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I would like to say that I am thankful for my family, friends, and so many other things in my life. I’m thankful that so far, I don’t have a serious medical problem. I want to thank all of the people who take the time to say nice things about my photos; I’m terrible about replying to comments. I appreciate each and every single remark that’s left, though, and I am going to try to get better at responding (and implementing something that will let you know I’ve done so!).

And I am very thankful for my husband, who has put up with my whining for the last three months, taken care of me, got up to fix me dinner and get me a drink, and generally pamper me. He hasn’t said anything but I feel like I’ve been a bit of a pain lately. I am very appreciative of everything he’s done for me.

Also, it’s his birthday this Saturday! He’ll finally be as old as me. (For two months. Then I go back to being “old.” Maybe I should take back some of the nice things I just said… just kidding.) Happy Birthday, honey!

May all of you have a Happy Thanksgiving! And for those who don’t celebrate Thanksgiving this week, have a good time anyway.

Wordless on Wednesday

In which I geek out

So for those who don’t follow twitter, I got a new camera! The Nikon Rumors guy posted a tweet last Thursday that contained a promo code for Newegg. It was good for that day only for 10% of DSLR cameras (except for Sony). Out of curiosity I checked it out; when I saw what the final price would be on the Nikon D90 I felt like it was too good to pass up. I pondered for a bit, talked to my husband, and decided to buy it. I did hit a bit of a snag during checkout when it decided that the promo code was no good. A quick chat with their customer support cleared that up and the camera was mine! Well, it was this past Tuesday.

And what a camera it is. I have not had a whole lot of time to use it yet but so far I LOVE it. It feels right at home in my hands. There is a whole slew of features that are steps up from my previous camera. (I think the D60 may have found a home… with my husband. We still haven’t decided for sure.) The controls are much more easily accessed, making it so instead of having to dive into a couple of menus to change the shooting settings I can instead hold this button and turn that wheel the intended direction. Biggest feature for me (right now)? The focus motor. I know I have whined and whined (or at least brought it up many times) that I was very disappointed by the lack of a focusing motor in the D60. Basically, unless lenses were of a very specific type, the only option available was to manual focus and sometimes that just doesn’t work well for me. Now? I have it. I can use the 50mm that I bought a year and a half ago much more regularly.

There’s so much more that I could talk about and so much that I don’t know about it yet. But I am extremely excited and pleased with the little I have used it since I got it. One thing that is really bumming me out is the time change and ever shortening days. Even though I typically get home by 5:15 the sun is mostly gone. The local hills and mountains do not help with that. If it weren’t for one hill in particular I’m sure we’d have a little more daylight each day but my house is sort of in a little bit of a dip. As soon as I got home today I ran into the house to grab my camera and a telephoto lens that my sister is letting me borrow. It also requires a motor built in the camera to use auto focus so I wanted to see how well it works. I got the first shot in this post with it and this next one:

But it didn’t take long for the sun to go completely behind that pesky hill and I was left with little light. This is a different tree, if you were wondering. It’s one of the maples in front of our house that had some gorgeous yellow leaves but they are mostly gone now. (I’m pretty sure they’re maples.)

It was also getting cooler so after trying to take a few shots of the moon (will try that again later with a tripod) it was back inside.

One thing that I still feel like I’m missing with regard to photography is a good image editor. My trials of Lightroom, Elements, and Photoshop have all expired. While I know that there are, um, alternate sources to obtain these programs I am not going to do that. I want to have valid licenses and full rights to everything. Yesterday I downloaded GIMP to try out again. I have heard so many people say “It’s just like Photoshop!” that I thought maybe my first experience with it was just not long enough. However, I quickly found out that GIMP doesn’t have adjustment layers in the same way that Photoshop does. I am going to show my geek here again. I think typically there are two categories of editing: destructive and nondestructive. Destructive means manipulating the actual pixels of an image. If you need to undo a manipulation you have to undo all of the steps you have done since. Nondestructive editing allows you to change the image by using layers and other means, ones that don’t have to physically change the image. With layers you can hide them or unhide them to see the changes, go back and edit that one specific effect, use them at different strengths, and so forth. I have become very accustomed to being able to use adjustment layers for editing and I’m really not keen on learning new ways of doing that. I know the difference is GIMP = $0 while Photoshop = $600+ but I think it’s a big difference. Photoshop is the standard for a reason.

Until I can purchase Photoshop (or Lightroom; I can’t decide which one takes priority) I will stick with View NX and GIMP. I am also going to explore the custom picture controls that are available on the D90 itself. The quick glance I had at the retouching menu also looked pretty good. Again, I’m sad that daylight is practically gone by the time I have free time but I hope to make the most of my weekends and practice practice practice. I want to whip up a new design (which is sorely overdue) and possibly include a daily (or almost daily) photo page and use that to encourage me to get out and take photos.

However, until the sun stops setting at 5PM I think I’ll be moping like Mr. Poe here:

Photo Information; Camera: Nikon D90; Images #1-3 shot with the Nikkor 70-300mm G (non VR) @ 155mm and 105mm; Image #4 shot with Nikkor 50mm 1.8D)

Wordless on Wednesday


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