Photography is a wondrous adventure. It is a magical medium that is perfect for documenting life’s moments both large and small. The hubby and I both love photography and have been expanding our knowledge on the subject since before we even met.
Many (many, many) years ago – waaaaay back in highschool, I scored a job at the local public library (“The GPL” as we liked to call it). It was the kind of job nerdy highschool kids coveted (or was it just me?). Working at the GPL was only possible while you were still in highschool and I started there in grade 10.
During the school year, the hours were enough such that you could walk over after school (maybe a 30min walk), work for two hours, then get a ride home from mom or dad. We would do the 2 hour shift twice a week, and one day a week we would each get an ‘evening’ shift (6-9pm). While I was definitely saving up most of my doubloons for post-secondary, there was one thing I REALLY wished to treat myself to: a digital camera!
I didn’t even know what a “DSLR” was back then, all I knew was that I wanted to take photos to document all of the great things that I was experiencing: time with friends, class trips, etc. My first camera was a “Fujifilm” point-n-shoot. I doubt they even make it anymore. I think I could take like, maybe 35pictures on “high quality” so I often used the lowest quality so I could take more photos.
Fast forward six years to when I met my future husband who also owned his own Point-n-Shoot digital camera (with many more features). Quite a few of our first adventures (and in fact, the first adventure where we met) were full of photographic opportunities. Our first Christmas together I was lucky enough to be gifted with my first DSLR from my parents – a lovely, petite Nikon D40. I think the hubby was more excited than I was! He was 100% “can we charge the battery now, can we take some photos…” where as I was super pumped, but wanted to relax and enjoy time with the family.
This began a small obsession for the two of us. We went on many adventures specifically to take photos with the new hardware, to learn as much as we could. The next Christmas, I convinced his siblings to go in on a gift with me, and we ‘surprised’ him with a Nikon D60 (he wasn’t surprised, he’s too clever and had a good idea what was happening… that and I can’t keep my excitement a secret at all). Many (many, many) more photos have been taken since that Christmas – and its been such a blast.
We have both upgraded our camera bodies since then – it was a very hard decision to let go of my little D40 because it was my first, it was from my parents, and I LOVED it so much. BUT I finally upgraded to a D3500 — it does video, has a flip out screen, and has a few more neat options. The hubby had upgraded just before that to a “FFS” (full frame sensor) Nikon (I think he has the D600 now). The FFS bodies are a bit too heavy for me to lug around (esp if you add on a beefy lense). So I’m quite in love with my D3500 which is just slightly lighter than my old D40.
If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you’ll have read that we recently had the joy of photographing my sister and her fiancé for their engagement photos. I definitely took a LOT of images – most of them are duplicates, or funny faces because the lovebirds were talking and such. But I try to do this so that I can capture the true moments of happiness and love. I managed to come away with about 10% of the total number of images. So out of 600 pictures (not all of them were of the couple), I have about 60 or so that I’d like to edit for them.
I noticed two things when I uploaded the photos into my editing program – not all of the photos were in focus (or well they are, but its not always the spot I WANTED to be in focus), and even if you take a million photos (I didn’t take quite that many!), only about 10% are going to be on-point.
There are two links I’m going to put up here from one of my favourite photography websites: “Digital Photography School” (a super helpful website for anyone interested in photography!)
Both of them discuss focus modes and how to avoid blur in your photos. We were shooting almost exclusively outside on their farm, and so I made sure to have a very high FPS to help avoid blowing out the brightness on the photos. Occasionally my photos can be a touch fuzzy or soft (a nice way of saying out of focus) because I can be a bit shaky or my FPS is too low. But shooting at a high FPS, I was anticipating having nice crisp images.
I also use “back button focus.” I align the focal point with my subject, focus using the focus lock button (I set it up this way to avoid re-focusing when I moved), then use the capture button after recomposing my shot. Sometimes though, this can change the plane that you’re focusing on and even thought your subject was in focus initially, when you recompose the shot, the focus point moves forwards or backwards << Insert sadness when you import to lightroom and realize the person is very slightly out of focus.
Luckily, most of the photos were in focus (fewf!). Between the hubby and I, we probably came away with nearly 150 images for my sister and brother-in-law-to-be (thats a mouthful!). I have just finished editing the photos and will be adding a few to the blog when my sister has had a chance to see them all. Until I have the thumbs-up to post photos from their shoot, please scroll down to enjoy a few photos from the wine-tasting tour I was on last weekend.