I have always used cameras that are set to “Auto” or those without the ability to make setting adjustments. Although some of my “Auto” pictures look great to me, I decided it was time I learned to get the most from my digital camera and use the numerous available settings on a dSLR. So this weekend I drove to a beautiful little waterfall at Forest Falls in the San Bernardino Mountains to try out some different settings on my camera. It was the first time I had tried making changes to the shutter speed and aperture settings. After taking over one hundred shots, I downloaded the pictures and saw how difficult it really is to capture a beautiful image. I knew that if I really wanted to get off “Auto” I was going to need some help. I decided to sign up for the online photography course offered by Nomadic Matt on his website. The price is very reasonable and I think it will be a good start for me. I also found a great step-by-step book titled “The Beginner’s Photography Guide” written by Chris Gatcum. I am currently using a Nikon D3300 that came with 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses but have ordered a Tamron 16-300mm lens that will replace these making it easier by not requiring lens changes. My goal someday is to be able to capture star trails using techniques in night photography. I will continue to use my GoPro and IPhone for taking pictures, but am excited to learn a new way to bring life to the joy of my outdoor escapes!