My new “real” camera

I have been telling my friend Celi over at The Kitchens Garden for a while now that one day when I am big, I am also going to get a “real” camera like hers and hopefully with practice will  be able to take magnificent photos like she does.  I even prepared her that I might have to pop over to her farm in the Midwest America and get a few lessons.

Sadly the reality of my being able to get lessons from Celia are nowhere near becoming a reality, HOWEVER, it does seem that I am now big because my ever loving husband has spoilt me by giving me a “real “camera – a Canon EOS 1100D no less and to boot with a second 300mm lens!  I have no idea what all of that means but I do know that it is a remarkable camera capable of taking the most incredible photographs and videos in HDMI!  Awesome!

The surprise was so overwhelming that I squealed like a little girl which scared my fur children near out of the fur then burst into tears of absolute joy.  This is a serious gift and quite honestly I was in shock at the enormity of it all.  I have officially calmed down and everything has now returned to normal in our home and I am in the throes of learning how to use this wonderful piece of equipment.

There was a little bonus of a free course but sadly they are only available in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban!  Guess I will be self taught until I can get to Johannesburg to visit family.  Thankfully the course is valid for a year from the date of purchase.  Quick update: The company that offers the course emailed me back and said the course will be available in Port Elizabeth during the course of this year. 🙂

I read the manual cover to cover doing exactly as instructed and quickly set to taking a few shots.  To date my models have not been very co-operative but for what they are worth, here are my first few practice shots.

Pity, I cut our old girls ears off - I have a lot to learn about composition

All our boy was interested in was sleeping

Our baby was not at all impressed with having her photo taken

The only way I could get our resident tortoise to stand still was by giving him an apple. Wish I could ask him how he damaged his shell.

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76 thoughts on “My new “real” camera

  1. OH that’s a beautiful gift! Mandy, you first few shot already look really incredible.I know you’re gonna become an expert real quick 🙂

  2. Hi Mandy, so excited for you. Really makes a difference with a good camera but lots to learn. There are some great learning sites, just spend some time reading through a few that make sense to you and you will be on your way. Sometimes I think I know it all with my camera and then I am in another situation, like light or light and movement or no light and need to learn more but it is fun. Enjoy. Love to you both, Barbs.

    • Hi Barbs, great to hear from you! I am terribly confused at the moment with ISO and Aperture and Shutter Speed – feel like my brain is really old and won’t hold onto any of the info! I will get there – think I have a bit of information overload at the moment too. Much love to you all and please give the island a kiss for me. 🙂 xo

    • Hi Barbs, lovely to hear from you! There is tons to learn. I am somewhat confused with this ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed thing at the moment – feels like my brain is very old and won’t retain any of the info! I am still having loads of fun though and know it will all sink in sooner or later. Would be great to pop over and spend some “practical” time with you. Much love to you all and please give the island a kiss for me. 🙂 xo

  3. What a wonderful surprise and fantastic gift to receive, Mandy! (And very much deserved, too.) Glad to hear that you’ll be able to take advantage of the free classes without having to travel to Johannesburg to do so. To be honest, though, judging by the photos you’ve posted here, you doing very well without the classes. 🙂

  4. awesome! the shell probably got damaged by something eating at it, or him rubbing against something. Celi is waiting for pics of my tortoise 🙂

    • Hi Tandy – I was worried it was from all the road works machines – they are busy doubling the lanes on the national road which meant they had to cut into a lot of natural land where all these fellows used to live (really sad). I am very happy though that he has decided to take up residence in our garden. Can’t find the little girl that used to be around – hopefully she is still here somewhere. Have a lovely day. 🙂

  5. I think you did wonderful with your photos. Most photographers are self taught so who knows :). And I think I would’ve squealed for a week if I received a gift like that.. you definitely deserve it 🙂

  6. How exciting. What a fabulous and useful gift. I’m sure your photography will only get better and better with a great camera like that. And I LOVE your tortoise, even though he’s a bit damaged!

  7. You lucky girl – but so well deserved. Can´t believe those are your first few shots…they´re amazing! Your posts are going to be even more incredible now (is that possible?!) as they will be filled with your new photos 🙂

  8. Wonderful! I’ve used big camers with film before but the digital one we got last year really opened my eyes. And squeal? I completely understand, it’s like looking at the same thing but in a completely different light.
    Lovely photos 🙂

  9. What a great gift! I got a new camera for Xmas and I love it. I have no clue what it can do yet but I am enjoying it none the less. Your cats a lovely, they look very content.

    • Seems we started blogging at the same time, got cameras more or less the same time – cool! My fur children are super content, guess that comes from being super spoilt! Have a super day Natalie. 🙂

  10. Hi Mandy! So excited for you and your new camera. You are going to do amazing things with it for sure. I may have to follow your lead at some point and get a new Canon. Love your kitty pictures!
    – Michael

  11. Oh my goodness Mandy… first of all, congratulations on owning your first real camera. As someone who shot photos exclusively from her cell phone for the first 9 months of blogging, I completely understand and share your excitement! And… look at those shots… the one of your first fur child 🙂 is an absolute stunner (never mind the ears – it looks like you cropped it intentionally that way). What a great start! (by the by, a book that I have found helpful on the food photography front: From Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin). Have a great weekend Mandy and enjoy your new camera!

