Since many of my posts seem to be about photography, this page is here to index them – since I otherwise forget what I’ve even posted about! I won’t put every photography-related post on here – and I’ll try and summarize what each one says.
Photography for Non-Photographers
I wrote a series of four pages on “workflow” – basically, what I do from shooting through sharing – that was intended to capture what wound up working for me, after all the advice I read on the Internet. I was motivated to write this, because a lot of the advice out there was for aspiring photographers – as opposed to people like me, trying to capture their lives and their family, but while still paying attention to quality. The four pages (and quick summaries) are:
- Shooting – Shoot RAW; it lets you fix and adjust all kinds of things, especially errors that us amateur/non-photographers tend to make. Get WB right if you can but don’t worry too much, and forget about UniWB and the “expose to the right” stuff that pros might talk about.
- Processing – Fix framing, exposure, and white balance and get things to look like you want, by processing afterwards. Keep 2,000 pictures your family will look at in 10 years, not 20,000 that you’ll never get through. Adobe Lightroom is great for processing.
- Storage – Disks fail, store things on multiple disks. Windows Home Server is what I use to have two copies of everything, on two computers, but lots of things work.
- Backup and Sharing – Picasa is good and free, but my choice and strong recommendation is to use SmugMug for online backup and sharing. It’s great!
I should go revise these pages sometime; they’re only partially coherent! Processing is perhaps the most worth reading (maybe). Also on this topic:
- Amateur vs. Enthusiast vs. Pro – Shooting for your family vs. shooting for others
- Photographers vs. Non-Photographers – A much more detailed consideration of the above.
Just one post so far on general topics not lumped in to something below:
- Umbrellas are for rain! – How I use flash in general (about 35% of the time), and some fun shooting outdoors with an umbrella to diffuse the light.
- Why Lug a DSLR Around – S90 vs. D7000 at the Rogers Cup; even cheap DSLRs and lenses beat good compacts by a mile for reach, speed, low light.
- My D7000 Returns – A story about how poor Nikon is at customer service.
- If a picture is worth a thousand words… – Canadian real estate photos mostly suck. Take your own pictures, or move to the US.
- The best camera you have with you – My PowerShot S90 still destroys my modern smartphone’s camera in side-by-side shooting.
Several posts have been on the topic of lenses – what to get, and what I like:
- Manual Focus with the D7000 – Mostly about the D7000, but I did like the 35 f/2.0 AI-s and 50 f/1.2 AI-s.
- Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro – A very nice macro lens, though macro has a whole set of challenges.
- Lenses: The Eternal Question – How to pick lenses? Take all your existing photos, extract the EXIF information, and use it to see how you’re using what you have. This will tell you what you’d probably need/use. Start with an 18-105 and see what you need from there.
- Lenses: The Eternal Question # 2 – Understand the basic approaches – all-in one kit zoom or superzoom, going with primes, a wide/mid/tele-zoom combo, crop (DX) vs. full-frame, or all-of-the-above. See which strategy works for you. Without a strategy, you’ll buy a lot of stuff and it will overlap.
- How Wide is Wide Enough – Full frame lenses on crop cameras never get wide enough. I like ultra-wide, and shoot that way a lot, mainly with the Nikon 10-24.
- Trying out a Lensbaby – It’s cool, but I’d never use it on a regular basis. But I did get some reasonable “product” shots of it with a D3 + the 105/2.8!
- 31 Days Later – half personal, half that it’s kind of cool using a 2.0x teleconverter with the 70-200/2.8, to get 400mm of reach. Cheaper than a lens that actually reaches that far, since the non-photographer really never needs this kind of reach.
- The 35/1.8 still impresses – After using expensive gear, it’s still refreshing that the 35/1.8 does such a decent job at a low price.
- Things I Use: Nikon 24mm f/1.4G – I went crazy and bought this ridiculously expensive prime lens, but it’s great.
- Things I Use: Nikon 85mm f/1.4G – I went crazy again and bought yet another lens that I arguably needed even less. It’s great too.
The camera body actually isn’t all that important, but I did write a couple of posts on this:
- Manual Focus with the D7000 – The D7000 works as well as any Nikon body with older manual lenses
- Nikon D90 vs. D7000 – If you’re going Nikon, and care about your photos, either the D90 or D7000 is probably best (though now I’d say D5100 over D90). I love the D7000, but the D90 + extra accessories/lenses is better if you’re on a budget. Lots on what I like (and don’t) in the D7000 feature set.
- M/A/S/P… what’s wrong with this picture – The modes on pretty much every DSLR are just wrong, throwbacks from an earlier age. Just let me set aperture/shutter speed/ISO to either a fixed value or to auto, and allow the shutter speed to be either absolute or a minimum. A bit of a rant, with some discussion on how I shoot thrown in.
- D7000 settings – Herman kept bugging me for mine, so I wrote them all down.
- Thoughts on the Nikon D3 – It’s big, but has awesome AF; also a tip on upgrading the firmware.
- 25 Megapixels – medium format film on a classic Hasselblad camera still yields great image quality.
- Time to go full frame? – The D4 looks cool, but not for me.
- Cleaning oil spots… of a D7000 – After two returns to Nikon, I tackled this recurring problem myself.
- My D800 preorder – Why I pulled the trigger on the D800, and plan to stick with it.
Processing makes a big difference, besides the original article mentioned above, I wrote a few other things on this topic:
- Black & White – Automatic conversions are often boring, a suggested cheap eBook on the topic, and how a little tweaking can make a big difference.
- Do we really still need HDR? – Some people make nice HDR shots, I don’t, but I don’t feel I need HDR – because modern DSLRs in general and the D7000 in particular have a huge amount of dynamic range.
- France and HDR, Again – a follow-up to the above; pulling a building out of shadows without HDR convinces me further that I don’t need HDR.
I’ll update this index as I post things that seem relevant!