13 June 2009

Photography 101

image I bought a new camera.  For the blog.  That’s  nothing new in my life these days.  Ever since I started Cote de Texas I’ve become obsessed with two things I never even knew existed before: writing and photography.  Suddenly, these two activities are the most important things in my life and I seriously never did either before.    But, writing and photography go hand in hand with blogging, so I, to be even the least bit successful at this, knew I needed to hone up on both these skills -  and fast.  As for the writing, it is what it is.  In the past two years, I have discovered that I actually enjoy the writing part of blogging, all the more surprising because I positively loathed English in school.   But here I am – just typing away at all hours of the day and night.   A few weeks ago I got an anonymous negative comment, never a pleasant thing, telling me my grammar was awful.  My offense?    I had written:   “without any regards to” instead of the grammatically correct  “without any regard to.”   Negative comments are often so mean, so rude, and yes, sometimes, so valid – that they truly bother me to the core.   Yet,  the valid negative comment does serve a purpose – it gives you a chance to reassess, to reevaluate, to honestly address the issue at hand.   When I received the grammar complaint – I went straight to the Internet, of course, to check out my knowledge (or lack of it) of proper English grammar.   I had been proved wrong about the usage of “regards vs. regard” – how many other errors was I making?        On the Internet, I found a web site that offers multiple tests online to check one’s writing abilities - the exact kind of tests my high school daughter is taking in high school right now.   I am happy to announce that I actually did quite good  (or is it “well?”)   on my tests.  While nowhere near perfect, my scores would probably have earned me low As and Bs in a classroom.   So, with my writing skills properly tested, that leaves my photography skills to assess– except there is no test on the Internet for that ability.   The only measure one has is against other bloggers.

 imageWinter Tree” by Back Porch Musings

 

For example, Pat who writes Back Porch Musings is one such  blogger whose photography skills are a giant cut above the norm.   Day after day,  she consistently shows off fabulous images she takes at her Lake Ozark vacation house along with those taken on the road traveling to and from her own version of Paradise.   Whether her photographs are of flowers with the “bokah” effect, her ever-changing interiors,  or the beautiful view from her illustrious porch – Pat never disappoints.  For an amateur photographer, she is quite remarkable.

 

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“Peonies” by Back Porch Musings.  To see more images like this, be sure to visit the blog Backporch Musings here.

 

Besides being inspired by other bloggers, the professional photographers really make my heart skip a beat.  Pictures of interiors are truly mandatory for a design blog and the desire to create one’s own professional looking photographs is especially strong.

 

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A photograph of a Los Angeles bedroom really sets the bar high.  How does an amateur go about duplicating this quality?

 

 

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Or this professional photograph from the same house in L.A.?

 

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When I started this blog over two years ago, I thought I was a better photographer that I now know I am.  I was naive which is a nice way of saying stupid.   Very.   I took “arty" pictures of my house for my newly launched blog and was quite proud of this particular image of a statue - even commissioning the artist Annechovie to immortalize it in a painting – how pretentious!!!  This grainy, out of focus, poorly lit photograph  barely deserves to even be shown on the blog, much less hung on the wall - framed.    It was taken with a simple Sony DSC P150 camera – one that I used to take pictures of my interior design work.  Without the blog, I would probably still be happily using this camera.

 

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After a few months blogging with my Sony, I realized I needed a new camera to take better pictures and decided to try the Canon camera my daughter used.   This image my breakfast room was shot with my new Canon SD1000.  I don’t see too much improvement over the Sony digital, to be honest.  The Canon SD1000 lasts only a short while.   It just wasn’t up to the job, I’m afraid.

 

 

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PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPH:  Around the time I bought my first Canon point and shoot digital, my house was photographed by a professional for the magazine Houston House and Home.  This image really hit home for me – it outlines all my flaws as a photographer.  I had never been able to take a picture of my living room with both the left and right wall showing.   How did he do it?  The lens, the elusive wide angle lens,  I learned that day, was the key -  along with a much better camera.  I was told that a wide angle lens like this could cost more than $20,000. and to take beautiful photographs like this, the quality of the lens was much more important than the quality of the camera.  Well, a lens in that price range was definitely out of the question – but surely somehow I could take better, clearer pictures with a wider view. 

 

 

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MY PHOTOGRAPH:   My camera from the same spot as the professional  picture above – you can see how the left side of the room is missing in my photo – the lens just isn’t wide enough.    Notice too how much fine detail is missing from my photograph – compared to the professional one.  Mine looks dull and out of focus,  amongst other sins.

 

 

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MY PHOTOGRAPH:    In early 2008, I discovered that Canon made one point and shoot digital camera with a 28 mm wide angle lens:  the SD870IS.     Of course, I was game to try it out – so I sent the Canon SD1000 out to pasture.   And sure enough – you can plainly see here – I did get a much wider view from this new camera.  Notice that both the left and right wall are now showing.  But again, the quality of the picture can’t compare to the professional one taken of the same view.   This camera, the Canon SD870IS lasted a long time with Cote de Texas.  The 28 mm wide angle lens was much better than my first two point and shoot cameras – and I learned how to take better pictures as time passed on.

 

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As the year 2008 rolled by, the images do look better – even with an automatic, this photo is a vast improvement.     Here, my family room as it looked with the old coffee table in 2008.

 

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And in early 2009 – there is still more improvement.   This picture is much clearer and sharper than those taken in 2008.  Actually this has less to do with my growing photographic abilities than with the fact that I discovered I could “fix” the images through my computer.   With Photoshop, I could make the photos appear brighter and have more contrast, along with other “fixes.”   

 

 

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Another day, another angle.  It’s amusing to look at photos taken just a few months ago at how different things are even then.  The tablescape on the left is totally different today than in this picture.  But the real point is – that little automatic Canon sure takes a great picture!     In actuality, this was a calm before the storm.   The battle of Cote de Texas vs. The Cameras was about to erupt.

 

 

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MY PHOTOGRAPH:    Things are just fine with the Canon – until I take the pictures of the Octagon House, the Provence House and the Conservatory House during the West University Home Tour of 2009.  This picture of the breakfast room in the Conservatory House launches the first battle.   For all of 2008 – I had thought my little Canon was taking wide angle views.  It wasn’t until I saw a picture of this exact shot in the real estate section – taken by a professional – that I realized how much of the “view” I was losing with my “wide angle” lens.  

 

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PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPH:   Though the professional and I had both stood in almost the exact same place – you can see from this image  how much of the view is cut out of my picture.      Each picture of the house that the professional took showed a much wider view than mine – don’t worry, I checked.  This sent me into a what I call frantic “impulse” camera buying.   You see – by this time, I had been blogging for almost two years and the photographs I took became more and more important to me.  The fact that there were people out there that could take wider shots and better photographs of the same room drove me crazy.   I didn’t do enough due diligence, I know that now, but within a few days I became convinced that the only hope for me was the new Canon G10.   Yep – THIS Canon G10 was going to be the one – the one camera that would get me that great, wide shot with all the detailing.   Amazon was even kind enough to send it overnight to my house before I had any chance to change my mind.

