We got a new camera last week using some tax return money. Our previous camera, a point and shoot Olympus, served us well for several years, but after the shine of having digital wore off, I began to be frustrated by its limitations. I'm by no means a great photographer, but I did get hooked a little bit when I took a course in college years ago. ("In college years ago," ouch.) So we purchased a modest digital SLR, and I've been in digital heaven ever since it arrived.
The camera is a Canon Digital Rebel XT, which is Canon's previous generation consumer DSLR. (Amazon has a great price on it, by the way—order from that link and earn me pennies!) I have liked every Canon digital I've ever shot with, and this one is no exception. And the upgrades over a viewfinder camera are tremendous: super-fast focusing and image writing, a gentle flash that doesn't crush your subject with bright light, and of course the ability to control aperture, shutter speed, and ISO manually.
It's this last bit that I'll be experimenting with a lot. I'll post a photo now and then so you (and I, honestly) can keep track of my progress. It will only be a once-in-a-while thing here on the old blog, but if you care to see more, my Flickr account can be found here.
Here's the first one. I took this in my friend's kitchen in aperture priority mode so I could experiment with narrowing the depth of field. The light was low, though, so opening the aperture meant I needed to increase the ISO in order to get a fast enough shutter speed for handheld shooting; this resulted in a fairly "noisy" image. And if you don't know what that last sentence meant, that's okay—I'm not entirely sure I really know yet. Anyway, I like the image I got. What do you think? (Click to enlarge.)