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...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

It's official! 2011 is here. Wow, I'm feeling old. This time of year is ripe for football, parades, and resolutions. While I am not making a resolution I am beginning to think about what I'll do when the Manual DSLR Project concludes. I didn't start until April, so I still have a few months left. I'm having so much fun that I plan to continue along a similar vein.

Here are some of my ideas for next year's self-improvement project:
  • Manual operation of my flash (Nikon SB-600). I could really use this as my knowledge of flash operation is limited. I might even find a reason to get a second flash. :-)
  • Working through each project outlined in David Ziser's book, Captured by the Light, something along the lines of Julie and Julia, only I can't have dinner parties and eat David's recipes. The tough part of this one is the models. Anyone have a bride and groom manikin you'd like to donate? I don't think my kids or my cats would tolerate being dressed as a bride and groom. I haven't bought the book yet, but have seen it in the stores and it looks like great fun to work through.
  • Really digging into subtractive lighting techniques. When I was a kid I remember riding by Leon Kennamer's studio oblivious to the genius who worked inside. Frankly, I couldn't afford an SLR so my photography was limited to a Kodak 110 and about a dozen cartridges of film per year, so I wasn't thinking much about photography at that time. (In case you wonder, Leon was not a close relative, but all the Kennamers in our area were related, so I can claim him as a relative.)
  • A 365 project with specific assignments for different days of the week. For instance, Mondays might be "Outdoor Mondays". Tuesdays might be "Alphabet Tuesday" where I would rotate through the alphabet and photograph something that starts with "A" the first week, "B" the second week...
This is a shot from our October trip to Portland, OR.
If you have other ideas I'd love to hear them. I'm still thinking. Thankfully I have until April to decide.

Though I said I wasn't going to make a resolution I suppose I should resolve to print my photos more often and to back up my images religiously. I use an awesome photo processor called Meridian Pro. They always do a great job, have an excellent selection, and I have received terrific customer service. I am about to try a new canvas print service (Zaza Gallery).  The prices look good. I'll let you know more about the quality after I receive my first order.

So, Happy New Year! I look forward to interacting with you on this blog and through Twitter throughout the next year. I might even break down and do a Facebook page. Or not!

All the best...Mike

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