Photography Equipment: What I Use and Love

Photography:  That’s a subject I never had much interest in until I began blogging.  I think there are a lot of bloggers out there who could say that.   Once you begin blogging and/or reading blogs, you become acutely aware of just how important the pictures you post really are, especially if your blog is about design, decorating or any topic where photographs are critical in conveying the topic and meaning of the post.

Tablescape can be viewed HERE.

I cringe at the idea of writing a post about photography…I am so totally an amateur.  But since I’ve received quite a few e-mails and comments with questions asking how I’ve taken the pics posted here on BNOTP, I’m happy to share what has worked for me.  As I learn more, this process is bound to change.

Tablescape can be viewed HERE.

Today, I’m sharing the “equipment” I use to take my pics.  I think you’re going to be surprised (hopefully not disappointed) to find out just how little “equipment” there is.

In the Beginning:
When I first began blogging in August 2008, I took pictures with an Olympus Camedia C-720, a mere 3 megapixel camera.  It was released in 2002, so by the time I began using it, it was already pretty outdated as far as camera technology goes.

I loved using it because it had “Live View.”  If you aren’t familiar with Live View, that’s when you’re able to view the scene you are about to take through the window on the back of the camera prior to taking it, instead of having to look through the little view finder.

Tablescape can be viewed HERE.

Nikon D40 Entered my Life:
I continued using the Olympus through 2009 and into 2010.   Sometime in 2010 (forgotten exactly when now) a friend gave me a Nikon D40 he was no longer using.  The Nikon D40 came onto the market November 2006 and was considered an entry-level digital SLR, so once again I was not using the latest available technology, but a great camera it was and still is.

I came to love this camera but intially it took some serious getting used to–not because it was difficult to operate, but because the pictures were cooler and less cozy than those I had captured with the Olympus. After using it a while, I realized it was because the Nikon was taking more accurate, more realistic photos than what I had been used to with the Olympus.

One drawback I encountered:  the Nikon didn’t have Live View.  Live View had been extremely helpful for taking photos of table settings because those pics were often taken at low or unusual angles.  It’s not easy to photograph low objects or get fun angles when your eye has to be plastered against the view finder.   For a while, I took pics of table settings using both cameras, which meant having to go through a gazillion pics to choose the ones I wished to use. I gave that nonsense up pretty quickly and began using the Nikon exclusively.

One big advantage of the Nikon was how much better it handled low lighting.  It still struggled mightily when I attempted to take photos in my family room where the walls are all judges paneling, but in normal or low-light settings, it seemed to do a much better job than the Olympus had.  This was a precursor of things to come.  Today’s cameras are amazing in low light–so much better than ever before.

Nikon D5100:  (Update February 2012…exchanged the D5100 for a D7000
If you’ve been reading BNOTP since before Thanksgiving, you already know I recently upgraded to a Nikon D5100.  Right before Thanksgiving, my Nikon D40 had an accident and ended up falling from my office desk to the floor.  It had a little furry, four-footed help with that leap to the floor.  😉  In the end, the camera was okay but a piece broke off the lens.  Due to the tsunami in Japan and the floods in Thailand, camera parts are not being manufactured and shipped as quickly as in the past and the official Nikon repair place here told me they wouldn’t be able to get the part for about 8 weeks.  Not wishing to wait that long, I gave myself an early Christmas present and upgraded to the Nikon D5100.  I could have chosen any brand camera (more on that in a sec) but by this point I had become a Nikon girl at heart.

By the way, the part for the D40 just came in and the camera was repaired last week, so it ended up taking six weeks for the part to arrive.  Be careful with your cameras, repairs take forever right now.  The D40 will act as my back up camera and hopefully I’ll never need it.

So, all this is to say, when you’re viewing posts from 2008 through early 2010, you’re probably seeing pics taken with the old Olympus.  Starting somewhere in 2010 and for almost all of 2011, pics were taken with a Nikon D40.  And since Thanksgiving 2011, pics have been taken with a Nikon D5100.  If you would like to know more about the D5100, you can see a demonstration, HERE.

