Saturday, 9 April 2011

365project, bonanza edition - Day 33, March 30, to Day 43, April 9.

I've been somewhat busy lately, so I haven't been posting my photos.

As always, click on the photos to go through to their galleries, and please thumbs up any you particularly like.

In any case, here they are for the 10 days:

Day 33, March 30.
Wet Red.

I have been trying to get a good photograph of geraniums for a few weeks. Finally got some that turned out.

Day 34, March 31.

I called this one Changelog. I know it's a pun, but eh, seemed appropriate at the time.

Day 35, April 1.
Backfill day. This photo was taken on the 8th April.

Yellow Bells

Day 36, April 2.
Grown-up Sorbet

These sorbets were very grown up indeed. Passionfruit and mango; lime, gin and pineapple; and chilli and shiraz. Delicious, although the chilli one was really quite spicy. Part of a meal with my mother-in-law at Litse - we took her out there for dinner after picking up my shiny DSLR (DSLR wheeeeeeeee!).

Day 37, April 3.
Dun Dun Duuuhhhhn

So of course I had to take photos of the new shiny. Here it is, in all its glory.

Day 38, April 4.
Mine, all mine!

And today I got a lens. And took 200ish photos. >_> I may have been a little ... enthusiastic. Or maybe a lot enthusiastic. Um. New toy geekery is my excuse. I did a whole post on some of my favourites. Instead of doing my climate assignment. Oops.

Also, for some reason when I set the aperture to greater than about 4ish indoors at night, the shutter speed goes to something like 1/10 or worse, and I have no idea why. And my hands shake. Getting the distinct feeling I need either better/more lights at home, or a tripod, or both.

Anyway. I think this is my favourite photo of the night.

Trying to add this photo to was the point where I discovered that apparently, .JPG is not an image file extension, although .jpg is. Hrm, said I. Approximately.

Day 39, April 5.
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Day 40, April 6.
Morning light

Taken about 6.15 in the morning. The sunrise on a cushion near my balcony door.

Day 41, April 7.
A simple meal

Gluten free gnocchi, lamb, and home-made pesto. My first ever pesto, in fact. It worked really well, and the meal was absolutely delicious. Not only that - nearly all the photos I took of it didn't suck! That's a first for me and food photography, for sure. Here's a bonus one:

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Day 42, April 8.
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Tough choice for today - I had two photos I liked equally. Fortunately, I missed the 1st of April, so I got to include both photos :) Serendipity, for sure.

Day 43, April 9.
Love is a red, red … chrysanthemum?
A red chrysanthemum Steve got for me. I'm not entirely sure I did it justice, but oh well. I tried.

Which brings me up to date for today. Yay! Hopefully, I will get some time later today to implement a more streamlined process, and also hopefully, I won't have so much interference from assignments and whatnot in future. Also, I will read the rest of the camera manual so I can play with something other than the aperture.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Management issues

Also known as - so now that I'm taking real photos, how the hell do I manage them?

The downside of having a real camera and lens is that all of a sudden, I'm taking a lot of very bad photos - and I can't tell this until after I've uploaded them to my computer.

What I've been doing up until this point is uploading everything to my photo manager on my machine (f-spot) and then uploading everything to whatever gallery it belongs in on SmugMug. I've been keeping my taken photos on my phone, as a backup. With larger files - this process is going to become unworkable. It will just take too long to import the photos to my machine. Not to mention running out of harddrive space, and laptop harddrives aren't that cheap to upgrade, either. I do have a network 2tb drive that can be used for backup purposes.

I guess this post has three major questions:
- How do I streamline the process of getting my photos off my camera and in the appropriate gallery on SmugMug?
- How do I set up automatic backup for good and mediocre photos (but not the really bad ones) from my not-always-on ubuntu laptop to my smb store? Clearly this relies on me sorting the photos first. That, or synchronisation of deletion of useless images. Either would suit.
- How do I make posting my 365project photo easier?

A few points:
- I like having my photos organised by year/month/date on my filesystem. It makes it a lot easier to figure out what I have and haven't uploaded, and also much easier to locate a particular photo, usually. I have many more days than I have subjects, you see. Also, it happens automatically - subjective sorting takes time, and whilst I do that for SmugMug, doing it twice would suck.
- I don't like manually organising files into folders. It is annoying, time wasting, and bugs me. This also explains the current state of my music collection.
- I don't mind tagging photos. It's simple enough to do in f-spot, although does not seem to be preserved on upload to SmugMug, which is annoying. Tagging things twice bugs me, although it may be useful metadata for a backup solution.
- I have limited HDD space, and living in .au, limited upload capacity. Aside from taking lower quality photos (which I am considering), how do I automate post-processing into a smaller size for upload, as well as keeping the larger size for backup in the network store?
- How do I streamline all this, especially with respect to my 365project? In an ideal world, I'd run a script with the path to the photo, and the following things would occur:
- the photo would be tagged '365project' on my laptop and SmugMug;
- the photo filename would be added to a spreadsheet (or other tracker) of days and dates for my 365project;
- the photo would be added to my project on
- the sharelink for medium size embeddable from smugmug would be output.
- Extra bonus points: the blogger post would be entirely constructed and posted - possibly including a file of title, bonus surrounding text, and hashtags as a commandline parameter.
- And this would probably be a good time to trigger the photo backup, as I'll have been through the photos to pick one out, and there will probably be fresh photos on the system.
- Some notes here: blogger, 365project can both get posts via email; the tracker spreadsheet should ideally live in my dropbox.
- It would also be nice to have some form of easier method of uploading to SmugMug in general - the built-in in f-spot doesn't appear to work. Any tips on getting that working would be great.

