Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Baseline

By way of an introduction to this PhotoBlog I wanted to give you all and idea what tools I use and what kind of priorities I have in photography.

First, let me list the main cameras I have experience with and what each has contributed to my knowledge of photography.

1. An old Pentax Spotmatic was my first camera, manual focus, manual exposure... with, however, a handy exposure meter. This camera provided me with an understanding of exposure (shutter, aperture, and Film) and some basic exposure to what was possible with a decent camera and lens.

2. A Panasonic Lumix LC33 was my first digital camera with pictures that exceeded the resolution of my computer monitor. This camera opened the world of digital photography to me. I could experiment with this camera due to the fact that it was digital, and it included a spotmeter that allowed me to be somewhat selective about exposure, although it didn't have any manual controls beyond the standard whitebalance, ISO, and other digital camera settings.

3. A Panasonic Lumix FZ20 was second digital camera and was an amazing tool. And although I have moved on to a DLSR I am still quite sure that the days of the dominance of the DLSR are numbered, partially due to my experience with this camera. The FZ20 was a great camera and inspired me to learn a lot about photography in general and allowed me to experiment with different exposures, external flash (luckily the Quantaray flash for my old Pentax worked on my FZ20**more on this later**). The FZ20 is a serious tool, not a toy, and I wholeheartedly recommend it for anyone interested in photography.

4. My current camera is a Digital Rebel XT and I'm not exactly sure what I'm learning with it yet, except that I enjoy the ability to use wider angle lenses and the more complete integration with other equipment. Oh, the battery life on the XT is phenomenal. The DSLR has introduce the new world of focus errors and the shallow depth of field even at wide angle focal length. The incredible difference between the DSLR and the Digicam in my experience is the quality of the data gathered by the DSLR. The files just feel fuller and more flexible in post processing. The lenses I have are:
  • Kit lens--Canon 18-55 (for sale if anyone wants it)
  • Sigma 55-200 (also for sale)
  • Tamron SP 28-75 F2.8 (this is a great lens)
  • Sigma 17-70 F2.8-4.5
  • Canon 50 F1.8
  • Canon 70-300 F4-5.6 IS
The software I use on a regular basis are the following:
  • GIMP for Windows
  • XnView
The books I have found most useful are:
  • The National Geographic Field Guides
  • The Best of Portrait Photography
  • The Best of Wedding Photography
  • **more to come**

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