UPDATE:  Exchanged/Upgraded to the D7000 in February 2012 since I’m shooting almost exclusively in “manual” now.  The D7000 is considered a “semi-pro” camera.  It has the buttons/controls you most often access when shooting in manual on the outside within easy reach…no need to go through the menu to change the settings.  I love it, so far.  It’s more expensive than the D510o (ouch) but I expect to keep this camera for many, many years, so I think it will be the better choice for how I’m shooting at this point.

Important:  Lens Filter:  When you buy a camera, be sure to buy a good quality lens filter to protect your lens.  It will save you heartache down the road and if you buy a top quality filter, it will not have any impact on your images…just protects your expensive lenses.

If the only lens you have is the regular ole kit lens, meaning the lens that came with your camera, fret not.  All the photos you see here at BNOTP were taken with the 18-55mm kit lens–every single one of them.  Let me say that again.  All the photos you see here on BNOTP were taken with a standard kit lens…the lens that came with the camera, even the close-ups.  So, if you’re new to blogging (or even if you’re not) and you’ve been worried you would need expensive lenses to take great pics, relax because it just ain’t so.  Additional lenses can certainly enhance your photography and are more convenient in certain situations, but they are not a requirement for most photography.

Eventually I hope to purchase a Macro lens for those super up-close shots and maybe even an 18-200mm zoom to use as my “walking around” lens to give me a bit more zoom, but I’m not in any rush.  A kit lens will meet your needs just fine for blogging and if you’re not a blogger, it will work fine for most everyday photography, too.  Today we’re just talking camera equipment, but I’ll share in another post how I get the close-ups you’ve seen posted here with just a regular kit lens.

If you really get into photography, you’ll find there’s a lens for just about every type of photographic challenge you may encounter and there’s a lens for just about every effect you wish to create. Some are better at portrait photography.  Some are terrific for birding.

The Sneaky Gotcha:
In case you don’t already know, some lenses are insanely expensive.  For example, the 18-200mm lens is a popular “walking around” lens due to it’s ability to take normal, everyday pics, but it also has great zoom, capability too.  That baby is in the $800+ range.  Ouch.  And that’s how the camera companies ultimately getcha.  They know once you buy a couple of those high-dollar lenses, you’re probably going to keep buying their brand camera whenever you upgrade your camera because you’ll still want to use all the lenses you’ve accumulated.  Most folks just aren’t going to change brands and go from a Nikon to a Canon or from a Canon to a Nikon, once they have spent the big bucks for all those speciality lenses.   So, once you start buying lenses for your camera, they probably have you for life.   So think long and hard about your camera choice in the beginning.

Lighting Help:
My dining room is on the north side of my home.  The walls in my dining room are RED.  Those two factors can make for some interesting lighting challenges when I’m taking pics in that room.  I think this photo was taken with my ancient old Olympus.

Tablescape can be viewed HERE.

When I’m taking pics in the family room, the judges paneling soaks up the light.  With the Nikon D5100 I’m having a lot less trouble taking pics in these two rooms.  That’s because Nikon put a super-sensitive light sensor in this camera.  (Again, pic below taken with old Olympus.)

Tablescape can be viewed HERE.

Before I purchased the D5100 a few months ago, it was almost impossible to capture the kind of photos I wanted in the family room.   This next photo demonstrates the problems I had with lighting in this room.  When you are taking pics in low lighting situations, the slightest movement can make for a blurry, non-crisp photo.  That’s when you would normally want to use a tripod, but sometimes it just isn’t possible due to furniture placement, etc…  I should have mentioned, I never use the flash on my camera.  I keep my camera set on the little “lightning bolt” symbol because the built-in camera flash normally ruins the picture…sucks the life right out of it.  Update:  I’m mainly using my camera in manual mode now…sometimes in Aperture mode.

Christmas Mantel can be viewed HERE.

To compensate for the lack of light in some rooms, I purchased two soft boxes. (They came two to a box.)  They really come in handy on cloudy days or when I’m photographing in rooms where there just isn’t a lot of natural light.   I’ve found I can only do so much in “manual” mode and the extra lighting helps in these hard to photograph spaces.