Okay, power's about to get cut here; energex is upgrading some cables. I'll post this, and think some more.

Writey writey words ...

Today I did lots of stuff.
- slept 4 hours
- found my black cardie
- forgot my gym gear
- forgot breakfast
- did not cry, or freak out, or lose my calm
- booked a massage
- wore contact lenses for the first time in a couple of years
- related: decided I really REALLY need to get/find a pair of sunnies
- bought a lens (EF 50mm f/1.8 II)
- changed the layout/style of my blog to stop the right hand edges of my photos being cut off
- took 200 photos
- uploaded some of the nonblurry ones to my SmugMug page
- ate a cookie made by my husband

I'm really enjoying learning about my camera and my lens. Tonight was mostly playing with the buttons - white balance, aperture, general settings. I still haven't really played with shutter speed or ISO. I used flash a few times; the lighting at home isn't great. Also? I have really shaky hands, it seems.

Very much looking forward to tomorrow, and getting the focus where I want it for a change. Well, so long as my hands don't shake, anyhow.

In aid of that, I'm going to head off to take out the contacts, curl up around my climate textbook, and sleep.

Shiny new thing.

I may have gone a bit crazy with the photo taking tonight. I picked out the not-sucky ones, and uploaded them for your viewing here. Some highlights of tonight's shutterbug clickyhappy:

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They're fairly thematically similar tonight.

A final couple, a bit different - a photo taken of me by the dearly beloved, and a self portrait, of sorts:

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wheeeeeeee new toy!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

self.has(dslr) == true; Now what?

Yesterday I picked up my shiny secondhand Canon 450D:
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I bought it from my father-in-law, who has upgraded to a much shinier 550D. Lucky for me, he didn't want the original bag the 450D came with:
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Yay! New crumpler! I've been eyeing off the crumplers anyway (4 and 5 million dollar homes) but this one will do just fine. I'm thinking about picking out the "EOS" though.

Now that I have my new shinies:
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the observant among you may notice something missing. I don't have a lens - yet. That's today's task - to find and buy my first lens.

The lens I'll probably be getting is the EF 50mm f/1.8 II. I really *want* the EF f/1.4 USM, but can't really afford it at this point. I'm going for a prime lens as I want to learn how to operate my camera well - once I've done that, then I'll figure out all the other fancy stuff that goes along with lenses that do zoom and all that stuff. Also? the f/1.2 weighs 130g, and it's tiny. As someone moving from a mobile phone to a DSLR, small and light are very, very good things while I get used to it.

But where do I buy it?

Currently I'm looking at secondhand on ebay, pickup (so I can test it when I get it straight away, and resolve any issues immediately) or some online retailer sourced via shopbot. Physical stores seem to be relatively expensive - a difference of about $50 on the 50mm f/1.2, which is a lot considering retail is $150. On new lenses, I imagine the warranty is with Canon rather than the retailer - can someone verify this? If there are specific online stores I should be looking at, please let me know - I'm a total babe in the woods here. At this point, I'm not interested in overseas retailers, either - I want the lens NOW. A week is about as long as I want to wait before I have it in my hands. The other consideration is, of course, return and complaints. It's a lot easier to do that for local retailers, online or off.

For my next lens, on the other hand, I would also like recommendations for reputable overseas online dealers. Also for things like filters and lens reversers and mount adjustments and bits.

Speaking of, what should my next lens be? I'm looking at the one the camera usually comes with - the EF 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. I'd be getting this one around Christmas, probably. I'm open to other suggestions, of course, but that one seems to be flexible, reasonably inexpensive, and has decent reviews. On the other hand - I really really REALLY want to do macro photography. I haven't investigated lenses there yet, although I plan to very shortly. Still, recommendations for a macro lens?

Finally, other bits. I would like to get from crumpler the Industry Disgrace as I have noticed the strap on the camera digs in and is uncomfortable after about 30 seconds. And tripods. I'll pick up a gorillapod or knockoff, but for a real one, I still have about no idea. I really need to get into a shop which has a) a large range, and b) helpful staff who are not run off their feet at the time when c) I have time to spend.

Okay, time for me to go read the manual. And do assignments that are due tomorrow ...