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October 01, 2010

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There is so much I like about your photograph. I’m guessing it wasn’t made from hours in the dark room or by mastering expensive photo software. It could have been taken with any camera but not any photographer. It’s so simple and strong that my imagination won’t let go of it.
The best photos on the worst monitor look far superior to the worst photos on the best monitor.

All technology comes with a learning curve, and the newer or more complicated, the steeper the curve. I think the key to mastering it, is to first master the basics.

This year, I finally got a DSLR after 30 years of film. Since then, I've been trying to translate what I see into what the camera sees. So, it's been back to basics and set the camera to manual. I still haven't purchased any extra software, still trying to get it right 'in the camera.'

After four months, what I've learned is: I like to chimp the histogram; I like being able to shoot more, without extra costs; and that focusing screens in DSLRs are not so good for manual focusing.

Learning continues, and will for the foreseeable future. This winter I may buy some software to see if I can make pictures from my images. I do know I am not interested in photo manipulation, but prefer to work within the realm of what could be achieved in a darkroom.

I'm trying to make the technology work for me.

Paul,

I admire your approach. You have a clear idea of what you are trying to learn and achieve. Rather than throw away everything you already know about photography, you're testing how well it applies to a new camera. If or when you get to the point that you can't do what you want to do in-camera, you'll know exactly what software you need to get the job done. Until then, steady as she goes.

I also like Paul's idea of `make technology work for me', but it goes hand-in-hand with knowing what the technology can do first before you choose what you're going to do with it, so I caution against building walls of ignorance prematurely.

Notably, that does not translate as always being on the whizzy edge of product-versions - especially, it does not mean knowing a specific product so much as techniques. Simple example: you might know that it's "curves, with a drop in the lower-midtones" that you want to do. Whether you use any Photoshop from Elements to CS to CS5 or the Gimp to achieve that is a different matter.

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