Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lenses again

I've figured out a great way to save money on lenses. Simply research them so much that you become thoroughly confused about which one you should buy. You then sit on your hands forever continuing to research and get some clarity. It's working well so far.
I think I've actually narrowed down my choices to three. The Sigma 17-70 2.8 to 4 and the Tamron 28-75 2.8. I like that both lenses cover the typical portrait range which is what I'm most interested in. And finally the Sigma 24-70 EX Macro. I like that the one Sigma has a wider range and seems like it would be a better everyday lens. I'm waiting to see some more reviews of it but the reviews of it's predecessor seem pretty positive. Reviews of the 24-70 EX seems excellent as well and that is a Sigma EX lens which is supposed to be a more solid build.
It all boiled down to figuring out what kind of photographer I am. I am never going to try to make money off this hobby. I might do an occasional portrait shoot for someone but I'm not going to pursue this as a money maker. In that case, it just didn't make sense for me to put money into Canon L lenses. They are great lenses but double or triple the price of a Sigma or Tamron lenses. And the Tamron and Sigma lenses get generally very good reviews.
So I think I'll let those thoughts simmer a little while longer but that seems to be what's sticking in my mind and more importantly what "feels" right.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Software

I have simple needs for managing my photos. I want to be able to easily organize them. Right now I use iPhoto and love it. I don't care about how iPhoto stores photos in Events. I end up tagging all photos and have a bunch of Smart Albums to sort it all out. I love that I have a bunch of keys mapped for tagging photos. Apparently I've set shortcuts up correctly because I can remember 3 months later what my tag was for a certain person.
I've been playing around with Picasa on the Mac lately and I really like it. It was easy to pick up and start using. I've been playing around with the facial recognition in it and it works amazingly well and I like how it has a People section so I can see all photos for a person, much like the Smart Albums in iPhoto except it recognizes people for me, I don't have to tag a photo. The tagging, however, seems lacking in Picasa. I can't setup the key shortcuts like I can in iPhoto and having keyboard shortcuts is significantly faster than having to move the mouse and click on the right tag. Hopefully Picasa changes how they do tagging. If they do I just might have to switch.

Still working my way back into it

I'm still not picking up the camera every day like I wanted to start doing. It's not bothering me though, I'll get there. I do find myself thinking more about photography which leads me to look around a lot more and see more interesting things. I'll get there with picking up the camera every day, just need to make a point of it. I do have my Canon S3 in the work bag now so it's with me. At least I'm starting to look more and think more about what's going on around me.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Just shoot

Read a good reminder the other day, wish I could remember where the reminder came from, about shooting every day. Just pick up the camera and shoot. Shoot anything just do it. So I picked up the camera last night, set the ISO to 1600, and started playing. I had forgotten how good the images with the 20D are even when shot at that high of an ISO. Yeah, they have a little noise/grain to them but it's not that bad.