Saturday, December 26, 2009


I know we did. Elder Holland was at our stake conference two weeks ago and blessed us that we would have the best Christmas ever. We did.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Photography Tip: You have decided to go with a DSLR

Part I

If you have decided you want a DSLR or already have a DSLR, this is the post for you!

When purchasing a SLR you have the choice of purchasing the camera body only or the camera body with kit lens. To be honest with you the kit lens is junk. However, I am so happy I have the kit lens because I use my SLR as an artistic camera as well as a Point and Shoot. I use it all the time in the house, where I don't have much space to move in, to capture a moment I want to remember but don't necessarily care that it be a great looking picture. The kit lens is great for that because it has a great depth of field. However, that is the only good thing about it. :) It will only be convenient, until you can afford an L series 24-70 f/2.8 (which is lots of money...$1300.00!) If you are going to use your camera solely for photography purposes with lots of room to position yourself, or if you are really really rich, I would recommend purchasing the camera body only. So, there is the kit lens debate out of the way.
One more thing on the kit lens, why does it stink so bad? Because it is cheap AND because it has a high f stop or aperture.

If you want anything above a snapshot from your SLR you NEED to get a lens. Let me stress that again. If you want a nice looking picture you HAVE to get a lens.

But lets face it, lenses cost money. Lots of money.

Before I get too far into this lens business let me clarify some terminology mumbo jumbo.

Okay, when I say the following, it means...
DLSR - Digital single-lens reflex
SLR - single-lens reflex
"50 mm" "85 mm" or "24-70 mm" - This is the depth of field on a camera. The zoom in and zoom out distance in simpler terms
"f/2.8" - the f/ is pronounced as "F stop" so if I say "What is the f stop on the lens?" I mean what is the number behind the f/. What does that number mean anyways?! Well, it means one thing...aperture. The lovely word aperture that is clumped with ISO and shutter speed. These three things are very important. so remember them...ISO, shutter speed, aperture. The lens itself determines how "wide open" (how low the number can go) you can go with your apeture. The lower the number the more open your aperture and the more bokeh you will get (the blurry background). So many funny names! I will touch more on this in a later post. For now, just know that f/2.8 means the aperture can open up to a 2.8. If the lens says f/4 the aperture can only open to a 4.
These are very important things to know when purchasing a lens

The babe needs me so think about this for now then I will come back with part two about which lens is best for you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Great question about brands. To be honest you are going to get a fine camera from Sony that I am sure will work well. However, this is my opinion on brands.

If I was going to buy a video camera I would buy a Sony rather than a Canon, because that is what Sony specializes in. If I was going to buy a new camera I would probably stick with Canon or Nikon (I prefer Canon) because that is what they specialize in. Personally I would buy Kodak photo paper, but not a Kodak camera, because they specialize in photo paper. Does that make sense? They all pretty much make digital everything, but they also have what they started out specializing in. So, in my opinion I would stick with what they do best. But that doesn't mean Sony wont give you a good still camera.

And now V,

she had her 4 and 3/4 month appt. the other day. To our surprise she is (in literal medical terms) "off the charts." She measured in at 26.5 inches long! The nurse obviously made a mental analysis of my height and asked if my husband was tall. "No," I said, "not at all."

So we have a VERY tall baby. Not 90th percentile, not even 100th percentile. "Off the charts." Really it doesn't mean anything at this point. But still pretty funny! Everything else is normal. That would explain why she doesn't have rolls.

She has been rolling over since Thanksgiving and now she rolls and rolls and rolls. This particular picture she was holding onto the blanket and rolled up like a burrito. She looked at me as though she was very confused as to what was going on.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Which kind of camera is good for me?

*****Scroll down for a post about my awesome weekend with David Archuleta!*****

I am going to label all the photography tips posts with "Photography." Therefore, if you don't check frequently and miss one, you can find it on the side bar!

Also, these posts are purely my opinion. Yours may differ. That is great! But I will be open about my opinions.

To start off.

This was a great question from Hay. And since it is getting so close to Christmas I thought I would address this first, so she can get on the ball!

"I really want to get a nice camera for Christmas. I want it to take quality pictures without being too complicated. I don't want to have a bunch of extra lenses to research about and study and learn how to use. I just want it to be really nice, quality, and user friendly. My price range in 200-550$ Is there a camera out there for me?"

