Sunday, January 31, 2010

My New Toy!

For the past 4 yrs, I've been squirreling away all the Christmas bonus tips I receive from my regular customers. I've been drooling over every DSLR camera I've seen. I frequently window-shop online, but the cameras have always been too expensive for our budget. So, I started saving my Christmas tips in the hope that SOMEDAY I'd have enough money to purchase the magical camera of my dreams.

Mid-January I counted up the money I'd saved. I was surprised at the total: $800. I knew that this still wasn't enough to buy a camera. The last time I priced DSLRs, a body was $350, a 55mm lens was $200, and a 200mm lens(my MUST have) was $1000. Keep saving TSHS.

Out of curiosity, I went online to price cameras. They have really come down this year! There were actually 2 cameras that fit my price range. I spent the afternoon weighing the pros and cons of both cameras and finally decided on this. I got the camera and BOTH lenses for $644(no tax) and $4.50 shipping! I still had money left to buy memory cards, rechargeable batteries, card reader, and a case.

When the camera arrived, I ran to town to buy an SDHC card. Then I started reading the 312 page manual. What a piece of equipment!! Once I had the batteries, memory card, and lens installed, I searched the house for photographic subjects. Hairry was my first thought. He's always up for posing for pictures. Not this time! As you can see, Hairry was in the middle of a nap and could care less that I got a new camera.

My next thought was our bird feeder. I watched that damned feeder for 20 minutes and not one bird showed up! So I strolled through the house, experimenting with the flash and exposure settings. By that time I wished that the Christmas decorations were still up.

The most interesting shot of the day was of L reading the camera manual. *yawn*

A couple days later we got freezing rain, followed by 8 inches of wet, heavy snow. That weather was a nightmare to drive through and grueling to clean up, did make some beautiful scenery.

After the roads were cleared, I took a drive around the neighborhood. I stopped at my parents' house to show off my camera, and snap this picture of Shadow begging for peanuts.

For some reason, the apples didn't fall from my Boss's tree this year. The snow really highlights the red of the apples. I only wish the sun had been shining.

Wow, that anti-shake feature actually works! I snapped this picture of the snow on the restaurant roof after I'd been out in -20F temps without gloves. I was shivering and couldn't hold the camera still. I was amazed that the picture turned out.

We had a full moon this weekend! This is the first decent picture I've ever shot of the moon. I also took some shots of just the moon and sky. I want to experiment with layering those shots over other pictures.

The sunset setting on my camera was the perfect exposure to capture the blueness of the full moon at dusk!

The birds are back! I snapped these pics of Mr and Mrs Pine Grosbeak through the kitchen window. Mr G wasn't very cooperative. He wouldn't hold still. On the other hand, Mrs G posed quite well.

If you need to find me this winter, just drive through my neighborhood and look for the crazy lady with the camera around her neck, out in the cold at dusk and dawn, snapping pictures of inane objects


At 1/31/2010 12:01 PM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Wow, wow, WOW!!! Go you! What an amazing feeling it is to scrimp and save so long and so hard and then actually be able to buy something you really have coveted for such a long time! You are going to have so much fun with this, I can just tell! Congratulations! And the pictures are wonderful!

At 1/31/2010 12:04 PM, Blogger SME said...

These are awesome!! Richard would love the apples - he takes closeups like that all the time. I'm amazed how well the Grossbeaks came out.

At 1/31/2010 1:04 PM, Blogger Jeannie said...

Great pictures! Congrats on the new camera - I'm kinda thinking my little cheapo digital isn't quite good enough for some shots but then, I'm not likely to use a fancy one either - I hate reading manuals and adjusting settings.

At 1/31/2010 3:08 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Thanks WC; it was a RUSH!
This camera even has a food setting. It's supposed to "saturate" the colors.

SME, I didn't even get my feet wet taking that pic. I took it from across the yard with the 200mm lens.

Doug will have a BLAST playing with this camera! I tried to get some dead tree shots, but this time of year I can't tell which trees are dead. ;p

Jeannie, Thanks!
For me, all the settings and gizmos are part of the allure of this camera. I'll be learning new things with it for a LONG time.

What I really love is that I'm not wasting money on film and developing when I'm experimenting.

At 1/31/2010 4:51 PM, Blogger Squirl said...

You got some wonderful pictures. I'm so glad you could get the camera that you wanted. Looking forward to seeing more of your pictures.

At 1/31/2010 5:16 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Thanks Squirl. I'll try not to bore everybody with too many pictures.

At 1/31/2010 5:22 PM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

I AM SO JEALOUS!!! Waaaahhhhh, I've been lusting after those cameras for years! I still can't afford one. Oh well, I guess I'll have to live vicariously through you. :-) Love the fruit on the tree, but apples? I thought they looked more like cherries. I also need an anti-shake thingy too, especially when I zoom out real far, that and I can't take night pictures in low light without blur because I can't control the shutter speed. Oh well, some day. Enjoy your camera. I'm looking forward to seeing some great shots!