Softboxes are life savers when you need them.  I normally use just one in a room because they are powerful.  When I use one, I point it straight up at the ceiling.  It bathes the room with the prettiest natural lighting.  I’ve even used them on the screened-in porch on really cloudy days or when the huge trees shading the porch block the light I need for taking pics out there.

These next two pics were taken with my Nikon D40 and with the use of a softbox directed upward at the ceiling over in a corner far away from the fireplace itself. Sometimes I’ll even point the light box away from the room; they are that powerful.  They are a bit bulky, I store mine in the garage which so far has worked out fine.  I like knowing I have them on those cloudy, gloomy days.  I paid around $200 for two soft boxes.  They are used by professional photographers for portraiture, but they have solved some of my lighting issues. (The light you see on the chair to the left is from the lamp on the table beside the chair, not from the softbox.)

Fall Mantel can be viewed HERE.

Much better!  Lighting makes all the difference, something we’ll talk more about in a future post.

Christmas mantel can be viewed HERE.

You can also buy a portable flash.  Honestly, I have no idea how those work.  I know they are metered so they are supposed to give you the light you need based on the situation.  It’s also my understanding that you can direct the flash wherever you wish.  This is very different from the built-in flash on a camera, which you have very little control over.   These are not that terribly expensive and are worth looking into. They may solve those lighting worries we all have in some rooms of our home.  I hope to learn more about these as my classes progress…will let you know what I learn.

If you take photos, sooner or later you’re going to need a tripod. There are times when the lighting will be very low and any movement at all is going to blur the picture you’re trying to take. I rarely use a tripod, I’m just too impatient most of the time. But there have been occasions when I was glad I had one available.  My new D5100 has something called vibration-reduction which means the camera helps compensate for those slight movements we make when snapping a pic.  I’ve seen a big improvement…less blurred pics, since buying the D5100.   That means less time having to cull threw all my bad pics to find the least blurry ones.  I think vibration-reduction really does make a difference.  Scott Kelby (professional photographer)  recommends turning VR (or IS on Canons) off when you are using a tripod, unless your manual states it isn’t necessary.

The tripod I use is a Manfrotto 785B.  As I recall it was around $65.  I had read good things about Manfrotto and knew to look for a tripod with a ballhead design and a quick release. The ballhead allows for effortless rotation of the camera in pretty much any direction and the quick release will let you pop the camera off the tripod quickly and attach it back again just as quickly.  Definitely go with a tripod that has a ballhead and quick release.  I’m sure there are lots more features you could shop for in tripods, but those were the two that were important to me.

I attended a photography class earlier this evening and the speaker, a professional photographer, sang the praises of the Bogen Neotec tripod. When I got home, I looked it up online and it turns out Bogen is now part of Manfrotto. The Bogen Neotec is pretty expensive…well over $300 but the design of the legs is very intuitive and easy to operate. For the little bit that I use a tripod, it would be overkill for me, but if you use a tripod a lot, it may be worth the extra expense.   Apparently, the lightest weight tripods are made of carbon-fibre, but prepare yourself for sticker shock.  I’m sure they are worth the extra expense it if you’re a birder or professional photographer and you’re lugging a tripod all over the place out in the field.

Where to Shop for Cameras:
When I upgraded my camera, I wanted to buy it locally so in case I had a problem, I could return or exchange it quickly and without a hassle.  The store I normally shop in (Wolf Camera) will match pricing found online, as long as the online store is an authorized dealer for that brand.  They also offer free classes when you buy from them.  Check around when you buy your next camera–you may find the stores in your area doing something similar.

Before you go camera shopping check the online retailers so you know what the going prices are for your camera.  That way, you’ll have some negotiating power when you walk into your local store.  Print out the ad you find online and take it with you.

Some online stores to check for pricing are: Amazon, Newegg and B & H.  My son shops Newegg all the time for computer stuff and he swears by them.  They always have a “deal of the day” and it can sell out quickly.  Update:  I was reading Scott Kelby’s book, The Digital Photography Book, Volume 1, again this evening and he absolutely sings the praises of B & H.  Apparently, they have amazing prices and a great selection.

