Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Scott Kelby Is My Hero, A Giveaway, and A Winner



When I started my blog a few months ago I was a photography noob, someone who knew how to remove the lens cap and push the button to take a picture, but little else!  We had purchased a nice Canon Rebel XTI SLR camera a few years ago when I went to visit our daughter in Europe, and I even thought I took pretty good pictures until I started visiting some blogs and realized I didn't know my head from a hole in the ground when it came to taking great pictures.

Then in true "Kat" fashion I began messing around with Photoshop Elements, also not really knowing what I was doing and refusing to read any instructions or manuals, but I wanted to grow and learn.  Thankfully, I married a man who reads ALL of the instructions, even when I make fun of him, and he slowly began telling me how I could use different settings and actually using some of the millions of buttons on the camera to get even better photos.

This resulted in some better photos, and some that were worse, yup... again, with the not reading instructions thing!  Apparently the camera's white balance got set to something wacky and so some of my photos ended up looking like I was Picasso and going through my very own "blue" period!   Remember the shots from my seaside tablescape?  See the picture below...yikes!


 Taken before Scott Kelby came in to my life!



Taken using full zoom with 17 - 70 macro lens


So, after realizing that I wasn't going to become a better photographer by simply looking at other people's work, and also realizing that I couldn't keep calling Mr. Tide and saying things like "hey look at this picture on this blog, how did they get the pale pinks to pop out like that?!"  To which he would calmly try and walk me through it over the phone and I would end up saying oh forget it, and go right back to the automatic settings!


Taken using 17 - 70 Sigma lens


Finally, after a few months of asking other people whose photographic skills I admired and envied about what resources they used, I kept hearing one name over and over again.  They all said "Get Scott Kelby's digital photography book!"

So who was this Scott Kelby guy anyway, and why were his books any better than the rest of the plethora of books available on the market about how to take better pictures?!  Couldn't I just go online and find this info, did I really need a book?!  After my "cheap" side was done talking, my "need to take better pictures" side piped up and said order the dang book!  And I did!

Ok, I know that I'm a writer and all, but let's just say that I'm not much of a reader.  If a house in a magazine really strikes my fancy I might read the whole article, but I'm more of a captions kind of gal!  Shhh, don't tell anyone though!  So I wondered if I would even read this book once it arrived.


Taken using 17 - 70 Sigma lens


But when Scott Kelby's book, simply titled The Digital Photography Book, Volume 1, came in the mail, it was like an alien entered my body and I couldn't put the thing down!  I was reading it constantly, and if I could have figured out a way to read and drive, trust me I would have, it was that good!

Not only is Scott hilarious, but he presents the information in his book so that anyone can understand it.  He has taken all the technical jargon and put it into a format where even I could understand it!  And I spent the first few days after I got the book in the mail running around and trying everything he suggested and reciting passages to Mr. Tide like I had just joined some sort of photography cult where Scott Kelby was the guru!


Taken using full zoom with 17 -70  macro lens 


It turns out that Scott Kelby is to digital photography what Paula Deen is to cooking!  He doesn't fancy up his book with a bunch of terms that boggle the mind, and instead serves up good common sense advice that helps you create amazing photographs!  Even if you don't have a fancy schmancy $5,000 camera (which I don't!) with every piece of available equipment (and who does, besides the pros?!) you can benefit from his practical advice and be taking better pictures within hours of receiving his book.


Taken using full zoom with Canon image stabilized 70 -300 lens


Now you might think that Scott is secretly paying me to say such nice things about him, but I swear he isn't.  It's just that I have been so completely impressed by how his advice has helped me in such a short time, that I know it will help you too if you're interested in taking better pictures.

So I have a little something for you my bloggy friends!  Scott Kelby has given me a signed copy of his book, The Digital Photography Book, Volume 1, to give away to one lucky winner!!!  He has other volumes, but this one will help get you started and make you want to become a member of the Scott Kelby fan club...I'm the new president! ;-)


 Taken using full zoom 17 - 70 macro lens


I have a long way to go and lots to learn about taking photos, but all of the photos above (except the yucky "blue" one) are examples of how Scott's book has helped me to take better photos.  And the most amazing part is that I've only had his book for a little over 2 weeks!  Do I sound like the Sham Wow guy yet?!  You see, Scott Kelby is my new hero and he will be yours too if you get his book!


 Taken using full zoom 17 - 70 macro lens

So in order to be entered to win the autographed copy of Scott Kelby's amazing and informative book all you need to do is.

1.  Leave a comment telling me what you want to improve about your own photos.

2.  For a second chance to win Tweet, Facebook, or post about the giveaway on your blog and be sure to come back and let me know by leaving a second comment.

