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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Thanks for visiting. I am no longer updating Notes to Self. I hope you'll join me on my current website, PlantingDandelions.com

With my little eye

029

I bought a new camera yesterday. I've been needing one for a while: my three-year-old Kodak EasyShare had been dropped on its head too many times. Also, having the word "EASY" plastered across my camera is far less cool in blogging circles than it is on double decker tour bus circles. Everytime I took a picture with it at the Blogher conference last year, I felt like I was standing up in high-waisted, elasticized jeans. Stonewashed. While everyone else was firing off their Canon Rebels and Nikon D's, I was shooting with the "Mom jeans" of cameras.

I don't pretend to be a real Photographer. But even with my humble point and shoot, I've taken a few photos over the years I feel good about, and I've learned some things. I have an eye for composition. I've gotten cocky enough to criticize my husband when I have to hand him the camera. There's a difference in mood between his and my pictures of the kids — he's not shooting through the viewfinder of his heart, I tell him. And I've become obsessed with natural light. I hate flash. I'd much rather sacrifice focus to keep atmosphere.

This is where my EasyShare was starting to frustrate me. I don't feel ready to move up to a SLR, but I'm ready to do more with ISO and exposure. And even though a digital camera is a legitimate piece of equipment for what we and the IRS —incredibly— now consider my "work," I couldn't bring myself to spend upward of $500.

In other words, I've outgrown the trike, but still need training wheels. So after much deliberation, I settled on a Sony Cybershot DSC-H10, for the highly technical reason that it felt good in my hand. It set me back about two hundred and fifty tax-deductible bucks. It has manual options for exposure and ISO, and other features that I won't even pretend to understand. Although it lacks an optical viewfinder and won't take easily replaced AA batteries, those are drawbacks I can live with. I've heard the Cybershots perform decently in low light and the 10X zoom will let me get even closer to my subjects in the wild. Not that my kids even notice me and my camera anymore. I am Jane Goodall with the chimps. But with 10x zoom, I can now blog about their earwax.

When I started blogging, I never would have guessed how essential photography would become to my process. My cats spilled coffee on my ibook about six months ago, and I have been typing without letters a, z, q and "delete" ever since (I copy and paste them in, and let me tell you, I've gotten pretty fast at it). So I can blog without a letter "a", but not without a camera. When Heather Armstrong said in a recent interview that she keeps a notepad handy to jot down material for her blog, I realized that my camera has been my notepad, my shorthand way of capturing a moment that I want to write about later (like I did with the red dress). I guess the shutter click is my way of saying, "Note to Self:"

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5 Comments:

Blogger /brandon\ said...

i think you will want to get an opteka close up set if you really want to blog about their earwax. i keep waiting for canon to release a colonoscope lens converter so that i can appropriately match my photos to my content, but these close up lenses are a fair substitute.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Mrs. G. said...

That is one beautiful eye and a gorgeous photo.

6:16 PM  
Blogger Motherhood Uncensored said...

I just invested in a Canon Rebel --have not had a moment (or 12) to get it out of the box.

You've just motivated me to MAKE TIME.

9:17 PM  
Blogger lenniekat said...

You and your new camera have logged several special occasions, recently. You know I want to see what you saw when you get a chance...

8:47 AM  
Blogger Mariellen said...

I think you have an eye, for sure. And if it's really a point-and-shoot with twiddly bits on the side, then wow, the girl done good.

I went the other way. In a moment of insane fantasy overcoming sane practicality, I took money which was really debt from a refinancing masquerading as cash in my bank account and went out and bought, new, a big fat camera, lens, and some stuff on the side - flash, timer, bag, memory. My God, what was I *doing*?

By a different route I would say that I have come to a similar place as you. I have an eye of sorts, at least one that scores better than You Are Truly Blind. But the nobs and twiddly bits - ISO, f-stops and the like - I can't keep them or how to make them happen or why in my head long enough, because I don't use the camera often enough, to retain it.

Which has gotta stop.

I think I'll put this and a bit more on a Kyran-inspired blog. One day when I have screeds written, I'll point at you and say, "Its all your fault".

OK, I won't wait for some day. "Thanks for inspiring me to start, Kyran."

Keep taking pictures. I don't know if you or Patrick are throwing any post production at them but some of your pictures are truly lush and wondrous.

Very good stuff.

1:35 PM  

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