Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A first look thru the Nikon v1....

So, over the next few years, I will be out of a backpack, for the most part. In order to capture this amazing experience, along with my new-found interest in photography, I wanted to get a new camera...a REAL camera...not just a "point-and-shoot", or my iPhone, which have been the cameras of choice up to this point.

After asking every photographer I know for their opinion, I began researching DSLRs - thank you, Google, YouTube, etc. My options basically came down to a Canon Rebel (of course, there are a few different types) and a Nikon (again, soooo many types). I took a drive to the local camera store, to see in real life, what these cameras could do, how they feel, what they look like, etc, and to hopefully have the salesperson shed even more light on this confusing topic for me.

I held both Canons and Nikons and asked the salesman every question I could think of (I needed translation on some of his answers). These cameras looked great, and can do soooo much, but were kind of big and heavy (if travelling with this all the time). I finally told him what my situation was - with travelling and all - and so he pulled out the Nikon v1. This is a camera that is basically a hybrid of a point-and-shoot and a DSLR. It has a small body like a point-and-shoot, but interchangeable lenses, along with all of the options a DSLR has (point-and-shoot cameras are good, but only up to a point. There are many settings you have no control over - such as changing the aperature, the amount of zoom, and the quality of the photo.)

I finally realized that although a DSLR was my goal, it would be impractical while travelling. I wanted something that would force me to learn more about photography, while getting amazing shots, and not take up too much room or be too heavy. I thought the Nikon v1 would be the best choice.

Well, as luck would have it, the other day I was driving past another camera shop, and it was going out of business! I figured, if it was meant to be for me to get this camera, this store would have it. And yes, they sure did! And I got a great deal! I bought the Nikon v1, which comes with a 1 Nikkor 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. I then also purchased the 1 Nikkor 10mm f/2.8 and 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 lenses. (I still want the 18mm /1.8 lens for super close shots!). I also purchased the Nikon 1 SB-N5 Speedlight (the Nikon v1 does not have a flash - so this is a removable flash). I also got a camera bag and UV filters for all 3 lenses.

I'll be taking a class soon on how to use this camera. As soon as I know more about my new camera, and what I'm doing, I'll write another post, a review, of some sort....

But until then, check out the pics I took while at the beach! I played around with the different lenses and settings - though at times, just got confused on what setting to use. But I had a blast, and am so far, pretty impressed with what this camera can do! And it will be PERFECT to use while travelling!!!!

You can also view these on My Picasa Page

Happy Hump Day everyone, 
and enjoy the rest of your week!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Light Art Photography

A few weeks ago, some friends and I went camping....which, first of all, was sooooo relaxing, and definitely needed. Unfortunately, it started raining early into the next morning and all day long the following day, so we all headed home. But either way, still wonderful to get away from the city and least for a short time....

But I digress... 

One of the girls I went with, Cherrie Lefevers (she has done some photography for me in the past, during my music daze), wanted to try out some "light art" photography....and I was supposed to help. I wasn't quite sure exactly what this was all about until we got in to the shoot...and I could see what she wanted....

We had to wait for it to be very dark outside, and then she put colored saran wrap on 3 different flashlights. The goal was for me to use all 3, in different shapes, movements, etc, while she took a picture. Then she wanted me in the picture as well, and so she would be using another camera to create the flash on my face.

If you're curious how this works - Cherrie put her camera on a tripod, and let the shutter stay open, while I played with the colored lights. for the flash thing....the other camera didn't work too well (if you look real close, you can see me in a few of the pictures). So we decided that I should just hold a bright white light to my face. We did all of this in one "shot" - basically with the shutter open the whole time.  (oh, there is SOOOOO much I still need to learn about photography, but SOOO excited!)

Now that we tried it out, and I have a clue as to what we're doing (as the "artist" lol), we will be doing a shoot again - and hopefully the pictures will turn out much better! 

Some things we've realized:

1) we need to find a second camera that has a bright enough flash to light up my face - this way I don't have to attempt to turn a bright white light on, and hold it there for about 7-8 seconds, and NOT move at all. (Plus, that light was soooo bright in my face, I could barely see!) 

 2) I suggested she shoots from further away, if possible....then I can move around - almost dance - with the colored lights to create a fun light trail. During this shoot, I had to stand in one position. 

3) I found that I could take one of the flashlights (red) and turn it on and off turn the shoot, creating "dots". I think we can do a lot more with this. (btw, the other flashlights were kind of hard to turn on and off, and so you can see where I picked them up from the ground).

For all the photographers out there, give this a try and make sure to send us your pictures! (and any other advice would be greatly appreciated!)

In the end, we had a blast! I could have done this for HOURS! So I'm excited to try again....

Stay tuned for more Light Art Photography 
by Cherrie Lefevers...

*Here is the link to the pics, if you want to see bigger versions:*

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Burgess Falls Hike

I just went hiking at Burgess Falls in Sparta, TN. It was an amazing-weather kind of day, and thought I'd bring my good buddy, Bear, along. He's about 16 now, so we weren't able to make it thru the whole trail, down to the big falls. He was pretty worn out from the few climbs we did! But I definitely plan on going back at some point to finish the trail!

Click on the picture below, and it will take you to the album on my Facebook page. Or click on the second picture to view the album on Picasa...

AND for those interested in, or have been using, the Hipstamatic app for the iPhone, I posted which lens/film combos I used for each photo. I have every single one they offer...and believe me, it can be quite confusing! I've started making "favorite" combos, so I can switch more easily between each option. 

For today's hike, I decided to try out some of the newer lenses/films/paks I've gotten, and also I did not want to take any b&w was just too beautiful of a day for deep, thought-provoking b&w pictures :)


**Click below to see the album on Picasa (if you don't have facebook)**

Burgess Falls

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pinterest Busters!

Hello Pinterest people!

I was talking with a friend, and we came up with the idea of having guest bloggers for a section titled 
"Pinterest Busters"! 

Ok, so basically, try out a DIY recipe/craft/etc that
you find on Pinterest - and then write about it! Did it work? How could you make it better? Etc.....

So get your P-busting on, and let's hear how it went! 

Email me any questions, the guest blogger post, etc. at 

p.s. click below to find me on Pinterest!