Friday, September 16, 2011

New Camera!

My new to me used camera arrived yesterday. This is the one I bid on (and won) on ebay. Or is it Ebay? eBay? Whatever it is, I won and the camera arrived and is as advertised. The battery was even charged so I opened everything up, slapped it together (carefully) and took some pictures.

It is a Nikon D80. I used it in full auto mode. For these first pictures I used the lens that came with it, a 18-135mm.

At first I didn't like the sun blurring Pie's outline. Then I realized it gave her an angelic look and decided to pretend I did it on purpose.

Fancy in the cone of shame due to a hot spot caused by eating kibble with lamb in it. I know she is allergic to lamb but it was far down on the ingredient list so I thought I'd give it a try since I had the food already. 2 days on the kibble and we got a nasty hot spot.

Dottie's picture didn't turn out amazing, so I switched to the zoom lens I bought and tried Dottie again. The loom lens is great for portraits because the background gets very blurred.

Nice blurred background. Too bad you can see her thin patches. Most likely caused by a food allergy but I haven't pinned it down yet. A blood test might be in our future.

Dottie had something to say about sitting still. A tiny bit blurry.

Today I read the manual a bit and learned a tiny bit about f-stops and aperture. I will have to read that again because it didn't really sink in. But I think I understand Dottie's barking is blurry because the aperture was large which blurs the background. But a large aperture (opening letting light in) means a slower shutter speed which leads to the blurring of the subject. So- can you blur the background and also have a moving subject in focus? Lots to figure out. I think something else I realized is people do more editing with a nice editing program (such as Photoshop) to make photos really great. For example Pie's head shot that I like so much, I'm wondering if the photographer changed the contrast some. The colors look so vivid, even better than real life. Dottie's head shot I took looks very clear, but it doesn't have that "wow" factor. My next investment might be a photo editing software. Right now all I use is the free programs that come with Microsoft.

Here are a few additional pictures I took. Reading the manual I might have to lock the aperture ring into the lowest setting and also make sure the focus rings are in focus. I didn't do either of those things. After Pie's picture with the sun, the sun went away and the rest were taken with a fog over the sun.

A bit blurry. Maybe?

Original shot.

Used Auto Brightness and changed the contrast a tiny bit.

I messed with the contrast on this one also.

Bunny is getting a bath and a hair cut today.


Ci Da said...

You asked, "But I think I understand Dottie's barking is blurry because the aperture was large which blurs the background. ... So- can you blur the background and also have a moving subject in focus? "

The wide aperture + your telephoto lens = a very narrow range of focus. This is why the background is so blurred. It also means that if your subject moves towards/away from you they'll be more blurry with this setting than if you were using a more narrow aperture. The movement itself doesn't have anything to do with the blur in this case. (Though if you were using a slower shutter speed it would.)

Hope that makes sense!

Terri's Pal said...

You may want to try this: set the shutter speed fast (such as 1/1000 or 1/2000) and then set the aperture so that the photo isn't too dark or too light. Try this for a variety of shots (moving dogs, etc.) to see what results you get. Have fun!

Terri's Pal said...

You'll also want to practice panning (see Mastering Panning – Photographing Moving Subjects) at