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The Scoop on My Cameras

A handful of you have asked for the scoop on my camera.
Let me begin by reminding you that I have NO idea what I’m doing when it comes to photography–if you read this post, then you already know what I’m talking about.
 
I take every picture on auto–every.single.one.
 
I have lofty goals of one day being a girly who knows the meaning of words like aperture, exposure and ISO {yep, had to google those}.
 
But until then, my current methods will suffice.
 
Allow me to introduce you to Camera #1:
 
{Canon Power Shot SX20 IS, 12.1 mega pixels}
 
The Canon was my first camera.  It’s not intimidating at all. I currently use it to take all my self portrait and most product review pictures.  I LOVE this camera for anything close up and objects that are very still.  I have never had any luck taking a picture of anything moving with this camera {like, say a very energetic toddler}. 
 
Here are some of the pictures I have used this camera for:
 
 
And now, meet Camera #2–the Nikon, my baby.
Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera & 18-55mm VR + 55-200mm VR Lens with 16GB Card + Filters + Case + Accessory Kit
 
I got this bad boy for Christmas and I love it. I have only taken a handful of my self-portraits and product reviews with this camera, because I haven’t yet taken enough time to figure out how to get it to stay focused for close up pictures.  Here are two somewhat clear pictures out of about 50 that I took.
 
{necklace from Starfish Designs}
 
So until I learn all the ins and out,
I use it on “auto” and take fun/fail proof pictures like these:
 
{All taken on auto}
I got a great deal on my Nikon through Amazon.
It came with a whole bunch of extra goodies, including another lens and a deluxe carrying case. Here is a link to the package I ordered:
 
And then I ordered this book,
because I’m a dummy.
 
And that’s the scoop!
What kind of camera do you use?
Or dream of using?

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37 Comments

  • Reply
    Kellie
    March 9, 2011 at 6:27 am

    I'm a photographer & am curreny using my Canon Rebel. It's been good to me. But I dream of owning a Canon 5D Mark II. Someday! My tip to entering into the "manual" world is to shoot in Av mode & put it on the smallest number. This will help create creamy, blurred backgrounds. Of course a good lens makes a big difference. But when trying to capture action shots of the boy, try bumping up the ISO. Just a few tips! Your shots are already great. And let me know if you need some family photos! 😉

  • Reply
    Natalie Allen
    March 9, 2011 at 6:45 am

    I enjoy reading your blog. You will never be disappointed going manual. momtographers.com has great tips, Krista and Adrienne are amazing women that have built the momtographers. Dive in! I love your self portraits.

  • Reply
    Kelsee
    March 9, 2011 at 6:46 am

    THANK YOU!!!!! That's exactly what I wanted to know! Thank you for taking the time to explain your camera choices! -Kelsee

  • Reply
    Joseph's Grainery Recipes
    March 9, 2011 at 6:46 am

    I love my Nikon D60! It goes everywhere with me. I haven't used my point and shoot in the year and a half since I got it…and the few times I've tried to use my p&s the battery's been dead…go figure!

  • Reply
    The Lucky Mama
    March 9, 2011 at 7:28 am

    I have the same camera as you & Natalie is right shoot in manual you will never go back.

    Here are some advice a good friend gave me:

    Always make sure your light meter is at O.
    The lower aperture the smaller the area will be in focus……this is how you get the blurred background effect…the bigger your group you will want to move your aperture higher as more needs to be in focus.
    Shutterspeed higher for movement
    Lower for still objects..like newborns….and higher for toddlers as they are always moving.
    Your ISO should be set higher for in doors and lower for outside.
    The higher your ISO the more grain you will get in your image.

    Read Understanding Exposre by Brian Peterson.

    You cannot compare the images when you shoot in Manual to Automatic.
    The correct exposure in your image ……the less editing you need.

    I hope that helps!

  • Reply
    Leah Ferguson
    March 9, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Yay Nikon! I shoot D700 with every thing you could imagine. Lenses, flash, studio… Everything. I shoot professionally!

    Sounds crazy but read your manual to your camera inside and out. The best pictures I've ever taken came out right in the camera that I barely touched in Photoshop.

    I'm glad you did this post! I enjoy your pictures even though you aren't a pro!

    Leah Ferguson Photography

  • Reply
    gin
    March 9, 2011 at 11:02 am

    All of my pics come from a Nikon and as someone who doesn't edit pictures very often, I find I don't need to very often.

