That’s the error message I just received when trying to save this photograph. It came with a large yellow warning triangle and a red exclamation point, of course. Now don’t even try telling me what the hell it means because I DON’T CARE. Have I mentioned that I hate Photoshop?
[Photo: I know it's more paperwhites and these stink, too, right in my living room.]
Well, since Marv asked about my “technique,” here’s one more shot (clickable to enlarge) and some details.
I used the Canon PowerShot SD550 on a tripod, with the flash turned off. That’s it. And that’s really all I know about how to use the damn camera that I bought a full year ago now. Oh, I suppose I know how to adjust it for macro and for what they call “portrait,” in order to make the background blur, but that’s really all.
Back home on the computer I used PhotoShop Elements to lighten the shadows. Again I know almost nothing about PhotoShop but lightening shadows is the one feature that’s a huge improvement over the Photo Deluxe Home Edition I used for many years, which only enabled overall lightening of the whole shot. And in the case of night photos of Christmas lights, lightening the shadows made the shot look like what I saw through my own eyes that night. Cool.
Now what other feature should I be using for night photography? Someone suggested I prefocus on something completely black but honestly, that involved more finesse with the camera and tripod – in the dark – than I could muster.
My Canon Powershot 550 was just 6 months old when I gave it a test run at the beach this week. Yeah, let’s see how this baby holds up to some sand and salt water. Just pack it in the beach bag and throw it on the sand. Then it’ll be handy when I want to snap some of the awesome beachscapes and professionally landscaped beach homes.
One big wave later the Canon, this wonder of modern technology, had water dripping out of it, a sight that believe me, you never want to see. And after I’d given it overnight to dry out, its LED screen displayed a bizarre, crackling sound and light show. Time to cough up another $375.
THE BIRTH OF A BLOG
So Readers, I can’t show you the masses of daylilies, the sculptural Hollywood junipers, the monstrous grasses and more, all arranged ever-so professionally. Arrrrgh! I also can’t show you the sight I first saw exactly a year ago when I visited the same friends in the same ramshackle beach house. It was the lovely Miz S sitting on the porch hunched over her laptop blogging. It was a first for me – a real person with a blog – and as soon as I got back home I read the whole thing and enjoyed it so much I said to myself – GARDENING BLOG, HERE I COME. The very next day Takoma Gardener launched on Blogger and a month later I moved it to Typepad and – well, you know how the story turns out.
Or do you, or does anybody? This amazing platform – so easy, so visual, so accessible, dynamic and fun – is creating unimaginable opportunities for its users, me included. Like the chance to write for DC Master Gardeners – for $$. Like the chance to team up with Amy and Michele, my talented co-conspirators at GardenRant. There’s no telling what’ll happen next but first and foremost and to steal from our Manifesto, we’re having a hell of a lot of fun.
Epilogue: After a night back in its own home, the Canon decided to forgive and forget and act like its old self again. Thank you!! I promise to treat you better from now on.
You don’t want to know the torture I went through to get started digitally back in 2000, and I don’t want to remember it all that vividly myself. So suffice it to say it was HELL, I tell you, so I know how frustrating it can be to make that great leap. SO much to learn, most of it totally alien. I’ve even been stressed-out like crazy about switching to a better camera and better software, so much so that it’s taken me months to actually start using my new camera and buy a new editing program. But Ta-Da: here are my first real photos with my new Canon PowerShot SD550, recommended by the excellent photographer Judith at Knitagarden.
And for anyone starting out, here’s what I recommend for putting together the right camera, programs and connecting hardware and getting it all started: Buy from a Real Camera Store, one with a staff member who knows all about digital photography, then call or stop by with questions. Yes, I know it means paying a little more than you’d pay on line, but it’s totally worth it. You don’t want to be one of the millions with new digital cameras sitting unused in their closets, do you? And we all like supporting independent camera retailers, anyway, don’t we? I thought so.
I had the good fortune to buy my new Canon from Penn Camera on E Street in N.W. Washington, which enjoys the sales services of the truly terrific Melanie Otto a day or two a week. Most of the time she’s doing her own photography and teaching digital photography, both in groups and privately. God, I wish she’d been around in 2000 when I first jumped into the deep end witn no adult supervision. Even the Ritz Camera where I bought my old Olympus knew nothing; it was probably too new for them, too. In every way, I went digial too early. More evidence? The camera had only 2.1 megapixels – gasp – and cost $750 – go ahead and gasp again. How far they’ve come in a mere 6 years is awesome.
[Photos: First is a follow-up to a recent post where I asked what the heck a garden fork is and thanks to Alice in Canberra, I realized it's this very helpful tool planted in my tulip garden. Next are the China Pink lily-shaped tulips that returned from last year - I'm liking them more than ever and may even buy more next fall. They're against a background of Euphorbia x Martinii in bloom. And finally, a lovely spring scene from my neighbors' garden.]