Thursday, July 19, 2012

Loving July

I love summertime.
The thunderstorms, the hot days, the warm nights, the smell of rain on hot pavement, barbecues, cut grass, spending time outside, and, well, just about everything.

I was born in July.
I don't know if that has anything to do with it, but I love July.
It's my favorite month.
Okay, yes, my birthday is in it - but I love it for so much more than that!
July is the first true month of summer for me. June can be cooler and the trees and flowers are just coming into full bloom. In July, it is full on summer. It's in your face and you can't deny it.

I love fireworks. I love lightning.
And this July, I tried my hand at photographing both of those things, for the first time!

Now, I don't have a DSLR. I have a nice digital camera, an Olympus SP800UZ. It's an ultrazoom digital camera. I love this little beast. It may still be mostly a point-and-shoot with super zoom, but it can take some great photos. With a tripod and the right settings, I honestly believe that almost any run-of-the-mill point-and-shoot camera can take great photos. There are a lot of places to get tips on how to use your non-DSLR camera to take stunning photos. Here's a great article from that got me inspired about using my point-and-shoots with pride! To show you what my Olympus and my (much smaller, snapshot camera) Sony Cybershot DSC-W120 can do, here are some photos I have taken this month.

My lovely month of July.

Sony DSC-W120 - My zinnia plant! 

Sony DSC-W120 - Grand Coulee Dam on July 4, 2012

The next photos were all taken with my Olympus SP800UZ. The fireworks and lightning photos were all taken using a tripod - a must-have for low light and nighttime shooting. The lightning shot was a lot like fishing for me, since I can't (or haven't figured out how to) control my shutter speed or aperture manually. So I set my ISO really low, decreased my image size (to facilitate sequential shooting), adjusted the white balance to my liking, and set it to sequential shooting while the shutter button is down. Then, I held the shutter button and let the camera take photo after photo while I had my eyes on the sky.

Anyone who has me as a friend on facebook has seen these photos and is probably sick of them by now, but I am just so proud! :P So you'll have to bear through me one more time, and I swear, I'll put them away. ;)

Fireworks off of Grand Coulee Dam
Fireworks off of Grand Coulee Dam
Part of Grand Coulee Dam and the Moon Reflecting off the Water
Desert Thistle - the haziness is some sunscreen on the lens, I kinda like the effect, oddly enough.
My prize lightning shot. 
Well, I hope that I have inspired my fellow point-and-shoot owners a bit. Just 'cause we don't have all the fancy lenses, the expensive camera, the flash diffusers, and other crazy gadgets doesn't mean we can't get some pretty great photos.
Happy hunting and happy July!

Stay excelllent!
- Jenny -

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