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Monday, January 16, 2012

#1 Learn How to Take Great Pictures with SLR -- Check!

*NOTE: Yay! I was fortunate to finish all my 12 items before the wedding, but was unable to update all the posts in the midst of wedding craziness. So let me finish posting my other 12 before 2012 items and then post about our amazing wedding. =) *

Mr. Suit and I have had our Nikon DSLR for probably about a year and a half now, yet we still use the “Auto” mode for our picture taking. Fail. I definitely knew that I needed to take some time to better my photography skills and learn how to actually use the camera, lest it feel lonely and abandoned on the shelf every time we reached for the smaller and quicker point-and-shoot. I’m a total believer that if toys (including electronics) don’t get played with, their feelings get hurt (a la Toy Story—I obviously grew up Disneyfied). Don’t want expensive Mr. Nikon to feel unappreciated! Hence the excellent opportunity to use another Groupon: “Three Hour Photography Course in Composition—Night Shots of the DC Capitol Buidling.”

In preparation for my day in the field, I bought the best book possible! How to Use The Nikon SLR For Dummies. Hey! Don’t knock the Dummies-series. The colored pictures are great! J The instructor taught us some tricks about composition of pictures and how to understand ISO, f-stop, shutter speed, and all those other fancy technical words. I was most interested in the night time class because I always feel that pictures come out wonderful with good day light and easy settings, but I always manage to lose the atmosphere of night time memories because I don’t know how to set my camera properly to pick up the low light or I move it around too much so that the images are blurred. Mistakes that we have all experienced after looking back at your pictures on the computer screen the next day with a poor point and shoot.

Here are some example pictures from my night out on Capitol Hill:
learning about composition 

using lines to draw a focus

lighting and ISO

learning how to set the camera down and use the timer to minimize shake

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