October 01, 2008

Photo frustration

I make no claims to be any kind of a photographer or even knowing much about photography but I would kind of like to know a bit more than I do now. I have friends and read blogs belonging to people who take such gorgeous pictures and I'd like to be able to as well. I did a little bit of photography back in high school but that was back in the pre-digital days and I could never afford an SLR and never pursued it.

I occasionally manage to fluke a shot I think is okay but my little Canon Ixus 55 is getting on a bit and has some limitations. It takes some really nice snaps...for instance, I think this is not bad for a point and shoot after I did a teeny bit of cropping and adjusting in iPhoto (given a teeny bit is all I know HOW to do):

But then this evening when I got home, the sun was starting to set and the light was all golden and pretty. I have those blinds which are kind of opaque (you can see through them but they block out some light etc) and there were some amazing intricate shadows of leaves from the plants outside playing on them with all this glowing gold light behind. And this is all I could capture of it:

which in no way resembles how striking it actually was. Wah. Colour the girls (who do have a love of colour and image) all frustrated. And yes, I could probably know a bit more about how to use it but my main gripes with it are that it doesn't really do close up images (as evidenced by the fact that my measly 2megapixel, no zoom iPhone camera took a better pic of that old photo I posted last month than I could take with my camera), which is a problem because I like to take pics of flowers and plants and cats which never quite work. It just doesn't have the zoom or the depth of field or whatever the technical photography thing is that lets you focus more on the foreground than the background etc (told you I knew not much at all).

The other thing it is TERRIBLE at is anything more than 1 or 2 metres away in dim lighting (yes, even with the night settings, I worked that much out). Which is not good when you semi-regularly go to evening award ceremonies to watch brilliant friends win awards...everyone else manages to take decent shots and mine come out looking like I was drunk, lying under a table and trying to shoot through a linen table cloth. Lots of vague dark blurs apart from the odd moment at a rock concert or something when there's enough light from the lighting show to compensate (not something that happens often at romance writing award ceremonies, I must admit). So maybe I need a camera with a bit more grunt for when I feel like taking "photos" rather than snaps. And need to learn a bit more about the whole process (luckily I have a brilliant friend who falls into the 'serious amateur photographer with mucho dollars of equipment who can probably help me' category) but I'm willing to take advice from the peanut gallery as well. Anyone out there got a digital camera they think takes good shots that wouldn't require a second mortgage? Anyone done a good, short, fun digital photography for dummies type course in Melbourne? In true virgo fashion I shall do some research and maybe you'll see some slightly better photos here in the future!

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