Cameras and Photography

My current camera is the Sony Alpha a5100 Mirrorless here, but I have owned numerous cameras as a blogger. My previous one was the Sony – Alpha 6100 Mirrorless here. I found it to be more versatile and easier to use. When I have to purchase a new one, I will return to the Alpha 6100 version.

A professional photographer friend once told me, “Saying to a photographer that their pictures are excellent; what kind of camera do you use?” is a little like saying, “You are an outstanding surgeon; what kind of scalpel do you use?”

A camera is merely a tool that allows you to share your vision with others. Lighting is crucial, as are composition and angle. Modern cameras can do many things for you, but they can not tell you where to stand, when, and what to shoot. Awareness of perspective is also beneficial when composing a shot. I am certainly not a professional photographer, but I do enjoy learning more about the craft.

Hopefully, my weather here in East Tennessee will improve enough to recreate some travel wardrobe photos to share with you on Friday. Cold and wet is never the right formula for fashion photos. Otherwise, I will have to resort to shooting images inside, which is never the best lighting. In the meantime, here are some snapshots from my visit to Naples. I miss the Florida sunshine!

When I asked this lady if I could take her photo and told her why, she said, “This is an example of what most of us ladies in Naples wear.” I did see many similar looks as well as knee-length shorts, dresses, and skirts. There were also a few midi and maxi length tank dresses worn with flat thong sandals. I was surprised how frequently I saw black leggings in a Capri length with longer tunics and sneakers.

I enjoyed a delicious lobster, burrata, tomato, and basil salad for lunch at the Continental in Naples. The food, service, and people watching were pure perfection.

  1. What a beautiful place Naples, Florida is. Another to go on my list of places I’d like to visit. Very different to the original Naples in Italy, which is one of my favourite countries to visit. Great photos as always.

  2. Gorgeous photos as always. Could you also share where you stayed and recs for dining in Naples please?? Thank you for all you do to help your followers bring out their best!!

    1. I stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Myers Beach/Sanibel Gateway since I was visiting many towns in the area in addition to Naples. The only meal I had in Naples was at D’Amico’s The Continental, and I highly recommend it.

  3. I am happy for you. Happy that you could get away and visit Naples which looks very warm, beautiful, colorful and relaxing. Good for you. Good for the soul.

  4. Oh I recognize all those places Susan. I am bummed not to have bumped into you. There are so many places to eat on 5th and 3rd and many more further north and south.
    We like the early specials as the prices during season are kind of crazy. I will be happy to hang out next time if we are here. I’ve known Naples since the 80’s, vacationing and now home for many years. For selfish reasons, I love when the car carriers come and the crowds thin out in May. Summer may be warm but really not an issue at all. I don’t see any decrease in the number of people moving and staying. Building here is non-stop and new homes are going up daily. I am hoping it does not get as busy as the east coast here.:)
    It was nice of that lady to let you take her picture. You will see many people dressed this way. It is hard to tell tourists from those who live here all the time. It is a very casual place and most people are just relaxing. I dress up a bit more than that woman. I like to wear dresses and any kind of heels I can get away with like Eileen Fisher with a thick heel and open toe. Dresses are cooler and I feel more comfortable. I will wear leggings and a t-shirt and sandals to run errands.
    You picked a good location to stay if you wanted to move around, although 41 is always full of cars. There are ways to get around some of that. Not sure if you made it to Sanibel this time but it is very nice…the drive is beautiful but you may run into traffic. The beaches are everywhere in Naples, down any street you can park for a fee and sit next to the beautiful mansions. Residents park for free with our beach stickers…during season, the spaces fill up.
    FYI I did have to go to my Mac to write to you and can only see the first and comments of your posts on my phone. I am not using chrome and yours is the only blog where I have this issue. So I can only respond when at home. It remains a mystery. Hope you enjoyed your time here in SWFL.
    Do come back!!

      1. Susan, I too call Naples home. It would have been so much fun to run into you. I think your model was just a tad more casual than many of the residents. I hope you can return soon to our beautiful Naples.

  5. Lovely photos of a lovely vacation! Please tell us what you said to the woman about why you wanted to take her picture. I’m dying to know!

    1. I always ask people permission to take and use their photos on my blog. I told her that I thought she looked lovely and asked if I could take her picture to share on my blog.

  6. I laughed out loud when I saw the picture of a golf cart parked in front of a car, curbside, in front of I believe a restaurant. Typical sights in FL. We had a home in Kissimmee for quite a few years and went there in the winter time. That was a common site to see. You captured the true essence of FL in your photos. Thanks for sharing.
    Clara Bulens in Iowa

  7. Our son got married at a resort in Naples two years ago, and we loved our time there. It is certainly a beautiful area, and we hope to go back!

  8. Glad you enjoyed your visit to our sunshine state. Naples is a beautiful area.
    Dressing in a fashionable way is not easy in central Florida. We enjoy almost continual spring-summer climate so it’s a challenge to look “put together”. There aren’t many days when a jacket is suitable. It’s just too warm outside.

