...so 2010 was a year of learning important stuff!

My grandson Dominic...taken manually, tritone processed in Photoshop
I finally learned how to use my camera manually!  This was a huge step for me.  I am embarassed to say that I took a weeklong photography workshop in Aspen, Colorado 31 years ago where I learned how to use my SLR manually as well as how to develop black and white film.  Those lessons were forgotten over the years as my camera gathered dust because it was either diapers or developing film...4 kids later, the diapers always came first.

I feel like I am starting my creative life all over, overcoming some of life's big obstacles so that now I can focus on my photography along with my family.  I used the beginning of 2010 to research equipment, techniques, start my blog and joined some fun groups.  One of the groups I joined was Clickin' Moms where I could learn and ask questions of other mom photographers, although I love flickr...the alpha male photographers could get a little overbearing in the discussion groups.  I took a paid workshop called "Rock Your Camera 101" for 4 weeks and I learned so much about using my camera manually! 

I learned a great technique for black and white conversions that I love!  I was researching how to create sepia images but the technique works even better for black and white.  I think it is an old way of refining black and white images from film days.  Here is the link for the tutorial, I have had lots of fun playing around with it...the image I have posted of my grandson uses this technique.

Another fun group I joined was Iheartfaces.  They have challenges every week with different themes.  It gives me something to work on regularly to improve my skills.  I also joined the group for a fun Photo Walk (along with a close friend) at the Dana Point Harbour in Southern California.  I was the old lady of the group but most of the young women were helpful and supportive.  I learned about using a loupe that hangs around your neck to look at my screen in the back of my camera to quickly preview my images.  That has been very helpful.  They also have a group you can join where you can ask questions, post images and find support.  

There you have it, the biggest things I have learned and all summed up in the image I have posted...there have been so many other little things.  I am determined to keep up with my blogging and share them with you (did you notice the redesign?).  I look forward to portfolio building in the next few months and setting up my studio along with my talented daughter.  I hope you join me along the way and share your ideas, links and photography with me as well.  We can all learn from each other!

I have added links to my free copyrighted textures for you to use!  Please use them as you please, just don't redistribute them...it would be a bonus if you shared your creations under the texture images and gave vintagedesignsmith credit.  :)

Learn from some others in the Iheart faces group...


  1. How awesome that you have been able to dive back into photography like you are! Love your photo!

  2. love this photo!

  3. Beautiful photo. love the black and white and how soft it feels.