Knowledge Center

December 2014: Pictures and Words

I know what I love about pictures. They don't require words."But you're a writer," you say.True. But even that is me not wanting to speak vocally. I'd rather text people than call them. I'd rather they text back and not call me. I hate long explanations. I'd rather you were ignorant of what it is than to have to explain it. And take social networks, I've jokingly said, "If it has more than seven words, I don't read it." Recently, I extended that to, "If it has more than seven steps, I don't attempt it."I am a very simple person. In my writing, whether nonfiction or fiction, I find it hard to extend a thought. Your typical novel is around 80,000 words. M [read more]

October 2014: Gratitude

It has happened to me again - lassitude. I watch the world go by and never pick up my lens. Oh, I see lots of things. We've had an inordinate amount of rain lately, so much so it flooded the neighbor's cow field causing a newborn calf to escape. Then there was the night we heard coyotes in our yard. That made my hair stand on end. I've seen the largest flock of ibis and cattle egrets ever, wading through the soggy grass, and an eagle that perched at the edge of the expanded pond.But I have no pictures of any of it. Just one of the field full of water, more documentary than anything else, and a close crop of the eagle, not very good. [read more]

June 2014: How Far is Too Far?

There are hobbyists and professionals in the graphic arts who do quality work ... and let me define the word "quality." By "quality" I mean they care about the presentation of their photography or digital art. Looking at it, you cannot find anything technically wrong with it. However ... and this is the point of this article ... their choice of subject matter cheapens graphic art across the board.Now, I will not go into what that subject matter is, but in recent days, a photographer I was (past tense) following went on a rant because one of his or her pieces was pulled from a social network for being in poor taste. (Frankly, I agree it was in poor taste, but saying so would have o [read more]

May 2014: The Changing Landscape

I was staring at my garden the other day, mourning the changes in the last few years. What grew so well before won't grow at all now. What I planted that bounded right up from the soil without roots, this year has faded away. Even the wildflowers in the yard are different. Just four years ago, we had a purple sea of toadflax. It was magical.The next year, my amaryllis lilies were a fantastic red array of blossom [read more]

February 2014: I Take Pictures

Scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed the other day, viewing all the excellent, inspirational photography from around the world, I had a strange revelation. I go nowhere. Not that I didn't know this, because I did, but it struck me funny at the time. This guy went to China. That one took an African Safari. And another got a picture of the rare Iridescent Bubble Bird in the jungles of Brazil (totally made that up, but you get the point). Yet my last photograph, I took out my front door, and it really wasn't that good.  [read more]

January 2014: 365 Days Later

I ask so little in life. Good food. A place on the couch. A few hours of quiet to write. An occasional chat with a friend. And right now, to go an entire day without taking a photograph."Really?" you ask.Oh, my friend, you simply have no idea. [read more]

December 2013: DSLR Showdown: Canon 70D vs. Nikon D7100

Written by Josh Fate - Steve's Digicams Staff ReviewerMid-level DSLR cameras are starting to take on features from all o [read more]

November 2013: Best LifeProof Cameras - 2013 Edition

It's summer. You plan a weekend trip with all your friends to go canoeing down the Chattahoochee River on the East coast, camping along the river banks and grilling on the campfire. It's winter. The family decides this year to spend Christmas snowboarding in the Rockies, renting a cabin in Park City, Utah building snowmen on the back porch. It's s [read more]

November 2013: 2013 Sony DI Press Excursion - Some Hands on Fun with the A7, A7R, and RX10

This year the Sony DI Press Excursion took place in Nashville TN, where they unveiled several new camera and video camera models. During the event, we were able to get some hands on shooting time with the new Alpha 7, Alpha 7R and Cyber-shot RX10. With only a few models available and a large number of guests, we were not able to use the Cyber-shot QX10 and QX-100, but heard good things from those who did get to use them. Complimenting these fantastic still cam [read more]

September 2013: The Power of a Photograph

There is an Ansel Adams quote I particularly like: "When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence." I think I like it because silence can be the best therapy for me against the trauma of the day. I have long said photography is my voice. Maybe that's changed a bit since becoming a writer, yet maybe it hasn't. Still, when faced with some of the worst events in my life - opposition, strife, illness, whatever - I will fall back on photographs to lift my spirits. [read more]

