I’ve made great progress over where I was just 3 months ago. I bought a much better camera with some good lenses and accessories. I learned the camera, and how to get away from ‘auto’ mode in to manual control over my pictures. I took literally thousands of pictures under a huge variety of conditions. I’ve learned tons about composition, exposure, lighting, and just what makes a decent picture.
This is obviously a journey, not a destination, and I’ve still got a lot to learn, especially about post-processing the pictures with good software, but I can definitely say this one is complete. I’m a better photographer than I was when I undertook this goal.
Picked up a new lens today I bought on Ebay. Canon EF 28-135mm IS USM f/3.5-5.6. Also got the lens hood, and three filters, UV haze, Polarizer, and Cross 6x filter. It is so much better than those original lenses that it’s scary. It also weighs twice as much, and is quite bulky. It’s going to take some getting used too. The autofocus is so quiet!
Now of course I want a faster lens, and ‘L’ quality. I’m not ready to start dropping 2 grand a lens yet. Maybe next year before the next big annual vacation – this year I’ll have to settle with what I have for my China trip.
Also got a flash bracket and flash extension cord to play more with just using the one flash, but getting it out of the hot shoe. I’m going to experiment with that some this week.
I’m also buying too many books. I’ve bought 8 lately, and really only have done a decent job of reading 3. I’ve skimmed a good part of three of the others.
I’m addicted. I keep wanting to buy more and more. And the more I play with the camera and lenses, the more I want to push the envelope just a little more.
I can already say I’m a better photographer, and a MUCH more knowledgable photographer than I was 6 weeks ago. How did I get there?
- Bought MUCH better equipment
- Digital SLR with good lenses vs. Kodak Easyshare
- Read a lot of materials
- on the camera itself
- on digital photography
- on better photography in general
- Took a ton of pictures
- with a lot of experimentation
I think I’m almost ready for photo-journey across China!
Will I be a professional photographer? Hardly. Will I be able to produce decent pictures? Hopefully.
Got a new DVD “Intro the Canon Digital Rebel XT” from Blue Crane Digital.
Intro to Canon Digital Rebel XT
It’s not bad, pretty simple concepts. It’s a nice introduction to using the camera, and getting away from Full Auto mode. Also some basic photo advice. Just enough to wet your juices. For me, this is a warmup for the two new books I bought:
- Canon EOS Digital Rebel Digital Field Guide
- Magic Lantern Guides: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT/EOS 350D
I’m really enjoying playing with this thing, but I keep getting the urge to buy more and more stuff. Must resist…
I’ve taken several hundred pictures in the last few weeks, and am starting to learn a little.
I visited Photographic Warehouse here in Dallas (Carrollton) and had a great talk with the guys there. I was looking for equipment to take pictures of items for Ebay. I bought a decent setup for a little over a hundred dollars and after a couple of hours of experimenting, and a couple of hundred pictures, I know a lot more about the manual workings of the camera than I did just a short while ago.
One step at a time. It’s progress.
Bought the EOS Digital Rebel XT 8.0 megapixel. Went for one of those EBAY deals – $1100 including S&H:
Black Canon Digital Rebel XT
1 GIG CF Card (Good hi-speed)
High Resolution SIGMA Lens 28-80MM f/3.5
High Resolution SIGMA Lens 70-300MM f/4-5.6.
Basic Filter Kit (Cheap, only fits 70-300mm lens)
Wide Angle Lens
5 piece cleaning kit (ok)
Tabletop Tripod (junk)
55” Tripod (cheap quality)
Hi-Speed USB Card Reader/Writer (ok)
All Aluminum Hard Case (surprisingly good)
Deluxe Camera Case (junk)
I figure the camera, two lenses and memory card were worth at least the $1100, so everything else was freebies.
B&H Photo for new filters (including 67mm for the shorter lens) external flash, 2 spare batteries, and a good Manfrotto monopod and head. Still want to get a battery grip. Got a nice Lowepro backback for Christmas.
I’m doing a lot of traveling and want to start taking great pictures of the fantastic places I’ve been going. June I’m headed to China for 6 weeks of touring and visiting, and I’ll find out if I’ve learned anything then.
For now, it’s time to take LOTS of pictures and learn the camera and what it can do, and what I can do with it. Should be fun!