Who is this “Hot Sam” Anyway?

This is a continuation of my previous blog on my field trip to Hot Sams with the Twin Cities Photography Group.

I decided to start experimenting with my camera controls one at a time to better understand what they do. I started with my aperture setting and let the camera automatically set the ISO and shutter speed.

I did learn a few things about how the aperture settings control how much light is let in and how much of the picture is in focus. But I also learned, from the automatic adjustments my camera was making that I need to get control of those settings too because I didn’t like what it was doing with the ISO setting and how it was trying to compensate for low light and was overexposing my photos.

Of course, with Photoshop, I can “fix” some of those problems but I want to get the shot I have in my brain and not have the camera override me.

I’m still figuring out Photoshop too and like to play with fun effects, like messing with colors.

Anyway, I learned a few things on this outing and had a fun time looking at the unique stuff at Hot Sams.



I really liked this statue of what looked like a girl dressed in a sailor suit.


I know… kind of ugly but there was something about her… Maybe the roughness, the imperfections that I think made her seem uniquely beautiful. She was chipped and all, but  I thought she had attitude and personality.

I was also attracted to pieces that could possibly be used for a birdbath. The stuff I see in garden stores just seems so unimaginitive. If only Jill of “Jill’s Life” lived closer I’d buy one of her concrete birdbaths. (If you stop by her blog, be sure to check out her new puppy. Adorable!)

Since I can’t find what I like in stores, I want to create something and add my own touch to it. I super duper loved this fountain but can imagine the $$$$ kachinging.

Take a closer look at the fish in the bottom! I actually squealed and clapped my hands over them!

I, of course, found some horses lying around. I wish I hadn’t left my cowgirl hat in the car…





My photo assistant almost came to an ugly end.



But I hit the shark with this metal bird. Take that jaw man!
Hmmm… this little guy has possibilities as a unique add-on to the birdbath forming in my brain.


So many old automobiles to look at and contemplate from various angles. Too many to show all of them here.


When I took this shot, all I saw was a rusty mirror. But now I’m thinking how cool it could be. My friend Sue can do wonders with rust and I started to imagine the metal with the teal-like colors she adds to some of her work.

Next time I go to a place like Hot Sams or simply return there, I’m bringing models. Volunteers? Come on! Opportunity to play dress up!

Hopefully, by the time I do something like this again, I’ll know a bit more. But for now, I’m enjoying the experimentation and learning process.


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  1. What a great place! The mirror picture is wonderful. I am taking a beginners camera class this fall and looking forward to it!

  2. Such an outstanding collection of photos. Good idea. Take a model dressed in some period clothing.

    I have photoshop elements….love it but don’t use it enough. Do you have a mac?

  3. Wow ~ that place looks so awesome! Where is it? You will have to lead a field trip there:-) You have a natural eye for photography, so it is great you are picking up new techniques, etc. Really cool pics!

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