The Full Frame Upgrade

The Full Frame Camera


If you’re not ‘into’ photography, the long version of this story will probably not interest you. So I’m starting off with the short version:

It was time to upgrade my camera gear, and after a long and agonizing decision process, I went with the camera body upgrade to the Nikon D610. The picture above is one of the first 10 shots or so,Straight Out of Camera (SOC, SOOC), taken inside, without flash, handheld), and I couldn’t be more excited and happy about my decision!

For those of you actually remotely interested in how I came to this decision, and why now here’s the long story.

Up until now, I’ve been shooting with Nikon DX frames (most recently the Nikon D7100, which for the record is a beautiful camera). My favorite lens for landscape/seascape has been the Nikon 12-24mm Nikkor f 4.0/G DX lens. Recently, after consulting with a few other groups and ‘experts’ I discovered that some of my favorite photos have a purple patch. Literally. You can see the discussion of that here if you are interested.  You may have to be a member of the group to see it, but the photo in question is this one: .

After much detective work, which led to a search in Lightroom for every shot I’d ever taken with the lens at 13 mm, I discovered that it was there on EVERY SINGLE ONE. Dating back years:

Purple patch

I guess I hadn’t shot more than about 200 shots at 13mm, and not that many of them were favorites, so they weren’t edited. I don’t know if this is common for the lens, if it’s just mine, or whatever. But I decided that just wouldn’t do.

It was time to replace my DX wide angle favorite lens. Since I knew that I would eventually want to upgrade to a full-frame camera, it was kind of pointless to look at replacing it with another DX lens. All my other lenses are now FX, and it would just be a waste to replace this one that way. The more I started looking at which wide angle I wanted, the more I realized that on a DX frame camera, the equivalent focal lengths would not be very different from the 24 mm on my current zoom lens on an FX camera. And I started exploring whether it wouldn’t just make more sense to upgrade to FX now and look at a new lens in the future.

Which made the decision easier. Full-frame I went.

I honestly didn’t realize how much of a difference this upgrade would make. But since it arrived on Tuesday, I have been in heaven. Can’t wait to get to Steamboat Springs with it in 14 days.

And don’t tell me I should have gone mirror less. I don’t want to hear it.



Art, Photography, Self-Expression

Leveling up in processing

I have been re-editing photos after leveling up in Processing my RAW files. I’ve ‘known’ ‘how to’ edit images for years. But I sort of got into a routine after the first rush and plateaued badly. 

I also realized that when you learn a neat ‘trick’ or technique in Photoshop/Lightroom/Instagram/whatever it’s so easy to fall in love and totally use it all over the place and way too enthusiastically. Like all the time. To excess. I am now past my HDR EVERYTHING faze. I am through with ‘cheating’ with luminance reduction – to the extreme. Here is an example of how far I’ve come (although maybe no one but a critic can see the difference).

The first time I called this image ‘done’, I merged three exposures in an HDR processing image I ran EVERYTHING through – Photomatix. Looking at the resulting image now I’m astonished to have been so ridiculously pleased with the result. So I reprocessed a single image today – took my time, applied new ‘tricks’, without forgetting the old, and am once again pleased as punch with my work!!

Cold Reign


I finally feel I’ve started the way up from a plateau of skill level that I have struggled to improve from. Yay for learning! I left the first image in my photo stream on #Flickr – – in case anyone wants to stop by the Strumpet101 stream there to see it. The new one has pride of place in the ‘I’m almost not a noob anymore account’.

Gaming, Personal Life, World of Warcraft

Married Again – Still


Back in June, my husband and I decided that we would really like to renew our vows. My husband said: “Why don’t we do it at BlizzCon – a place that means a lot to you.” I said: “Well, I’d like my best friend, other than you of course, to officiate.”

So I asked Molsan if he would be willing to perform the Vow Renewal Ceremony for us. I was so happy that he said ‘yes’.

While I had told a whole world that the ceremony would be happening, no one except the two of us and Molsan showed up. Well, the kid showed up, but we knew he really wouldn’t want to be there, so we released him.

Molsan was a fantabulous choice. He personalized the vow renewal ‘suggestion ceremony’ that I had sent him in an absolutely perfect way. And the intimacy of just the three of us being there under the palm trees in-between the Hilton and the Convention Center was incredibly emotional and special. My husband said the perfect words. I hope I said the perfect words. And having such a special friend as witness was amazing.

So: still married, still in love, and, now, renewed, refreshed.

Thank you BlizzCon. Thank you Molsan.

Photography, Self-Expression

I made that and I’m Proud of It!

This view of Mercury Bay was shot from Shakespeare’s Cliff in the Coromandel, New Zealand. I spent a lot of time getting completely happy with it and was very nervous when I unrolled the printed canvas from the printer. I couldn’t be happier, really!  I had it printed up as a gift for my Mother and Father in-law. When I never really heard that much about it, I wasn’t that surprised. They’re used to me forcing my photography upon them. But then my sister-in-law and her husband asked if they could possibly have a copy too. (For my views on asking your family or friends for free art, you’ll have to catch me with a looser tongue.)

I was, of course flattered that they asked, and got another canvas (well, actually two – I have one in reserve now) and shipped it, lovingly rolled up, down to New Zealand for them. This past week, they showed me the framed result.

Speechless!! The white matting an frame are perfect for it! Can’t wait to get down there and sign that baby, because, let me tell you I am PROUD of that photo. It’s one of my pieces that I would not be ashamed to sell. Have you seen the prices of fine art photography these days?

Mercury Bay

I’m so glad they like it,and I hope they get a lot of enjoyment from it.

I have been at this ‘Photography thing’ a good few years now.  Sometimes, I think I’m getting pretty good. Others, I think I’ll never get to be as good a I want to be! I think this is probably an issue for most artists/creators.  And I think it’s also a good thing, overall. It is what drives you to become better and better. When I tell people that I don’t have a ‘job’ outside the home, they always look at me as a ‘stay at home mom’. There’s nothing wrong with stay at home moms, but that is NOT how I choose to label  myself. I consider myself an artist/photographer. I shouldn’t have to sell my work in order for that ‘job’ or ‘profession’ to be valid. It’s not some little hobby. It’s hard work, talent, and dedication.

Anyway, I’m really proud of this one, and it was a thrill to see it displayed so well.

Mercury Bay 2

Note: this piece is not available to purchase from my SmugMug site ( – mainly because of it’s unique sizing etc. But if you are interested in it, please send me a message through my photography Facebook page: . I would love to discuss selling it to you. Pricing will be comparative to other fine art photography.