Sunday, June 14, 2009
I've been interested in photography for as long as I can remember; my maternal Grandmother had a lot to do with this. If she wasn't busy with a sewing project or working in her garden, she was making photo albums, scrapbooks and collages. She always had stacks of wonderful old family photos, and I never got tired of looking at them. In elementary school I learned to develop film. In high school I was on the yearbook staff, and I've kept photo albums of my own since those days. I do it to have a sense of history and documentation. I also really enjoy the work of composing through the viewfinder. I grew up saying 'cheese' and posing for the camera, and I really strive to capture my children in the everyday moments.
After Abbott started crawling, Alexi was driven to find out as much as he could about digital photography. The shutter speed of the digital camera we had at the time was so slow that Abbott was often out of the frame before the picture actually 'took'. He immersed himself in learning about photographing children and photography equipment (the radiologist in him?). I was resistant to giving up on film and still do appreciate the quality of film; however, there's nothing like the convenience of snapping and downloading.
I have only taken an interest in lenses and camera settings beyond "auto" within the past year. Mostly this change is because of blogging. I found I was asking Alexi to take a picture of something and the composition he used was not always the vision I had in my mind; time to try it myself.
In terms of learning, I'm fortunate that Alexi has explained to me repeatedly about photographic principles, which he understands well from his radiology training in physics ('only so many photons, choose how you want to use them'). The main way I learn, though, is through looking. I love Flickr. I look around there every day and manage to find something inspiring pretty much every time. If you're curious about how I took a certain picture, click into Flickr (button on the right hand side - most of the photos in this blog are also uploaded to my Flickr account) and look at the 'more properties' hyperlink for the picture in question. (Google search: read EXIF.)
What cameras do you use?
Canon 1D Mark IIN and Canon 5D Mark II
What lenses do you use?
Canon 24-105, 16-35L II, 70-200/2.8 IS, 35L, 85L I, 135L, 15 fisheye, 100 macro, 50 mm f/1.8.
I do like the results of my photos taken with prime (not zoom) lenses best, as I think the images are sharper.
I strongly believe the lens makes *far* more difference in the quality of most non-action pictures than the camera. For most Canon shooters, the Canon 50 mm f/1.8 lens for $90 at B&H would work wonders for their photography.
What format do you shoot in?
I shoot exclusively in RAW.
Do you edit your photos a lot?
No. If needed, white balancing, boosting the contrast, sometimes playing with exposure. Rarely do I crop.
My husband gave me a great tip: find a style that you really like and then try to copy it. It's harder than it sounds. I also recommend surfing dpreview as a great resource for info and advice. Happy shooting!