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Photography, Camera

[General] Life Update and Photography

So, aside from work keeping me busy with a real head-twisting code problem I've been chewing over for a while, and my writing attempts (less successful than usual lately) and my riding and all, I've also been kind of stressed about some personal family stuff which I won't detail here. Consider this a general notice of 'why I have not been posting much,' since I have had trouble articulating my thoughts lately. If I feel up to it, I may elaborate in a locked post sometime later.

That said, I do have a bright spot. I've always loved photography, but my little digicam was never up to the task of the pictures I actually wanted to take. Now I'm the proud owner of a Canon EOS 400D (a.k.a. the Digital Rebel XTi), and have been making up for lost time when it comes to photos.

I've been trying to take pictures of all the things I've /wanted/ to, but never had the camera oomph to do so before. Now that I can adjust aperture, shutter speed, light sensitivity, white balance, and so on... I can get so, so many pictures I simply couldn't take before. My Flickr photostream has a number of them. So, la!
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I considered the Nikon -- my friend who is a professional photographer has one -- but the Canon won me over because of the dust cleaner and the price, and one other major factor... the Canon SLR lens catalog. Which, let's be honest, blows most others out of the water.

I've got the 18-55mm lens they offer as a bundle with the SLR base, yeah. I'm lustfully eying the 400mm lens (EF 100-400mm) they have on display at the local camera shop, but I've decided to hold off on plunking down $300 for a secondary lens just yet. The 1800mm telephoto zoom lens blows my mind; I could take pictures of glaciers on the mountains from my bedrooom, with that! More seriously, I'm thinking about the EF 180mm Macro USM, for things like the raindrop pictures I've been experimenting with.

As for editing tools, I don't use Photoshop. I use Aperture 1.5 in combination with RAW files; it gives me phenomenal color control when working with RAW data, among other things. A few of the photos in my Flickr stream have been color-corrected, had the brightness turned up, the exposure turned up, and so on. I also have started using the Automatic Exposure Bracketing function of the camera, which takes three pictures with slightly different exposures (one a bit higher, one a bit lower). It eats card space, but I have a 2 gig card, and if I /really/ want to get the exposure right, it gives me a bit more to play with.