Tuesday, October 03, 2006

My photoblog

Click on photos to view larger size. Or better yet, visit my photoblog.

Last month I started experimenting with a photoblog. I like having the larger format at that site. (If you visit that site, please leave honest feedback about the photographs. Whether you know much about photography or not, you know how a picture makes you feel.)

I keep dreaming and drooling over Canon EOS Digital SLR cameras. The pricetag is enormous, so it won't happen any time soon. Maybe a used one someday.

For now my Olympus 500UZ will have to do. I bought it for work (mostly for the annual trips to Ireland) without doing any research. I didn't know I'd get bitten by the photography bug. I could have spent a couple hundred dollars more and gotten a decent Canon model (though not the ones I really want). When you scan photographs at 100% or 200% (on photoshop, for instance) there are "artifacts" and lots of digital noise at times.

So my challenge is to a) study photography, b) learn to take the best pictures I can with this camera, and c) experiment until I find my own personal eye. (I guess that's what you call it, the way a poet has a voice.)
Learning to live with what is.

I post-processed this photo for graininess in the petals. I like how the flower's center remains clear and focused in spite of the almost posterized graininess of the petals.


Rauf said...

Ruth, I have seen your photo blog many times and I did not comment on the pictures as I have already seen most of them in your posts.

Your Olympus has a vary good zoom, and it has a better processor than any Nikon or Cannon of the same resolution. So the clarity in your olympus will be much better in low light than other cameras, and with a much more reliable CCD (my 4 MP Olympus bought 3 years ago is still working fine) Your model has sacrificed a bit on the wide but it has a terrific macro as evident in the current picture and a 380mm zoom which is a delightful bonus.

You have to spend a fortune for SLR with a standard 35-105 zoom and additional fortune to get 75-300 zoom. Cannon 350D processor handles 1600 ASA without grains in low light. Your olympus perhaps has a maximum 400ASA.
That was technical, but the real charm lies in using what ever equipment you have to its fullest capacity and derive as much pleasure as possible.
I don't have any digital SLRs

Red is powerful Ruth.

Ginnie said...

As your already know, Ruth, I am so inspired by (if not envious of!) your photoblog! I know it is something I will want to do for myself, as soon as I get my act together on it. Of course, I'll want it to be "mine" and not a copycat of yours. I think once I saw yours, it made me realize, "Oh, you mean I can do that, too?!" In other words, you made me see an answer before I had even asked. Thank you for going before to make clear the path. You're brilliant!

Ruth said...

Rauf, I'm starting to learn about the technical stuff, and it's a bit daunting. But slowly I'll start getting it. Yes, my camera has a good zoom in theory -- 10X optical is very good. But most telephoto shots are very grainy and have been quite disappointing. I avoid it as much as possible. I don't know what combination of features makes this so. When viewed at 100% or 200% my photos "scream digital" as my nephew says. I enjoy reading discussions about all this online, since I don't know anything myself. I wish my brother Bennett were still alive, for many reasons. But one is that he was a superb photographer, and he would be able to teach me. He died in 1996, ten years ago, and never had the pleasure of using digital photography -- but maybe he wouldn't have liked it! He would have loved the technology. But he used to stay up all night in his developing lab. He had wonderful photographs, Rauf. Very full of human connection.

Ruth said...

Ginnie, I'm realizing that everything I'm learning has been done before, by somebody. There's nothing new. The challenge is to find a way to make it mine, to express my unique perspective to the world. How can I make this shot my own? How I can feel this thing I'm photographing, what is its essence? And then, as an artist, how can I communicate that to the observer. I think that's why I finally mentioned my photoblog here. As an artist I want to have responses from people. Is it enough just to create, without the result of someone receiving it? Is it art without the human interaction?

Rauf said...

Digital zoom in any camera is grainy Ruth. but within 5x seamless zoom your camera should work well. I have seen the sample pictures taken with your camera, they come with the review. I click on all your pictures and always view them full screen . All pictures look like taken by a professional, they would have made your dear brother very proud. Yes you have told me about your brother and his deep interest in photography.

The only problem is it drinks a lot of power. You can use chargeable Ni-Cad batteries. Olympus macro is the best of all the cameras.

Ruth said...

Rauf, thank you for your kind words. I have many photographs around the house and office of Bennett's. He really touches me still. He was always finding ways to change the perspective of a picture just enough to include something that would give it more meaning, more impact.

I'll experiment more with zoom within the 5X range. Thanks for that suggestion.

I have one set of rechargable batteries, and I need to buy another so I have backup. They last longer than the regular batteries, and of course it's cheaper in the long run. I always keep spare batteries with me.

Rauf said...

You can keep Bennett's passion alive by scanning and posting his pictures in a seperate blog Ruth.
I really wish I could help in scanning them. Easiest way is to shoot the pictures with your digital since it has a very good macro. Its pretty easy and the results are better than a scanner.

please place the picture on the floor with sunligh falling on the picture from the opposite side, (45 degrees is perfect) so your shadow will not be visible in the picture.

Ruth said...

Rauf, that's a great suggestion. My nephew Paul has all of Bennett's negatives and many prints. He and another nephew of mine have planned to scan them all and do something with them. I love the idea of a photoblog. I will talk with them about it.

Rauf said...

Ruth Please tell your nephews not to waste money on making prints. Now you have very good negative scanning available in any colour lab and it is very cheap. You get all the positives in a CD. Scanning slides is a bit cumbersome
as you have to open and scan each transparency. cost is the same as negatives, but they may charge you for the time.
If any of your friends are coming to India I can get the whole thing done in a day.

Ruth said...

I did not know about negative scanning, thanks, Rauf. My nephews are both graphic artists, and I'll bet they know about it, but I'll tell them all the same. They both have families, and so doing extra projects like this takes time they don't usually have, unfortunately.

Mrs. M. said...

First of all, I love your pictures!!

Secondly, can you imagine how much fun Uncle Bennett would have if he were here to play with photoshop? I think about his prints with color numbers on the back...multiple copies of the same picture done in different ways in his darkroom. Do you have a copy of his eifel tower picture?

Ruth said...

Mrs. M., I know. I think he would have had so much fun, I don't know if he would have gotten anything else done! Loving photography, nature, people, and technology as he did, I think he would have just gone nuts!

Thank you for your compliment!

Have I ever SEEN his Eiffel Tower picture????? I don't remember it!

rachel said...

I am amazed at how prolific you are as a photographer, blogger, nature-lover, farm-owner, advisor, mother, wife, friend to all, and great aunt. How do you do it all so well? Your photography is blooming!

Ruth said...

Rachel, you're so sweet! Thank you.

When you do what you love, it's never work. You know that more than anyone. You keep surprising me with what you've done that I don't even know about!

Patty said...

I will have to check out your photoblog further in the next week or so and comment there sometime! striking red petals.

sex said...