“Well, I’ve Got a Nikon Camera …”

I made the plunge last week and bought a DSLR camera so I can take nice, crisp product photos for my Etsy shop, whose launch date is right around the corner — the end of next month! So naturally I spent most of the weekend playing around with it. This was a little tough on Saturday, because we were snowed in, but I managed to get a few nice portraits of the kitties and a not-too-horrible, through-the-bathroom-window shot of the parking lot next door covered in snow. Also, we have a Christmas tree.

DSC_0199Portrait of the artist as a cat in a skillet, or “Strider”

ImageKumquat refused to pose for a normal shot

DSC_0067 editIngrid on a thrift-store chair all three of them have worked hard to destroy

DSC_0182Jealous of our view?

DSC_0197I could just not get a good shot of the whole tree to save my life

The camera is a Nikon D5200, which is an entry-level DSLR. I’m still trying to figure out how to use all the features well, but for right now, I’m just focusing on composition. I’d never been a big photo taker until I got an iPhone a couple of years ago and realized I could actually take decent photos with it, especially given that I could use apps like Snapseed to edit them into shape. (Or out of all recognizable shape. It happens.)

In the past, I’d always kind of figured that people who were taking pictures all the time — on vacation, at concerts, at parties — were missing out on the moment. But I’ve come to appreciate the different kind of attention the camera makes you bring to your surroundings.

I took the camera out on Sunday afternoon for a walk to Lincoln Park West, which is a few blocks from our apartment. Instead of zoning out to the music in my earbuds (Dave van Ronk; yes, I did just see that Coen brothers movie) as I’d usually have done, I kept my eyes tuned in to line, color, contrast as I stomped around on the ice, camera cradled inside my parka to keep the battery warm. (Freezing temperatures kill your battery life.) I still have a lot to learn, but that’s OK — new hobbies are kind of my hobby.

DSC_0203The sweet alley I have to go through to enter the stairway to my apartment

DSC_0215Roses in the snow

DSC_0220Sometimes you just gotta take a picture of a gate

DSC_0221People were just totally parked all over the place

Graffiti with poppies

DSC_0229Park buds

DSC_0231This reminded me of “View of Delft”

DSC_0237Obligatory winter berries shot

DSC_0240Obligatory winter berries redux

DSC_0241Spent a long time editing a slightly different version of this photo, then liked the unedited version better

DSC_0263OK, I’m done. I’ll leave you alone.


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