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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Gift

Very. Exciting. News.

(or Why I Have The Best Husband Ever)

My husband picked up on my none-too-subtle hint and presented me with a Nikon D7000 for Christmas yesterday!

Apparently he got really excited about the whole idea; he consulted such experts as my brother and sister-in-law, and read online about various cameras for days.

[He has long been an off-and-on camera enthusiast, while I am a complete novice.]

As it turns out, I'm not particularly good at taking pictures... at least not yet.

In fact, when Nathan started excitedly talking to me about f/stops and apertures and shutter speeds I sort of felt like crying. And when he started drawing diagrams of light entering lenses, I felt like the Sarah Marie of ten years ago who sobbed when my Dad tried to explain trigonometry to me and I just couldn't quite get it.

But even if so far it's:
Sarah Marie: 0
Nikon: 1

I refuse to be discouraged.

I will be victorious. We will be victorious together, the beautiful Nikon and me.

This camera is way nicer than I deserve, but I hope to slowly ascend towards its level.

First I tried taking some pictures of the Christmas tree here at the in-laws' house, experimenting with the aperture priority setting.

Not a great picture or anything, but hey, I'm a beginner!

[And look at the reflection in the silver ornament... cool.]

My brother-in-law Andrew was a very patient model:

And I deemed the roasted sweet potato wedges I made myself for dinner photo-worthy, of course:

If I can read a few photography books without giving up in despair, and listen carefully to Nathan's explanations of the science behind photography without dissolving into tears, who knows? I may have the makings of a shutterbug.


  1. Yay! Congrats :). I hope you have lots of fun with it.

    (But I'm also the teensiest bit scared that now you will get amazing photos and not be so impressed with mine anymore)

    In any case, don't be too intimidated by the technical stuff--it's not too complicated--and really, it's your eye that counts more than anything.

    There are several good sites that give the basics on the mechanics. You might try this one--I thought her explanations were pretty straightforward and helpful. This is the first post in a series.

    Have fun! I'm looking forward to seeing the results.

  2. Yay you!!

    I have a secret to tell you: I have a fancy pants camera too (a Nikon D80), but I always shoot on automatic. I know! Right??

    But seriously, I took photography (er.. a couple of times) at Biola, and while it's fun to mess around with aperature and f-stops and whatever, you will probably be just as pleased as what you get on auto. Knowing how to all that other stuff just gives you more control, so you can do more cool effects when you want to.

    My best tips for taking great pictures:
    - NEVER use the flash. Turn it off and tape it closed. If it's too dark to take pictures without the flash, put the camera away.

    - Get as close as you can to your subject. If some of the faaar away background is in the picture, even better! It will have that pretty blur effect

    - buy "photography for dummies" or the equivalent you like best. So much easier to learn from than well-meaning friends and family :)

    - the editing tools in iphoto are surprisingly powerful. I almost always edit my photos (no matter how good or bad they are to begin with) by making the whites whiter, and the blacks blacker. You would be shocked by just how much better and more professional it makes your pictures look! I also will often add in a little more yellow - for whatever reason, winter light is really blue, and needs to be warmed up!

  3. Jenn and Becca, thanks for the helpful comments! It's definitely a learning process, but I'm having a great time with my "new toy," and the more tips and resources from those more experienced than myself, the better!