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I noticed Uwe Skrzypczak's excellent wildlife photography book was free the other week, and had to wonder just how to pronounce his name. And lo, didst skawinski kindly supply a genuine pronunciation as a brief MP3. ^_^

And if you're quick, you'll just make it in time for djinni's festive Yule Icon Day! (Edit: that's it for this time!)

Here, have a quick little poll. ^_^ I'm curious to find out how popular photography is with everyone here.

Poll #1805993 Photography

What sort of dedicated camera(s) do you have?

Basic point & shoot
A higher-spec compact, such as a superzoom
Film SLR
Micro 4/3
Nikon 1
Other mirrorless interchangeable lens camera
Something else
No dedicated camera, just cellphone or other multifunction device

Your subjects, for the most part, are.. ?

Portraits (face or full body)
Street photography
Other (in comments)

Have you ever sold your work?

On a very few occasions
Routinely, as a hobby
Routinely, as a primary source of income
(Deleted comment)
Oh, indeed - there's even quite a movement in cellphone photography! Both because it's something you'll pretty much always have with you, and because they're so commonplace and compact that people don't feel there's really anything looking at them, versus the rather more imposing presence of a DSLR.

And with new sensors, the results can be remarkably good! Not up to DSLRs, of course, but nonetheless, a world better than a few years ago, as my iPhone 3G will confirm. =:D

I can't speak of other phones' UIs, but on this beastie, I touch the camera icon, and after a little pause, up comes the view of the scene; press the shutter icon, and the shot's taken immediately, complete with shutter & motor wind sounds. =:) (Not sure if there's an option to disable that - I only tend to use it for things like signs or window displays, to grab An Image. It's definitely not a great sensor, and will be something to look forward to when I eventually pick up an iPhone n - but there's so little motivation for me to upgrade, given I don't make calls more than necessary, and apps are run almost entirely on the iPad)
Not currently a photographer.
Have you aspirations? It can happen, after all. I'd hardly rate myself as a master photographer (hee!), but I've taken a fair few shots I'm happy to show off, even on 500px. And it only really began in the Spring of 2008, with the coworker's Konica, then my TZ5, and only in January 2010, the D90, which transformed things. I've spent money well, and occasionally poorly (though, more the former) - but that D90 was one of those special, rare, nigh transformative expenditures, followed not so far behind by the Nikkor 300mm.

You do, it seems, live in quite an interesting locale, and whilst you might not consider it anything very unusual, snow does have quite a fundamental affect upon a landscape, or urban scene.
It's an expensive hobby. My brother is a photographer. He got into it when he was living in Korea. He paid as much for his camera as he did for a gaming laptop. Vastly more than I paid for my good quality gaming PC.

I think photography is interesting. It's certainly a better excuse to get into the great outdoors than fishing. I have a crappy camera that takes crappy pictures. My brother showed me a few things with his Camera so I have a better idea of how good cameras work.

The most beautiful landscapes in Sarnia are the times we have something that might be considered a natural disaster. There are occasional periods that don't occur every year where freezing rain coats everything not in snow but in shimmering ice. Usually some people die during these events, which puts a sour note on them. They tend to cause tree branches to fall and power lines to come down, but damn it's beautiful.

I've got too many hobbies already though, and not enough time or money for half of them. So, I'm not actively trying to get into photography.
Prosumer. (Olympus D-7070 - can't possibly call something this size a 'compact', nor is it 'basic', yet it's obviously not a DSLR, either.)

I take primarily interior shots.

Edited at 2011-12-26 06:06 pm (UTC)
Ahh, the C-7070? Okay, that's pretty much a "bridge" model - still a fixed lens, but with much of the controllability that helps make DSLRs so much fun to work with. Not so different from the Konica A-200 I started off with, courtesy of the coworker, but of course, still with the small sensor area of its kin.

