My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Friday, December 28, 2012

SkyWatch Friday: Dawn of a New (cam)Era :-)

My Kodak EasyShare point-and-shoot captured the sunrise's colors nicely in this first photo...

But as is often the case, it couldn't manage the actual look of the beautifully bright orangey-pink puffy clouds, which were out of focus in all the photos I took of them, and turned out flat and dim in this SOOC photo...

And too lurid in this one...

And no amount of fussing with them in various freebie photo editors made them look anything like they actually did. Should I use better photo editing software? No doubt. But what dawned on me (get it?) is that what I neeeeeed is a new camera. A grownup DSLR camera. Just happens my birthday is next week, just happens there was a recent too-good-to-refuse deal on the Canon EOS Rebel T4i I had my eye on (even before I first saw this fantastic commercial that I think all photographers can relate to!), and just happens that the Birthday Faerie - who bears a striking resemblance to my husband - heard my pleas/whining and granted my wish. :-) In fact, it arrived, appropriately enough, on a SkyWatch Friday two weeks ago (I got to start playing with it early because it's also my Christmas present!) Now I just need to flounder through the enormously daunting learning curve that lies ahead!

But check this out - one of my very first photos with it, taken last weekend and totally unedited,  and I don't even have a clue what I'm doing yet. This bodes well! :-)

Happy New Year and Happy SkyWatching!
Wishing you beautiful skies and wonderful photos in 2013!


  1. Good Morning Sunshine (pardon the pun). Congrats. I think you'll like your rebel. I have one-and won't move up to a more expensive camera until I've learned all it can do. I always shoot in manual, tho' I know AV and TV have benefits. I also never use flash and I believe there are better ways to do that.
    There are lots of reasonably priced classes thru blogs that will get you going on learning the settings. Faith at
    in particular offers a really user friendly, kindly done, with feedback class. You might check it out. I think it may be of interest.

    Hope you have lots of fun-but don't forget, it's not always the camera and you have a great eye so this will just enhance what's already going on.

    Hope you had a great Christmas-based on this camera, I'd say so.

  2. Congrats on the new camera! - I wish I was more patient & would actually sit down & learn wat my rebel do... My goal for the New Year! -You first photo with the new camera..BEAUTIFUL! :-)

  3. Beautiful result ! The skies look like paintings !

  4. Beautiful photos... even with the point and shoot! You will love your new camera however!

    Check your local community college if you have one to see if they offer a photography class. Most do, and in-state or resident costs are not so bad. You will learn all kinds of fun things, and developing!

  5. Oh yeah... you've got some great shooting time ahead of you! Wonderful start!

  6. Oh yes - lovely shots and that last one is fabulous!

  7. That last shot is stunning, it's obviously the start of a beautiful relationship :o)

  8. Beautiful pics! And congrats with your new camera -how exciting! I'm a Canon fan too:) Hope you had a great Christmas, and wishing a fabulous New Year!

  9. Ooooo! What a nice gift! It took a fantastic capture, too. I've been going back & forth about getting a DSLR. The one I have (Canon Powershot G12) is about as close as you can get to one, but sometimes I do yearn for a zoom lens as well as more fps. I'm looking forward to seeing your future captures!

  10. exquisite skies!!! Happy New Year!

  11. Oh boy. Nothing like a new camera to make a day brighter. Happy birthday and congratulations on your new toy — I'm sure you'll love it! I'm very excited for you. Whoohoo!!!

  12. So gorgeous!! I had a new DSLR camera on my wish list, but Santa declined. It's amazing what a huge difference a camera makes! Maybe for my birthday... Anyway, I can't wait to see what beauty you capture with your new camera!!

  13. Yikes, that last photo is outstanding! Congrats on your new camera, I think you are really going to like it. I'm reading that same book (Understanding Exposure)... it's very good so far.

  14. Hey, congrats on your new camera! All that technical stuff goes straight over my head, but I'm sure you'll put it to good use! Stunning photos!

  15. Sue ~ Pun pardoned. :-) I didn't realize you take all your wonderful photos with a Rebel! That makes me feel even better about having this camera! Thanks for the advice (don't often like how photos turn out with flash either), and look forward to shooting mostly, if not exclusively, in manual also. I've got so many manuals and books and websites to read and study, plus online forums to attend, I think I'll just focus on all that for now, along with just experimenting (the way I learn best!) It's great to know that so much help is out there, though.

