new camera

For a while we've been wanting a new camera. When we were just looking at ourselves, we could deal with the blurry faces, I mean, do we really want to see ourselves in painstaking detail? But once George came along, and being in and around the blog world, we came to appreciate good quality pictures. Especially when they were of our little bubs.

For Christmas my sister Lashley gave us a generous gift certificate to Amazon, so we bit the bullet and entered the DSLR world.

While we certainly have a lot to learn about photography in general, one thing that has become evident this past week - good photography is made so much easier when you have a nice camera. I'm not saying... I could be Ansel Adams or anything, but it definitely makes me think twice about people being able to pass themselves off as photographers just because they have expensive equipment.

Without further ado - I give you pulsipher AD photography 2.0. A bathroom set and trip to the park.

Nice work with the lighting Ashley!

George and his pal Abe at Clover Park, Santa Monica

Abe perfecting Yoga poses

George wishing he could ride on the electric scooter he saw the older boys playing on

Action shot

Abe playin' it real cool like

The whole gang in the park

So you amateur photographers - any tips or tricks you like to share? Personally, I'm a fan of the sports-action-rapid shot feature. Takes tons of pictures, but it really nails that "candid" feel.


Ryan said...

Awesome! One thing I can tell you is to buy a 50mm 1.8f lens ASAP. That thing will make ANYTHING look good when shot at f2. Plus they are wicked cheap. Welcome to the ranks brother.

I got my first DSLR when I graduated from grad school in DC and my life hasn't been the same since. :)

Sally DeFord said...

I agree with Ryan. Get teh 50mm 1.8 lens. It's great for portraits and the blurred background is so artistic. My advice would be to learn to shoot on manual so you can fully understand the relationship between shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. One it becomes second nature it opens up the world to your creativity.

ashley said...

Ryan and Sally--thanks for the advice! Where have you learned how to use your camera? I tried reading the manual yesterday and was a little lost. Are there any blogs or sites you would recommend?

Priscilla said...

Great pictures. What kind of camer do you have? I really think the bathroom shot is very artistic and George's expression in the "action shot" is channeling Gregory Peck. He's going to be so handsome.

david said...

ryan & sally. you know, with your recommendations that makes three people who've recommended the 50mm lens. I think I smell a valentines present! j/k.

Shooting on manual sounds difficult. I mean, is it harder than driving a manual transmission car - cause I have that down pat ;)

david said...

and, do you have a recommendation on the 50mm lens?

Johnny said...

Generally Nikon and Cannon lenses will be superior to third party lenses for their cameras. So just get the 50mm f1.8 of the same make as your camera. They are generally in the $100 range for that lens. Before you spring for a 50mm prime lens you may want to double check what camera you got. Some of the cheapest entry level cameras can't auto-focus these prime lenses because they left the auto-focus motor out of the camera body.

Another piece of equipment I would recommend is an external flash. It is usually tough to get enough light indoors. Especially when you are shooting a fast moving little kid. An external flash will let you bounce the light off of the ceiling so you still get very natural/professional looking light while shooting indoors.

As far as books, I highly recommend Scott Kelby's books, "The Digital Photography Book" Volume 1 & 2. They are very easy to read and super helpful. The guy is a total dork but is the best in the business when it comes to photography books. I also like the digital photography school blog. Here is their section for beginners: http://digital-photography-school.com/digital-photography-tips-for-beginners.

Serena Cherry said...

Holy cow, those pictures look soooo good. I mean, I didn't think they looked bad before or anything, but what a difference! I am going to make Chris read all of these long comments to figure out what we are supposed to buy. It is too boring for me to read. No offense, of course. I just don't like details.

Serena Cherry said...

ps I LOVE the one in the bathroom. Really cool lighting. Way to go Ashley.
pps The ones in the park really make me wish i lived in LA in January. sniff, sniff.

the youngs said...

What camera did you get?

I am super pleased with my DSLRpurchase! I also recommend the 50mm 1.8 lens--got mine on amazon for $98 bucks or so. The background blur you get when shooting with it, is fantastic! I have a canon, so that is the kind of lens I got.

I took a photography class from the adult community ed classes here in nashville and it was only like $90 for 8 classes. I bet there is something comparable there.

Sally DeFord said...

I learned the basics of photography back in high school photo, but I think a local class would be a perfect place to learn. I just took one on composition from our parks and rec. Very reasonable pricing. I also get photo books from our library. It will take some learning to figure out how the camera works and with a little knowledge and practicing manual, you'll get it. You won't always have to shoot manual but when you understand how the camera works you can realize what went wrong or right with a picture and do it again. Here's a cool visual link to start learning about shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. http://www.kamerasimulator.se/eng/?page_id=2

Sally DeFord said...

Sorry, maybe too much advice, but I"m really into photography right now. Learn to use a photo editing program, like iphoto or adobe photoshop elements or if you are really going to go for it photoshop or lightroom (expensive). Most great images you see were not that way straight out of the camera. Almost all photos can benefit from cropping, white balance adjustment, sharpening, and adjustment to exposure.

Ashley Thalman said...

Oh! I do like this post. Looks like ya'll got plenty of advise but you bet your bottom dollar (can you hear Annie singing?!) I have more and am always willing to give it when wanted.

Pics are nice- can't wait to see more of growing George.

david said...

yeah, we have photoshop, so we can doctor all our fancy pants pics.

as you can tell from our christmas post.

Johnny said...

I have photoshop, but I almost never use it anymore. I do everything in Photoshop Lightroom. It really makes it quick and easy to fix up and organize your pictures. It has a lot of simple time saving features like you can easily copy and paste all of your retouched settings from one picture over to the rest of the pictures from that shoot. I am a big Lightroom fan.

kimber said...

Abe is honored to be one of your subjects anytime. I want copies of those.

Chris Cherry said...

enough already. which camera did you get? what are the specs? how much research did you do? Serena and I want to get one so we want to tap into your recently acquired knowledge.

Ryan said...

Meh. I've never taken a photography class in my life. If you're motivated enough check out sites like Digital Photography school and strobist.com. I'm all self taught. I was just crazy motivated and that's all it really took with the internet machine around.

The "must have" books are the Scott Kelby books previously recommended (if you can put up with really bad humor...bad bad...did I mention it was bad?) and the book that was a game changer for me was a book called "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. It was only when I understood how to shoot in manual that things really changed for me.

Too bad you guys aren't closer. I'd be more than willing to put you through the paces and teach you.

I'm going to have to disagree with some and say that it is possible to get amazing results in camera...if you are using film. (yes, I'm a 100% film snob and hope to never have to touch a digital camera for the rest of my life. :)

david said...

Chris et al

we got this guy

basic, entry level DSLR. one of my friends kind of walked me through the options, basically a trade off between nikon and canon. both make good cameras.

the youngs said...

Excellent Choice! I got the a Rebel T1i, so we are totally compatible!! :) You can try out my lenses when we come to visit in March, if you like! :)

Ryan said...

Very cool. I will say that zoom lenses seem nice for flexibility but if you want the best portraits go with prime (non-zoom lenses) that have large apertures (1.4f-2.8f). At my weddings I shoot all prime.

Barb said...

My friend is starting out as a photographer - what kind of DSLR did you get?