Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Doing it on a dime

So now that I have decided to dedicate this site to my photographic exploits, I decided that at least for now I will post tips and tricks much like I do on my technology blog from time to time.  Today's topic:

"Doing it on a dime - tips to save money on photography but still look good!"

If anyone has done any looking into photography there is one thing that sticks out.  It can cost you money.  But as I have found recently, there are ways to save and still get fantastic results!  Here's a few things that I've done to improve what I do.

1.  Quality doesn't have to be expensive:  Recently I purchased a 50mm 1.8 lens for my Canon Rebel.  I had done a little research ahead of time and found that the entry lens that Canon makes actually gives some FANTASTIC details.  And they were right!
This image was taken with that lens.  I was AMAZED when I looked at it on my computer.  The level of detail, including that of the bee, amazed me.  All for around $130.

2.  The Internet is your friend:  Here is an image I took two years ago at the Zoar Civil War reenactment in Zoar.
I love how this image looks.  But, I am also bummed out that it's blurred.  I was hoping to get a crisp, clear shot of the night firing of canons.  What likely happened was when I pressed the shutter release on the camera mounted on my tripod, it shook the camera.  Another factor is likely that in doing a multi-second shot, the shutter was opened longer then it needed to be.  In the old days, a shutter release was the ticket to fixing it.  Now, there is an electronic way of doing it.  Cheaply too.  I've been finding that Amazon.com is the place to go to look for items like these. For for $1.99 plus $4.99 shipping, I picked up a remote release cord for the camera.  I'm looking forward to trying it out to better control the images when they do it this year.  Another score for the camera was a replacement battery.  Normally, these can run a lot more then the $2.19 plus shipping I payed for mine. For a backup, it's a perfect price. Finally, I wanted one of those nice sling camera bags.  At Best Buy, they are around $100.  Ouch.  On Amazon, $35 plus shipping

3.  Get your photo software on:  Again, the Internet is your friend.  Now, I'm not saying to go look for pirated software.  What I am saying is there are a couple of free ones out there.  One I use a lot is Picasa.  Google provides it and for most people, it's a good piece of software.  Another is Paint.NET.  That is more like a full blown Photoshop application with all the bells and whistles you could want.  It also has a huge fan base a many forums out there for assistance.  Worth a look.

There are plenty of options out there to help save you money.  If your doing this like me, you want to make things look as good as possible without breaking the bank.  There are options out there.  Don't be afraid to search for them.

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