It might have been irrational for me to spend so much money when I don’t have a job, but I figured it was time to step-up my game…especially if I hope to do a bit of travel this year.

I bought myself a fancy-pants DSLR camera…a Canon Rebel XS.

Token mirror shot.

Token mirror shot.

I love it. It’s shiny. It comes with an additional 300 mm zoom lens. I don’t have a freaking clue what to do with any of it.

I want to get outdoors and start playing around, but I haven’t seen any sunshine in over two weeks. I want to sit in a secluded area and experiment, somewhere where I won’t look like a total dickhead.

See what I mean? No fun. Although I can't believe I can see the headlights of that car from my bedroom window.

See what I mean? No fun. Although I can't believe I can see the headlights of that car from my bedroom window.

The learning curve is steep, I realize. I need to invest in a shorter lens for landscapes, a tripod, etc. Fortunately I have access to MatadorU Travel Photography Course, which is helping me out a great deal.

Until then, what photography sites/blogs do you follow? Linlah, Brit, Cammy, Kate…you’re all pros. Help a sistah out.

[photo: tibchris]


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10 Responses

  1. Teacher Girl says:

    Okay, photo blogs/sites I read everyday:

    http://cliffmautner.typepad.com/
    http://www.whereintheworldisfrance.com/
    http://www.scottkelby.com/blog/
    http://corinne-delis.typepad.com/photography/
    http://photofocus.com/
    http://www.kylehepp.com/

    That’s probably overwhelming, lol. My advice is to really look at a lot of photography. That course sounds like a great idea. You can also get some great books out there and Scott Kelby’s site has a TON of tutorials and videos you can watch. You should try and get one specific to your camera.

    Also, the best way to get better is to keep practicing. Try and take pics every day. Get the camera off of auto and shoot in aperture priority (if you don’t know what the heck I am talking about, email me). Don’t be afraid to take horrible pics. They are all digital anyway. Go nuts! So excited for you!

  2. maggie says:

    here’s a photographer I really really like, if you want inspiration: http://blog.kevinthom.com/ :)

    I’m sure you will do great things with this camera! I am often very inspired by folks over at deviantart.com , however it can be a lot to weed through just at random. I’m sure with your connections you know plenty of people who can help you out! But if you want a plethora of good artistic photographers to inspire you, lemme know – I know a few that do lovely location shots, city scapes and the like…

    If you need a guinea pig model for shooting people, lemme know. i can sit still sometimes. or run around if that’s what you need. i could even hula hoop on signal hill for ya ;D

  3. linlah says:

    Good for you for stepping up. Don’t hide in a corner with it, shoot lots of photos and ask everyone you see with a camera questions. Take it off of Manual and use any of the other Modes.

    And oh yea, take lots of photos.

  4. *uncorked says:

    I just started one – totally totally amateur because I’m a wannabe photographer too. I haven’t gotten a big girl camera yet because I’m broke.

    http://uncorkedvphotos.blogspot.com/

  5. Kate says:

    There is no wannabe at all! You’re talented. If you believe it, it will be true! It’s always the right choice to blow a huge wad of cash on an amazing camera. We call ours Bella and will be celebrating her 2nd birthday shortly. I would rather be living on the street with Bella than in a fancy house with a point and shoot. Ok…well maybe not…but pretty close!!
    You can see my excitement here:
    http://www.recommendeddailydose.com/?p=717
    I said:
    Here is my second baby…and the reason that I am leaving Josh and writing a strongly worded letter to President Obama to let people marry objects. I want to be Mrs. Most Beautiful Camera in the Whole World. Her name is Bella and I am planning on chaining her to my body and never letting her out of my sight. I can tell you that she is even more beautiful than Finn. If I had to choose between Finn and Bella, well it would be a hard call…like Sophie’s choice! I have been saving for her and dreaming of her (this is so totally my dream camera!!) and I’m so happy that she finally came knocking on my door today! We will have a lifetime of happiness together, no doubt!! If you truly believe the love of your life will one day come to you…it eventually will! I dreamed it; and now I am living my dream!!!!!
    My favorite 2 photo blogs for the moment (for what it’s worth…I’m certainly not an expert!):
    http://ladyfi.wordpress.com/
    http://jillsygirl.blogspot.com/

  6. PorkStar says:

    Nice choice of camera. Take your time learning about it, there’s always something new to learn about photography. If you plan on getting a shorter lens, try an 16-35mm f2/8 or fixed focus (35mm f/2) for better quality images.

    Here are some of my fave links

    http://www.pixel-peeper.com
    http://1x.com
    http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/?source=NavPhoHome
    http://ken-gilbert.com

    The first one is the best to see how pictures come out on the most popular lenses, it details the settings of each picture etc.

  7. Deidre says:

    I second Kylehepp.com she’s amazing also blurbomat (Dooce’s husband) sometimes posts photography tutorials and stuff.

    This is so exciting. Well done.

  8. nashe says:

    ZOMG, is it really called the Canon REBEL?!? I would totally have gotten that! (if i had wanted a fancy-ass DSLR, that is)

  9. Okay. You have Canon. I have Nikon.

    So, a lot of the tutorials I use won’t work for you. HOWEVER Ken Rockwell covers both Canon and NIkon reviews. He not only does tutorials http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech.htm but also reviews the camera and how they work. He was my savior.

    When I started, I simply put it into Aperture priority mode and started snapping. In that mode, you can change the Aperture (focal length) which is probably confusing to you and the camera will do the rest. To me, that was the most important, cus as with shutter speed, etc you are more concerned about controlling action, which I don’t shoot. I only shoot people. Therefore, I am more concerned about the creaminess of the background, etc.

    My absolute best advice is to get a 50mm 1.8 lens. it’s like $100 (for nikon) and will do portraits, landscapes whatever you want. It’s a fixed length so no worry about adjusting and it has a wide aperture (1.8) which means that it lets a lot of light in and you can use it in rather dim spots, also you can get those cool close ups with blurred backgrounds.

    it’s the lens i use almost exclusively

  10. Shaun says:

    Nice shirt missus ;)

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