I bought a Nikon D7000 last week. I had called Glazer’s and they put me on The List. A few days later they called me back saying that had a body with my name on it. I picked it up. And it has been awesome.
I thought it would be fitting that the first picture I take with my new camera be a picture of my old camera:
50.0 mm || 1/30 || f/3.2 || ISO200 || NIKON D7000 Seattle, Washington, United States
Back to the D7000; I am really enjoying it so far! I’ve been playing around with all the new features and figuring out how I can get the most out of it. The big things I’m having to deal with right now are the increased file sizes (RAW files are about 20MB in size, versus 6MB with the D70) and taking video.
I’m looking for a good movie editor that is either free or inexpensive and can do color temperature and tint adjustment (along with all the regular stuff). I currently use Windows Live Movie Maker, and while that works for slicing and dicing, that’s about all it can do. I’m currently looking into Lightworks, which is a free and open source video editing suite that has won2 both Academy and Emmy awards.
After talking with many great people, I think I finally have a plan.
There are really two parts to this story, however I’m going to tell them in reverse order.
On Monday, I was feeling quite anxious. I’ve been feeling rather anxious all semester and I wasn’t entirely sure why. I went to More on Mondays, which is a targeted “seminar” that The Annex arranges. This past Monday was specifically for graduating seniors and they brought Cindy Smith, a woman who specializes in transition. Cindy usually deals with missionaries, expatriates, and repatriation. But being a senior is not entirely different. She provided us with a slide that shows the major steps of transition and then walked us through them:
Click image to embiggen
This was really helpful. Just realizing that transition, especially on this scale, can be stressful and chaotic. This also helped me realize another thing: transitioning from college/Colorado to mission trip to work/Seattle would be way to much for me to handle. So I pretty much have nixed the idea of doing a mission trip over the summer, and I think it’s a good call.
Second, I talked with Jessica a couple weeks ago. She spent last fall traveling for about two months in Europe, which is great because that’s basically what I want to do – although I may go farther East than she did. I also filled in some important details of my trip. For me, it will probably cost about $4k-$5k, which is a lot, but I don’t think unreasonably so. I saved at least $1000 by using airline miles to fly from the US to Europe (assuming there isn’t some insane “fee” for booking said flight). Keeping cash on hand seems the way to go, which is what I remembered from my trip to Europe a couple years ago (I paid cash for everything…still have some left over, too).
In terms of getting around, Jessica said that using RyanAir (which I’d heard of) and easyJet (which I had not heard of) were probably better than getting a Eurail pass, although I don’t have to make that call just yet. In terms of sleeping accommodations, HostelWorld.com is the site to visit. I poked around it a bit and it seems really easy to use and should fit the bill just perfectly. The Lonely Planet series of books is what Jessica used, I currently have one on reserve at the library to see if I like the format and what they cover. If not, I may just end up using Rick Steves’. Or just wing it.
The plan, thus far, looks something like this: fly into and out of Europe via Paris or Frankfurt using airline miles. Spend several days in each city until I’m ready to move on to another city. Use HostelWorld to find places to sleep and meet new people. Theoretically find some other people travel with at a hostel and join them for a little while. Rinse and repeat. I’m calling this the free range method.
I would like to list out some places that I would like to visit, although I don’t want to attach a particular time or order in which to visit them. I think this will help move my journey along.
One of the other major things that I need to resolve is what I’m bringing. I would like to bring some photography equipment, but I’m not sure what and how much. There’s also the problem about what to do with all my photographs after I take them. Since I shoot in RAW, I need some special equipment and software to do any sort of editing, I can’t just upload them to Flickr. Do I want to just bring a stack of memory cards? I’m thinking about purchasing a netbook1 to bring with me. Costco is currently selling an Acer Aspire One Netbook with 8.9″ display, Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz, 1GB DDR2 RAM, 160GB HDD, no optical drive, and integrated webcam for $299.99. I could load it up with the most basic of RAW viewing tools so I could delete any photos I think are absolute crap and would never keep (e.g. blurry photos) and then upload the rest to a secure storage space online. This way I wouldn’t be completely SOL if the netbook was stolen, lost, broken (not that I’m planning on any of that happening).
Also, how much stuff do I really want to be taking? I want to be nimble.
If you’ve ever traveled abroad in this sort of fashion, what did you bring?
I was reading a post on a blog1 over the summer about how digital photography has change the way people take photos. One of the primary benefits of digital photography is that every picture is essentially free. Take as many photos as you want and it really won’t cost you a thing.
Being able to take photos for free2 does great things for the learning curve. Had I paid for all 15000+ photos I’ve taken with my D70 since I bought it four years ago, I would have spent over $2000 on developing photos alone. The benefits of digital are clear.
However, there is a trade off with digital. Digital photography is, by its very nature, a form which has no physical product. It’s just a series of 0’s and 1’s that make up an image. There is no negative and there is no final print, at least in the traditional sense. For the last year, I’ve been shooting in RAW format, which is the digital equivalent to a negative – if there ever was one. However, I rarely make physical prints.
When I do make prints, it’s usually when A) someone asks me to; B) I’m giving them as gifts; or C) I’m framing them for an art show. Of all the 10000+ photos I currently have on Flickr (which represents my body of work), I’ve printed no more than 125 photos, and most of those where for a Christmas present I made my Mom a couple years ago.
The post I was reading indicated that the author wanted to print more of his photos out because he had an incomplete feeling of the photo process. He wanted to be able to touch and hold them. And while I don’t share exactly the same feeling of incompleteness – most of my “career” I have been shooting digital and have never had the chance to even use a darkroom (although I’ve been inside several) – I do like the idea of being able to touch, hold, and see the physical results.
In particular, I’ve had this urge to make a photo book. Moreover, I would like to share the opportunity to purchase this photo book when/if I produce it.
My current idea is a history of the college years as seen through my lens. It would probably contain about 40-100 photos. Each photo would contain a story surrounding the events of the photo, probably no more than 300 words per a photo. I would suspect that many stories would be edited forms of blog posts, however I also anticipate that I’ll have to write several new stories as well.
I’m currently looking at both soft and hard books. Hard covers are obviously more expensive, but are also much nicer and will last longer. Since I want to keep prices low, a hard cover version would probably contain less photos than a soft cover version. I want to keep the price below $50, ideally around $30, but I haven’t run all the numbers yet.
My question to you is, is anyone even interested? Leave your comments and/or a simple yay/nay. You are not committing to anything at this point. I’m simply trying to figure out if there’s an interest. *wink* It would make a good Christmas gift *wink*
If there is enough interest, I’m looking to partner with either QOOP or Costco to have them printed as-needed. While this may raise prices a bit, it prevents me from having to bulk order the books and then hope that enough people want to purchase them.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a couple of photos I took up on the “M” a couple weeks ago: