How did I ever live my life without it?

My first attempt
After years of wanting. After years of wishing. After years of bugging This Guy and asking the internet for advice, I finally got the courage to hit “submit order” and buy myself a DSLR.
(A Rebel XTI if you were wondering. I wanted a this one but, um, I have three kids to feed. So…NO.)
Although I am frustrated most of the time (all of the buttons! What are they for? I do not know! Too much to learn!) I am loving the crap out of my camera.
I have so much to learn and am pretty sure no matter how many times someone explains what ISO means, I will NEVER GET IT. However, I’ve already mastered the art of Making Things That Are in The Background Blurry (um, what’s the called again? HAHA) and that’s enough for me, really.
When I first got the camera, I was terrified of it. (Again… THE BUTTONS!) I am telling the truth when I tell you that when I held it for the first few times, I got weak in the pachina. My fear was SO DEEP, that I could feel it down there. If I told you the number of plates, glasses and coffee mugs that I have dropped for no good reason at all, you would understand my fear.
I’m sure that fear will fade with time. I’m already feeling more comfortable with it in my hands. I’m excited to learn what this camera is capable of and how I take pictures of my children that I am proud of and that I will be able to pass on to them when I am long gone (which may not be too long if I DON’T GET SOME EFFING THYROID MEDICATION ALREADY.)
I ordered the 50mm that everyone who owns a DSLR said I MUST HAVE in the hopes that this will be the year that I can take Beautiful Christmas Pictures of my children.
But, um, unless that camera can make my daughter sit still and not physically assault her brothers, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be wishing I had just taken them to Sears.

49 thoughts on “How did I ever live my life without it?

  1. Y

    Oh, I almost didn’t get it. Ask all of my friends who I kept IM’ing saying “I can’t do it. I can’t hit SUBMIT ORDER!”
    But, PigHunter insisted that I get it and my friends swore I wouldn’t regret it, so, I bit the bullet and bought it.
    So glad I did.

  2. Lola

    Um…sorry to be a bitcher…shouldn’t it say “How Did I Ever Live My Life WITHOUT It?” Or am I missing something?

  3. Hope

    *Gulp* I just ordered a 40D. I had a Rebel for years, upgraded and now I am terrified to use it! :p
    Using a DSLR is seriously one of my greatest joys. It makes the photography process so much more fun.
    ISO is basically how sensitive your sensor acts. It can be more sensitive, which means that it needs less light to take pictures. So, an exposure that lasts for 1/30th of a second would be all dark at ISO 100 but would come out fine at ISO 400. The only tradeoff is, because the sensor is so much more sensitive, you get more of what is called “noise.” If you took a picture of a black piece of paper at ISO 100, it would pretty much just be black. The same piece of paper at a hight ISO would look grainy. Instead of being a solid color, there would be lots of little dots that were slightly different colors.
    So, you trade off darkness for spotiness. It’s all a matter of hitting the right balance. You want to use an ISO that is just high enough to get a decent exposure without making your little girl look like she has chicken pox. :p
    I hope that helped!

  4. Hope

    *Gulp* I just ordered a 40D. I had a Rebel for years, upgraded and now I am terrified to use it! :p
    Using a DSLR is seriously one of my greatest joys. It makes the photography process so much more fun.
    ISO is basically how sensitive your sensor acts. It can be more sensitive, which means that it needs less light to take pictures. So, an exposure that lasts for 1/30th of a second would be all dark at ISO 100 but would come out fine at ISO 400. The only tradeoff is, because the sensor is so much more sensitive, you get more of what is called “noise.” If you took a picture of a black piece of paper at ISO 100, it would pretty much just be black. The same piece of paper at a hight ISO would look grainy. Instead of being a solid color, there would be lots of little dots that were slightly different colors.
    So, you trade off darkness for spotiness. It’s all a matter of hitting the right balance. You want to use an ISO that is just high enough to get a decent exposure without making your little girl look like she has chicken pox. :p
    I hope that helped!

  5. Angella

    You WON’T regret it!
    Once I learned the manual functions, I never went back.
    It took me years to understand all of the terms, but they finally clicked. Hooray!
    You can do this. I KNOW you can :)

  6. Karla

    Ohhhh Ahhhhh. Drool.
    I just got myself that 1.8 lens a couple of days ago, too. It WAS on my christmas list, but I’m a human of the impatient variety, and dammit, I could not wait for BLUR!

  7. Heather B.

    It’s ‘bokeh’ and you do it very very well. This kind of makes me want to make one more trip to SoCal so that we can play with our cameras together. Well that and eat cook-ays.
    Sigh, that will never get old. 😉

  8. Y

    oh my God.
    Cookays!
    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.
    Dude, I think you should come and stay with me. We’ll take pictures of the raccoons in my front yard!

  9. AmyM

    OMG! U R SOoooo LUCKIE!!!!!1!!!1!!
    That is what I have on the top of my Christmas list. But unfortunately, I don’t think anyone loves me that much.
    And I really, really need a new camera. Badly. Because my camera… it Sucks Rotten Ass. Let me show you it.

  10. Heather

    Woo new camera 😀 Gabby does seem to be a pretty good subject, lately, though, so that bodes well for your photo op, does it not?
    I would be terrified of dropping the camera too – while decorating my tree I dropped one of the ornaments that was NOT shatterproof – not a pretty sight. (Also, ow. My feet.)

