Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Photo Op: First Edition

Yes, we're totally that couple.  We'd planned to buy a digital SLR camera right before Eliza came along.  She was due in January, so we were hoping to get a good deal with some after Christmas sales and gift cards, which was the only reason we continued to put it off.

And then there was nothing to take pictures of.

I'm not buying things to prepare for the Deuce, but somehow I could handle the idea of buying a new camera.  It's not quite the same as pastel colored baby clothes, you know?  So David did his research, comparing prices and camera reviews and even interviewing the photographer who came to his school to take pictures of the kids to see what kind of camera he would recommend.

And we finally decided on a camera and spent almost the equivalent of a mortgage payment on it.

So in the last couple of weeks, we've been trying to figure out how to use it.  It came with a DVD that is 86 minutes long.  However, it took us almost an hour to get through the first little bit of it because I kept having to pause and rewind so we could figure out what the hell the cheerful guy in the coral button-down shirt was talking about.  Where is that button?  How do I move from one selection to the next?  Should we have read the manual first?  

(Answer to that last question is yes.)

Mostly we know that it will take a lot of trial and error, so I've ordered a book that my cousin recommended, and for now we're just trying to use the camera as much as we can.  We've pretty well mastered the different auto-settings, so really it's just a matter of figuring out the manual settings.

Anyway, as part of our figure-out-how-the-hell-to-use-this-thing project (and to make ourselves take pictures with something besides our cell phones), we decided to each do this 30 Day Gratitude project from Pinterest.

And yes!  I will be posting this every once in a while over the next month!  Because there's nothing more exciting than looking at some newbie's amateur photography attempts!  (Except perhaps hearing about their Couch to 5K progress, which I assure you, should I ever decide to undertake, will NEVER get mentioned on the blog, no offense to anyone who is progressing from the couch to a 5K--it's a worthy goal, it's just not one I'm interested in reading or writing about).

This post is the First Edition of Photo Op.  Please note that none of these pictures will be edited or Photoshopped because OMG people that's a whole 'nother class/book/effort that I have not yet undertaken.  So you're getting them straight from the memory card.  Do not expect them to demonstrate photo skillz, either.  The fact that we're just using a camera again is really a big step for us.

One thing I've discovered in this project is that there's some pleasure in documenting these little things, and I try to choose things I really do feel grateful for each day.

1. Favorite(ish) Food

Sugar Snap Peas:  BEFORE (they are the vines growing along the back and right side of the garden)

Sugar Snap Peas: AFTER
OK, this one is kind of a lie because although I do really enjoy sugar snap peas, I definitely would not say they are my favorite food (not when compared to popcorn, salted caramel gelato, caprese salad, etc.).  But they are a food.  And we are eating a shit ton of them, because we are growing a shit ton of them.  In fact, judging by the number of sugar snap peas in our garden, you would think that we were feeding the Duggars instead of the two of us.  But I'm glad we have a garden growing so many fresh veggies, and I'm even more grateful to have a husband who prepares dinner each night.

2. Smile(s).

D's smile (and the neighbor's hydrangea bush)

Cooper's smile (anticipating a chew)

3. Happiness.

Is there anything happier than a dog rolling in something nasty?  I don't think so.  This is Cooper in gleeful ecstasy.

4. Leaves.
Specifically, mint leaves.  Mimosas, Mojitos, anyone?
Not sure if honeysuckle counts as leaves, but David took this photo and I was impressed.

5. Morning sky.  Favorite Athlete.

David in action on the mound.

6. Books.

I looked at the Gratitude Photo Project  on day 6 (it hangs on our fridge because we are nerds like that) and groaned to David, "We'll never be able to do today's photo!  We just don't have the material for it!"  Because I am the world's most hilarious wife.  Then I took this picture.

7. Something funny.

That is Cooper's butt.  He is head-first in the middle of our compost bin.  Which obviously needs some repair.  Naughty dog.  I knew he was into trouble when I called him to get a treat and he didn't come running.  He didn't even hear me sneak up on him.


  1. Lmao at cooper's butt!! And love the honeysuckle and mint photos.

  2. 1. Yes, I would love a mojito. Never put mint in my mimosas. Maybe because I also don't put orange juice in my champagne.

    2. I would like one of those facebook quizzes to also appear here. You know, fave color: ____, What time you finished the survey: ____, What are you wearing: ____.


  3. Why do dogs love rolling in nasty stuff sooooo much? It's always a bad (good if you're the dog) day when our beach has a rotting fish or seagull.

    Your garden is really nice! I'm impressed.

  4. Us too. We still ended up buying a digital SLR after she died, and I took photos of my garden as that's all I had. We ended up upgrading last year and bought a new one the day before Juliet was born. I'd just had my c-section booked for the next day, so we were out of time and went out to buy one quick smart. Like you, we dumped a lot of money on it, but I'll be damned if I know how to use it properly. Thank god for Instagram!

  5. If my mom can figure out that camera, (uh, she hasn't really...but she hasn't really tried!) I am pretty sure you two can! Great pictures! I love the happiness one too! And also that David is using the knife for the sugar peas while you photograph it!

  6. I am so jealous of your garden and compost bin. Seriously, just this morning I was making eggs and as I was tossing the shell I was thinking "if I had a compost bin, I'd put these shells in there" . . .sigh. I hate moving.

    So what camera did you go with? Maybe I missed that . . .

  7. Oh! And the hydrangeas - wanted to comment on that too. My absolute favorite flower/plant. If I were you I would get clip crazy and steal those.

  8. I love how most of your photos feature David in one way or another. You (and he!) are so cute.

    I'm impressed by all those peas. I'm hoping to grow something in my new garden, but I think it'll have to wait until next year since July is a little late to be planting things.. bah.

  9. I LOVE this little glimpse into your life!! I am also insanely jealous of your garden. Beautiful! We have rain issues here, so I haven't planted in a while.

  10. NICE GARDEN! I get the "shit ton" of peas thing. By October last year I was so damn tired of tomatoes I barely had one over the winter.

    And photos look great! What camera did you get?

    Peace and hope poured over a mojito,


  11. Love cooper rolling on grass! I bet he is asking for a belly rub :-)
    nice pics, Brooke! I like your Books shot - kind of like a professional shot from HGTV - "DIY - Bookshelves".

  12. I'm excited! I love them so far!

  13. We picked up a Nikon D60 awhile back. At the time, it was second from "bottom of the line," but it serves its purpose well. dSLRs still take great pictures, regardless of how many MPs they've got, so they're a great investment.

    If there's one thing I recommend, it's to look into an external flash. I'm not a huge fan of the flash that's built into our camera, and you can get a "bounce flash" for under $100 that lets you adjust the level of brightness of your photos. You'll want that when you're taking pictures of Deuce (or David!) so they don't look "washed out" with too much white!

    Enjoy the camera!

  14. I love taking pictures, although I just have a Canon point & shoot. I go back & forth on getting a DSLR. If I did get one, I think I would take a course -- the local community college offers one. Have fun!! Looking forward to more pictures...