I’ve been wanting to work on my photography skills ever since I saved… and saved… and saved… and came home from the camera store with my brand-spanking-new Nikon D3300. I’ve been having a ball trying it out since then, but I don’t feel like I’ve even scratched the surface.

So when I read about the Earnest Home Co.’s Earnest Callenge – a call to learn something (anything!) new over the 12 weeks of summer – I decided to jump on board. Over the next 12 weeks, I’ll be documenting my progress as I get to know my Nikon and develop my photography skills. Erin at the Earnest Home Co. has set up the following check-points:

Friday, June 12th

Announce to the world your chosen new skill! So this is me announcing… photography! My plan is to focus each week on a different setting/situation. I’d like to learn how to work better with natural light, and how best to capture my projects for the blog. At the same time as I bought my camera, I also purchased Photoshops Elements. So far, I’ve done exactly nothing with it, except install it on my computer. So, CHECK! Hahaha, no. I gotta learn how to do more than stare blankly at the interface and think “this looks complicated. I think I’ll have a snack instead.”

Monday, July 6th

Time to check in for a progress report! I’ll be using #earnestchallenge to connect with other participants.

Monday, July 27th

(I’ll have to postpone this one because I’ll be busy celebrating our second wedding anniversary!)

This is the halfway point, so I’ll be posting about what I’ve learned so far.

Monday, August 17th

We’ll be headed to the finish line, so anyone tackling a physical project (like knitting or sewing) may have some pretty hefty progress to show. With luck and a lot of trial-and-error, I’ll have some good shots to show off! Of course, learning is never finished, but my Photoshop goal is to be able to do some basic edits with a fair degree of ease by this point, too.

Monday, September 7th

This is the finish line for the challenge, but it will no doubt only be the beginning for me – there’s no way I can learn even one iota of what there is to know about photography in just 12 weeks. But I’m going to try my best!

So, here’s my jumping-off point: a photo that I took last weekend, of a little surprise in my garden – a sweet purple columbine!


SPD 1/200, F 4.5, Manual Mode, ISO 200

I lightly edited this photo in iPhoto (you see why I need to learn to use Photoshop Elements!). All I did was adjust the exposure, highlights, and shadows by a bit. I also cropped the photo to 640×480. What I love about this photo is the texture of the bark from the pine tree juxtaposed with the delicacy of the columbine. 🙂

If you have any tips or resources for dSLR photography, I’d love to hear about ’em! Part of what I am most looking forward to about this 12-week challenge is getting feedback from more experienced photographers. So please, don’t be shy to contribute your wisdom!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go read the camera manual.


Here’s where I link up each week:

Mondays: Blogger BragsMerry MondayMonday FundayInspire Me MondayShow & TellLou Lou Girls,

Tuesdays: Tell ’em TuesdayTwo Uses TuesdayTogether on TuesdaysTutorials & TipsTuesdays with a TwistHit Me with Your Best Shot

Wednesdays: Pin Worthy WednesdaysWork it WednesdayWow Us WednesdayWake Up Wednesday

Thursdays: Thrifty ThursdayThink and Make ThursdayHandmade HangoutWeekend Re-TreatFavourite ThingsArtsy Fartsy Link PartyWhat to Do WeekendsFriday Features (Thursday)

Friday: Fiesta FridayFeathered NestFrugal FridayLink Party Palooza

Saturday: Share it One More Time

Sunday: Nifty Thrifty SundaySilver PenniesSundays at HomeThat DIY PartyFrugal Crafty Blog HopShare the Wealth Sunday

Monthly/Recurring: Great Blog TrainSunday Brunch

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