I bought a DSLR last year right before Hunter's birthday, fully intending to "teach myself" how to use it properly right away. Fast forward to almost a year later, and though I had figured out a few things through helpful friends and Pinterest tutorials, I still had no clue about shooting in manual, and what all the fancy photography words I was reading about really meant.
I think I found Photography Concentrate through Andrea of Pink Sugar and the awesome blog pinksugarland. It was one of the those random stumble across websites that you are so so glad to find.
I love the clean, organized layout, and the friendly, conversational tone of all of the posts. Most of all, I love that Rob & Lauren believe that everyone is a photographer. Whether you are just a mom like me, wanting to get the best shots of her cute kids, or someone more serious about their craft, we all just want to get the most beautiful captures of day to day life.
Which brings me to the pictures of Hunter's tractors :)
I decided to buy the Essential Camera Skills course, and while my little prince slept, I learned about focus points, ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed, White Balance, and all the terms that had intimidated me before. As a teacher, I totally appreciated the lesson/hands-on exercise/pop quiz format. The layout makes it really easy to go back and review lessons too (which I know I will be doing often!)
Then I went upstairs to bother my poor child/model with some sleeping shots. He woke up shortly after :)
I took some more pictures later that night, and having finally converted my camera to take pictures in RAW mode, I saw firsthand the reasons why you should be shooting in RAW. This orangey picture was so easy to fix in Lightroom because it was in RAW mode! Hooray for being able to fix my newbie blunders so easily!
Presto! No more orange!
I'm pretty excited to stop using my flash. I rarely love the pictures taken with it.
My poor kid is now going to be subjected to many photoshoots as I practice my skills shooting in manual. I feel a little like a kid who has just learned something new. I'm muttering under my breath about aperture, shutter speed and white balance as I try to get all the right levels for the shot.
Sometimes, I get so caught up that I forget something crucial, like focusing on the right thing (crying face) and miss the moment. Plus, it was probably mean for me to be giggling and taking pictures of the temper tantrum instead of helping. Oops.
But every 1 in 100 pictures or so, I get something cute (even if his face is out of focus....I still have a lot to master!)
I'm really enjoying the learning process, and I am so thankful that the course finally gave me the knowledge & confidence to try shooting in manual mode, especially since I will have a cute new model arriving soon :)
If you want to buy Essential Camera Skills - you can do so here or by clicking on the new banner on the right hand side. They also have lots of great freebies and informative blog posts on their site.
I've signed up to be a part of their affiliate program, because I think they are so awesome. Any money I make from readers buying their courses will be put in the new camera lens fund :)