Last night I crawled into bed exhausted to the bone. It had been a busy and long week, and I finished up by attending a women's ministry retreat Friday night and Saturday. I usually can't resist checking my blackberry email one last time before I go to bed, and there was a comment notification from Jeanne on yesterday's blog post that I was the #1 winner this week in the Shoot. Edit. Submit. challenge.
A jolt of adrenaline surged through my system, and I ran to the computer to check it out. Sure enough, there it was and now I get to display my first ever winner's badge on my blog!I'm not totally sure where I'm supposed to put it, so I'll put it here for now and on the original blog entry here.
It took me a good hour to quiet myself down enough to sleep. It probably sounds lame to be so excited, but its a big friggin' deal to me. :) A big congrats to this week's top five winners. All the photos were awesome. I don't know how they choose. Click here to see them all.
Meanwhile, back at the women's retreat I shot the subject that would be my entry to this week's challenge. Just as the ladies reconvened in the conference room after lunch, this little guy settled in on the porch railing on the outside deck. My camera was up in my room, and I figured he'd be long gone by the time I got back. But, he had apparently made himself quite comfortable.
Then I figured he'd probably be scared away as soon as I stepped out on the deck, so I took this quick shot through the rails. I'm starting to branch out from my comfort zone of relying on auto focus and shooting in manual and only recently I discovered how the focusing ring can help me get shots like this.
Previously, I had no idea what it was for and even when I read about it on my lens manual, I still didn't understand how to use it. It is sort of ridiculous to pay that much money for a 300mm lens and not know how all the parts work. But, I'm a bit of a jumper and learn as you go kind of person.
Eventually, I get it. Here's where just playing around with your camera and shooting A LOT really helps. Who reads manuals anyway?
I inched closer and closer and he just sat there. I admit the view of the lake was lovely, and I think he was enjoying it. Alas, he did want to be alone so he shot me this look before he scampered away up the stairs.
I'll have more photos and insights to share from the retreat throughout the week. For now, blessings for a peaceful and restful Sunday to all.
The beauty of nature and all God's creatures here for us to enjoy and appreciate.
Today's submission made it to the top 5!