Buy the Best You Can Afford:
I want to encourage you to buy the best camera your pocket book will allow.  You can get a great digital point-and-shoot for a lot less than an SLR and you’ll find lots of wonderful pictures online that were taken with point and shoot cameras.  Nothing wrong with those at all.

But if you’re looking for a camera that will give you more versatility with your photography, one that will grow with you as your picture taking skills improve, consider a digital SLR.   An SLR is going to let you add new lenses as your photography interest and abilities increase, and its ultimately going to give you better picture quality and versatility.

Most SLRs will run between $500 to $900, but you can spend thousands if you really want to get fancy. Totally not necessary, though.  I found this video online to be really helpful in explaining some of the differences between point-and-shoot cameras and SLR cameras.

So, as you can see, I don’t have a lot of fancy equipment or lenses.  I’m just using a good quality SLR camera (Nikon D5100) (D7000 now) with a kit lens.  Eventually, I’m sure I’ll add some fancy lenses to my photography arsenal, but for now I’m rocking along okay with the standard 18-55mm lens that came with my camera.  Update: I’ve added several lenses to my lens arsenal…loving the fixed lenses because the clarity of the pictures is just so much better.

Hope this info has been helpful…let me know if you have any questions about what I’ve posted.  Or, if I’ve shared any info that’s incorrect (because I’m very much a neophyte) please let me know and I’ll correct it.  Coming soon:  I’ll be sharing a little info about how I take pictures and how I edit pics when/if I do edit them, and some of the software I use.  Again, I am not an expert in any sense of the word.  But I’m happy to share what works for me in hopes it will prove helpful for you.

Happy shooting!

*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. *

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  1. My husband bought me the D5000 2 yars ago and I love it!

  2. Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest says

    Thank you so much for sharing this information with us, Susan. It is most helpful.

    You take amazing photographs and your blog is such an inspiration to so so many people.

  3. Great post! I'm looking for a new camera and your suggestion about Cannon verses Nikon and the lens connection is very helpful. Thank you for all the information. Wish I could pin it!

  4. Entertaining Women says

    I soaked up every word of your post. I'm definitely in the middle of a steep learning curve with my new Nikon. I've enrolled in a couple of classes through our Art Museum. Have you come across the Pioneer Woman's segments on photography? I really think that you would enjoy them. I've been reading back through her archives. They are loaded with goodies, particularly about Photoshop, which is at the top of my wish list…currently using Aperture, which is also nice. PW is also a Nikon girl. I loved your information about the light boxes. I'll look into those, too. Thanks so much. Cherry Kay

  5. I am wondering which soft lights you have?

  6. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Cherry Kay, she does have some great information on her site. I haven't read the Photoshop info but I do like her photography posts. 🙂

  7. Hi Susan,

    How interesting that you would write this very informative post. I am a fairly new blogger and really have no experience in photography. This year I really wanted to post more and take more pictures but last week I was very discouraged because I don't have a nice camera and can't afford one. I don't like the way the pictures turn out with my Kodak easy share camera. I've snapped some pics recently at some decor around my home but hate the way they look. With so many wonderful blogs filled with great photos, I feel silly posting such average photos, however, I do enjoy going through and reading so many great blogs. I am so inspired every day. You helped me understand what it takes for great photos. I think what I'll do is start saving up for a better camera and learn all I can. n the mean time. For now, I'll do the best with what I have. Thanks for inspiring me today.

  8. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Melissa, the ones I have say " Westcott 750" on the stands. If you google that you'll find the site. I bought mine at a local camera store, Wolf Camera.

  9. Wendy @HerBallistic Garden says

    Hi Susan! Thanks for posting this wonderfully informative info about cameras. I learned something and that's what I love about blogging. That must have taken you some time to put together…great job! xo

  10. Komali Nunna says

    Susan, I just bought Nikon 5100 about a month ago. I am still learning how to use. I am looking foreword to your upcoming posts about this camera.

