This blog has been merged with The Dusty Cellar. All new content will appear there. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Your New Best Friend

Take the time to find your camera's manual...
It WILL be worth it.

A great way to improve your photography 
and also get out of a shooting slump if you happen to be in one,
is to make friends, really good friends, with you camera's manual.

Whether you use a Point and Shoot or a Digital SLR it doesn't matter.
Understanding all the bells and whistles on your camera 
and to know how to use them instinctively
will give you greater command over your photographs.

I married my first camera (above) 25.9 years ago...
it just so happened to come with a husband.

I know, you're thinking, "Really, I am not going to read a manual."
But once I did, my photographs improved significantly.
And I don't mean to glance through the manual
thinking, "Oh, isn't that interesting."
What I mean is taking it page by page.
When you get to something 'new to you,'
put the manual down, pick up your camera, and go try it out.
Try it out for a week or more...until you are 
completely comfortable with your new skill.
Then go back to the manual and pick up where you left off
until you come across something else 'new to you.'
Repeat the cycle.

Above, an old find from an auction box lot.

Once you've mastered the contents of the manual
you'll know everything your camera is capable of,
you'll feel more comfortable and knowledgeable taking photos,
you'll be happier with your results,
you'll be better prepared to venture into manual mode,
you'll spend less time editing,
and best of all...
You'll have a great excuse to buy a new camera
so you can do it all again!

Above, little friends investigate a vintage camera I rescued from a neighbor's trash.  ;)

Really, that's what I did.
I stuck with my old camera til I knew it like the back of my hand.
Now I need to get started all over with the new camera.
I confess, there is a lot of things I don't know how to use on the new one.

Leave a comment below to tell all of us what you are shooting with
and what 'new to you' skill you 
will be working on this week.
That way we can stop by your blog and encourage you.

Go forth and shoot!

I was asked to write a monthly tutorial/tips post for Friday My Town Shoot Out,
I thought I would share them here as well.