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May 16th, 2010

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01:34 am - picture time
I finally entered the world of the Digital SLR this week. (I couldn't get a regular digital camera; I hate the small ones and they way they feel in my hand and the fact that you can do stuff with them but not all that much.) So I got a Pentax K-x inexpensive entry level DSLR and immediately remembered how one of the most satisfying sounds in the world is that SLR shutter clunk. I bet there would have been better cameras to get, but this one had the stuff I liked and none of the stuff I was remotely interested in, and I have a serious Pentax brand loyalty since my first "real" camera was a K-1000, that marvelous manually-set camera which gave me so many wonderful shots over the years. (I learned to shoot B&W on it, then I learned to develop and print my own stuff, and while I'd probably be as rust as hell taking off a film cap in pitch black and threading a spiral tank, the smell of fixer and stop bath brings back so many fond memories and is another reason why Ferranti-Dege leaving Harvard Square was such a depressing loss.) The K-1000 may or may not have survived this spring's basement floods and if it did, I will be absolutely psyched to grab the 20-500mm lens from it, get it fixed/cleaned/ungunked, and stick it on the new one. Hooray for the K mount!

The first thing I did when I took it out of the box was take pictures of the cat. Today I went to the Stone Zoo with Carolyn and we had a marvelous time and I took some pics. I still haven't read the manual, but I've found some extra features on my own through trial and error. The neat thing I noticed was that the camera has a tilt sensor so it will helpfully rotate vertical pics you took. Thanks, camera. Thamera.

I'm still experimenting with it a lot and trying not to start getting snooty about things. For me, the camera will be a wonderful step up from the Crummy Cameraphone and give me more reasons to take more pictures as well as record video when I need to. And even though I don't know all it can do or what some of the buttons on the side do, I had an absolute blast today taking pictures of a zoo. Just to see what I could do.

One of my photo rules, which I started when I was taking single-use box cameras to Coney Island and then using the fixed aperture cameraphone, was that post-processing may be nice but I like it better when I present things as I saw it. I stay away from it when possible, though I do admit sometimes a little color saturation boost is very nice. Of the zoo pics all I took only one had a hell of an incongrous crop because my zoom couldn't handle a pic from a longer distance than usual, but thankfully it was saved at 4000xsomethingbig so I could crop nicely.

I will not listen very much to any constructive criticism involvin retouching to make a "perfect" shot. I'm not interested in perfection; I'm interested in what my eyes see and what I make the camera see with my eyes. If the colors or light levels turn out to be sub optimal, I'll fool around with them a little, but definitely not for the cause of Making It Perfect. These may not all be classic shots but I'm very happy with what I have.

I know I ain't no professional but what I am is me, and what I like to do is take pictures, and that is all that counts. Anyway. This is gonna help keep me busy and provoke me to take more wonderful fun walks.

went zoo saw animuls Photo Set

Crane thru fence Is thirsty flamingo Wooden dinosaur carving

I really look forward to taking lots of great roller coaster pictures this summer. (So remember in 2006 when I got that cameraphone and took pictures of everything? Yeah, well, that's gonna start happening again.) But so far I love my new DSLR and can't wait to see what other goodies I can get out of it.

(12 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:May 16th, 2010 09:56 am (UTC)
This is every sort of awesome! The flamingos are a riot.
[User Picture]
Date:May 16th, 2010 12:03 pm (UTC)
Well, it's a mirror clunk. :)

One small criticism is that there is not a lot of contrast in the bird through fence picture, so the bird kinda blends in. There are ways to poke at that in post-processing, akin to burn-in for film processing.

Surprised you didn't run into Wolf and smallest redhead... though admittedly, said redhead was mostly interested in the playground.

I should take my film SLR out for a run sometime.

Should you want me to, um, borrow your SLR to photograph the next PMRP production... *g*
[User Picture]
Date:May 16th, 2010 01:19 pm (UTC)
Nifty photos. I need to get a new camera, so we should talk.....

Also, when you go roller coastering I want to go with you. (I'll even drive,....
[User Picture]
Date:May 16th, 2010 01:40 pm (UTC)
Funny you should mention this - I have Issues with my several problematic pocket-sized digital cameras, and was thinking to myself, "Maybe it's time to upgrade, get a proper digital camera, really be equipped to take photos again..."

And yep, still got my own K-1000. Last had it over-hauled 'bout 4 or 5 years back at Ferranti-Dege, where they noted with reverence that it was now a collector's item...
[User Picture]
Date:May 16th, 2010 01:47 pm (UTC)
jfc i thought the dinosaur one was a real turtle with cat eyes D: great pics! adding u on flickr. oh we're already frenz :D

Edited at 2010-05-16 01:48 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:May 16th, 2010 01:57 pm (UTC)
I actually thought something like that for a minute too. Even worse, the way it showed up on my screen, the dinosaur one was directly under the ibis one and I thought it was one picture, so my first thought was, "Why doesn't that alligator/komodo dragon/unknown reptile try to eat that bird? And why is the bird standing so close to the fence, with a predator so near?"

I are dumb.
[User Picture]
Date:May 16th, 2010 01:53 pm (UTC)
Nice pics! I'll let you know when I have a free day sometime this summer and maybe we can go sightseeing again! BTW, I saw on craigslist that Salisbury Beach was looking for a Boardwalk Manager, and I immediately thought of you. ;-)
[User Picture]
Date:May 16th, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC)
That crane is one of the more interactive animals at the Stone Zoo. It actually knows you are there and will come up and look at you, at least if there aren't scary screaming kids around.
[User Picture]
Date:May 17th, 2010 12:27 am (UTC)
ooo, nice. Love the flamingos, and the HERE THERE BE BATS.
[User Picture]
Date:May 17th, 2010 06:07 pm (UTC)
I'm kinda inspired to dust off my dig camera, and take some pictures! Shiny pictures!
[User Picture]
Date:May 17th, 2010 11:49 pm (UTC)
"I'd probably be as rust as hell taking off a film cap in pitch black and threading a spiral tank, the smell of fixer and stop bath brings back so many fond memories..."

Me too, on both counts.
Date:May 20th, 2010 11:20 pm (UTC)
Where are the cat pictures?! Heading to Flickr....

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