I’ll be taking a trip to Italy in mid February, so last weekend, I popped into Futureshop and picked up a Canon SD1000 digital camera. I also made sure to pick up a spare battery and a couple 2G SD cards, as I don’t want to be in the middle Rome with a full or drained camera. I’ve never owned a camera before, nor taken very many pictures, so in the weeks leading up to my trip, I’m getting used to using the thing.
So far, I’ve been practicing taking pictures of pretty much anything that catches my fancy. I try to have the camera handy so, if I spot something even semi-interesting, I can grab it and snap a couple of images. My biggest hurdle is holding still... I usually end up with one or two good pictures for every dozen blurry useless ones. :)
Taking pictures regularly now means I’m also regularly using iPhoto. I plug in my camera using the provided USB cable, and iPhoto imports all my pictures lickety split. It’s in iPhoto that I usually review the pictures and delete all the unfocused crap. If any survive the purge, then I open up iPhoto’s editing tools to adjust tint, saturation, contrast, and over photograph-y type sliders.
On the recommendation of Julian, I then signed up for a Flickr account. For those who are unfamiliar with Flickr, it is a social network site owned by Yahoo for uploading and sharing your digital pictures. You can collect them into sets, tag them, place notes directly on your images, and comment on them. And best of all, Flickr has a free service level available to anyone.
Flickr has both a basic upload form, and a much nicer advanced upload tool that uses DOM scripting. The only catch I seemed to have so far is that, though the upload tool can handle five or six images, sometimes it stutters saying it was unsuccessful in getting a file... though when you finally get it after an attempt or two, you’ll see multiple copies, as if it did make it every time. But Flickr’s excellent AJAX tools make it a painless process to delete the copies, and to edit and update any aspect of your photos.
About a week into using Flickr, and I can already see the 100MB limit of the free account is not going to cut the mustard. I expect to upgrade to Pro by February. Also, being addicted to social network sites as I am, I was pleasantly surprised to find Flickr has an excellent API that’s been leveraged by multiple developers for widgets, badges, Facebook apps, and many more web elements! It was a simple matter to get my Flickr images to appear almost anywhere I wanted them to.
All in all, I’ve been enjoying my jump into digital photography. The availability and simplicity of the tools at my disposal have made taking, managing, and sharing images completely painless. Now, all that’s left is to get used to keeping my hands still before I get on that plane :)