Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My New Love

If you've kept up with me recently you may remember that I was having some serious camera envy earlier this year~

Well I'm pleased to announce that you will not have to deal with my whining any longer...I was finally able to purchase ~ my new love ~

After hours...and hours...and a few more hours weeks of research....I decided on the Nikon d300s camera.

Isn't it just divine?

If you've ever had to make a very large, important purchase and you knew you just had to get it right then you know how nerve wracking it is to choose the ideal camera when upgrading.    Here's why I chose this particular camera:

~ it was a definite upgrade from what I already had in ISO performance and overall quality
~ every review I've read {and there were hundreds!} was positive 
~ several pro photographers I've spoken with own this camera and every one absolutely loves it
~ I liked the way it felt in my's a quirky reason but very important when choosing a camera
~ it was the highest quality I could buy in my price range

But the fun doesn't stop there...after choosing my camera I had to choose a lens and I knew I didn't want a kit lens, I wanted a "pro" grade lens.  I decided on the Nikon 50mm 1.4.

I knew from the first click that I want to be buried with this lens.  That's how much I love it ~

Here's why I chose this particular lens:
~ I didn't already own a 50mm so I was truly getting something new
~ I wanted the 1.4 aperture for more creative opportunities
~ Every single photographer that owns a 50mm 1.4 says it's at the top of their favorite lenses ever

Now don't be a hater because I have some sweet gear now!  I know how that camera envy can sneak up on ya~  Because of this purchase...
~ my kids will not be meeting Mickey Mouse this year....or any other year...ever
~ my kids will not get to ride in a snazzy new car like all their friends have...but instead they get a used minivan that smells like wet soccer cleats
~ leftovers will be on the menu more than ever 
~ those funky, furry boots I'm wanting for fall will just remain on my Wish List...along with that epiphanie camera bag and pretty much everything else I'm wanting

But enough about that....let me show why I've proclaimed that if my house were on fire I would save my new camera first, and then hopefully a few of my kids...

...this is the very first photo I snapped about 10 minutes after I finally figured out how to open the box while I was sitting in the front seat of my van:

I realize it's not exactly art gallery worthy but I was lovin' it.  About 20 minutes later I took these shots at my session.  
{note:  I would not recommend buying a brand new camera, not reading the manual, and attempting to photograph 6 people all within 1 hour}

Those are untouched, uncropped, uneverything...can you say bokeh?  can you see why I'm in love?

Those shots were perfect as-is but I still had to mess with them just a bit~  I added a touch of butterscotch tint and these were my finals:

        f stop 2.2

 f stop 1.6

So to sum it all up, I'm very pleased with my purchases and I'm glad I took my time and did a ton of research before I decided what to buy.  I really suggest that if you're looking to buy a new camera that you go to a camera store and try out the feel of several different models in your range for a good comparison.  Try different lenses too so you can see how fast they focus and what it's actually like to use the zoom ring or work with a prime lens.  

I tried the 24-70 2.8 and the 70-200 2.8 so one of those will be my next purchase...but I just can't decide....any thoughts??

Friday, September 24, 2010

Behind The Scenes Part 1

NO ~ I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.
YES ~ I've been busy.

Something you may not know about me is that I absolutely love anything that shows Behind The Scenes.
Anything that shows how something was made or created, I'm drawn to it.
I watched all 32 hours of The Making of Star Wars on dvd.  {not the old ones, the new ones}
It was fascinating and I'd highly recommend it if you have an extra 32 hours with nothing to do~

Which brings me to today's post...kind of...
My favorite behind the scenes is seeing how photographers have set up their lighting, props, and all the other stuff that goes along with getting that perfect shot.  Moms with Cameras has a great series on lighting that shows various set ups each week with different photographers.  I love peeking into their world and you should check it out if you like that kind of stuff too~

So a few weeks ago when I decided to do the bravest thing any mom can do {a photo shoot with my own punks!}  I asked my aunt to take a few shots...of me taking a few shots...!  It was fun to see them and I thought I'd share them with you...

Here's what my kiddos looked like most of the time...

Kinda reminds me of those famous've heard of Ticked, Sneezy, Neglected and Whiny haven't you?

I eventually threatened enough and got them together for some posing...
This angle...

...gave me this shot...

And speaking of was really interesting to see what a difference just walking a few steps over 
could make in my image.  Here's a head-on shot of the crew....

Yeah, they look cute enough but that jungle back there is pretty scary!  I walked just a few steps to my right and took the photo from a new angle to get this...

The kids never moved but it looks a little less scary now~
That just reinforced the notion for me to take shots from several angles even if I think the first is good enough.

Here's a few I took of Princess...who has never seen America's Top Model but I do believe she could teach the contestants a thing or two about rockin' the attitude...

Ya think?

I did manage to catch a moment of sweetness and got one that I'm just lovin'~

This shows my fancy stuff...I had my "assistant" holding my new toy, the reflector.  It works wonders when you use it right...which I'm still working on!

{disclaimer:  I have no idea what Alexis' Mum is doing!  Sorry Alexis' Mum, I couldn't resist!}

These are the shots I got from that angle using the reflector to even out the light.  Notice how there's no harsh shadows on the faces even though it was waaaay sunny out with no clouds?  That's the magic of a reflector!

I hope you've enjoyed my little installment of Behind The Scenes Part 1.  And in case you didn't guess, I named it Part 1 because I have more to share later!  

Seriously....I've got lots more coming and so much to tell....I've been busy creating some new marketing products....trying new props and I can't wait to share all about my really fun shopping trip to Dodds Camera~ 

Stay Tuned!

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