Sunday, August 29, 2010

And so we begin

Having always wanted to explore the world of photography, I finally made the plunge and recently invested in a a legitimate piece of equipment, the Nikon D5000.After looking at several different cameras, primarily made by Nikon, I decided the D5000 was the model that would best suit my needs. I was quite taken with the vari-angle monitor. Additionally, with 19 auto-exposure scene modes, not to mention a fully manual mode, it seemed to me to be a camera that wouldn't completely intimidate a newcomer to the slr world, and at the same time, would not be a camera that I quickly outgrow. I've named him Jude.

While I'm no new-comer to digital cameras, having owned several since 2004, I've never progressed past the typical point-and-shoot cameras. Don't get me wrong, these little cameras have certainly progressed over the last 6 years, and my small Nikon coolpix has 12 MP and several auto-exposure modes, but to really learn to take control of a photograph, I need to move beyond that. Enter Jude.

Today, I went on my first photo expedition with Jude, and I'll include a few photos below. While some of the photos I took I actually rather like, the most important thing I learned today is that I really need to take control of the camera and learn what all of the features are, and which buttons will change which things. F-stop, apperture, it's all new to me. Thus, while running errands today, I purchased the book that I'm hoping will help me master the camera - Nikon D5000 for Dummies.

This morning, before the heat reached it's apex, John (my wonderfully supportive boyfriend who already knows a thing or two about photography) and I went on a lovely nature walk along Four Mile Run. The weather was beautiful, the scenery was beautiful, and it was unbelievably quiet for the middle of Arlington.

A little oasis in the middle of it all. The most amazing part of this picture to me is the thought that the bustling Columbia Pike is roughly one hundred yards away, but sitting in this sunlight, you'd never know it. I also do like how the lighting creates a very vivid green for the leaves of the trees. I will say that if you haven't been to Four Mile Run and you live in the DC/NOVA area, you should definitely check it out. It's easily accessible, and is usually quite peaceful.It can also be an excellent place to people-watch, as the the trail will have plenty of walkers and bicyclists.

Finally, we have the tree trunk/root system. I took this photo at John's recommendation; he enjoys interesting trees and twisted roots. I wasn't particularly impressed with the picture one way or the other, but then I used the in-camera retouching features to check it out in Sepia, and I enjoyed it much more. The monochrome features on the camera are very interesting. Not only does the camera have b&w and sepia, but you can adjust the degrees/contrast of each. As you can see, I chose a sepia that's on the verge of b&w for this picture. Furthermore, they have a color wheel that you can play with with monochrome in addition to the typical cyanotype, you can take monochrome pictures in almost any color your heart desires.

Obviously, these photos are not editing in the slightest. I have recently acquired Photoshop, and will be exploring working with that on this blog as well, I'm sure. Entertaining moments are bound to ensue.