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Canon Power Shot roof images

do it yourself roof building

another roof picture of a worker working
Putting the final piece of tin on the roof sort of feels like the last piece of a marathon jig saw puzzle.


man holding a ladder
We recently upgraded the WaldenEffect blog camera from the Fuji Finepix S1000fd to a beefier Canon Power Shot SX20. I can already tell a difference, but will wait for more experimentation before I give a full report on how awesome it is.



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the pictures on this site are always so...picturesque ;). can you recommend any good photography books for us non-artistic types?
Comment by mizztanya Thu Sep 2 16:53:27 2010

Thank you! We really love taking pictures, and I'm always glad to see that someone enjoys them.

Even though I'm usually an advocate of book-learning, I'm not when it comes to taking good photos. Instead, I think you should get a digital camera, then start taking lots of pictures and putting them on your computer to look at immediately. The great thing about a digital camera is that taking a hundred pictures costs nothing --- if you don't like them, just delete them. You'll teach yourself how to take good shots as long as you're willing to take a bunch of them.

I think that it's important to get a good camera, but I don't think you need to spend too much on it either. The newest edition of the Fuji would be a very good choice for a moderately priced (less than $200) camera that takes awesome pictures.

Comment by anna Thu Sep 2 17:12:52 2010

Clearly I have more tips than I thought I did. :-)

At least at first, you should probably stick to taking photos outside in natural light. It's amazing what a difference bright light makes in photography.

Probably the most common thing I see that changes a brilliant photo into a mediocre photo is not getting in close enough to the subject. Try to fill the entire photo with whatever you're taking a picture of, and even chop off a bit of the edges. Notice how the big picture at the top of this post just doesn't grab you as much as the two lower pictures. By lopping off part of Mark's butt and part of the truck, I suck you into the image.

And I'm going to stop now because I'm about to give a lecture on composition --- diagonals, negative space, etc. That might be worth reading up on if you've never taken an art class. In fact, if I was going to recommend a book for you, I'd recommend a beginning art book to train your eye on composition, not one about photography.

Comment by anna Thu Sep 2 17:17:52 2010
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond so quickly! Thanks also for the pointers, and the camera recommendation. You've definitely inspired me. :)
Comment by mizztanya Thu Sep 2 21:35:57 2010
Clearly, that kind of question is right up my alley. I'll look forward to seeing your photos!
Comment by anna Fri Sep 3 07:36:11 2010

Anna- my previous camera was one of the little Cannon's and it was pretty good. The newer versions of the power shot are even better. Now I've got Sony's version because that's what was available when my Cannon died while on a trip. New Rule: Do not drop your digital camera all the time!

Mizztanya-- everything Anna said is great advice, especially the part about studying composition instead of "Photography." Look at all kinds of art and notice where the subjects are placed in the frame, what you notice, etc. concentrate on looking at pre WWI works if you can. The modern lack of compositional control can be really confusing.

Another couple of things that helped me a lot were to 1: convert (at least temporarily) all my images to black & white. That will help you see the composition better. Then return them to color and see if there is anything that distracts from the subject. (Looking at what's around "the picture" is a hugely important skill.)

2: Once you feel comfortable with your camera set yourself a limit of, say, 36 pictures and spend a day photographing like mad.... but you can only have that many pictures on your camera at one time... so it eventually becomes a one in / one out proposition which will help you make better pictures because all that deleting sucks. When you find something that just HAS to be shot you then need to delete the worst of what you already have. I did that on an 8 day hike ten years ago (when each memory card held THAT "massive" storage ability) and although I don't have pictures of everything I saw I have a few really fantastic pictures that remind me of the trip and my accomplishment.

Comment by April Fri Sep 3 11:50:39 2010

Anna- my previous camera was one of the little Cannons and it was pretty good. The newer versions of the power shot are even better. Now I've got Sony's version because that's what was available when my Cannon died while on a trip. New Rule: Do not drop your digital camera all the time!

Mizztanya-- everything Anna said is great advice, especially the part about studying composition instead of "Photography." Look at all kinds of art and notice where the subjects are placed in the frame, what you notice, etc. concentrate on looking at pre WWI works if you can. The modern lack of compositional control can be really confusing.

Another couple of things that helped me a lot were to 1: convert (at least temporarily) all my images to black & white. That will help you see the composition better. Then return them to color and see if there is anything that distracts from the subject. (Looking at what's around "the picture" is a hugely important skill.)

2: Once you feel comfortable with your camera set yourself a limit of, say, 36 pictures and spend a day photographing like mad.... but you can only have that many pictures on your camera at one time... so it eventually becomes a one in / one out proposition which will help you make better pictures because all that deleting sucks. When you find something that just HAS to be shot you then need to delete the worst of what you already have. I did that on an 8 day hike ten years ago (when each memory card held THAT "massive" storage ability) and although I don't have pictures of everything I saw I have a few really fantastic pictures that remind me of the trip and my accomplishment.

Comment by April Fri Sep 3 11:53:28 2010
Thanks, April! Those are great tips.
Comment by anna Fri Sep 3 13:22:00 2010

One very unique homestead, $1,500 per acre, the opportunity of a lifetime