My Favorite Photos of 2012

nikon 26 113mothers day flower

In addition to the most welcome visit of Old Saint Nick this season, another more insidious visitor weaseled it’s way into our home.  The FLU came looking for a fight and despite our best defenses, two casualties emerged.  My 15 yr old fell victim to the illness a week before Christmas (just in time for midterms.)  And I later succumbed on the day before Christmas Eve, but pushed through and ended up spending the next few days in bed.  (Such a merry Christmas!)

We did have a wonderful holiday after all and I was grateful that no one else was ill.  It also made me thankful that my little ones were teenagers and didn’t need my constant care (and were on school vacation) so I could recuperate.

It was also very nice that they knew how to cook!

So the end of the year in blogging is usually a great time for looking back and doing “best of’s” and “favorite’s of” posts.  A type of evaluation of sorts.

This year I bought myself a digital camera.  I love using it but I must confess an embarrassing secret.  Here it is, I’m afraid to take the settings off “auto.”  Shameful, I know.  I’m just really not sure how.  The auto setting on the camera takes decent photos but doesn’t take great photos.  I especially struggle shooting inside the house when the light isn’t the best.  So because of that photography shortcoming, I’ve made one of my new year’s goals to learn to use the manual setting on my camera.  Yes, it’s definitely a necessity.

So despite my novice photography skills, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite photos I posted on Charming Zebra this year.  The first one (above) was actually taken in the house in front of a window.  It was Mother’s Day and my oldest son had given me a bouquet of flowers.


nikon 26 702sunflower close up

At the beginning of Summer, our yard was blessed with a fairy crop of sunflowers taking over the right corner of our yard.   Yellow, sunshiny blooms on bright green stalks.  They brought our yard a little corner of happiness.



nikon 26 1601snowflake sunset

This Summer, while visiting the folks up in Snowflake, Arizona, I was privileged to witness an incredible sunset.  The colors were brilliant and it was constantly changing before my eyes.


nikon 10-14-12 619sunset cali

This October, the family and I spent some time at the beach house my in laws rent every year in San Juan Capistrano, California.  Each night the sky put on a show and I tried to capture it the best I could.  This shot was one of my favorites.


nikon 26 1011sparkler

This past July, we spent Independence Day in Arizona with my brothers and their families.  It was so fun for the kids to be able to light their own fireworks.  I loved this shot of two of the kids lighting a sparkler.  I was especially happy with this photo since I knew nothing about the special settings of the camera and ended up with this shot from pure luck.

So what about you?  Are you a photog phenom?  Or a newbie novice?

~Miss Charming

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  1. Beautiful shots. Your sunset is amazing.happy new year!

  2. I had the exact same problem this year: buying a DSLR and not knowing what to do with it! I found two resources that have helped me move to Manual. The first was Kristen Duke Photography ( Kristen lives in nearby RR and offers occasional classes. I bought her book “Say No to Auto” and found it a good way to demystify learning manual. But I still didn’t feel like I was getting it 100%, so I found Nicole’s Classes ( I took the Photo 101 course in November and loved the flexible on-line format. It’s a lot of information, though, so don’t be too concerned if you feel overwhelmed. That’s normal. I felt like the things I learned and the training I got were very thorough and professional in comparison to the more laid-back approach Kristen takes.

    You got some great shots on auto, though! Having a good eye for composition will help as you conquer the manual learning curve. 🙂
    Mindy recently posted..The Artistic Side of PhotographyMy Profile

    • Miss Charming says:

      Thanks, Mindy! I’ve actually met Kristen and was thinking about trying her photography book so it’s nice to have a positive recommendation.

  3. Hey there! It’s true, I do take a very laid back approach, and my goal IS to demystify the scariness of the big ole’ camera. It’s all about simplicity because too much all at once really overwhelms. I’ve seen Nicole’s classes and they look great, too. I think photography is a journey and some people learn and absorb better with different learning styles, and often it takes multiple explanations/reads to really understand. I’m having a class in 2 week if you want to come for half off…Austin/friend/blogger special:)
    Kristen Duke recently posted..Personal GoalMy Profile