Photography. Let’s do this.

posted in Photography on Feb 22, 2011

So in my continued efforts to add enjoyable hobbies to my repertoire that have little to no financial sense, I recently purchased a super-sweet DSLR and now have taken up the activity of semi-professional shutterbug. That’s right, I have owned an awesome camera for three days and am already semi-pro. That’s how it works.

A few months back I caught wind of a new DSLR – or Digital SLR, or Digital Single Lens Reflex – from Canon that piqued my fancy so hard it burned an image of itself in my brain. The camera in question is the Canon 60D. 1080p recording? Articulating screen? Oh, AND it takes awesome images? Well, ok, you have twisted my arm.

The passed few days have seen me attempt to learn the basic theory around photography. Parts of it covered things that I had already known (aperture affects depth of field!), but I had until recently not really understood the relationship between ISO, F-stops, and shutter speed, this magical tri-fecta that will produce images with really nice histograms.

Armed with a working knowledge of camera theory and a brand-new awesomesauce picture taking machine, I set out to pretend that I actually knew anything about anything, and ended up with a few hundred pictures from over the weekend. Of the three sets of images that I took, two are from downtown Oklahoma City and one from a super nerd game night.

Clicking on these images will take you to the respective sets on Flickr:

The new century is peeling

Stutzmans Select dead plants

Oh snap, an Orc Basher!

There are some images in these sets that are not too bad, but I have learned that I definitely need more experience and book learnin’ before I will be a ninja in the art of picture taking. I would like to be able to more quickly and accurately decide on how to set the ISO, aperture, and shutter speed for a given situation. While I am lining up a shot, I can think, “Well doing X will probably result in Y.” But I would like to be more certain of those calculations. I suppose that means I will just have to go out and experiment more. FINE. I’ll do it.

As far as the camera itself, I don’t know if I am the greatest judge of its merits because it is my first big-boy camera and I have nothing to contrast it against. All the wizzbangs and gizmos are simply awesome to me, even if I do fundamentally know why they all exist. The image quality, from what I can tell, is great. Physically, the unit feels good in the hand (that’s what she said). On the days that I was outside downtown, I carried the camera each time with a death grip (I will not drop this thing) for a good two hours and the molding for the right hand grip feels really great. The camera has a nice weight even though – to some’s chagrin – the body is made of plastic rather that metal. Would I have liked a magnesium body? Sure, but as it stands I am not complaining. It feels fine; nothing feels loose and it’s all solid.

I am eager to take this bad boy back out on the streets again this weekend. Over the next few days I want to attempt to get a handle on shooting with the flash, as well. Or, at least, a working knowledge of what settings to use with the darned thing.