"In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured!"
~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Thursday, December 19, 2013

December 30-day Challenge Progress Report

Well, I'm sorry to say I'm really not being as diligent in completing this month's 30-day challenge as I was hoping.

Between Christmas preparations, planning, shopping, baking, and festivities, shopping for a new phone (to replace Trevor's so I can have his since mine doesn't work), shopping for a piano (to be more useable at church, and so I can start teaching and bringing in some income, and because I feel a bit destitute without one), stressing out about money stuff (in addition to diapers, wipes, and all the new baby expenses, our health insurance bills are about to increase by about 600% each month. Thanks obamacare!), trying to get stuff ready for the baby (only 2 1/2 more weeks!!!! Crazy!!!), coping with feeling pregnant and blah every day, and trying to do normal everyday stuff while obeying the dr.'s orders to sit around all day every day with my feet elevated and drink tons of water to try to get my crazy feet and leg swelling under control (they haven't gone back down to their normal size since Thanksgiving, not even on days I kept them elevated for 22 hours. Ugh)...I really just haven't felt like putting any effort into learning about photography!

Just a few weeks ago I was all excited about the thought of spending an hour a day studying with my camera and other resources. Now I mostly just want to lie on the couch in my pj's, turn my brain off, and eat brownies and Christmas goodies out the wazoo...and somehow not ever get full or fat or feel sick. Who did I think I was kidding? Haha oh well.

I haven't been a total failure though :) I just haven't done it every day, and I haven't blogged about any of the things I did yet!

One of my hopes was that I'd be able to go through my photography Pinterest board and clean it out a bit as I checked out the sites and tutorials, so I could turn my board into a more succinct collection of the most useful ones. I haven't done that yet, but I have been doing some reading and learning with this super handy dandy book my sister gave me for my birthday! Nikon D5100 for Dummies. Exactly the book I need :) Easy to understand directions that are specific to my exact camera, in addition to basic photography information! It's organized to be used either for cover-to-cover reading for the clueless, or as a reference to quickly figure out how to do specific things. There are also similar books for tons of different models, and some for DSLR photography in general. Great stuff, and it's not even that expensive! I can't wait to delve deeper! (Some day in the future when I feel like using my brain, instead of right now when it feels like mush haha)

What I've read so far has helped me get a little braver in tinkering with the menus, and not being afraid to change settings a little. 

I've also had a few chances to pull out the camera and get more hands-on chances to practice! True, I mostly played it safe (and lame) and used auto or scene modes instead of being brave and shooting in manual, but hey, practice is practice! And there are always elements of composition, lighting, content, and editing to worry about too (not that I did awesome with any of them, but we won't talk about that :)

Fun things I've done with my camera this month in addition to reading include:
- taking step-by-step pics of making and baking butter cookies for a friend's blog
- taking pictures of chocolate crinkles for a cookie recipe swap blog post
- taking some pictures of a super delicious new dinner recipe I came up with! (update: I finally posted it! Check it out HERE)
- fiddling with the ISO and shutter speed to try to get good pictures outside in the dark
- taking pictures of my husband at his last flag football game of the season!

Are any of them great? Nope! 

Do I spend an hour on it every day like I planned to? Not at all!

Am I having fun and at least getting my camera out every once in a while? Yep!

Success so far? We'll go with yes :)

*Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links


  1. I recently got my first DSLR (I got a Nikon 3100) and I absolutely love it! I've finally started getting comfortable in manual, and I recently got a 50mm 1.8 lens and it has made a world of difference. I highly recommend it if you don't have one :)_ Pinterest is the best place for photography tutorials -- that's where I've learned the most!

    Good luck with your last few days without your sweet baby, she'll be here soon!!

    1. That's awesome! Your pictures look great btw :) I'll have to check out your photography board on Pinterest for some great tutorial links!