I've gotten a lot of questions recently via comments and via email about my pictures, editing and camera. Instead of emailing everyone back I thought I'd post them all here. :) Let me start this out by saying I'm sooooo new to photography. I mean, I've always LOVED taking pictures (ask my husband- he think it's an illness) but in the last 6 months+ I've decided I wanted to explore all I can about photography. I saved for and bought a nice camera and lens and just finished up my first round of classes at a local community college. I've barely began to grip aperture, shutter speeds, ISO, white balance, etc etc. I have boatloads to learn and start a 2nd round of classes in January. With that disclaimer, here's some of your questions answered.
What kind of camera did you buy and how did you choose it? There are a million opinions on DSLR cameras so I contacted some of the photographers that I love and asked what they shot with. Also, I'm such a newbie, I needed something somewhat basic. I had decided on a Nikon and ended up with a D5000. It's basically a merger of the D60 and D90 with a high def video recorder. With the cutest little child ever, I wanted the video option.
I love the "sharp picture/blurry background" thing? Please explain. This effect is the best, huh?! It seriously got my head turned towards learning more about photography. It's not hard to do if you understand aperture and depth of field. (Though understanding those concepts can be hard). I look forward to learning more and playing with this effect. I can say that my lens rocks- I have a 35mm 1.8 aperture lens.
What do you use for editing? I love the bright colors and strong contrasts. Okay, confession. I took a pricey and intense Photo.shop class and I have barely touched the program since. I really really really want to invest tons of time figuring it out but I don't have tons of time. I prefer Light.room. It's easier and more basic. I'm developing my own personal style of editing and I plan on tweaking for years until I get it just right. I look back on pics I edited 2 months ago and cringe. I have gotten a little obsessed with high contrast black & white and high contrast color shots. A couple people asked how to do this and it's just playing with the saturations, brightness, blacks, etc. Another fun program to play with is www.picknik.com. They have great pre-sets and editing tools.
There are some kids on your blog that aren't Declan. Are you doing photo shoots? YES! Actually I am doing shoots for family and friends and a few people referred my way. I need to do as much as I can to put to action what I'm being taught in class. I rarely get nervous but I tend to get a bit nervous until I know I got some good shots (fortunately with digital you can see right away).
I think I covered it. I didn't specifically answer a few questions because I felt other answers addressed it. So, if I missed your inquiry, just email me back.
The " * " near the picture (I took in photography class) is because I totally know I'm a dingbat and misspelled "aperture". I warned you that I'm SUPER new to this.