Florida has 175 State Parks, and most offer excellent opportunities for bird watching. You can't go wrong with any. Unfortunately most are very busy on weekends and holidays and those with water, fresh or salt, are often at capacity. Under those conditions wildlife retreats to less popular and/or unreachable places. Many parks have well groomed trails or even boardwalks to take you "back-country". If you can find parking most Florida beaches are nice even on weekends and holidays, but if you are not staying at a hotel parking is a problem. Kayaking on some north Fl rivers is wonderful but the water is always COLD. Again, avoid weekends and holidays.
If it isn't really, really dusty it is really, really wet. Easy to damage or destroy expensive equipment. You might want to consider a weather sealed backup (even if it is a small sensor "bridge camera") for use if conditions get sketchy.
My camera seems to sharpest at f4.0, so I usually stick to aperture priority to see something close to that. Most of my subjects (horses) move about a lot, so to concentrate on composition, focus and timing I let the camera take care of mathematical calculations unless the shutter speed is too low and I change to shutter priority. Shooting in RAW gives me a little more range to make exposure adjustments if necessary.
Composition, focus and timing are the keys to a good photo. While some cameras might attempt to help with grids, auto focus and high speed bursts, these essential elements are still mostly dependent on the skills of the photographer. Exposure is mostly a mathematical exercise and can be usually be accomplished well by computer. I always try to concentrate on the things the camera does not do well, and let it handle the computations. I always shoot in RAW, and find that I have enough latitude to fine tune exposure later if need be.
I’m guessing the tech didn’t do a lot of PP with P... (
Reread the original post. A beginner on a budget.
I had to take my 6 year old HP 8g RAM PC in for service last month. (Had a power failure while rebooting.) The technician who worked on my PC told me that still photo editing is not especially resource demanding, and that my PC when running properly would be just fine. I offered to have him installed more RAM, but he told me I would not notice much difference. He summarized by telling me that just about any off the shelf PC with 8g RAM will work just fine.
There are a number of free contest or challenge sites where you can post photos and win recognition. I post photos on several and enjoy following votes and comments.
I was in the same situation a few years ago. Although I had the equipment, I just did not want the responsibility. I offered to lead what is now called a "crowd fund" to pay for a pro but the couple thanked me for my efforts and declined the offer. Just before the wedding began I realized that they did not have a professional photographer (due to the expense) and I set up my equipment and vowed to do the best I could. As did two other amateurs at the wedding. Between the three of us we accumulated a rather nice photo set and enjoyed the friendly competition to product the most keepers.
I believe the two most common causes of photo failure are poor composition and poor focusing, not poor exposure. Poor exposure can be mitigated by good PP work, composition and focus not so much. If my camera can help obtain proper exposure and allow me to concentrate on composition and focus, I am grateful for the help.
I do have a problem with "experts" telling learners that the only way to learn photography is learn manual. An option, yes, but a requirement, no. Do not spoil the joy of photography be insisting that learners master something that may not really be essential. After realizing a basic understanding of exposure use whatever technique gives the best results. Learning composition, focusing techniques and even PP might be a better use of one's time.
My standards for keeping sentimental or historical photos are much lower than my artsy photos. I keep almost everything of pets, friends, family etc, but all others are fall into the "knockout" group. Hand someone a photo book of 30 images and watch how long it takes them to go from first to last. Unless they are incredibly bored, or the collection includes some pretty nudes, they will graze through the collection at a rate of three seconds each, more or less, until they hit something of special interest. Even then, five seconds later on they go again. All of my artsy photos must score a top ten in their group (birds, flowers, lizards etc) or out they go. I show only the best.
Does the free Adobe DNG converter not work anymore? I used it before Elements supported Panasonic RAW files and it did the job. I have not tried it lately but it still might work well enough.
Really, really dusty. I would never again take an expensive camera that was not weather sealed. If I ever get to go again I will take a good weather sealed bridge camera.
You Tube can be a good source for help. I have a full collection of books by Scott Kelby and reread them from time to time. They are expensive, however.
Or, you might consider a RAYNOX macro lens that snaps on the front of your existing lens. These work very well and can be installed and removed quickly.
Whoa, people. The last thing people on this forum should do is discourage "newbies", and one way to risk that is to give the impression that photography as a hobby requires, demands, a lot of money to produce good photos. While money always helps, photography as a hobby does not necessarily demand a lot of it. One can buy a decent bridge camera that offers RAW, and an off the shelf PC with monitor for under $1,000. Use the software that came with the camera and away you go. If the newbie has talent a lot of his or her photos will be very, very good.
I would request that before anyone responds to a newbie question they carefully tailor their response so as not to throw a wet blanket on a budding photographic spark.