Going Back to {Photography} School

I got my first real camera when I graduated from High School.  It was a Canon T50 that used old-fashioned film.  It captured special moments of my college years and clicked the cuteness of my babies and toddlers.  I loved it ~ right up to the day it died…  It opened up the world of photography for me, and I really loved it.

I also never took it off the “Automatic” setting.

A few years ago, my husband gave me a Nikon D3100.  One of my goals was to learn how to use it on settings other than “Automatic”.  I had tried previously to learn  the technicalities of cameras by reading articles on it.  But, honestly, trying to figure out the practical applications of aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and histograms just about drove me wild…and made me feel like a complete idiot.

So, I took a class from a local photographer.

It laid the groundwork and gave me courage to flip that button off the “automatic” setting.

I’ve been practicing and practicing ever since.  Blogging is really good for that.  It gives me a reason to use my camera almost every week ~ sometimes every day!  The only problem is, most of the time I’m photographing still objects or rooms inside.  Whenever I’m asked to take pictures of people, I find I have to gulp down an overwhelming sense of fear.  I’ve tried really hard to practice and apply what I’ve learned while taking inside stills, but I find the situation with real live people nerve-wracking.  I don’t want them to be waiting and waiting while I try to figure out what aperture I should have…or the shutter speed…or the ISO…

the shoes 2

I find myself easily rattled and tempted to switch that dial back to “Automatic”!  {Yikes!}

I decided it was once again time to get back to school and learn from the pros.  Sometimes knowledge is just what we need to conquer fear and promote confidence.

I’ve been eying an online course ever since its beginning last year.


Kevin and Josh have put together 2 Photography courses that are done on video!  That is key for my learning style.  I don’t want to just read about it, I want it shown to me.  Photography 101 is an explanation of the basics of shooting in manual mode.  Each short video explains a different topic.  As I watched their explanations of aperture, shutter speed, and exposure, so many more things became clear to me.  And, the nice thing is, if I ever need to refer back to something, I can always hit “rewind”!

One of my favorite “episodes” is when they actually show the process of how to stake out a good location for an outdoor photo shoot.  They walk (and drive!) you through the thought process of the big “where is the best light for this picture?” issue.

shoot fly shoot video

Photography 102 is an expansion on to the basics in Photography 101.  It goes into more detail of shooting portraits, indoor photography, landscape photography, histograms, white balance, and shooting RAW.  It covers so many of the exact topics that I had questions about!

Shoot Fly Shoot has a special offer going on now where you can get a discount if you buy both Photography 101 and 102 together (only $99!).  If you have a DSLR and really just don’t know how to start to use it, or if you want to learn more,  I highly recommend *this course:


The other morning, I decided to try a few tips I had watched.  The sky was just waking up.

We had grown accustomed to the dark gray skies that often come with winter here on the West Coast and expected it to be another one of those days.  To our delight, that morning, the sun decided to peek its face at us.  Surrounded by a heavy mat of gray sky, the sun was shining brightly right on the mountains.  I grabbed the tripod and camera and there on the deck {in my bare feet and checkered bathrobe!} I took a few shots…

sun on mountain

sun on mountain 2

{Both are SOOC ~ “straight out of camera” ~ untouched}

Now I need to find some willing subjects to be my guinea pigs for portrait practice!Smile

**I have signed up for the affiliate program of Shoot Fly Shoot.  If you do decide to take a course from them and click on the button above, I will receive a portion of the fee.

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  1. Just love that beautiful photo. Love the contrast of the darkness framing the sunshine on the mountain. Our family is all grown up now but they all ,hubby and the 3 kids, bring their Canons with them on family vacations. Our son was doing wedding photography while in seminary. Nowadays it’s all about being creative in wedding photography. Not much posing. Just do a lot of casual pictures and you’ll get better and better. You certainly have a gift worth developing!

  2. Hi, thank you for these tips. In fact, we are now preparing to send our son to an international school in Belgium https://www.bischool.com/, and we understand your feelings. In fact, preparation is always time consuming and can be stressful.

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