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my photography journey (part two)

When Lyndon bought the camera from Lee’s Camera Center, a local camera shop, he opted to purchase their full service tutorial. This included lessons, updates, and a cleaning. The next available free Saturday morning I drove to Lee’s for my first lesson. At this time I knew one thing. I did not want the flash to pop up. I learned if I shot on “P” the flash did not pop up. The second thing I learned how to change the picture style to shoot in black and white. Since digital cameras came out I gave up my film camera which I often shot with black and white film and I was happy to now have instant black and white pictures! Probably not the two most important lessons learned, but the first two that I remember. I took notes that morning and went home with my camera to practice.

At this time I also asked several friends who were already into photography for websites or blogs of photographers they love or where to go to learn. They graciously shared their favorites and I too began searching and reading blogs. Thank you friends for sharing!! Two that I can remember were Momtog and Me Ra Koh Photography. As I sat in front of the computer while Myla napped I was captivated by their images, and how they told a story. The images were beautiful and captured emotions and expressions in the moments. A desire in me began to grow to tell a story with my images and capture everyday moments of us.

I spent many Saturday mornings at Lee’s with paper and pen taking notes and asking questions. Lots of questions. And then some more questions. I was eager to understand my camera and how to get my pictures to capture the story. I practiced almost every day on my daughter. In different rooms inside, different time of the day, outside and still sometimes in black and white too! I would look at the setting and try to make sense of all the numbers. My pictures did not have beautiful blurry backgrounds, they were plain blurry. I was frustrated. I did not understand why they were so blurry. I would head back to Lee’s and ask more questions.

After two months I asked what it meant to shoot in manual. I wanted to learn. I wanted to understand what aperture, ISO and shutter speed all meant and how they all worked together. I processed these three elements on a very basic level. I left determined to line up the light meter in the middle and shoot in manual. This seemed simple in my mind. I knew that I was missing shots or moments because I was learning which way to scroll. I knew that my images came out blurry because I did not understand my camera. This pushed me to keep shooting, keep reading, and keep asking questions.

During my research and learning, Lyndon would listen to my new little discoveries along the way. He was quiet and supportive. He let me learn at my pace and he watched me grow. For mother’s day he purchased two of Me Ra Koh’s videos: Refuse to say cheese and Beyond the Green Box. I sat down and watched them. I made adjustments to my camera setting that Me Ra recommended. I watched the video with Lyndon. I watched the video again and took notes. I wanted to learn. (If you are in the beginning and want to learn I would recommend these two videos as a great place to start!)

By May (three months since Lyndon purchase my camera and kit lens) I was frustrated with my kit lens. The kit lens would not create blurry backgrounds (bokeh) no matter what I tried. I asked Lyndon to purchase a lens with a lower aperture. He agreed. I remember coming home and taking my first pictures of Myla outside with my new lens (85mm 1.8) and I fell in love. First with Lyndon for giving me opportunity to grow and learn and secondly with photography. The 1.8 aperture created the blurry background that I so desired. I was excited and still had so much to learn!

So, this got much longer then expected. Thanks for reading this. I love details and reminiscing how photography entered my life un-expectantly. There is more to my story and I will keep sharing it. You can read part one here.


two of my first pictures with my new lens.still the first day taking pictures; however inside.These two are the the next morning. I took pictures at all times of the day!I remember shooting this picture and being excited to capture her long eyelashes and little nose.

[…] of my first goals was to shoot without the flash popping up. You can read this part of my journey here. Again I will help remind you that we already identify your first goal: learn your camera. Know the […]

[…] I have mentioned in my previous post I have been self taught photographer. I have spent hours reading blogs and websites to learn all […]


Sally, I started with the 40 d and it was more then I needed at the time. My goal when I first started to shoot was only when Lyndon needed pictures of his work. As I began shooting and understood the difference between a full frame and 3/4 senor I started to save for the 5d mark ii. I wanted more space in my images and the full frame would allow it. I would recommend to invest in lenses until you out grown the camera body you have. Lenses go with you when you change camera bodies. Again, this is not the only way, just my suggestion. and you know the release of the canon 5d mark iii is out too!!

[…] You can read part one here and part two of my story here. […]

Sally Krueger

You have no idea how helpful this is!! Thanks again! :) (btw, I am researching new cameras right now and SAVING $$!! If you were to buy now – what would you get? Keith has been eyeing the Canon 5D mark ii…but it may be a while before that’s a possibility.) :)

I remember the “ah ha” moment I had when I realized the reason I couldn’t get what I wanted was because I didn’t have the right lens. I got my 50 1.4 and squealed with delight when I took my first shot with it! :)

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