I didn't realize how into the bird/photo thing I was going to get...it just sort of happened (1 backyard bird feeder apparently = crack cocaine). When I first started mentioning it here on the blog it was in the same vein that I mention any non-bead/jewelry-related topic: insight into the life of the artist. That's always been why I read fellow jewelry/bead artist's blogs - I think it's fascinating to learn more about the people behind the art.
Now that it's becoming a bigger portion of my posts, I'm starting to think that perhaps it should have its own space (The Misadventures of a Novice Birder...or something). But then I think: who am I kidding? I barely can keep one blog going LOL!
I may still do this in the future, but for the time being, both birds and jewelry are going to have to co-exist here (and how psychic of me to have named my business and blog with a bird-related reference right in the title all those years ago - Go me!)
To that end, I want to be clear that the bird photos and the photos of MY finished jewelry and resin or clay or metal beads/charms/components are taken by me (see the windows on the right blog margin for my Etsy shops).
Photos of various materials I've purchased (the "bead porn" posts) all come from the Etsy sites of the vendors I purchased from and I always include their shop name and link to give credit as well as, hopefully, steer some purchases their way. I think it's important to support all of the artists in the bead community who supply us with all our amazing materials (some might say I've made this my life's mission...and, if you look at the size of my bead hoard...there might be some truth to that LOL).
Whew! Okay, boring explanificlarication over with.
And now for the exciting (well, to me anyway) update: After much thought and research, I finally pulled the trigger on a new camera purchase. A Canon SX50 HS is on its way to my house even as I type this. I decided to go this route for a couple of reasons:
The first being the rave reviews (and amazing photos) I've seen that have all been credited to this device. In some cases, experienced photographers are even putting down their DSLRs in favor of the SX50 in certain situations (less weight to carry, less equipment to juggle, etc.)
The second reason is simplicity. After a lot of reading and practicing, I feel that I am getting a handle on Aperture Priority, Shutter Speed, ISO and even a little bit about composition and post-processing. What I'm missing is the ability to get better shots from a distance (obviously important for bird photos). However, being such a novice, I was a little apprehensive about going full bore into a DSLR with (potentially) multiple lenses, tripod, etc. After all, I'm not going to be selling photos to National Geographic or whatever. My initial goal is nice, clean, pretty shots to share on my blog. Plus, I have enough to still learn/practice without the extra equipment just yet - I've signed up for two classes to help improve my skills along with getting the new camera.
The final reason is price - this camera is available NEW for less than $400. Hopefully, it will be enough to get me where I am looking to go. If not, then I didn't totally break the bank and can still go "whole hog" on a DSLR in the future after I've mastered some of the basics. And, on the flip side, if my photos are still terrible...then I'll know that it's me and that maybe this is not the hobby for me...and I won't have wasted a lot of money learning that and I'll still have a decent camera for vacation photos, etc. My existing point and shoot was over 5 years old and, while it takes GREAT jewelry (and macro) photos, it's way behind in terms of number of megapixels and some other functionality so it was time to upgrade anyway.
Can't wait until it gets here and I can start playing with it!