Brent bought me my first digital camera in 2005, and I have been a picture-taking maniac ever since. In Cincinnati, I was known as the family photographer - my camera was always present and always in your face! I walked a thin line between appreciation and annoyance.
I got my first SLR camera in October of 2010, just a few weeks before we moved to Grand Cayman. I knew I wanted a SLR once we had kids, but I figured moving to another country was a good enough reason to make the switch a little early. I must say, I love love love it. I have a Canon Rebel t1i with a 50mm f/1.4 lens. It's a great camera and an amazing lens, but I have to admit, every image is improved with a little photo editing.
I've always used photoshop to edit my pictures, but in September last year I started incorporating photoshop actions into the process. Photoshop actions are "a series of recorded steps by the designer to help a photographer achieve a look without having to manually apply each process." If you want to learn more, this is a great article from the MCP Actions blog that explains what an action is and how it can help or hurt images. I love this excerpt from the list of how actions can hurt: "Photographers may go on a buying spree. If you own too many, it can waste time, not knowing which to use when." This was definitely true for me when I first started using them! I've learned now, it's far better to have quality over quantity!
I usually use a combination of presets and actions to edit my pictures. For most pictures I am just brightening, sharpening and making colors pop, but sometimes I like to play around with different variations. For fun, here's some editing before and afters. Pictures on the left are SOOC (straight out of camera).
It's usually not a huge difference, just enough to give the pictures some zing. If anyone ever has questions about something you see on my blog, feel free to ask! I consider myself still very novice at all things photography related, but I love to talk about it and learn from others.