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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Photos and Photography

Since around 2001, I have been honing my photography skills.  My husband definitely introduced me to "real" photography.  What I mean by "real" is the use of professional and semi-professional level equipment to take photos.  The other goal early on for me was to use the available technology that was out there.  Cameras and the way we take, display, and store photos, along with the quantity in which we take them has changed so much in the past 10 years.  I can hardly manage the quantity but I think I've got the technology down which includes how to retouch photos in a basic fashion and store them appropriately.

My learning curve in photography really peeked in 2005 when we had a couple of  "point and shoot" digital cameras that were great at the time.  We also had a Nikon SLR film camera from 2003.  Yes, a film camera that even now takes the most awesome photos.   The only drawback is that it is film.  A film camera does force you to be smart about your photo taking.  It can really make you get it right the first time.  The other catch is that you can't preview what you've taken on the back of the camera.  I must admit though, our film camera does such an awesome job that it is almost fool proof.

2003 Castaway Cay, Bahamas
Since about 2008, the film camera has been sitting in the closet.  Even though we'd be sure to have the photos put on a CD when we'd have the film developed, we no longer pull that camera out.  The best use of that camera now is not just to show our children a little piece of history but that camera takes the best black and white photos using good old black and white film.  We now use our Nikon Digital SLR.  It takes amazing photos and you can take them in large quantities.  I am, however, beginning to realize less is more.  If I take 200 photos at an event, I try to keep only the best and essential photos.  You can over do it with digital photography.

Whether it's my volunteer work on the school yearbook, school photographer at my daughter's school, or work on my family tree, photos are everywhere in my life.  They can tell a story or just solidify family memories.  I love photos in general.  The older photos that people have either sent to me or I have come across in my own collection, are truly a way to peek at the past and at those who came before us.

So, I think I will try to embark on a few part blog post about photography and photos as it relates to and is useful in genealogy and building your family tree.  The next post will be on July 11th.  I hope to offer tips, solutions, and share ideas about this very important subject within genealogy - Photos!

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