Photography 101


I love my camera!  I have always loved taking pictures but now I love my camera.  Taking Cynthia Shaffer's Photography 101 class was such an eye opening experience.

Getting to know what my camera is capable of doing and what all those buttons are for, has changed my picture taking life forever.  When I say getting to know, I mean just starting to get to know, just touching the tip of the iceberg getting to know, there is so much to learn getting to know.

I have switched my little baby off that green dial forever.  We are full on manual and I am loving it. 

The number of bad shots is still outweighing the good shots but the fact that I have control of the the look of the photo makes it totally worth it.

Being in class...for me having the great fortune to be in Cynthia Shaffer's class...made all the difference in the world.  I have tried to read my user manual and even checked out DSLR photography for dummies and only came away more confused. 

But sitting in a room with a professional explaining what aperture (which is actually F Stop, I know, who knew) shutter speed and ISO are and how to adjust them for the circumstances and then taking shots inside and outside in varying conditions was so exciting.

I look at my surroundings totally different now.  I see photo opportunities in places I would have just walked right by before.  Old grates, rusty hinges, stacks of bricks, old buildings even street signs are all fair game for picture taking.

I guess you can tell that I loved my class on Saturday and I highly recommend it to anyone who is still shooting in automatic or even semi automatic mode.  Even if you are already shooting in the manual mode I am sure you would take away a lot of nuances that I missed just trying to absorb the basics.

I questioned why I needed to take the leap and switch off that green auto button, my photos were just fine for what I was doing.  If you are at all wondering the same thing, I say...GO.FOR.IT.

Find a class, fork out the money.  It will totally be worth every penny.

xo, Patty


  1. I too recently invested in a photography class and got off the green button... having so much fun! Your pictures are gorgeous!

  2. awesome... i love those cute booties.. n your photography is incredible..

  3. The color in your pictures is fantastic!

    I stopped using the green button about a year ago, moving over to the P (semi-automatic). I understood manual from reading books and tutorials but rarely used it. A few weeks ago, my husband's 80s cover band played a party, and I really wanted good photos even in a darkened room under moving stage lights. I was forced to go fully manual, and after a couple of minutes of trial and error, I nailed it. I was thrilled with the results.

  4. Good for you Patty! I SO need to do this. My daughter Gennifer loved my camera so much, that she got one after I did, and then she went crazy with learning how to use it. She says that shooting in auto is like having a sports car and never taking it out of third gear!!! So true. I shall do it one day, I will!!!!
    Your photos looked great!!!
    xo Kris

  5. Oh, how I wish I had a better camera!! loved all your pictures!! I have a Nikon cool pix, but what I really wish I had was one with the changing lenses! My husband says one day I will graduate to another camera.. Love those close up pictures!!!
    Have a good day!

  6. Having a blog does make us want to be better photographers. Your pictures are beautiful. We are never too old to learn new tricks!

  7. Beautiful shots Patty. Maybe 80% of my images are on manual but still it is a learning curve.

  8. Perfect day too for me.

    Take my picture. I changed my profile this second.

  9. do they make big people shoes like that? too cute. those make my heart melt. awww!!! ( :

  10. Hi Patty, I love these tips and the encouragement! When I was in college I had a 35mm camera and learned all about the different options but now with our digital camera, most days it is on auto. Your examples are beautiful and you have given me the push to play around and not use auto. Thanks for sharing. You've got a great eye for photos.
    Hugs, Noreen

  11. Great shots...glad you liked the class...that's on my list after I master the computer classes I'm taking! Have a great day!

  12. Your photos are great, and I see everything through a lens too. Every moment is a photo op moment for me

  13. I looove the last shot of the multi colored lanterns. That is beautiful!!!! My son and daughter bought me an expensive camera when I went to Tanzania on missions a couple of years ago. I loved the pics I took (over 3000) but I attribute that to the subject(s). ;) But I definitely need to take a class. My "sports car" needs taken out of neutral. :D

  14. How beautiful, Patty! These pics look professional!! Someday I will buy a great camera and take a is too crazy right now....but someday! :D

  15. What great images, Patty! WOW~ I so need a decent camera and then to take a class. Your photos are really great- xo Diana

  16. I got bit by the photography bug in my early 20's and devoured my SLR's manual. I learned everything there was to know, then enrolled in photography classes a decade later, eventually making a small living taking photos. The SLR is obsolete now and I've long since taken up writing, but I have fond memories of conversations centered around F-stops and shutter speeds.

    Your photos are just lovely.

  17. This is on my wish list! Thank you for the inspiration - your photos are really lovely. I love the photo of the stairs with the railing shadow, but I love them all! xx

  18. You really got a lot out of your class. That's great advice. Now I just need to get the camera first. What camera do you have. I would love to take better pictures. Yours are great. Love those baby shoes...great photos, cute shoes.

  19. Sounds fun and really interesting, and lovely photos full of nuiances you have taken too! I am saving up for a new camera, my father was a photographer and he was so interesting to listen to and watch. A LOT has happened since he died though - 27 years ago - and the possibilities are incredible with todays cameras. My daughter is a talented photographer and has done quite a bit of work for the local newspaper. I think she thinks poor old mum is rather slow in learning all the new stuff though :-) . Look forward to see more of your photos, Pam xx

  20. Patty,
    A M A Z I N G photos!!!
    I adore the red baby shoes, dear friend!!!
    Each photo shot is crystal clear!!!
    One of my goals for 2013 is to improve my photography skills;
    however, I still have the point~and~shoot. . .
    so perhaps I'm in the market for a new camera, as well???

  21. Good for you, taking a class and saying goodbye to automatic mode! You go, girl! I wandered over here from Kimberly's web site and I'm glad I did/ I just started up a new photo challenge blog with monthly themes. Perhaps you'll want to see what it's about and jump in too? Of course, pop over to my regular blog first and then you can easily find the link to the other one, A Personal Photo Challenge.

    It's an amazing time that we live in, where we have digital cameras and can instantly see how well we did when we took a picture. I learned back in the old film days, so learning was a lot slower and much more expensive. I even met my husband by taking a photo class (he was the instructor, giggle)! But the digital format has its own challenges and technology is changing so rapidly that it takes a commitment to keep up with it all. The biggest thing you can do to improve is practice, practice, practice! And from the looks of your photos, you have a natural eye for it!

  22. Having a blog does make us want to be better photographers. Your pictures are beautiful. We are never too old to learn new tricks!
    Photography Freelancing Site


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