Friday, January 14, 2011

It feels like the first time

(Is it weird that many of my blog titles stem from a song? Every time I write a post I get a song stuck in my head. I may be the only one out there with a blog soundtrack...)
Yesterday I did something very brave. Right after I took pictures of my neighbors yard like a stalker, I put my camera in the manual mode for the first time. I changed my subject matter from grass to my nephews and just started pushing buttons on my camera. Since my husband was so nice and got me a new camera for my birthday, I think it is my duty to figure out how to use the thing to full capacity. The first several pictures were too dark, then too bright, and all of them blurry. I pushed some more buttons and then I ended up with something that I thought looked all right. Here you have it, my first attempts at taking pictures with a camera that is smarter than me.

My baby nephew, who I will not be able to call a baby for much longer.

He got to be my subject because he can't move around as fast as his two and a half year old brother.

These are all straight out of the camera shots. No editing (except for cropping). That will come later. Baby steps for me. My focus is a bit off, but I'm still really pleased with these for my first try.

Then I started taking pictures of Bob, but that is hard. Every time he sees me looking at him he has to get up and come to me so I can pet him. Or he just sits on me. I think it's his weird way of trying to showcase his dominance over me. I need to learn to put him in his place. The Dog Whisperer would be so ashamed of me. 

Sometimes a little nephew distracts my subject by driving trains on him. And then Bob gets excited because somebody is playing with him and I can't take pictures of things that are moving yet. Baby steps, remember? Speaking of baby steps...

I then witnessed something grand. My sweet baby nephew crawled for me! Well, half crawled. I think this is the first recorded evidence of this accomplishment and for once, I was in the right place at the right time with my camera ready!

 He has now locked in on his target.

Must. get. car.

So close...

If I just shimmy a liiiitttle closer....

And I'm there.

This target requires both hands. Must double fist it.

Operation 'acquire car and chew on it' complete. 

So now I need your help. Please tell me any online tutorials or blogs that you know of that can help me figure out what I'm doing with my camera. I'm talking very beginner stuff here. Like 'what is aperture' type stuff.  I would be forever grateful if you could all point me in the direction of a website, blog, or a book. Thanks!


  1. Good pics!! Clean floor!! Sweet baby!!!

  2. You can thank my husband for the clean floor. He swept for me! He usually mops too because I HATE it! I'm lucky, I know...

  3. Beth, take a look at the various courses offered at

    They have a number of courses on a variety of subjects. Two lessons a week for six weeks, for $139, or less if you find a community college offering the same course online. Discover Digital Photography is essentially an overview, and not what you're looking for. Secrets to Better Photography is closer, but you'll still need to find a field guide.

    There are any number of sites that explain aperture and stuff, but I found the ed2go offerings more suited to me because you can ask questions and receive answers.

    Also, go to Amazon and look for a field guide for your camera. The owner's manuals are written in hieroglyphics, as you know. Field guides usually are written in English. Let me know what brand and model camera you have.

  4. honestly, The Pioneer Woman's aperture series helped me when I got my new SLR. The photography blog on her site can be pretty helpful. That being said, I signed myself up for a class at our community college just so I can work out some of the problems I have been having. Good luck!

  5. Gullible, I have a Canon EOS Rebel T2i. Thanks for the info, I'll have to check those out.

    Charley, thanks for the info. I would love to just take a class. I would much rather have someone show me what to do than read about it in a manual!

  6. Owen's g'maJanuary 14, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    Thanks for being in the right place with the right kid at the right time with the right camera.

  7. Not only are you first to record I think you saw it first! He wasn't doing that the day before so he crawled first at your house. I'm glad he did it for Auntie and that you had your camera at the ready.

  8. Amazon has David Busch's new field guide for your camera. It will be released Jan 17. Seriously, my Nikon field guide is like a tutorial and explains EVERYTHING you ever need to know, plus gives suggestions for better photos--composition, lighting, depth of field, etc. Regardless of what you wind up doing to learn your camera, the field guides are invaluable.

  9. Owen's g'ma, no problem. I'm glad I was there too!

    Lisa, I feel bad that I was the first one to see it. It should have been you! Glad that I got it on camera for you though.

    Thanks, Gullible, I will definitely check that out. That sounds like it's exactly what I need.

  10. Don't feel bad, Beth. I get to be around for lots of his firsts and I can't think of anyone (other than Adam!) I'd rather see him crawl first than his Auntie!


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