Adventures in Digital Photography

I’m trying to learn how to take better pictures.

If you’ve known me for more than a month, you probably know that I get on wild hares to learn new things.  In fact, I go a little crazy if I don’t learn something new…about once a month or so.  These things don’t always turn out the way I plan.  For example, my plan to learn enough about computers to get my A+ cert doesn’t seem to be working out, because I have to prioritize other things I need to know.

I haven’t given up.  I still sit down and study when I get a chance (mostly at work, because they have these nifty online training courses that look at things from a different perspective than my study book), and I enjoy the hell out of it.  And I really, really appreciate knowing what I have learned, because I’m not as helpless as I was mere months ago.

I also haven’t given up on my plan to learn how to make hard cider.  However, I live in a bad house for it.  The one place I could conceivably make cider without pissing Lee off is the laundry room, which approaches near-freezing temperatures on a daily basis.  And I need a convenient source for unpasturized cider.  Again, not giving up, just reconsidering.  There is a recipe for a quick & dirty apple cider that I’ve been spying (it only takes a few days, and I can chuck it if it gets unbearable.)  I just have to get used to the idea, I think.  I often have to get used to the idea of a thing before I can embark on it.

Right now, I’m working on digital photography.  We have a digital camera that we bought after Ray was born, so about seven years ago.  It’s a  2-megapixel camera, which is laughable by today’s standards, but it’s lasted us SEVEN YEARS, so take that, scoffers.  I used to like taking pictures a lot when I was a kid, but I never got any good at it (and never really tried to get any good at it, tell the truth).  Now, in the name of taking pictures for my food blog, etc., I’ve been pushing myself to learn more about how to take pictures.

The f-stop is still kicking my butt.  I have to re-review that section every few days in the hope that it’ll make slightly more sense every time.  But I’m really enjoying posting pictures up on Facebook, even if they are pretty bad.  However, one of the unintended consequences of learning about computers is the perspective that it’s okay to crash and burn, as long as you pay attention while you’re doing it.  Things are never going to work out the way they’re supposed to; in fact, things are more interesting when they don’t work out the way you think they will.  See?  Computers are awesome.

13 Dec 09 015

An interesting but terrible photo, taken at a dance recital.

13 Dec 09 007

And another.  I have no idea how I did this.


Some 2009 Thank Yous


Chocolate Story: First Draft is Done!


  1. Part of my reason for doing my own photo project this year is to learn how to get better at taking pictures. I’m hoping to find a class to take where I can explore the non-automatic aspects of photography a little more. Will keep you posted — maybe we can do it together!

  2. LeAnn Knippling

    I can tell you how you did it. The front person was moving and Ray wasn’t. I just can’t believe that the event really happened. Ray is always moving! I have lots of pictures that are the other way around. Ray seems to resemble Superman in a hurry more often than not.

  3. Bob Hise

    A good source for learning on the ‘cheap’ is Photographic Magazine. At least it was a few years ago. The blurred people in the forground is do to a slow shutter speed. Pictures are a manipulation of light, how much area or how open the aperture (hole in the lense) is against how long the shutter is open. Your aperture was open providing enough light. So your shutter was slow in closing allowing any movement to be blurred. Some how Ray managed to stay still long enough not to blur, a true moment of foucus.

  4. Bob Hise

    Oh, by the way, it is a good picture, a moment in time! FYI, A place with an interesting assignment to stir your imagination and thought process is they give a one word assignment for you to send in your photos expressing your thoughts on the word each week. they usually have four words/weeks up a time.

  5. De

    Interesting. “Metal” sounds like fun.

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