If you've been reading my blog for very long at all you'll know that I rather like photography. Ever since I was really young I enjoyed playing around with my parents' SLR...in fact, over Thanksgiving I was looking through some of my old albums that are at my mom's house and I found some still life photos I had taken of things like Easter eggs as a 10 year old. If I hadn't majored in music, I would probably have majored in art with a photography emphasis.
Over the years, I've learned a lot about it, but I just barely went digital in March of this year. I know, pretty unheard of. I clutched my pearls of film photography for quite a while before I finally gave in. Most of the reason was financial...I wasn't about to go buy some cheap digital point and shoot when I had been shooting with an SLR for years already. And, Joel was still working on his doctorate and it's not like we just had a thousand dollars sitting around earmarked to purchase a digital SLR. Anyway, we got a nice tax refund this year and after some discussion we decided that the camera would be a justifiable purchase. And it has been.
Why do I love digital? Let me count the ways:
1. I can take unlimited pictures and not have to worry about film costs. That was the one thing that held me back from progressing as a photographer with film. I couldn't afford to just shoot anything and everything. Which leads me to the next reason I love digital...
2. I can see immediate results of the settings I chose. I understood the exposure triangle before, but it was hard to let it really sink in when I had to write every setting down for each frame (and honestly, how often could I really do that?) and wait until I had the roll developed to understand how those settings affected the fnal result (and that's assuming I could even find my notes once I had the prints back!). Now I can experiment more freely without worrying about the waste of film, and I can see exactly what my experimentation resulted in. Because of this I have progressed as a photographer leaps and bounds in the past 8 months.
3. I can pick and choose which images I actually want to print. Before, I just had to develop the whole roll and throw out anything that didn't turn out for whatever reason. Now, I can decide at my computer which shots I want to have hard copies of and keep the rest on a disc or hard drive. Of course, I can also delete anything that didn't turn out and it doesn't have to occupy space in my life anymore.
4. It saves me money in the long run. Sure, the initial camera purchase was pretty spendy, but I did already have lenses, so I only bought the body. I used to spend at least 50 dollars a month on film and developing costs. Usually more, since I am quite an avid photographer. Now, I don't have to initially buy the film, can choose which prints to "develop" and there are so many online labs that are so cheap! I just ordered over 200 prints and it cost me 26 dollars and change, and that included shipping. To get the same amount of prints at a film lab would have been at least triple that, and more if you use 1 hour services.
5. Finally, it makes it easier to blog and share over email. And that's the most important thing in this age of technology, we all know. I realize I should be posting a picture or two with this entry, but Blogger is having issues with image posting, so I'll try to come back and edit later today.
I have a Canon digital Rebel XTi. It has been a great camera for me so far, the only complaint I have with it is that it tends to underexpose if I'm not careful. This is an across the board issue, so most people just set it to overexpose by +2/3. It's a wonderful entry level camera if you have not ventured into SLR technology. If you're a Nikon kind of person, I've heard that the Nikon D40x is a great camera to start out with. Someday I hope to graduate to a Canon 40D, but that won't be for a while.
Lastly, I thought I'd open it up to you for questions. I've gotten lots of emails recently about photography and I like to help people learn. It is a skill that brings me so much joy, who doesn't love getting a shot of their children that just captures them perfectly? So, post your photography questions here and I'll make another post in the next week or so and do my best to answer them. I am by no means the most expert of them all, and I hope that I"ll get the chance to learn a thing or two through your questions too! Feel free to ask about any of the photos I've posted on this blog if you'd like to know how I achieved a certain look.