All This New Fangled Technology

About a year ago I bought a Nikon D80 from my good friend Bland. She upgraded and since I had wanted a DSLR forever, I bought her old one. I knew it took great pictures because she used it (albeit with a slightly upgraded lens) to take our wedding photos. The problem was I could get it to take good photos but not great ones.

My issue was I kept getting slightly blurry photos. Many photos would look fine on the screen on the back, fine when I initially uploaded them, but as soon as I would start cropping, I’d realize they weren’t that crisp. I was annoyed and it meant I wasn’t using my camera as much as I should.

Potted chocolate mint from the recent food swap & my vintage bike.

I remember Bland telling me about Ken Rockwell’s website before. (I know his name makes him sound like an adult film star, but I promise he’s a photographer.) I even went to it once before but just felt a little overwhelmed by all the info. Out of sheer desperation I looked again the other day and realized I just needed to go through his setup for the D80 and figure out every setting and how I should set mine.

This was easy; so easy, in fact, that I was kicking myself for not doing it sooner. Ever since then I’ve been much, much happier with the camera. I still have to get used to it a bit more because there are so many more things to adjust than with my old, manual Canon FTB.

Someone clearly got sunburnt at the farm.

I have also been using Picnik for editing. I’ve used it for the KFF newsletter and a few other things before. I downloaded The Gimp and although I read good things about it, I was completely overwhelmed by it. HMF agreed which made me feel like less of a baby about not wanting to use it.

Hopefully going forward I can use fewer lackluster cell phone pics on here and more from my Nikon. I’m sure when I’m 50 there will be some new technology where you just take photos with your eyeballs and it’ll take me 20 months just to figure that all out.


5 thoughts on “All This New Fangled Technology

  1. Carrie

    Hey thanks for the links. I have a D80 as well. I take OK photos with it, I am usually just rushing too much and leave everything in auto mode, Why have a camera like that then right?
    I got some reading to do.. 🙂

    Enjoy your camera…

  2. Rifqi

    Ken Rockwell…just some advice: take what he says with a grain of salt…actually, make that a bucket…he writes some good stuff but often his opinions can be very biased. That being said, his advice about fiddling around with the settings is good, it’s the best way to learn. I also recommend shooting in manual mode so you learn how the different aspects affects the final image. Have fun with your camera.

  3. Erika T. Post author

    Thanks guys. I rarely have it in auto because I feel like the images look too much like point and shoot ones when I do that. I really am so used to doing all the setting from my manual that it feels odd not to do it with this one.

  4. corrina

    i think gimp is a good editing program to end up using, like after learning a lot about photoshop and reading some books maybe. i’m just not sure you NEED to be able to achieve that level of editing unless you’re, like, asking people to pay for your photos, etc. picnik does all the most important stuff and is way more layman friendly.

    i’m also totally stoked i learned to use my dslr on manual. it’s really improved the quality of my photos, and, more exciting, i know there is so much more i can learn.


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