welcome to week 23 of the bloom forum's project 52.  another week has flown by....its hard to believe we are almost to july. this year we have focused on many fun themes. some of my favorites were: light filledlove, and black and white

this week's theme was growth: have you grown in talent, faith, family? do you have a growth chart in your home for your kids? plants? 

 for this theme i decided to focus on the  growth i have had the past year as a photographer. i have spent a lot of time learning as much as i can.  i have made two big changes this year.  i have switched to shooting  in manual mode and in RAW 100% of the time.  previously,  i would shoot in portrait mode or AV priority mode.  taking this step was crucial to the creative process of photography as many of you can attest to.  secondly, once i felt like i had mastered my canon rebel and learned all i could from it;  i upgraded to a full frame camera.  after months upon months of research  i chose the nikon d700.  this camera has now allowed me even more creative control and i love it!  in addition to these big changes, i have used this year to learn photoshop CS5 and really all the wonderful things it has to offer.   i have spent countless hours reading, researching, asking questions and just learning as much as i can.  in august i will begin an 8 week workshop with the bloom forum and i cannot wait.    for any of you moms (or dads) wanting to learn to take better pictures, my advice to you, is read all you can on the matter and practice. i take 100's of pictures each week just to practice.   i am also grateful that God gave me this passion and gift.  i hope to share it with as many people as i can for HIS purpose and glory!

now for this week's images...

first i used my canon rebel xsi and 50mm lens and set the camera on portrait mode. i took this picture, did no editing in photoshop (only lightened a tad in picasa) and i was done.  in no way is this to show that the rebel is not a great camera...it is.  you can get amazing pictures with it, but this is to show the difference when shooting in manual and learning the advantages of good editing.  and this picture isn't bad, but it isn't great either.  first of all, the focus is not sharp.  second, the lighting is not optimal. i always found what my camera detected and set the lighting at was usually darker than what was the ideal setting.... 

next, i used my nikon d700 and 50mm lens.  these were shot in manual mode at the following settings: 1/500s, ISO 250, f/1.4.  i made a few edits in camera raw and then edited in photoshop.


 i believe i still have SO much to learn in photography.  technology is forever changing, so i believe there will always be something new to learn.  i share this because many people believe they will go out and buy a DSLR camera and will get professional results right away. they are then disappointed and frustrated.  they get into the trap of telling themselves "if only they upgraded to a better lens or another camera." take time and really learn your camera and all the potential it has.  the entry level DSLR's are wonderful cameras.  there are great books to read.   practice, practice, practice, and try new things.  you will be pleasantly surprised with the results you will get. 

now head on over to the amazingly talented blog of  Tabitha Patrick a Port Huron, MI Photographer and see what growth she captured!!!