  11. Tammy @ A Walk in the Countryside says

    Thank you for the great info on cameras and taking pictures. I just started a blog last week and have lots to learn!

  12. FABBY'S LIVING says

    I am far from been any kind of photographer and I have a daughter who is a prophesional photograper, but lives far from me. Anyhow, I inherited a Canon ultrasonic from her, semi pro. I don't know how to use half of it's wonders, but I can tell my pics are so much better than the ones I was taking at the bigining of blogging, a year ago with one that I dropped and broke, a 100 Olymp.`Thank you for all the information. Lots of hugs,

  13. Donna (My Mothers {favorite} Daughter) says

    great post Susan, thanks for sharing!!

  14. Susan, it is like you read my mind today. Like, Cherry Kay, I soaked up every word and will bookmark this post. My house is so dark and difficult to make good pictures. I loved learning about the soft boxes. Can't wait for your next post. I also can't wait to see what you tell us about making the close ups with an"above" view. I have got to see if my camera has the "vari-angle" monitor. I have the Canon EOS Rebel T1i EOS 500D and there is so much I don't know about it. I have been standing on chairs! I know I am showing my ignorance here. Thanks for all the info and hope of future learning tools for us.

  15. Susan!
    What an informative post!!
    I started out with a Kodak easy share..progressing onward and upward,
    Until i met and fell in love with my Nikon D40..
    Loved it!! perfect weight and shape for my arthritic hands… I cannot say enough nice things about the camera which became an extension of me!!
    But, it was quirky..
    would simply jam, totally inoperable. the second event, the lens would not retract nor extend.. third time..the camera would not turn on at all!!
    each time I took it back, it was repaired at no cost due to being under warranty and I purchased the extended service contract which afforded me a NEW battery for backup.. the first event..they cleaned and readjusted all settings, second time.. Lens, being made of PLASTIC, had broken off inside the casing..cleaned, replaced with a new lens, third time.. had to rebuild entire computer system..when I came in a fourth time,in TWO years.. no questions were asked, it was trashed, and replaced with a Nikon D3000..
    not totally in LOVE with this one..but am living with it until I can afford a better one!..
    thanks again for such a great post!!

  16. Sheri @ Design Pop Interiors says

    Very interesting and informative post! Thanks so much! I have a Nikon D50, which I love and was so glad to learn about the lighting options and tripod you use.

  17. Your photos are great !

  18. Great post, Susan — your blog pictures are just beautiful. I love the furry, four-footed accident-causer! It's all crashing down before you can stop them! i.e. collectibles that are no longer collectible … missing a head, leaf, ear …

  19. Happy Cottage Quilter says

    Susan, a great website for info about cameras is Ken Rockwell

    Ree Drummond recommended him on her Pioneer Woman blog a couple of years ago. He has lots of info
    for just about every level.

    Jocelyn @

  20. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Jocelyn, thanks for that link. I think I agree with Ken about the megapixels. I look back at the pics I took with my old Olympus and the quality looks the same to me and it was only 3 megapixels. But he is def. right, the newer cameras, especially the DSLR's do a much, much better job in low lighting than earlier cameras and certainly better than point and shoots. I'm glad to see he thinks so highly of the D5100. I did a good bit or research before I bought it and the reviews all looked great. Thanks for the link. I'm going to check out all the lenses he recommends.

  21. Thanks for all the information! I would also like to know what settings you use. You also have a great eye for balance, proportion, and detail. Excellent post. ~CJ

  22. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Thanks, CJ! You are so nice! I'll talk more about that in a future post. 🙂

  23. Olive Cooper says

    Thanks for this excellent information. I know a lot about Canons and am interested in knowing about the Nikons. Will be upgrading when my kiddo gets out of college.

  24. Hi Susan,
    I enjoyed reading this post-very informative. I love the lightbox pics of your family room-makes me want to get one!

    Thanks for sharing,

  25. Creations By Cindy says

    I enjoyed this so much. I know everyone else did too! A wealth of information. I love photography and have done it for years and still struggle with issues, especially lighting. So glad you touched on so many subjects. Thanks again.

