Thursday, November 17, 2011

Comfort zone.

It's no secret that I love to take pictures.  But I'll admit, I don't really know how to work my new camera all that well.  The majority of the time, I shoot in automatic mode because those manual modes are a little confusing.  Lately, though, I've been reading a few photography blogs that have encouraged me to try the more creative manual modes with pretty straight-forward tips and tricks of how to do so.  Rather than rewrite what they've already written, check out these blogs for some tips and tricks for getting out of the comforting automatic mode and embracing the uncertainty of manual mode.

Now I know these aren't the most exciting pictures of my feet but I wanted to show the difference between shooting in automatic and manual modes (click the photo above to enlarge so you can see what I'm talking about).  The photo on the left is in automatic mode.  See how pretty much everything is in focus?  The photo on the right is in manual mode.  Notice the blur (or bokeh) at the edges of the photo.  That was not added with photo editing.  Both of these photos are straight out of the camera with no editing done to them (other than putting them into a collage).  Interesting, right?  How did I do it?  Honestly, I am still figuring it out myself.  But check out this blog and this blog to help make sense of all the photography jargon and how to put it to use.

I also took these photos on manual mode this afternoon with an aperture of f1.8 and various ISO and shutter speeds.  See what I mean?  Confusing jargon.  I am definitely still learning.  And yes, I took notes from those blogs on my iPhone and yes, I reference those notes while I'm out taking photos.  Nerd alert! 

In other news, this wee little girl has been making her presence known this week!  I have had flutters and butterflies of movement the past few weeks but I was looking forward to feeling something stronger.  On my husband's birthday last Monday, I had my hand on my belly and, all of a sudden, she gave me three strong kicks right where my hand was.  It was like she was saying, "Hello!  I'm here!  Wish Dad a happy birthday for me!"

It was so magical!  I will always remember Lee's 3__th birthday as the day I felt our baby's first real kicks!  

If you have a DSLR (or SLR), do you shoot in manual mode?  You are probably more brave than me.  I just found all the different settings so confusing!  But the first step in learning something is leaving your comfort zone and trying new things!  At least it's a digital camera and I'm not going through a ton of film.

**I've entered these photos into the final Shades of Autumn photo challenge on Project Alicia.  It's been a fun way to challenge myself with my photography!  Hopefully they do another one soon.**


  1. I want a DSLR so bad so I can take fun pictures too!! You can definitely tell the difference between a legit camera and my little point and shoot! So exciting you got to feel your baby girls kick! So sweet. Happy belated to Lee!

  2. Yay for feeling the baby kick! So exciting! I would love a DSLR and my friend is selling hers but it's just not in the budget right now(especially with Christmas coming). I would have to take a photography class just to learn the basics. Maybe someday. I've seen tutorials and lots of tips and hints for DSLRs on Pinterest. Sometimes blogs about taking photos.

  3. The photograph of your shoes ont he right looks so much better. It's pretty amazing what a big difference it made. Thanks for the inspiration! I'm also trying to learn my Nikon D5100. There's so many options to choose from. Great idea on making notes on the phone. I should do that too. I took photos of a couple recently (since I need more practice with portraits) and seeing the results made so darn critical of myself. I need to remind myself to be patient. It takes a lot of time and trail and error. Thanks for including the links; I'm headed over to check them out :)

  4. I love that you are using manual! It's so much better in my opinion. I am loving all your pictures, you def have an eye for details and such. I am excited for your baby, too! I love babies they are the best!

  5. I have a DSLR I am just starting to figure it all out. Your Photos are beautiful. Just wait your little one will be moving all over the place. :)

  6. I'm just learning too, and find it's usually easier to go with auto first, and then start fiddling with manual if I have time. Then later on I can look closely at the differences. The main thing I've found so far is that the auto setting on my camera really flattens the colours, I much prefer getting a bit of interest through overexposing just a touch. I hope you have fun experimenting!

  7. Gorgeous captures...and great job venturing out into manual mode. I'm pretty well stuck in automatic (all but maybe a couple in my autumn grand finale post are in automatic). And, check out that yellow leaf you caught! Either your hands are reeeaaally tiny, or that leaf is gigantic! Wow!

  8. These are really gorgeous photos. I especially like the last two.

    I do take almost all of my photos in manual, I occasionally switch to aperture priority if I'm just taking snaps. The very best way to learn is to just take a lot of photos! Experiment with different ideas and don't ever be afraid to fail!

    We've had such a great time hosting the Shades of Autumn Photo Challenge and it's been a pleasure to have you, thanks so much for taking part!


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