The Christmas I was eight or nine, I got a Kodak 110 camera with a flash. It was the same year that I got a poster of Patrick Swayze (a la Dirty Dancing), leading to some truly stellar pictures of my friend Melanie and me posing with the poster. In my favorite picture of the bunch, which I still have in a little puffy plastic photo album from Sea World, I am pressed up against the wall, cheeks sucked in, making "sexy eyes" at Mr. Swayze. The composition is spectacular. You can just barely make out where I wrote "Love at First Sight" under his name.
Needless to say, my first foray into photography did not expose any latent artistic genius. Even so, I've always loved taking pictures, if only for their ability to document a happy (and often silly) time. But blogging has led to a little dissatisfaction with my picture-taking skills. I swoon over the gorgeous photos posted by my favorite bloggers, and I've begun to feel the tug of the amateur photographer.
When I was home for a long weekend this summer, I spent some time fiddling around with my dad's Nikon D70 and having him show me the basics. What I desperately wanted was to take pictures where the image that I'm focusing on in the foreground is clear while the background is fuzzy, something that is prevalent in the blog world and impossible on my little point-and-shoot. I got some pretty good results.*
Though National Geographic hadn't come calling, I was sold. I needed one of these cameras. The little point-and-shoot now left me cold. But the price had me worried. I started looking at used and refurbished Nikons but couldn't make up my mind. Many that were priced the best on ebay came without warranties, a recipe for disaster, I thought. So by my birthday, I still hadn't taken the plunge.
Yep. Oh happy day, Oh happy day, Oh happy da-ay-ay. Sorry, I had to break out into song - do you remember that one from Sister Act? Those who love me heard my desperate cries.
So, I got this beauty (and some cash to buy myself a camera bag!).
And just in time for Blogher's Month of Photo Tips! Taking pictures with her can't even compare with what I was doing before - now I'm taking photographs (said with a British accent and raised eyebrows). I hope you'll enjoy watching my progression as I learn. And if you're lucky, perhaps one day I'll show off those original Swayzes.
* These photos don't look as crisp and clear as they do in my picasa album - perhaps because I readjusted the height and width when I posted them (though I maintained the same aspect ratio). Anybody out there know how to remedy this problem? Thanks! UPDATE: PROBLEM SOLVED THANKS TO ALISA BURKE - HURRAY FOR UPLOADING PICS FROM FLICKR.