  26. Blondie's Journal says

    Thanks so much, Susan, for this post! I just ordered a Canon Rebel T3 SLR and I am waiting for it to come from Amazon…hopefully this week. I look forward to more info on photography…I rely so heavily on photos for my blog, mostly indoors. So I deal with a lot of lighting issues. This post covered a lot of ground. Thanks!


  27. Jennifer @ Town and Country Living says

    Great post! When it comes to blogs, photos make all the difference. Kinda like looking at a magazine. I had a Live View on my old point and shoot camera and when I recently switched to the Nikon D3000, it took awhile to get used to not having the Live View … now I don't even notice. I just purchased a 35mm f/1.8 lens and it makes a huge difference in low light (indoor) photos. It was just under $200 and worth every penny.

  28. martinealison says

    Des informations précieuses… Vos photos sont si réussies… Je n'y connais pas grand chose sur les appareils photos et les termes me paraissent si compliqués ! Je crois aussi que je ne prends pas le temps de comprendre comment fonctionne réellement un appareil… je suis pourtant la première à rouspéter lorsque je veux prendre les photos de mon travail… Les résultats ne sont pas souvent concluants…
    Magnifique publication…
    Gros bisous

  29. Katherines Corner says

    Thank you for sharing sweetie. I think I have camera envy, giggle xo

  30. A Cottage in the Clouds says

    Thank you so much for this helpful post. Your pictures are always beautiful.

  31. You may not be a photography expert but you have acquired a lot of practical "know how". Thanks so much for sharing this! I better get my tripod out…I know I need to use it!

  32. Susan, your pictures are the best! I think this is one of the many reasons your blog is so popular. Please don't change your style!

  33. Very informative post, Susan. Thank you for your generosity in sharing what you've learned with us. Great tip about the light boxes too. Birthday present! Could you expound a little about the lenses filter you mentioned. Is it one that simply screws onto the end of your lenses with the sole purpose of protecting the lenses?

  34. Thank you so much for all this great camera information. Looking forward to more.

  35. Shirley@Housepitality Designs says

    Thank you for sharing your photography experience and advice. I am waiting for my camera (has been on back order for reasons you stated above). I ordered a Nikon D7000 a middle of the road priced camera. Cannot wait to receive it and take the lessons offered by Wolf. They are very helpful.

  36. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Hi Suzy, Yep. The lens filter just screws right on the end of the lens. It protects the glass of the lens so if you bump it into anything or drop it, the lens won't get scratched. I didn't know there was such a thing and I got a tiny chip on the lens of my old Olympus. 🙁 After that I found out about them. You'll want one for each lens you own. It's just great peace of mind. The Wolf Camera store where I bought my camera had two kinds. I went with the nicest one they had which was a "professional" grade lens filter, and it was around $21. So, they aren't that expensive and so worth it since lenses are so expensive. They don't alter the picture (I was concerned about that and asked) and they provide some UV filtering which actually helps. Scott Kelby sings the praises of lens filters in his first book…says one saved a very expensive lens for him once when he dropped it. 🙂

  37. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Awww, thanks Julia! I don't think I could change if I wanted to. lol I just hope they get better and better with time. 🙂

  38. thesavvyseeker says

    Wow! As a new blogger, I am learning more and more about the rules of good blogging every day! This post was very helpful and insightful, as I constantly wowed by the very professional looking photography I see more and more on blogs today. Thanks again for the wonderful tips!

  39. Loved this post.. really it was fabulous. You can meter your flash on your camera I bet.. Check out your manual. It still is a point of flash, but the amount of flash is adjustable. (I use a Canon, so not sure about a Nikon).

    One thing to remember is that you don't have to change lenses if you get a new within the same brand. I'm using lenses I had with my Canon pre DSL on my digital Canon. Also check out Tamron lenses as they are a great third party source for specialty lenses..

