I’m back from my cabin getaway with the husband and kids (actually dogs). It was perfect. The cabin was relaxing, secluded and beautiful! We spent the days walking the dogs, soaking in the hot tub, window shopping, indulging and enjoying the fresh air.
I was a little apprehensive because this was the first time we’ve rented a place to stay that wasn’t a hotel. After Googling and reading a ton of reviews we decided on the Morning Song Cabin. The reviews were good and the owners were friendly. It ended up being perfect. The kitchen was fully stocked, it was spotless, and they thought of everything from books to boardgames to directions.
Since check-in wasn’t until 4 p.m. and I’m a morning person (sorry husband!), we set out super early and headed to Amicalola Falls. It’s the tallest waterfall in Georgia and has a hiking trail that leads to the southernmost point of the Appalachian Trail. So far my travels have led me to many different points along the Appalachian Trail, perhaps this is a sign! I was unable to hike or climb the almost 500 stairs down the waterfall because of my uncooperative knee, but the views were breathtaking. The trees were nowhere near as beautiful as they were last month in North Georgia, all the colorful leaves had fallen leaving the trees barren.
My sis and her boyfriend joined us on the second night for a night of mischief. In the morning I filled the cabin with the aroma of bacon and coffee to get everyone out of bed, and then before we knew it, it was time to leave. An awful 6 hours later we were finally home and had managed to escape Atlanta holiday traffic!
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving with the fam, and I’m ready to cook up a storm and then gobble everything down. I’m in charge of the macaroni and cheese and green bean casserole. I’ve found a gooey, creamy macaroni recipe and I’m making the green bean casserole from scratch because the traditional method of plopping a can of Campbell’s soup on top of green beans is kind of gross.
Day 16,17 and 18 in the photo series were just quick reads, no camera action. Very informative though.
Day 16: Exposure compensation. read it. got it. don’t know if I’ll use it much, but good to know.
Day 17: The Low Down on Lenses. I definitely know that my lens isn’t the best. It came with the camera and wasn’t super expensive, but from reading some of the reviews online I think it’ll do the job. I do really want a lens with a very large max aperture to play around with; it’s on my wishlist list!
Day 18: What Camera Do You Have? I have a Nikon D3200; it’s a great little entry level DSLR. Day 18 is a great read. I feel comfortable with the camera I have, and I really don’t feel like I need a $5,000 camera!
Day 14 and 15: Histograms are another topic I didn’t know much about and I’m a fan of them already (I’m a numbers and charts and graphs kinda girl!) I set my nikon to show the histogram with the images when I go into playback mode to view my photos.
Also, here’s a photo of one of my favorite easy breakfasts: toasted pita, mashed avocado, a fried egg and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
Day 10 was all about understanding the light meter; a pretty basic lesson to me.
Day 11: Fun day! Today I use everything I’ve learned in the previous lessons to take some photos in manual! To challenge me, I decided to use my parents Scottish Terriers as my subjects. Scottish Terriers are so hard to take photos of. They’re so dark and usually just look like big blurry shadows in photos (plus they move all the time so that doesn’t help). I shot these at ISO 1600.
Day 7 was more about depth of field. Darcy suggests keeping your camera in aperture priority and taking a series of photos of something and noting the change in the depth of field. Naturally, I decided a bottle of wine was the best subject. I posted the photo with the largest and smallest aperture to highlight the big differences.
This photo is take with a large aperture, f/3.5. The bottle is in focus and the background blurry; shallow depth of field.This photo was taken with a small aperture, f/22. The fence, trees, and grass are in focus as well as the bottle; wider depth of field.
I promise that I’ve still been doing the 31 Days to a Better Photo series. Midterms were this week and it has been hectic!
Day 4 was all about ISO and I made another visual to help me remember what adjusting ISO does to a photo. I kept the shutter speed and aperture the same for all 4 photos. Here’s a few shots of a coaster on a table in my living room:
Day 5 and Day 6 are Understanding Aperture (part 1 and 2). She posts a great photo series of a measuring tape showing different numbers coming into focus as she adjusts the aperture. Also, I now understand what depth of field means.
This photo was taken with the aperture set at f/4.5 so the depth of field is low; things further away aren’t in focus.
Back in July my husband bought me this shiny new Nikon DSLR for our trip to Europe. I’ve wanted to get into photography for years now, and the trip was the perfect opportunity. We left in August and I didn’t really have time to learn and understand camera “language.” It’s actually really hard to grasp; ISO, aperture, shutter speed, how does it all work??
I know I didn’t take the best photos possible in Europe, but I tried. I’ve realized that photography is definitely a hobby that I’ll have to be patient with and actively learn. After all, I don’t want to be THAT person walking around with a fancy camera just using the auto setting or preprogrammed scene modes. I was inspired last night by a variety of photography blogs I found on Pinterest. I found this 31 day series to learn how to shoot manually. Day 1 doesn’t require you to take any photos, but Darcy tells a story about the importance of photographs. I can’t begin to imagine her pain from the loss of all her photos.
Today I headed downtown, camera in tow, to snap some pics in scary “M” mode. Let the adventure begin!
There’s lots of room for improvement, but I’m excited to learn!