picture perfect

As many probably note, this blog is awfully light on photos. I have been trying lately to use more photos, but when I do take and post them (like with the ornament yesterday), I am reminded that my photo-taking abilities are pretty limited. When I think about it, I know how to frame photos to a certain extent and I understand the concept of composition. My years of art-related courses for my landscape architecture degree do come in handy in that regard. However, the real hold-up – and the resulting lack of motivation to think about things like composition – is that I don’t have good equipment. I think our camera is a decent one for a tiny point-and-shoot, but it’s simply not going to take brilliant photos.

I often find myself oohing and ahhing over photos on other blogs that I know were taken with REAL cameras. It’s not just the cute subject matter (the kids), but it’s the crispness, colors, depth of focus, and so on that I admire. It makes me wonder if I want to upgrade cameras so that I can take nice photos, too. I know it’s not all about the camera, and that I’d have some learning to do, but I think I could learn. And I’ve got time on my hands right now, so now might be a good time to take this on.

I’d have to figure out if I really want to step up to a camera that won’t fit in my pocket and that will take more effort on my part, but right now, it’s a step I’m leaning toward taking. Of course the cost of a new camera is also a factor, and I’m quite certain that the nice cameras taking those nice photos aren’t exactly cheap.

I’d love to spend some of these many months of waiting doing things to better myself, and working on photography might be something I could include. Plus I’d love to be able to come home with great photos (instead of mediocre ones) of Ethiopia to share with our child. And of course I want to be able to share wonderful photos of our child with everyone.

I’m ready to do some research. So, tell me: What kind of camera do you have, and would you recommend it to someone who wants to learn how to take better photos?

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14 Responses to picture perfect

  1. Jamey says:

    Well, the pictures on my blog are all taken with my phone because it’s just easier that way. However, we have a Rebel DSL and it takes AMAZING pictures even when we keep it on the lowest setting. It can be a pain though not to be able to easily slip it into a purse.

  2. Rain says:

    I have a Canon SD1200 IS. It’s a great little camera with great resolution. It fit easily into my purse or pocket.

    I will be upgrading sometime soon (in the next year) as I get a little more serious about taking pictures.

    Good luck in your search. I highly recommend cnet.com for recommendations before you buy anything!

  3. sue says:

    i use a canon elph that is always in my diaper bag. we also have a canon SLR. i’m still learning how to use it, but the best part for me for right now, is how fast you can take pictures. it is big and bulky and doesn’t help that my husband has a battery pack on the bottom of it :(. but i would still recommend it.

  4. Amy says:

    We have a Canon Powershot SD750 that I use for my blog photos. This is our “casual” camera. A few years ago, Brian bought a Canon D70, which is a SLR – I think a newer model (the D80?) has come out since Brian bought his camera. The D70 is the “serious” camera, but neither of us uses it as much as we had planned. I am kind of intimidated by it, and because it is kind of heavy and bulky, we don’t take it out of the house all that much.

  5. Alan says:

    Echo the thoughts on the Canon SD series. We bought our 610 a couple years ago because it has a screen you can rotate (great for taking crowd or self-shots) and takes regular AA batteries. We use rechargeables, but can run out to any store in a pinch.

    It’s simple enough to take good point-and-shoot pictures, will shoot a few seconds of video in a pinch, and has a lot of customizable settings for the expert user.

  6. Kelly says:

    Thanks for the feedback so far! I should have noted that our current camera is a Canon SD850 IS. Given some of the comments so far (and some of the photos I’ve seen you take), maybe I need to work on learning how to use it better.

  7. Jenny says:

    i have a canon rebel dslr xsi. love it. still learning how to use it, but i love that the auto settings are easy enough that matt can still pick it up and take snapshots here and there even though he knows nothing about it!

  8. Kelly Cole says:

    We will never give up our handy dandy point & shoot (I can’t even remember what we have and the camera’s not here so I’ll have to get back to you on that one). But we decided to get serious about photography this year. Jon already has a Nikon D70s which is awesome. Although we could not justify it at all, Jon really really wanted to upgrade to a Nikon D300s, which we bought ourselves for our anniversary in September. The camera is great but not sure how much better than the D70s (in my opinion). I’d recommend a photography class on how to use your SLR if that’s the route you go. We did, as you may recall, recently and it was awesome.

  9. Christine says:

    I’m a die-hard Nikon girl myself.(I’ve been shooting Nikon SLRs for 29 years now… and yes, I did write 29) I shoot the D60 and LOVE it. I covet some of the other cameras such as the D300 and the D90, but honestly, the D60 is a workhorse and on the affordable end of the spectrum I think. And it doesn’t weigh a ton like some of them! It comes with an 18-55 lens which is great to start with, but then I’d recommend an upgrade to a good 50mm lens (of course!) The one downside about the D60 is that it requires more expensive lenses than the D70/80/90 due to the auto focus being housed in the lens vs. the camera. Good luck!

  10. Kris says:

    I’m so glad you asked this question because we’ve been talking about upgrading our camera to an SLR. It’s interesting to read everyone’s comments. I’ve been looking at the Nikon’s since those seem to be the cameras that take the best pictures. We’ve been using a Canon Power Shot S5 IS, but it’s time for an SLR.

  11. I’m with Christine: total Nikon girl myself! We had a Nikon film (yeah, the stuff that used to go in cameras) SLR, learned how to use that, and when we got into the adoption process, upgraded to a Nikon D80 and we LOVE it. It was a lot of money, but wasn’t horribly expensive. We have most of the features of the fancier ones and we truly don’t miss any of the ones we lack. But like C said, the lens makes a HUGE difference. We have a 50mm as well, and when we strapped that puppy on, our photos took on a whole new level of professionalism. Yes, you have to learn to use your camera, but the equipment itself helps a lot!
    Oh, and to capture images of a fast-moving child, an SLR is almost necessary unless you don’t mind taking flash shots.

  12. Stephen says:

    I actually have a Sanyo Xacti Video and still camera. It does HD and 8MP photos. Basically almost every picture of Eliana on my Facebook page was taken with that camera.

  13. Amy says:

    I just reread the comments and realized that I said that our D70 is a Canon – it is a Nikon.

    CCBC offers a variety of beginner photography classes (see page 57 of the PDF) — http://www.ccbcmd.edu/media/ceed/flexi.pdf

    • Kelly says:

      Thanks, Amy! I’ve been wanting to check out some of the CCBC classes, and photography was one of the topics I wanted to explore. Flower arranging is another, if they have anything. (And yes, my interests seem to skip all over the place.)

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