I have a confession to make.  Ready?  I use the AUTO setting on my SLR camera 90% of the time, 5% of the time I have it set on one of those built-in presets, the other 5% is me just wingin' it.  I need to buy a book for Dummies.  Most of the time the AUTO setting works just find, but some how I still feel like I'm shorting myself and my images.

I am not a photographer.  I just like to take photographs.  I'm more on the Ansel Adams (except with color) side of the scale.  I enjoy natural light and leaves and flowers and bugs.

This is my favorite.  EVER.  I took this photo back in 2005 with a 4 mega-pixel Kodak CX7430 Point & Shoot camera.  I didn't know a single thing about taking photos except to aim the camera and push the button.  I think I got seriously lucky.  And the fact that apparently this little fellow was really excited about the nectar in that lilac tree didn't hurt either!

I thought if I could take a photo that totally awesome with a 4 mega-pixel camera... IMAGINE what I could do with one that had twice the mega-pixels!  So I bought another Kodak.  A C875!  It had all the bells and whistles, different priority modes (PASM), video, blah, blah, blah.  It was also around this time that I figured out that you should really never ever, ever, ever use digital zoom.  It's just bad juju man.  On that tiny little LCD screen your image will look perfect.  On a normal screen or on paper... not so much.  But I did get loads and loads of photos with this camera that I thought were da bomb y'all.

Not to mention the years of family photos.  The only real issue I had with this camera was what I call the "washout" factor.  If I was trying to take a photo in a low-light situation, you were going to show up in the image looking like Casper's long lost sister or brother.  Everyone always came out looking 4 shades whiter than what they actually were.

I still have a point and shoot camera, but thanks to the knowledge of a friend, I bought a Canon.  Love it.  Small, compact, literally fits in my back pocket, and doesn't cause excessive "washout" factors when taking photos indoors!

I don't know how I got so carried away with this...  All I really wanted to do was show you these photos I took yesterday NOT using the AUTO setting!  Oooo.... and doing some fine tweaking, like those darn rounded corners.

This last one?  My less than girly girl just hangin' out.  I love her silly self.

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