I don’t really have a lot of projects and diy attempts. Part of that is due to the fact that if I find something I want to do, I search forever trying to find the perfect way to do it before I ever make my first move. This leads to me doing nothing more often than not; so I’m going to try and make it a goal to attempt more diy / projects and post about it even if it doesn’t work or I don’t like it. Can you call it success if there was never a chance of failure?
Yeah…..so after a few months off for reading the Harry Potter series (again) and taking care of baby, I decided to start posting again (If for no other reason than to type out what I’m thinking). Todays “what was I thinking” is if you’re editing the same image or design, save the new edit based on it’s date. Now to some people, this is basic instinct, but I’m a little slow sometimes. I normally have an original.jpg and then edits named originalA.jpg and so forth with each edit being a resize or different style. While it still seems easy enough to find the last thing you were working on by the date the file was worked on last when sorting the files by details….blah…blah…blah. You get the idea. Just put the date original6-2-10.jpg and make it easy on yourself. I’ve found putting an “f” for flicker or “p” for print also makes it even easier to find the file you’re looking for. If you’ve got a better way, tell me so I can stop looking like a doofus. Please!
That whole “it’s March” post….well….I….yeah….turns out it might have been BS as my D300 is up for sale due to a recent purchase. I know right? When a good deal comes along I have a real hard time passing it up. That is why I currently have a D700 sitting on my coffee table and own some of the lenses I do. Now I don’t just buy anything because it’s a good deal. If I find what I’m semi-kinda looking for at a really good price then that’s when I buy. Most people call that shopping. The thing is, I always tell myself I’m not in the market for it even when I’m looking. It doesn’t make a lot of sense when I actually think about it, but..what ev. My wife knows what I’m doing and just rolls her eyes though because she knows that part of what I enjoy about photography is trying new gear. It doesn’t actually have to be brand new as long as it’s new to me. I honestly believe that all photographers enjoy gear hunting. I know some will say that the camera is a just a tool and it doesn’t matter what kind you have as long as it takes a picture and I can agree with that halfheartedly. But I have also been told that tools are what allow you to do your job and not having good ones really isn’t an option. Thereby, having good tools allows you to do a better job. Right?
If you don’t know how to use the tools you have, then what good are they. That’s common sense. If you know the exact tool you need and don’t own it then it’s common sense to rent, borrow, or buy it. The thing is, common sense isn’t what always drives a person to make a new purchase. What fun is being practical? We’re human; we want flashes that can evaporate small ant villages and lenses so sharp they can cut metal. Is that what we need? Maybe. Maybe not. If you don’t know what tools are available to you, how can you make an informed decision?
The photographers I read about have posts about the latest lenses, flashes, cameras, and software releases and how they plan on using them and that’s great. I have no problem with that, but some of the beginners who also read those blogs begin to think that newer is always better. While there is truth to that, I think they need to be aware of what’s actually available first. The professional photographers always buying the newest equipment didn’t start with the newest equipment. They honed their craft on whatever they had and worked their way up. They already know what is on or had been on the market and why they do or don’t need those tools, but they sometimes only post about how pretty a new lens is or how they want to use it. They don’t always post about how they used an older version of the same lens so much it broke and that is really the only reason why they’re upgrading. Know all your reasons before you buy and make an informed decision. You’ll be the one benefiting from it in the future. Am I saying all this to justify my new purchase… i don’t know..it’s a possibility, but just remember what this is titled.
It’s about this time every year I decide to sell all my camera gear and start over. Maybe go full frame or switch brands. Maybe just sell all my lenses and replace them with the same but newer models. I would say I don’t know what causes me to think these things and waste time comparing specs and prices, but I do know the cause. It’s because I’m cooped up without any time to go outside and shoot. It’s because being inside means I want better high ISO performance. It’s because new lenses focus faster. It’s because other people are doing it (never a good reason to do anything btw). It’s because it has video or a 100% viewfinder. It’s because the grass is always greener through a different lens. There are always too many reasons to change, but I have to ask myself; “self, are these the right reasons?”. They never are. So I try not to make the changes at this time of the year. If I really need something then yeah I make that change, but I never run with these delusional flights of fancy. For some reason though, thoughts of change always creep in. I could say ” I’m not doing this next year”, but truth be told I enjoy making these decisions. It may drive me crazy for a couple of days, but when It’s over I at least know the going rate and specs of every camera in my price range. Heck, If it weren’t for this time of the year, I wouldn’t even know what my price range was (selling everything gets me $x amount of moolah). If I have any advice for someone going through these same thoughts, I would say “mull it over”. Then mull it over again and again and again until you are sure you are making decisions for the right reasons. If you find yourself looking at new cameras and or lenses, just be sure to check your calendar. You might just realize it’s your time of the year.
Are you Driven? I not talking about a bad Sylvester Stallone movie, I’m talking about the need to create. Most great artists have a need to always push what they know and a hunger to learn more. I just don’t have that kind of drive. While I do have a drive to create and capture, I don’t have that absolute need to always be doing it. I’m amazed when I see or hear some one that has that all encompassing must create now attitude. Where do they get it? What causes them to be that way? Like many people, I get all riled up about an idea, but If I don’t write it down it just gets lost to the abyss I call a brain. When the idea eventually resurfaces on it’s own, it lacks the excitement I had originally envisioned with it. It might not even be the excitement it lacks. It may just be that when the original brand new idea was floating up there, there were other ideas that it mingled with and made new ideas possible but without the mingling, it just seems dull. It may be the case that people who are really driven are just great at hammering this smorgasbord of ideas out into one idea and if they can’t get it out they’ll go crazy. It could also be fear of failure or just a need to succeed. Some people hate to not be moving forward and maybe that’s part of it. I don’t know. Whatever “it” is, keep a look out. It may get you. Maybe it’ll get me too.
If you don’t use or know what Mozilla Firefox is, then you should get familiar with it. Mozilla is a free web browser that is very customizable and has add on features for everything you can think of. One of those add-ons is Firebug. If you program in CSS and haven’t tried it, you are missing out. Firebug is not a builder, but will show you what your code is doing when and if you have a problem. Another free program you should have if you build a web page is Notepad++. If you use regular notepad for anything code related, it will make life just a little bit easier.
The site is finished! I made the decision a while back that I needed a place of my own away from my random Flickr and decided this was the solution. I ended up using WordPress for editing and the design layout started as the Pixel theme. When I started playing around with these pages, I didn’t know anything about CSS, PHP, and had never used a PNG for anything. After a few weeks of dissecting things and learning how it all should work, I feel like I’ve got a handle on what is needed to make a decent page. I tried to keep everything on this site as simple and easy to manage as possible so I can keep it up to date. Thanks to my friend Lance for answering all of the many random web-related questions I’ve had and for recommending software that makes editing easier. A big Thanks also to my wife Leslie for her encouragement, for dealing with me being on the laptop at all times of the day, and for listening to me talk all the time about web gibberish and photography.