For the past couple of months or so, I have really been trying to learn my camera. I have been wanting to learn what all the buttons are, when to use certain settings, what to do when you have a lot of light and very little light, etc... Up until now, I usually use "auto" mode, which is fine, but for a much better photograph, being able to manually adjust the settings would be great. I discovered that in order to get some of the neat photo effects, I would need a different lens. And, of course, one of the lenses that I would need was quite pricey. So, I decided to ask for it for my birthday. Jeremy and my parents went in together and I got it today. It's a 50mm f/1.4 lens. If you're like me, I still don't know what that means. I just know that this lens is supposed to help me get the photo effects that I want. I only had about 30 minutes to play with it. Not enough time to get my girls looking cute. In fact, we hadn't brushed Camden or Claire's hair all day, and poor Carlyle never made it out of her pj's. And yes, there was food and spit up all over her pajamas. She didn't seem to mind. The weather was beautiful today, so I threw the girls outside and started snapping pictures. I am going to need some SERIOUS practice, but can already tell that this lens is exactly what I needed. I am going to love it!!! In the meantime, I have three perfect subjects that would be great for a practice photo shoot...as long as they cooperate. Here are a few of the shots I took today. Remember...I still need lots of practice. One of the effects that I'm trying to achieve is "bokeh". For those of you that don't know what that is (like me up until about a month ago)...it's where the subject is clear and the background is soft and creamy. If any of you out there have any helpful hints or tips, please feel free to make a comment. I would love the help.