Friday, August 3, 2012

It's a blogger's life...

Recently, I realized that I've been at this blogging thing for about 6 solid months now. It's surprising, because I feel like I'm still very new at it, but I also feel like I've learned so much and come so far. This got me thinking about what things I rely upon to make this blog happen, and I thought I would share this short list with you!

1. My Computer.
This trusty little guy has been with me since I started grad school in August 2006. While I've had to replace the battery and keyboard, it just keeps on chugging. The 12.5 inch screen is a little on the small side for blogging, but it's light and portable.
When I'm working at the computer, the two most important applications I use are Blogger (which hosts the site you're reading right now!) and Picasa 3, a rudimentary photo editing software. I'm certainly not an expert on digital photo editing and sometimes I wish I knew more about it. I've considered looking for a more advanced free photo editing program (probably one called GIMP), but I haven't gone for it yet. I like Picasa because I feel like we are at the same level - while it doesn't have all the features you might want, I still haven't learned how to use all the features it has!

2. My Camera:
I received this camera as a birthday gift about 3 months ago. I can barely describe how much I enjoy using it! It takes such better pictures than the digital camera I had before it. That camera, in fact, took such poor pictures that for the first three months I was doing this blog, almost all of the photos were shot with my cell phone camera. I still rely on my cell camera as an important back-up, especially if I need to take a photo while I am out shopping. I spent quite a bit of time researching what kind of camera I wanted earlier this spring, and I'm very happy with the one I selected!

3. Natural Light:
Even the best camera has difficulty doing its job in low light.
I live in an apartment with northern, eastern and northeastern exposure. I noticed the importance of the natural light when I realized just how much more difficult it was to get good images that were shot in the afternoon or evening. My place only gets direct natural light before noon, so I take most of my pictures during those hours. It's going to be more challenging  when the days are shorter this fall, but I'll have to be patient. Light is critical! 

4. My Lap Desk:
This is definitely the newest tool in the blogging arsenal. 
 Since summer got under way, I've been doing most of my blogging in the living room. I have a super cute, comfortable office in my apartment, but it's awfully far away from either of the two window air-conditioning units I have to try to keep the place cool. I've found myself parked on the futon almost constantly all summer long. While I can hold the laptop on my lap, it makes my legs hot, especially when I'm wearing shorts or lightweight pajama pants. I do have a coffee table, but putting the computer on it and then typing requires me to sit with terrible posture, which becomes uncomfortable after only a few minutes. So, I snagged this guy for about $10 at IKEA. It's narrow enough, too, that I can use it when sitting in the red chair. 

5. Time: 
I'm sure this one goes almost without saying, but blogging definitely requires time, and the related personal quality, patience. I do not regret the time I spend blogging - I love it much more than I'd imagined I would. But, I'd be remiss if I left it off this list. I am lucky to have time that I can devote to this endeavor, and that helps me be patient even when I'm frustrated.

A computer + a camera + natural light + a lap desk + time = one good blog = one happy blogger!

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