It’s About Time I Learn How to Use My Camera!

How I’m learning to shoot in manual

How I'm Learning to Use my DSLR - making it in the mountains

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I’ve had my Canon T2i (you can find the latest version here) for exactly five and half years now and I’ve yet to turn that little dial out of Auto mode even once. SUCH a waste, right? Tell me I’m not alone.

While I know that even in Auto, the pictures I’m snapping are loads better than what I was able to get with our old point and shoot, I also know that I’m not coming anywhere close to reaching the potential of my camera or my photographs. Learning how to shoot in manual has been on my mind since that very first moment I picked up our new camera. I’ve always used it as a glorified point and shoot with the hopes that someday my skills could grow into it so to speak. Well my friends, someday has arrived! So why now you ask? Well, as my good friend Abby said, because January is the time you finally make yourself take on those things you’ve been putting off forever!

So, how am I going to FINALLY learn how to use my camera? Well, after far too many failed attempts to read through the book that came with our camera, I’ve given up and signed myself up for the most brilliant set of classes at Shoot Fly Shoot! These classes are geared toward the average “Joe (or Jane?) Blow” with absolutely no prior photography knowledge, just ready to learn the ins and outs of a DSLR. They’re offered online, which means I can work through them at my own pace whenever I can fit them into my insanely crazy busy life. The classes are broken down into several videos, each one focusing on a single concept of shooting in manual mode (aperture, ISO, shutter speed, ect). I have complete faith that our photo albums (not to mention my blog photos) are going to look a zillion times better once I make my way through these awesome classes!

Shoot Fly Shoot

So, for all of you out there that own a DSLR camera, but have no idea how to use it – this one’s for you! I’ve signed myself up for Photography 101, 102 and Lightroom 5 and I would LOVE for you to join me with whatever classes you might benefit from too! I’ve heard nothing but AMAZING things about Shoot Fly Shoot and I am SO darn excited to get started!

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Wishing you SUCH a lovely day!

PS. You can find me sharing here and Savvy Southern Style.

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64 thoughts on “It’s About Time I Learn How to Use My Camera!

  1. Kristi I just finished 101 and 102 this week and they were so helpful. I love the video format and their easy to follow instructions. They do a recap at the end of each video which is very helpful. They also have a facebook group where you can share photographs, ask questions, and form a photography community. I highly recommend this glass to any DSLR newbies! Have fun shooting in Manual!

    1. That’s so funny Emily … I purchased mine last Summer too, but just haven’t made the time to work through them yet! I figured if I put it out there on the blog, then I’d have to make the time!!!

  2. This is something I really need to do! I have a few “go-to” settings, but I have a goal to actually be able to use other settings.

    1. That’s very much how I’ve been feeling (except for the few go-to settings)! Hoping you’re feeling inspired to learn a bit more about your camera too Lory!!!

  3. Wow, that’s awesome, I haven’t heard of those classes before! I’m totally in the SAME boat as you. We have had a DSLR for awhile, and I have NO clue what I’m doing. Ha! What’s even sadder, is my hubby was a photographer for work for a few years…so I really have NO excuse! OOps. 🙂

    1. Oh wow! How awesome that you’ve got SUCH a great resource right at your fingertips Amanda!!! I hope you’re feeling inspired to move into manual mode too!

    1. Thank you Lindsay! I’m only a few videos in, but so far they are FANTASTIC! I’m so, so excited to start playing around with all of these things I’m learning!!!

  4. Good luck with your classes. I don’t have a DSLR, but I do have a camera that has a ton of features I don’t use. I really need to get it together and figure out how everything works. Slowly, but surely I am figuring things out…

    1. Thanks Kirsten! I think these classes will a be SUCH a huge help to not only teach me the basics, but keep me motivated to practice what I’m learning! Wishing you luck on your photography journey as well girl!

  5. I have been shooting manual for almost a year now and you will never go back to shooting in auto. It’s challenging but there’s so much you can do when you shoot in M mode!! Good luck! I would love if you linked this up to Totally Terrific Tuesday that goes live tonight at 9pm CST. Thanks for sharing. Pinning.


