Thursday, January 3, 2013


There are no rules for good photographs,
there are only good photographs. 

~Ansel Adams

Each year I have a goal to learn some-
thing new and this year it is to take
photos on manual, to actually know
what I am doing with a camera instead
of taking 100 pictures and hoping at
least one turns out like I want.
For my Christmas gift my children all
went in together and gave me a new
camera that has been on my wish list
for a while. I did a lot of research an
thought this would be a great starter
camera to get my feet wet and when
I upgrade the lens can come too. Until 
now most of my photos have been
taken with a Kodak 10x Zoom
camera always set to auto because
I have no idea what I am doing except
to point and shoot. Manual? No way!
Yesterday the copy of Understanding Exposure
that I ordered came in, although
I was disappointed to see the tripod I
also ordered just left Ohio. I am
taking the Squam Intuitive Lens
class that starts next week,
which should really increase my
limited knowledge, but until then
I wanted to ask you a question,
Do you have any photography
tips, something that you always look
for when you take a photo? Something
I should be doing, but didn't know it?
Just like knitting, drawing and baking
I want to learn this craft and
because I have learned so much from
you already I thought you might share
some tips.
Thank you so much in advance for


  1. So excited for you and your new camera! Your photos are already wonderful... beautifully composed.
    I have learned a lot from input received on Flickr. Photographers that post on that website seem to be very generous with advice :)

  2. My only tip would be - when you have ten minutes - go and take 10 photos of something (nothing special). One in auto mode, and nine in all kind of weird and wonderful manual settings, even if you don't understand them. Just play. After you've done this a few times, you'll come to see that even the least accomplished of your manual photos has aspects that are better than the flat, grey, lifeless auto photo.

    Very soon, you'll never want to use auto again! That's my experience anyway, and I am definitely not an expert. In fact, I'm enrolled on a photo course this year too, at
    Can't wait!

    Happy New Year and happy snapping!

  3. Tracey, I'm shocked! Your photos are always so beautiful, I just assumed you were using a fancy camera with manual settings all along! You really have an eye for a good photo - so exciting that you'll get to make your pix even more fantastic!

  4. Understanding exposure is fantastic- go to the library and see what other books might be available, creatively speaking too- the more you read the easier it gets- and you don't have to "fiddle around" so much- it just becomes second nature. FLICKR is a good place for inspiration. You already are an accomplished photog Tracey...have fun with your new camera!

  5. My mother took a photography class in college and Doran (don't you love the name?!?!) said to never be afraid to click away. Film is cheap and if you blink, you might miss it. (This was the 70's) He said he'd take 100 photos and on a good day, 10 of them were good and maybe 2 were great but he wouldn't have gotten any of them if he hadn't taken all 100. So have fun and click away!!

  6. What a lovely gift. I am currently researching cameras and it looks like I will be getting the same one :) I wish I had some tips for you but I am an auto girl too. I have a lot to learn once I get that beauty in my hands.

  7. I have to agree with Gail, your photos are always so lovely!! I am so happy for you with your new beautiful camera!! But I must say I have camera envy (in the most friendly kind of way of course ;). I have a very basic Canon Rebel the EOS, but a fancy new lens. I'm not sure if it's a good combo but it's a start. I am so excited about this class!!! Though already the first email has me reeling on what the heck my camera is all about. Aperture priority what? Anyway, you have some great advice here so far Tracey, mind if I borrow some?
    Cheers and happy shooting!

  8. What a wonderful family you have! I've looked at that camera, too, and can't wait to see how your photographs progress over the next year. I recently read a very simple but helpful photography book that you may want to look at. It's called the crafter's guide to taking great photographs.
    Have fun!

  9. I have a Nikon and I just fiddle around with it until I get the photo I want. I'm very comfortable with it now and will be branching out for some new lenses. Have fun and what a grat gift :)

  10. Congrats on the camera! My hubby is a career photographer and I steal his camera for my blog. I never have any idea what I am doing and my photos turn out fine. BUT, he does know what he is doing and his photos turn out stunningly amazing.

  11. how exciting. i took photography for 4 years in high school and use to use a manual camera (with film even) for years and years. one thing i love is texture. wood, steel, trees, etc. they make it easy to focus on and get great results. enjoy your new camera!

  12. a new camera, how exciting! the neat thing about this gift you received is that we all will benefit from it :)
    i've already always enjoyed your photos, can't wait to see your skills develop further!

  13. Just like everyone else, I've been impressed by your photography all along. You already have such a wonderful eye, I can't wait to see what you produce with an awesome camera and some training!

  14. Well you know how much I love your pictures! Can't wait to see what you come up with now.

  15. That's the camera I got my daughter!!! I have the older D3000--and love it!!! It's going to sound pretty obvious, but the very best thing you can do is read the manual. (The advice we all got on day one of the photography class I took in the spring!!!) You already have such a great eye for design---you are going to have a ball with the camera~

  16. I already love the pictures on your blog so can't wait to see how amazing they are when you "learn" to be a "real" photographer! ;-) Enjoy your fun new camera!

  17. Oh wow, you have always seemed to be an experienced photographer to me! I am still learning our Canon and most of the time it's on automatic. I do try the portrait or close up functions, but have not gone off road to creative mode. I seriously need a Dummies book.

    1. Oh and I always feel a bit of fascination whenever I see a tree ring. It takes forver for a tree to grow so wide in diameter. The things it has seen! If only trees could talk.

  18. How exciting Tracey! What lovely kids you have. I think the best way to learn is by doing. It's really helpful to look at different professionals work too, photography is so individual, equal parts passion and creativity with just a bit of know how! Have fun!

  19. I love photography, although I would say I'm very much a beginner and an intuitive photographer more than a technical one.
    I would reccomend and photoshop for editing your pictures, they are really great resources to have and the kids love to use them too!
    Your pictures are always so beautiful I always thought they were taken manually!!! I can't wait to see your new passion develop!
    Happy New Year to you all :)

  20. Your photographs are so beautiful, Tracey. That workshop sounds wonderful. The way I kinda sorta learned to use my camera (and I think it might be the same one you have) is to take the same picture using many different settings and see how each turns out. It has taught me how to better guess which setting is best for a certain type of situation, like indoor portraits at night (high ISO) and distant landscape. I would like to learn how to better take photos, too.

  21. I wish you well... but I don't have a lot of tips. I'm and iphone camera user... love to you as you pursue this new craft, friend!

  22. Tracey, your photographic skills are spot on. You have an eye for composition Your photographs are always arresting.

    Good luck on your new venture


  23. Sorry I can't offer one word of advice as all my photos are taken on my iphone although a bit dodgy at times it serves its purpose to document the moment at a moment's notice. I think photography is very much about the feel, sense, style and most definitely eye. Your photos have been quite wonderful so far and now with your new toy and a little education you will work wonders. Good luck and looking forward to see the new toy in action.

  24. I can't wait to see your Leaves of Grass unfold. As far as photography, take a picture then change your perspective and take it again. Some of the best advice I was first given.