I would like to give a special thanks to Scott Kelby and Kathy, his assistant, for providing me with a signed copy of his wonderful book!

The contest will be open until Monday, April 19th at Midnight PST!   



And I also want to announce the winner of last week's giveaway, the beautiful earrings from Scarborough Seashells!


The winner is Linda from Itsy Bits and Pieces!  Congrats Linda!  Please email me your address!

83 comments:

  1. I so need this! I purchased a camera not too long ago and need to be motivated to read the instructions. The more pictures I take the more I realize how little I know about photography.

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  2. I really NEED this book ! I'm going through a yellow period.

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  3. OK, I don't usually enter contests, cause I don't like to lose, but I MUST HAVE THIS BOOK. The entire documentation of my children will suffer if I don't have it...

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  4. I always think there is something new to learn abt taking photos ! Thanks for the giveaway

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  5. I am so excited to have won the earrings- they are just beautiful!! Thanks SO much!! I am so going to look for this book- I enjoy photography so much, but don't have a clue what I'm doing!

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  6. I am guilty of not reading the instruction booklet that came with my camera, so I have learned by trial and error.
    Your photos are looking good.

    hugs
    Sissie

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  7. I have always loved taking pictures! It started when I was a teenager and I realized as the youngest of 4, there weren't many (3or4) baby pictures of me. So I have taken thousands upon thousands of my life and my children's lives... maybe not the best pictures, some not so great because they spent years in a large Ziploc because I could barely afford film let alone the developing. So I have several very large bins filled with photographs. Of course now we have a digital (I would love a better one) and I have thousands and thousands of digital photos as well. This is why I want the book. Because I need to be Schooled on the know-how of digital photography. Thanks for the chance!

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  8. I dream of taking even a passable picture!

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  9. I became a tweeter follower and re tweeter-ed it from @atonewithhim.

    So exciting!

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  10. Oh my gosh - those photos are amazing. I hate I missed your giveaway but will order the book. Do you have a post on your camera/lens somewhere? I need to search.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my garden. Come anytime.

    Allison

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  11. Kat, I really need this book. I am very interested in learning the stuff on my camera. I have just been setting it on different pre-set settings to try it out, but other than that I don't have a clue what I am doing. I don't have the good camera that you got. I would love to graduate to that one in the future. I don't have extra lenses either. Just this point and shoot camera. I want my photos to look like yours and others that I have seen that look like you can reach right in and touch the subject.

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  12. I love the blue heron pic...I can do this, I can do this

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  13. If you have seen my blog you know that I need this book. My camera has lots of buttons but I always leave it on auto. I would love to learn how to take sharp and clear photographs.

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  14. WOW, that's pretty special to have a SIGNED COPY!!! I love Scott Kelby! I would like to win this book, for sure! I like to improve my skills in taking portraits! Thanks for hosting this great give-away.

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  15. What a fantastic giveaway! I would love to win this book, my hubby is the one who takes great photos and I want to be able to take passable ones on his fancy camera! Congratulations to Linda on winning the earrings! Thanks for hosting these great giveaways! xx

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  16. Kat..
    I have always been the one with the camera at whatever function..
    I am passionate in all that I do, and to be a better photographer is my goal..
    If Scott can do this, then by all means..
    let me win the book!
    will post on my blog..
    warmest hugs..Loui♥

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  17. Kat..
    Have just posted on my blog!
    congrats to Linda for winning MY earrings!!
    warmest hugs..
    laughing smiles..
    Loui♥

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  18. Congratulations to the lucky winner. Oh, I wish my pictures were just a little bit brighter. It's so hard to get the job done perfectly. But fortunately we have the digitals, so we can click as many as we need to... ;)

    Have a happy day, hope your week is great so far! xo

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  19. Hi Kat, that is really useful and interesting giveaway!. I just got a Nikon 3000 last week for my birthday and I need to improve on almost everything. The other day, I was cursing it loudly as it kept telling me the object was too close. I was exclaiming how it was a ridiculous camera if I couldn't get close to my subject, when I realised I had the lens cap on! Si, I likey need more than a book, but it would be a great start.

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  20. I've been working on figuring out my camera and photoshopping my pics now, but I'd really LOVE to actually understand what I am doing and take the guesswork out of every picture!

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  21. What would I like to improve? Lots, but I'll just say that this is fabulous giveaway! The photos speak for themselves.

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  22. Woot! Just RT your giveaway!

