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The Magic Button

July 11th, 2010

I’ve been saying forever that cameras should come with an “Oregon button”. A magic button that turns dark Pacific Northwest daylight (that murky damp Twilight-ishy gray)… into happy pretty sunshiny brightness. Thanks to the Pioneer Woman - she wrote about the aperture button on a DSLR camera. Aperture… aka The Oregon Button. And the OB was staring me in the face all this time.

I had to test it out asap. I went a little extreme and over exposed myself a little too much (THAT’S gonna garner me some unwanted spam). Because I’m a PCP photographer (point-click-pray), I have no +/- numbers or metered levels to recite. I just watched my little aperture bar move up and down as I fiddled with the button. I did make this sound as the meter bar increased… [low pitch] blooooooooop [high pitch]. Decrease on the meter bar… [high pitch] bloooooooop [low pitch].

My before and afters.  Because I had the aperture set to steroid levels… reality is somewhere in the middle of the before and afters.

My kitchen and front entry:
Before & After
Before & After

My morning joe:
Before & After
Before & After

My phone I never answer (I hate talking on the phone):
Before & After
Before & After

Throne cam:
Before & After
Before & After
Edited in: I was on the throne… not *on* the throne.

I’m sooo happy to have learned about aperture.  Thank you Pioneer Woman - I can now make every day a happy pretty sunshiny day in Oregon.

Posted in I Heart Oregon, Tips & Trix |

47 Responses

  1. The fabulous Megan allegedly said:

    Gotta love the pioneer woman! Your house is adorable, even in the cloudy Oregon photos!!

  2. The fabulous Sivje Parish allegedly said:

    Oh I so totally love your house Monica.
    But…..the throne cam…..Um…were you really taking pics while sitting on “the throne”? Maybe throne means something else in my house…
    Happy Sunday!

  3. The fabulous Jona allegedly said:

    I’ve been there (I love your house)! Perfect exposure in those pics (and not indecent at all). I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t answer her phone. My friends say “Your voicemail is full” and I just smile and say “I know. I’m leaving it that way”.

  4. The fabulous Kristin L allegedly said:

    I keep telling myself that I will read my camera’s manual and figure out what all the buttons are for — yet, if I wait long enough someone will figure it out for me and share their knowledge in a fabulous blog post! I was half way there with the Av setting on my camera, but I had no idea that I could adjust more once I was at Av. This will change the world!

  5. The fabulous Leila allegedly said:

    What a great tip!
    As soon as there’s light here I’m going to try this.
    Your house looks wonderful and so tidy and clean too, you should see the state of my kitchen! lol.

  6. The fabulous Shelley O allegedly said:

    I need to follow that advice!! Your pics look amazing! ~Shelley O.

  7. The fabulous Kim allegedly said:

    What a different the Oregon button makes. I’ve given up on trying to take decent pictures and have moved on to photo. Love that red shelf thingy in the kitchen!

  8. The fabulous Nikki allegedly said:

    Oh my goodness, you have an adorable house!

    I’m still using a point and shoot. DSLR cameras scare me!

  9. The fabulous Jen in NY allegedly said:

    Your red ikea shelf looks so good right there. Perfect! An Oregon button, who knew?

  10. The fabulous Kasi allegedly said:

    OH MYYYY GAAAAAWD! Welcome back to the LIVING, HZ! Where in the heck have YOU been, besides playing with your OB?

    Actually, I think the photos in the dark PNW-greyish-muck day is more color vivid. I have been having a hard time getting quality color with my 4 days of sun-shots. (Only 4 days and counting up here!), so I love todays “back to grey” natural filtering. We are making a series of shots dedicated to Coco’s FIRST BIKE!

    BTW…I love your CUPPA-J mug. Very pretty!

  11. The fabulous Thimbleanna allegedly said:

    Holy Crap. Photographers everywhere — look out — now there’s no telling where you’re going to go!

  12. The fabulous Mary Ann allegedly said:

    I’m impressed either way Monica, I’m just point and push at this stage, maybe if I wonder into doing a blog.For now I’m pleased that I’ve figured out Flickr groups!

  13. The fabulous Suzanne allegedly said:

    PW is so smart. Who knew! Now the real issue here is, why do bloggers hate the telephone? PW does, CJane does, you do and SO SO I! I think we should take a pole and see if it’s a blogging trait. Cute house BTW.

  14. The fabulous pam allegedly said:

    I’m wishing I could make that kitchen photo huge so I could really look at everything. And kicking myself that I didn’t get that little picket fence box up top there like you do. Dang it.

