Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Picture Perfect

Quite a shot, isn't it? I took it yesterday with my new camera, a Canon Rebel XT. If you want to be even further creeped out, click on it for even more ghastly detail.

I researched quite a few SLR's before going with the Canon, and it does not disappoint. I shot this photo of Larry displaying the fangs of a rattler using the lens that came with it, a modest EF-S18 - 55 mm. On Thursday I will upgrade to a more powerful one. It is mind-boggling how much people will pay for a good lens - and what a difference they can make. My husband has remarked that I will be easy to buy for now. My photographic wish list grows by leaps and bounds.

Since I bought the camera last Thursday, I've shot hundreds of photos. I've blown several of them up to 8 x 10, including this up-close shot of my cat, Piper, without losing a bit of resolution.

I haven't found the size of the camera to be a problem. Some reviewers complained it was too small, but I have small hands so find it comfortable. It shoots at 3 frames per second, so I was able to get some awesome pics of Lucas jumping in mud puddles. The different settings make it perfect for getting quick candid shots.

The only thing I'd recommend against is using the black and white setting. It's better to get the shot in color and use Photoshop to grayscale it. The Canon comes with a photo editing software, ArcSoft, but I wasn't as impressed with it as I am with Photoshop.

When I went shopping for the camera, I saw that the new Rebel XTi was out. It has 10.1 megapixels to the Rebel XT's eight, and a larger LCD screen. But as one of my photographer friends pointed out, you can get wonderful blow-ups from a 4 megapixel camera. Apparently, as megapixels go, a 2 point difference isn't worth the $200 difference in price. "Invest the price difference in a good lens instead," he advised. So that's what I'm going to do. A larger LCD display screen would have been nice. The Rebel XT only has a 1.8", but if you're like me you really don't even think of critiquing photos until you have them downloaded and blown up.

All in all, I'd highly recommend this camera. The guy who sold it to me was also in the market, and was trying to decide between the Rebel XT and a Nikon. I stopped by yesterday and showed him my photos and now he's decided to go with the Rebel XT himself. I wonder if I should ask Costco for a commission.


thimscool said...

Holy Moley! That's one hell of a camera.

I can't wait to see more results here...

Morgan said...

Luke, I'm still going through photos but the guys who developed them were blown away by the rattlesnake shots. I've got some of venom dripping from the fangs and an extreme close-up of the eye. I'll try and resize them to post later today or tomorrow. Photography really is fascinating; too bad the equipment is so expensive. I keep finding lenses that I want to buy and then I see that some of them are in the one to two grand range and almost choke. It's good incentive to work harder. :-)

CJ said...

The snake look sinister. The cat looks surpised.It must be a good camera but it takes more than a good camera to take good pictures. That's some talent you've got there, girl.

Morgan said...

"It must be a good camera but it takes more than a good camera to take good pictures."

Ha, CJ. It also helps to have a husband willing to hold a rattler's mouth open while you photograph the fangs.
As for Piper, she's had so many pictures taken of her that sometimes I think she poses for the camera. Her cat friend, Jingles, just looks bored.

That Cleaning Lady said...

Was this snake really happy to just hang its mouth on a stick for you to photo? wow, how amazing is that? I'm still reeling from the spider pics, but love that shot of kitty face, can almost see your reflection in Piper's eyes. Thanks for sharing the pics and the info on the camera, we're still shopping, but I'll share your info and pictures with Chris.

Morgan said...

The snake had no opinion whatsoever. It was dead, roadkilled down the road from our house. They are moving this time of year and we've already caught a 4'one in our yard and relocated it to the game preserve.
When I saw it hit, I brought it home to photograph.
I'm getting a new lens Friday, and will post more pics. You guys may want to read some online reviews of the Canon Rebel XT. There's a lot of good information online.

Erik said...

Rebels rock! I would like one but I must say I like my Kodak!

As for the megapixels, to get twice as big it takes a lot of increase in megapixels. IIRC to double the size of a 2MP camera you would have to get to 6MP. And to double a 4MP would be 12MP camera. As your salesman said, lens is everything but also important (I have found) is how quickly it actually takes the pic. Nothing worse than trying to take a pic and pressing the button then............. click I missed SOOO many shots that way with my old HP. I gave up trying with that camera. (My sisters HP works well. It isnt HP just my camera was crappy)

Erik said...

Ya might want to add this to your wish list. It is certainly on mine. The Panosaurus

It holds the camera in the proper position so you can take photos that you can stitch together to make incredible photos like Mr Max Lyons Some of his photos are 16 or more images stitched together. This pic of the Grand Canyon is 24 images stitched together and is 24,000 pixels wide!

thimscool said...

Erik, that was a totally awesome panorama that guy took. Thanks for the link.

It really makes me want to get back out west. Sigh.

mitzibel said...

I don't know jack about cameras, but my mom was an avid photographer for many years, and (don't you *dare* tell her I said this) I now recognize the difference between an amateur with expensive equipment and a talented professional with the right equipment.
Guess which category I put you in?

Morgan said...

Erik, that Grand Canyon shot is amazing. The software that came with my Canon has the stitching function, but I haven't used it. I think I might try it soon, though. I'd like to go to the mountains this fall and shoot from some of the overlooks I visited earlier this year. No Grand Canyon, to be sure, but the color would be awesome.

Morgan said...

Mitzibel, you can put me as a talented amateur with professional aspirations. I'm learning all I can about the camera and hope to only improve. I'm lucky to be able to get the equipment I now have; it's been a dream of mine and wouldn't have been possible without a very good summer, financially speaking. I only hope the work holds out so I can splurge on some good lenses. I'm getting a new one tomorrow, not a top of the line but one with more zoom. The top of the line ones are a grand and up.
The telephoto I'm picking up tomorrow is in the $250 - $300 range. My next purchase will be a macro.
I think I'll have to go professional to justify the expense. :-)

Morgan said...

One more thing, Erik..those links are amazing. Max Lyons is awesome. I love that shot of the Washington Monument. His work is breathtaking!

Erik said...


Max Lyons work is a serious inspiration to me. I would looove that panosaurus as it would make the work of panoramas much easier. And come the turning of the aspens I am going to be both on my bike and filming. Goldens aspens are just gorgeous. I'll post a few when the time comes