m is apparently for “myself”

This week for my DSLR class, we met on location at the local tulip farm.

(Yes, we have a local tulip farmFor a very good reason.)

We didn’t have a lesson per se this week, but we could ask the three professionals that were there anything we wanted as we trekked about shooting things.

This was my chance to practice putting my camera in M and playing with the settings. I figured if there was something I wanted to do, but couldn’t figure out how, I could ask!  Yay!  As a teacher I know hands on practice is the best teacher.

Only, that is not how it worked for me.

With little direction, we were told to just start taking pictures.

Ok, this did not bother me, but I was sort of hoping for a little challenge or assignment.  Like, try to take this picture or have this effect.  So I looked around and gave myself assignments.

I think I did ok (you can see my pics and the assignments I gave myself below), but when the teacher approached me to ask how things were going I said, “Ok, I think.  I mean…I don’t know if what I am doing is “good” but I like it.”

Then she looked at my settings and said, “oh no.  You NEVER want your ISO that high.  That is…just…no.”

While I know she is the “professional” and has her own business and everything, I liked the picture I took.

So I just said, “ok.  I’ll try something else.” and walked away before she could get her meat hooks on my camera and change my settings for me (which is what she looked like she wanted to do).

I was going to ask her how to capture a water wheel thingy and get the individual drops, but I suspected that my 50mm lens would be better for it (they told me to come with my kit lens so I could zoom.  Against my gut, I did it.  And was sorry I did it since I couldn’t get my F-stop as low as I wanted for some shots I was trying), but didn’t want to ask after that encounter.

Now I know what some of my students probably feel like when they tell me they get something and wander off.


Anyway, I really have no rhyme or reason to what I tried other than I picked a subject with an effect in mind and messed with my settings until I either got it or got frustrated and moved on to something else.

Here are some of my favorites from the evening…


I wanted the front fuzzy and the background in focus


tried to get a front tulip in focus while fuzzing the rest


wanted to show this lone white one as standing out amongst the orange


tried to get the front tulips to "frame" the people in the background


wanted all clear to show the windmill coming "out of" the tulips


another one working on front being clear while background a slight fuzz


wanted the barb in focus with all fuzz. thought it was harsh amongst the beauty


So what do you think?  Am I learning anything…(by the way, the top one was shot with super high ISO…apparently it is “wrong”) despite the fact that I am sort of doing it myself?

Next week we learn about lighting for shooting indoors and/or in a studio and about shoot and processing night photos.

Also? I joined Clickin’ Moms because I am desperate for new stuff to try so that I am not just all by MYSELF. I have already found a bunch of tutorials I want to use and try stuff.

Now…to find the time.


Check out me and some other awesome bloggers at Care.com where we dish on what we REALLY want for Mother’s Day.