Help raise money for NaNoWriMo!

As you know, I’m a supporter of Office of Letters and Light (Berkeley CA) and will participate in the NaNoWriMo  contest starting Nov. 1. I want to share with you a simple way for you to help support this organization or any other cause that you care about.

Just download the GoodSearch – Office of Letters and Light (Berkeley CA) toolbar at

Each time you search the web with GoodSearch’s Yahoo-powered search engine, about a penny will go your charity or school.

Also, every time you shop online at 1,000 participating stores including Amazon, eBay, Target, Apple, Staples, Expedia, etc., a percentage of your purchase will be donated for free! The site also has thousands of money-saving coupons!

To give you a sense of how the money can add up, the ASPCA has already earned more than $30,000!

Please tell 10 friends about the GoodSearch toolbar today. They’ve been featured in the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Oprah Magazine, Good Morning America and more.


More about the new Camera!

I got to shoot two weddings this weekend with my new camera. I struggled a little because I can’t find what I’m looking for in the menus. It will take a while but it will become second nature eventually. So if I’m at your wedding and I’m just standing there looking puzzled, don’t worry, it’s not that somethings broke or I forgot how to shoot, I’m probably just looking for the new location of the custom white balance.

I also learned that I need to upgrade my qflash module. Apparently after the 40D, they changed the electrical workings of the canons. I can still use it with pocket wizards and if I hook it up through the PC port but I don’t get full TTL that way. I’ve been using my 580ex 2 more. I’ll be sending the qflash and the module to Quantum to be upgraded in November. I’ve got two turbo batteries that died I need to send them too.

That reminds me. I need to start charging batteries for this Saturdays wedding.

I’m excited to get prints made and see what they look like.

Yeah, I bought a new camera body

I bought myself a canon 7D. I wanted a 5D Mark II but it wasn’t meant to be. As soon as possible, I’ll be buying a second one. Until then, I’ll have to use my husband’s new rebel and my two old canon 20Ds as backup. I’ve been practicing with the new 7D. It’s set up completely different from my old bodies. With them, I didn’t even have to think to change a setting, it was instinctual.

I’ve been using those bodies since 2004 and they have served me well. It actually makes me sad to see them slowly work their way out of my regular gear. I felt the same way when I got rid of my old film cameras, three canon A2s. I sold them on Ebay and cried as I packed them up to be sent off. One of them went all the way to Korea. I hope the gentleman who bought it got great use out of it. I wonder where the Canon 20Ds will go when I sell them off too.

So far, the 7D and I are getting along well. We had a little argument when I couldn’t figure out how to manually change the focusing point, but now that I know it takes two buttons, we’re OK again. I love, love, love the higher ISOs. It goes all the way to 6400. My old camera went to 3200 but it was unusable for weddings; so was the 1600 iso. I’ve been doing tests to check the quality of the iso on the new camera and I think so far it’s good all the way up to 1600. I haven’t printed anything yet; that will be the true test. For now, I plan not to go higher that 1600. On my old camera I never went higher than 800 and tried to stay at 400 as long as possible. I’m hoping I’ll be able to retire my tripod finally.

I love that it has built-in sensor cleaning. It was always a nightmare cleaning the sensor of the old camera. I used a rocket air most of the time and every now and then I’d get in there with the q-tips that came with the rocket air. I wonder how effective the sensor cleaning is?

I haven’t played with the video that much yet. I recorded my husband eating pizza,  which made him happy, mister grumpy pants that he is. I’m thinking of using it to start a video cast about wedding photography for brides and amateur photographers. There are a lot of people doing this sort of thing on the west coast, but I think it’s time for the east coast to be represented.

I’m also excited about 18 mega pixels! I had to buy new cards to accommodate that size, 32 gig cards. That actually turned out to be overkill, but at least I don’t have to worry about  running out of card space. It will leave plenty of room for getting video clips too. Video really eats the card up fast especially at 1080. Yes, I know, I don’t have to shoot that big, but why not! I can’t wait to see what it looks like on our 60′ HD TV. I think it would be really cool if they make a camera that shoots 3D.

 An unexpected feature was the built-in wireless control. I have a 580ex2, but I’ve always used my pocket wizards. As soon as I have time, I’m going to try out the wireless. It’ll be a great back up in case my Wizards decide to crap out on me. There are so many cool new features it’s going to take me forever to master them all.