new toy

I bought a new camera last week -- a Canon 300D (also known as the "Digital Rebel"; also known as the "pretty damn fancy camera for the crowd that doesn't want to spring for the 10D"). I'm still learning my way around the camera, and most of the scripts that I had set up to deal with getting images off the old camera and processing them for the web need to be reworked, but so far, it is Very, Very Nice. Here's a somewhat trivial example: the left picture is a shot of a portion of my bulletin board at work; the right shot is a detail crop of the area in the red square, taken from the original full-sized image. The original was shot in RAW format, converted to PPM, then 24bit TIFF, then JPEG. The left-hand image is resized to about 12% of the original, and links to a 50% resize of the original (a ~200KB jpg). In the detail crop, note the texture details in the cloth covering of the bulletin board. Marvel at the fact that, yes, can can see the string looping over the thumb tack through the clear plastic of the thumb-tack.

12% resize of original 12% resize of original full-size detail crop of original

It's not infrequent that I have "all this power is wasted on me, but oh well..." moments when dealing with all the technology in my life. It is rare that I have a full-blown "I'm really not worthy of using this" feeling, but I've been coming close when playing around with this camera and looking at the output. One thing that is painfully clear is that I need to brush up on my basic photography chops. Suggestions for non-sucky, non-madly-expensive DC-area classes gratefully accepted.