  15. The fabulous Norma allegedly said:

    I know what you mean! PW has taught me lots

  16. The fabulous Beth allegedly said:

    Hey Ms. Oregon — I may be coming to Portland for the Heather Ross class at PNCA (depends if I can use my frequent flyer miles when I call tomorrow). Can you recommend a place to stay?


      Let me know if you come - maybe we’ll be classmates?! I’m not taking Heather’s class, but I’m thinking of taking the “pre-Heather” Photoshop/WACOM class at PNCA on that Thursday before her class. Maybe I’ll finally learn to use my dusty/cobweb tablet!!??

      Someone else just asked me where to stay - so easy question! When we do overnighters in downtown PDX - our fave hotel is the Paramount. I’ve have also stayed in the Hotel Monaco. Both super nice hotels, but are on the pricey side. If you are renting a car, also good and more wallet friendly is the Fairfield Inn in Lake Oswego - about 10 min from downtown. Nice, great rates, no parking fees. I’ve stayed there twice and liked it a lot. It’s probably cheaper to rent car and stay at Fairfield - then to get downtown hotel + crazy parking rates per day (and valet tip$). Also… where Fairfield Inn is, it’s a nice multi-hotel area/complex. Catering to business travel, but more budget friendly than downtown. And also close to a Trader Joe’s.
      - Monica

  17. The fabulous Tabitha O. allegedly said:

    Well I will take a few of your dark twilightish days in exchange for a few of my bluer than blue (pretty much same color as your blog lol) new mexican no clouds in sight days–sounds whiney I know but I miss cloudy days and sometimes get tired of bright sunshine all the time lol–wonder if that could be called the ‘new mexican button’ also to make my pics darker? lol

  18. The fabulous Vickie E allegedly said:

    love your kitchen…

  19. The fabulous Jackie allegedly said:

    Monica… What a terrific post!! I am hopping over Ree’s blog now to check out her tips. You really can see the difference in the photos!

  20. The fabulous Violet Craft allegedly said:

    Point, Click, Pray! I love that! Ummmm, your house is so darn cheery. I LOVE it! Can’t wait to see you this week!

  21. The fabulous Ricki allegedly said:

    And now I covet your sink. I shall add it to the list of “Monica’s things that I covet”.

    I wonder if the Oregon button works in Washington…will have to try ;)

  22. The fabulous Laura allegedly said:

    Love what you’ve done to your front entry way. Everytime we pass a fabric shop one of us asks, “I wonder if they have Monica’s fabric?”

  23. The fabulous simone allegedly said:

    Lovely home and what a difference Oregon sunlight makes.
    Your morning joe doesn’t seem to appreciate it… He likes the dark better, I think.

  24. The fabulous pat sloan allegedly said:

    some day i too want to learn to take nifty throne shots…your my hero!

  25. The fabulous Sew Create It - Jane allegedly said:

    oooh now that you’ve discovered aperture you be wanted to know more!!

    Check out this post www.photo101podcast.com/phone/lesson22c.mp4 It was a real lightbulb moment for me and follows on from what you’ve just learned.

  26. The fabulous Robyn of Coffee & Cotton allegedly said:

    They look super! I am lazy and adjust everything in Lightroom and Photoshop. It helps a lot when I am stuck with my phone’s camera and not my for reals camera!
    BTW - I hate talking on the phone too! I have phone-a-phobia I think. Happy to have you back at your blog! You were missed.

  27. The fabulous Anne Heidi allegedly said:

    Looks like you had a lot of fun, the pictures are awesome!!!

  28. The fabulous Denise allegedly said:

    I want your house and your cups!!! And I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one who hates the phone!

  29. The fabulous Sabine allegedly said:

    Hi Monica, your pics became very lovely with the “Oregon button” hehehe…..but they were lovely without it, too!! We don´t need any buttons on our cameras here, because we have had very sunny weather since the last weeks. Did I wrote sunny?? Oh no, we have a tropical heat here!! A bit too “tropical” for me, because I love to have summer, but I hate it to get boiled and roasted when I go outside. Everyone is fed up with the heat!! Even the nights in our awful hot sleeping rooms are pure “horror”!!
    Ich wünsche dir, dass es bei euch auch ein bisschen besseres Wetter wird! Nicht so extrem heiss wie bei uns, aber trotzdem schön sonnig!
    Ganz liebe Grüße
    Sabine xxx

  30. The fabulous Sheri allegedly said:

    You mean you don’t have to stand in one place for a week until the sun comes out to get a good picture. (A week may have been a little too generous….more like two weeks!) :}

  31. The fabulous Mhairi allegedly said:

    I have a PHd (push here dummie) camera but like your version. love your photos and had a good chuckle at your comments.

