December’s Snap To It Tip and Assignment from Cinnamon at Eat Pray Tri is all about focus.

I’m loving her photography tips and challenges because it gives me an excuse to get my camera out and practice something I might not have.  I’ve never actually used toggle focus on my camera before.  Normally I would just manually change my focus area with the focus ring.  So I found this interesting.  Please read Cinnamon’s post for more explanation, but I hope my submission will provide an easy visual aid for you as well.

Basically you can set up your DSLR to use your selector buttons to change where the focus is on your shot.

I pulled out the tripod and took three pictures at exactly the same distance, ISO, SS, aperture ect.

The first pic the focus is on the fish on the left.  In the second pic, it’s on the fish in the middle.  In the third pic, focus is on the tail of the wooden garland hanging down.

Snap To It 3 Pics

Hopefully seeing these three pictures together will help you understand a little more about focus and toggle.  The only thing I did differently in each picture was to use my selector dial to move the focus box from one place to the next.

Have a great weekend all!

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  Wanna guess how many fish ornaments I have for our Christmas tree?  Maybe that should be the next giveaway.  The closest guess wins a prize or something.

Snap To It is baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.



In case you forgot because Cinnamon took a little break there for awhile, the lovely blog Eat Pray Tri offers some helpful photography tips and then gives an assignment utilizing said tips.  The last tip was about shutter speed and Cinnamon shared some awesome flying confetti shots.

Shutter speed is all about freezing a moment in mid air after all.

She also did another post about her flying dog and I kinda decided to copy the idea for my shutter speed submission.

So here’s my submission.

Snap To It SS Midwestern Bite

I admit I took a few liberties here by combining three pictures into one.  I just couldn’t decide which pic to use so I cheated and used them all.  Here’s the originals.

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It’s a good thing Cinnamon over at Eat Pray Tri gave us two weeks to turn in our latest Snap To It assignment because it rained for over a week here.  Normally I could work around or even with this . . . but when the assignment is snapping a pic of a sunburst it becomes a whole lot trickier.

So yeah, the assignment was a sunburst.  It turns out it’s actually pretty easy.  Check out Cinnamon’s post for more details but the short of it is crank your aperture to like 22, underexpose and let the sun peek out .  Super easy.  As long as it’s not raining of course.

I took the first sunny toddler free opportunity I had to take a few test shots in the driveway.  My hope was actually for an architectural pic with the sun peeking out between some awesomely cool old buildings. Unfortunately (just for this assignment that is because the rest of the time it’s a good thing) my neighborhood is mostly trees.  I dusted off (no, not really, there was dust and I left it) my Nikon’s kit lens (or walk-around lens as I prefer to call it) and headed outside.  So here’s what I ended up with.

Sunburst 1 RW

Sunburst 2 RW

Yikes.  This pic isn’t winning the competition.  Kinda cool though.

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Snap To It this week over at Eat Pray Tri is all about Metering.  Click on over to see what Cinnamon has to say about how metering affects which parts of the photo are exposed.


The assignment for the week was to snap a photo with competing lights and darks with only one of the two being properly exposed.  Yup, that means part of the photo will be either under or over exposed.

Here’s my submission.  It’s a fern hanging from my In-Laws front porch.  I love how the greens fade from light to dark here.


 As you can see from the reject pile, the sky was bluer in real life.  Speaking of the reject pile, here it is.

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I’m still very much participating in Cinnamon at Eat Pray Tri’s Snap To It photography project.


This week’s tutorial is about terminology and acronyms and the assignment is very open ended.  Submit a picture inspired by one of the terms Cinnamon explains.  I’ve decided to go with a snap from a photo shoot I did with the neighbor dog Maggie recently.  She is quite wiggly so the pictures run the gambit from not too shabby to, well, shabby.  Out of focus because she doesn’t stand still for two seconds shabby.

Our neighbor is a retired gentleman who has complained to me before that he has few pictures of Maggie so I’ve made it my personal mission to get him some.

Here’s how this is going to work.  I’ll list the acronyms Cinnamon describes and match a picture of Maggie to each.  Some of these might be a bit of a stretch.  Like AI-Servo.  What the what?  Anyway.  You all then get to comment on which picture you like best and whichever one gets more votes I will submit as my official entry.  As for the title, my plan is to make the acronym stand for something other than what it’s supposed to.  Something funny of course.  Like B&W for Black and White might become Black and Wiggly.  Because Maggie is a Black Lab.  And Wiggly.

