The Beginning of My Camera Story

Today is Thanksgiving.  My blog is very sparse this month so I am shamelessly cheating and back dating this post to help fill it in.  This is the story of my camera adventures and quest for better knitting pictures.  Thankfully it’s not over yet so here is the beginning =)

I have an old Canon PowerShot point and shoot camera that I’ve been using.  My photographer sister showed me a few settings and I was pretty happy with the pics I was able to take.  Sadly, this all ended when the sunlight went away.  I am not being dramatic; it really went away.  By the time I get home from work there is no sun.  It’s gone poof down the horizon taking it’s wonderful lighting with it.  Without that lighting I am not happy with this camera anymore.

I’m not a photographer and have no desire to ever be a photographer.  However, I want the photos I take to be worth the time and cost of ink to print them but not thousands of dollars worth.  I decided to go for an entry level DSLR camera, the Canon Rebel T3.  I picked this one because my photographer sister and mom both have a higher end Canon model and my other sister has the T3.  Now we can swap lens or other gear and I can learn from them at the same time.

My camera was delivered October 26th and I immediately started to taking pics in auto mode. Don’t get me wrong I am very happy with those.  The color and sharpness was already a dramatic improvement. Then I opened the manual and got a little intimidated.  What is the aperture thing they are talking about and ISO?  What is that?  Now I put that camera down and backed slowly away from this scary and complicated device.

Determined to conquer this scary thing I talked to my sister and she had taken some classes to learn how to use  her Rebel T3.  She’d found through Groupon and one of her friends a placed called Balanced Exposure that offers many photography classes for DSLR cameras.  Remember how my mom has a higher end Canon DSLR? Well she doesn’t really know how to use it.  We decided to take these classes together.  Russ Lowe, the owner and teacher of these classes, had a special going for three classes at a discounted rate.

We took the Photo Essentials class on Nov 8th, remember today is really Thanksgiving.  It’s a four hour intro class that really comes down to how to get the best lighting for your photos and the subject you are trying to photograph.  It is well worth it.  Personally I thought the first two hours had the important stuff and the other half was more random pointers and where to go to start getting more advanced skills.  After this class I was not afraid of my camera anymore.

Christmas is coming up so we rushed to take a second class from our special, the Equipment Upgrade Discussions, on Nov 12th.  This particular class isn’t so much about teaching a skill but two hours to discuss what photography equipment to look for to meet your needs.  I was a little disappointed in this one.  I thought Russ spent way too long talking about the camera bodies when everyone really wanted to talk about the different lenses.  I just bought a camera so the first hour was a waste for me personally.  I’m sure the information will be valuable at some point but not right now.  The rest of the class helped me fill out my Christmas wish list so it was still worth it =)

So far I was pretty happy but then I decided to do a giveaway.  I could not use my new fancy camera to get pics of this belt!  I could not position myself or the camera in such a way to get the right detail or focus.  I was very frustrated.  I went back to my point and shoot and posted the giveaway with those photos.  It was a compete let down.  Of course I had to fix this so I went with the suggestion my photographer sister had made at the very beginning and bought a different lens, the Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II lens.

The funny thing is I bought this lens for her for Christmas a few years ago and my sister with the T3 has the same lens too.  I love it.  I love it a lot.  I’ve had it for two days, barely gotten started, and I love it.  I posted new buckle pics today (remember it’s Thanksgiving) for my giveaway and those were taken quickly in a few minutes without any work on them.  I’m sure I could get better pics if I tried.  I noticed that with these I could have either the beads or the stitches in better focus.  I don’t know how to do it but I know the camera lens can!  And I can tell the difference in the photo.  I am very impressed and I’m sure experienced photographers are laughing at me right now.

Now I need to decide when to take the third class I bought which is the DSLR Advanced class.  Plus I know I want to take the studio photography class to learn about tabletop photography as well.  I don’t know what I’ll be capable of after these classes but I’m very excited to find out!!

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  2. […] My Camera – I upgraded to a DSLR camera in part due to jealousy of the photos my sister is able to take […]

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