicer) one they each have their own dial) and the best place to find out what does what on your machine is to look at the instructions that came with it. Bonus: the manual is "free"!

Craftsy has a number of photo courses. I haven't taken any of them, but I've been pleased with the quality of the Craftsy classes I *have* taken (sewing, mostly).

A remote is a must for selfies. Get one that's subtle (not one with a honking antenna) and has a shutter delay so that you don't have to take pictures with your arm up, pointing to the camera.

Love the rain splashing on the hummingbird. Great shot!

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Marnie published on February 27, 2014 5:06 AM.

Three mittens and four cuffs for one pair of mittens was the previous entry in this blog.

The New Twist Collective is the next entry in this blog.

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