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The joys of SLR ownership
I recently made a major investment -- I bought a Nikon D60 SLR with an 18-55mm vibration reduction lens. I'm getting married this year, and really cannot see going to some beautiful tropical locale with the love of my life and not having a good camera with me. So now that problem's solved!
Now, I've used SLRs before, and had a good two and half weeks with one last year. But there were aspects about SLR ownership that I hadn't totally expected.
1) You will take pictures of anything.
All the time. It's OK, because memory's cheap, and it's fun to be creative with your photographs. But I can pretty much guarantee I never would have taken a picture of this shell or this clump of melting snow if I didn't have an excuse like the D60.
2) People might make fun of you when you take it with you everywhere.
Don't listen to them. I recently brought it with me to my fiance's birthday dinner. It was a dimly lit restaurant, and if I'd brought my little purse-friendly point-and-shoot cam, I would have only had two picture options: (a) blurry and underexposed or (b) bright and overexposed, with the nice after effect of being embarrassed that the flash just went off in a place where it really shouldn't. But the D60, like many SLRs, excels at using the available light in a room to get warm, natural-looking pictures. I got some really nice shots that I know I wouldn't have otherwise.
3) You should keep your photos organized and make sure you've got back up copies stored someplace safe.
This will really be essential when you'll be taking so many great new pictures. Unfortunately, it's the kind of thing that isn't typically my strong suit. To be honest, I'm still working on it. But I do know enough to know that it's important, and that I really should have gotten on the ball about a month ago. I recommend checking out Zak's post on organizing your pictures and our article about storing and printing your digital photos for some good ideas.