The Art of Photography

Welcome! My party post is here 

I’ve always had a love of photography.  When I was a little girl, I was beyond thrilled when I was given a little 110 camera.  The only problem was that it took forever to get my twelve pictures back, and more than not, they didn’t look anything like I thought they should look. 

Flashing forward a few years, I used my dad’s old Minolta to take a photography class in college.  I have to admit I wasn’t that thrilled with the photo assignments.  My poor vision causes a lot of problems with focusing and my acute shyness caused lots of problems with taking photos in public.  Add that to the complications of all those little gadgets and levers that needed to learned and maneuvered to get the perfect (or even halfway decent!) shot.  It didn’t make for a very happy Susan.   What I really loved, was working in the darkroom.  That’s where all the real magic happened.  

Over time, I started to lose interest in the big SLR and went back to a small pocket camera.  They had vastly improved through the years and I was perfectly happy with it.  Shortly before we got married, Shaun discovered my abandoned Minolta (funny how that got to be mine, isn’t it?)  He was like a man possessed and quickly learned every facet of that camera.  I learned to hate that camera…is there any other woman in the world that was jealous of a camera on her honeymoon?

Eventually, Shaun’s fascination with photography was merged with his love of programming.  He loved writing code that dealt directly with photography.  In the late ‘90s he was given access to some of the new-fangled digital cameras.  (I can remember being stopped all over the place while other photo buffs ogled his toy camera) I, of course, was still perfectly content with my tried and true film camera. 
Ultimately, I came to accept that digital cameras were a good thing.  I reluctantly accepted a small point and shoot digital camera one Christmas.  I was so much happier with it than I ever though I could be.  I knew right away if I had captured the shots I was after of my favorite subject, our girls.   I never ran out of film and the storage was so much easier.   I was content.  

Shaun, always ahead of me on the technology scale had moved on to a digital SLR.  He kept trying to get me to use it.  I drug my feet as usual.  Those  standard technical terms such as aperture, focal point, depth of field, shutter…that I couldn’t wrap my mind around years ago were still there, only they were now bundled with a mini-computer.  Ugh! 

Then the day came that Shaun was offered a great deal on an even better yet camera.  My argument (remember how cheap frugal I am) getting it was primarily that he already had a camera. He countered with the obvious fact that I could really use a better camera.   Of course, I had to give in and let him get his toy essential photographic tool.  How could I deny this wonderful man anything that he truly wanted?  (Well, except for a ferret…no ferrets!)

Faced with a brand new (well, new to me) camera, I wasn’t quite sure what to do.  Little by little, Shaun has been teaching me how to use the beast.  (I’m really good at automatic, but beyond that…)  In order to encourage myself to work at developing some skill, I started my daily photo blog last summer.  I’ve had a lot of fun with this and have learned a lot about myself. 

Now, I’m off on a new photographic adventure.  With Shaun’s encouragement, I’ve just signed up for an online photo class called the Art of Photography.  We’ll learn more about photography, as well as some artful things to do with our photos.  (I may have neglected to mention to my darling husband about how I’ll be using the printer to print on cloth and other fun stuff!) 

I have to say that I am beyond thrilled to be learning all this new stuff.  What could be better than learning to use my cameras better and making art with it?  It’s gonna be so great!

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22 Responses to The Art of Photography

  1. Gracey says:

    Ferrets! I just laughed at that one….my dad loves ferrets and we had them since I was a teen. His last one just kicked the bucket about a year ago and my mom has threatened him if he goes out to get another one. LOL You sound like her on that subject manner. I was highly allergic to them and couldn’t even touch them…the oil from the skin would make me break out in a rash….ya, not pretty at all! 🙂

  2. Barb says:

    I absolutely love photography! Wish I could make a living taking pictures.

  3. photowannabe says:

    Good for you, Bravo…Maybe I’ll try something more complicated myself sometime. Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. Krista says:

    Stopping by via the blog party. I cant wait to come back and see some of your photos! I love to take pictures and I am ready to invest in the big canon digital with all of the gadgets so I can be my girls photographer. Have fun.

  5. Ms. Karen says:

    Oh, photography is wonderful. I can relate to the bad vision/focus issue thing. I do love my Nikon D70, but there are days when it is way more camera than I need/want. I’d love to take some classes to learn to not be afraid of it, as well as how to get the best use of all the bells and whistles. Ok, even knowing what those bells and whistles are for in the first place would help a lot.

  6. Michelle says:

    Why no ferrets?

    I’m very envious of you and your course! While I’ve had Wedge for more than a few months now, I still haven’t taken him out of “automatic mode”. Too much to do and so little time to learn all the gadgets. Perhaps I can make time for a course like you’ve described this summer. That would be grand!

  7. Susan says:

    Gracey-having ferrets wouldn’t be so bad if we didn’t already have a zoo as it is!

    Barb-you and me both!

    Wannabe-I figure it can only help me and I’ve been in the teacher’s yahoo group for a while now.

    Krista and Ms. Karen-Welcome! Most of my photos are in Not Strictly Seattle listed on the right. The big cameras have a definite advantage, but they can also be a bit of a pain because of size. Karen, I’m hoping this class will teach me some of that bells and whistles stuff.

