Photo courtesy of Joergen Geerds at my New York book signing of Straight Up and Dirty
(Click this image, then you can zoom in)

A friend of mine has a fun new site that makes me a bit nostalgic for home.  It also makes me miss photography.  I’ve decided to focus on it again, though unlike my friend, I won’t be focusing on panoramas but on the details, the edges, and gestures within.  I miss looking at everything through a lens, deciding on how to best capture it.  Though it might be tough to balance a heavy SLR along with two children, I can at the very least, read up on photography practices.  And that’s what I do, in fact.  It’s not just about going out there and snapping away in automatic mode.  I like giving myself assignments (shooting white objects with white backgrounds, or photographing reflections or shadows only).  I like experimenting with my metering and still find white balance to be completely challenging with my Nikon D100.  I might just have to invest in a small quality camera with my Hannukah gelt, one with an immediate shutter release snap (there is nothing worse that clicking and missing the shot while the camera sets up to record an image). Since I often receive emails asking for help or ideas for photography projects, I also direct you to the site of a former teacher of mine, Jim Beecher, who covers everything from tips on photographing Christmas lights to including daily assignments to improve your work.  I like the idea of photographing the same thing each day, learning about light and mood, but I don’t know if I’d follow through with all that I have to do now.  I could make room for it, if say, I gave up television.  There’d be room for a much richer life if I did so, but I have enough changes going on this year.  Perhaps it will be my New Year’s resolution.  Perhaps, indeed.



  1. Is this really even Stephanie writing? I find it a bit weird that you're talking about photography and not the babies. I wouldn't blame you if you took some time off altogether, but the last few posts have been odd.

  2. I can already envision the photos you'll take of your children; a close-up of their tootsies, fluttering red eyelashes, a yawn. They'll be beautiful.

    Merry Christmas! And, I think this is the first time I've ever made it on post number one (if someone else hasn't already done so!

  3. Merry Christmas, Stephanie! Thanks for the links. After reading your book and seeing your photogs, it makes me realize how much better my pics can be. Something to work on. Just like how I've loved to cook and have taken more cooking classes – it makes you realize how much better food can taste.

  4. I have to say, your last few posts are really a bit weird. There are new babies, very premature and yet the posts are about everything but.

    I guess you are trying to prevent your blog from becoming baby-centric and to retain your own identity but it's almost creepy.

  5. You will find that nursing provides you with a great opportunity to catch up on your reading. I know that it has me anyway. It gives me something to do for me while I do something for my son. It is a great twofer! I wish you much joy and happiness with your two miracles.

  6. In the course I teach, we address shutter lag and practice how to defeat it. Most cameras will "lock in" the settings with a half press of the button and then if you push it all the way, it will take immediately. So if you have that opportunity, set the shot up slightly ahead of the moment, for example, focus the half press on puppy as baby toddles over to it or half press while family lines up and then actually press when you tell them it's time to take the shot. If you camera has manual focus, that will also get rid of the bulk of delay (in many moments you can lock in the focus, shut off the auto, and as long as no one moves forward or back, it will stay in focus), as well as turning off red eye functions. An exercise in practicing working WITH shutter lag (for those moments when you can't plan ahead at all) is to repeatedly snap shots of someone on a swing. The redundancy of the movement will help you get the "feel" of the time lapse between the press and the shot, so you will learn to work with it.

    Enough! Hope you are having a good Christmas, as best you can with the babies in NICU. It's bound to be hard and stressful and bittersweet.

  7. I am sure you will take lovely shots of your children as most parents do! Not to worry, they will inspire you.

  8. As an outsider looking in, your life seems pretty rich to me already, and if you want my unsolicited advice, I don't think it's necessary to give up TV. You're right about the fact that you have a lot of changes going on already. You now have 2 wonderful subjects to photograph, and there will be many changing moods to capture. So…go buy yourself that new camera. You've earned it tenfold!

  9. I can't believe it – –after a more than a year of enjoying your blog, it's this post that prompted me to leave a comment!
    I like to think of myself as a semi-pro shooter. Def not a pro like you, but I've won a few contests, sold a few shots, give more away, and take pictures because it's fun…in other words, a hobbyist with some credentials to back up my opinion.
    I love my d70, but got tired of hefting it around. I wanted something small, but with a decent zoom, a real viewfinder, etc.
    I'm a lifelong nikon gal, so you can imagine how hard it was to admit their compacts didn't meet my needs. after testing a bunch, I ended up buying the new canon powershot g7 does. I've had it 10 days, and am very happy. Loads of reviews are on the web. Some still prefer the older g6, btw.

  10. For the record, I don't think it's weird that you're talking about things other than your wonderful little babes. I think it's inspiring and one of the reasons you'll be a good mother.

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