The New Manual DSLR Project

Hi, and welcome to my blog. The Manual DSLR Project was started March 30, 2010 with the intent of devoting one year to learning how to use my Nikon D300 in manual mode. I invited you to join me as I took this journey. You celebrated with me as my fingers began to remember which wheel adjusts the shutter speed and which controls the aperture settings. I was brutally honest in sharing my mistakes.

A year passed quickly...and I achieved my goal of demystifying the manual operation of my camera.

While the Manual DSLR Project was intended to be bound by time (one year), I am eager to keep the conversation going. So look for additional posts on anything related to photography. And interact. Let me know if you are reading the blog and find it useful.

All the best...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Time for Everything

The Old Testament book of Ecclesiates tells us that there is a time or a season for everything. That wisdom holds true in photography as well. And while I am getting much more comfortable with using Manual mode on my D300 I came to the realization last week that it was time to use Aperture Priority for something that I was shooting. This was a situation in which there was a lot of action and it wasn't practical to make manual adjustments. It felt strange to use Aperture priority, but I did find that I paid more attention to what I was doing (even in Aperture priority) because of my experience in using Manual mode. 

While this shot doesn't have much to do with the subject of this post, it is a close-up of my wife. This was shot at ISO 250, f5.6, 1/20 second handheld with an 18-135 mm zoomed all the way in. I used natural light under a picnic pavilion at the lake.

Until next time...MK

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Catching Up

It has been a while since my last post. I do some writing and had a couple of projects due that I had to get finished. Since my last post I had a bad experience with a hard drive crash, but had an excellent service experience at the Apple Store. One Saturday night I was working on multiple projects on my 3 1/2 year old Macbook when it completely locked up. When I tried to restart it would not boot. I used my iPhone Apple Store app to make an appointment at the Huntsville Apple Store the next afternoon. I arrived at 2 pm fully expecting to have to buy a new Macbook that day. By 2:30 I was out of there with a new hard drive in my computer. No cost.

Here's the amazing part. Several months ago I replaced the 120 GB hard drive that came with my Macbook with a 500 GB Hitachi drive. It was the replacement drive that went bad, but Apple stood behind it. So guess what my next computer (and next and next and next) will be? That is the first time I've ever used the Genius Bar and I must say that I am extremely impressed by the quality of service received.

Did I lose images? Yes. What did I learn? That backup isn't something that should be done monthly or quarterly or... I've now developed a workflow that includes saving an additional copy of all of my raw images to an external hard drive on import. Over the next several weeks I'll be designing a system that will save my images in multiple drives in multiple locations. I just watched a Chase Jarvis video podcast that showed his workflow and backup procedures. While his system is on a very large scale, there is a good possibility that I can do something similar on a smaller scale.

Here's a picture I took Saturday at a church picnic. This is a great old barn and fun to photograph. I don't have any other writing projects cooking for now so I should be back to blogging on a regular basis.

All the best...

Monday, August 2, 2010

IPhone 4 Camera

I took the plunge and ordered the iPhone 4 a few weeks ago. For all the reported problems I must say that mine is doing great. My favorite part is the new camera. This camera is good enough that when I don't have a "real" camera with me I still feel that this one will do a good job. Here are a few examples of some photos I've taken and edited on the iPhone. The first is a flower that I took using the Hipstamatic app.

The second is a photo that I took through the windshield (I wasn't driving) as we crossed a bridge over the Tennessee River. Not a bad pic considering the speed and shooting through a dirty piece of glass.

The third is a photo taken with my iPhone and modified using the Pic Grunger application. Pretty cool.

While this blog is about DSLRs, it's good to know that the phone on my belt will produce photos of this quality.

More to come...