Monday, July 9, 2018

So I blew past 50K in style

Two years ago June 16 was the day I got a real camera. I'd meant to blog on the 2 year-versary, but missed it. I've been busy. Just yesterday I clicked through 50,000 photos taken. Lots are no good, of course, and have been or are marked for deletion. Lots are learning, where I've experimented with different settings just to see what would happen. Lots are just photos of something or someone. Nothing special.

Some of them, a very few, make people perk up and go wow! That's gratifying. I've learned so much in the last couple of years, and most importantly, I'm seeing the world differently.

There's lots of times, and this morning is one of them, where I'd like to be holding a camera. Often I'm on the way somewhere, or at work, or something, so I don't get the shot. This morning I've got an appointment first thing, and that's sort of driving my schedule. Otherwise I'd have zoomed out, found some high ground looking NE, and captured a lovely sunrise with interesting clouds. What am I actually doing? Sipping coffee and defending my breakfast from Curtis, the well-fed mammal, who has rarely seen food he didn't want to eat.

I suppose I could go through Lightroom and look for photo 50k, just because. Hmmm. That was easy to find actually. Just a photo of a guy I don't know, holding breakfast. One of many. He's likely to live within walking distance of me, but that describes a lot of people.

I just poured more coffee, shooed the cats off the counter and looked at the sky. Wow! Not in the sense of dramatic bursts of colour, but such an interesting pattern of clouds. Why am I not rushing out? There's no place nearby where I could get a good photo. There are trees and houses in the way. Sigh.

Along the way I upgraded cameras to what is called a 'full-frame' camera, in that the sensor is the same size as standard 35 mm film. A camera sensor is one of the places where bigger is better, generally speaking. Though like many things, the devil is in the details. It doesn't matter how good the camera sensor is, if you're a crappy photographer. A good photographer can work with any camera to produce interesting photos, even if they aren't the best quality photos from a technical point of view.

Over the winter the old camera was mounted on a tripod, set up to take macro photos, while I used the new camera for everything else. There was a bit of a learning curve, figuring out the controls so as to operate them automatically in response to seeing a scene and deciding what I want to shoot of it. I usually still have to look at the camera to do this. The other thing is knowing where to be to frame a shot with a given lens. That took longer than I thought it would, but it's getting to be second nature now. I've had lots of practice with people running or walking past me.

I'm sure some of you scratch your heads about what I take photos of sometimes. Like this one, it probably puzzles some of you. At first I noticed the sunlight in the leaves, and their pattern. Then I realized.

The secret is the water drops. Right now that bluish background is sort of a nice artistic contrast to the sunlit leaves sparkling with dew. Now, if I'd played with the settings I could have got more of the drops in focus, but then the back ground would come into focus as well, and it's BORING! Ugly. Yet, one can get a hint of what's there through the water drops acting as a lens. Probably not in your version, sorry. I like the texture the drops give to the leaves, and seeing some of the leaf structure in the strong light.

Some more water drop photos while I'm at it.

The red and white peony blossoms are mostly done now, and certainly past their prime. Never fear, there are still a bunch more photos of them to come. And the lilies are teasing me, so close to opening!

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