I am totally not one who needs the latest and greatest when it comes to technology. I don't text, because I have a seventy year old cellphone and I won't let Ben spend the money to upgrade me. You'd never find me setting up new stuff at our house...I just look helpless until Ben does it....then I reward him with grateful kisses. I will never be the one standing in line for the latest release. It's just not how I roll. I read some great advice when I first started photography. The equipment doesn't make you a better photographer, your technique and vision alone can do that. So don't buy a certain lens because you think it will make your photos better. Our rule of thumb is that we only buy new equipment when we get to the point that we can't accomplish our vision with what we already have. Alison Tyler Jones and Donna Smylie

So that's what I've done, I've worked on developing my technique and vision. I've made a ton of mistakes and learned from them. Occasionally, I've done it right and remembered what I've done to repeat it. I've worked my 40D pretty hard and have learned a lot, a lot, a lot in the past few years...about my camera, about people, about how to draw them out to be themselves in front of it. It's still a great camera and I will continue to use it for backup.

However, I was finding low lighting situations very challenging, even with the right settings and the right lenses. The capabilities of the Canon 5d Mark ii completely won me over and after eyeing it for about two years, Ben gave me the push, found a great deal, and placed the order before I had a chance to change my mind (to hem and haw a while longer).

I am thrilled, THRILLED with it. Once I got over the initial hesitation and actually started playing around, I have been so happy!

Here is my warm baby boy in a very, very dim light last night.(Shot at 4000 ISO!) It was all I could do not to snatch him up and munch on his legs.

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When I first was studying to teach, I observed and student taught under some master teachers (Cherrie, Penny and Alisha). They had their rooms of kids working like clockwork, learning, growing....and adoring them because of how warm and full of high expectations they were. It was exciting and also a little overwhelming because I didn't know exactly how to be like them. I soon realized, with their encouragement and prodding, to stretch out and really be the best teacher that I could be, in my own way.

I feel much the same about photography. I have been inspired, challenged, pushed, and learned from many "mentors" (almost all of who don't even know me but I have read their blogs religiously). And in the end, I love what they do, but I know that I love what I do too...and want to be a better ME!

My new camera is wonderful but just a tool as I keep on learning and growing. So many thanks to all of you who read my blog, those who comment now and again (or a lot :) ), who show up with your hearts to let me photograph you. This is such a fun part of my life right now....the creative part that I find so rewarding. Thank you!!

Now to buckle down and read my manual. I have a LOT to learn!!