Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Any Photographers? I Need Help

Help. Here's the deal. Photography used to be one of my passions. (I'm easily addicted to many passions :) ) I had the neatest darkroom. It had the correct ventilation, the big photo sink, shelves galore, drying lines, and all the tools.

Then along came digital. da da da da ta dum. Drumroll. I scarcely know the basics on a computer. Then add learning all the buttons on a digital camera and putting that into the computer is beyond my scope or most times, even my caring. But I love blogging and there are just certain things you absolutely have to know.

In the dinosaur days of photography, I had 2 Leicas. My black and white's would give Robert Doisneau a run for his money. No, that's an exaggeration but they were so clear and crisp that you could melt into a photo. Now, I'm reduced to a a smudgy little Sony cybershot ........ because it was easy to learn. Look at the photos I posted yesterday. They're lousy.

My question to you...... any suggestions for a good digital photo camera (that's fairly easy or I'm afraid it will go to dust with the Leicas) that will be compatible with a Mac computer. Everyone's photos always look so exqusite. It appears like you are all professionals. I was learning videos and movies, too. I bought a Canon camcorder that sits on the shelf with the Leicas. Help. I'm tearing my hair out.


  1. Hi Manza! I too grew up in a world of photography... had a darkroom in my home. I used a Mamiya medium format, a Canon A-1, and my throw-down camera was an AE-1. I love film!!

    Then along came digital - bleh! I don't like it! So much less creative for me. There's no burning, dodging, cropping... remember the pantyhose on a stick filter? I miss those days!!

    I don't have a digital camera. I have the same questions you do. I want something that will provide me with crisp, clear photos. And I suppose I will have to invest in a photo editing program to get creative with them....

  2. Hi Manzanita. I have always loved photography, but am not a photographer by any stretch. I am just a shutterbug, knowing nothing about the science of it all. I have always had a decent camera, for the times. Presently, I have a digital Nikon D90 + high-end lens (but not the top of the line). It will do everything I tell it to do and more. (I don't tell it to wash dishes..Lol.) There are a lot of good digital cameras for your selection. Most will be easy for you to learn. Simply - take your pictures - pull out your memory card and slip it into a card reader slot on your computer (or just use your camera cord that connects your camera with the computer via a USB port - your pictures will automatically open on your monitor - drag them into a folder – you are done.
    Of course, you may want to edit your pictures, resize, crop, etc. and name them. You will need a simple picture-editing program to do that. I use Paint shop Pro 9. Again, there is a good selection to choose from.
    All of this is very simple. You can learn it easily, but if you need a few pointers, there is always someone willing to help. Gerry

  3. A Mac woman, huh? Like it! You then have iPhoto on your desktop, yes? Great tool and very easy to use. There is a tutorial contained within the program. You can edit photos, crop, etc. You can export, import and email directly from that program. More advanced photo retouching/editing would be Photoshop or Lightroom. Depends on your needs and how much you want to spend. Both of those pgms use lots and lots of memory! My camera advice, find out what your pocketbook will allow and go to a pro camera shop and chat up one of the men or women who work there. Nine times out of ten, they are pro-photogs who know their cameras. Just because it's the most expensive, doesn't mean it's the best for your needs, yes?

    BTW-Uploading photos to your Mac is very uncomplicated these days. A port, a plug and voila!

    Good luck and happy shooting. I look forward to seeing your photos!

  4. Thanks for the comments everyone.

    Yup, I sure hated to give up my darkroom but digital just marched right by me. Do you have a Mac computer now? How do you get photos on your blog without digital? I am such a non-techie. I wish I'd been able to grow up with computers like the young kids now do. Any 2 yr. old knows more than I do.

    Do you care if I pick your brain a little? (like a little bird) Do you have a Mac or PC? Mac's aren't always compatible with all cameras, according to what I read. It always takes me a long time to make a purchase because I research most things first. I was actually thinking Nikon but haven't started looking .yet.When I bought the Cannon camcorder, I think I researched for a week. I can run the programs OK like iMovie but it's the camcorder, itself with all it's buttons that cause me grief. So I use the little blurry Sony for everything. Your photos look great. Good clarity. My old Leica always had such great clarity but now it looks like I took a picture in a snowstorm. I appreciate your comment.

  5. I love my camera, but I don't know how to use all the bells and whistles. I'm like you, just point and shoot. I don't doctor up my photos - what I post is exactly the shot I took. BUT I take tons of photos, so I have a lot to choose from.

    Photography makes me happy! I have a Sony, and it's about 4 years old, maybe older. You just gotta go to the store and see what you like.

  6. Hi Big,
    Thanks for the comment. Do you have a Mac? They are often picky about the cameras. I teach dance and about a year ago I wanted a camcorder that would be good for vids of my classes. After a lot of research I decided on a Canon and it takes adequate videos, but too many buttons for this non-techie. But, I suppose the better the camera, all the more features .

    Good advice. I'll ask in a camera shop and also start reading online. I yearn to take good clear pictures again.

  7. Kj.
    I like your photos. Good detail and clarity. You must have the expensive Sony. Now I'm using a real cheapie little Sony and did you see how blurry those mine pictures were? They were terrible. Even the ones in the bright light. A new camera means reading a new manual. Sorry I'm complaining so much but electronic stuff brings out a bad Manzi.

  8. Hi Manzanita,

    No, I have no Mac. (I will have one, my next computer buy. My granddaughter tells me that is the way to go.) I cannot tell you from experience if my camera is compatible. I would certainly be disappointed it isn't. I know what you mean by research. It is pathetic looking at my time line on a purchase of significance.
    Good luck on your selection. I am sure you will find what suits all of your needs.


  9. Hail, hail fellow Mac user. :-) I wish I could tell you right off the bat about the best affordable digital camera. I was in the market a couple years ago, but then the husband won a HP Photosmart camera in a raffle and handed it over to me. I would compare it to a Kodak instamatic with a few bells and whistles. The quality is Ok. I use Photoshop to edit my photos. With that software, I can do tricks like bring fuzzy photos into focus and pop out the colors better. And, I only use 1/10 of what can be done with the software.

    I think any digital camera works with a Mac. The essential element is to a USB cable to connect the camera to your machine. And, if you have a digital that doesn't fit, then I would think all you need is an adapter to hook it up to the USB cable.

    Do you have an Apple store nearby? You might go in and talk with one of the techie guys. Otherwise, head over to or this link at Macworld:

    Your OS program ought to have some kind of image capture application to import the photos from your camera. It would be different than iphoto, but I think you can import directly into iphoto. I haven't played around with the app enough to tell you anything about it. I have a Mac friend who is just gaga about iphoto. I just nod when she talks about it.

    To import images from your prints, you need a scanner. You can buy a printer/scanner/copier combo machine. You hook up the scanner to your Mac. The same image software that's in your machine can be used to scan and import your photos to folders on your desktop.

    Hope that all made sense. :-)

  10. Sony Cybershot

    Learn to use the macro mode. You'll love it. Try and find someone to show you it's ways. It's simple to use and will give a you new found photography freedom. xx

    For Mac get a programme called Aperture. Make sure Mac is running on Leopard.