At 1/31/2010 5:23 PM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

Oh and have you checked out Debambam's site on my sidebar? She takes amazing photos and recently won a national prize for one. She's fairly new to photography too.

At 1/31/2010 9:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent, I'm looking forward to seeing lots and lots of pictures!

At 2/01/2010 6:55 AM, Blogger Laura said...

Very nice!! I'm happy for you that you finally got your new camera. You need a Flickr page now! There's also a website called Digital Photography School that posts weekly "challenges" and they often have great ideas for different things to shoot.

At 2/01/2010 10:03 AM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Yes!!! Great idea, Laura! Get a Flickr account for sure, Tshs!!

At 2/01/2010 12:27 PM, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Lovely moon shot and also dusk shot. Yeah, that camera does do good lighting. Much, much better than my cheapie $100 Target special, which takes years to auto focus. Found out that people get pissed when you tell them to hold a pose for more than 5 seconds because the camera is taking so long to auto focus.

At 2/01/2010 5:29 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

VV, I know you wanted one too. Someday you will. You go on adventures and I'll stay home and take pictures and we'll both live vicariously through each other. ;p

They're crabapples, the only kind that grow up here. I probably should've specified that...oops.

I'll have to check out Debam's pics!

Mr A, thanks! I promise to snap a shot of any accordion players I encounter. ;)

Laura, thanks for reminding me! I bookmarked that site when I was at your photo blog. They've got a treasure trove of info on there!

WC, I dunno, I still haven't got a YouTube account. Maybe I'll get "roundtuit" one of these days. ;)

ZS, there's something seriously wrong with your camera. Point-and-shoots usually focus really fast. Z recently bought himself a GE camera for $79 on sale at Kmart. It takes amazing pictures.

At 2/03/2010 1:18 PM, Blogger tweetey30 said...

That is great. I got a new camera too but wasnt spending that kind of money right now. i got me a kodak easyshare.. It works wonders. I have a new post up with pix from the Manitowoc Maritime Museum we went to yesterday..

At 2/04/2010 4:15 PM, Blogger Shawn said...

Fun, fun, fun!

At 2/06/2010 2:48 PM, Blogger Cherie said...

FANTASTIC!! Love your shots. The moon photo I really appreciate as I, too, have terrible times trying to capture it. You did it though.

Gonna have to start saving my Christmas tips. Oh wait, I don't get tips. :D

I thought the little red things were berries like we have out here. I'm wondering if you're pulling my leg. Are they really apples? Whatever they are, that's a doozy of a picture.

Looking forward to more photo from Tshs!

At 2/08/2010 3:13 PM, Blogger Courtney said...


At 2/09/2010 3:44 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Shawn, I'm having a BALL!

Cherie, would I pull your leg? ;p
They're crabapples. Our growing season isn't very long, so we don't get the beautiful, gigantic apples that grow out your way. :(

I'm still psyched about my moon pics!

Courtney, LOL, I've been in that stage for a looong time!

I thought you were on vacation?

At 2/11/2010 8:35 PM, Blogger Shawn said...

I demand more pictures and an update on how the photography is going! **insert foot stomp here**

At 2/13/2010 10:03 AM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

Hey, sorry our call got cut short. M was really looking forward to the opening ceremonies. I didn't think they were all that, but it is pretty hard to top what China did last Olympics. Hope you get the modem worked out soon and post some new pictures.

At 2/13/2010 6:59 PM, Blogger Gardenia said...

Isn't it heaven! What gorgeous pictures.....the close up of the bird, fabulous - a whole new world is open to you now. Enjoy!

At 2/19/2010 6:58 PM, Blogger Gardenia said...

Awaiting more of your lovely photos!

At 2/24/2010 6:58 PM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

Well if you're still unable to get on-line without constantly getting booted off, just give me a call. At least we'll be able to catch up. After all, our last call was cut short.

At 2/28/2010 12:12 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Tweets, I don't think you'd enjoy this camera as much as your Kodak.

Shawn, I'm working on it! Sheesh, what a slave-driver. ;p

VV, no problem! We could've talked longer if I'd been home when YOU called. We'll hit the right moment one of these days.

Gardenia, I included those bird shots just for you. I know how much you love birds. Been talking to any more herons? ;p

At 12/27/2010 3:46 PM, Blogger La Cremiere said...

wow! I have a dslr but my photos are nothing nearly as amazing as yours! Absolutely incredible. Well April 2010 - you need to post more of those gorgeous photos and update us on those last few months :)


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