Monday, October 19, 2009

No More Excuses

...for lousy, out of focus, badly lit, poorly composed or just plain ugly photos. But I'll probably come up with some anyway...

See, I've been camera-less since Switzerland.

Murphy tried to mess up my trip right from the beginning. I thought my camera problems were the result of an old lithium battery but they didn't improve with a new one. Then when I touched down in the land of chocolate dreams, my camera simply quit. Kicked the bucket. I had to borrow cameras from generous people to record my Swiss adventures. Since I've been home my blog has been supplemented with photos taken with my mother's pointer shooter.

But I've been given a second chance to be a better photographer. I am now in the possession of a much nicer camera. The men in my life came to my rescue! A birthday gift from my husband, my sons and my brother! I think they like me and my apple pies.

So now I should have no excuses.
My photos should be sharp...

...well lit...



...and they may be as soon as I learn how to use a camera like a real photographer.


  1. Really, when I come home in December, I might try to set you up with a basic photo editor so you can start shooting RAW photos. RAW files can be enhanced in a lot of ways in a RAW editor. Most notably- you can adjust uneven exposures, enhance saturation and vibrance of colors, enhance the output sharpening, set white balance, and reduce noise. I know this sounds a bit crazy in writing, but I think if you see the simplicity of Adobe's Camera RAW program or something similarly basic, you'll find you can really improve your straight from camera photos in just a few minutes.

    Not saying that these ones aren't good, just saying.

  2. I've decided to take a class sponsored by Nikon. I have a great camera but I don't know how to use it. And the instruction manual is just gibberish to me. Hopefully I'll get some great hands on instruction and be able to take better photos.

  3. Sounds like a good approach, Jean!

    And Kristin, RAW sounds scary to me. I'd like to learn to take photos that don't need any fixin'.

  4. It's hard with digital. Digital sensors don't have the dynamic range of good old fashioned film. They also don't have the really great color vibrance and saturation of film. Where good film can render overexposed highlights fairly well, digital sensors just get blown out and look bad. That's why good digital photography needs a little post processing, and RAW files are the way to do it because there is more information than JPEGs.
    I tried to hold out on RAW processing, to "keep it real" or whatever. But now, when I look back at my Switzerland photos, from when I only shot JPEG, they are terrible. I'd never display them on a blog or website. And they can't be fixed. I've also upgraded lenses since then, which helps; but I can say I've saved a lot of otherwise throw away shots with RAW processing.

  5. So I took a spin around Google and it looks like you're right- no RAW setting on the new camera. I had no idea.

  6. Congratulations! What type of camera did you get? My dream is to have a new camera before my grandbaby gets here.

    The RAW information from Kris really helped me understand what that's all about.

  7. Just because I like talking (writing) about cameras, I'll keep going on the RAW thoughts. (Mr. Informative being informative- shocking)

    RAW files don't work like JPEGs or whatever other compression formats have you. When you shoot a photo in RAW format, it's just raw data. There are no pixels in the file. When JPEGs are edited in a photo program (Photoshop and the like), the actual pixels are edited and changed. This gives less flexibility in editing- pixels just don't have that much changeability. Eventually, they lose information and start looking bad/worse. RAW files have no pixels- they can't be viewed without a RAW viewing program that transforms RAW data into a pixel display. So, when you edit a RAW file, you're simply editing the data that says what the pixels should look like. This allows for more even and flexible adjustments. And as I mentioned, RAW editing is all about adding a little more color, a little better exposure balance, or slight sharpening. Like anything digital, it's possible to overdo it, and there's a fine line that needs an artists eye to determine where to stop.

    I remember saying that "digital photography takes the soul out of photography," something I ripped off from my 35mm photog teacher. While I still think straight from camera digital photos can be pretty soul-less, you can add some soul and some beauty with post processing, and RAW format files are simply the superior for doing that.

  8. It's true folks. Since he was a wee little lad he has been known as "Mr. Informative"

    I never got RAW until now.

    I also think it's amusing that you are learning you weren't as smart as you thought you were way back when, eh?


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.