Look…No Camera!!

This morning I went to Caw Caw Interpretive Center in Ravenel, SC for some fresh air and a break from my recent move. Although I can’t stand heat, I wanted to get out early before it got downright oppressive outside. I’m from the North and even after 13 years living in the South, I can’t get used to 90 degree weather.

I decided I was not going to take my camera with me this time. I wanted to enjoy the atmosphere for what it was without the pressure of snapping pictures. Wrong move. I spent most of the time out there thinking about different shots I could take. It’s amazing how much your mind just goes there even when you don’t want it to. I’ve taken plenty of pictures at Caw Caw so I thought I wouldn’t miss the camera but I was so wrong.

So tomorrow is another day and I will take my camera with me even if it’s just around the corner!

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Photographer Peter Lik on the Weather Channel

Nothing long and outrageous here…just a thought.  I really like Peter Lik’s photography  and I think his show on the Weather Channel is interesting.  Yes, there’s a but coming…but I can’t stand people who don’t take time to write their own blogs.  I really don’t care to read blogs written by assistants.  I give them credit for owning up to it because I’m sure there’s a lot of famous people who go the “assistant blog for me but don’t tell anyone” route but I can’t stand it.  It takes away from the blog in my opinion.  Might as well name it Peter Lik’s assistant’s blog.  I understand he travels and all that great stuff taking pictures all over the world but in this day and age it only take a minute to blog a line or two.  Just my opinion.  What do you think?

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Give Me Back My Point & Shoot!

OK, I’m just kidding about going back to point and shoot…at least not full time.  There’s just too many things I can do with an SLR for me to ever go back to strictly taking pictures with a point and shoot camera.  One thing I did miss was having a small camera to carry around in my purse when I wanted to capture pictures on the fly.  Sometimes I actually want to be a tourist, take pictures like everyone else and throw the damn camera back in my bag.  Can’t do that with a SLR!  I’m always adjusting my sling backpack and making sure my camera, hanging down by my side as I walk through some tough terrains, doesn’t hit anything.  It can be a pain!  If anyone has any suggestions for making the picture taking adventure a little less tiresome, please let me know.  I hate to know what I’ll go through after I start lugging around my tripod.

Panasonic DMC-ZS7

I was surprised to learn that even the pros carry around point and shoot cameras.  I thought once you crossed that bridge from point and shoot, there was no turning back but I guess I was mistaken.  Thank God!  Now I don’t feel so bad about purchasing my Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7.  It’s blue, my favorite color, and I love the pictures it takes.  I took it with me on my trip back to Charlestowne Landing and took some really nice pictures of flowers just for fun.  It was nice to not have to think about setting up every shot.

My mother inadvertently helped me realize the different between the SLR and point and shoot camera pictures.  She asked me to take some pictures of her front lawn.  I used my wide angle lens for the shots.  When I sent them to her she said, “Your pictures look so professional.  I feel like I can just walk into the picture and onto the lawn.” Reality check for moi: my Panasonic Lumix can only do but so much so I’m back to carrying my SLR again.

Since school will be out at the end of next week, I’ll have time to devote to the blog and my photography.  Thank goodness!

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Picturesque Old Santee Canal Park


I had such a good time taking pictures out at Old Santee Canal Park in Moncks Corner, SC today.  It’s close enough to Charleston for a good drive but far enough away from home to feel like you’re almost out of town.  It was a cloudy day but the winds felt just right for a hike along the canal.  I love being near water and Old Santee didn’t disappoint.

I learned a big lesson today: it’s important to make sure you have your camera set to the proper settings. I usually keep my camera set to Aperture Priority (AP) when snapping pictures but switched to the macro setting to get a close up shot of a snake wrapped around a tree.  When switching back to AP, I made a mistake and set it to Manual (M) by mistake.  Well I ended up with half my pictures severely underexposed!  Talk about pissed off.  I got over it pretty quick for fear this minor setback would ruin my day.  I know I can go back to Old Santee but if I was far away from home, that chance might not be possible.  Lesson learned: keep an eye on your settings!

Next week we’ll either revisit Old Santee and try to recapture those pictures I lost or head on to another park.  Old Santee Canal Park isn’t going anyplace.

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Digital Nature Photography Workshops with Richard Bernabe

Digital Nature Photography Workshops with Richard Bernabe.

Richard Bernabe is an outdoor photographer and author based in South Carolina.  I love his photos.  If you visit his website, you’ll see why.  Bernabe holds classes and workshops via the web and also in the field for those looking for hands on learning.  Field trips include travel to scenic places in Belize, Chile, Argentina, Alaska and South Carolina among others.

Starting April 1, he’s offering a virtual course, “The Ultimate Digital Nature Photography Course,” which covers the basics of nature photography.  I still need to learn more about my camera before I take his course but I hope I’ll be ready by his next course in November.

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The Wide Angle Lens Saga Continues…

Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM Lens

Well I bit the bullet last week and decided I was going to invest in a wide angle lens since, if you’ve been reading my blog you know, I absolutely love taking architectural and landscape pictures.  I seesawed between the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR Lens and the highly recommended Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM Lens.  The Sigma won out only because it came in at a fraction of the cost of the Canon.

Yeah, I know…Canon is  top of the line… you get what you pay for… yadda, yadda but I’ll cross that bridge if need be when I’m making Ansel Adams money for my photos.  Right now if I can get roughly the same quality or better from the Sigma lens, I’ll be ok.  Besides, lots of professional photographers recommended the Sigma 10-20mm. So take that Canon purists!

Taken with Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM Lens - 10mm F4 ISO 200

This weekend I made a short trip to a local park so I could test out the lens on my Canon EOS Rebel XS.  It didn’t disappoint.  As you can see from the picture to the left, this lens is called wide angle for a reason.  This is just a test shot so don’t judge me on artistic levels.  It’s totally untouched.  I just wanted to display an example of what this lens is capable of on my crop sensor camera at 10mm.  It’s not the lightest lens on the market but I got used to it fairly easy.

Next weekend I hope to head out again and take some more pictures.  I’ll also be signing up for the Introduction to Digital Photography course held in April at the Charleston School of Photography.  I can’t wait to learn even more about my camera.

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Great Info for Canon DSLR Newbies

I found this great site,  Canon EOS Beginners’ FAQ, last night while searching the web for information on SLR lens.  It addresses a lot of questions people like me, totally new to Canon SLR cameras, may have.  As I said in an earlier post, there’s a lot to learn about SLR cameras.  It’s very easy to get overwhelmed and run back to the safe haven of the point and shoot camera.  Truthfully, I was getting a little frustrated with all the highfalutin talk from the pros.  This site answered a lot of my questions in plain English.  Hopefully it’ll answer yours as well.

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