November 1st





My friend Amanda taught a photography class Saturday. I was the only one who didn’t have my camera in manual mode by the time class rolled around, but I’m trying. We stood clustered in the shadows of Gilbert’s Liberty Market, listening as Amanda patiently and kindly explained aperture and a handful of other technical photography terms.




(Look at how long her hair is again!)

Manual photography to me is a lot like math and poetry. It is completely overwhelming and makes me feel like I don’t get the bigger picture. (No pun intended.) So it was by complete surprise that after 30 minutes of listening, asking questions and playing with my settings that I actually understood what aperture meant.

I was sent home with some homework — don’t just slap on the fixed 1.4 mm lens and be okay with the blurry results. Instead, play with the aperture and see what I could do. With weekend food prep on the list, here is one such experiment:





Far from perfect, but I’m starting to get it. I will tell you, watching the others in the photography class made me wish I had a better camera. I’m dreaming of an upgrade, a tripod and a more functional camera bag.

And most certainly a handful of hours with my new photography mentor to figure out the rest of the buttons. Er, settings.


*Additionally, two other lovely items to point out from this adventure:

1. Have you had the cafe au lait in the giant bowl at Liberty Market? If you live in the East Valley, enjoy mild coffee and a warm breakfast, and like to feel French on occasion — may I suggest ordering one of these to sip on the patio? Delightful. I wish I lived closer and could just this more often. (Side note: I envision a kitchen with many cafe au lait bowls one day. This is actually something I’d consider collecting.)

2. I love that my girlfriends can take one look at me, figure out something is brewing and come up with just the right things to say to make me go home and think, feel loved and be prepared to make a change for the better.

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7 Responses

  1. Success with the hair straightener that day! Wooo! (I should have someone come take a picture of the back of my head every day, just so I know if it looks ok or not.)
    So glad you came! And I can tell from the food pics that you’re getting it! Feels freeing, right? Just remember… cameras are stupid. And they’re just a tool. 😉

  2. I can’t wait to see your photos as you continue to experiment and learn!! There is always so much to learn and play with when it comes to cameras. 🙂

  3. One of the best things I ever bought was my Nikon D70 used off of Craigslist. I have seen them on there for about $300 for the camera only. You can buy a brand new 50mm 1.8 lens online for $100 or used for a little less. That lens is better then the kit lenses you would get if you bought the camera new. It isn’t a zoom but you can go all the way open to F1.8. That is all you would need for now 🙂

  4. mmmmmmmmmmm ……….photography……….. My daughter is supposed to start a stage with a professional photographer next january for her uni assignements…. she’s thrilled, she loves to take photos and she’s very good, I have to say….

  5. Awesome! I’ve been playing with manual mode a lot more lately and trying not to use the auto setting. I took an all-day photo workshop in early Oct that was so much better than that one we took. I actually learned something and was able to apply it. We should go out shooting one day!

  6. Larissa Stretton November 5, 2010

    Thank you for this Kelli!! It’s one of my dreams someday to take a professional photography class–that’ll have to happen after I grow up though–I tend to forget my camera in places, once in the Bahamas, once in the Philadelphia airport–now I only allow myself inexpensive cameras–and then I have to remember to use them when I actually remember to bring them!! Your photos are so neat and who knew what an aperature was or what it could do! Thanks again for the enlightenment! Lookin forward to future posts like this!!!

  7. I am in a photo class this semester (yay for almost free tuition as an employee). This is one of the hardest classes I have ever taken though. So much to learn….egads.