47 pictures

Late posting today because I spent the entirety of the morning and early afternoon at Burgh Baby‘s house taking her DSLR for Beginners course where I learned what my camera buttons actually do! I had no clue that I could change my aperture or my ISO or my shutter speed. I had no idea why my camera was always blinking at me. I had no clue why some pictures would come out too bright and others too dark, despite the fact that they were taken in the same room.

Now my eyes have been opened and if you thought I was annoying before, just you wait. It’s going to get all manual up in this piece.

I learned how to take portraits:
How to adjust shutter speed and ISO so that this cool silhouette effect takes over:


About ten seconds after that picture, the cat tried to bitchslap that apple good. I guess cats don’t like apples. Just like they hate everyone and everything on the planet. Cats are hateful.

I learned how to take pictures of water and to use my shutter speed to change how the water looks:

I learned how to find interesting angles and compositions:




I learned that the actual Burgh Baby has lots of freaky looking dolls that probably talk in their sleep:


I learned that some dogs actually let you take pictures of them whereas my dog sees the camera and calls up his friend the cat all, “Teach me how you do that bitchslap thing.”

And I learned that chocolate chip cookie dough dip is delicious and photogenic:


Probably could have lightened that up a bit.

More Pittsburgh posting soon, but for now, I hope you enjoyed these pictures! If not, maybe you’ll enjoy the 47 pictures I took of YOUR MOM.


  1. Noelle
    January 31, 2012 3:28 pm

    Cats are not hateful they are ninjas. Big difference. It is the way of the warrior. Respect.

  2. Butcher's Dog
    January 31, 2012 3:34 pm

    Ginny, when you can take a picture with details in the darkest shadow area and not wash out the lightest parts, you’ll be a pro. It’s not easy. Way back in the day of B & W photos and darkroom printing with yearbook staffers, I learned about the Zone System. Ansell Adams, among others, specialized in it and took some breath-taking black and white stuff. Detail in the shadows is the way of the world.

    • Burghermeister
      January 31, 2012 4:23 pm

      I second these thoughts- achieving such a shot will force you to think about aperture, shutter speed and light source in a ninja kinda way. Nikon shooters of the world, unite! #47pens

  3. Jill M
    January 31, 2012 3:52 pm

    I’m jealous – I’ve had my camera for 3 years and have yet to move beyond taking pictures and changing all of the lighting in Microsoft gallery :) Nice pics!

  4. Brian
    January 31, 2012 3:58 pm

    That was quick! Nice pics… You did well today!

  5. Brian
    January 31, 2012 4:14 pm

    P.S. I was hoping for more pictures of pens.

  6. Opus2270
    January 31, 2012 4:30 pm

    In picture #6, just exactly what are those horses doing in the background?

    • Virginia
      January 31, 2012 4:34 pm

      HAH! I’m so glad you pointed that out because when I first saw the picture, I was like “KINKY!”

  7. Moxie Bestos
    January 31, 2012 4:43 pm

    I’d like the recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough dip, please.

  8. Jim
    January 31, 2012 4:51 pm

    Love the waterfall! Where is it?

    • Virginia
      February 1, 2012 8:43 am

      HAH! It looks like a giant waterfall doesn’t it? That waterfall is in Michelle’s backyard and it is maybe two feet high.

  9. Bill
    January 31, 2012 4:55 pm

    I am not sure if I am bummed that Opus2270 beat me to asking about the horses in that picture, or relieved that I am not the only one that noticed…

    • Amy
      January 31, 2012 9:31 pm

      Is here where I admit that while I normally read the posts in a feed reader, I specifically came to the site to read the comments, just to make sure I wasn’t alone in noticing it? :)

  10. Allison
    January 31, 2012 4:59 pm

    Dude! So jealous you got to go to that. I look forward to seeing what awesome pictures you end up taking with your newfound SKILLS. Get to it, woman.

  11. Pensgirl
    January 31, 2012 5:31 pm

    Does your camera have a focus (say it for me!) light? If so, maybe that’s the trouble with your dog. I had trouble taking photos of animals until I turned off that feature (the light on my camera is mega-bright-orange, but I have also seen mega-bright-green ones), but now, easy peasy.

    On the other hand, it could just be your dog. My family had the happiest-go-luckiest dog the world has ever known, but for reasons known only to him, he was terrified of cameras. In nearly every picture we took of him – this is over 16 years – he looks like he belongs in one of those heart-rending ASPCA commercials. He was Mr. Personality, life of the party, totally adorable, and led an awesome diggity-dog life, but there is zero evidence of any of that!

  12. biggeorge
    January 31, 2012 5:47 pm

    try this for some nice pictures.
    set your ISO to 200
    set your shutter speed to 200
    set your f-stop to f22
    use you pop up flash
    take pictures of flowers with a darker color back ground, and watch the flowers pop!

  13. Steelertom
    January 31, 2012 6:12 pm

    I need me a class or two. Just picked up a Nikon D5100 about 2 months ago.
    I picked up a couple books, but I think I’d do better with a class or two…. I think I’ma gonna check out the local CC…….

    • Virginia
      February 1, 2012 8:45 am

      Or sign up for Burgh Baby’s next course. Learn so much in four hours.

      • lisa
        February 1, 2012 1:08 pm

        how when where!!!! Details Plz! want to get picture of hawk in my yard, taking aim on the “doves” that fly all over!

  14. jdp
    January 31, 2012 7:09 pm

    She’s not smiling. Didn’t she used to complain much about how uncooperative her daughter was for portraits?

    • Virginia
      February 1, 2012 8:46 am

      She wasn’t being uncooperative. She simply was sitting on the steps in her house and told us to try to get a picture of her in that lighting by adjusting our shutter speed and aperture, etc. She wasn’t actually posing for a portrait. Just sitting in as something for us to focus on.

  15. Emily
    January 31, 2012 9:24 pm


    • Moxie Bestos
      February 1, 2012 10:51 am

      Oh yum. And wow. Even more wow? I am an Amy with a young son with blue eyes and curly hair, though his hair is more reddish than blonde. I must make this recipe immediately to complete the circle.

  16. bucdaddy
    February 1, 2012 10:51 am

    You know, most of those are, actually, pretty good.

  17. Bram R
    February 1, 2012 11:42 am

    Hey Burgh Baby … if you have about 24 hours to spare … you’re welcome.


    • burghbaby
      February 1, 2012 1:42 pm

      It’s a good thing I don’t care that the My Little Ponies look like they went for a romp with the Jersey Shore cast because HOLY TIME SUCK.