Experiences & notes of an amateur photographer
My Digital Photos
Sallie Naatz Bailey
Note: This page was started about 5 - 6 years ago. Technology changes (for the better we always hope but sometimes wonder) but most of what I discuss here still applies. In the meantime, things like 'lens lag' - referred to below - have hopefully been addressed in newer cameras & I do understand that some handle the problem better than others.
One situation in which digital cameras perform poorly is where there are areas of strong contrast. Ordinary cameras can have trouble with this, too - but in a different way. Remember all those photos of family members taken outdoors in bright sunlight around noon with your old camera? Their features are black blobs of shadow - unless you remembered to use the flash! Subjects in a shaded area within a sunny scene can be tough with digital cameras and shots taken toward the sun can really be messed up. It can be done. Here's an example - below - of a photo taken from that aspect:
I was aware of the problem and used it to my advantage - but the original scene was brilliantly lighted by the sun. You'll note that this almost appears to be moonlight. Taking it toward the sun - which was essential to get the long shadows' full effect - accounts for the difference. There is ample opportunity to 'learn while doing' with digital cameras. Some cameras may have more sophisticated settings but you've got to experiment - and keep in mind- you're not wasting film or paying money for inferior prints! So go for it!
You don't need to go 'top of the line' either. I use an Olympus Camedia C-3000Zoom. It falls in the $300 - $400 range - or did the last time I looked - and its photos can be enlarged to 8x10 without any loss of clarity. Enough talk - after all - they say that one picture is worth a thousand words. (Click on following shots to see enlarged version).
All at once I saw a crowd
A host of golden daffodils...
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude
And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils... .
White & 'Strawberry' Foxglove
As you can see, I'm quite intrigued with Foxglove. I have a unique method for taking such photos - the technical name for it is....... By-Guess-and-By-Gosh. In case you haven't guessed, my approach is quite simple. I set my telephoto for the farthest shot, then position the camera about a foot or slightly more away from the subject, set the 'flower photo' shooting button - which my camera has - ON & fire away. Usually I have the viewing window turned on, so I can lower the camera and get a general idea of what I'm photographing without stooping, kneeling - or even lying on my stomach, as I did in my pre-arthritis days! I've got to tell you - photographing flowers is way easier than taking care of them!! That I leave up to my husband!
Home Grown Beauty
Honestly - they really look like this! No retouching except for the brightness & contrast & sharpness! And to think everyone admires ROSES! No one ever wrote an ode to a tomato - more's the pity. I guess beauty really is in the eye of the beholder! Alas - the season is so short...
This just in - a reader of this web page informs me that an Ode to a Tomato (below) was indeed written by Nobel prize recipient Pablo Neruda. Go here to Food Tales to read a translation.
NewsFlash.... New Camera! Yep - a Kodak DX7590 with 'dock' (a special offer via Amazon a few months ago). This camera is a winner! It has a 10x optical zoom and an excellent lens. It's easy to operate and the dock makes downloading a cinch - fast and problem free - unlike my other camera. Photos henceforth will be from my trusty Kodak. I recommend it!
This moonshot was taken with the zoom at maximum - from our front yard - without a tripod. (Click on it to see the larger version).
I have discovered that the 'sports' setting on the camera actually compensates for the lack of a tripod in many cases - even compensating for the motion of wind blown flower close-ups. Newer cameras of course have auto correction for movement.
My neighbor's yellow peony in closeup.