July 2013: Me & F8

Years ago, when I first started in photography, I had this little camera I purchased used from my brother, a Polaroid PDC 640. Now, don't raise your hand if you had one of those, but actually, I was rather fond of it. It was simple. Snap. Snap. Snap. One button to press. One result, no matter what you were doing. Eventually, I graduated to better things, but I stayed a bit stuck in that pattern. Photography without thought. Auto this. Auto that. Auto everything. I was happy letting the camera make all the decisions. [read more]

May 2013: Then Light Came

I said I was going to write an article on light - how to understand light, the direction of light, manipulating light. Light is, after all, the most important element of photography. Light is what makes the image sing out to the viewer. I even had photos prepared. Backlighting. Front lighting. I was sure I could dig up others that'd apply. I thought through the tips I knew, tips to make use of the light or alter the light. Directional light. Diffused light. But then something spectacular happened that I wasn't prepared for.Light came. [read more]

March 2013: All the Things I'm Not

I have been thinking on what to write for this blog for several days. Generally, I like to start with a theme - a camera related topic, something that has inspired me lately, an idea for future photography, a question someone asked me. But this month, I had nothing. Nada.No, this isn't a blog about nothing. Never fear. It is, however, a blog about something. Perhaps several somethings. [read more]

February 2013: Diary of a Mad Photographer

I'm giddy. Lighthearted. Overwhelmed. Overcome. This 365 project thing has changed me. Changed me. How is that possible?One picture per day. That's all I thought I was doing. Simply taking a few minutes to find something special, something that speaks to my lens. But it's become so much more than that. It's about reconnecting, reconnecting with life, reconnecting with the sun and the wind, reconnecting with grasses and flowers and insects and trees. It's finding myself again, tiny pieces of me I left scattered about and gluing it all back together. My camera is once again an extension of my hand, an extension of my brain, a permanent part of m [read more]

February 2013: Win a Rokinon 85mm F1.4 Aspherical Lens!

EDIT: Congrats to Jim Davenport of Alabama for winning the Rokinon lens!Steve's Digicams and Rokinon are partnering up this month to bring you a chance to win a 85mm F1.4 Aspherical Lens that's compatible with Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and Sony dSLR cameras! More information on the company site can be found here [read more]

February 2013: Win a free course with the New York Institute of Photography!

Steve's Digicams and the New York Institute of Photography are partnering up this month to bring you a chance to win a free home-study photography course from the NYIP, the world's largest photography school. One lucky grand prize winner will receive a free enrollment to NYIP's Fundamentals of Digital Photography C [read more]

January 2013: Dust on My Lens: 17 Days into a 365 Photo Project

I admit I slacked off last year. Other things in my life took priority over photographs. This happens to everyone at some point. Family, work, and other extracurricular activities consume so much time that the camera stays on the shelf. Well, in that vein, my camera's been collecting dust lately, and I've hated myself for it. "What you need, Suzanne," I said to myself, "is a good kick in the pants. Something to spark your interest again, get you going outdoors, searching for that one photograph."And that gave me an idea.Now, I'm not big on making resolutions. My mother taught me to promise only what I can fully deliver. So my idea of a New Year's resolution is avoi [read more]

November 2012: Best Black Friday Camera Deals

2012 Holiday Gift Guides [read more]

November 2012: Photography At Its Best

There are some things in life which are guaranteed - laws of science, laws of the universe, even laws that govern the behavior of man and animals. We study these, picking them apart and detailing each movement, each activity, each step needed to reproduce what we've seen or to predict what might come next.We have a need to know. [read more]

October 2012: 2012 Sony DI Press Excursion - a Hands On Look at Their Latest Products

(Photo captured using the Sony SLT-A99 - Click to see the full-size image)As a member of the team here at Steve's Digicams, I was recently able to attend the 2012 Sony Digital Imaging Press Excursion, which took place in San Francisco and Carmel, CA. This year we were present [read more]

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