Hi there! My name is Catherine. I’m Sam and Darwin’s photo slave (er… assistant). If you come to a workshop or talk done by oopoomoo you’ll probably meet me. Don’t tell Sam and Darwin I told you, but I’m really the brains behind the operation over here!
I will be writing some beginner’s tips here and there; I hope you enjoy them!
On Buying a Camera for Someone Else
So, you haven’t taken any photos for umpteem years and you are itching to get back into the world of photography. Yes, you have taken photos before and yes, you have some photography skills. Back in your childhood days perhaps you were given a point and shoot camera for Christmas. You proudly show some square, glossy black and white photos to a friend. “See, the dot in the middle of the picture, that’s a black bear!!” The next photo is of a headless person. Still another shot is obscured by a finger which unknowingly found its way in front of the lens. Umm, you think. Maybe I could use some help. But where do I start??
Start RIGHT HERE. Follow me through several articles while I take my husband back into the wonderful world of photography.
Let me introduce ourselves. I am Catherine and my husband is Ed. I have tinkered with photography throughout my life. As a kid I took photos of friends, pets and family vacations with small Kodak Instamatic cameras. I developed the film and processed the pictures with my Dad in our small basement darkroom. While attending the University of Alberta, a Pentax SF1 35mm was my camera of choice. Later, with a busy professional life and the addition of three sons into my life, I found very little time for hobby photography. The majority of my photo albums are filled with boys at swim meets, boys with humungous smiles at Christmas, boys at birthday parties, boys up to their eyebrows in mud, catching tadpoles in the pond…..well, you get the idea! At that time in my life I was using a 35mm Canon. In 2004 I purchased my first DSLR, a Canon Rebel. At the present time I am the proud owner of: a Canon Rebel DSLR, Canon Rebel XTi, Canon 50D, Canon G10 and G11, Canon SD 4000 IS, Canon SX 4000 HS and a Canon ELPH 300 . (Do ya think I like Canon?)
Ed purchased a Minolta 35mm camera in the 1980’s to take photos while on trips to Europe. Needless to say, we have a large storage box under our stairs with THOUSANDS of fading 35mm slides of buildings who are related to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, photos with pokies, (Not sure what a pokie is? Come to one of Sam’s workshops and ask her!) and shots blurred by movement. He has not taken many pictures since his foot loose and fancy free days in Europe but he has seen how much I enjoy photography and would like to join me in my adventures.
In March 2011, I was invited to join 12 other people on a photo trip to Iceland in June 2012. The day this exciting email came to me I was sitting by Ed’s bedside. He was very sick in the Rockyview Hospital, in Calgary, Alberta. He strongly encouraged me to sign up for the trip. So I did!
Ed is healthy and strong once again. During his recovery he became interested in photography. We were both regretting that he was not going on the Iceland trip. However our luck changed just before Christmas when a spot on the tour became available. Since Ed was the first name on the waiting list he was asked if he wanted to join the group. YES! YES! YES!
Now we have to get Ed a camera.
TIP NUMBER ONE Don’t try to surprise someone with a camera as a present. Buying a camera is like buying a man a pair of pants. He needs to be there when you are buying them. Even though they may be tagged as the usual size he wears, all pants fit differently. They need to fit properly around the waist, be a length that is not so short that the top of his socks are showing or so long that they drag along in the dirt, and the bum needs to be “just right”….. Cameras need to fit ‘just right’ also.
I thought I would surprise Ed and buy a camera for him. Of course it is a Canon! It has some great features for a beginner. I am talking about the Canon HS SX 40.
Off to my favorite Camera Store to buy hubby’s gift. Oh, it looked so good when the salesman took it out of the box. He slipped off the see-through bag, ever so slowly, to reveal the shiny body of the HS SX 40. I was in a trance….watching the battery being dropped in, the power button turned on and the telephoto lens slip out about 1\2 inch. He then placed it in my hands. Nice weight. Nice feel. All the buttons were in the right place for my fingers. A few more questions for the salesman and I knew this was the right present for Ed.
On Valentine’s Day I presented Ed with a box wrapped in paper with small hearts and a fancy red bow on top. I waited in great anticipation while he opened his present…….Once again the HS SX 40 was removed from its plastic covering. Ed’s first comment was, “It looks complicated.” To reassure him that he could easily learn the functions I suggested that we go for a photo drive.
Off to Banff! Well, I quickly learned that Ed should have been with me when I purchased a camera for him. The HS SX 40 did not fit in his hand very well at all and he was constantly turning on the menu button with the base of his thumb. The preview button was also accidently pressed several times. Do ya think this caused some frustration??? We decided to put the nice new HS SX 40 back into its new camera bag and head off to a local coffeehouse for a latte.
Ed said that the camera just didn’t feel good in his hands but he would use it. He is such a good guy! When we got home I brought out my cameras and set up a used Canon Camera Store and had him ‘try out’ my point and shoots. (You didn’t think I was going to let him use the Canon 50D did you?) Ed decided on the Canon G11 for his Iceland camera. We have returned from our Iceland trip and Ed enjoyed using the G11. The dials and buttons are easy to use and they are in perfect positions for him.
There is only one problem…..now that he has a camera there are a lot of candid photos of ME!
Keep watching the oopoomoo blog for Tip number two!