Monday, January 28, 2008

Photographing Textiles

A year ago I received a digital camera for Christmas from our children. I had wanted one for a long time, despite having a good SLR camera. But there was no real way I could blog without a digital camera. So that gift was one of the precipitating factors in starting this blog.

I have now gotten pretty comfortable with the very basic mechanics of taking pictures with everything on automatic. And I have gotten pretty comfortable with PaintShopPro, the software program I use. And my photography is improving, but I still have a long way ago.

I had looked at some books but they were pretty much Greek to me. Then a friend suggested a book which I think is going to turn out to be pivotal in my photography learning. This is a book she has been using in her self-study in photography improvement with her digital camera. The book is by Scott Kelby and the name of the book is The Digital Photography Book: The Step-by-Step Secrets for How to Make Your Photos Look Like the Pros. It turns out he has some really expensive books for more experienced photographers, but this is for the raw beginniner and it is not expensive.

Two of his first topics are "Getting 'Tack Sharp with a Tripod' and "A Ballhead Will Make Your Life Easier." He tells you why and he even gives you recommendations at three price levels for each. Last week by monohead and and easy off-and-on ballhead.

It took me a while, well, quite a while, to figure out how to get the part of the ballhead that screws into the camera base back onto the ballhead itself. I thought I had watched carefully when I undid it. Nope. An hour or so later it was back on and attached to the monopad, which I then had to figure out how to use.

The whole thing works much less clumsily than I thought and, while it is not yet child's play to separate the camera from the ballhead, it is coming more easily. And I can see the results in the pictures. They jay jot be quite "tack sharp" but they sure are sharper than my earlier pictures. Except for those, of course where the exposure is a problem........... Which leads to............

I then discovered another book. It is a book just for Canon Power Shot Users called Canon Power Shot Digital Field Guide. I spent the day glazing my eyes with the opening chapters' information about all the settings. Some of this stuff I think, in all honesty, out to have been included with the camera. This kind of information was certainly included with my SLR camera when I purchased it. Anyway, now I have it and I am grateful.

Now that I have got the monopad up and working, I am ready to start working on the innards of this camera! It will take a long time to learn the stuff. But as I gradually learn it, more and more of what Kelby talks about in his book should become helpful.

There is nothing about photographing textiles in these two books. But at least I will get some grounding that will help me photographing my own textiles.

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