    Women dress very casually here, as you noticed and sometimes they look really too casual to be out in public.
    The best solution is often a camisole top with a lightweight shirt worn as a jacket. Tunics over capris are another good look but I often have difficulty dressing for an occasion like church or a luncheon . Thanks for your blog. I have really enjoyed it and even though we don’t live in the same kind of climate, I’ve learned a lot from you.
    (I’ve also worn the crepe pieces I bought from you many, many times. One of the best investments ever!)

  9. Thank you so much for including information on your camera. I really need to get a better one and this information is quite helpful. For me, the reason I would ask for info on your camera is because of the clarity and vividness of your shots and the ability to take close-up photos of nature. This is what I really want to get pictures of but my current camera is unable to get close enough. So, thank you, as always, for your expertise.

  10. Beautiful photos, Susan. You mentioned seeing women wearing black capri leggings with tunic tops and sneakers. I don’t think capri length pants, leggings, etc. are a flattering look for anyone. Add a tunic top and bulky, old-fashioned sneakers and the outfit is a disaster. Ankle pants would be a much better look. Looking forward to seeing what you wore on your vacation.

    1. I know there is a theory of Capris being less fashionable than ankle pants and i tried to adhere to that year before last. Last year I said I’m going to be comfortable and I am going back to capris. Why? Because I’m 65 and i can do what I want! Plus my knees aren’t ready for prime time and I live in Houston, Texas. We vie with Louisiana,Mississippi, and Florida with heat and humidity. Comfort and style have to merge!

      1. Julia,
        I’m with you on the capris. My summer go-to travel wardrobe is loose cotton mid calf capris and cotton wide strap tanks. It’s frequently 100° here and I burn easily. I bought my crops at a Target and they are over 10 yrs old. They have a touch of spandex and need to be ironed (I cheat, send them out) but they are fantastic for motorhome travel to keep the thighs off the itchy seat and look good enough to go into a casual dinner setting.

  11. You were certainly missed but it’s wonderful to get a change of scenery in winter. Especially to the warmth of the Florida sun. I enjoyed your beautiful pictures and I too would love to see what you wore during your Florida stay. Thanks for sharing!!

  12. I was just in Naples, FL for a week. The weather was spectacular and I just love the town. I have two friends who live there now so I can always go visit! Love the people watching.

  13. Yes, in CA the Capri leggings with light weight tunic tops (Macy’s Alfani) are worn due mild weather and a light weight wrap or black crop Jean jacket popped on for the breezes. This works well in AZ too year round!

  14. Lovely pictures no matter what camera you use! I am a seamstress and I have never been upset when people ask me what kind of sewing machine I use. It’s a tool and I’m happy to share the information. My husband and daughters take really great pictures with whatever they have to take them with – cell phones or camera. I take a few good shots each year but don’t have the eyes like they do for placement and such.

    Thanks again for the post and looking forward to your next one about what to pack.


  15. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I would love to know how you stick to a healthy eating plan when traveling–I find that to be challenging! I also admire that you are so comfortable traveling alone; I am much the same way!

  16. I too love photography! One of the things I always struggled with was recovering details in the shadows as I was taking pictures as opposed to post recovery with help from programs on the computer. Then I discovered how awesome the camera is on my phone!! Easy to use, always accessible because I had it with me and programs built in that give an incredible amount of control with light! And I could take a ton of pictures and simply erase the ones I don’t like. Not only does the phone camera have built in capability but you can even download apps to further enhance your photos. Those details in the shadows are never lost now because I simply take the picture on the darker side, then remove the darkness to reveal the details in editing. Those details in the shadows are never lost now because I simply take the picture on the darker side, then remove the darkness to reveal the details in edit… so much easier and the pictures are already on the phone ready to share 😉 ! I still love taking pictures on my camera when I have the time to do so. But ultimately the finished product is what gives me the most joy, not the instrument on which the picture was taken.
    Thanks for blogging. I really enjoy your advice and have learned much from you!

  17. I also live in Florida- The Villages, north of Orlando. Capri’s are the go to for most everyone here and very casual wear.
    I know they are not the best choice due to where they cut your leg off making you look choppy. Love all the jackets you show and wear but again too hot here most of the time. I would like to see more on what to wear in the long, hot summer months here.
    Love all your hints and photo’s and have incorporated a lot of them in choosing my clothes now – especially staying with more solid colors. I think of you when shopping now and say ‘would Susan approve of this’……
    Thanks for your blog. I look forward to them and enjoy reading all of them.

  18. I recognize most all those scenes, I am vacationing in Naples right now. Actually going to Damicos for dinner tonight! Would definitely have recognized you! I love 3rd, and walk it each morning. Thanks for sharing

  19. Thank you for the camera information. Just read your NONCHALANT post and thought WHAT PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS!
    You and Mr. Mickey are awesome and always enjoy your posts.

  20. Love the photos. You did a great job and Naples looks like a fun lovely place to go.
    So enjoy your travels and the tips on packing .

  21. Your photographs are beautiful. You have a great sense of composition and I really enjoyed scrolling through them.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.