I think I am finally getting it with regards to photography. The actual clicking the shutter, I mean. I usually get my exposure right, or nearly right, and I know how to do all the settings on my camera to achieve (sort of) what I want to achieve regarding depth of field, motion, and etc. However, I am hitting a wall when it comes to processing. I have used a variety of tools, from Photoshop CS3 on down. Currently I am using Lightroom 2.0 to download my files and view them initially, and then Capture NX 2.2 to edit the photos themselves.
My main areas of concern are sharpening and white balance (color). I always set my white balance in camera, and I use either the pre-set menus on the camera (cloudy, sunny, flash, etc.) or an Expodisc. But the color never seems right to me, and then I fiddle and fiddle with white balance in NX 2, and I can never seem to get skin tones and other colors correct. No, I haven't calibrated my monitor. I guess that's a logical first step.
The second problem is sharpening. I never know how much is too much or how little is too little, and my photos end up looking either fake-y or too soft. UGH. I have read all of the posts in the forums, I have purchased the Jason O'Dell book, and I took a Nikonians Academy class on NX 2, and I still don't have a good feel for things.
This is my rant for the day.....
Thanks for reading.
I am so excited to have my very own blog on Nikonians. I am going to start out by giving a brief biographical sketch of myself, and in future posts, I will talk about my photographic equipment; my processes; my workflow (ha! that makes it sound like I actually have one!); and my likes, dislikes, pet peeves, and passions in photography.
My name is Melinda and I live in North Carolina with my three children (aged 10, 5, and 4). My first full-time job is as a Web editor and publisher for IBM. My second full-time job is running a house and family. And finally, my interests are photography, tennis, cooking for friends and family, and spending time with my friends.
I have been a photographer since I was in middle school or thereabouts. I have used a million different point-and-shoot cameras over the years, finally moving to an SLR about 10 years ago when my first child was born and I became disgusted with shutter lag. My first "real" camera, the SLR, was a Nikon N65, and I was sold on it as soon as I got it. Well, not quite as soon as, I should say. The body came with a third-party lens, and it wasn't the best quality. As soon as I upgraded to an all-glass Nikkor lens (28-105 mm), I could see the difference in my photography.
Then the digital age hit. My next camera was a Nikon D50. I currently own a Nikon D300, and I just bought the D300 a baby sister, the Coolpix P6000. I have dived in head-first with this hobby of mine, and I have spent a lot of money (not to mention time and effort) on it. But I am improving, and I love it.
I started out my "serious" phase of photography 10 or so years ago focusing mainly on shots of people (specifically my children), but my main areas of interest are still-life things and wildlife. I'm not as good with portraits as I'd like to be, so that's another area I need to practice on.
Well, that's all for now. More later.