    Thank you so much, i'm out looking for the lightboxes now.. ! co marlis

  40. Healthy Branscoms says

    I became a fan on facebook! 🙂 Love your blog! Erin

  41. Jo's This and That says

    I have the same Nikon,but I need the light box! My lighting is so poor in this house. I was wondering how yours were so beautiful1 Thanks for sharing Joann
    Love all you do!Beautiful blog.

  42. Jane@Cottage at the Crossroads says

    I've been doing my research on cameras since we're in the market for one, and everything you said just confirmed that the D5100 was the camera for me. Unfortunately, I spent some of the money I was saving for a bloglift, so it will be a few months before I buy. Thanks for this series because I want to learn all I can. You are very generous to share.

  43. Susan, Thanks for all the info on cameras. I'm sure following your lead would be great, because your photos are simply wonderful!! Love your blog, wishing you happy days,Maki at Maki's Little Red

  44. Really interesting post Susan as I am looking around right now for an SLR camera. I was astounded at the cost of the lenses. Thought maybe the Canon G12 would do but now I am thinking I might have to spend more money to get the right camera.

    I will spend a bit more time later reading digesting this post properly.

    Thanks for all your info

  45. Terry @ La Bella Vie says

    Hi there Susan,

    OK so its been a while since I posted any comments but just had to take the time out to say something this time!
    My sweet husband just gave me the Nikon D5100 for Christmas and its been a bit overwhelming but I've been playing around with it to try and become "friends" with it! It only took me an entire day just to get the strap on, load the software, charge the battery and watch the video then I finally went out and took a few pics yesterday in the snow! I'm feeling a bit intimidated by it so I'm looking forward to your future posts' about our "new friend". Thanks again for your insight and all you do to inspire!

  46. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    Terry, you'll get better and better. It will be like your right hand before you know it. 🙂

  47. ~Tablescapes By Diane~ says

    Hi lovely lady.
    My hubby purchased for me the Nikon Coolpik L120 for Christmas. I see my photos are a lot more crisper now. I also feel intimidated by it.. Maybe I need to go to wolfs camera for some lesson's or just keep taking pictures. The Tablescape I put on Yesterday was from my Nickon L120 go see the new photos if you can…
    Thank so much Susan love this post.
    XXOO Diane

  48. I love this post. I hope you will continue to tutor us on this subject. I have started a food blog. Although I continue to write I am too embarrassed to publish because my photos are so bad. I never knew there is so much that goes into food photography. I also never knew that I was going to like it so much. I promised myself if I can learn how to photograph semi-well I will reward myself with a "real" camera. Can you tell me how long it takes you to set up a photo shoot, and how many photos you actually take before you get "the one"? I realize each time must be different, but just an estimate please? I found you at Mari's Once Upon A Plate. She also takes crazy wonderful photos.

  49. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    Hi Madonna,
    I'm going to be doing another photography post soon and it will probably answer a few more questions for you. I take quite a few pics…too many probably…usually between 100-250, although, sometimes I will go with less if I'm short on time. It takes a lot of time to sort through them all. I don't really have much set up time…I just quickly dust a table or turn on some lamps…just whatever needs to be done in the vicinity of the room where the pic is being taken. I'll go into more detail in my next post which will be more about the actual photo taking process. Thanks for the question…that's a good one to include in the post. Check out this post over on the blog Pioneer Woman. She does lots of food photography and she mentions a lens she loves for that. The camera you use is 2/3rds of the battle…cameras today are amazing.

  50. Susan, thank you for all of the help. You are the best! —–Tina Lewis

  51. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    Aww, thanks, Tina!

  52. Carolyn Robbins says

    Hi Susan, I love this post. You did a wonderful job with it. Thanks for sharing the information. Now here is a question for you. Would your camera be good for taking pictures of miniature items? I need a camera that will take great pictures of the miniature bears I make so I do not have to spend so much time at the computer.

  53. Carolyn Robbins says

    Hi Susan, I love this post. You did a wonderful job with it. Thanks for sharing the information. Now here is a question for you. Would your camera be good for taking pictures of miniature items? I need a camera that will take great pictures of the miniature bears I make so I do not have to spend so much time at the computer.

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