  6. I bought myself a DSLR for Christmas and I’ve been forcing myself to play around in manual mode. BUT since I have no idea what I am doing, those pictures aren’t very pretty. It is so much easier to just shoot in auto. Good luck to you with your classes–maybe I’ll sign up sometime soon too. Thank you for sharing with us at Merry Monday!

    1. Thank you Amanda! Good for you for playing around with things at least! I’m sure you learned a lot just on your own like that! I’ve been too intimidated to even try, but these classes have me motivated to test it all out now 😉

    1. Awwww, thank you Jamie! I hope you end up feeling as inspired and motivated as I am! I’m just dying to start putting it all to work now! Will definitely share some updates (and hopefully fab pictures too) soon!

  7. I definitely need a refresher course on the basics and then some more advance classes. These sound promising. I hope you enjoy them!

  8. No, you’re not the only one who’s been shooting in auto for a while!!! I’ve had my camera almost 3 years now, and I just haven’t taken the time to learn how to shoot in manual. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Shoot Fly Shoot classes and plan to sign up soon! Perhaps I’ll see you in one of those groups on FB!

    1. I’m thrilled to hear I’m not the only one that has a fancy camera I have no idea how to use 😉 Let me know when you sign up Jane and we can share our progress together in the Facebook Group!

  9. I’m in the same boat! I’ve had my Nikon D60 for so many years and just started to learn manual mode this summer. It’s challenging, but way more fun and my photos are definitely improving. I’m going to check out the class you suggested. Are you noticing a positive difference in your shots?

    1. I’m thrilled to hear that I’m not alone Dagmara! I’m only a few videos into my first class now, but I’m absolutely in love with the easy format and I’m having a ton of fun playing around with things and practicing what I’ve learned! I’ll definitely keep you posted with my progress!

  10. I have a mini DSLR – well, that is what I call it. It is sort of in between a point and shoot and a full fledged DSLR. I have tried to use manual mode and it still takes terrible pics. Not sure what I am doing wrong. I think I need a class but I am not sure if a DSLR class would be right since my camera is not a full version. Geez does this even make sense. LOL! I hope you learn a lot. Good for you.

    1. I know exactly what you’re talking about Michelle!!! These classes may be a bit much for your camera, though if you can adjust F-stop, ISO, ect, then they might be just what you need. Definitely excited to start putting it all to work now!!!

  11. This is fabulous! I’m so excited to find this online course through you! This past summer, I took a beginning DSLR class at a local high school. It was 6 weekly classes, 3 hours each and the instructor, while a professional photographer, was unorganized and classes never started on time and always ran over! Although I did learn a few things, it was a time commitment that went awry! Learning this way, self-paced, will be much, much better. Looking forward to taking some of these classes!

    1. Oh Carole! I’m thrilled that you are so excited about them! What a shame that your class turned out to be so disappointing – hopefully you walked away with some new skills at least! I know just what an investment of your time that must have been, hopefully something like this will be easier to work with! I’m sure you’ll enjoy them just as much as I am!!!

  12. I have a nice Sony DSLR and I usually shoot in auto as well. When I pull out my big honkin’ camera, most people assume I’m a photographer to which I respond…”The camera is only as good as the person taking the photo.” Haha!

    I’m signing up… Thanks!

    1. You are SO very right Cheryl! I definitely think that even in auto my pictures are loads better than my old point and shoot, but I’m no where near living up to the potential of my DSLR! SO happy to hear that you’re feeling inspired to sign up as well!!! Let me know what you think!

  13. I have an old canon that uses real film that I haven’t touched in years. Would love a new digital, but it’s not in the budget right now. Have fun learning how to use it! Thank you for sharing at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great weekend!
    Blessings, Deborah

  14. You brought such a informative post to our party! Thank you. Pinned and tweeted. We feel honored that you take the time to stop by our party. I hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm. We love to party with you! Happy Sunday! Lou Lou Girls

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