The Start of a DSLR Adventure

  In 2000, I bought my first digital camera. It was a D-Link DSC-350 that could
                     take real "jerky" videos. It was less than $60 total (including shipping). Those
                     early digital pictures were the key to creating my first (and only) Website in
                     2002.... . The focus was all about the training, hunting
                     and testing of my Labrador retrievers.  It wasn't long after starting the Website
                     when the upgrade was a $190 Fujifilm digital. Those pictures were of a much
                     better quality.

A few years ago, another upgrade did a great job as long as the photo editing
                     programs "spit out" a few keepers. The Olympus Camedia C-5500 has been fun
                     to work with. However, this year I began to feel that some of the really important,
                     spontaneous shots needed "more punch". The quality of my wide angle shots
                     left a lot to be desired, and I was tiring of splicing three photos together in the
                     Paint program to get a panoramic view. 

 The Last Straw (Link)   
Olympus C-5500

                      The pre-SLR days are over. After months of "looking and sifting" through all the
                      photography forums on The Refuge, Avery, and the Canon
                      Digital Photography Net, I finally reached a decision about initial gear choices.
                      These "picks" were determined by the type of photography (mostly crop), initial
                      cost and availability. The budget was a limiting factor. Truthfully, "budget" is
                      First, I bought a NEW Rebel XTi body for $455 shipped. The second purchase
                      was a NEW
Canon EF 28-135 IS USM for $315 shipped. A beneficial aspect of
                      the timing was this lens is a relatively inexpensive kit lens being "skimmed" off
                      new 40D camera deals.
 Added to the body and lens combo were a lens pouch,
                      LowePro EX160 camera bag, second Canon battery, 72mm Hoya UV filter and
                      two 2-GB SanDisk EXtreme III CompactFlash cards. 

                      Apparently, the best time to buy is when the market goes through a transition
                      and the principle of "keeping up with the Jones's" is a non-issue.

                      After a few months of "experimenting", I should have a "good handle" of what's
                      next.  My guess is......go wider, faster & closer........
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens?  

                          total cost (all NEW - shipping and taxes) = $984 (really, really good prices!)

                     Purchases - XTi (Elan Remford) & lens (BBrat) on P.O.T.N., Adorama & Best Buy

                                          initial phase - can't take this equipment where it MIGHT get dirty
                                            next phase - I'll be very careful
                                            final phase - it's only money & special pictures are the goal
                                 post- final phase -
I need better glass        
                                  March, 2008 update - camera bag has two more lenses
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens
                                                                  Canon 55-250 mm f/4-5.6 IS
                                  March, 2009 intentions - it's time for better glass, but no cash 

December, 2012 update  - camera into the Mississippi River
                                                                   (end result = dead camera, but lens OK)
                                                                   purchased used XTi (same make as above - $250)
                                                                   AND a Pelican waterproof case 
                                                      note: I still need
better glass. However,
                                                                Paint Shop Pro Ultimate Photo X2 has
                                                                proven very useful in editing photos.
February, 2015 update - finally decided to "move up" again
                                                               purchased a new Canon 70-200 mm f/4L EF                                     

                            Old Photo Galleries & Special Pages (pre-DSLR)

                                            The Lesson (Link)
Olympus C-5500  
                                            Ribbons - Taffey, Daisy, Kooly (Link)       
Olympus C-5500
Alter Ego (Link)                                        
Olympus C-5500, FugiFinePix, D-Link  
Water Training Areas (Link)  
                   Olympus C-5500, FugiFinePix, D-Link    
                                            Horicon Marsh (Link)                               
Olympus C-5500
Bluebill Boat Blind (Link)                          Olympus C-5500
                                            Gunny - Growth Progress (Link)               
Olympus C-5500
Daisy's Goose Daze (Link)                        
Olympus C-5500
                                            Kentucky Seminar - Puppies (Link)          
Olympus C-5500

         First Photos (not dogs)
                             Jan 25, 2008 

                             It was night time. The living room only had two 60 watt light bulbs ( very low light). The
                             flash was reflecting off three oil paintings. I needed to study the manual a bit more.                             
                             The next day, diffused light from the windows was much better. I went with "no flash". 

                             The first is a very old oil painting my daughter did over 25 years ago.  The canvass is
                             stretched over wood slats which are not exactly square.  It hangs high on a pink wall
                             and remains my favorite work of art. The colors in all the photos are an exact match
                             (with a little tweaking).

                             From what I've read.......shoot, evaluate and adjust is the best approach. Learn by doing.
                             These are my first efforts at DSLR photography. This is fun! 

                             If you recognize the "lady" in the frame, it dates you.


                                                                  Here are a few more oils "off the wall".

(left click on thumbnails)
"Sun Burst "
                                                       (Canon 28-135 mm IS)
                                                       original crocus & bee
                                                       (Canon 55-250 mm IS)
               April 14, 2008
               cropped bee
                                                           "Rockin' Robin"
                                                       (Canon 55-250 mm IS)


               April 14, 2008
              "getting wet in
              the Rock River"
                                                             "Kooly dive A"
                                                          note: shell casings
                                                            and fence post
                                                          (pre-GIMP editing)
                                                       (Canon 55-250 mm IS)
                  April, 2008
               "Kooly dive B"
           (post-GIMP editing)
               Paint Shop Pro
         note: "removed" shell
          casings & fence post,
         "healed" allergy sore
              on Kooly's chest 
                                                                                    updated 02/20/15