 

 

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The New Canon G1o:      Liberty Post, a favorite blog whose own photographs I greatly admire, wrote that the G10 was her dream camera.  I teasingly bragged that I had just bought one!  (Hey Patti – want to buy it now, real cheap?)  The famous  G10 was delivered – and it took some adjusting to get used to it.  Even though it was another point and shoot automatic, there was still a learning curve.   Here is my first attempt with the famous G10 – not great!    That night I entertained Mr. Slipper Socks Man (barefooted!) and my dog Georgie with my camera skills.   What legs!!!   Georgie has been terrified of cameras ever since the Houston House and Home photoshoot.  Every time I pull out the camera she runs for protection from Ben. 

 

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I took this picture with the Canon G10 for a magazine I’ve written a few articles for.   (More information coming on that soon.)  I do think I am beginning to get the hang of the new camera with this picture -  it looks good to me.    But, I am still waiting for a chance to really put the G10 to work – a nice, big house would do the trick.

 

 

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I finally get a chance to really take the G10 out for a test ride.   Interior designer/architect Maria Tracy emails me to come visit her recently completed showhouse, The Tile House.   I leap at the chance to photograph it for Cote de Texas.   The images are good, I’m happy.  Could be better for sure, but I’m not a pro I tell myself.

 

 

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MY KITCHEN SHOT:  I take this photograph of The Tile House’s kitchen – it looks great I think -  clear, sharp with nice wide angle lens action.  I’m pleased with the pictures of The Tile House, until Maria emails me the professionally photographed pictures of the same angle.  Below:

 

 

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THE PROFESSIONAL KITCHEN SHOT

 

This photograph sends me into an immediate tailspin.    Taken from almost the same exact spot as mine – notice how you can actually see all of the breakfast room here, notice how you can even see the top of the cabinets and the stove’s hood in this picture, notice how much clearer and sharper this picture is than mine.     I am crestfallen.   The quality of my kitchen shot can’t compare to this.  Yes, my photo is wonderful, I know.  But I want more than wonderful - I want THIS.   Is it asking too much to want perfection?     Here I was thinking that the Canon G10 had this fabulous wide angle lens and YES, it IS wider than most, if not all, point and shoot cameras.   But – it’s not wide enough for me.  I want THIS!    In order to take fabulous interiors for you, the reader, – I need to show you the entire room, not just a part of the room.  I am doing this for YOU!!!!     What to do, what to do??????   Maybe I need a bigger wide angle lens????  

The problem with point and shoots is you can’t change their lens, but you CAN add a lens on top of the built in one.  So,  that’s the ticket I think.   A wide angle lens ADAPTOR!   This is a lens that you just screw onto your present camera, and viola.   This adaptor I am convinced is going to salvage the dreck that G10 is (it really isn’t I know – it’s just not THIS!)   I pretend I don’t read in the reviews of the wide angle lens adaptor that there is something called “barrel distortion” and “vignetting” with these converter lenses.  Nope, I didn’t just read that, I convince myself.  Besides - there is one person who writes a review swearing how wonderful this adaptor lens is.   So, as you might guess, Amazon delivers this heralded wide angle lens adaptor for the Canon G10 - overnight.

 

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It doesn’t take me long to discover exactly what is meant by “ barrel distortion” and “vignetting” – notice how out of focus this picture is around the edges.  The only focused part is in the middle of the picture.  Yes – the adaptor lens make the image much wider, but all the wider parts are totally distorted!  Anyone out there want to buy an adaptor wide angle lens?   By now, I am about to throw in the towel.  I’ve lost the war, I concede.   Three cameras and an extra lens later, I still can’t take a decent picture to save my life.   Back to the drawing board.

 

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Outside, the barrel distortion with the wide angle lens adaptor is even more obvious and horrible.  

 

A brief talk with my daughter who took a year of photography convinces me I need to step up to yet another camera.  Not a point and shoot, I’m done with those she tells me.   I need a  SLR, whatever that means.   I try to take my time and not rush into anything like before.   A few weeks of intensive study on the Internet leads me to believe a Nikon D90 digital SLR is my ticket to becoming the next Ansel Adams.  Sure.   I know.  That’s pretty hysterical.   But I think, if only I had THE right camera, things would be different.   And to be sure, there is some truth to that.   You can see clearly the difference a wide angle lens makes.  With a proper wide angle lens, bigger than the 28 mm that the point and shoot Canon G10 offers, I will be able to finally take better interiors and show you the entire room.  And hopefully, at the same time, the photos will be clear, in focus, sharp and show great detail.   The Nikon D90 promises to be the one – it takes fully automatic pictures – perfect for me, or I can focus it if I want.  I can also play around with apertures and shutter speeds, if I choose too – God help me!  

Though the change from a point and shoot to the DSLR scares me to death, I am going to try it, I decide.  I’m up to the challenge and what do I have to lose at this point?    To justify all the expenditure, I decide to finance the new camera by selling the other ones and I might even come out ahead, if I can find a sucker – I mean, a buyer.   Hello, Craig’s List!   The big day arrives, the DSLR comes, I take a few practice shots – hey, this is easy!!!!!!    I run over to my favorite antique store, M. Naeve, to show it off.  What better place to take gorgeous pictures of their gorgeous antiques?   I’m shooting away and Margaret remarks on the size of the camera – it’s huge, and heavy, really really clunky.   I proudly shrug off the comments and act like I’ve had the camera for ages and ages.   Just taking a few shots for clients, that’s all, I tell her.   Sounds good to me.   I’m positive people don’t bother Annie Liebovitz about the size of HER camera, especially while she’s at work!

 

 

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No, that’s not a sex toy – get your mind out of the gutter – that’s my new Nikon D90 with one hell of a long lens on it!  I’m in love.  I look so professional taking pictures with this baby.     I need to go show off.   So, after I run to M. Naeve to show off, I stop by The Garden Gate to show off just a little bit more – snap snap snapping away.   Oh – the joy of it all!!!!

 

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I mean, really – could there BE a more gorgeous picture than this????  An entire day’s worth of photographs at M. Naeve and the Garden Gate, and this one is probably the best of the bunch.    Oy vey.     Well, it IS a gorgeous clock to be sure.  Can you tell?    All my photos looked just like this, dark, totally out of focus – and on an automatic setting to boot.   Help.  Me.  Someone.

