31 Days to a Better Photo: Day 19 and 20

The 31 Days to a Better Photo series has been in the back of my mind despite being too busy to keep up. Let’s get back into it!:

Day 19 was about flash, which honestly I’m not really interested in. I’ve always hated how flash makes photos look (redeye- gross). I’m definitely more interested in using natural like and manipulating the aperture and shutter speed to get the right look.

Day 20: Art in Photography; definitely right down my alley! I’ve always had an eye for art. I love design and matching colors, patterns, etc. I’m working to improve my photos and make them more interesting. It’s so intriguing how subjective photography is. A photo that really appeals to me might do nothing for you.

In this post she discusses lines, color, forms, space. All the elements you can use to compose a great photograph.

Best x.

Day 16, 17 & 18: 31 Days to a Better Photo

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 & 15: Histograms! & Breakfast!

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.

DSC_0178Best x.

Day 12 & 13: 31 Days to a Better Photo

Day 12 and 13 are both about white balance, which I find challenging. I think it’s just because I was completely unaware of the white balance setting in the past. I made this little chart to help me remember how different white balance settings impact the photo. She does have really great charts of her own on her page. 
Bird WB ChartI just bought a BaLens lens cap on amazon so I can mess around with custom white balance.

Best x.

Day 10 & 11 of the 31 Days to a Better Photo Series

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.

DSC_0078Gromit is looking very happy in this photo.

DSC_0060Romeo says hi!


Best x.

31 Days to a Better Photo Days 7,8 & 9

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.DSC_0022This 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.

Day 8 explained the exposure triangle.

Book Suggested= Ordered

Day 9 discussed the exposure scales.

Best x.

31 Days to a Better Photo: Day 4, 5 & 6

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:

ISODay 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.

DSC_0844This 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.

Anyway, that’s what I got from those lessons.

Best x.

Day 2 & 3 and Breakfast

Day 2– 31 Days to a Better Photo: Read the manual
Sure I’ve flipped through the manual before…but who actually reads every page? So I sat down and read it.

  1. How to change the mode of your camera – auto / program, aperture priority, shutter priority. 
  2. What do the icons on your camera mean? The flower, the running man, a face, mountains, stars, etc. What does each symbol represent? 
  3. Which wheel controls shutter speed, which wheel controls aperture? ✓
  4. How to find the white balance menu, and change it. ✓
  5. How to change ISO ✓

Here’s a practice shot of breakfast: avocado, turkey bacon and an egg on a whole wheat english muffin + strawberries.DSC_0896

Day 3– 31 Days to a Better Photo: Shooting fast vs. Shooting slow

I practiced shutter speed by taking shots in shutter priority mode and manual. Of course, the puppies are my favorite subject. For these pics I kept the ISO and aperture the same and changed the shutter speed. I like visuals and seeing the numbers on the pictures helps me understand how shutter speed changes the photo.

Dog and SS numbers

Best x.