Testing the Waters

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Once I decided to buy a DSLR, I started doing some research. I asked a good friend who’d recently purchased a new camera what she’d purchased for taking pictures to post on her food blog. She told me all about her camera, a Canon Rebel t2i, and offered some advice on what to look for in a good DSLR. She also shared a few links to some Canon forums that specifically mentioned taking hockey photos. I will link to those as soon as I can remember on which computer I saved those bookmarks…

I was leaning toward a Canon, despite my husband’s protests that all professional photographers use Nikons. Because I was feeling sassy, I called our professional photographer, who informed me that he has nothing but Canons (several of them), and he also gave me two key things to look for: shutter lag and auto focus speed. He said I should get decent pictures with a camera that allows me to take 4-5 pictures per second. One last piece of advice he had was to head out to Best Buy and look over their cameras, and ask the sales person what their advice was. Then go buy whatever camera they suggest online at either Amazon or bhphoto.com, which he said would be significantly cheaper.

I took all that advice and did some more research, and I felt pretty confident about buying a Canon 60D. From that point, I had to choose a lens or lenses, and more research led me to the 18-135mm, which seems to be the standard lens, and then possibly the 70-300mm for better zoom. I was really debating whether I wanted to plunk down another $700 on this lens, so I called my mom. My mom, by the way, has been an amateur photographer for many, many years. I can remember our laundry room being her “dark room” when I was about 9 or 10. I knew my mom had recently bought a DSLR, so I asked her what she bought. Well, what do you know…it was a Canon 60D, and she just so happened to have the 18-135 and the 70-300! So of course I invited her to our next home game. It happened to be a first-round playoff game, and it was a good one (we won, 4-3). She started off by trying to explain things to me and show me how to use it, but eventually she just gave up and handed me the camera. After three years of taking pictures with my tiny little Sony whatever-it-was, I suddenly felt like a grown-up, taking pictures with a real camera. I will freely confess that I had no idea what I was doing, but I did have fun. Below are three of my favorites of DS#1.

Love the look of intensity here…

Comin’ at ya!

Doing what a defenseman is supposed to do…keep that forward’s stick off the ice!

All these pictures were taken in JPEG format, because my mom chooses quantity over quality. (Of course, my mom has more skill than me and probably knows how to shoot using the manual settings…) I put the dial on action setting (I know how to do that, at least), and honestly, I pretty much just used this as a point-and-shoot camera here. I did some perusing through the above mentioned forums and found a lot of hockey photographers seem to like a product called Noise Ninja, which helps reduce some of the “noise” that comes from having to shoot at the higher ISOs in the poorly-light hockey arenas. I used that here, though I’m not sure I had great success with it.

Obviously, I have lots more to learn, but I enjoyed myself with this experience enough that I went ahead and bought my own 60D and lenses. My next post will have pictures from my own camera!

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