Saturday, October 30, 2010

On your mark, get set....

Last Christmas I woke up to find a Canon T1i DSLR under the tree. I used to develop b/w film eons ago using mom's 35mm, which I loved but...I'd never had a digital outside of my holiday point & click cameras, which...will only take you so far in case you haven't already noticed for yourself....

Since then, I've been reading like crazy, experimenting and taking in everyone else's work I come across. It can be a little daunting sometimes when it comes to things like lighting techniques, post processing and output for print - just try and find any two reliable articles out there that agree the type of sharpening and amount you'll need to create your perfect image! I think you'll find many of them slag the other guy for doing it all totally wrong.

But that's ok - I don't it professionally, so I'm free to do it  a n y   w a y   I   w a n t  and experimenting and making mistakes is not at all bad. We'll come back to a few sharpening techniques like using the high pass filter, unsharp mask in LAB colour mode (like the images below from Christine's 1970's birthday party) and all that good stuff in a later post.

Birthday Girl
To get us started off on the very first post ever, here are a few useful resources I've found along the way:

David Hobby - many of you are more than likely already familiar with that name (aka the strobist) if you're at all into photography and off-camera lighting. After working for years as a photojournalist and having established himself as one of the most recognized lighting knowledge sources online, he's not afraid to publish the mistakes he still makes in an effort to try new things and get the image he's after.

Gavin Hoey - may not be a household name, but has a very useful YouTube channel where you'll find at least a good preview into a variety of techniques using Photoshop. Whatever you're level is, I'm convinced there's something there for everyone!

Cutting the Birthday CakeThe Digital Picture is a site I trust when researching new gear before making a purchase. The comparisons between lenses, for example, is usually very thorough. Although I sometimes find the conclusions a bit outlandish - "Given the choice, I would go for the $1600 lens instead of the $400 lens" - the site is still a very useful resource.
On the subject of reviews (very briefly, I promise), the T1i is a great starter camera body. A huge thanks goes out to the parents on that one! To add to the kabillion reviews that are already out there, let me just say that improvements have been made in the area of its video function. I understand that the T2i allows more manual control when shooting video - the T1i is very limited in that regard with absolutely no aperture control for example. It's definitely a great camera for the money, but does also have its limitations. Noise can be an issue - especially in low light. That's a general problem, I know, but the crop sensor at a CF of 1.6 doesn't make matters any better. If you're going to use it for general use, it's a lot of camera for relatively little money. If you're a little more serious about it (and can afford to throw a little more $$$ at it), save up a little longer and go ahead and get yourself the 5D Mark II...or at least the 7D or even the new flip screen 60D I've been hearing so much about lately. Or since Canon has been known to gouge a little here and there...consider your options in the Nikon camp!

I'm going to say that's more than enough chatter for now, except to say...HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! seemed like a funny costume idea at the time....

Let's exchange the knowledge we've collected so far and get better collectively!

Oops! Have I missed something?! Help share resources by adding them with a short description in the comments section or write me and I'll make sure it gets posted!

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crispy said...

Congrats on your first post Shayne! I'm excited to read more!

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