    Michelle-She’s planning on doing the course again later in the year. I’m a little leary of how well an online class can be, but for the price I thought I’d give it a try. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  8. Rebecca says:

    HI there. Stopping by from party land. I must say, I am jealous! I am a photographer by heart but I still don’t have my dream camera…that is a LONG way off. I use a little handheld digital-but it still takes pretty good pictures. But I do MISS manual focus!!! 🙁 My blog is FULL of my pictures. I rarely post WITHOUT a photo-I am obsessed! Have a good party!

  9. Nadine says:

    Hi there, just stopping by I’ve just joined the party. Nice having a new camera. I love taking pictures – I do scrapbooking.

  10. Jayman says:

    I’ve had my Canon digital camer for about 18 months and have taken about 3500 pictures with it so far. I love it. But, it’s funny because there have been a number of shots that I have taken that would have turned out much better with my old film camera. The camera can be slow to focus sometimes and is pretty limited at shots from a certain distance. But, it’s still the greatest present I ever bought myself. haha

    I would love a Digital SLR. And some cool lenses with it too. Maybe someday.

    Have fun with the class! Can’t wait to see some of the stuff you do in there here.

  11. Thanks for stopping by my party & I’m glad to join in on yours, too.

    Please be sure to check out a fun Bump! Photo Tag going on tomorrow! … hope you’d like to play along and post your favorite pregnant belly pic!


  12. Willi says:

    I did some SLR photography in my younger days. Got back into just before the digital thing got going. Now we only do that. Gawilli loves her pocket sized digital. Your class sounds like fun.

  13. gawilli says:

    Boy I sure would love to learn more about taking pictures. I don’t know whether the limitations I have are from me, or the camera, but nonetheless I take it EVERYWHERE! It was a wonderful gift. Please let us know how your class goes. I’m off to see your photoblog.

  14. gawilli says:

    Oh my gosh, Susan, your photos are amazing.

  15. Dorky Dad says:

    Those are some excellent pictures. I love taking pictures, but I don’t like spending money on cameras. Therefore, I don’t take good pictures.

  16. Peggy says:

    My husband used to be a commercial photographer. When he starts talking about “F stops” and colour balance, my eyes glaze over. I do like the pictures I take to look nice though. Perhaps I should pay attension some day.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you and your camera produces!

  17. Gracey says:

    Susan, keep your foot down on the ferrets….they stink and you have to make sure they are washed every few days or at least once a week. They can be fun little creatures but they are too much work, and if it is usually you who are stuck with cleaning up after the pets, you definitely will not enjoy the task.

    Just a funny story here, my dad is a police officer and I remember one time when I was in college and was home for the summer, my dad had just came home and laid his gun on the bed (he had unloaded it) and was getting ready to change. The ferret was running loose in his room and had gotten on top of the bed, pushed the gun over the edge with her nose and then proceeded to drag the gun across the room to put in her hiding place. My dad called me and my mom over to watch her and since the gun was too big to put in her hiding place she finally quit trying. They are notorious known little thieves and when we went over to her hiding place, she had little hershey kisses that she had dragged from the living room, pencils, pens, and my watch, which I was wondering for a long time what happened to that thing. LOL Mischevious little buggers!!

  18. Susan says:

    Rebecca-I’ve still to actually learn manual focus!

    Nadine-I pretend to scrapbook but mostly collect stuff!

    Jay-I love your pictures, you show us such great stuff…like…um…you know…stuff 🙂

    Willi/Gawilli-pocket sized makes such a difference. And I can’t believe how much I resisted going digital. If I leave the house without a camera, I’m kicking myself..

    Dorky Dad-I hope you are getting pics of the boy at least. Don’t be cheap on that…and I am the Queen of Cheap!

    Peggy-that’s how I am with Shaun. He knows all and it doesn’t sink in for me.

    Gracey-yet another reason not to have ferrets!! LOL

  19. Linda says:

    stopping by for the party! hi!
    i also photograph and I was very sceptical to digital but a few months ago I went and bought a small little camera and it’s really good actually. I love to photograph food actually. You can some pic at my brazilIian food blog. I am dreaming of getting a really good digi cam so that i can take even better photos. it’s so fun! Enjoy yourself at the art course! i’ll pop by again soon to check it out! 🙂 Your photos are really good!

  20. oddmix says:

    Shaun – get the ferret! Get two! Ferrets rock!

    Susan – I’m glad you have your “new” camera. I cant wait to see the results.

  21. Tink says:

    You loved the dark room the most? Tell me you had a really cute lab partner. I loved being out in the field. You got to leave campus without having to hide in someone’s trunk!

    Not that I ever did that. *Cough*

  22. Patsy Ann says:

    Too bad you are not here now, to take some beautiful pictures of this field across from us! There are a lot of “pies” lying about in there. I think they must belong to the owner of all of those cattle that are smelling up the neighbor hood. Well since you take pretty good pictures/photos now; after this online class, you ought to be fantastic with the camera, both the grown up one and the baby! Just have fun while you are doing it!

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