Nikon D7100!

The new camera arrived yesterday afternoon. So far, so good – the battery had a charge so I was able to change some settings and take a few shots to get the feel of the camera. The real test starts today.

This is going to sound weird, but it’s so much lighter than my old D300s with the battery grip that I almost feel like it’s too small to take decent images. I guess I’m so used to the beast that something normal sized seems a little… underwhelming.

I’ll know a more today after running around town with it. I’m sure once I see the images on the Mac I’ll love it. Of course, I may need to get a battery grip for it just to make it feel like normal.

Kidding!

I think.

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Etsy Wholesale

As you can probably guess from the  title of this post, Etsy is more than just a gazillion individual artists and crafters trying to make a few bucks from their creative efforts. They also have a wholesale section for retail buyers looking for interesting handmade items. They could be buying for a small brick and mortar store, department stores, or major catalog houses such as Pottery Barn.

I applied a few weeks ago, figuring I had nothing to lose. On my application I explained that while I had no experience selling wholesale, I was a government buyer for over 20 years. Having been one, I knew what professional buyers wanted, needed, and expected, and that I’d have no problem working with them.

I found out tonight I got in.

I’m not sure what’s next, but I’m looking forward to starting the new phase of the business.

Nikons, Old and New

I want to sell work through Fine Art America and offer products like pillows in the shop, but when I saw the image size requirements, I knew I was in trouble. The minimum size needed for anything bigger than a cell phone case is 3500 pixels on the short side. The images from my 12.3 megapixel Nikon D300s have a short side of 2848 pixels.

Obviously, something had to give – either my plans, or my camera. 

My plans won. After checking B&H, I got a quote for my old camera and ordered a refurbished D7100. Money is tight, and I didn’t want to invest in new gear right now, but facts are facts: the D300s just doesn’t cut it any more. 

So tomorrow afternoon, I’ll have a new camera. The maximum image size is 4000×6000, and it has a very fast, 24.1 megapixel sensor. I think this is the same processor in Nikon’s top-of-the-line, I’ll-buy-it-when-I-win-the-lottery, D4. (That baby will set you back $6,000.) Everything I’ve read says it’s a great camera.

I won’t be able to offer larger products for my current images, but I’ll be all set for the future.

No, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth.

In case you were wondering why I haven’t been posting lately, you can blame my cat, Squeeks.

He’s 18 years old and has been on a special diet for kidney failure a few years now. I recently had to start giving him fluids a couple of times a week. Between that and all the other stuff in my life, I just haven’t had much time to post. I’m still working out the best way to get him to take his meds.

You’ve probably heard of cats who will happily eat their meds like they’re a treat. Squeeks isn’t one of them…

Second sale on Etsy!

Double Rainbow At Sunset, Looking Out From The Beach

A bright double rainbow after a thunderstorm at sunset.

I just had my second sale on Etsy!

Am I excited? YES!  Am I satisfied? NO!

I keep telling myself that with enough hard work, I may be able to pay a few bills with the shop one day. With that in mind, here’s looking forward to my third sale!

Photography and Iced Tea. What’s the Connection?

Color macro iPhoto of iced tea

Iced Tea

It’s that time of year – the time I start mainlining iced tea. I’m not referring to that stuff you buy in a bottle or can, complete with the exact amount of sugar and lemon some corporation decided you like. I’m also not talking about a powder or liquid concentrate you add to water. No, I’m talking about honest-to-goodness, real iced tea, made with actual tea bags.

Why make your own iced tea when you can buy it? Three reasons: you get to decide how sweet you want it or if you want lemon; it’s easy; and it’s dirt cheap. You can also get consistent results once you know how.

Before I get started, a couple of notes. First, any tea will do; I use Lipton decaf in the regular sized bags. Second, plan ahead. Make sure your pitcher can handle boiling water. Have a pot holder nearby, and if you have a laminate countertop like I do, use a trivet. Finally, know how you’re going to pull the tea bags out of the pitcher if they fall in. Think about everything that could go wrong and figure out how to handle it before you start. You don’t want to get burned, have your pitcher crack, or let the heat ruin your countertop.

What you need:

  • 1- or 1-1/2 quart/liter tea kettle
  • Boiling water
  • Timer, kitchen or cell phone 
  • 4 normal-sized tea bags
  • 2-quart/liter heat-proof glass pitcher with handle
  • Binder clip

Optional:

  • Trivet
  • Small bowl
  • Lid for the pitcher
  • Ice bin from your freezer, or cold water

Okay, here we go!

  1. Rinse and fill you kettle, and set on the stove to boil.
  2. Put the trivet on the counter next to the stove with the heat-proof pitcher on it. Have the small bowl nearby.
  3. Take four regular-sized tea bags out of their paper pouches and clip them together. Hang the bags inside the pitcher, leaving the clip outside.
  4. Once the water boils, turn off the stove, hold onto the binder clip, and pour the water into the pitcher over the tea bags.
  5. Set the timer for four minutes. When the timer goes off, pull the bags. Hold them over the bowl and release the clip.
  6. Grab your ice bin and fill the pitcher to the top with ice, or top it off with cold water.

That’s it, folks. Real iced tea, made with actual tea bags. It will taste the same way every time, as long as you make it the same way every time.

  • These instructions are for two quarts/liters, or a half-gallon, of tea. If you use a smaller or larger pitcher, adjust the number of bags accordingly.
  • If the tea is too strong or too weak for your taste, adjust the amount of time you let it brew. Try either a minute up or down.
  • If you use those big iced tea bags or loose tea, use the amount of tea on the box.
  • Let the tea cool before putting it into the fridge. To enjoy immediately, pour over ice.

Now, if I haven’t bored you to death, you’re probably wondering about the connection between photography and iced tea. There is one, you know. 

How do you think I nailed down exactly how long I needed to develop film to get it to turn out the same way every time?

Timing, as they say, is everything.