 

 

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There is hope though, of course.   The Tanglewood House living room and bedroom pictures were taken with the new Nikon D90 and I was by and large pleased with the results.  Although, I did notice something I hadn’t before – all the newly extra sharp pictures lose a lot of that sharpness when transferred from my computer to the blog to your computer.   In other words, no matter how crisp or in focus an image looks on my computer, when it gets posted to the Internet and lands on your monitor, it loses a lot of detail and clarity.   But still, the results are much better now.  It’s just that they are so much better, so much clearer and so much sharper on my computer that I wish you could see it!   Stop by to look if you are in the neighborhood, I’ll be glad to show you in person!!!

 

 

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Hehehe – another day, the same thing, over and over again.  Pee-Wee Herman sleeping on the couch – protecting Georgie from the big bad camera.    I think I’m getting the hang of the SLR camera.  Once I really feel comfortable with it, I can get an extra wide angle lens to add to it, or a special lens for extreme close up shots of roses and hydrangeas or roaches and mosquitoes – take your pick.  There are lenses for long shots – say I want to stalk someone’s house from the car, no problem now, just whip out the proper lens and I’m in business and hopefully not in jail. 

 

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And finally, the new lantern captured by the Nikon D90.    Remember to open the browser window fully to see the entire shot.      

 

This image is so clear and sharp – I’m thrilled with the detail.  Learning to use the SLR camera with all its various lenses and options has taken a while, but I think the results will be worth it in the end.   Is this THE camera?   I think so.  I hope it lasts much longer than the Canon SD870IS did.  I know it will last longer than the D10 – that one was a disaster.   In all, it’s been a labor of love, like the blog itself, learning to take better pictures to make  Cote de Texas better and more beautiful – for you and for me.  Of this I’m sure, without Cote de Texas,  I would still be using my original Sony digital and I would be very happy with it.  I didn’t know any better back then and I was perfectly fine with it.   Back then I also stupidly said “in regards to”  and took out of focus pictures – which was all good enough for me, but now I have the responsibility of the blog, and the grammar and the images have to be a cut above.   Looking at other blogs – like Back Porch Musings and The Liberty Post with their beautiful photographs, encourages me to try to be better at it.   Hopefully, I will continue to grow as a “photographer,” and who knows, I might even take a course on it!    Online, of course.  You don’t REALLY think I could go back and sit in a classroom again, do you?

 

 

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P.S.  I should have taken a new picture of the family room today.  Toby Worthington, commenter extraordinaire,  made me change my mantel around.  The order of my urns drove him crazy – so I changed it to humor him (photo above shows the urns arranged the way Toby wants them – I aim to please.)   AND, the zebra rug finally moved downstairs from the guest room to the family room.   I would snap a new picture right now, but well, frankly I have enough pictures of Ben ruining my “art” – there’s no way I could get him to move off that sofa right now and take all his “work materials” with him.    Let me know if you want me to rearrange anything in my house for you – like  Toby did – I’ll be happy to oblige.

102 comments:

  1. Oh Joni! I'm happy to let you do anything you please to your house! Your eye, your wit, your writing, and your photos are amazing. I have seen the pictures get better over the past few months, and I'm glad to see a post on the camera your using. I keep telling myself that cameras and photography is not my strong point - but I need to do something about it - rather than just admit it, you think? LOL! Great post.

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  2. Joni-You did quite "well" on your tests. Toby was right about the mantel arrangement. Great tutorial on cameras and photography. That is my next project. Do you use a tripod?

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  3. Thanks for the camera and photography lesson Joni, but where is Ben's infamous fan? :)
    HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY! -Brenda-

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  4. Oh, how I relate to this post! Just this year, I have ventured to a couple of homes to take pictures for my blog, and I now have a profound appreciation for the beauty of the professional pictures. Really, how can us amateurs compete, especially without a $20,000 lens!

    I have definitely noticed an improvement in your pictures over the years, and it is so interesting to see the progression in this post.

    By the way...my husband is very into photography, so I have been using a Nikon SLR for years! But, it is D50, and I have it on all of the automatic settings. It does have a fantastic lens, though, and it is huge!

    One more thing to obsess about...my husband said that I should use a special kind of flash when doing interior photography. The flash can pivot so that the flash is not glaring directly at your subject (which can overexpose the picture) - you can rotate it so the flash light points up or at a different angle, which disperses the light and makes the picture much more pleasing. Just another thing for you to obsess about!

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  5. Joni!! You're killing me. I'm working on a 'photography q&a' post RIGHT NOW that I've promised readers weeks ago (I asked them what they wanted to hear about)...so when you see my new post just know I was not trying to copy your idea!!! Great post. xoxo

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  6. Joni, thank you for the gracious mention and lovely compliment of adding Back Porch Musings' photos, to this post.

    Just over two years ago, when I began blogging, I used a point and shoot. Then it happened, a few months into the blog, I was convinced I truly needed one of the big cameras!! I'm enjoying the learning process.

    Wonderful informative post!!

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  7. You need to hear I´m not native English speaker and so I make many mistakes in it, but I love your understandable English and I don´t mind if it is proper or not! Your articles are one of the few I really read! To say the truth, I wouldn´t be able blogging without some help from my husband who works with computers and other "digital" things. But I have experienced a pricier camera doesn´t mean always better. I strongly use frames in my camera to avoid making not well positioned shots, and darkening to avoid overlightening shots. My husband also showed me ACDsee creator if I need to adjust my photos a bit - mush easier and effective than any other programmes! I use mainly "gamma", "sharpening" and "crop" functions. It´s also worth saying professional photographers need to be so good, it´s their job! They can afford to wait for a long time for one shot and throw away a lot of the other bad. The proper light is their key, but I like amateur pictures much as well, they are the real ones!

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  8. Hey Joni~ What lens do you have on that bad boy? I need a wide angle lens...but keep dragging my feet.

    I have a re-arranging suggestion for ya...The suzanni and the stiped (what looks like kilim)throw on your couch...could you move them to, oh, let's say...Florida? My place to be exact. Yep, that would look MUCH better!

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  9. Hi Joni! Don't worry about your writing to it is just perfect. Imagine me... a mere foreigner trying to comunicate with the world in English... I know my main language very, very well and I'm happy with that. Learning English at age 25 was a big thing for me. Now for the photography part, I think you're doing it wonderfuly. All your shots are great! And yes, a camera it is important but most of all the photographer. You have have great eyes for for great photography. Best, Vanessa

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  10. Joni, Earlier this year, an interior designer I know asked me to photograph some of her projects for her website. Sure! I have a SLR and even took some photography in college. No problem! Well, interior photography is hard! I too became obsessed--buying tripods, wide angle lenses, even a flash. She loved the photos of my own house, but when I went to another project and spent just a half hour shooting, they weren't great (to say the least). In my own home, I could re-shoot for days until it was perfect.
    You should check out Photography for Real Estate.net for some advice and tutorials. You may even want to consider HDR. This is when you take different exposures of the same shot and combine them. It's all automated with a photoshop plug in, such as enfuse. The Los Angeles bedroom you posted must be HDR. The view outside is exposed perfectly, as is the interior. Impossible to do with just one shot, unless you bring in tons of photography lighting to match the inside light to the outside light.
    Good luck with the photography! I'm now taking a photoshop class at a community college. You should check out what's avaiable for photography classes in your area.

