Best day of Hazel's life :: switching to Aperature mode.

Yesterday was CAMP BLAST.  A FREE day at Camp Lutherlyn, the greatest place on earth.  Farmer Jake and I met at Lutherlyn, we both worked on summer staff (separately, he's old), we go there as often as possible, we support them financially any time we can scrape an extra dollar out of our budget, our girls were both baptized there, I met my brother-in-law there (you're welcome, sister), we met many of our best friends there...

Though Hazel has been there many times (she surprised me by remembering that last year at Heidi's "birthday"/baptism, we had cupcakes.  she was temporarily disappointed to discover that cupcakes aren't always served in the Amphitheater), yesterday was the first time she was old enough to partake in some "camp" activities.  She's a happy girl, so I've seen her giddy with glee many times.  But yesterday, she positively GLOWED!

1/160s, f/5.3, ISO 400
Hazel and Susie.  Another "LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT" brought to you by Camp Lutherlyn!

As for me, I dug in to the 2nd chapter of Katie Evans Photography e-book... EXPOSURE.  This entailed me spending a lot of quality time with the camera's owners manual.  Oi Vey!  I found buttons I'd never even noticed!  The more I read, the more questions I have.  These cameras are so fancy that every lesson refers to other lessons and I embark down an endless road of fiddling with settings.  I hope/pray/am confident that by the end of the month, I'll have mastered some of these elements and understand some of these settings.

Yesterday my goal was to experiment with APERATURE.  Katie has a great crash course on aperature on her blog.

However, *CONFESSION*, the above picture was taken on "Auto".  I just couldn't risk missing this moment!  For most of the day, as I snapped away, I would randomly spin the aperature adjustment dial:  Take one pic, spin dial, take another pic, spin dial, take another pic.  Each time, I panicked and all understanding of aperature went out the window.  So, I figured I'd take multiple pics of the same things and hope one of them was SPOT ON.  

Now, aperature is more about the focus.  However, when shooting on "A", as YOU adjust the aperature, the camera adjusts the other settings.  So most of my experiments ended up being way too bright!  Here's a peek at two consecutive shots and the difference in the exposure:
let's all pretend we don't notice that my daughter is a bully.

The sad thing is, THOSE are my best examples.  It was a day of pitiful shots (and changing wrong settings when I thought I was changing aperature)  :)  

The SMALLER aperature (f/10... it confuses me to no end that HIGH NUMBER = SMALL APERATURE) photo is over exposed, the movement is blurred and the grass in the top of the frame is in focus.  The LARGE aperature (f/4.8) was more appropriate for the situation as the girls are in focus and the background begins to blur.

Here's hoping for hitting the learning curve this week...

Feel free to enter my ebook giveaway and join me on mastering your DSLR!

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Note to Lutherlyn:  you didn't really think closed fences would keep Koskers out of the lake, did you?


  1. I love that you found a way into the lake! It was a great day for it---perfect temperature!

    It sounds like cameras = math, which means I'll have to stick with my point-and-shoot.

    Love the look on Hazel's face as she rides Susie! I do believe that Susie was Juli's first pony ride too. Got to love the ponies!

    It was great seeing you guys yesterday. :) Sometimes, it's enough to see people for just a minute, because it reminds you that your favorite people are still in the world. (Hmmm...I like that. That might just be my Facebook status today.)

    1. That is the perfect way to say it! A busy day at Lutherlyn chasing kids means brief "hellos" to our adult friends. Yet, I leave feeling refreshed and like I connected!

  2. It took me FOREVER to get the inverse relationship of f-stop to what's in focus. Basically, lower number = less in focus. Ignore what the actual aperture is doing (unless you're compensating for lighting conditions when then, yes, the f-stop makes a difference but I digress...haha).

    If you need any help just give me a shout. It was a lot of trial and error and super frustrating times with bad pics until we got it right.

    Best option is to just always have your camera handy and take pics. The more you can try in lower stress situations the easier the higher stress ones become (like Hazels ride on the pony and wanting not to miss the moment...etc...)

    1. low number, less in focus. I'm gonna repeat that mantra all day till it sticks! Thanks Linds!

    2. which mode do you shoot in primarily?

  3. It took me forever to figure out aperature! I think I read Pioneer Woman's blog a thousand times before finally getting it :) Anyway, what might help you figure out your camera is to shoot on Manual ONLY. It's tricky at first, but after a few weeks, I was figuring out what I needed to adjust to get the best result. Still not a pro, but at least I look like I know what I'm doing :P I haven't even used any of the other features on my camera yet, but maybe one day I will!

    Btw, I finally entered your contest! So excited!! I sure could use any help I can get :)

    1. Umm, don't know if I entered a comment for an additional entry, lol. Oops! Only count me for 2 entries then!!

  4. What kind of camera do you have? I love shooting in manual and it's not nearly as intimidating as one might think. I'd love to help you learn next time you are in the area.

    And just some advice... important events aren't a good time to practice new things. :) The memory is far more important the perfect picture!! Practice aperture on still objects till you get it down. It's a lot easier to be able to keep going back to the same thing over and over again to retake the picture. You will definitely be able to see and understand the relationship in the settings better that way.

  5. I *love* this! One of my favorite things is watching my boys fall in love with camp every time we are there. And yay Lutherlyn! Wasn't Lee Lindeman director there for a while recently?

    Forgive me if I've said it before (because well anything about camp bears repeating), but my husband and I met at camp and got married there! We met at Camp Beisler in NJ (which is now Cross Roads Camp & Retreat Center where I am blessed to serve on the board). I'm a total camp junkie... after years at Beisler I worked at camps all over the country and then got a Master's degree in it. Ha - who gets a degree in camp?

    Once the kids are a bit older, we'll go back to full-time camp work... but in the meantime, it's fun to just be a camper sometimes!

  6. Oh, I too am overwhelmed by the complexities of my camera. As a result, I just take pictures in the "automatic" mode, and I haven't been experimenting. You have inspired me to start digging deeper into my camera!

  7. still a newbie and trying to learn how to use my canon rebel T3i! count me in please on your giveaway!


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