Sunday, October 17, 2010

Because you asked...

First of all... I'm baaaaaaack!

And, I cannot tell you how Fantastic it feels to be on terra firma again!

I have tons to share with you about our trip, but first things first... First, I apologize for ignoring comment questions and your many kind e-mails relating to my posts while we were on holiday; however, Internet on the ship was .75 a minute and even though I was willing to pay to liberate my share of the ether, odds of actually connecting were slightly below those for winning the lottery!

So here is the answer that 14 of you have been waiting so patiently for... The camera I used during our little vaca-adventure is an Olympus. I picked it up at Costco the night before our trip because I wanted to take a camera that would be easier to carry on our excursions around New York and away from the ship. And, when I noticed this one has a built-in, 30X wide optical zoom, which meant I wouldn't have to drag around my extra lenses, I was sold.

It's the Olympus SP-800UZ, and I guess I don't have to tell you... It takes phenomenal photos! And, it was cheap too! See here. I don't understand why the link indicates the camera is no longer available, because I picked it up last Wednesday and there were two pallets full at my Costco. I paid slightly more than the price listed in the link... My Costco price is $279.99, and with NC tax, totaled $301.69.

As to my techniques... First, I never, ever use flash. I cannot tell you how many times I'm asked to take photos for tourists who insist on using flash, no matter what the shooting conditions! At the statue of Liberty I took photos for a German couple, first with their flash on. Then, I told them to allow me to take the same photo without flash... Needless to say, they were blown away by how much better my photo turned out without that nasty metallic glare using flash creates. I learned to turn off my flash at a nighttime hot air balloon rally twenty-four years ago and credit that little nugget of wisdom someone shared with me whenever I get a great shot.

If you can stand one more hint, I'll tell you that for me, photography is all about composition... I position my shots imagining my subject already framed. Anything you photograph can be made better by paying attention to what surrounds it. Taking a photo of someone at dinner? Do it before their plate is a mess and always move the soda can or mayo jar out of your frame. At the amusement park? Look around your subject and direct them away from the garbage can or that stroller in the background. This morning, as I entered The Dunker Church at Antietam there was a little girl wrapped around the little potbelly stove inside - Clearly not the shot I wanted... So to get her to move, I told her that her mommy was calling her from outside.

I say, do whatever it takes to get your subject framed properly, and alone whenever possible. Sometimes it takes tricking little girls, sometimes it means waiting for a crowd to clear and other times you may just have to speak up and demand one clear shot. Believe me when I tell you that more often than not, there's someone else waiting for the same opportunity you want!

For example... This was the scene at Wall Street as I waited,
semi-patiently for 6 minutes to be alone with my subject
And this is the shot all 60 of us got three seconds after I gently demanded my moment!

Now, it wasn't my intention for my answer about the camera I took along on our trip to turn into a review, reco or tutorial; however, if you're looking for a compact camera you can tuck into the front of your life jacket that will capture the expression on a bald eagle's face perched in a tree 75 feet above you, while you're bobbing around in a kayak, then I say this Olympus SP-800UZ is the camera for Both of us!


  1. Welcome back! Glad you had fun and thatnk for the info on the camera.

  2. Ya know, I went camera shopping a few weeks ago at a reputable camera shop and the guy behind the camera tried so hard to sell me this camera. He owns it and spoke very highly of it. But of course I wanted something bigger and more substantial, so he showed me the next step up, which was about $300 more! And you have to buy all separate lenses for it. Ka-ching!

    So, now that I see what great pics come fromt his camera, and because it's such a great price, and because I have a Costco rebate check and a gift card, I'm considering getting it! In the end it would cost me just over $100. I can do that!

    Thanks Janet!

  3. O.K., if I ever take the plunge and purchase a *good* camera you have sold me on this Olympus SP-800UZ. Hopefully, if and when I get on I will be able to take pictures as beautifully as yours. So professional! Glad you had a wonderful trip and now you have all the great photographs to remind you of it. Thank you for sharing!

  4. AWESOME post Janet!!......we had a photographer in Napa and she had a little point and shoot tucked in her pocket.. along with her BIG camera around her neck......she said she takes the little camera EVERY where......I need to get mine back out!!


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