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  11. Joni,
    I think your pictures are getting better and better. I had the same frustration taking pictures of rooms and then looking at them and they do not quite capture the beauty of the room. For instance I have always admired your pictures of your breakfast room, but to see the arched doorways in the professional shot, even adds to the drama and beauty of the room!
    It has been one of the reasons I have not shown more of my own rooms because when I photograph them they just do not seem to look very good. Millie's house was a prefect example-the house was so much prettier than I captured. Even now people come into my kitchen or pantry after having seen it on the blog and they say "Oh, its so much nicer in real life." Then I think, oh no I will never get this right. Thanks so much for all the tips. I hope my photos improve from it!!
    xx-Gina

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  12. Oh MY goodness....something else to consider. I have noticed from my bike trip the the photos were less than...I can see myself lugging something like this along for quality pictures! It is true though the quality with a "good" camera cannot be compared. I would definitely need to take a photography class....hmmm, might not be a bad idea!
    Great inside friend!
    Blessings...

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  13. Hi Joni - I have to say that I love to see photos of your home, no matter who does the photography. When you posted photos of the new lantern in the LR, I noticed that they seemed very bright and wider, but of course, didn't know why. Thanks for the tutorial about cameras, but what I really want to know is more about the magazine for which you're writing a few articles. How did that slip by?? Congratulations and please spill the details soon! Deborah

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  14. I agree...your photography is getting better and better - but it has always been good. I think of it this way - your home and your other projects are so beautiful, that any and all shots of them will look great. One thing I did notice - which is so funny to me because Suellen does the same thing - I think you cock your head to the left when you are shooting. Am I right?

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  15. Really enjoyed your post and the camera tutorial. I know what you mean about your quest for the perfect camera. I'm a painter, and I'm always on the hunt for the perfect brush. I have always loved the photos you take of your house--but then that's also because I love your house! One hint, if I may. One photo you were unhappy with had a window in the background, which makes for a silhouette of your focal point. A pro told me years ago to point the camera away from the light to enable the auto light meter to get the correct exposure, and then to move the camera up(or over) to compose your photo. I adore your blog and have learned so much from it.

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  16. joni, your obsession -- i mean, dedication! -- is exactly why your blog is so incredible & fantastic. your new photos look great!

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  17. I'm retired from a career in public relations/fundraising usually in the not-for-profit world where I had to don many hats, including photography, later on desktop publishing. Thirteen years ago I said enough and went to my garden. I have been off-line for 13 years! My husband forced me to get a computer last spring and encouraged me to get a digital camera. I love my new MAC but I would like that adorable Asian girl to come to my house and teach me how to put the pictures in my computer and play with them. My old SLR with multiple lens sits looking at me like an inscrutable wise man knowing he is way better than my new shiny (not used much) digital Sony. I do know as we age that learning new tricks is good for dogging dementia. After your post, I promise I will spend more time trying to come of this age, not mine. As for proper English, in this world of him and me's who notices anymore? Congratulations on your conquering new worlds. By the way, I did notice your new lens was not wide enough to capture Ben's fan!!!!

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  18. Joni I love you new shots!! I have found a new love that I never thought I would enjoy...decorating. I love to hear what you have to say and love the photo inspiration you are amazing! Thanks for taking the time to post for us! Also I hate grammer...so I will never be upset if something is misspelled or there isn't a coma where it should be! Who cares, we're human! HA! Don't let those mean people get to you sista! :)

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  19. * You never cease to amaze most of us in your desire/quest to "get it right"~ no matter WHAT the subject may be, dearest Joni!

    I admire so much about you, & quite especially, the way you "see things thru" (Uh-oh! Maybe the "GRAMMAR POLICE" are out there this beautiful Saturday a.m., cuppa in hand, while sitting at the keys here, ready to pounce! "EEKS"~~~ should I worry that I ended a sentence w/ a preposition!?!? "GASP"!!!)~

    One of my husband's constant statements to me is that I TRULY need to LEARN (& PRACTICE!) that "PERFECTION is the ENEMY of GOOD ENOUGH!". (I can never truly "HANDLE" that, tho, darn it!It DOES make sense however, AND is better for one's health!)~

    I think Mr./Mrs./Ms. Anonymous was honestly trying to help, so I have cut him/her some slack...

    Re the "photo fiascos"??? The read was TRULY very interesting/informative, and FUUUUN too, so don't worry about your pics! We love them, and you, "just the way you are"!!!

    Love n' hugs,
    Linda (in AZ) *

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  20. I like following the evolution of the blog, it's a story within a blog.. keep up the good work Joni. Remember, if it was easy, then everyone would be doing it! It takes a lot of practice to come up with a working plan and that can be applied to anything...practice makes perfect!
    I like the new shots as well!
    Leslie

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  21. Joni,I love everything you do! You are way too hard on yourself!!!!
    -your #1 NY fan
    -Linda

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  22. That first picture of the LA bedroom is to die for! I could definitely see myself waking up in that room...Enjoy your new camera!

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  23. Joni! I have been thinking I might pony up and buy a better camera too. And now you have done all the work for me! Thank you so much for that! I depend on the Photo enhancing computer program I have at the moment (HP Image Zone). I noticed what Megan Lowden said about tilting your head. I used to do the exact same thing and would have to rotate the pictures a bit on my computer. When I realized what I was doing, I tried to line up any straight vertical edges with the camera lens edge. It helped alot! Now I need a better camera!!!!! You are amazing and are able to verbalize in a very charming way everything that goes on in my own obsessive head. I hope you realize just how much you are truly appreciated. :)
    Katie

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  24. haha - how fun to see the evolution of your work! I always with I had taken a photography class but they always seemed like so much work! I just live in my mediocre photographs -like you say - photoshop helps a LOT! God Bless Photoshop!

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  25. Joni, You are too funny. I guess I never noticed that you might have an out of focused photo or that you didn't get all in the photo that you wanted. I just so enjoy every thing you write and show us that, who cares,,, I know YOU do, and with everything you do, it has to be perfect. Now I wonder how many of us will spend the afternoon looking up the info on the Canon Rebel or Nikon D90 and all the add to stuff.
    P.S. I do like the small change to the mantel.
    Joy

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  26. Dear Joni.......loved reading this blog and the adventure in finding perfection (which we know is somehow just around the corner). I have loved all of your pictures, being technophobic, I have been in awe. I lost my new camera last week (maybe a good thing) so this post was really timely. By the way, I have some great 18th c. parrot engravings that could keep your French birds company. Love the photos of your living room. Thanks for all of the information.

