I was reading a website the other day of a woman who takes breathtakingly beautiful pictures and she wrote that she absolutely never uses the flash because it washes out the colors and the shadows that can make a really great picture so interesting. If she doesn't have enough light, she doesn't take the picture, period. And that started me thinking about all the great pictures I thought I was taking, but then after looking at them, I was really disappointed because they just didn't look as fabulous as I thought they were going to. And I have a really great camera. There's absolutely no reason I shouldn't be taking more amazing pictures. Except I haven't read the manual. Which is kind of unlike me. Because I'm usually a "read and follow directions" kind of person...except when I cook. Then it's more like "read and mostly follow directions if they sound okay, but add a little more of this and a little less of that." Anyway, I could say that I've been too busy to read the manual, but I really hate saying things like that because really...who isn't busy? Do you know of anyone who just wakes up and says, "Wow...I have absolutely nothing to do today!" Jeez, even Ainsley is busy...there are always cabinets to get into, plants to destroy, bugs to eat...And so I've come to the conclusion that I must have picked up this particular habit from my husband, who never reads the directions to anything! He's never read the camera manual either and he's the one who's taken the great fireworks photos and the lunar eclipse photos and the cool ones of our Christmas tree and ornaments. It's rather infuriating, actually. Because it usually ends up working out for him...kind of like that kid in school that never studied but still got good grades. (Hush Jenny! I studied...just usually at the last minute!) So, my point...Ainsley and I were playing in the office the other morning while Jack was at school and she just laid down on the floor and started rolling around and making funny faces and playing peek-a-boo around the coffee table, so I thought I would grab my camera, figuring that just as I got it and got it ready, she'd be done and will have moved on to the next activity (busy, busy, busy). I got my camera and took the first shot and it should have been cute, but it was a little washed out (Darn flash!). So I quickly started trying different buttons, seeing if I could get the flash to stop popping up, and then I finally figured it out. It was embarrassingly easy. There's a dial and you just turn it to the little symbol of the flash with the line through it. And I would have already known this had I read the instructions 10 months ago. But this time it ended up working out for me and here is our photo shoot. I know they are a little dark and shadowy, but it was kind of a dark, going-to-rain kind of day so, I like them like that. A little experimenting and I'll get better. I may even read the manual!