Merry Christmas

Sigh, I took the plunge. I did it. I spent money on me.

That’s a very hard thing to do these days. It didn’t used to be. I had gotten to place both mentally and financially where I allowed myself to not just have the things I needed, but also the things that I wanted. It took me over 40 years to get there but I did get there.

And then it was ripped away with the tide.

For almost 2 years now I’ve been back in that other place. That place where I stay up late worrying about money and security. Money = security to me. I need it in the bank to feel secure. Just knowing it’s there helps me sleep at night, sometimes. Those nights when I don’t lay there playing whatif scenarios for how it could all wash away again and worrying that there isn’t enough.

I’m never going to be as financially secure as I was there for a few golden years but I work hard at reminding myself I’m far from in trouble. I have a good job, and I make a good salary and while sure with two kids it’s easy to blow through each paycheck. I’m pretty good at not doing that.

So today I splurged and spent money on a “want” that I’ve been wanting for some time. A camera upgrade.  My old camera is now almost 4 years old. I just checked, it will be 4 in December. And in technology years – that’s what 87?

It’s had some wear and tear and still in good shape. But it’s slow, for a DSLR it’s slow. And 80% of my shots now are of sports and a 1/3 of those are in some pretty crappy low light gyms. So fast is important. Fast is needed. The (new) Precious though, she’s twice as fast. And her buffer is huge. Which in photography terms means more shots in a row – essential for sports.

I started to do this back at the start of swim season but one trip to the camera store convinced me to wait. Just holding the D7000 and seeing how different the dials and menus are from my older model Nikon – I knew I had a pretty steep learning curve in front of me and I wanted to be able to take that curve on with some time and patience. I didn’t want to get a whole season of crappy swim shots because I was working with new equipment.

I’ve said this here before I’m just not one of those people who can buy a piece of equipment or gadget or car or even a piece of software not want to know how every bit of it works. I have to know what every button, every menu, every option does. Taking on new equipment for me is not a light weight transaction.

So now we’re between sports seasons. And I’ve found a really great resource for learning.

I have a new fan-girl crush on Jared Polin from FroKnowsPhoto. He’s awesome. I love that he’s just so real with this advice and how he talks or explains things – there is no pretention at all but he’s wicked smart and knowledgeable.. He seems like the kind of guy you’d want to hang out and have a beer with and you’d always come away knowing something you didn’t know before. I love those sorts of people.

I started with this video where he just does a walk around the camera and discusses what each dial and button does – he manages to be so basic, but never boring, never condescending. Did I already know what the majority of the buttons did – sure I’ve been using Nikon DSLRs for 10 years now, but I still learned stuff that I didn’t know. (and it was the tipping point for me to take the plunge on the purchase)

I started the 2nd video where he discusses the menu system and while I watched it before – I’ll be watching it again today as a walk through as I set up my camera the first time – he is that thorough.

As if all that “new” wasn’t enough – I’ve also taken advantage of the special Adobe  is running right now (9.99 per month) and upgraded my Photoshop to the Creative Cloud version that includes Lightroom. So I’ll be managing and doing post production tweeking for all my shiny new photos in Lightroom now. More new stuff to learn!

Anyone know any great (free) resources learning your way around Lightroom?