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  27. I am convinced that blogging prevents Alzheimer's. For me, just organizing the thoughts in my head into something written is a big deal. Couple that exercise with the challenge of grammar - bloggers are getting a great mind massage. Now if we could figure out how to get some physical exercise from blogging.

    My kids are forever nagging me about the camera and the need for a new one. Some of the shots on my blog are horrible but even if I had one I would still need photography lessons. All this learning is yet another reason blogging is great for the mind.

    Seeing the gorgeous bedroom you featured brings to mind a topic I wish you would cover on your blog. In my bedroom I have so many small items, all personal collections and treasures but it is too much clutter. To me a bedroom of all rooms should be without clutter. How do you display collections and treasures without junking up the room?

    Also, I love quilts and I have a beautiful quilt my husband gave me for an anniversary. Is their any way to utilize quilts in rooms without having a room that looks like granny's?

    What I wouldn't do to have the pictured bedroom (on a smaller scale, of course).

    I know you weren't asking for questions from the audience but I got distracted by the photo and just had to ask.

    On a strange note - someone I once worked with used to make her kids read the newspaper in the summer with the goal of finding grammatical errors. The kids then wrote letters to the editor explaining the errors while making corrections.

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  28. Okay, I see what a perfectionist you are! Of course, Joni, as you can see I cannot even write a proper sentence! Dangling particles and participles everywhere. I would love the link to your writing test/exam. I have always loved your photography, however admire the fact that you always want to improve, and that inspires me!

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  29. PS, what is the color on your living room walls? It is beautiful with your decor.

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  30. Hi Joni! Wow! What a journey you have been on with the camera dilemma! I have been thinking the same thing lately... that I need a new, more professional camera. So, how perfect that you are blogging about it now! I love your humor (or shall I write "humour" and drive all the grammar police crazy?) about the whole darn fiasco! We are into instant gratification in our day and age and expect so much from ourselves, don't we? It was absolutely amazing to me the differences in the photos and how incredible the professional photographs were. Now, I when I can afford a new camera, I'll have a jumping off point, thanks to you!

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  31. I can't believe the nerve of some people- I enjoy your writing and think your entries are heartfelt and reflect your passion for design. So what if a blogger makes the occasional inconsequential grammatical error? It doesn't take away from my enjoyment of the article. If I want literature, I'll pick up a novel for pete's sake! As for the cameras, I joined the DSLR group when my husband bought me a Nikon D50 (no longer available) for Mother's Day the year my boys were born. It's been a fun hobby that I have waded into with baby steps. I have learned a lot from the photography tutorials on Pioneerwoman.com. I don't have a wide angle lens yet...maybe soon!

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  32. Hi Joni! I got so tickled reading your post. When we first put our shop on line, I decided I would do all the photography myself. Whatever was I thinking! Unlike you, I had rarely even used a disposable instamatic. I took my husband's Canon [not even sure what style it is] and proceeded to take millions of images before I was even half way satisfied. Thank Heavens for digital and Photoshop! It has been without a doubt one of the hardest things I have ever tried to do. I am hoping to continue improving, but it just takes time and lots of work. I must say I am absolutely fascinated with it and thoroughly enjoy doing it. Keep us posted on your learning journey!

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  33. Toby has a good eye for to my eye, the new mantel arrangement is prettier.

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  34. You kill me my friend --- I am also the proud and very disappointed owner of a G-10 bought in December. I still haven't taken a decent picture with it but I don't want to plunk down $2g's for a decent SLR set up right now so I am putting up with it. All the pictures are flat and lifeless - yuk. I do went to see a picture of you with all of your regalia in action. You decor paparazzi you! Are you toting around a tripod and light reflectors with you? Can't wait to see it. Please post immediately...

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  35. A camera is just a "box"...it is the LENS the most important thing and it must be a "fixed" one to have the best results. Having said that I like what Cartier-Bresson, one of my favourite master photographer, said once to a famous writer who asked him what camera did he use" "What typewriter do you use?"
    Beautiful pictures are created with the eye.
    But real estate is certainly different and I use my Leica for my fine art photography and I have a digital (even if I like to be a purist) for my business, a point and shoot Panasonic with Leica lens. Since I am more and more taking pictures of interiors I am (unfortunately) forced to look into a SLR (single lens reflex...)for my business. I will consider your suggestion.

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  36. I just bought the d90 two weeks ago and LOvE it!!! You will too. The capture program that came with it edits nicely. Cherri

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  37. I know, I know! We bloggers want better & more beautiful pics, don't we?! I know my photography skills are better than they used to be, but not at all what I want them to be.
    Now you've burst my bubble! My dream camera was the G10. My friend, Kim at Daisy Cottage has the G9 & takes some beautiful photos, but most of hers are closeups. So, that wide angle is elusive, huh?

    Well, the new ones look great! I'd say you are def. getting the hang of it.

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  38. I was nodding in agreement, laughing, and shaking my head all at the same time while reading your post.

    I am going through exactly the same thing!

    I am bidding on a Nikon D60 while looking at point and shoot digital cameras on Overstock while wanting a big, bulky camera, while thinking 'how can I take that big thing to Round Top...?', while asking other bloggers what kind of camera they use.

    It's making me crazy so this is what I decided.

    As funds and good judgment permit, I am going to COLLECT cameras!

    Laura

    whitespraypaint.blogspot.com

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  39. Love you Joni. Your house is extraordinary, but I agree with Toby's mantle change. Don't get me wrong, your arrangement was equally nice, but Toby's just seems to "feel" better. You're awesome! Keep up the good work.

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  40. I have the Nikon, I need a class. I need a class in Photoshop. I use a thesaurus for variety, double and triple check grammar and I still make mistakes in my writing. The list builds daily.

    Your blog is a joy because it inspires me and I know I will get more for my house by using all I learn here. The other is not even in my mind when I stop by to see what I can learn about staging.

    Now, of REAL importance...where can I get affordable (okay, cheap) white twill slipcovers? The entrepreneur in me wants to buy a bazillion of them because they are nowhere and so many could use them.

    See, content wins as we are on our journey learning all the other stuff.

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  41. What a wonderful, informative post. You clearly explained photography (and also what I am doing wrong!) - thank you! My own pictures hopefully will now improve.

    What is the writing site you mentioned with the skills test? I'd love to play with that a bit.

    Your home is beautiful - with or without a "perfect" shot. The beauty can be seen regardless!

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  42. You certainly are getting the hang of it...the pictures are beautiful but I always did like them. It's the wit behind the camera that keeps me coming back. No one blogs like you do. Bravo!

