This is Willow, my lovely, utterly stupid, utterly cute cat. These three photographs are the best of a series of photos taken during what was really my first attempt to explore my new Canon. I’m reasonably pleased with them. Certainly they lack the wow factor that I see so many others achieve but even I, with my poor artistic eye, can see that they have greater clarity and warmth than anything I achieved wit my old camera. I was playing around with settings so I doubt any of these were taken on in full auto mode (which Canon appear to call AI) but I have yet to learn enough to understand what buttons do what, so it was sort of random by chance stuff. Willow, I suspect, is going to feature quite regularly on these pages, so feel free to make friends.
Well, sort of. Two of my photos have been put in an online booklet produced with a flickr toy at Pimpampum (bizarre name for a website). I guess that must mean that there’s at least one person out there who likes them. Both these photos were taken with my old Ricoh so are not really part of the impossible photography project but I still like to see who’s doing what with my photos.
Shame Pimpampum don’t give the credit they should. Their website says credit is given in the form of a link back to flickr, but there are no links with my photos which is annoying. To be absolutely clear, I should add that there is a click back to the original on flickr on the screen which shows when you close the book but I think the link should be from the photo directly. Does this sort of thing irritate anyone else?
Have a look at the whole booklet.
I still haven’t taken another photograph but I have made some progress against my impossible photography project. Last night I finally screwed up enough bravery and installed both the software and manuals that came with my Canon EOS 600D onto my laptop. This was remarkably easy and, as an added bonus, my old, sometimes unreliable, laptop survived! I sorted through the last of the photos I had taken with my old camera, which I shall keep using at times for the sheer convenience of being able to pop it in a pocket or sling it in rucksack, and uploaded them to Flickr. And, the big success of the day, I managed to transfer the first few photos I took with the Canon to my laptop, manipulate them through ACDSee, and upload those as well.
I think I’ll make a little gallery or two of my favourite photos taken with my old Ricoh and the first, absolutely full auto mode, taken with the Canon as a short of baseline against which to measure progress. I am already blown away by how nicely the Canon capture a few of my friends at a party last week.
And, oh yes, I finally wrote something to put here.
I have just discovered that there is yet another way to while away an hour or more – other people’s fantastic photography blogs! I blame the blogger with gorgeous photographs behind SethSnap, who was kind enough to drop by my blog and leave a calling card. Look at the sort of thing I find when I return the favour – a gloriously colourful, stunningly clear and elegantly illustrated series of images of autumnal scenes from Caesar’s Creek.
A grand term, photographic library, perhaps for the small accumulation of books on digital photography which are currently dotted around the house (note to self – put all the photography books in one place, preferably where I can both find and reach them easily). But, although I have yet to do anything more with my new Canon EOS 600D than depress the shutter button with the camera in full auto mode, I have not been entirely inactive. Scouring my bookshelves, and those of Waterstone’s and Amazon, has resulted in a small but hopefully compelling resource of photographic wisdom, inspiration and guidance to direct me the coming virtual photowalk. I am a at home with books, a natural book- rather than do- learner, but I guess there’s also an element of ‘all the gear and no idea’ going on here too. I have also splashed out on a slew of photography magazines replete with page after page of gloriously rich images. As I go, I shall try to record how helpful each is as well as working through the array of photographic and post-capture projects, assignments, tasks and tours suggested. I’ve taken a wee picture of them with my old Ricoh.
That’s a little lie. It isn’t actually day one. I bought my first DSLR camera almost a week ago, splashing out during an involuntarily extended sojourn airside at Heathrow, on my way out to Tunis. My much loved, super little digital point-and-click camera (Ricoh Caplio R6), having done sterling service for some years and taken many, many thousand snapshots, has been showing signs of unreliability for some months and I had long been considering upgrading to a DSLR. The temptation of duty-free prices and unexpectedly having a little time on my hands combined into a tipping point, and sometime after wandering into the shop I emerged with a Canon EOS 600D (otherwise, I gather, know as a Rebel T3i), a lens I have yet to learn how to use, two batteries, two memory cards, a small but useful selection of freebie accessories, countless cables with unfathomable purposes and a rather smart and practical carry case.
It’s time to be honest. I’m not a photographer. I’m a snap-shotter. The only piece of photographic advice I have ever managed to follow is to take my camera with me, everywhere. The result has been many thousand of random snaps, which I value greatly for the memories they bring, especially those of friends and family but very few of any merit. And those which might be considered good are the result of luck rather than intent or skill (if you take thousands of snaps, one or two are bound to be interestingly). Nor am I a techno-savvy. If I am to justify the investment I’ve just made, and fulfil by aspirations to produce shots I can be proud to share, I have a lot to learn.
So that’s what this blog is about – an attempt to record the journey I hope to make from transitory snapshots to photographs worth permanence. It’s unashamedly for my benefit as I hope, in a year or two, to be able look back and see that I’ve made progress. You’re welcome to comment or critique my travels with my camera and if you gain or learn something from it, that’s even better.