I am not a crook!

At least………..I didn’t mean to be.

Let me e’splain.

I set-up a pseudo studio and proceeded to shoot the only model I had available. She’s a little fuzzy, but does well in a pinch. Plus, she is the easiest to get to stay put.

Pet's next top model - Brownie.

We have homework due on a flash drive and I needed the practice. I was trying out metering and tone, but I was having trouble with the white. I had something set wrong, lighting wrong, ISO wrong, or shutter speed wrong. So, I was trying to change that, keep two other dogs from grabbing the ball, and get Brownie to look at me.

It was WORK.

Then, my shutter stuck. It just stopped and I got an error on the screen. No matter what I did, I could not get the error to go off. I could not get the shutter to unstick. This had never happened before. I turned the camera off then on. I took the lens off, then put back on. Nothing worked. Nothing.

My built-in flash lock broke a few weeks ago. It won’t pop up. It hasn’t been a big deal because I have the SB-600 flash. I don’t use, or need the little one. This error, to me, just told me something else broke on the camera. Period.

It’s actually not a huge ordeal (oh, ok NOW it’s not). I have coverage on the camera. No matter what happens…if I drop it, get it wet, or if it stops working…no biggie. It’s covered. But, I have to send it off. It’s not really a good time. For one, I’m in the middle of class. Dang!

Jason, and I had talked about getting me a new camera for my birthday in August. It’s the big 4-0. I found out from my instructor in class that after Digital Photography II, I would most likely want to upgrade my camera. The one I have now doesn’t do off-sync flash, and a few other things that helps a professional (which is what I hope to be).

So, my camera just up and breaks in the middle of these “talks”. I totally see it as a sign. Plus, I booked a wedding February 12th – it’s kinda important I have a camera. A working one. Ahem.

All I can say is that Jason is the kindest, most understanding, patient man on this planet (and I married him – score!).

We shopped, compared, considered, thought ahead, waffled – okay, maybe it was mostly me. He smiled. He agreed. He supported. He paid.

Nikon D90


She is a beauty. And guess what? I have no clue how to work her. I do know changing the settings is waaaay easier. But every button is different. In the last week, I had made leaps and bounds in learning how to change all my settings and use manual on my Nikon D3000. Now, I am starting all over because it broke (sorta).

See, it didn’t actually break…….yah.

A friend on Facebook commented on my status and asked if I possibly locked up the mirror? Huh?

So when I got home with my new camera, I reset the mirror on my old one (found the mirror lock on the menu).

The camera works just fine.

Jason thinks I pulled a camera shark trick.

Jason says, “You got me good.”

He wishes he would have checked to see if the camera was in fact broken.

It was.

I swear.

Now, I have two cameras. A main one, and a back-up – in case one breaks – like mine tend to do (amazingly, right when I hope for a new one).

In retrospect, I probably should have googled it, but I promise……I am not a crook!


I love you, Jason! Thanks for putting up with me.

The Journey of Choosing a Photo Edit

Tonight, we dined – on fish! Lots and lots of fish.

My friend, husband, and greatest supporter introduced me to sushi. I only tried it because he loved it. I’m so glad I was brave for love’s sake. I heart sushi. My entire life I did not eat fish, nor like fish. Any fish. I hated it. I did not even want to try sushi. Now? I am a sushi monster. Love!

So, tonight after a birthday party at Dave & Buster’s, we head out for sushi. I was not only thrilled about getting to eat sushi. I was also thrilled to get a picture of sushi for my 365 Project.

This time I didn’t spend too long picking the photo. I got that. But what grabbed me in rapt attention was the edits on this photo. From the original picture, to applying different edits; the picture came alive in all different ways.

This is where photography supersedes to a whole new level. It’s not just the angle, the settings, and the shot. It can be about the edits too.

Here is the picture I took.

Sushi Original Image - used vibrance for color boost.

The rest are the same image using edits (I use Picnik) to enhance/change texture or coloring.

Sushi Infrared Film edit
Sushi Lomo-ish edit.
Sushi Holga-ish edit.
Sushi HDR-ish edit.
Sushi CinemaScope edit.
Sushi Orton-ish edit.
Sushi 1960's edit.

Pretty cool, eh?

I’m leaning towards the Orton-ish for my Day 29 photograph, but torn between that, and the CinemaScope, or HDR-ish. See what I mean?

Thing is, none of these are a better image than the other – they are the same image. It all comes down to preference.

Which is your favorite edit?

Hardest Part of Post a Day 2011?

Ahem. Posting every day (did you know I was going to say that?).

I am lucky in a way. I haven’t had to use some of the very helpful Daily Post Blog prompts. I have them handy if I need to. I think participating in my daily photo project has helped. I always have a picture to write about, taking fresh ones every day.

The hardest part of taking pictures every day for my Project 365? Picking which picture to use.