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  43. I own the Nikon D80 and I love it. There is a place online that I have used to rent lenses from it's called borrowlenses.com . It is great b/c you can rent really expensive lenses to try them out and decide if they're worth buying. I most recently rented the Nikkor AF 12-24mm f/4G AF-S DX for a month for $177 (including 2 day shipping, to and back from you), it is a $900+ lens. It is great for indoor photography, nice wide angle. You can see pictures I took with it here: http://www.205homeforsale.com/ (a website I made when we were selling our house: the pictures of my living room, bathrooms and backyard I took with that lens) You may already know, the smaller the mm, the wider angle you'll get on your photos. Check out http://thepioneerwoman.com/photography/ for all sorts of great tips and tutorials. Wolf/Ritz camera has some great classes you can take too. I have some free coupons for the classes that I'd be glad to mail to you. (You get them when you buy a camera from them: I am moving out of the Houston area to a place where there isn't a wolf camera w/i 60 miles, so I won't be using them! My email address is on the website I posted the link for selling my house) I'm what I consider pretty amateur myself, but just keep clicking away and it won't take long to figure out how to get the shot you want (:

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  44. I've been away from reading my favorite blogs for awhile and I return and you continue to make me howl with laughter. Now don't get upset. I'm laughing "with" you, not "at" you. I've had the same experiences with cameras and after much deliberation and research, we got the D80 when it came out. It's a great camera. My son got the D90 this year after his first child was born and he loves it as well. I agree with Tara. Good lenses and classes along with lighting are key. Learning the ins and outs of photography can be mind boggling, but it pays off. And like you mentioned, photoshop is just as important a tool. But no matter what camera you use, Joni, I will always be entertained by your beautiful photos, your wonderful writing and your being so candid and open -- even in showing your cute hubby in all his comfy, sockless glory. Very much like the hubby in my family room right now. You already possess everything you need to bring me back to your inspiring blog sans fancy camera.

    ~ Victoria

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  45. Joni, I feel your pain, been there and done that. I had no interest in photos until rms...lol

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  46. Congrats on your new camera! I think you'll have lots of fun with it!
    I love your blog, and think it takes tremendous dedication. I'm sorry you got some negative comments.

    I also love that bedroom!!!

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  47. Joni--I've been a professional writer my entire life--so I think I'm qualified to say that you write beautifully. Your posts are clear and concise and convey your passion for design and a well-lived life. I'm in awe of your ambition to improve your photography skills. I cling to my little Nikon Coolpix--small and portable, but not such great shots.

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  48. Joni--I've been a professional writer my entire life--so I think I'm qualified to say that you write beautifully. Your posts are clear and concise and convey your passion for design and a well-lived life. I'm in awe of your ambition to improve your photography skills. I cling to my little Nikon Coolpix--small and portable, but not such great shots.

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  49. Your new shots look great! I have to work on taking pics also, my husband is always on me about that LOL bc I always take crooked pics!...Maybe my neck is crooked? haha..who knows. I love your dedication though and it really shows in the newer pics you are taking :0) Great Job!

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  50. Nice job! I know that when I discovered "photo shop" there was suddenly much hope :) Most everything can be fixed! You take lovely photos - keep it up!

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  51. Oh my word! How am I supposed to comment on photography when I can't quit qiggling over "Pee Wee", Mr. Slipper Socks himself.

    I read this all late last night in the bed. I was shaking from trying to contain myself and not wake up my hubs. You are just too funny!

    Now, I need to come up with a good nickname for Mr. Green.

    All the silliness aside, you had a great post about the skills--and camera, needed to produce a quality shot. I think you've definitely got the hang of it!

    Have a great week my silly blogger friend!

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  52. i'm in the same boat when it comes to grammar. ugh! my ex-mother in law was an english teacher and she would always correct me....if she said, "i'm going to italy." or something like that i'd say, "with who?" she'd correct me and say "with whom?" jeez. oh, and birthday cakes always had to say 'happy birthday, elizabeth' the comma had to be in there. it made me never want to talk:) ha ha i need to work on it some more.

    you will love your dslr camera. i have the equivalent in the canon. i'm still learning. i'm constantly looking on youtube and reading on how to get better pictures. a helpful blog i have found is www.momtog.com it is a blog for moms who love taking pictures of their little ones, but anybody could use her tips/tricks! i always think your pictures look fine, but maybe it's because the room you are photographing is so pretty! i love that picture of the breakfast room with all the arched windows! ahhh....my mom always said windows make a home and i believe she is right.

    take care....oh, and i know it's not "proper" to write in low caps but my shift key is missing:(

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  53. Well Joni I'm glad you realized that the internet does not do images justice unless you're using a honking huge camera..price tag & set up!!
    First off...like your breakfast image better had a more intimate feeling. Secondly the Tile Kitchen. He stood a bit further back & did a long shot.
    I think you need to take a class. You're a talented woman you just need to learn the tricks of the camera to bring them out & believe me it has tricks.
    Also maybe go on craigslsit & find a tripod. No one can stand statue still & with a digital picking up every nuance of motion it may help a bit as well.
    Above all...thank you for making me laugh & laugh. You write as yourself..the mark of a true writer.

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  54. Do you realize that if you click on any of the images even so called grainy ones in web browser: alone they're all perfectly clear??? Maybe just go down a size in publishing. Thats what I do.
    You need real high megapixels to get professional looks. For a full screen

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  55. Promise...last one....
    Are you rearranging the image shape or it that blogger??? Going from the nataural rectangle to an almost square is where its changing. Yes I know Alicia shut up...

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  56. Wow. I can't wait to see all your brand-new photographic creations! Especially since I thought you were pretty good already.

    One of my oldest and best friends is a professional photographer, so I know there is a lot more to it than pointing and clicking. I mean she goes to Africa, taking pictures of lions and Masai warriors, for pete's sake. I just try to take pictures with words.

    Edward politely requests more photographs of Georgie!!

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  57. Joni - congrats on your progress! I was using a D70 and am upgrading to a D300 as we speak. I love my cameras but need more new lenses also. I want a new macro lens for close-up work. I have taken a lot of photography courses over the years, and along with writing it is one of my true loves. I am so glad you are discovering both - you are a marvellous writer (ignore the grammer police - they are just fun sponges) and an aspiring photography talent. You can only get better with practice and that is truly all it takes. I never hesitate to ask questions.

    Love and hugs, and congrats on your growth!! Life is beautiful, growing and learning new things is even better.

    xo Terri

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  58. "Honey? How many them hormones you taking?"

    --Ninny Threadgood
    Fried Green Tomatoes

    You are the funniest person I know, and the hardest person on yourself, but the end result can't be argued with.

