Double Takes With Rebecca: Your New Best Friend

Take the time to find your camera's manual...
It WILL be worth it.

A great way to improve your photography 
and also get out of a shooting slump if you happen to be in one,
is to make friends, really good friends, with you camera's manual.

Whether you use a Point and Shoot or a Digital SLR it doesn't matter.
Understanding all the bells and whistles on your camera 
and to know how to use them instinctively
will give you greater command over your photographs.

I married my first camera (above) 25.9 years ago...
it just so happened to come with a husband.

I know, you're thinking, "Really, I am not going to read a manual."
But once I did, my photographs improved significantly.
And I don't mean to glance through the manual
thinking, "Oh, isn't that interesting."
What I mean is taking it page by page.
When you get to something 'new to you,'
put the manual down, pick up your camera, and go try it out.
Try it out for a week or more...until you are 
completely comfortable with your new skill.
Then go back to the manual and pick up where you left off
until you come across something else 'new to you.'
Repeat the cycle.

Above, an old find from an auction box lot.

Once you've mastered the contents of the manual
you'll know everything your camera is capable of,
you'll feel more comfortable and knowledgeable taking photos,
you'll be happier with your results,
you'll be better prepared to venture into manual mode if your camera has one,
you'll spend less time editing,
and best of all...
You'll have a great excuse to buy a new camera
so you can do it all again!

Above, little friends investigate a vintage camera I rescued from a neighbor's trash.  ;)

Really, that's what I did.
I stuck with my old camera til I knew it like the back of my hand.
Now I need to get started all over with the new camera.
I confess, there are a lot of things I don't know how to use on the new one. 

Leave a comment below to tell all of us what you are shooting with
and what 'new to you' skill you 
will be working on this week.
That way we can stop by your blog and encourage you.

Go forth and shoot!


  1. This a good lesson. For the past 2 weeks I have had my husbands Nikon 2000, a camera that is waaaay over my head. For Friday's shootout I will have a couple of pics that I took with this fancy toy. I had to read the manual to see where to find the battery! And then I had to learn to remember to manually turn the camera OFF when not using it. There are so many bells and whistles on his camera that it would take me months and months to learn half of it. The one thing that I did try, and liked, was a sun shield over the lens.

  2. A good reminder. I tend to be a 3/4's person...I master about 3/4 of the manual and then practice with about 1/4 of what it can do and then get lazy and just shoot on automatic and wonder why stuff gets sloppy.

  3. I understand what you are saying Rebecca. when I first got my camera I shot on auto. auto for everything! and when I edited, auto everything. Now I am slowly learning about my camera and when I edit I do very slight if any editing. I like my pics all natural, as they say. I always say my camera is much smarter than I am!!

  4. this has been 'almost' a practice of mine. get a new camera, breeze through the manual, go take pictures (notice I dont say Photos) then read through the manual again... the lesson for me would be to stop and practice anything new.... that I've never done and makes perfect sense. May I could improve from pictures to photos ...

  5. The Nevada camera club has been the smartest move I made about learning about photography. You should check and see if you have a camera clubin your town, you get to learn from people as you do them. And it's fun!


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