Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Photography Challenge: How Do I Use This Camera??

So if you've been reading my blog, you know that I recently made the upgrade from advanced point & shoot to my first DSLR camera. I am so excited to start learning more about photography and getting better pictures but there's one problem.....I don't know what any of the buttons on the camera do!!  A lot of people are under the impression that you can just buy a really awesome camera, point it at anything and BAM professional photograph.  You can't...hence the reason it is no longer called a point..and shoot.

Anyway, good thing for me I made an extremely excellent purchase last year.  For anyone who wants to learn more about photography whether you use an iphone, point and shoot or dslr (seriously they cover all 3 camera types in the book) you must own Better Photo Basics  by Jim Miotke.  It's the most basic guide to photography out there. He takes you through all the features on your camera, what they mean, how to shoot certain photos, tips for taking better photos no matter what kind of camera you have:
BetterPhoto Basics: The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Taking Photos Like a Pro
I read the entire book last year after I bought my advanced point & shoot camera.  Now I'm rereading it using the DSLR tips and tricks.

I've been very frustrated every time I've tried to take a picture because all my photos turn out like this:

For the life of me I could not get the camera to focus.  I read and reread the manual and it kept telling me that if you press the shutter halfway it will focus the camera.  Finally after my 500th picture and about to throw the camera across the room, I discovered a button on the side of the lens called "AF/MF" or Auto Focus/Manual Focus.  I had the camera set to Manual Focus.  Once I switched to Auto, the lens started focusing on everything. I was so excited! I'm finally beginning to learn:
It's not the most creative picture but I thought my hanging fish display was a perfect learning object.  Fun Fact, the first day I got these I dropped it on the floor and shattered 3 of the fish and had to super glue them back together. Couldn't tell right? I'm an excellent gluer, an A+ kindergarten student.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Printer Be Working

Good news! I got my printer up and running again.  I also purchased some matte photo paper. As nice as glossy paper looks, when you are scrapbooking I find it impossible to work with.  It takes forever to dry, if it does at all.  Most of the times your pictures end up sticky, meaning any kind of dust particles in the air (and in my apartment there are many) sticks into the pictures and makes them look dirty.

Anyway, remember that time I told you I went to Germany? Yea, that really happened, I swear.  I'm finally getting around to doing something with the pictures too.  I've yet to think of a page for the big picture printed on fabric paper but there's plenty more to work with.  I decided to start with the zoo pictures:

Yes that's glitter paper in the background. My hands, coffee table, dining room table, couch, scanner and printer are now permanently glittered. Glitter lives forever. I felt like there was something missing from this page but usually when I have those feelings I end up overdoing it..so I left it alone.  In the corner is the actual ticket to the zoo. I love that it had a picture of a giraffe on it, especially because all of my giraffe pics kind of sucked.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Trials and Tribulations or Figuring out my Camera

I really want to start writing in this blog more regularly.  Seriously, I do.  Unfortunately, most days I don't have much to write about...like tonight for example.  Mostly because in the 1 hour since I've been home I've already had a series of disasterous events.

First I thought I'd blog about learning to make Cuban rice and beans. I make rice and beans often because it's cheap and fast: cook rice, heat beans, combine. But this easy cooking isn't necessarily improving my culinary skills so I used a different recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  Disaster #1.  I ended up burning the peppers and onions after getting distracted by how awesome I was doing at Jeopardy.

Then I thought, this doesn't look too bad, maybe I can take a picture of it with my new camera.  A fancy food picture where the front is sharp but the background is blurry.  Disaster #2.  I have absolutely no idea how to work my camera.  Everything turns out blurry.  I can't get the camera to focus on anything, I don't know what any of the buttons do and now I just have the camera sitting on my coffee table for decoration.  Luckily I have an amazing book called Better Photo Basics that I will be devouring tonight. I also bought a living social thing for a photography class.

So I was like..ok no food entry that's cool. I'll do some scrapbooking tonight.  Disaster #3. I can't get my printer to print pictures without vertical lines through them. I can't even get my printer to print a test page to see if the ink is misaligned. 

So that will be my assignments for tonight.  Get all my electronic equipment working.  Hopefully this will lead to better entries in the future.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Cheese That's Not Yours

Mmm...you are looking at the deliciousness of what is my second favorite meal...nachos. Usually I buy tortilla chips and cheese, put in the microwave for 30 seconds and bust out some salsa for dipping..but this is dinner.  It needed to be somewhat nutritious.  So I busted out the baking sheet, spread the chips out, topped with kidney beans and cheese and baked it in the oven for a few minutes.  I also topped with salsa, sour cream and cilantro.  It was fantastic..and actually quite filling.  I have a feeling this entire week will be Mexican-themed since now I have some leftover kidney beans, cheese and sour cream. That's all the updates for now friends.

Monday, May 2, 2011

With Love, Grandma

I know this is allegedly a craft blog (that I do not write in often enough) but I wanted to use this entry to talk about my grandma.  She passed away a few days ago at the age of 90.

Right now, I go to work and sit at a computer the entire day barely moving. I come home at the end of the day, collapse from exhaustion and can barely move to cook myself dinner. My grandmother owned a flower shop with my grandfather that she worked in everyday from 8am until 6pm, weekends and holidays --spending the entire day on her feet. When she came home at night she homecooked a full meal for her family and kids.  She worked until she was well into her 80s.  My aunt and uncle called her "Millie Machine."

My grandmother was also an avid crafter.  She sewed all her own clothes when she was younger (a skill I wish so much I could possess). She was excellent wtih a needle. Even as she got older, she still did latchhook, needlepoint and two weeks before her death she relearned how to crochet and crocheted a small square during my mom's knitting club.

At work my boss often calls me "Tell it like it is" Heather because I don't like to bullshit.  If someone asks me for an opinion I say what I'm thinking.  At the wake yesterday, a man who used to work in the store with my grandmother came up to my mom and said, "Millie was always the best person to go to for advice. She would always just tell it like it is."  That was the first time I really saw myself in my grandmother.  I might not have her work ethic (wish I did) or her crafter skills (really wish I did) but I did inherit her ability to not bullshit.

I think of you often
and make no outward show,
But what it means to lose you,
no one will ever know
You wished no one farewell,
not even said good-bye,
You were gone before I knew it,
and only God knows why.
You are not forgotten
nor will you ever be,
As long as life and memories last,
I will remember thee.
To some you may be forgotten,
to others a part of the past,
But to me who loved you dearly,
your memories will always last.
Nothing can be more beautiful
than the memories I have of you.
To me, you were someone special,
God must have thought so too!
If tears could build a staircase
and memories a lane,
I would walk all the way to Heaven,
and bring you back again.--anonymous

R.I.P. Grandma <3