    Ignore Anonymous critical comments.
    If their manners were any better than your worst gaffes, they would know that at least where you and I come from, one simply goes Baptist deaf and dumb over such mistakes, for it is the bigger picture that counts. Constructive criticism is made leavened better with a name attached.

    Will you stop photographing up Ben's Shorts? The man must be a saint. Is this his punishment for the fan? Soon or later we are going to see possible.

    Get back over to the Wheats with that Spy Camera!

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  59. A camera and experience does make a difference -- I lust after a SLR -- had a Pentex years and years ago with many lenses and it was fun taking pictures -- doing everything manually.

    then along came the point and shoots == that's what I have and while better than a "Brownie" -- it is not a SLR!

    Your pictures, I thought, were good -- but I can see a difference when they are next to each other.

    Looking forward to better and better pictures of my favorite Texas house!

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  60. Yay Joni!! Congrats on the new camera! I'm impressed you are so good at it so fast. I use a CANON EOS for my blog pics. I had to watch a dvd & still had no clue for a bit. Your photos are great!! I always thought they were great! Also like playing "Find Mr Slipper Socks" when I look at your blog photos. :)
    I finally gave my husband a blog name too--Mr Madras...not quite as amusing as Mr. SS but, you motivated me. ;) I also think you are an incredibly talented writer...oh yeah, and decorator!

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  61. Thank you! For sharing your gift and your humor. :)

    As an interior designer/interior photographer just starting out blogger I related and appreciated this blog beyond words (which is a good thing I don't have the words, because if there is anyone that stinks at grammar, that would be me)
    I have spent countless hours trying to understand the photography for interiors and boy it is challenging (still learning as I start out on this venture). A few tips that I have found to be helpful in taking interior shots:

    *avoid camera shake and window blowout: get a tripod & take pictures in the early morning or late afternoon with the shutter opened. (or use HDR, another thing to read up & learn.....good luck :))
    *Nikon Speed Flash (use off camera, bounce off a wall or ceiling)
    *For web images, saves as sRGB (print is saved differently)

    **Lenses: research, they can easily set you back more than the camera body itself (Ken Rockwell for reviews is great)

    Nikon rocks!! There customer service is great. You should have that camera for a VERY long time. Overtime, once you understand it all, you will love it.

    We have all enjoyed your photos, are proud to see the progress that you have made, but having you here in blog land to share with us (and keep us entertained) is what really matters.

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  62. Joni, I'm a frequent viewer of your blog but have not commented before. I also write for a living, and I have to tell you your writing is descriptive and delightful. People with your talent have copy editors to worry about the commas. For all those commenting on wanting to improve their grammer, go to a really fun web site at spogg.org (society for the promotion of good grammar).

    And your photography skills rock as well. The pros have all kinds of extra lighting bouncing around a room to get the desired effect.

    Just keep doing what you're doing.

    Carol

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  63. Hey...
    Your pictures are always great, but don't fret over the ones that aren't. It gets the message across, and your readers understand what you're trying to show. As you know from the shoots at your house, the pros know how to work the lighting, ect.

    I haven't even thought of making the conversation to a DSLR, because to me, the primary importance in my camera, aside from the picture quality, is the portability. I carry it with me all of the time and that, and its ease of use make it perfect... for me.

    I should add, however, that I am a photoshop pro, so can fix pretty much anything in post-production.

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  64. Joni,

    You are my hero. Yours is one of the first blogs I started reading. I love it all and this post was great as I am in the process of choosing a new camera. I am not a blogger (yet) but want to be prepared. Anyway, love your decorating, writing and photography styles. I live in Houston, too, and hope to "bump" in to you someday when I am out and about. Remember, it's the journey, not the destination.

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  65. Joni, I'm blushing. You truly made my year...thank you for your kind words about my photography...I'd buy you some of that Shalimar gel soap as a small gift, but darn it all..you have the most expensive soap taste of any blogger on the planet...how about Pears? Hug.

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  66. Joni,

    Your blog is so wonderful and beautifully presented. It is always a pleasure to visit. And you just keep making it better and better...and I just started a sentence with "and"...off to the corner I go.

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  67. what a saga! we just upgraded from little Canon point-and-shoot to a Nikon D60 and the difference is amazing! really, how did I live without this thing?

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  68. Joni, let me begin by saying that you are brilliant and so is your work. I completely understand what you mean because I suck at taking pictures and I do need a new camera.

    P.S I just came across an old issue of Better Homes from Nov of last year and you are in it. Your home and you look beautiful. Sorry for congratulating you almost a year later.

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  69. Joni, this was such an interesting post! Great to see the differences in the photos taken by different kinds of cameras. I did get a DSLR for Christmas, but it is a Cannnon. I have yet to break down and purchase another lens for it. What I really want to know though is how your photos fit on your blog. I assume you have some kind of Custom Blog template. I am simply using the Minima Stretch template. When I view my enlarged photos on my laptop, they are fine. When I get to my office and view them on a very large computer screen, a portion of the photo is cut off. Although someone told me it has to do with the resolution settings on my 2 computers, that doesn't explain why your entire picture shows up on both my laptop and my office computer. Nobody is missing anything if a portion of my photos don't show up, but it's just something that bothers me! Your commentary, as well as your photography, impress me EVERY time I come over to your blog! I hear news reporters use incorrect English on the news constantly, so I cannot imagine that anyone would be offended (or even notice) when incorrect Eng. is used on a blog posting. (Whew! Kind of makes me glad I don't have your reader numbers!) laurie

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  70. Joni, your grammar it good, and this is Texas after all. Plus, you never exhibit any of my pet peeves, which are 1) using "well" when one means "good," as in I feel well(my fingers are really workin' today) and I feel good(I'm not even close to sick!,see grammar girl episode 51, http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/good-versus-well.aspx,having to do with linking verbs) and 2) writing they/their when he/she/his/her is correct, as in “Have the student bring their Chicago Manual of Style to the class.” This is often heard on TV news in Austin.
    The camera issues still have me pretty confused. I am just trying not to post with my camera phone. But I don't need a wide lens for a pie. Best regards to all you,
    Jenny

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  71. Joni, you're brave to even dip a toe into the world of digital photography. I looked into it for shooting my paintings, and decided to just hire people and let them stay up to date with lens' and software. It has been cheaper than camera a year, although I'm not blogging. Many superwide angle photos are blended on monster computers by very expensive software. The last shot of the mantel is very crisp, and I like Toby's arrangement, although I'm not a symmetrical person, myself.

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  72. Oh, Joni
    after working my way down the comment line there is nothing more to say then how I admire your intesive struggle with being perfect for the blog. My English is so faulty -since it's not my native language - I hardly notice gammar mistakes and if, well we all make them once in a while, I would never comment on it, I do not see, why it would change anything on your amazing blog.
    It would be different if it would be unintelligible, I simply would not read that stuff.