  • Reply
    Lee Ann
    March 9, 2011 at 11:41 am

    I have a Canon Rebel and love it!! I have had it for awhile so I usually shoot on manual. A little tip for the self portraits- a wireless remote. 🙂 I found mine on ebay for about $15 and love it!
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Wireless-Remote-Shutter-Release-R6F-Nikon-D700-D200-D3X-/230595140019?pt=Camera_Camcorder_Remotes&hash=item35b08a99b3#ht_4235wt_1139

  • Reply
    Jessica
    March 9, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Hey Ashley!! I dream of a Nikon D something or another…see how much I know?? LOL But I do borrow my Dad's Nikon (similar to yours) to take close ups of my jewelry & I put it on the close up setting…it is the pic of the flower on his nikon. I found auto does not work as well. Maybe that will help you??

    xoxo. Jessica

  • Reply
    Wani
    March 9, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I'm glad I'm not the only one addicted to "auto"! I am dying to take a photography class to learn what my Canon is capable of but it just hasn't been able to fit on the calendar or in the budget… yet. 😉

  • Reply
    Erin
    March 9, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Go here. http://www.photokaboom.com/ Click on Beecher's Handouts. This guy is a photography teacher and wrote his own FREE online book. It helps explain everything very well. Also, reading the manual helps that comes with your camera. It will cover the ins and outs of your specific camera and the Beecher's Handouts can explain everything else. I actually printed off the entire Beecher's Handouts and put it in a binder for reference.

  • Reply
    Lindsay
    March 9, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    ASH, your so pretty! 🙂

  • Reply
    milesandmems
    March 9, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    it's freaky how pertinent this is. my husband and i were just discussing this potential mother's day present last night. thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    BRANDY
    March 9, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    I have been reading your blog for quite some time now and you are just super adorable. I am a self portrait taker too. I just got the gorillaz tripod from my bestie and love it! It fits on my Canon Rebel Ti, perfect for selfies. I take some manual but most auto…in fear the manual won't turn out, but do for the most part. Toodles yo!

  • Reply
    chinamommy
    March 9, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Ok, do you wear your wedding rings on your right hand or are your photo's flipped? I HAD to ask, because I question it every time i see your portraits pics… Call me nosey or curious, but it's killin' me!!
    ~cm

  • Reply
    Karri
    March 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Goooooo Nikon!!! 🙂
    I have a Nikon D40x that I've had for a handful of years now and I have a lens collection to go along with it. I'd like a new one, but for now, I am cool.
    Anyway – you did good by buying that Nikon for Dummies book. I have one and its very helpful. After that, I recommend one that someone else posted – Understanding Exposure. Its quite helpful. And finally, Scott Kelby has a 3 volume set of digital photog books (Costco sometimes carries them for a tad less than Amazon) that are great.
    One other thing that really helped me understand aperture and whatnot was taking a class. Mine was just an el-cheapo class through my city's rec dept taught by a photojournalist, but it was enough.

  • Reply
    PeaceLoveApplesauce
    March 9, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I currently have the same Cannon you have. A Nikon is in the works.. I want a D90.

  • Reply
    Gina
    March 9, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    I have been a Cannon person for years. Started with a Cannon Rebel then moved to a Cannon Powershot before purchasing my Nikon d3100…which I love. I refuse to put it on Auto and I recently shot a wedding on manual and only a few shots came out weird but usable. Needless to say I am still figuring it out. I love mine and have only had it a few weeks.

    Have fun.

  • Reply
    nicole.
    March 9, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    oooohhhhhh I have that SAME camera (got it for my bday in December). Still learning how to use it… BUT am already in love. Seriously.

    Do you like the book?

  • Reply
    aliimberi
    March 9, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I'm a Nikon girl! Nikon D90, I usually use my 50 mm lens but right now I have an 18-200 on it.

    I have bought the dummie books for all my cameras I have owned! Good books!

  • Reply
    Blooming Mommy
    March 9, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    I have a Nikon D80! Love it but I really want to update it! Maybe in a year or so! I usually use my 50mm lense or my big and bad zoom! I HEART photography! It's fun!

  • Reply
    Renee
    March 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    I have a Cannon.

    Truthfully my old film Pentax was the best camera ever. But it needs repairs and I just don't know if it is worth it. Its so much easier to have a digital camera.

    I do want to upgrade.

    There is a HP website that has free on-line classes. Really cool and they offer digital camera clases with lessons that are easily understood.

