the fair (and bad photos....a lesson learned)

I sure do love the fair.  Is that a country thing to like?  Sometimes I wonder if people reading from out of state (or country) look at the simple things we do and wonder if we're just plain nuts. Or silly. Maybe both.  Either way, the fair is something I look forward to every year!  I remember taking Anna Ruth when she was just a couple months old.......the tiny, tiny little thing she was.  And then going last year pregnant (the heat!). So this year was my favorite thus far! Anna Ruth was big enough to walk around and Betsy Grace liked seeing all the animals.  She even sat up in front of the cages in the petting zoo.  

I'd say having cows and chickens around our place help the gals be more comfortable around animals too. 

And now here's my disclaimer/lesson learned from these bad photos. 
First-let me explain.  I love, love the styling of the photos...the things here and there I captured.  But they look grainy..there's too much "noise" (fuzzy look) in the photos.  I've been teaching myself how to shoot in manual and this was a time I knew it would be okay to play around a bit because if it didn't turn out well I could figure out why and fix it next time. 
I was using a different lense on the camera which just didn't turn out well for these close-up shots. Lesson #1 learned. 
Lesson #2-ISO. I thought I was correctly changing the ISO but got home and realized the Auto ISO function had been working almost the entire time, with it set to "Hi" Basically, that means the lighting is/was weird and my pictures look grainy. 

However, I came home and consulted my book I've been learning from and figured out what the problem was and how to fix it. So-win, win.

This is one of the few shots that turned out wonderful.  

Between the popcorn, cousins, and animals-we sure did enjoy the fair! 

Here's a final thought on the photos....I almost didn't post them.  I know they're not top quality...yet.  But, to me being a photographer has two parts-finding something unique or special to capture AND knowing how to capture it effectively and beautifully.  I think I do okay knowing what to capture....and I'm a work in progress as far as manual goes.  I've learned so much already, in just a day or two. I'm going to keep at it, be honest about my faults and mistakes, and get better.  And better.

I'll keep experimenting when I have the chance, and stick to what I know when doing photo shoots (automatic mode for now).  

Do you take risks with your photography?  What are your tips for manual mode?

(and since I wrote this post I've been learning even more and realized that there are the "professional" modes on the camera, and then there's manual mode. I've been learning mostly in the Aperature mode for now, hoping to work up to full manual mode. Thought I should make that disclaimer since from what I'm reading it sounds like using the Aperature mode isn't considered shooting in manual. )