Manual Mode

I’ve decided it’s high time that I actually learned to use my nice camera that I bought last year.  Using auto, macro mode to take pictures is not really using my camera to its full potential.  I’d really like to get better at taking pictures of the food I make.  Last night, I took a picture of my dinner, using my tripod.  This is my favorite of the bunch:

Teff polenta with edamame, carrots, green beans and peas

This was on auto, but a least it’s a little less fuzzy using a tripod.  This morning, I read over some of Ashley’s photography posts and then started playing with my camera.  It was a frustrating, yet informative experience.  I took first took pictures of my pumpkin breakfast bake.








Then I got hungry and took a break.  This is the closest I got to what I thought was a ok shot:

So, the first few pictures went really, really poorly.  Admittedly, so did the majority of my pictures, but at least some were headed in the right direction.  I couldn’t get the color right.  This bake is orange from the pumpkin, but you can’t tell.  You can tell a little bit the the picture above.

Then, I spent an hour and a half fooling around and taking pictures of grape jelly/sauce.

The set up

After taking over 100 pictures, I finally started getting some shots I liked.  They still aren’t what I wanted, but they are nearing it.

I like the ring of light around the jar.

Light bouncing, sort of. I have no clue…

Favorite jelly shot

Some of the pictures I liked of the jelly ended up in my post about it.  What I have learned from this session:

1. The light was too harsh to be taking pictures.  The direct sunlight made it harder to take pictures and make adjustments.

2. I still don’t fully understand aperture, shutter speed and ISO.  But, I know more than I did, will continue to educate myself.

3. I have a long, long way to go.

4.  I love my camera!

Here’s a few auto shots for comparison’s sake:

These look weird to me now, like the colors are fake and it’s too bright.  I think I’ll try again later this afternoon when the light is nicer.  Hope you’ve been enjoying the weekend!


One thought on “Manual Mode

  1. Hi friend! Of course you know I’m a big fan and am always checking out your blog and saw this particular post and immediately thought of my mom. She absolutely loves photography and has been doing it for years now and always talks about how she shoots nothing but manual shots. I sent her this post to see if she’d have any pointers. She says, first of all, you’re off to a great start! She said she would start with playing with the white balance to get the color right. Also play with the settings and maybe try “cloudy” or “dim light” and just see how those turn out. She also said it looks like your camera might be on macro mode, which is giving you a very small depth of field (these words have no meaning to me but I hope it makes some sense to you!!) and to maybe try switching it to portrait mode to get more of the photo in focus. Hope these little tips help!

    Also my mom, Kathy, LOVES helping people with this kind of stuff so if you ever have any questions she’d love to give you some pointers. Her email is and here’s her smug mug site as well-

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