    I am so glad that you gradually upgraded your camera, my husband fears already my demand for better equipment...haha!

    Well so far I am not to horrified with my pics, but I do not think of them as great shots. I do my best under the circumstances and hope one day to afford a better camera as well!
    You are doing so well with your camera work!
    Love bunches - Victoria

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  73. so many goodies in this post...but that's nothing new for you!
    have fun with the new camera!
    xox

    www.froufroufashionista.blogspot.com

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  74. Wonderful post. Thanks so much for the info. Congrats on the camera and such great shots.

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  75. Congrats on the new camera! I have a Nikon D40, and I love it, although I'm now beginning to covet the D300. ;)

    And just for the record, I just love seeing your beautiful house. That last photo is awesome!

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  76. Ok, i'll be right back...i need another cup of coffee and then i can focus!
    There is much to learn here from you & your visitors!
    Joni, I think my VW bus would be great for stalking...all those windows, you could practice your panorama shot!
    xo Lisa

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  77. Joni- I loved this post. It was fun to see your progression of picture-taking. And, while I don't intend to sound mean, it was somewhat refreshing to see someone I hold in such high esteem for her skills- "struggle" with some of the same issues I do. It turns out that I am a terrible photographer!

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  78. Nevertheless, Joni, you did such, such improvement! You are really good, I´m looking forward to your other shots (but don´t forget the other ones, too :). I think photographing interiors is very hard, if not the hardiest thing to photograph. And I know what I´m talking about (my camera is also my second eyes for me).

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  79. Was I one of only a few that caught a glimpse of today's post before it vanished?
    Ann

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  80. Joni, I've decided blogging is God's way of pushing our envelope. Better writing, better thinking, and better Photography. sigh. And here I thought I'd start to take it easy.
    xo Lidy

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  81. Speaking of blog tutorials... I've recently copied a few photos from your site on to my little blog. I did acknowledge both the designer, and your blog as my source, but I wasn't sure how to do it properly with a link. So sorry for my ignorance, just figuring this blogging thing out. I know it's not really your thing, but for those of us that want to send our friends and family your way...maybe you can give us a little 'how to' post?

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  82. A couple of those professional shots seemed a bit 'cold' compared to your 'eye' which is full of warmth, seduction, humor.

    Superb darling!
    XO Tara

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  83. I just got my D90 too!!! I did go onto a few Nikon forums for info--and it has helped. Here are some lenses: 1) get an inexpensive "Tokina 12-24" wide angle lens (older but pros love it); 2) Try a "Tamron 90" for macro shots (inexpensive); 3) for great landscape/architectural shots, try a "Signa 10-21". Other stuff: 4) get a "circular polarizing filter" for the WOW in photos; 5) a monopod or tripod "Manfretto" is good; 6) microfiber cloth & lens solution; 7) 2 "8GB" SDHD memory cards; 8)a "step-up ring" so you can stick to larger size filters/ the smaller will fit inside it; and the following site-- http://www.nikonlinks.com/unklbil/macro_adapter.htm
    :-)

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  84. Hello Joni, your photographs are stunning and I can see you are having the best fun with your new Nikon, My family upgraded me to a D60 and I think it's the best thing they have ever done lol. I have been enjoying your posts very much. I can see that I now have to put your long lense on my wish list. Your home is gorgeous BTW. happy snapping, Kathy.

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  85. I'm thinkin' that the anonymous comments saying how great Toby's mantle is, are from Toby himself... Just kidding Toby! {Oh how I wish someone would tell me what to do like that. Doesn't anyone decorate vicariously anymore?}

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  86. Hi from N Ireland. I loved reading this post and following your progress in cameras.

    I kept saying to myself "when will she get a DSLR?"

    Glad you made it. I use a Canon myself, but I will forgive you (LOL!)

    Would love you to take a peak at my recent kitchen makeover pics. I use an action in photoshop to sharpen my images for the web.

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  87. This was so informative Joni. Thanks for the info, but now I feel like a 'point and shoot' loser....:(!

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  88. where did you get your new lantern??? I can' t seem to locate one for my dining room!

    thanks@
    gkmorris@sbclgobal.net

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  89. Hi Joni
    Your new camera is great and it looks like you are having fun with it, which is the most important thing. Great feet shot of Ben...And BTW I won't ask you to rearrange anything in your home, it is perfect just the way it is!!!

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  90. I feel much better now that I know I'm the only one out there with photo/camera issues. Its funny, I never really cared before starting my blog, but now that I am posting pictures of my own all the time it bothers me that they are less than perfect. Now my blog is no where near as popular as yours and there are not millions and millions of people reading mine like yours, but I think you just convinced me to get a new camera. An SLR is calling my name :)

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  91. Hi Joni,
    This post was absolutely what I needed to read right now. I have new camera fever pretty bad right now...and after reading all your experiences, I think I'll be extra careful choosing a new one. You had me laughing...I can just see you in jail for stalking a house with your camera. Now wouldn't that be an interesting post to read later...complete with interior jail shots?! :-) Thanks for all the great info...you are so generous to share all of this with us! Susan

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  92. Joni--
    While can't disagree that your writing mechanics sometimes need work, I do agree with Carol-the-writer that copy editors (as I have been) can fix that stuff. What shines about your writing is your VOICE, and it is never better than when you use your you-are-here-with-me-and-we-are-working-it!!! voice. This post on photography is brilliant and so funny. You should submit it to a photography mag. Mimsy

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  93. Joni- you know I LOVe how you write and no complaints regarding your photos.

    I think you should know that it isn't just the lens the pros have that make the difference when photographing interiors, it is all about the lighting!
    Guaranteed a few of the photos that you compared yours too had extra lighting that you can't see.

    And, after taking many, many photography courses...
    I feel as though my photos are worse than ever! Thank God for photoshop and digital photography.
    Enjoy the weekend!

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  94. You are HILARIOUS! I enjoyed this post so much, esp. the part where you ignore the negative reviews, b/c you've already decided to buy it. How many times I have done that same thing.
    I've had big dreams of upgrading my camera, but I think I've just put those to rest, for now. Thank you!

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  95. Ha! great post... very funny, you're a great writer... am now off to get a camera like yours as I have the problem you used to have. ciao bella

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  96. Can anyone tell me the fabric used on the bench in the gorgeous blue bedroom?

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  97. what a fantastic post...so informative...thanks!

    i stink at photos...and am working on my typos....:-)

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  98. I am an avid reader of your blog and am stunned that people have the nerve to comment on your grammar or any other "flaws" that they may see.
    Do they not realize that you are doing this on your own free time and we are getting all of the enjoyment out of it???
    Some people really need to find better things to do with their time.
    Thanks for your beautiful and enjoyable blog!
    By the way...your house is gorgeous just the way it is!

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