If it's not too awkward a subject - and I apologise if it is - have there been otters around of late? Maybe sometime I'm next in the general vicinity, I can pop up quickly - I imagine I wouldn't have much time at all, but it would be so nice to at least bump noses again, so to speak. ^_^
I saw some otters in August, but not since. The pier is currently closed for demolition and reconstruction, however, so even if they were in residence, there is at present no place from which to observe them. You're more than welcome to visit anytime, though! Only time I'll be away from home in the foreseeable future is for FC. Otherwise I'm a devoted homebody as always. ^^
Most of my compositions could be entitled 'Bike in a Landscape'.
*grin* Ah, but there you've got your reason for photography, just as I have (or, technically, had.. oh, I do hope I can find more to observe who're less reticent about being out during daylight hours) my buns. I suppose you have the advantage that bikes and scooters tend to be less skittish about being observed, sometimes even under particularly good light. ^_^

I can and do take architectural shots, and landscapes, but it's wildlife that really captivates me - buns especially, but I can find wonder in but a humble grey squirrel as well. There's such magic, for me, in capturing those almost private moments, so fleeting, not meant for anyone.

(Eep! Sounds so voyeuristic..)
I used to do a lot of photography when I was younger, and in fact, I was the ship's photographer from 1996 to 1999. I went through a LOT of rolls of film in those years, mostly taking pictures of award ceremonies and such. But I've also been in the "hot seat" more than once, too. There was a rescue op in the Arabian Gulf where I got some very good shots, despite the 90 knot winds. And the helo crash was another one where I did a LOT of work. Those photos went up to be poured over by a bunch of admirals and their staff, as well as the crash investigators. Man, I wish I'd kept one or two of those rolls.

I also did some photojournalism stuff in college, as well as for the Alumni Association. Heh! Went on assignment to visit an old alumnus in Pennsylvania and got a kinda crappy shot of him with his chicken-feed factory in the background. The factory was out of focus, and he was sharp. I had to do a LOT of darkroom magic to get that one right. I burned him into a sheet, then cut out the outline of his head. It was VERY delicate work, making those cuts, and I used a tiny pair of scissors. First I put his head on the sheet, and then I laid down the factory, adjusting to get it in focus with red light, then did an 8-second burn. The cut-out of his head blocked the light from touching the paper.

I then switched cutouts, putting the "leftover" piece from cutting his head on top. I got his head in focus with red light, then did a 6-second burn. When the proof was developed, both he and the factory were in perfect focus. The Alumni Association got a LOT of phone calls, letters and emails over that photo. Everyone loved it!

I really loved darkroom work? It was so much fun to watch your work come out on paper. There was a kind of pregnancy as you pulled the film out of canister in total darkness. You can't even do it in red light, you have to be totally dark. Pull the film out, thread it into a coil, then march the strip into the coil. Get it into the canister and seal it. Temp your chemicals, time them in the canister, rinse and then dry.

You're the first to see all of your mistakes, but you're also the first-and sometimes the only one-to see your victories.

I know that digital photography can do some incredible magic, and is shaking the foundations of the very earth itself? But there is a raw, visceral kind of fear, excitement, joy and dread, all wrapped up into one, as you pull that film canister apart after you've got that "shot of a lifetime". And you won't know it's the shot of a lifetime until you have it on paper.
Oh, I don't know.. there've been a few amazing moments I've been privileged to witness, such as Skydiving or Victory through Hare Power, where I could see there might be an amazing shot on the LCD, but that only ever tells a small part of the story, not to mention wanting to be absolutely sure the shot would actually survive the transfer from card to drive (my early anxiety not being helped by my first SD card dying after a week or two, replaced by a more sensible brand, before being supplanted by the current, quite nippy card, ideal for those rare moments where a real flurry of activity takes place, and you've got to get the shots flushed to card as quickly as possible). Only once you see it on a "real" LCD, such as Dandelion's, do you know the magic's been caught. =:D (The iPad works well in that preview capacity also, but I wind up feeling that if it is an amazing shot, I'll want to work some subtle tweakings in Aperture before releasing it; and if it's not, well, so it goes)

How did you transform the focus of the factory? Presumably you had another shot where that was in focus, or am I misunderstanding?

Do you have copies of any of those shots, or maybe links? There's probably all sorts of military bureaucracy in the way, but perhaps some were released for public viewing.