  11. Maddy

    I’m still getting to grips with my camera. What I could really do with some help with is getting the photos off the phone and onto the computer [just too lazy to wade through another instruction manual!]
    Cheers

  12. Nicole

    moveable type just at my last comment.
    Anyways, congrats on the camera. I also have a Rebel and I LOVE it.
    Which 50mm did you choose? I was looking and got so overwhelmed I just stopped.

  13. mandy

    I have that one too. Back when we had a tiny bit of money to burn, figured it was an investment. Which it is, but I don’t know how to use it. Please tell me how to make the background fuzzy? I didn’t know it could do that. gees

  14. Monet (aka Birdsboss)

    Damn…you rocked the bokeh….i am dumb does anyone know if you can get that kinda bokeh with a Nikon D40?

  15. ~T

    I’m so excited to see your new pictures since you take great photos already! Oh and the fear of dropping it? I’ve been there. Dropped my new grown-up dslr on its LENS (makes my stomach turn just thinking about it). I learned about finding a good repair shop and all about how to wear the neck strap right after I clean up the vomit.

  16. Maria

    Nice bokeh! Congrats on the new camera.
    I’ve had my Canon 5D and I’m still learning how to use it. I lusted after a Canon digital for more than a year, but couldn’t bring myself to spend that amount of money on ME. I never did since it was my husband who surprised me with the camera. :-)

  17. sam

    I’ve had my DSLR for about a year now and I’m STILL intimidated by it. I am still waiting for my 50mm macro as well. I’m DYING for one.
    From what I’ve seen on your Flickr so far, you’re doing AMAZING. Nothing to be scared of!!

  18. geeky

    I’m glad you’re loving your camera so much! I’m pretty sure I’m the only dSLR photographer that doesn’t have a 50mm lens, but it’s just not my style. You work it quite well!

  19. Karly

    Oh man, Y. I just resigned myself last night to getting another point and shoot instead of a DSLR, because I have no idea how to use one. I want to learn so bad, but I’m scared that I’ll buy it and then never use it because its to confusing. Now your making me want to change my mind. But, I finally found a good point and shoot and its 300 dollars less than the SLR I want! DECISIONS. They are killing me. (Also, you should know that it just took me ten minutes to spell decisions. I had it so messed up that even spell check couldn’t help me. Gah.)

  20. Kay

    Ooh I want a Rebel!
    Going back to that old link and seeing that pic of G with her hands over her eyes could be easily be pulled off as PURE GENIUS for a Christmas photo.
    Too stinkin’ cute.

  21. Anna

    I got my XTi about a a year and a half ago and it’s seriously become a 5th appendage. I haul it with me everywhere. I treat it like one of the kids. heh
    My best advise is SHOOT, SHOOT, SHOOT! Just take as many pictures as you can while playing with features and don’t be discouraged if things don’t look AWESOME right off the bat. You’ll be surprised at some of the fantastic shots you get that were perfect mistakes.
    Oh, and dpreview.com has a glossary section that explains a LOT of common photography terms in pretty easy to understand language. It’s been a great resource for me.
    You’re off to a good start! Can’t wait to see more. :)

  22. JaniceNW

    That is awesome. There is a learning curve, I have found. My new week oldamera is a Canon Power Shot S5. I still working out the kinks. There is a lovely self portrait on my blog with my tongue sticking out………LOL.

  23. Momisodes

    So jealous!….I’d love to ask Santa for one of these, but I don’t think he’ll be dropping this bad boy down our chimney. I still haven’t even read the manual for my current camera.
    Found your blog through OnceUponALifetime…Love it and shall return :)

  24. Helen

    T’is spooky how our lives are all sort of parallel, if i haven’t just today bought myself a camera ( that isn’t even here yet) A Nikon D50 me thinks…..because we are in a? America where the cameras cost the same in $s which means that to me that is HALF PRICE! Even though it isn’t here yet my bowels have turned to water about all the stuff and the which button and how to make things blurry, am disappointed it won’t make kids sit still, wish we could have some kind of post where we can all show our crapola pictures of bloody kids who just won’t do what you want, although I did end up with THE cutest ever ‘bad’ picture that made it onto cards that I wanted to give to people in the street I loved it so much!
    I look at your pics on the top of your blog and if those fantabulous portaits were taken with a biffy camera, can’t wait to see some with your posh new one with all them buttons.

  25. trailin'

    Ahh! That’s the camera that I want! And I may possibly get for Christmas this year! (Like next week!! =D=D=D) I’ve never been more excited about a Christmas present IN MY LIFE.
    Now, I have a question. Did you have to buy a flash and if so, what kind did you buy? Thanks =]

  26. Mrs. Chicken

    I love my SLR. I take pictures of every ridiculous thing I can think of, and also about a gazillion of my daughter. I even – gasp! – print them and put them in albums.
    If I ever got divorced it would be a toss up as to what I would marry – my minivan or my SLR. I love them THAT MUCH.

  27. chickadee

    i just got the same camera and am having the same terrifying thoughts you are having. i’ve read my user’s manual twice and am searching the internet for advice. i used a film slr for years, but this digital thing, it’s scary. but exciting too. i’m exciting about learning how to use it and having fun playing with all the settings. not getting any great pictures thought, but hopefully that will come.

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