  • Reply
    Katie
    March 9, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    The Nikon 3100 is the camera I've been looking at. And your photos are gorgeous! Even on the auto setting. 🙂 I'm glad to know that it's not too complicated for a novice like me. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Lindsi
    March 9, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Thanks for the info!! I just ordered my Canon Rebel T2i kit from Amazon, and I CAN'T WAIT to get it!! I will be coming with all the goodies yours did!!

  • Reply
    Haute Mom
    March 9, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    This is so helpful! I'm looking for an easy to use, foolproof camera to take pics of my 10 month old. Love your pictures.
    Stop on by Welcome Wednesday Blog Hop and share your tips.
    http://kelleyhautemom.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Kim
    March 10, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    I got the same Nikon for Christmas and I am trying to learn how to use it as well:)

  • Reply
    Jessica & Tracie
    March 10, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    I shoot Nikon D80, multiple lenses, filters, studio lighting, backdrops, as well as natural light outdoor shots. I generally shoot families and children but have been working more and more with sellers on etsy to do product photography.

    I agree once you go manual you will NEVER go back! I used to think the pics came out good, but then I started shooting manual and they really dont even compare! I agree with others when they say READ YOUR MANUAL!! Then go read Ms. Ashley's series on taking your camera off manual. Gayle from Gayle Vehar Photography explained just about everything you need to know about ISO, Apperture, and exposure in LAIMANS TERMS!! Although once you get the basics you wont even have to think anymore. It will become almost intuitive!

    Here is a link to one of my favorite posts in the series…

    http://lilblueboo.blogspot.com/2010/10/getting-out-of-auto-with-gayle-vehar.html

    Then go read your manual!!

    Love and Hugs, Jess

  • Reply
    Jessica & Tracie
    March 10, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    I shoot Nikon D80, multiple lenses, filters, studio lighting, backdrops, as well as natural light outdoor shots. I generally shoot families and children but have been working more and more with sellers on etsy to do product photography.

    I agree once you go manual you will NEVER go back! I used to think the pics came out good, but then I started shooting manual and they really dont even compare! I agree with others when they say READ YOUR MANUAL!! Then go read Ms. Ashley's series on taking your camera off manual. Gayle from Gayle Vehar Photography explained just about everything you need to know about ISO, Apperture, and exposure in LAIMANS TERMS!! Although once you get the basics you wont even have to think anymore. It will become almost intuitive!

    Here is a link to one of my favorite posts in the series…

    http://lilblueboo.blogspot.com/2010/10/getting-out-of-auto-with-gayle-vehar.html

    Then go read your manual!!

    Love and Hugs, Jess

  • Reply
    Lexie Loo & Dylan Too
    March 11, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    I absolutely love my Nikon D90. I got my first Nikon DSLR about 3 years ago, and then upgraded to the D90 last year.

  • Reply
    Lexie Loo & Dylan Too
    March 11, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    I absolutely love my Nikon D90. I got my first Nikon DSLR about 3 years ago, and then upgraded to the D90 last year.

  • Reply
    Ashley
    March 12, 2011 at 4:48 am

    Canon Rebel. My school's Journalism department has used all Nikons for a very long time, but the Nikons we have are in very terrible condition, and we're slowly making the switch to Canon. I've never had any complaints about my Rebel. (I used to have one of those ittybitty Powershots, the point and shoots, you know? a couple problems, but not many… better than Nikon cybershot BY FAR.)
    I've taken a couple photography classes and am the photography editor for my school's yearbook (in addition to newspaper editor), and in my opinion, you can NEVER go wrong with a Canon.

  • Reply
    Elle The Heiress
    April 19, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I'm currently saving up for a Nikon D3100 – hopefully I'll be getting it either before my family vacation in May or my birthday in June. I've never used a DSLR before so I'm super scared of it, but I'm also really excited. I plan on getting the body only and purchasing separate lenses (50mm and 55-200mm).

    I love your blog, and I think your pictures look great!

  • Reply
    The GlamaMama
    July 10, 2011 at 3:41 am

    I love your blog!

    It's also my dream of having an SLR that I can manually operate.

    In the meantime, I'm content with using my Canon point and shoot to take whatever decent photos I can from it. (Although it really doesn't work well for an active toddler like mine. I know you can relate.)

    Hopefully, I can even get to the level where I can take photos like you! (Your self portraits look great!).

    Have a great one!

    Best,
    Cher

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