  32. The fabulous Karin allegedly said:

    An Oregon Button. Who’d a thunk it? All your photos are lovely, especially that cute-pie cup!
    I find myself venturing into using more of the functions of my camera lately, especially the aperture. Only here, it should be called the Crappy-Georgia-Hot and Hazy-Makeupyourmind-Weather Button.

  33. The fabulous Karen allegedly said:

    Wow! Learn something new everyday. I’m sure others have tried to teach me this, but I think I got it now Monica. So, first thing I do is take it off of automatic, right lol? OK, I’m gonna give it a try. I took some photos yesterday with my iphone, they looked better than my normal ones! Great to see you keeping busy, I’ve been out of touch! Karen

  34. The fabulous The Curious Crab allegedly said:

    Thanks for mentioning that button. I found it on my camera too but you can only click it for “on” or “off”. No “blooooop” sounds for me. :(

  35. The fabulous Brandi Frey allegedly said:

    Oh boy, it’s fabulous!! I’ve just gotten used to my fingers going numb from upping the brightness/contrast in Photoshop!

    BTW, seriously your home should be in Country Living…it’s gorgeous!

  36. The fabulous SuzK allegedly said:

    I love that you have an OB button. I didn’t realize there was a definition for what I do…I’m definitely a PCP person. I think I have a CD for my camera and I keep meaning to look at it … and I will, hopefully while the camera still works! I heart your kitchen sink - those are the best. Whatever man invented that stainless double sink thingy should be smacked!

  37. The fabulous jodi allegedly said:

    I never answer my phone either. ;o) And now if someone could give me a button that would actually change today’s gray oregon day to a sunny oregon day. I’d be a happy camper! ;o)

  38. The fabulous Angie allegedly said:

    Can I use the Oregon button for SW Washington too? Maybe I just need a new camera…

    Your house is adorable! I knew it would be :).

    Oh, good. I am not the only one that hates talking on the phone. Thanks for making me feel better!

  39. The fabulous wishes, true and kind allegedly said:

    Dang! This Oregonian had to put on her sunglasses just to look at your pics. Now, if only I had a DSLR camera.

    PS — I don’t like to answer or talk on the phone very much either. I almost never answer the house phone — especially is it says, “number unavailable”. My motto is, if your number is unavailable, then so am I.

    PPS — man, your house is clean!


  40. The fabulous nanette allegedly said:

    PCP? I’m more like Point Click and sigh. I have no idea what an apparature is and to tell the truth I don’t want to know. Ignorance is bliss. But I do want good photos. I just don’t want to learn how to make them. Your house is lovely. Wonderful, cheerfull and so you. Love that. I hate talking on the phone too. That is why texting is so amazing.

  41. The fabulous Karen allegedly said:

    Monica, I have to agree about the iphone. My son loves his, so I got the 4, and just LOVE it. The pictures are great. I took a picture of a sandwich to teach a friend with on Facebook, and when I looked at it later on my computer I was amazed at the clarity! Made me want to take another bite lol! Yer Neighbor, Karen
    PS Bet you’re loving this weather, I know I am!

  42. The fabulous amylouwho allegedly said:

    I had the same epiphany when a photographer friend showed me the same thing! Love it!

    I love your mugs! I have the mathching dessert plates! wish I had matching everything - so cute!

  43. The fabulous carolbrowne allegedly said:

    I read that post about the aperture button and forgot all about it. I’ll give it a try!

    Also, I had no idea I had an actual photography title - PSP! How does Carol Browne, PSP look on my resume? :-)

  44. The fabulous Dyan allegedly said:

    I love your kitchen so nice and bright thanks to throne cam no doubt, thanks fo sharing!

  45. The fabulous Tracie Howe allegedly said:

    Just found your site and it’s adorable! The brightness trick you just learned plays well with your cheery site. Can the aperture be a NW button to include Washington too? Another fun tip is that when you open up your aperture (and the number is lower), you also get more of the fuzziness in the background. Of course you have to be careful that what you want in focus IS in focus, but it’s a creative choice. :)

  46. The fabulous Carrie allegedly said:

    As an Oregonian thanks for the advice! Wow!

  47. The fabulous the inadvertent farmer allegedly said:

    Now you need to figure out how to go outside and press a button and have the whole of the Northwest suddenly brighten…please! Kim

Farting around with needle & thread and then blogging about it.

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Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

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