I’ll make it funnier than that I promise.

Here we go:

1. SOOC– pronounced “sook” Straight out of Camera

I chose this picture for SOOC because I also use it later where I edited the heck out of it.  So you can see the difference.

DSC_0894 RW

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This Week’s Snap To It lesson and assignment are all about exposure.

As if there was any doubt that The Husband and I belong together, this assignment further proved we’re two peas in a pod.

Like I stated last week, I title my Snap To It pictures before I take them.

There was only one thing on my mind when I considered what picture to take.  Only one thing that really made sense when it came to “exposure.”

Midwestern Bite Joanna Snap To It Week 4 Exposure

That’s right folks, my husband’s butt.

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The Snap To It photography challenge this week proved harder than I thought,  Not because I don’t understand the subject matter.  I understand Bokeh just fine.  It’s Blur by the way.  And not the band.

Woo Hoo.

Please tell me at least a few of you got that.

So anyway, I consider myself a witty person.  Sometimes that wit gets in the way, however.  This is the third week of Snap To It and the third week I have titled my picture before I snapped it.  Yup.

Week One was It’s Element-ary, Dear Cinnamon.

Midwestern Bite Snap To It Week 1 Basic Titled

Week Two was Triangle (Wo)man, Triangle (Wo)man.  This was a tribute to They Might Be Giants.  Please tell me at least a few of you got that.

Midwestern Bite Snap To It Week 2 Triangle 2 Titled

Week Three was Is It “Bokeh” or “Bouquet” ??

Midwestern Bite Joanna Snap To It Week 3 Bokeh RW Titled 2Hilarious right?  I know.  I told you, I’m witty.

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Snap to it, people, snap to it.


Week Two’s photography tips from Cinnamon at Eat Pray Tri are about the exposure triangle.  Ironically, or not so much, our assignment for the week was to photograph a triangle.

All the pics were taken on a family walk down the Lane.  I’ll admit I didn’t spend a lot of time choosing camera settings this week.  I picked my ISO based on the time of day and light available and played with my F-stop occasionally.  Okay rarely.  It was a walk not a sniff after all.

I promised The Husband I would share his submission first, so here it is.

Midwestern Mike Snap To It Week 2 Triangle Titled

Fortunately that fence is not in our yard.  We’ve already replaced one fence post and have several more on their last leg.  It’s pretty though.  Very triangular.

Here’s my submission.

Midwestern Bite Snap To It Week 2 Triangle 2 Titled

I didn’t have too crazy many runners up for this week.  I took a few more shadow snaps, but I totally looked pregnant in the one (I’m not by the way.)  Leave it to a woman to think her shadow looks fat.

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I mentioned a few weeks ago that my pal Cinnamon was starting a weekly photography tip and assignment on her blog Eat Pray Tri.  It’s called Snap To It and week one is a go.


Cinnamon’s first post, The Basics, links up several photography sites she has found helpful.  For her first assignment, Cinnamon asks us to send her a picture of something basic.  Basic, but not boring.

My take on basic was simple.  What’s the most basic thing you need to survive?  Besides oxygen that is, so don’t guess that.  Water.  You need water.  At least according to The Husband.

I decided to photograph a simple water droplet.  Here’s my (hopefully winning) submission, entitled “It’s Element-ary, Dear Cinnamon.”  I’m witty, I know.

Midwestern Bite Snap To It Week 1 Basic Titled

It’s just a simple water droplet, but set on an iris that’s blooming in our yard.   Yes, I set it there.  Just call me Mama Nature.

Here are the runners up that I was quite fond of as well.

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I’d like to take a minute this morning to give you all a heads up on a fun new photography project Cinnamon over at Eat Pray Tri is starting up.  It’s called Snap To It.


Basically it’s for anyone with an interest in photography.  It will involve weekly tips, a weekly assignment and a reveal day of all our homework.  Though it does offer many tips for DSLR cameras (Father-In-Law, that’s the big ol’ honkin’ Nikon I carry around) it will also be for anyone with a point and shoot (Father-In-Law, that’s the teensy tiny thing you carry around.)

To steal all the words from Cinnamon’s page here’s the specific haps:

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