Tuesday, November 30, 2010


On the evening the November full moon rose stunningly over the fields of Cape May County, my beloved CoolPix camera failed me. Left me stranded on the side of the second busiest highway in the county with no photographic record of the glorious event. It had died, and died dead. As in not just the battery, but "lens error". Eek. Much cursing ensued.

I had just been telling someone how much I loved point-and-shoot cameras, and that anything else would be too twiddly for me. I'd likely spend too much time fiddling and miss the shot. So when my trusty point-and-shoot died, with what did I replace it? Yeah, a twiddly fiddly digital SLR. Sure, I could have spent a little more than $100 and gotten something as good if not better than the CoolPix I had, seeing as how I had hardly used any of its not-inconsiderable extended functions.

On the other hand, the really fancy p-&-s's were still in a higher price range (as was my P4 when I purchased it four or so years ago), but the entry level but plenty-enough-bells-and-whistles SLR's were only a little bit more… And half price for a second lens? No brainer. I'd deal with it and finally learn what I'm actually doing when I point a camera at something.

And thus, cat photos. Well, I have enough subjects in the house to literally trip over, so what else would I test out a new camera on? Turns out the Nikon D3100 can act as a very nice point and shoot. Or I can manually focus it--a great stride forward from a p-&-s that you have to fight to make it focus where you want it to focus. ("No no no, the tick, not the grass behind it! The tick! The tick!" *argh*) Yeah, still need a bit of practice with that even with this camera. (My eyesight isn't what it used to be.) But there are these little red lights that tell me what the camera is focusing on. I just need to figure out how to make those little red lights light up on the places I want them to. And how to get my subjects to sit still long enough for me to do so. (All but one of these pics are from the second, after-dinner/just before bedtime round of photos.)

The light that this camera soaks in without using a flash---sheesh, I thought the CoolPix was good with that. Hah! (Yeah, even so these pics could use a bit of tweaking, but I didn't bother to take the time. Not bad for straight out of the camera and only quickly cropped.) And there's something very cool about putting your hand on the lens to make the camera do what you want it to. And I never realized how satisfying was the clack of a shutter… (Although apparently this camera will dampen that effect; haven't tried that button yet.) I do have to re-adjust to using a viewfinder again, however. I'm not yet sure if I can use the LCD screen instead. (I'd be very surprised if I couldn't.) But that little screen is where the "oh, no, what have I done?!" really comes into play:

Yikes. Some day all of that will make sense... (And maybe I'll figure out why PhotoBooth flipped the photo.)

In the meantime: Smile, pussycat!