Last week, my son-in-law Michael took me on a photo safari to Lost Lake which is located at the base of Mt. Hood in Oregon. The purpose of the trip was to attempt to wean me from using the automatic setting on my camera and teach me the basics of taking a good picture manually. After taking copious notes on the trip up I was confident that I could do this. How hard could it be anyway? I was determined to overcome my technophobia and master at least one aspect of manual operation that day. Michael set me up with a tripod, briefly going over what we discussed in the car, "Remember your ISO's, your shutter speed, your depth of field, your f stops...." My brain began to shut down and my eyes glazed over. He promptly left to take his own photos leaving me with not having a clue what to do. I took a few test shots and was totally discouraged. It was a very dark and overcast day (and might I add dang cold), and I could not get a decent picture. If I took a picture of the lake, the mountain disappeared and vice versa. Michael would yell up from his perfect vantage point on the lake every once in awhile to ask how I was coming along. "I don't know what I'm doing..!!!" I'd whine. No response. Aw to heck with it, I said to myself, and just began to fool around with what I could remember of my lesson the night before. Michael had shown me some sort of scale on the manual setting, that if I lined it up--voila! great picture. I began to experiment with that and I actually got both the lake and the mountain to show up. What I learned was that in those kind of lighting conditions (and with my limited camera) either one or the other was going to be dark. I went with moody foreground and in focus mountain. Later, Michael told me that what I had learned was how to use the light meter in my camera. I was so proud.