On Sunday, my daughter took out her Canon Digital Rebel, put it on a tripod and started snapping self-portraits with a friend. She purposely didn’t use flash, which meant the girls had to be extra […]
As I walked by the Ritz camera at White Flint Mall this afternoon, I saw a Nikon D80 box on display in the window. So I checked inside, because I thought the camera wasn’t going […]
This morning, Kensington, Md., held its annual Labor Day parade, which was my first real-world test of the Nikon D200. I love the camera, but some kinks remain.
I snapped 380 pictures, on 4GB and 2GB memory cards. I chucked 110 pictures; many images were blurry. I’m finding that Program mode consistently favors ISO over shutter speed, even when set to Auto ISO. The best shots came later in the parade, when the sun shone and I switched to Shutter Priority at 1/500 sec.
Back in February I praised photo-sharing site SmugMug. I sporadically and half-heartedly uploaded photos there, as I pondered Flickr. I was strongly attracted to Flickr’s community—everybody seems to hang-out there—appeal. Last month, Thomas Hawk joined Zooomr, which created another quandary. Thomas’ Zooomr support simply couldn’t be ignored.
After weighing Flickr’s community and Zooomr’s Thomas endorsement,, I’ve decided to stick with SmugMug and really start using it. I spent part of the last two days adding new photos to my SmugMug site. The decision comes with angst, because Flickr and Zooomr also appeal to me, for different reasons.
We spent July Fourth with friends in Fredricksburg, Va., which is about 70 miles south of Washington. I had hoped to take fireworks photos, but we got stormed out. So I settled for pictures in the bathroom, instead.
Our friends have a skylight above the john, which gives a great view of the clouds while doing your business. Of course, the crooning strains the neck. But gazing at cloud formations is kind of relaxing, even in the WC’s confines.
I’m amazed to hear men talk on cell phones while sitting on the john in public toilets. So, I figured that carrying in my Nikon D200 wouldn’t be any more offensive, considering that I would only be taking pictures. The door was open, folks.
For months, I’ve been meaning to blog about a New York Times story from—get this—February. But I wanted to include a self-portrait of my wife, which meant scanning and that was something I never seemed to get around to. Until today, while we waited on Bun Bun; she was sick and with the local vet.
The Times story, “Here I Am Taking My Own Picture“, is a hoot.
Okay, so call me bogus. Back in February, I made clear that there would be no camera switch, as I previously contemplated—from the Canon EOS 20D to the Nikon D200. I’ve been unhappy with my EOS 20D for sometime, even as I acquired several nice Canon lenses. The Canon camera’s ergonomics doesn’t suit me, nor have I been satisfied with the photos compared to the Nikon D70. The Nikon D70 felt more like an extension of my eye, capturing images just as I saw them.
But low-light photography is important to me, and that’s one area where the EOS 20D excels over the Nikon D200, based on tests like PBase forum member Norm’s 20D-D200 photo comparison. I resigned to sticking with the EOS 20D—after all, I had some nice lenses.
Washington is cooler this Sunday than the last. But a little chill isn’t stopping Spring, or Bun Bun (not her real name) getting out for a run.
Bun Bun will be three years old this year. We bought her on an August day from the Animal Exchange in Rockville, Md. The store was a pitstop to pick up pet supplies before purchasing a bunny from the Montgomery County Fair. My daughter fell in love with this lone bunny at the store. She was big, perhaps six months old, and a risk. Young kittens are easier to train and to hold.
This afternoon I took the Canon 20D and EF-S 60mm Macro lens out into the backyard. This prickly plant reminds me of cloud formations, where the shapes take on meaning. In the photo, I see a fox to left and dog to the right. Bow. Wow. The neighbor’s dogs barked as I took pics near the fence.
I continue to struggle to find satisfaction with the Canon 20D, which has been the case since buying it. The Nikon D70 felt more like an extension of my eye, capturing images just as I saw them. I have long fussed over the Canon 20D, with some dissatisfaction regarding focus, which has always seemed soft to me or different than expected. I’m surprised by the number of times the focal point isn’t where it appears to be. I’ve encountered this problem using two different 20Ds.
I am contemplating digital cameras this week, following Canon’s pre-PMA announcement of the EOS 30D. I had expected a 10-megapixel honker to match the Nikon D200. Instead, the Canon EOS 30D is a marginal upgrade to the 20D, similar to the Nikon 70s compared to the Nikon 70. My initial reaction: Why didn’t Canon do more? I already had compared the D200 and 20D before the announcement. My conclusion: Canon doesn’t need to.
For some time, I’ve griped about the Canon EOS 20D compared to the Nikon D70 (at one time, I owned both cameras and now have only the 20D). I often found the photos taken with the D70 came out as I expected, which wasn’t always the case with the 20D. The camera acted more like an extension of my eye.
One of the great benefits of my job is opportunity to speak to people running some really cool companies. Today I got the grand tour of photo-sharing site SmugMug. I had strongly considered setting up shop at Flickr, for which I had already plunked down $24.95 for a year’s Pro service. I probably will upload some stuff to Flickr, mainly stock images for my blog posts. Externally hosted images would make for less work should I ever move my blog to a new host. Looks like SmugMug will become my main photo flat. I’ve already started moving in.
SmugMug is one of the best photo-sharing sites I have seen. Tools are excellent for amateur or pro photographers. Technology is modern, fresh, and easy. SmugMug also is a successful family business, something you don’t see much in high-techdom. My temporary SmugMug site is up and running. I plan to use a domain, if I grow to like the service as much as I expect to.
My family visited long-time friends in Fredericksburg, Va., on Friday. My good friend told me that she had ordered a combo camera/camcorder for her husband for Christmas. She called B&H, which didn’t have the device in stock. After she expressed disappointment, the sales clerk suggested calling Adorma, where she eventually purchased the camera. In an experience straight out of “Miracle on 34th Street,” she praised B&H for recommending a competitor and pledged to shop there again.