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  23. Oh wow this book sounds wonderful. I so need help with my photos. I want clearer shots showing better close up detail and crazy as it sounds clearer distance shots. Oh yeh - I want to improve every aspect of my photos
    Alison

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  24. Oh boy could I use this book- Even in my light tent, I can take the same shot 3 times and end up with a yellow one, a blue one and a correct one. I have no clue what I'm doing wrong, but it takes me forever to get my photos ready for blogging or selling. So frustrating!

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  25. So, this is the answer to my picture disasters! I keep thinking....it's the camera. The search is always on for the perfect camera that takes those perfect pictures. But alas it must be the operator. HELP!

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  26. BTY, I must say.....I can't start my day without checking in on Low Tide.....what a find. I absolutely adored the Brooke Steuart vacation kitchen from yesterday's post. Love it, love it, love it!

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  27. I'd love to have this book! I love photography, and I could really use a book that can hold my attention long enough to teach me something. I'm not good at reading manuals either, I can't remember which thing does what when I'm actually out there shooting. I'd like to get out of my standard way of shooting and explore more options!

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  28. Kat, I posted about the giveaway on my blog!

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  29. Oh gosh, I'd love to have this book!

    My photography skills are next to nothing, and I need some help.

    I'm afraid they are going to diagnose the shiny red Kodak with shaken camera syndrome if I don't.

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  30. Great giveaway! I could really use some help with lighting!

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  31. I, just like you, got an SLR camera a couple of years ago and haven't found the time to sit and read all of the instructions and manuals. WHo need those anyway? Well I definetely need to set my priotities and just read them. I've taken thousands of pictures of my four daughters only to have a few turn out because the settings on the camera are not where they should be. I would love this book!!

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  32. Just found your blog! What fun. I have an Etsy shop so the need for great pics is very high right now. Just have a point and shoot but hubby has a Rebel XTI that I find too complex. It intimidates me...

    With this book and the Rebel... watch out Etsy. My sea glass jewelry would fly out the door

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  33. I need to work on my landscapes - I love close-ups, so unfortunately EVERY picture I end up taking is a close-up!

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  34. I would love to learn more about photography - count me in.

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  35. Thanks for the Tweet! I would love to work on EVERYTHING when it comes to taking photos. Learning to use every aspect of my camera would be a great start. It is smarter than me!

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  36. I tweeted about your giveaway. :D

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  37. I put info about the giveaway on my sidebar on my blog. Thanks for having such a nice giveaway.

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  38. I def need to learn more about lighting and I'm not one to read manuals either. I'm going to have to check this book out! Thanks for the info!

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  39. Hi, nice to meet you...I came here because Sissie highly recommended you!

    love your photos...I love photography...it's one of my many favourite hobbies!!!!

    anything based on photography, books, old cameras, etc...are like gold to me!
    and there's always room for improvement, right!

    i'll look for your follow button after posting this...but please do enter me in for a chance to win an autographed copy! !! wow, that is so cool, btw!

    also when and if you get a chance, do come by to see my two blogs!

    ciao bella
    creative carmelina was here!!!

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  40. WOW!!! Your blog is so beautiful, love all your pics. Just found you by way of Sissie. I have a couple of Scott's photoshop books and they are awesome.
    Debby

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  41. You and I both know, I need this book to help me take a better photo. Send it my way. My blog will thank you.

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  42. Kat, these are beautiful photos. Amazing work! I'd love to have a signed book from the master himself.
    I'd like to improve my knowledge of my camera and become a better photographer.

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  43. Hi Kat!!

    Just found you and would love to be entered in your Giveaway.
    I have been in love with cameras all my life and love to take pictures, my problem is that I need a great book to help me learn to take great shots. I think this is THE book for me!!

    Hugs and Smiles,

    Susan

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  44. Well Kat, I'm thoroughly impressed! Although I wish I had that camera you have! I have a small digital camera that takes all my pics, automatic...sooooo....with the zillions of pictures I take, I REALLY want, ahem, NEED that book! If I end up not winning it, I think you sold a copy!!! I'll have to look it up!!!
    Thanks for the opportunity!
    Doni

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  45. Hi again!!

    Thank you for posting about my son's birthday..so sweet of you!! :D
    I have also posted your Giveaway on my blog.

    Sweet Dreams,

    Susan

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  46. OK...I've added your blog giveaway to my sidebar too!! Gotta win that book!!!!
    Doni

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  47. OH MY...I TAKE PICTURES WITH MY CELL PHONE AND POST THEM ON MY BLOG! TALK ABOUT YIKES! GREAT GIVE AWAY FOR SOMEONE LIKE ME.
    MARCIA

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  48. I really need to get this book,thank you for the info :) I love the photo's you take,great job!!! :)

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  49. I want to learn how to use my macro feature

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  50. I would like to improve EVERYTHING about my photography! All I know how to do is point, shoot and pray for the best!