    Thank you for the compliment! I think I'll have fun learning, and that this camera may help improve my "eye." :-)

    American in Norway ~ Thanks! And you sound just like me! Sounds like we both have the same goal, and I am also heartened to hear that you, too, have a Rebel, because your SkyWatch "sunrise from the dock" photo was a thing of beauty! I'm glad you liked mine, too! :-)

    Gattina ~ They do, don't they? They're so beautiful out here, they deserve a better camera.

    Cindi ~ Thank you! And the community college class had occurred to me. They had a couple of promising looking classes last spring, so I'll keep my eyes peeled to see if they do anything similar this coming year.

    Francisca ~ I think so too! And thank you for your encouragement!

    ladyfi ~ Thanks ~ I was thrilled when I downloaded it and saw how it turned out. That's exactly the image quality I was hoping for. Now I just need to make myself not lazily rely on the Auto settings! :-)

    Barbara ~ Nicely put! :-) And I think so too. (And thank you again for all your help!!)

    Jesh ~ Thank you very much! I'm always gratified now to hear from Canon fans. :-) A magnificent New Year to you, too!

  16. Molly ~ I agree, BW was very generous! He really wanted me to have this, and the sale was too good to pass up. I looked at the Powershot because yours takes such great photos (especially the action shots!), but decided it wasn't different enough from my EasyShare to justify buying. I wanted a camera I can grow into, without it being TOO overwhelming, price or techno-wise. I think the Rebel will be just the ticket, though holy cannoli, it's a lot more complicated than I'd anticipated! I'm just not a good gadget geek. Case in point: what is '"fps?" I have plenty of FloPS, but I get the idea that's not what it's short for. :-) I don't know if you noticed it in the picture, but we got a telephoto lens at the same time, as it was on sale too. (After BW'd ordered, it they raised the price a bit but offered a generous rebate - isn't that always the way?) I definitely wanted/needed one, living out here in this rather vast country. A macro lens will be in my future too, though I'm very pleased with the closeups this camera takes, far exceeding my EasyShare's capabilities.

    Laura ~ Thank you, same to you!

    Andrea ~ Thank you!! I look very forward to being competent with it! :-)

    Cadry ~ I guess Santa was unaware of what a very good girl you've been!! He'd better make it up to you on your birthday. I'll put a word in ~ I'm married to one of his overworked elves (or so I'm told!) :-) It's so wonderful to see you here, I've been a slacker with my blog visits, I'm afraid! I must do like Santa and make it up to you! Happy New Year, Cadry!

    Spare Parts ~ Thank you!! I think so too, and am very tickled to hear you're reading "Understanding Exposure" and liking it!

    Rose ~ Thanks! Believe me, it goes over mine as well, and I have zero patience with learning from manuals. But I'm going to try and be methodical, and feel very motivated to learn this camera and get very comfortable with it. I hope to put a lot of mileage on it! :-)

  17. I did notice the extra lens! The field guide you got should help you a lot with getting to know your camera. Those guides are very handy! I have two for mine because it was a bit overwhelming at first.

    fps is "frames per second". It's the burst mode for action shots, which is much better on DSLR's than it is on point & shoots. Mine currently gets 2 fps but the DSLR I would end up getting is 6 fps, so much faster. :)

  18. Btw, I would love a macro lens but can't really justify it at the moment. I do have some macro filters that screw onto the front on my standard lens, I think one is +4 and the other +10. Might be worth investigating to see if you like macro enough to invest in a lens?

  19. Molly ~ I haven't gotten too deeply into it yet, but the Field Guide does seem very well organized and user-friendly, and I'm glad to have it! And yeah, overwhelming is the perfect description.

    Thanks for explaining "fps!" I still think your PowerShot takes remarkable action photos! Which DSLR do you have your eye on?

    Barbara ~ Macro filters ~ didn't even know such an animal existed! I would have sworn you have a macro lens, you take such wonderful closeups! I know those lenses are really expensive, and would be a total toy just for artsy fun, so that's a purchase that's definitely a good bit down the road (if, as you say, we make it at all). I just have always loved the macro photos I've seen of flowers, and given how much I love photographing flowers, I figured I neeeeeeeeeded one. :-) But I could be wrong, and need to check out this macro filter business! As well as the current capabilities of the 18-55mm lens that came with it.

  20. Ooooh. Lots of promise of things to come. I am really, really looking forward to your increased familiarity with your new toy. January 2nd, or 3rd? I cannot remember - which ever day it is, I hope it is full of magic and love.

  21. Ellie C ~ Me too!! But we'll have to be patient with me, this may take a while. LOL

    it's the 3rd, and I thank you!! (When is yours??)


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
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That nature is a commodity.
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There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
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