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The White Rabbit

Posted on 2010.06.23 at 07:30
Current Location: 75409
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Watch. Listen. Observe. Research. Ask. Beg. Borrow. Steal. Patience. Patience. Patience. This is how you learn to exceed your programming - not by being more creative than anyone else, not by "waiting" until that "one big idea" <-- (Dumbest thing I've ever heard) certainly not by dropping coin on the best gadget available; gadgets don't make you creative, and only by trying and failing over and over and over do we get to where we want to be. NEVER by sitting idle.

Inspiration, it seems, can come from the unlikeliest of sources.

Mine was a hot chick. Ok, maybe not so unlikely. Bear with me a moment -

Fantastic picture - I love her to pieces, and what's not to enjoy about about a pretty girl modeling her new shoes? But what really interested me was the focal length! Here lately, I've been in a bit of a funk because I was running into some limitations with my point & shoot. I knew a DSLR with a slew of lenses would cheer me right up, but only in the short term...I seriously enjoy my "Prosumer" Canon S3 IS and its portability, and sure as hell don't have a couple grand laying around to feed my inadequacy.

I asked her about the picture and found it too was taken with a P&S - a Nikon Coolpix. I was flabbergasted! I thought it might be nice to own one also - times when I could use such a lens, but while pricing one out, my search led me to lens attachments - ONE OF THE REASONS I BOUGHT MY CANON - how could I have forgotten? Still, their quality was dubious and unknown to me. Our resident camera-genius photogoot had mentioned lighting issues around the edges of the lens the last time I approached him, so I borrowed one.

And promptly fell in love.

I've since ordered three: A .45X, a .35X and a .20X professional-grade fish-eye lens.
And now a word about the fish-eye. My senior year, and as photographer for the school newspaper, I was asked by the PTA to photograph seven new elementary schools which had recently been built in the school district. Being that I was a senior, and therefore not interested that close to the end of the school year, I agreed if they could secure me a fish-eye lens. They did. On loan. For my Minolta X-700. It was great fun. More recently, I've started watching scottchurch (NSFW) who I met through artistic nude photographer uniquenudes (NSFW) and he often posts little photo tips I learn from. More recently he said something along the lines of, "I'm surprised at how often I actually use the fish-eye..." which solidified that one for me.
Now these aren't high dollar DSLR lenses - but they're damn fine performers and the best news yet - with the right adapter, they can go on any camera (which accepts mounts) I buy next.

Finally, as these things often do, while researching wide-angle photographs I ran across and was introduced to HDR. I broke out Ye Olde Manual and discovered that my P&S supports "bracketing" an option which, out of context, meant nothing to me. So last night, I took the picture above after running out of daylight outside (see my flickr for a most amusing HDR "Self Portrait"). There is a firmware hack out there which will allow my Canon to shoot RAW mode, which HDR enthusiasts prefer, as it captures the greatest dynamic range. So armed with lenses, firmware, point and shoot, and kids (I have a new gallery up at http://ehowton.photoshop.com I'll be soon fleshing out), I'm ready to push myself and my equipment, to their very limits.

All this from a girl.

And her shoes.


dawaioser at 2010-06-23 17:31 (UTC) (Link)
Great picture! :)
ehowton at 2010-06-23 17:36 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much! I re-borrowed the .45X lens today and hope to find some sunshine between work & taekwondo this evening. Busy, busy!
quicksilvermad at 2010-06-23 18:56 (UTC) (Link)

Glad I could help. And my mom, peripherally, since she's the one who snapped that shot. I do need a better lit place in my house to get similar shots...

You know my P90 is 12.1 megapixels and a 24X wide zoom lens. I was looking for something like a Nikon D5000 because one of my professors had one with a flash diffuser and I always admired the "product" photos he took of our final projects. But I didn't have the funds for the D5000 so I staggered over to check out the P&S cameras Nikon had available and found that P90.

