smoking hot

Lately, I’ve been playing with my camera.

It all started when I read Shannan’s post about photography. In her family, her husband is the camera guru. She takes pictures—good ones, too—but he’s the one obsessed. In the blog post, she and her husband talked technique and tips, but it was one little sentence that got me going. She said, “He [her husband] watches youtube videos in his free time of Asian men talking camera in British accents.”

Light bulbs flashed and bells rang. You mean I could learn some photography skeelz by simply watching some youtube videos? Well HELLO.

I got started right away. I bumbled around at first, watching a few incompetent dorks talk about nothing, but then I hit on the PhotoExtremist. This guy is most certainly not Asian, and he doesn’t have a British accent, but he knows his stuff. Or at least he knows a lot more than me and can explain it in simple terms and that’s exactly what I’m looking for.

An Aside

Last night I read a quote on Facebook and then hollered up the stairs to my husband, “Hey, honey! Do you know who said this? ‘If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.’”

His response was immediate. “Albert Einstein!”

How in the world does he know these things? I never would’ve gotten that right!

Anyway, my point is, the PhotoExtremist explains things very simply.
Therefore, I (and Albert) believe he probably understands that of which
he speaks.

End of Aside

Compared to the PhotoExtremist, I know nothing. For example, I’ve had my camera for nearly two years (or is it more than two years?) and just last night I learned how to set the self timer so I can take pictures of myself.

Sound the trumpets!

And then I said something about how it would be neat if I had a remote for the camera and my husband told me that I do.


It was in the drawer, lifeless for want of a battery, but all that is going to change in the immediate future.

Also, I learned what spot metering is. I’ve been doing it all along—I just didn’t know what it was called. And I learned (a good deal more) about white balance. And I learned I want photoshop and some flashes. And maybe a couple lens filters, stop me now.

I’m not all for wanting, though. I also learned that I’m really, really glad I purchased my 50 mm lens (also called a “prime lens”—doesn’t that sound classy?) and that I’m really, really glad that we bought my son a tripod for his video camera because now I can use it. Tripods really do make a world of difference.

This morning after getting the kids to do a bunch of clean-up and some Spanish, we all piled onto the couch to watch some PhotoExtremists videos. He succeeded in inspiring us all, so we spent the rest of the morning playing.

The kids helped me set up a work room: the toy closet under the stairs. They brought down a bed stand for our photography table and helped me tape my black skirt to the wall for a back drop. Then they took turns being shut up in the closet helping me make some smoking hot photos.

The hot sauce was an obvious first choice.

My older daughter wanted to try the pomegranate.

I tried some butter bars.

And then my younger son wanted to do the nativity scene.

Any guesses as to how we’re doing this? No cheating!

This same time, years previous: winter quinoa salad, baked corn, company tizz, a family outing, zippy me, peanut butter cookies, Ree’s monkey bread, butter cookies


  • Shannan Martin

    Woo hoo!!!! Good for you and THIS is a crack up. And I needed one. I do not understand white balance, nor do I really care to. And that, my Lassie, is why I shall never be the photographer that you are. 🙂

  • the domestic fringe

    Wow. These pictures are the best. The nativity scene is really cool. I haven't got a clue how in the world you are doing this, but I like it!


  • Carol S-B

    I am guessing a short time lapse, with your beautiful assistant moving some sort of fiber in the background/ behind the subject?
    Although I have to say, the fire-breathing dragon is a much better idea.

  • Anonymous

    You should also "like" on FB: How to Photograph your life, a site by Nick Kelsh (also a website). He likes simple and manual digital cameras, He takes amazing pics too and he will analyse yours on his "radio show" and tell you what you did right or could do better if he picks you picture to use as an example. Super sweet guy (I even got a kiss on the cheek from him when I was in MN two years ago, ahhhhh)
    L in Elkton

  • Margo

    also, I have to say: as a teacher, I really learned that Einstein quote, although I had never heard it before your post. As an editor, I admire simplicity so much.

  • Margo

    oh my WORD this is a siren song! I was just washing dishes yesterday thinking how deeply I desired to move forward with my photography! I do know white balance, though, and I often use my tripod and self-timer. (Should use the tripod more – my hands are starting to get shaky. sheesh.)

    As to the smoking photos. . . hm. I'm stumped. Is it some kind of double exposure? It's beautiful.

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