Which kind of camera is good for me?
1. It is VERY smart before you buy a camera to assess your needs. Many people are going on a DSLR buying spree, only to find out it doesn't suit their needs or wants. If a SLR isn't for you, it'll drive you nuts! I promise!
So, what are your needs?
If you have no interest in learning the ins and outs of a camera-- ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed, RAW, White Balance, lenses, order to improve upon the regular snap shot, I would say stay away from the SLR. There are so many great cameras out there that are very nice, dependable, great quality, compact, without all the fuss.

Not convinced? Let me explain.

SLR camera's have the capacity to be shot in Automatic. With this setting you are getting no more than a snapshot. Then, if you photoshop it, you have a glorified snapshot. You can get a great snapshot on a point and shoot and save money!

The reason a snapshot in a SLR is no different from a snapshot in a P&S is because the camera determines all the settings for you, upon what it can detect with its limited robotic self, then compacts it into a JPEG and there you have it.

Myth: If I get a SLR and kit lens I can be a photographer. False. The camera does not make the professional. Yes, a professional needs the nice camera but it is the skill and knowledge of the truly good photographer that makes them so good. It is their manual settings to make everything just perfect, in order to maximize color and clarity. In my opinion, photoshop cannot redeem a professionals automatic settings.
A SLR if not going to suddenly make you a great photographer!
Example: I have the lowest grade of SLRs that Canon offers. I would like an upgrade, now that I understand the camera and want more capacity to do more. BUT, everything I shoot right now is with the lowest grade DSLR out there.

I stress this point a lot, because I feel it is one of the biggest misconceptions. 1. for people looking to buy a camera, and 2. for people who get a new SLR camera and start charging to take family pictures for everyone! :)

My point: The camera doesn't make the photographer a professional. So, if you don't want to mess with all the settings and control of your camera, I say go with a point and shoot. If you want to play around. and test it out, get a low grade SLR like the Canon Rebel series. You can get a great SLR in the Canon Rebel for a great price. B&H sells the rebels for around $550.00.

You cannot go wrong with the Canon PowerShot S90.

It is a pretty penny for a point and shoot (around $400.00), but you get what you pay for! Canon knows what they are doing. In my opinion this is going to be the step down from a DSLR. You are getting a good quality P&S, compact for traveling, and great for convenience. However, there are oodles of P&S for decent prices that will work great. I would just watch out for brands!

Where should I order Camera supplies?
I recommend B&H Photo. However, it is nice if you can test out new lenses previous to buying them. You are spending quite a bit. That is where a nice local camera shop comes in handy, plus you can support your community! B&H will take returns no problem. They are a great company to work with.

In a couple of days I will address my opinion on the issue of: "I've decided I want a SLR, which one is best for me?" or "I want an SLR upgrade."

HayHay, hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

Keep the questions coming!!
**Photos courtesy B&H Photo**


Quick weekend update. Check back later today for my first Q&A Photog blog.

Two words...

David Archuleta!

Yes I am a college graduate, wife, and mother. No, I didn't know any of the words to his songs. Yes, I stood on my feet and danced my heart out.

Vev and I headed to Rexburg while D worked, then slaved away at homework and CPA review. Thanks to Gena for watching Veva while Nicole and I went the the David Archuleta concert. Thanks Aimee for the tip on tickets. WE HAD A BLAST. Luckily he only sang 3 or 4 of his songs (because I don't them!) and the rest were ballads and then Christmas! It was so much fun!
No fake smiles here. Only happiness.

I can't decide if I favored his version of "Fields of Gold" on the piano, or his moving portrayal of Curt Bestor's "Prayer of the Children," or his beautiful rendition of "Oh, Holy Night." Those three tie for my favorite.

Also, to all you BYU-I alumni THE REMODEL IS AMAZING! We went and ate lunch in the MC. It is incredible. So nice. Oh, and that new building...HUGE!

It was so fun to see my former supervisor at the alumni office, Kathy. I spent two years there and loved it!

Veva was so excited to see D when we arrived safely home after driving through the snow. She was decked out in her BYU-I sweats.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I get several comments and emails asking various questions about photography. Therefore, I decided to answer them all here. Check back for the post to come. It may answer A LOT of your photography questions. I have studied photography pretty intensely for a couple years now, and I would say have a fairly good understanding of light, color, ISO, apeture, shutter speed, RAW, white balance, cameras, lenses, etc.

So check back!

In fact, do you have a specific question? Leave a comment and I'll answer it.