Thursday, February 21, 2013

Time to get serious, Princess Anne!

Ok, it's time to get serious.  I've been dabbling in this photography vortex for the last few years.  I've seen some progress, but sometimes  most of the time it feels like 2 steps forward, 3 steps back.  This year, 2013, will be the year that I ROCK. MY. CAMERA.  This blog is where I hope to see my progress as I move from taking some nice snap shots to being able to tell a story or communicate emotion with photography.  I hope to see my creativity and skill bloom.

In 1999, just before our son was adopted I bought a Pentax SLR camera (film).  I wanted to document as much of the process, people and events that lead up to him coming home.  I wanted to remember every moment and every milestone.  I never took the camera off auto.  What a shame and a pity.

A few years later I decided I didn't need the fancy SLR. As a tired new mom, a PHD (Push Here Dummy) camera seemed the better way to go. I bought the first of several PHD cameras.  

Somewhere around 2006, the PHD was too limiting.  I bought my first DSLR, an Olympus.  While I was amazed at how much better the photos were and I loved being able to zoom in and out, again, I never took the camera off auto.  Feeling stifled by the Olympus, in 2010 I purchased my current camera which I have affectionately named, Princess Anne!  

Princess Anne is a Nikon D90.  I loooooove Princess Anne. Until last summer, we lived in a high fire danger area.  The joke was to grab the kids, then the camera before evacuating (depending on the day, sometimes it was grab the camera THEN the kids...just kidding). 

I've gotten some good shots from this camera, but I know she is capable of so much more. I've read and learned TONS about photography from the many wonderful blogs on the web.  I've pinned a couple of hundred tutorials on my pinterest page, Mom's Gonna Snap.  Recently I decided to go back and re-read my camera manual.  The first time I read my camera manual was like reading Greek!  It's not like reading Greek anymore so I know I've made progress. I actually understand a lot of the manual this time around.  I've moved to shooting manual mode 100% of the time. I'll never go back to auto, however, knowing the proper settings is just not second nature...yet.  It's time to start applying everything I've learned by actually shooting instead of reading about it.

So this is the year that Princess Anne and I will get serious.  I want to understand this camera inside and out, to be able to assess a situation and know almost instinctively what the best camera settings should be to have the best outcome.  In order to accomplish this I will be taking the following steps:
  1. Carry my camera with me and shoot as much as possible where ever I am.
  2. Last month I joined Clickin Moms, an active member community with contests, tutorials, forums and most importantly support and inspiration-there are some seriously talented gals on Clickin Moms who are all very eager to encourage and educate the newbies.
  3. I am learning Light Room 3 for editing
  4. I will let my pictures come out of my hard drive and onto my walls.
  5. I am participating in Clickin Moms Project 52, a weekly photography prompt assignment project.
  6. I am participating in a book study, Picture Perfect Practice by Robert Valenzuela with some Clickin Moms gals and posting photos to FB.
  7. Document my progress here.

Please feel free to comment, however, realize this diary is for me.  My goal is not to impress professionals and lurkers or to have photos that are technically perfect, nor do I have any desire or plans to become a professional.  My goal is to document the every day, the mundane, the beautiful, the fun, the emotional and   life as it really is.  I want to give my children, family and friends some beautiful photos to enjoy.  This blog is for me to see my progress and growth.  So get ready, Princess Anne, we're gonna be busy.


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