I take a lot of wildlife photos. That 24X zoom has given me some of the best shots I would never be able to get with any other standard P&S. I carry it with me everywhere just in case. What I find incredibly interesting about it is that I can do that "hold out one arm and press the shutter" thing and get a similar "self portrait" without seeing my own arm. I'd never been able to do that until I got the P90.

My first camera was a Nikon. I can't remember the model—only that I had to wind the film after each shutter click and remember to not immediately move the camera down from eye-level after a shot or I'd get blurry images. I took "ghost" photos using that technique once I found out what I was doing.

I even had one of those goofy 110 cameras that I abused on a trip from Yellowstone around Devil's Tower and through the Dakotas.

Good memories.
ehowton at 2010-06-23 19:40 (UTC) (Link)
Yay! (And "yay" to mom, peripherally)...

The more I experience, the more I learn. I wasn't interested in the "latest-greatest" uber-high megapixel camera because I was going to be reducing all my photos for online use. That was before I discovered that you can capture something errant with those, and with the right cropping make it look like the subject of the shot - something more difficult to do with my (now) tiny 6MP camera :(

That P90 really sounds awesome. I've got a limited window to try for something special this evening, and that 24X zoom sounds like it would help tremendously. I remember comparing my New Year's Eve Blue Moon with the ones you'd taken earlier (can't find them now - were they on DeviantArt? Yeah, that's blocked from work).

Edited at 2010-06-23 07:45 pm (UTC)
quicksilvermad at 2010-06-23 20:20 (UTC) (Link)
Yup, I've got tons of photos of the moon on my deviantART page. And some buried in my Twitter account... Those were taken with the full 24X zoom and the digital zoom that I normally hate using but ended up with some friggin' awesome detail of craters and such.

It's supposed to be clear tonight, I think... I might just take some more moon shots.
ehowton at 2010-06-23 21:02 (UTC) (Link)
I too, am going to attempt night shots this evening. More on that later if it turns out. I may not mention it at all if it doesn't.

I suppose I'll try for digital zoom as well, provided I have time in my limited window. I can't remember now if my moon shot was optical only or not...I look forward to hearing about your nocturnal shoot!
ehowton at 2010-06-24 03:58 (UTC) (Link)

International Space Station

quicksilvermad at 2010-06-24 04:55 (UTC) (Link)

Re: International Space Station

The sky got gross here... And I'm dead tired.

Two excuses as to why I have no photo to share. I suck.
ehowton at 2010-06-23 19:46 (UTC) (Link)
Freud. He's everywhere! I um...edited my last comment to you forgetting my all-of-a-sudden inappropriate tag line.

quicksilvermad at 2010-06-23 20:22 (UTC) (Link)
I'll just pretend I didn't see that email, either. Though it's nice knowing I can inspire...
thesweetestnote at 2010-06-23 19:56 (UTC) (Link)
Some of the greatest things have begun from a girl and her shoes.

Some of the worse too...

Watch. Listen. Observe. Research. Ask. Beg. Borrow. Steal. Patience. Patience. Patience.

The mantra of a true artiste!
ehowton at 2010-06-23 20:03 (UTC) (Link)
Some of the greatest things have begun from a girl and her shoes.

See. Now I know.

thesweetestnote at 2010-06-23 20:16 (UTC) (Link)
only by trying and failing over and over and over do we get to where we want to be. NEVER by sitting idle

Edited at 2010-06-23 08:16 pm (UTC)
irulan_amy at 2010-06-24 04:37 (UTC) (Link)
Yay for new creative endeavors! A girl and her shoes can take you places apparently.

Fish-eyes - I've heard good things from so many people. I'm really looking forward to seeing what you push yourself to.

I think you should consider following kylecassidy if you don't already. He is an awesome photographer who also loves the fish-eye.
ehowton at 2010-06-24 04:55 (UTC) (Link)
I did, thanks. I don't know why I haven't before - I always read his stuff I guess from either your or Richard when you link him.

The only real problem I have right now is that I live in Anna. Texas. Yeah, nothing much here to shoot and that makes me sadface.

I'm going to work on panning next :D
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