March 2013 Camera Clips -dSLR edition

March BannerWelcome to 2013. Another year starts in photoclub with the usual plethora of activities. We have had our first competition, “ signs” and from the digital set I have included a photo from one of our newer members, Ron Hassan in the newsletter banner.

Late last year I was fortunate enough to acquire a new dSLR camera, a Nikon D7000. I did not realize at the time just how complex the controls had got on these cameras. Lucky for me, several members of the club also had this same model.  I was able to swap notes with Les Ludgate, Helen Whitford and Jo Tabe. Without their advice I would have been lost.   In this edition of Camera clips I have been able to persuade Jo and Les to distill their sage advice into a couple of articles.   Joe gives her advice on buying lenses, while Les describes how to customize the setup to suit your individual requirements.
There were a lot of changes moving from a compact camera. I think the biggest frustrations were these;

  1. It is aweful having to predict which lens you are going to use and when you get it wrong, making quick inconvenient changes in the field when it least suits.
  2. You get dust on your sensor.
  3. You really have to adjust the f-stop or else you end up with extremely narrow depth of field and \ loss of image clarity.
  4. It is a whole lot heavier.
  5. You have to look through the viewfinder (mostly). It just is not practical to take photos from your camera at arms length in Remote view.

Despite these problems there have also been a lot of advantages. mostly to do with improved handling in low light, less noise and greater overall flexibility.

If you look on the blogs you will find plenty of people advising you to take the flash off the camera in order to get better portraits. I had a word with Eric and he has just provided me with two pages on ”off camera flash”. I have experimented a little with off camera flash with my old Panasonic (before the flash died). I found that it was important to take test shots to ensure that the exposure was correct.  Eric has explained his approach to getting good exposure with the flash.

Chris our beloved president has given us a frank and honest appraisal of his journey in relation to discovering his own sense of photographic style. Lastly David Douglas Martin has written a short piece on using artistic filters and manipulation in photography. In particular a program called Dynamic Auto-Painter, or DAP for short.  I am sure you will enjoy this word from our current and one of our past presidents.


  1. 15 most important image manipulation tricks for Photographers – James Allan
  2. Confessions of a “lens junky” – Jo Tabe
  3. General Nikon camera set up – Les Ludgate
  4. Off camera flash – Eric Budworth
  5. Satisfying the artist within! (or Don’t shoot for the judges) – Chris Schultz
  6. Photography As Art – David D-M