Thanks, I needed that

Seriously, I needed that like a good slap in the face when you’re trying to wake someone up from a bad dream.    I’m talking about the challenge for this week for Shutterboo.   The subject was “nighttime”.    I was totally dreading it.  I have such a hard time getting my camera to do what I want it to do at night.   It’s NOTHING like a point-and-shoot.  You can’t just point at anything, press the little button, and presto, picture taken.   No on the contrary, dSLR cameras actually want to focus on something specific in the frame, imagine that?!!!   So needless to say, landscape shots at night, moon over the ocean, etc. have been huge challenges for me.   Most of the time resulting in me getting frustrated and giving up, or retrieving the little PNS I keep in my purse and using it to snap whatever has peaked my interest.    It just seems so incredibly frustrating to have this awesome camera and it won’t take the picture I want – something about it thinking it is smarter than me (which it probably is but no one likes to have that thrown in their face).   

So anyway this challenge actually challenged me in a really good challenging way.   I actually got out my “Nikon D60 for Dummies” book and my camera manual.   Wow, can you believe that?   It’s been a while since I’ve felt like I actually LEARNED something new and fun about my camera.   I’ll let you in on a little “not-so-secret” secret of mine – I almost completely shoot everything in auto.   Okay, I said it, it’s out there.   I struggle so much with all the settings and remembering what they mean.  I know the basics – shutter, aperture, ISO  and what they do – but it’s the numbers that are so confusing to me.   This one means larger when the number is going down, this one means smaller when the number is getting bigger – what’s the deal with that anyway.   Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read my manual.  I’ve read my “Nikon D60 for Dummies” book (well most of it).   And I can even remember some of it, for short periods of time.   The key being, if I don’t use it – I lose it!   And that may even be the case with this new information I learned.   But what I am most excited about, and that I don’t think I will ever fully forget, is using the manual mode.   I mean, I completely used my camera manually, and at night to boot!!!   WOOHOO!!!!  (It was phenomenal, literally, hehehe.) On top of that I actually got a couple of okay pictures.    But the most exciting thing to me is knowing I can use manual settings if I chose.  It is possible to get outside the “auto” box!!!   Very exciting stuff!!!!

SO, keeping in mind that this is my FIRST time really taking pictures manually, here are a few images I captured.   

Of course you have to practice and this was taken inside my house just practicing but I liked it and it’s not fuzzy, so progress. 

The next one I actually went outside at night and took some pictures of this little solar-powered lantern in our backyard trying to figure out the right settings for nighttime exposure.  

Not too bad, I guess.  And it was in focus! 

Next a quick test shot of the sky before the fireworks start.

  This next one is probably the only decent picture I got of the fireworks on the fourth of July.    I wanted to go to an actual fireworks show but the hubby wasn’t feeling good (dadgum kidney stones).   So I was working from the backyard and the neighbors just couldn’t get their act together.   I’d set up ready to capture one neighbor and the other neighbor would fire off.  So I’d switch to capture theirs and they would stop and the other neighbor would start.   Awwww, so excited to try new stuff, and so not working out = yuckiness!   Anyway, it may not be the best picture but it represents so much more to me and it is my submission for Shutterboo’s weekly challenge.

Words of wisdom for the week:  

   1. Never give up on something you REALLY want to learn.

   2. Patience

   3. READ the manual

   4. Try out what you’ve learned, play around and have fun

   5. Join a group challenge that will do just that – challenge you

Until next week,



2 thoughts on “Thanks, I needed that

  1. So cool to hear that you actually challenged yourself! Your firework photos look very pretty. Keep it up – keep trying that manual mode! I don’t always use it myself but when you need it, it’s great to know how to manipulate your camera.

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