You know, of course, if you've been reading here any length of time, that I've been taking pictures for a long time. Almost three years ago, SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed, for those of you who might ask) bought me a Canon 30D for my September birthday. At the time, it was the best 'Pro-sumer' Canon camera. There were (and ARE) the Professional caliber cameras, of course, but they were (and ARE) way beyond our budget. Anyway, it became immediately apparent to me that a) the resolution, at 8 megapixels, was better than film and b) this was the best camera I had EVER had in my hands. I have learned more about photography, since I've been using this camera, than I had ever learned in the previous 38 years of taking pictures. Pure and simple.
The problem with film is the disconnect between what you've just done in taking the picture, and what you get back from the 1 hour (because nobody uses the photo labs anymore). Unless, of course, you're one of those detail oriented types who takes rigorous and copious notes with every shot. And I'm not. Digital teaches me instantly - like film never did.
And one of the things I've learned is that I want to take pictures of what I see, as I see it. That means I want to shoot WITHOUT flash as much as I can. It doesn't make any difference whether I'm in a cave or shooting pictures of butterflies. I want to shoot naturally lit shots - so that my pictures are what I saw.
So, with all of that said, I want to show you what I mean. I have never taken pictures of flowers before - at least, not outside, live, and in their natural environment. So, I took this first shot. And, by the way, you can click on any of the following shots to see them larger.
Nothing memorable here.
Then I decided to try fill flash (ugh!)
It looks nicer, but not what I'm after. I realized that the really good flower shots I'd seen on other blogs were closer. CLOSER!!
Much better! And no flash. I see the flower in the picture as it looks in real life.
Then I tried it on another Clematis. (I learned that Clamidia and Clematis are NOT the same.) And I think I'm learning.
Okay, now that is nice - and for the truly fanatical - I punched it up a bit in GIMP - sort of the free PhotoShop.
And I may as well start boring you with vacation shots ... now. Please note - the expressions on these people, in the picture below, are the result of feigned disdain for the soon-to-be-experienced Rainforest Full of Butterflies. Or, at least, the little piece of rainforest captured at the Butterfly Palace. They did like it, though. A lot.