I thought the hardest part would be finding things – people, places, objects, and animals – to take pictures of.

So far, noooo. It’s the choosing. I probably spend a half-hour trying to decide.

I can’t decide.

I waffle.

I get opinions from Jason, then Sydney. Which by the way, they NEVER pick the same one – ever. Annnnd???? They never pick the one I’m leaning toward. Of course.

It’s only Day 28. I am sure my eagerness and perfectionism will wear thin. I’ll start using my iPhone for pictures and be done with it (not that there is anything wrong with that). I’ve seen amazing pictures with iPhones and Blackberry’s. Seriously! Really impressive stuff. Of course, my goal is to get better at using the manual settings on my DSLR. Using an iPhone each day would be like skipping class.

So every day. I write. I photograph. I choose the best photo. I decide the best words.

My story last night was completely unplanned. I saw the prompt yesterday and I was intrigued. I had an image of the hallway and it never left my brain. I wrote from that image keeping within the 1,000 word limit. I am sorry. I did leave you hanging. It was not on purpose, just following the rules. And? I’m happy with where it’s at. It could go in so many directions. That prompt opened up a creative flow. Isn’t that what daily writing is supposed to do? I couldn’t stop it if I tried. So, yes. There will be more – much more – and maybe a few surprises.

I am extremely grateful for all your comments and support. Truly….what an honor. I don’t think I have a tenth of the talent some of you do. But. I’m learning, and thankful for that.

Learning to pick the best photo of the day is quite the lesson too. I thought I’d share some that didn’t make the cut. These pictures were taken from Monday thru Friday of this week. Enjoy!

Nosy nose.
The one that got away (it was quickly retrieved).
My dog...half greyhound...half anteater? It may or may not have been the marble she got.
Bridget proudly displays a FRITO as I photographically journal my love for White Trash. Hmmm....
A very, very close second on Day 24.The heart was drawn on her hand at her school.
I swear, I can see myself in her eyeball. I even cropped to look. I'm there. Camera and all.
Day 28 Picture. It wasn't hard picking this one. Blessed with Loved and happiness. Or remote and recliner?

Digital Destiny

Did I ever tell you why I got my camera? It wasn’t just from scouring blogs and seeing Ahh-mazing pictures, wishing I could take photos like those (that was part of it). But it was also because of my Dad.

He always had a camera. He always took pictures. Now, were they good pictures? Eh, not so much, but he loved taking them.

We have pictures of every cat he had, every dog, every weekend visit. When he was stationed in Germany, he took tons of pictures of quaint German towns he visited, and other places in Europe. Plus, every visit as adults with and without grandkids. Every one.

And he didn’t take them just of us, and his pets. He took them of every animal he ever found as well. His hog nose snake, Inky Stinky the skunk, turtles, lizards, and more. Any wild life he found or discovered, he was taking a photo. The last one I remember him showing me, with deep chuckles and grins, were of three baby raccoons trapped in a trash can at the local park. The pictures were found laid out on his desk after he died.

He had discovered the triplets on his daily walk, ran home and got his camera, then tipped the can low enough to take their picture inside. Then he called the park ranger to rescue them and waited until he did. He got the biggest kick out of that. Those baby coons in the trash. Little scavengers with thoughts of sweet nothings in their head having no idea they’d get stuck and be using their big eyes to peer up and spot my Dad.

That was my Dad. He loved wild life. He loved animals. He had a heart for rescue and nature. With all his might, he would try to capture those moments with his little disposable camera.

When he died, I used some funds from his insurance policy to buy my Nikon D3000; my first DSLR. A tribute to him. A camera that does capture what you want it to, in the way you want it to, without ever disappointing. It’s amazing.

It ignited a fire, a desire to learn everything about photography. And now, I have taken the next step in my journey. One year after purchasing my DSLR, and one year after my father’s death, I took my first class to get certified in photography, and not only know my way around the lens creatively, but technically as well.

I met my teacher last night. He is a wild life and landscape photographer. He volunteers at Fossil Rim (an animal wild life park), and at the local animal shelter (plus he teaches photography every night).

Don’t think I didn’t catch the significance in that. Don’t think I didn’t notice his love of animals. And don’t think I didn’t miss his teaching pictures are of meerkats and hawks.

Don’t think I didn’t realize how destined this class was. Oh Dad, my Daddy-O, you are here. In my heart and with me every step. I miss you and I thank you for the love you instilled. I know you would be proud, and just as delighted as I am.

If I did happen to miss all those important things, I certainly would not have missed the picture I took later that night for my 365 project.

I saw the “one” significance to my day. All the ones pointing up towards the heaven. Do you know there is a story that when it’s 11:11 all the Angels point their wings to the sky? I don’t know if this is a true tale, or a child’s tale, but I always think of that when I see 11:11. Yesterday not only was it 11:11, it was 1/11/11.

I saw my digital destiny and I can’t wait.