So many buttons!!

The bottom parts that I highlighted in yellow are all the settings I can control when I am in MANUAL Mode.

So this last week I said I wanted to work on using the settings in manual mode more effectively. Manual mode allows you to control the image that is taken, it also requires more skill than using a preset setting (feel free to click on the link to learn more about what manual mode means…if you are interested). So in order to do this I sought out some new digital resources to learn about using each setting.

Shutter Speed (the setting on the far left that says 1/500)

This video (and website) were extremely helpful in breaking down the basics of shutter speed for me. I really enjoyed that I was first linked to the website and then I could scroll down to watch the video. I am realizing that I prefer video options for learning but that I also enjoy reading content as well. This resource was a winning combination for me! They also had articles on some of the other features I was exploring but I chose to seek out other resources to help broaden my resources.

Aperture Value ( The next setting that says F8.0)

For this setting, I found an online course through Panasonic that gives you mini-lessons on the basic functions of a camera. I was able to work through the course independently. I enjoyed this style of learning online as well because the lessons were short. Versus the shutter speed resources, where the article was quite lengthy. However, the Panasonic lessons did seem a little outdated with their images and website, but it got the trick done. I could see this resource being helpful in a high school photography class.

Exposure Level Indicator (The next setting 3…2…1)

For this setting, I had to look up a camera interface from the Canon website so that I knew what it was for! I then searched the term and came across a blog called The Lense Lounge. The page I read up on provided a lot of great visuals and common questions and answers. It also led me to the connected Twitter which will allowed me to continue to follow their content going forward. It seems that exposure level is one setting that a lot of people can miss!

Highlight Tone Priority (The last setting that says D+1000)

To learn about this setting I found the EOS (which is my camera type) magazine website. I was able to find a specific article on this camera setting. Although the article was helpful, and short, which made it an easy read. It didn’t have as many clear visuals or videos.

Summary of Resources

WebsitePhotography LifePanasonicThe Lense LoungeEOSmagazine
Pro’s– Youtube channel
– images
– writing
– visuals
– short & sweet
– Twitter Page
– Visuals
– Q & A
– short & sweet
– visuals
– camera-specific images
Con’s– lengthy – no videos
– outdated
– length
– no videos
– no videos
– a lot of academic language

Now that you have read through my resources, let’s look at some of the fun photos I was able to shoot this week after learning about the 4 different manual settings!

Wascana Lake
Condie Nature Refuge

I have decided to further narrow my photos from general landscapes to sunsets/sunrise. This definitely adds a layer of difficulty to when I can take photos (the sun sets VERY quickly ha) but I am just obsessed with the colours!

For next week my goal is to use the Photography Life resource and see if I can find more information on whether or not I can take a long exposure of a sunset. I will have to get a tripod and ensure my camera has the capability. So, until next time, thanks for following along! Again, feel free to follow my Instagram where I post more frequently!


Twitter-Life Balance

Twitter…where to begin.

My Twitter Timeline

Well, congrats if you read through my whole timeline. I figured it was the easiest way to document my journey with Twitter. I think because my only experience with Twitter has been for professional purposes, I see many benefits of having my Twitter account. I have gone through years where I posted and connected with other educators regularly and then times when I took a step back and posted more sporadically. There were times in my career where I had Twitter “friends” that I had never met in-person but we collaborated and shared resources as if we worked in the same building. I won prizes for my students through Twitter contests and found ways to connect my students with people all over the world. Sharing my teaching and my student’s learning also opened up opportunities professionally for me, such as participating in certain PD and curriculum development. It was also a great professional portfolio to always have ‘in my back pocket’, I could pull up images of my teaching style whenever I needed. More recently I have enjoyed looking back on some of my teaching from my first few years in a classroom.

However, you may have inferred from my title that I have some thoughts on Twitter that may not all be positive. These thoughts developed as I continued to use Twitter throughout my career. As much as I enjoyed connecting with other educators online, I began to feel early signs of ‘teacher-burnout‘ as I tried to find new exciting things to post each day. The pressure of not only creating the lessons, teaching them, and assessing them BUT also posting them, began to wear me down. I started by turning off my Twitter notifications on my phone, this way I knew I would need to go onto the app to see any activity. However, by turning off the notifications I also started forgetting to post as much. I found myself posting less and less, which inturn affects your interactions when you do post. I would post every couple of months and get minimal engagement (compared to previously) so I began to question why I was posting at all.

