Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Baby

It's been an indulgent month- what with The Shoes, the badly needed new suit, and the art work I finally bought for my office. And then there was an unplanned purchase. My camera - my beloved Nikon D40- stopped working.

It had frozen a number of times, most memorably while at Landon's birthday party and then while on our vacation to my grandparents' cabin in Wisconsin, but just when I went to take it to our local camera shop, it would start working again! I couldn't get it to fail for someone who could diagnose it, so when it froze up yet again, I decided to invest in a new camera. I use it so much and photography is really my only hobby. Plus, it just so happened that I had a super expensive creative lens just sitting around that I could sell on Amazon (it was given to me by a friend who had also gotten it as a gift, but I just never used it). I sold it for almost the exact price of the Nikon D3100 (Nikon's new upgraded version of the discontinued D40) and couldn't wait to hold my new, free (kind of), camera. But then I got the D3100 and just wasn't sufficiently satisfied with it. So I sent it back and ordered the camera I'd always really wanted -- the Nikon D90. To justify that upgrade, I sold another lens I never use (a zoom lens that came with my D40 kit) on Amazon and came out almost even.

And after only I week, I'm happy to say I LOVE the D90. Love. It is sharp and fast and oh so pretty.

A friend and co-worker purchased a groupon for a photography class in our neighborhood. She got an extra discount code that allowed me to take the same class with her for $59, so I did. That was my Tuesday night from 5-9pm and even though I really hate missing family dinner and bedtime, it was a good investment. I left that class understanding SO much more about photography. I know what aperture is! The phrase, "if your shutter speed is too slow, raise your ISO" finally makes sense to me! It was all very exciting- even if I had to work until nearly 1 a.m. to catch up on the work I interrupted as I dashed out of the office at 4:40.

Um, who are you again?

I also worked well past midnight last night (at my kitchen table, after my usual evening at home), so I headed out of work a little early today to pick up the kids and go to the park for a picnic dinner. Our 85 degree day had turned into a beautiful evening and it was so fun to sit on a towel with the Biscuit and watch Landon and JP throw the football and chase each other.

Oh right, yes, the mommy!

I even put my new photography knowledge into action and took all my pictures in manual mode -- Manual! The one where you have to set everything yourself! I metered light. I set ISO. I evaluated aperture and shutter speed. I got pictures of some of the Biscuit's many faces:

And an action shot of her big brother, in head-to-toe "mommy it matches" camo print, in all of his football catching glory:

They're not professional looking, and I really wish there was a better background for Claire's pictures than a field of dead grass, but they're in focus, which is a huge improvement from my last attempt at manual mode!

Then, after we got home, the Biscuit got serious about her mobility and crawled! More than two shuffles! It's real crawling this time, not just some over-excited mommy-pride-fueled exaggeration. The Biscuit has gone mobile.


  1. Ooh, pretty camera! And great pictures. I can't believe Claire crawls now! It seems like she was born last week!

  2. We have one too and we love it!!!

  3. Long time blog stalker who is also an attorney and photographer (AND I work in the same general sec lit litigation field). Nice job with manual! A metering suggestion: with things that are light or white (such as pale baby skin), you should overexpose according to the internal meter by about 1/3-1/2 a stop (basically, overexpose by two of the little marks on the metering bar in your camera). It will make your picture look a little "snappier" and thus more professional.

  4. Thanks julia! I'll try that next time! I have a bunch of photography books that I bought back when I got the D40 that I was never able to get into because for once, written text just didn't help my brain wrap around concepts like aperture and ISO. Now that I have a tenuous grasp on the basicsm, I think I need to get those books back out and learn how to play with all the settings.

  5. The best photography book you can get (if you don't have it already) is called Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson (its not very expensive, like $15ish, and I still pick it up occasionally). I had a really hard time with aperture/ISO also, and i'm also very much a book learner. Reading this book literally made the lightbulb click on. PLUS it helped me understand how to do cool things with my camera (like how to make water look like its running), which I don't think I could have ever figured out on my own.

  6. Nice pictures with Nikon D90 you have here. I seldom hear of a Lawyer
    who also loves cameras and photography. Its a good hobby, you know, aside from memories you can have from the pictures you shoot.