Photography: Learning Through the Lens

It’s time for another 31 Day Series. I have done this series more than 5 times over the last six years. I was ready to forget it this year since I have some other commitments, but I find that I just can’t give it up. I plan to post in a little different format though, adding posts to this 31 Day page as I have time to write them, not necessarily 31 days in a row but in a “31 posts when I can” sort of way.

Two years ago I did a 31 Days of Photography Series based on a challenge that I found on Pintrest. That challenge has been pinned and re-pinned hundreds of times, and is one of my post popular pins. During the series I learned lots about photography but not a lot of it really applied to blogging or how to take better blog photos.

This new 31 Day challenge is targeted at bloggers who want to learn how to take better pictures of small objects, interiors with bad lighting, close ups, less than perfect gardens, projects that don’t turn out exactly perfectly, and maybe even how to make your mouth water food photography. I will even throw in some basic editing, storage and collage tips.

Disclaimer: I am not a photography professional, I have never taken a photo class in my life. However, My photography is much improved since I started 6 years ago. I have taken more than 20k photos since I started blogging. I know a lot more now than I did then. Six years down the road I will have even more wisdom to share on the subject.

I am starting a Facebook Page and a Pintrest page for this series, a place where you can post your pictures for comment and discussion among the group for the benefit of Learning Through the Lens. You can get a Smug Mug account for professional quality photo sharing right from Adobe Lightroom. Sign up here with my affiliate link.

Here’s the line up:

Day 1: Your favorite outdoor space

Day 2: something blue

Day 3: your pet, or some one else’s pet

Day 4: your favorite food in macro

Day 6: your favorite food from above

Day 7: your food photography set up

Day 8: take a selfie with a selfie stick

Day 9: the same object 10 times with different angles or backdrops

Day 10: sunset

Day 12: fall colors

Day 13: photo a plant in macro

Day 14: something shinny and reflective

Day 15: sunrise

Day 16: water

Day 17: white anything

Day 18: your living room

Day 19: your kitchen

Day 20: panorama

Day 21: handmade item

Day 22: before and after

Day 23: your favorite thing

Day 24: the room in your home with the least amount of natural light

Day 25: happy place

Day 26: photo collage

Day 27: someone you love

Day 28: a handful of ……..

Day 29: pattern

Day 30: your office or workspace

Day 31: edit a poor photo


Photo Challenge Day 30: Self Portrait



Self Portrait: Garden Selfie

This is the final post in my 30 Day Photography Challenge. It’s been a very good learning experience. I read somewhere that if you take a hundred pictures of something, you will learn 99 ways not to take a picture.

I believe this is an accurate assessment. I learn something new with each photo I take. I don’t think I will ever stop learning about photography.

We are finally moved. I am exhausted from it all. Days of moving, cleaning, packing and unpacking have taken their toll. We have also had several severe storms with tornados and high winds in our area which left us without power for an entire day.

It’s amazing how helpless we are without power.

The internet is finally installed, and things are beginning to get back to normal.

Our new normal, that is.

Being in a new home takes a lot of getting used to. I still can’t find all my clothes. Or my shoes.

I need a vacation.

I lost my cell phone charger for several days and have a million calls to return tomorrow.

I am dying to paint and decorate, but first the boxes have to disappear.

It’s a process.

On top of the move, I have been rowing on the lake two times a week with our local rowing club.

It’s been a welcome relief to be out on the water away from the chaos at home.

On the water, the only thing that matters is the perfection of your stroke.

It doesn’t matter if you can’t find your clothes.

It doesn’t matter if you can’t find your shoes.

Just the stroke.

“At the catch, row, drive, recover.

The sore muscles are minimal, the moving was worse. Makes rowing seem like a piece of cake.

Tomorrow I’ll have the new house tour for you, be sure and stop back!


Photo Challenge Day 29: Black & White


Black & White

It’s easy to take a black and white photo today. Just a click of the editing button makes a color photo into a black and white one.

I happen to love black and white photos.

Perhaps its because we grew up with them.

Perhaps it’s because they are so simple, I love simplicity.

Perhaps, its just because I love black and white.

Or all the above.

These birch trees are black and white to begin with, but I loved them even more without the color.

The pathway in this photo calls to me.

It seems like the path would be a great place for a stroll on a quiet summer night with the moon shining in the sky.

Summer night strolls are one of my all time favorite things.

When the house is still warm from the day’s heat, you can go outside and bathe in the cool air.

After a refreshing walk, your too tired to care if the house is hot and you sleep better.

Most of the time.

If you are reading this post right now, we are in the process of moving.

I will be back on line in a few days with lots of new projects to share.

Have a lovely evening walk today.






Photo Challenge Day 28: Flowers



This is the first time I have ever taken a decent photo with the macro camera setting.

I have decided that macro must be the most difficult setting of all to master.

I have tried a million times to get it to work on my cell phone, and it never does.

Everything always looks blurry.

I had tried many times with my Nikon Point and Shoot camera as well.

They were never very successful either.

I am not sure if it was me or the camera, but they always looked blurry.

With my new Nikon d5300 and the 55-300mm lens, things are different.

The only problem I have is choosing what to take pictures of.

Occasionally, the camera has trouble focusing on one subject at a time in this mode.

I think there is a setting that can be changed to accommodate multiple subjects.

While we were walking through the Botanical Garden taking pictures, I had the camera book out for easy reference.

We were not the only camera geeks at the park.

There was another couple there taking pictures.

I am sure they wondered why I was looking things up in the book.

Oh well.

It’s a good thing I am not narcissistic.

The move has begun.





Photo Challenge Day 25: Strangers




I had a hard time with this assignment. It’s very difficult to photograph Strangers without them noticing.

It’s also difficult to pretend you are not photographing them, when you really are.

For this reason, there are no people in my photo.

I was afraid I would be arrested for stalking strangers with a camera, so I decided to leave them out.

Recently, I came across a Grandfather and his two grandchildren feeding the ducks at the lake.

They were having so much fun.

The little boy would throw his bread in the water and squeal with delight every time the duck ate it.

When it came time to go home, he didn’t want to leave.

“But Grandpa, the ducks will be lonely without me!”

Such sweet words from a stranger to a duck he had never met before.

The ducks were out tonight, but the family was not. I can’t blame them.

It was cold and windy on the lake today. Not a good day for a walk on the shore.

The ducks were out though, looking for bread crumbs from strangers.

I wish I had brought some so we could become friends.

Maybe next time.