Photography and the Art-disabled

My sister mentioned a while back that my photographs were less than stellar. I really wanted to get great pictures of the food I made and of the garden. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no “eye.” She sent me links to tips of food photography and I read them so I, too, could take stunning photographs of everything I post. Sadly, photography and the art-disabled don’t seem to go together.

My husband gave me a really nice digital camera for Christmas a few years ago and, at first, I was taking pictures I really loved. This picture of my service-dog-in-training, Remy is one of my favorites!


But pictures of my garden, the food I make, and even of my grand kids are a disappointment. I don’t know where I’ve gone wrong. I am aware of a couple of issues and they’d probably sound silly if I listed them. One or two I could resolve by taking a couple of minutes before taking pictures to ensure I could see what I was photographing.

Another problem is my lack of “props.” The tips pages all suggest using cute dishware, different glassware, silverware, and tablecloths. Great. My dishes are white. Just plain white. And I’m not able to go purchase a variety of props for my pictures. So I’m going to work on the actual photos and worry about props later.

Yesterday I went outside and took a bunch of photos of things growing out back. I got up my courage and stopped using the auto function of my camera. I was going to actually try turning knobs and selecting things in the menu. I’d read about white balance, shutter speeds, and manual focus. It was time to get serious about the photographs.

One thing I really wanted to do (do not laugh at me or I’ll just stop right here) was learn to get something in the foreground in focus and have the things in the background blurred. That seems like an easy thing to do but I always seem to get it backwards.

My first photo was of some Queen Anne’s Lace growing by the wood pile.


It was a success as far as getting the foreground focused and the background blurred! Not a picture that would make it into National Geographic but I got what I wanted.

Then I took some pictures of my wild grapes.


They were okay but the color and brightness were off. It was pretty sunny out but still….

Then it occurred to me. I’m not a professional photographer and that’s why God made Photoshop! I could tweak the things I didn’t like about my pictures!


And it worked! It’s far from perfect but it’s better. I still need to work on improving the original photographs and I’ll undoubtedly still need to tweak them using Photoshop but they’ll get much better.


My next mission was to try to get small details in the photographs.


Enter the bugs on the sunflowers.


It’s not great. The bee kind of blends into the center of the flower but I can find it so I’m happy. Sort of.

The original, pre-Photoshop looks like this –


I wanted every picture to be perfect. But then again, I want everything I do to be perfect and things rarely are when I do them. This is going to take time and practice. I may even have to study the camera manual and find a garage sale with lots of different tableware. Meanwhile, I’ll keep cooking and gardening and hoping that you’ll bear with my pictures while I learn.


Author: Elizabeth

I'm a wife, mom, and grandma (known as Bam) who loves cooking, baking, gardening, and all things that go into making a cozy coop for my brood. I have a disability so you may pick up tips on how to do things when some things just don't work right!

5 thoughts on “Photography and the Art-disabled”

  1. Great photos!!! The pic of Remy is stellar!!! I am one of those people you don’t want to ask to take a picture of you and yours! I thought I was ok at photography, but a big fail every time!! You are much better than I, and I applaud your studies!!! Thanks for the great blog!! =]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It sounds ridiculous but one of the problems I have is that my glasses aren’t fitted right and so they’re always touching my face. This means they’re always getting smudged. I suppose it would be easier to get decent pictures if I could see! lol


  2. I am in the same place as you — I have a pretty good camera but I just can’t get it to focus sharply on small things. I have paid for an online class but it starts by showing you how to set up your camera, and theirs is a different camera from mine, so I was instantly lost. I am not patient enough to read the tiny font on the thin thin paper of the camera manual! I have signed up for a 4-hour class in late October, and I am hoping that the instructor can at least help me know if it’s me or my camera that is the problem!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My sister has been sending me links to very helpful sites. And I decided to download the PDF version of my camera manual so I can make it BIG!! They print those things for people able to read street signs from 300 yards by candlelight.
      I felt incredibly brilliant when I found the super control panel then realized I didn’t actually know what any of the settings on it would do. But I have a plan to be able to post fantastic pictures!
      I’m going to win a huge lottery and hire a photographer.


      1. I had found a blog that said exactly how to set your “custom” settings expressly for bird photos and which for bug photos, so I set my camera that way but I didn’t see any difference. Months later I found out that I have to set my custom settings in the super control panel and tell it to save — the way I was doing it was temporary and reset to the default the minute I turned the camera off. I need that photographer too, just to stand over me and make me read the directions. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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