    ~ Tracy

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  51. I posted about your giveaway on my sidebar.

    ~ Tracy

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  52. I just purchased a Nikon P90. Awesome camera but have no idea what I'm doing. Expecting our first granddaughter in July and would really like to capture the little one's life the way it was meant to be! I so need your help.

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  53. It wasn't until I began blogging that I realized how fun photography is! I need LOTS of help though! I have a Pentax K10 camera but I need help to learn how to improve, no doubt! Great giveaway! Suzie

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  54. I added a link to your giveaway on my blog sidebar for a second chance! Suzie

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  55. Oh boy.......do I need this! My photos stink and I need help.

    Please enter me too.

    Your Mr. Quinn is as cute as can be....Happy Birthday to that cutie-patootie.

    Warm blessings,
    Spencer

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  56. I have been trying to take decent pics for years... I would LOVE to have this book, not only LOVE to, but actually NEED it!!!
    BTW... Mr Quinn is AWESOME! I can understand how you fell in love with him!
    Love & Peace,
    MaryAnn

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  57. Hi again! I also added a link to your blogger and Giveaway on my FB :)
    (MaryAnn Braun)

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  58. I received a EOS 50D Canon camera for Christmas and would love to know how to really use it. So, I would love to have this book to teach me how.

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  59. The Easter Bunny brought me a Canon Rebel xsi and boy oh boy could I use this book. What a great prize!

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  60. Oh, I want this book for my 16 year old daughter! She really has "an eye," as they say, and was given a wonderful Canon camera package by an elderly man at our church who just thinks she great and wanted to do something nice for her! She is taking thousands of photos, experimenting on her own, reading articles, but would really make the most of this book!

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  61. I am just so clueless and I sound exactly like you did! I hated reading all those instructions and my pictures often look blurry or dark! I have a digital camera that is under $200! I am not sure that a great expensive camera with too much overload is the best option! I just want some clear pictures! I would love to win! Thanks for sharing with me! I feel like I found someone who understands me at least!

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  62. Help, help!! I need this book. The will is there but the skills are lacking! (-:

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  63. Kat wow these images are stounding I love the tree and sunset. I would love this book, beacause my camera, a Nikon little Cool Pix has some limitations, although I also am not a "read the directions " person!His book sounds like I could "get it"!

    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  64. What I want to improve about my photos is use of lighting.

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  65. I am the family photographer and I can use all the help that is out there! I would so love to get a copy of this book. -- You take beautiful pictures!

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  66. How wonderful! I would be thrilled to win and learn some new tips! Thanks!

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  67. I forgot to say that I would like to learn more about lighting...taking photos without a flash! Thanks!

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  68. Wow I need to read this book. My picture clarity is really bad, and I just can't for the life of me take pictures of shiny objects! ~Lili

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  69. Hi,
    My name is Brenda and I just found your blog - which is great. I wanted to enter the contest for the Scott Kelby book but every time I tried to submit my comment nothing happened. I did notice that the bottom left hand toolbar said "error on page". I don't blog (I'm just a reader right now) so I have no idea what is wrong. Can you help me? I would like a chance at winning the book. I need help in that direction too. Thanks so much.

    Brenda

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  70. I would love this book! I bought a new camera recently, and the one thing I really want to learn how to do is use manual settings, not rely on pre-set ones!

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  71. Hi Kat
    I have mentioned your giveaway in my post today. You can find it here,
    http://mccarthydesigns.blogspot.com/2010/04/photography.html
    Thanks xx

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  72. I love taking photos and I believe there is so much more I can learn. I love photography books.

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  73. Kat,
    I so need this book...I'm buying a new camera and I can use all the help that I can get! You take such wonderful pics and I hope to be able to do the same...please count me in:)

    Blessings,
    Linda

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  74. What a nice giveaway, Kat! Put my name in the hat!!

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  75. I can use all the help I can get photo-wise and I'm so happy to have found your blog today! Just in time to enter... but also because I like what I see here so much. I'll definitely be back for more! Thanks!

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  76. Oh oh oh! Please enter me in the drawing! I need all the help I can get and would love to win this book! :o)

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  77. I would love to have this book..I get bogged down trying to figure out all the tech talk in the other books, give up and use auto settings:)

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  78. I need to learn how to use my new Nikon digital camera....all the bells and whistles!

    Love your blog!

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