My “big girl” camera.

A photo-happy person like me always has a camera with them. I’m the first to whip out my iPhone to save a moment. I’ve got a point-and-shoot camera stashed in my purse at all times. I’ve been wanting to explore photography more, and a “big girl” camera was high on my wish list for the holidays. Santa delivered, and I’m the proud owner of a Canon EOS 60D digital SLR.

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And it’s been sitting in its case since Christmas.

I don’t like to fail, and I’ve been so intimidated by the complexity of this camera that I’ve avoided it completely. Aperture. Depth of field. F Stop. PPI. I’ve secretly been afraid that I’m in over my head here. Sure, it has an automatic setting, but a point-and-shoot camera works for that- the point was to grow and learn. So recently, I took a friend’s advice and just started taking photos.

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My first challenge has been to learn to be comfortable with manual focus. I love how you can really pinpoint which part of the image you want to be sharp (and which parts to blur). I’m still in the auto mode in every other way, but I’m getting the hang of this part- and having a blast with my new toy!

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I don’t have a zoom lens yet (I get that when I “graduate” from big girl camera school), and I have yet to play around with the other manual settings- but it’s obvious that this hobby is just beginning.

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Camera pros: What are your best tips for a beginner? Share with me!

A couple of photo-happy posts (here and here). 

One year ago: Tandoori-ish chicken and the best leftovers ever

18 replies »

  1. I am far from a pro, but when I got my grown-up camera, I took a class to help me figure out how everything works. It wasn’t exactly a photography class, more of a did-you-know-your-camera-can-do-this-and-this-and-this kind of class. It helped make me more comfortable moving away from the automatic setting!

  2. You’re going to be a pro in no time! Your “practice” shots are already fabulous. 🙂 I would love to splurge on a DSLR, but am completely intimidated. You go girl, for trying something new! Can’t wait to see your progress!

  3. I really want a big girl camera and thought that’s what I was getting but instead got a new iPad (which is also really cool). So maybe soon I’ll get one so I can start getting better photos of my new home.

    I’m sure I’ll be in the same boat as you when I do get one. All the things these cameras can do is just plain amazing but very intimidating to figure out. Best of luck to you and I hope you share some secrets are you learn!

    • I bet the new iPads are so awesome! We have the very first edition of iPad. It’s amazing the things it CAN’T do compared to the newer ones!
      I think I need a basic camera class to learn properly.

  4. Your EYE is all you need (and you definitely have that). The other stuff? One word: AUTOMATIC. When you get ready for a zoom, check out the Tamron 150-600mm, which should work great with your Canon body. It’s all the buzz among the pros, and won’t break the bank.

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