My “Big Girl” Camera

Several years ago, I bought a “big girl camera”, so that I could take better vacation photos and blog photos. Sadly, with the new technology of camera phones and the use of filters, it hasn’t been as important to use an amazing camera as it used to be (or so I thought.) That and well, I was just being lazy. It’s so much easier to just upload photos form my phone straight to my blog than to shoot, edit, and work with “real” pictures.


Exhibit A: iPhone panoramic photo plus filter = good enough, right?

I recently realized I really needed to “up my game” in the photo department, and wanted to find time (haha) to learn to use my camera in manual mode. I had tried many times before but got bogged down in lingo and details that seemed to skip over the VERY basic steps that I needed.

I still need a LOT of work, but I am beginning to see good results on better quality photos that I will be using in m blog posts (not all of them, sorry. A lot of my daily life is snapped quickly on my phone, especially with the baby!) I found a great website that really helped it click for me in my head, and I thought I would pass it along to you and maybe you will find it as helpful as I did.

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What? You have to have SKILLS to take a picture of your feet with an iPhone. I am a master at this one.

Does anyone have any great beginner photography tips or websites for me? I would love to learn more and keep on practicing my skills (or lack of skills. I’m under no illusions that I actually know what I am doing.)  I currently have a Nikon D5000 to work with. I have the lens that came with it as well as a huge “stalker” lens where I can super-zoom in on people, but that’s it. What else do I need?

QOTD: Photographers HELP! What lens to I need? Any helpful tools/website/blogs I need to follow? I have zero artistic eye!

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  1. Paige Phillips says

    No tips here! Like you, I bought a nice camera a few years ago, and rarely used it. I really tried to inform myself about it, but in the end; it proved too much. Any time I used it, I was thinking that I probably wasn’t on the right setting, and I would just get frustrated and put it on “auto.” I sold it on craigslist, and have happily been using my iPhone ever since. I like the idea of a nice camera, but I don’t like using one!

  2. I am hoping to get my first big girl camera in the next few months. I am excited, but nervous!

  3. Hi there! I got a “big girl” camera a few years ago and one of the resources I found most helpful was the book “Understanding Exposure” by Bryan Peterson. He does a great job of explaining the three main factors of photography – aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Highly recommend!

  4. Hey Heather,
    We actually have a Nikon D5000. The one lens we have that gets more use than any of them is the Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED. Its a bit pricey but is an excellent mid-range zoom that is awesome for taking pictures of people, especially kids (as it is high speed and kids never stop moving). As far as beginning or honing technique goes, DPS,, is about as all-in-one as it gets. Lots of good tips, seasonal topics, and an active community.

  5. If you have some down time just sit with your camera and use all the different setting while taking a photo of a single object. It will help you better understand all the lingo when you can put together. Then again, I learn best by doing so it is hard for me to grasp things solely by reading them. Good luck! It’s a fun hobby!

  6. I also call my camera my “big girl camera”. I have a Cannon Rebel. It collected dust until we went to Ireland. I almost didn’t take it and am so thankful I did (the photos were way better than those on my 6s).

    I got a DSLR for Dummies book.

    Oh and I asked Santa for a new camera this year, the Sony a6000. If he delivers, I will have to learn from scratch.

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