    • Hi Kelly, thanks for your kind words – (of course I meant to cropped her ears out) ;-). Thank you for the reference for From Plate to Pixel – I will look out for it! Have a fantastic weekend. 🙂

  12. Congratulations on such a wonderful gift, and clearly you take to it like a duck to water…the shot of your old girl is lovely, I think, and the detail of her fur is so crisp! In fact, all the shots are great. 🙂 We have fur children at our house, too, but no tortoise. I can’t wait to see where you go with this camera from here, Mandy!

    • Thank you for such a wonderful compliment! We have a feathered family that frequent our house as well. I have been trying to get a shot of them when they are in the house but they are far too busy to sit still long enough for a shot. “They” are a family of swallows that live on our porch but who love to fly in and around the house during the day and sit and look at themselves in the mirror. Have a great weekend. 🙂

  13. I love it that you take photos of your cat because I obsessively do too. I have one that doesn’t mind and the other that always seem to know when there’s a camera in her face, and then promptly runs away. Love these pictures and hope you have lots of fun playing with your camera.

  14. You need to get Canon’s macro lense which is a 100mm IS (stabilized) for shooting food photography. Also by shooting wide open on canon lenses you can develop what is called bokeh which blurs the background and makes your subjects pop out.

    John Wilder

  15. What a wonderful gift, Mandy! You will love playing with it. I struggled to make sense of my instruction manual, but have recently done a short course and taken my DSLR off the auto setting for the first time in 12 months. On a learning curve now.

    • Thanks very much Amanda. I cannot wait to be able to go for a course – even just the one day course that was provided with the camera purchase. Think I will have to grasp the concept of the ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed before I even think about taking the auto setting off – auto=safe manual=scary at the moment. I have a few pages to study this weekend so hopefully I can get the theory sorted by next week. Have a great weekend. 🙂

  16. I hope to grow up one day and have a real camera, too! Your shots were fabulous…especially if the subjects were moving around as animals tend to do!

    • Hi Kristen, welcome and thanks for stopping by. Thank you too for such kind words. Must say I photographing food will be a walk in the park in comparison to moving animals. Have a super weekend. 🙂

  17. Your photos are fantastic! The shot of the little guy on the bed is just gorgeous. And I’ve always wanted an orange kitty. They are so darned cute. Congrats on the camera! That is so much fun and so sweet. Mike did the same thing for me the year Mr. N was born. Reading your story brought me back to that memory. 🙂 Thanks Mandy!

    • Hi Kristy, thank you for your lovely compliment. How lovely that you could enjoy the memory of when you got your camera. Wonder if you could ask Mike, albeit a bit late as Miss A is not a baby anymore, BUT, if you could get your ginger kitty for when she was born…just a thought. Have a super weekend. 🙂

  18. Wow congratulations on the nice camera, and just to let you know you missed a zero in the model, I think what you meant was 1100D???
    Anyways I am looking forward to you new photos 🙂

  19. Wow, those absolutely are awesome photos…And, personally, I don’t think you missed anything in missing the “Old Girls” ears…The eyes say it all…and that pixel captured and exhibits the complete essence of her personality and statement…Of course…That’s just me.

    But, I KNOW I have seen less vivid professional shots, which, unequivocally paled in comparison… You Go Girl!!!

  20. Oh Mandy how did I miss these. You have real talent. The second cat is just sublime and I know you are going to stalk that tortoise along the ground until you get just the right shot. And your grey cat! I am very impressed. I bet you are thrilled. Lovely resolution, beautiful light. Excellent clarity just where you want it. Well done Mandy and thank you so much for the link that was really kind. Let me know if i can help but I think you are off to a roaring start. Love celi! c

    • Oh Celi, such loving kind words about my first shots – THANK YOU! I may need to call on your for some lighting tips but would like to persevere a bit more first. Thank you again for your very encouraging sentiments. Have a super Sunday. 🙂 xo PS. Another little secret, Pete has bought me a tripod and fancy lens cleaner which he will be brining home next week – he is currently away on business at the moment.

  21. Wow then, who’s the lucky girl! A beautiful gift from your husband. I think I would have shouted with joy also. Your starting images are great and I look forward to all your ‘super’ shots for the year. Trial and Error..and some times even the shots you think won’t work, will be magnificient! Most importantly have fun! x

    • Hi Tricia, thank you for your wonderful compliment! I will be honing my skills all the time and hopefully will be able to present you with an award winning photo soon! 😀
      I hope that you have received my emails regarding not being able to comment on your blog again – really wish I knew what the problem is. Have a super day. 🙂

    • Hi Samology, welcome and thanks for stopping by. I really need to get to learning about ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed – the papers seem to get shuffled around my desk at the moment but fear not, I will get there. Have a super weekend. 🙂

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