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Confession: I don’t really know how to use my camera. I’ve had it for three years and always kept the little dial fixed on the green square. Because there are numbers and math and logic involved in using manual settings, and my brain just doesn’t have enough space for all that.

And also I’ve been too scared of failure (because I’m type-A and we do this to ourselves).

Enter my friend Ann, who encouraged me to switch the dial to “M” and just try. On a recent beach trip, she actually grabbed my camera for me and put it in my hands. Then she explained metering and aperture and shutter speed and how they all come together to make a photograph. And it started to make sense.

So I clung tight to that little glimmer of understanding and fired away. Then I tried again in the driveway a few days later. Of course these shots are under- or over-exposed or blurry (and wtf white balance?) but I love them for the moments they represent and the little personalities that come shining through, even if mommy is using the wrong shutter speed.

And because I’m trying.

(And also because I’ll need some “before” pictures for when I get good at this, right?)

So here’s a start, straight out of my camera (just cropped a few).

Like they say on The Bachelorette, I’m excited about this journey.

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11 Comments on just try.

  1. I am so glad that you are ripping off the band-aid. You have a fantastic eye and I can’t say that enough! That first shot! Amazing! For real. <3 And the others are going to make you appreciate how far you have come one day.

    P.S. White Balance still makes me want to rip my hair out sometimes. 😉
    Ann recently posted…CCC – JuneMy Profile

  2. I agree with Ann, and I’ve said it before. You have a fantastic eye and your photos tell a story. The technical details will come, but you are already a great photographer.

    Also, kids are the best and the worst learning subjects. Worst because they do not sit still, they do not cooperate, and it is easy to miss a shot. Best because they push you to learn more, faster. I switched to manual to learn the fundamentals and really learn my camera, then most of the time with my boys I am on Aperture priority mode.

    The other thing that really helped my photography (that I still do today) is to change my focus point to be the center point. That is how I am able to take photos of my boys at f2.0 and still be sharp. Generally I focus on their eyes then recompose the shot. Being able to take low aperture shots means a lot more flexibility with available light in terms of shutter speed and ISO.

    I look at photography as a never ending learning process! I still look at my photos and see all the ways I want to improve.
    Laura Case recently posted…2013 sunscreen lineupMy Profile

    • Thanks, sis! We’ll be there SOON. Can’t wait. You + me + fancy drinks + porch as often as possible, okay? 🙂

  3. LOVE that first picture. What a cutie! I am the same way as you with my camera. I’ve had mine for over a year and only know how to use 10% of my camera. I’m taking a moms with cameras class with a local photographer, so maybe soon I will know how to use 20% of my camera 🙂

  4. I took a class and it really helped me to understand my Canon Rebel. And then I felt so big and awesome that I UPGRADED to an even fancier camera!!!! and now I don’t know how to use it. So thanks for the reminder. Always try! (because I don’t know what you’re talking about…your pics look great!)
    Vicki @ Crowning Victoria recently posted…Random Acts of KindnessMy Profile

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