I handled the camera with a bit of fear at first. I didn’t even know how to take off the lens cap. After all, I use a small point and shoot, not a DSLR. I was afraid I’d push the wrong button and mess something up.

Despite not owning a DSLR beauty, I still have been attempting to get the most out of that little point and shoot. I’m not new to photography. I received my first 35 mm camera when I was 16, for my birthday (some years ago). I learned how to load film and use that camera– sort of. In college I took a summer course in photography, and learned how to develop film in a darkroom, and about effects like “dodge and burn”. That feels like eons ago. Um, I guess it was eons ago, in terms of technical advancement. ๐Ÿ™‚

Although I only own a point and shoot, I still have an interest in taking pictures — and so does my child– a chip off the old, er, “blockette”? We took the class together, along with another friend and her daughter. A fifth student, another girl the same age as our girls, coincidentally, was also part of the class.

Five people– in a three day photography intensive course. Boy, did we all have fun. We listened, took notes, and went outdoors to fulfill photo shoot assignments. In the afternoons, we’d snack on Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies, to keep us alert. ๐Ÿ™‚ On the last day we took a walk through a special trail and that was the only day we were free to take any pictures we liked, utilizing all of the techniques we learned. Each day, the pictures we took were reviewed and critiqued, and each day we improved in our skill.

The instructor of the class rented each of us a camera to use, along with a zoom lens.ย Here is the beauty I got to hold and learn to use:


The Canon EOS Rebel T3i.

Oh, I’m in love. ๐Ÿ™‚

After that class, my little point and shoot looks like the dinkiest little camera– it actually looks like a toy to me. It just can’t do what the other big hunk of a camera can. Sorry, my little Sony point and shoot. You’re cute and pocket-sized, but your days are numbered.

In three days we learned all about cameras, pixels, aperture, shutter speed, the importance of lighting, composition, and so much more. I actually learned what the buttons were for, and even how to use that camera in a “Manual Mode” setting. Yep- Manual Mode, not the “Grandma setting” as our instructor calls it (i.e., the “automatic everything” mode), ha ha! Um, yeah, that would have been my default were it not for this class.

Not only that, I also learned how to operate that camera in AV or TV mode, and how/when to switch to manual if I need to. Oh, and I also learned how to photograph moving water, moving cars, and about polarizing filters and tripods. Amaaazing.

What made this class good, I think, are three things:

1) The instructor TRULY knew his stuff, and could teach it well, in an organized fashion. We could follow along easily.

2) We had the actual cameras to play with. For three days straight. If the class were for one hour each week, I’d probably forget what button did what from one week to the next.

3) We received feedback and critique on the photos we took- what was right, what was wrong, how to fix what didn’t work, etc. Otherwise, how’d we know?

After 3 days of the intensive course, I was tired, but much more knowledgeable in picture taking, and had enjoyed myself immensely. What an incredible three days! It’s fascinating to me how we can capture snapshots of beauty, and it’s fun and fulfilling to try.

So, you might be curious to see a few pictures. Without further ado, here are a few!


Sharing in these sweet places:ย Laura at The Wellpsring, L.L. Barkat at Seedlings in Stone, Jen at Finding Heaven.

And counting to 1000 with Ann at A Holy Experience:

814. The 3 day photography class! And a friend who kept my boys one of the days we were in class!

815. Discussing this passage: Matthew 7:1-12, and what it means.

816. Very quick trip to IKEA this past week- two hours away. We came, we saw, we bought, we returned home. I hadn’t been to IKEA in 15 years, before my first child was born. The kids need dressers– theirs are old, cheap quality, hand-me-downs, and are quite literally falling apart, so we bought some inexpensive, but sturdy, dressers.

They have yet to be assembled, which reminds me of a funny cartoon I saw the other day. The title of this cartoon ย is IKEA JOB INTERVIEW (you need to know this title to get the joke):

Cartoon Source: http://jobmob.co.il/blog/funny-ikea-job-interview-cartoon/

LOL! Well, we’ll see how long it takes us to assemble ours. At least, we have them, they are ย here, and that’s one step closer than we were before.

817. A lovely 8th grade graduation ceremony for six homeschooled girls. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย (Although my child is really in 9th grade going in 10th because she skipped a grade two years ago, this is really HER class and her friends so she wanted to still participate.) Many of these girls have known each other since 1st grade, and a few of them have known each other since age 3 or 4. Now with high school around the corner, each family may pursue a different route, and it was a nice opportunity to celebrate. Each girl spoke for 1-2 minutes, and each of the girls’ parents shared for a few minutes, highlighting a character quality trait in their child, and a Bible verse. Then each girl received a book or other special gift from their parents. Afterwards, we enjoyed a bountiful potluck, the girls had their pictures taken outside together, and the parents enjoyed some friendly fellowship together.

Beautiful cake– although they misspelled “Natalie” (they spelled it “Natatie”)

818. A movie of the girls’ pictures (with baby photos and photos up until now), with songs in the background made by my very own child– who happens to the above-mentioned “Natalie”. ๐Ÿ™‚

819. Finally a long string of busy May events are DONE. Can I sleep in this week? ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe a couple of days?

820. Sunny weather, in the 80’s

821. We signed up to do the Bible Bee. The kids are memorizing scripture. A good thing.