With the start of #eci831 I challenged myself to purposefully take photos and begin posting again to connect with my school community, school division, and educators. I then pushed myself to start building my #PLN again by creating posts that others could interact with rather than just ‘like’. I still have my notifications turned off but I am intentional about checking my Twitter once a day. This has allowed me to create a better ‘Twitter-life balance’ as I am calling it. I am excited to see if I will continue with this momentum after the class ends.

Some questions I still have to work through are:

  • Do I have an intended audience going forward, after this class is over?
  • How can I post content that is more than just a photo dump?
  • How do I engage my students on Twitter?
  • Now that I am not a classroom teacher, what is the best way for me to utilize Twitter?
  • What is the best time in the day for me to check my Twitter?

Thanks again for reading through my thoughts on Twitter. Were your experiences similar or different?

Competing With My iPhone

Before I get into the last couple weeks of my Learning Project Journey, let’s play a little game called “Can you Spot the Difference?”

Here is a series of photos I took with different settings on my camera as well as one on my iPhone. See if you can spot which one was taken on my iPhone!

As you may have gathered from the title of my post, I am still having a really hard time adjusting the settings to make the photo look as high quality as an iPhone naturally can do. I have been watching Fulaan Creative on Youtube because he makes content specifically related to my camera type. I watched some introductory videos about my camera as well as some photography basics videos. I learnt that although the automatic settings are more user-friendly, the manual settings where you can adjust the aperture and shutter speed allow you to learn how to manipulate your camera better for specific settings. So the last few times I was outside I worked on adjusting the different settings to see which ones got me the closest to the representation of the landscape that I was photographing. However, this is a lot more finicky than I thought it would be. Therefore my goal for the next week is to find some more specific articles/videos that can teach me some tips and tricks about adjusting the manual settings…rather than me having to trial and error every setting.

The best of the 50 I probably took..still a long way to go!



I also decided to create an Instagram to post about my journey and to connect with other photographers. I found a few really good hashtags (#canoneosm50, #landscapes, #sunsets, #canonphotography) that provide a lot of inspiration and some accounts to follow with photographers using the same camera and shooting the same style of content. I love being outside in nature, specifically at sunset, so I decided to call my account LandscapesOfJoy. This somewhat limits my content but I also think there are a lot of different skills to be learnt when you do portraits, night photography, or landscapes so I figured it was best to just chose one. Anyways…if you feel like you would enjoy following my journey on Instagram, head on over to landscapesofjoy and give me a follow! 🙂

Thanks again for checking out my update! Feel free to share any tips/tricks if you have ever dabbled in photography!


The sound/notification that has lived in my head for the last two weeks.

Hey everyone! I checked out BeReal. for the last couple of weeks. Click on my vlog to hear my review and watch a walkthrough of the app!

Here are some articles I found that reviewed BeReal. and had some very different opinions!

And finally, if you wish to download it yourself…here’s the link!


  • I will definitely continue to use the app with my close friends.
  • Similarly to Kara’s comments, I found it difficult to apply educational purposes.
  • I love it as a springboard to connecting further in person with people.
  • I find it a refreshing new take on Social Media
  • Because of my short exposure time, I haven’t noticed any major negative side effects from the app, other than the pressure from the time-sensitive notifications.

Out From Retirement…Once Again

(The Journey of a Girl and Her Camera)

I have always loved taking pictures. It started with my first Canon camera in high school, then I started using my iPhone, and finally, I caved in the darkness of a covid lockdown and bought my first ‘real’ camera. I spent over 8 hours (which to me felt like a long time) researching online which kind to buy and finally settled on a Canon EOS M50…I couldn’t tell you what that means. When I finally got the camera, I was so excited, I expected to open it up, turn it on, point, shoot, and voila…a perfect photo. Unfortunately, that was not the case. After taking it on multiple outings to try to teach myself how to use it, I gave up…my iPhone automatically was taking better photos than my camera. So, I retired my camera and decided I should take a photography course. I signed up for one and was really looking forward to learning how to use my camera, only to receive an email that the course had been canceled due to covid restrictions. So once again I retired my camera.

