My New Camera

For my birthday Sean got me the camera I've been coveting for a while. The new Canon EOS Rebel T3i.  I'm so very excited about it because it captures HD video as well and has a flip LCD screen.

I've only just begun my journey in figuring out how this thing works. I've played around with the video and absolutely LOVE how it allows me to use more creativity when filming. As you all know I love putting together videos and making them fun, so this is going to bring my video making skills to a whole new level.

Are there any photographers or photographer wannabe's out there? I'd like to put together photography posts once every other week combining tips from all of you along with pictures you've taken.

Today's question is:

What is your favorite lens, and why?
You can answer this question in the comments section of this post or if you'd like to share your tip in a post on my blog (giving you the opportunity to elaborate and share pictures), then email it to me at

I recently bought the 35mm f/2 Wide Angle lens on Amazon for $320. I called Pictureline and they were the exact same price there too. So I think I got a pretty good deal.

Here is an example of the kind of difference this lens makes.

This picture was taken with the standard kit lens 18-55mm on auto.

As you can see the 35mm lens makes a huge difference. It brings in more light and even captures a little more of the room. This picture was also taken on auto but I don't recommend using the automatic mode. You can get much better pictures once you learn how all the settings work. I'm still learning, but feel like I'm definitely making progress.
Here are a few of my recent favorite pics.

 This was taken at the Butterfly Museum in Florida.

 Now let me explain. I'm not in any way trying to make fun of this man, I just felt like it was an opportunity to capture what life is really like for some people. Truly brakes my heart.

This one was actually an accident. Lily moved her hand right when I snapped it. I just thought it looked cool, you know how some people claim they have pictures of ghosts? Well, now I can say I have one too :)

Aw, this one just makes me proud. My two little cuties. Oliver with his cousin Ronin.

I do have one tip to leave with you as far as photography goes.


I felt so dumb when I asked one of my photographer friends what I should do first to learn how to better use my camera. She bluntly said, "Read your manual".

Well needless to say I started reading that dang thing.

I never knew reading the directions could be so helpful.

Oh and last but not least. THANK YOU everyone who have left comments on yesterdays post about sharing your talents. I REALLY enjoyed reading all about your wonderful talents. So much fun!!!!

And the winner of the $96 gift card to Hapari Swimwear is Cambria Parker. Congratulations!!!!

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That one girl said...

Oh yay! We should start a gang: Mom bloggers with Canons. Tag line: We will cut you!

Too much?

It's soo fun learning about cameras, I'm in the same boat as you. Youtube has been WAY helpful. So has and the Pioneer Woman blog.

I'm dying for a 50mm prime lense F1.2. A little outside my budget right now though!

Shell said...

Oh, what a fabulous present! And great pics!

Valerie said...

I'm getting the itch for a camera that's fancy like your new one.

How fun to have a weekly photography tip!

Jules said...

Someday I will get a big girl camera instead of my tiny point and shoot. I love the pics you can get with a camera like that.

blueviolet said...

I hope to get something like that one day! Right now I have just a cheapo automatic thing.

Yours is a beauty!

Jenn Erickson said...

Crystal, love that new camera! Looks like you've already put it to fabulous use!

Just wanted to drop by, say hello, and let you know that you won the trio of moss bunnies that I was giving away! Send me an email to let me know where you'd like them mailed when you have a chance.

Warmest wishes,

toi said...

I love that camera too, I wouldn't mind the previous model.

Your picture of the man on the floor is very photo-reporter picture, well done. Nobody will think you are making fun of him :).

Crystal said...

you know that I will help out however I can.... :) just let me know :) so exciting!! photography is addictive :) hehe

Sandra said...

Crystal, I have absolutely no experience or advice regarding photography. I'm just here trolling through your pictures admiring your beautiful home, your beautiful son, your gorgeous nephew...I'm kind of stalking you via your new camera! :)

ModernMom said...

I have a Canon Xs1 and LOVE it. Although I will admit I have not figured the whole thing out yet! Must go re-read that manual:)

Rebecca Jo said...

I love experimenting with the Manual Mode... but still every day am looking at other photographers pictures to learn...

Still also trying to learn the difference in lens

carma said...

I am amazed at what a difference a good camera makes. I'm still using a point and shoot and ending up with close up photos looking like we all have huge noses :-(

Addison, Crew, and Carter's Mama said...

Crystal these are amazing!!! I love how crisp the pictures look! It's amazing what a good lens can do. Beautiful!! You need to teach me how to use mine- LOL! 2 years and I still don't feel like I know quite what I am doing ha ha!

Rachel Murphy said...

Very nice present :)

OLLIE MCKAY'S ~ A Chic Boutique said...

Really nice camera!! Great shots ~ all of them, but my Fav is the butterfly one ~ that is so cool!!

Real Life Reslers said...

Wow awesome shots, so cool!

Taylor Family said...

Congratulations!Great pics.I just got my new camera just a few weeks ago also! Derek Got me the Nikon D7000 the one I've been lusting over. To hint him I had torn a picture of it from a magazine and placed it on our fridge door. He got it for my "birthday", lucky for me I have an impatient husband and can't keep a surprises, and gave it to me early..real early, my birthday isn't till May 8...I then bought the 18-200mm zoom lens and the 50mm 1:14D lens and waiting for the 30mm to be in stock to order that one. I've bought them at B&H. I also bought a great camera bag which I LOVE!! I bought the belle in has tonz of room
and this strap is amazing! I highly recommend it. The camera feels SO light.
I love it with the cell phone pocket. Anyway have fun with your new camera! I love the story telling aspect of taking a picture of the kids and life around them..its So much fun!

CK said...

That lens DOES make a difference! Look at that!
I am happy with my 1.8 lens for now ;)

Candace @ Candace Creations said...

Great photos! I love them all, especially the butterfly, the composition is perfect!

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