A Winter Mantel and an Online Class in Photography


adding books to a winter mantel

I was so late in taking down my Christmas decorations…and I finally decided that today I was going to de-Christmas my mantel as well. I’m still loving the wintery look, so I used some greenery, pinecones, candles and mercury votive holders but I added some books to the mix this time. Winter is a time when I read a lot more than I do the rest of the year, so the decoration fits my personality in the great room.

mantel decorated with antique books

 Putting my favorite $12 sunburst mirror in the center, I filled out the rest of the mantel with a collection of antique books and some “new” antique books, candles and evergreen sprigs from my backyard.

winter mantel with sunburst mirror candles and books

 winter mantel with books and candlesI am taking an online class in Photography now and specifically for the camera that I have – the Nikon D3100. As I was going through the class, the instructor was teaching how to change the White Balance, ISO and many other settings on the camera. He made some suggestions on settings to change also. So, now I am not so happy with most of my shots. I had been pretty happy – although I knew that I needed to learn a lot more about photography (which is why I decided to take the class!). Shooting in Manual Mode has its challenges…but I hope to one day conquer it!

fireplace mantel with candles, books and mirror

These are nighttime images, so the glow of the candles warmed up the shots a lot, which I do kind of like because it’s closer to what it actually looks like in the room. I had to also change the ISO setting (I had it 100, so I upped to 400). – the higher the ISO, the more sensitive the camera will be to low light situations. You don’t want to use a high ISO number because the picture will get too grainy then.

candle covered with faux tin ceiling paper and twine

 But I had so much trouble with the White Balance – I kept getting cooler “green” shots and that was so wrong. I realized I had to fiddle with (notice my grand photography lingo here!)…or rather “adjust” the colors on the White Balance setting. I had had it on auto – but that wasn’t working. I finally changed it to shooting in “incandescent” because I did have some lights on…and then there were the candles! I warmed up the shots by adjusting the temperature setting that comes up.  

mantel with pinecones, books and candles

I have a long way to go but hopefully you will learn some things along with me. Let me know if some of my photography issues (and how I figure out what to do!) is useful to you. I know there are bloggers out there still using Iphones and point and shoot cameras…who do want to venture into the DSLR world. Let me hear from you – I will post what I learn!

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6 Responses to A Winter Mantel and an Online Class in Photography

  1. Sue says:

    My camera broke (which was not all that) and I have to use my smart phone for now. Lovin these photos and the mantle with antique books, candles, and greenery and the golden glow you featured.
    Sue recently posted..Rustic Cottage Built in 1925 is Part of Jean Harlow’s EstateMy Profile

    • Linda says:

      Thanks Sue…Oh no, your camera broke? Do you have an iphone5? Apparently, that phone plus some apps will give you some great shots. You can use that until you get another camera. I am going to be learning all I can with this camera (the Nikon D3100) and then I will upgrade to an even better camera. But – not until I really learn what I am doing with this one.

      Have a great weekend!

  2. Thistle says:

    I need to take a photography class! There is so much to learn!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Happy day to you!
    Thistle recently posted..So You Think You Might Like to Blog?My Profile

    • Linda says:

      Hey Karianne (wasn’t that a song by the Hollies…back in the day!?) Thanks for your wonderful comment. I am learning and learning as I take more and more photographs. Don’t know why it took me so long to really start studying photography…but it’s so necessary in blogging. Thanks for doing the “blogging series.” I am paying close attention to everything said.

      Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. Maria Killam says:

    So pretty, I’m about to take a photography course myself!! x Maria
    Maria Killam recently posted..Goals for 2014; What I Accomplished in 2013My Profile

    • Linda says:

      Thanks Maria! Sorry the reply was late. I am so glad you are going to take a photography class. Please post some of your tips. Thanks again…Linda

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