Funny how the mind works. When I opened up my brand new User’s Manual for the Nikon D610, I fully expected the first words to be something like “You have just gotten the best camera in the world, you brilliant creature you!”. Imagine my surprise when it just began with a list of FAQs because we are all such predictable people, Nikon already knows what we want to learn first. Like what? Well, like how to display a grid on the monitor so we can rectify our shots before we take them. Vital stuff like that. No matter. I am totally smitten. 😀
As I promised last week, I am back with the very first shots I took with the D610 and two of my new lenses: the 50 mm and the 24-85.
I have been watching YouTube videos so I would get a feel for the camera, easily, and stumbled on one guy who absolutely raved about the 50 mm I got, especially when used on the D610. He says they are made for each other and that this particular prime lens is a steal for such a robust and flawless lens. I think he is right. I like the 50 mm shots I took better than the others.
What are we viewing here. Well, the most willing and easily available subjects, especially at a time when I am slammed with work, were my two children. Psyche would not sit still for the camera at all, so I put her in her room to take these.
Don’t pay too much attention to the setting. The picture itself is what I hope will convey an improvement over my previous Nikon (which is still a great camera, and has wonderful lenses, so I am definitely keeping it.)
My Lab, Ricky, was also a rather unwilling model. At first he jumped around too much, trying to lick me and the camera. Then Geoff suggested I hold a treat up high above his head so he would sit. That worked but it forced me to shoot one-handed, so the quality of these shots is a bit off.
I haven’t taken many pictures of the yard and gardens lately, so that was next. It is so ridiculously hot here that we are lucky there are any flowers left at all. Just some roses in the back near the pool.
There is one shot from the wall in our interior atrium. Unfortunately, I took it after Geoffrey cleaned the gutters overhead so it is a bit messy. Whatever, it was a great subject.
Lastly, we had a command performance at a family party, held at one of the SIL’s family homes overlooking the Pacific and so I tried taking some pictures there on the down low, so I wouldn’t have to produce a whole album and circulate it later. Not easy to do with this camera, meaning, it is pretty easy to spot.
So, I ended up taking a lot of pictures of the party that I now have to process for them. Here are only a couple that were passible, of non-party scenes. The sun was wicked that day and there was a ton of glare. I admit, I kept my Revos on the whole time so I could see, but my photographs may be a bit weird as a result.
OK, but back to the intellectual workout I am getting. The Manual is really forcing me to use my scant math skills. There is a lot to using a camera with all the capabilities that this one has, and most of it involves understanding geometry, physics and ratios. Math is not my strong suit (although I have always aced geometry and forced myself through four semesters of advanced statistics).
Not only that, but even in terms of esthetics, color balance, white balance, bokeh, depth of field, exposures, and all kinds of special effects, you need to know what you are doing. And that means, avoiding autofocus and doing things manually.
I finished reading one of the books Geoffrey got me, a very basic but thorough beginner’s guide to digital photography about two years into the game, LOL. Now I am on to the Manual. I also just got David Busch’s Nikon D610 Guide to Digital SLR Photography based on a recommendation by my friend Linda who I met on Flickr. I have my work cut out for me.
It will probably take me the rest of my life to nail all this down. What is supposed to be a lightweight weekend hobby has virtually turned into a course of study. So much so that I think I actually have to go take classes somewhere so I know what I am doing, instead of just operating on instinct. This is one place where painting has it all over photography. There it is just my eye for beauty and a steady hand that matter. Here I need those things and so much more. At least my mind is getting a workout! (Btw, did you see that they now think Alzheimer’s is related to cumulative pollution exposure? Yikes.)
We have a couple of new destinations planned that will be the focus of the new camera, plus my upcoming trip to a destination wedding. They should give me plenty of new material and I hope the shots I capture then (September and October) will demonstrate what this amazing little magician can do (the camera, I am just its roadie).
Images: BB/Nikon D610 FX camera with Nikkor 50mm and 24-85mm (Click to enlarge them)