Ultimately, though, it's the shot that counts - the means are just that. And it sounds like you've caught some quite eye-popping moments.. !
Now that I think about it, the shot itself wasn't out of focus, the exposure was off. Both targets were in focus, but his face was too bright. So it wasn't so much that I had to alter the focus, I had to do a different burn. When I did the multi-burn, both the head and factory came in at a perfect exposure.

As for shots, I'm not sure if I do? I might have the proofs around somewhere, but not with me. They'd be back in NY with the rest of my stuff. And no, not military bureaucracy, since the crash wasn't classified. Heck, you can see the video of it here.

I wasn't actually on the flight deck during the crash, but I was in the admin office, right under the nose. The Oil King was testing samples when it happened, and his office got a brand new skylight, right where the blades hit.
Oh my word that icon is adorable. <3
djinni does do such great work. ^_^ I'm always impressed by his willingness to offer those epic free icon days, getting loaded down with hundreds of requests, and yet still managing to come up with such great little results every time. I also love this one, when I asked for something silly.. *grin*

I can't believe you didn't include fursuits as an option for subjects!
Ha! Good point. ^_^ That'd definitely be something to look forward to, as and when I finally make it along to another furcon - so many adorable, fuzzy subjects! Though I'd really want a nice lens for the job - maybe a good rental, given my usual focus is wildlife, with focal lengths right out at the other end of the scale. =:)
I just bought a Canon T3i, for both still and video. I was pretty serious about black-and-white photography when I was a teenager, shooting with a Pentax K-1000 (all-manual) and doing darkroom work. The icon accompanying this comment was shot in 1995.

But I put that all away for about 20 years... and now digital's good enough to be affordable at a pro level, so I'm back in!
HA! I'm sure I remember seeing a print of that, back at the old place. =:D

I sometimes wish I'd really gotten into photography much earlier, yet, I also suspect I'd have been dreadfully frustrated, had I done so - back at the old gig, I'd routinely take 100-400 shots in an hour or so. That'd've been quite a bit of hassle in film exchange, to say nothing of the cost of the film, let alone processing! Now, if I think I might have caught a magical moment, I can just check on the LCD. ^_^ (Not that that's conclusive, of course - a 3" screen with protector isn't quite the same as a 17" MBP - but usually adequate to gauge if focus was sane at the time)

What are you doing with said T3i?

It's quite amazing just how good DSLRs are now, and only improving. My D90's fine with ISO 800, 1600's okay, and even 3200 or 6400 are usable. And then I look at some samples of the D800, and see just how much better it's going to get.. !

(Here's hoping Aperture 4 isn't far off, and brings with it some of Lightroom's niceties, notably lens correction. I do like Aperture, but it'd be very nice to be able to improve the older shots)

What are you doing with said T3i?

Honestly? Mostly shooting self-porn. ;)
I never use the Canon Elura anymore. I use the Sony DCR-VX1000 a lot but just for stills at 640x480 for my web site. I use an LG Windows phone as my mobile camera now and occasionally the iPad as my mobile camera when I don't care about the quality.

Edited at 2011-12-30 02:41 pm (UTC)
It does seem like things are shifting heavily in that direction. I suppose that's one of the factors that killed Kodak off, as their own cameras tended to be relatively low-end - a perilous market location, unless you're finely tuned to shifting huge volumes at negligible margins. For most people, a camera's just something for casual shots, capturing the moment - the quality's quite down on the priority list. Yet, we've seen this interesting convergence of casual shooters and dramatic improvements in sensor quality in the cameraphone sector, resulting in the likes of the iPhone 4S, a respectable P&S in its own right, that also happens to be able to run all manner of interesting applications on top of the shots taken, or as part of the shooting.

I wonder what the iPad 3 (or iPad HD) will have for cameras? I'd like to see a rear cam of the 4S' caliber. Not that I'll be buying any time soon - top of that list is a TC17E-II, now that the local buns seem to've decided to make themselves known to the world during the day. ^_^ And then there's the Sigma 10-20mm, which seems like it'd be a lot of fun to work with, given the many picturesque views hereabouts.