How I set my camera to manual (and actually took decent pictures!)

February 7, 2013 § 2 Comments

Last weekend, I got to steal away a few hours for a photography class. I had taken one when I first got my camera but at the time it wasn’t very helpful. At that class, I went from full-automatic to using shutter-priority and aperture-priority mode. I also learned about white balance and ISO. I couldn’t quite figure out how to put it all together though and get my pictures the way I wanted them.

When Nathaniel came home, I set down my big camera for a while. Some of this was because of frustration with my photography skills. Other parts were parental exhaustion with a new child in the house. I shot with my iPod for a while just for fun (Instagram, etc.).

Last Thursday night, I got to meet Marisa Findlay and 3 other fantastic photographers at a Bongo Hive event. It was great to connect with other techies and photographers in Lusaka. After hearing her speak and her photos, I determined that I needed to be there on Saturday for the workshop and I’m so glad I did.

It was Marisa’s first time teaching photography workshops but you would never know by the way she presented herself! The content was laid out in a very organized fashion with great photo examples to show as well. She lives in the UK but plans to come back to Zambia for more workshops – jump at the chance if you can!

I committed to practice with my camera at least every week entirely on manual settings and to only keep the photos I absolutely love. I also want to learn more about and better utilize my Photoshop Elements Software (thus the strange-looking watermarks on this set).

Here is my first set of photos, shot with my Nikon D40 and 35mm/1.8 lens, ISO 200, WB Auto (Ok, I cheated there! Next time, manual…):

Week 1 – “my” boys

DSC_0786 DSC_0787        DSC_0797






Isaac is my sweet little guy with Down Syndrome that I helped to take care of. His mother would even call me Amakai Isaac (Mother to Isaac). Love that boy!


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