This last Fall I got married and we needed to find a way to record the ceremony, so I excitedly stated that I had the perfect camera to do it! I went and bought a tripod and we used it for the ceremony, only to later discover there was no way to get such a long video in such high quality onto my computer/phone. I tried multiple times only to once again give up and put my camera into storage.

…SO, when Katia mentioned that we could choose a learning project I immediately thought of my camera. For some reason, I never thought to look online to learn how to use my camera. For my project this semester, I want to learn how to use the multiple functions on my camera and how to download photos and videos so I can use them. I am hoping to use Youtube and follow specific photography pages on Instagram to learn more about my camera and to be inspired. I am also wondering if it may be a good idea to start a second Instagram account for my photography journey. With Instagram functioning as a digital photo platform it may be the best way to showcase my growth and to gain a specific audience of followers.

Please let me know what you think and feel free to link any photography websites/accounts/videos if you know of any!

I will hopefully share my Instagram account in my next post so that you can follow it if you’d like!

Social ‘ME’dia

How it all began…

I can recall sitting in the computer lab of my high school taking a typing class. My friends had all just joined something they were calling ‘Facebook‘. So naturally I looked it up and decided to join it as well. Facebook at that time consisted of people posting strange photos that they found on Google, or maybe that was just in my realm of people (I specifically went through a phase of posting random photos of cows, bacon, and monkeys).

I scrolled way back in my Facebook to find this sample cow photo, with of course no credit so I do not know where it came from. As I scrolled back I got to reread some painfully annoying posts that still somehow exist. For some reason, we seemed to use Facebook as a place to message and ‘poke’ people as if it was a private message board or a place where we should share every random thought that went through our minds.

I currently still have Facebook but rarely, if ever, post on it. I mainly use it to update a wider group of friends on major life events, rather than my moment-by-moment thoughts. I am sure that at the time I first used Facebook, I had no idea that my posts would still be in existence. I am very grateful I didn’t have access to some of the social media sites available to youth today.

Instagram came out once I got into university. Again, my usage on this platform has changed drastically since I first got it as well as the multiple functions it now can do. I would say that I quickly gravitated towards Instagram versus Facebook and I am still an avid user of Instagram. For me, it functions more as a digital photo album to store memories. For this function, I really enjoy Instagram for personal use.

I also got into Pinterest, Twitter, and blogging for professional connecting purposes. I initially went through the stages of blogging and tweeting for my Ungrad Degree. In my school division, I was a Connected Educator which really pushed me to connect with other teachers and influencers online. There was a time when I regularly talked with educators that I had never met. Currently, since Covid probably, I haven’t been as active with sharing what I do in the classroom with the rest of the world or checking Twitter to see what others are doing. I believe a lot of this is due to the strict privacy laws with posting students, the availability of other platforms, and finding a work/life balance. When I was a classroom teacher it was easier to keep track of who had consent for photos and who did not. But in my current role, I work with so many students that it is a lot of extra work to constantly check who has permission. The other reason I may post less is due to the multiple classroom social media options that the schools have pushed teachers to use. Seesaw and Edsby have become very popular ways for teachers to connect directly with parents and students. In the past, I would send home my Twitter account for parents to follow. But now it seems tedious to post on both sites. My final reason had a lot to do with needing to turn my brain off of work in the evenings and disconnect. This may be something I need to trouble throughout this course and find certain times throughout the day that I can set aside for working on my PLN.

Over the course of this Spring semester, I am hoping to challenge myself to reignite my passion for connecting to other educators through my blog and Twitter. I would like to see if I can find a new motivation to begin posting and rebuilding my PLN (Professional Learning Network). They say it takes 2 weeks for a habit to form, well this class is 7 weeks, so that should be more than enough time to reform this habit.

I saw many pros to connecting with other teachers in the past through a PLN and I enjoy connecting with people through my personal social media sites. Therefore, maybe the pros will outway the cons of finding the time and energy to post and put my teaching practices out in the world again.

Click on the photo below to check out my first post on Twitter since September!