Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)


My Camera Took a Tumble

A few days ago I made the mistake of setting my camera, a Nikon DSLR (and my baby), on my bathroom counter while I did my hair before heading out to spend an evening with some close friends.

Of course, it tumbled off the counter and hit the tile floor. My heart sank into my stomach.

The only damage I noticed right away was a crack in my lens filter. One of the biggest reasons I purchased the filter after getting my camera and lens (which cost almost as much as the camera itself) was because I read so many reviews and tales of people who said it saved their lens after a fall or bump.

So far from what I can tell, it did the same in my case. My lens (an 18-200 mm) seems fine.

My camera, however, didn’t fare as well.

Post-fall, there seems to be some sort of debris in the viewfinder. I tried giving it a quick clean but to no avail. The biggest issue (at least I hope it is the biggest) is that the viewfinder LCD information is not working. It was on for a few minutes after the fall but soon all the numbers turned to 8’s, then they started flickering, and now it won’t turn on at all.

Neither of these two things prevent me from taking photos. I’ve checked the quality and things seem to be normal. But I am just weird and can’t stand not having things in perfect working order.

So, that’s why I am trekking into an unknown area of Salt Lake today to take My Precious *Gollum voice* to the ONE Nikon authorized repair shop in the entire state of Utah.

I have no idea what they are going to tell me, but I have a few predictions:

  • “Sorry, we can’t fix it here. You have to send it in to Nikon and wait the million years it takes them to fix things.”
  • “We can fix it, but you will have to sell your first-born and a kidney to pay for it.”
  • “We don’t see anything wrong with it.” (you know, like when your car is making a funky noise and you take it in to the shop but the second you do the noise stops and the mechanic thinks you are making it all up.)

Whichever one of these comes true, I am not super optimistic about what I will be told.

My biggest fear is that I won’t have my camera back in time for Alaska or that I will just have to deal with the issues, take it with me, and wait for something else to go wrong up in the Great North (where I can guarantee there isn’t a camera repair shop within hours of where I will be).

If money were no object I would probably just buy a new camera and keep my D90 as a backup. But if that were my life, I’d probably be sitting on a beach somewhere being fanned by a bronzed male with a palm frond. We can all dream, right?

Anywho, wish me luck in my adventure today. For the sake of this blog, I hope it can be fixed…and soon!


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Help a Girl Out!

Via (the best camera website around)

Hey all!

I’d normally never come on here and ask for a favor, but this time I am!

Pictureline, a camera company in Utah (and other states as well, I believe), is giving away a Nikon D800. The camera is Nikon’s newest release and IT. IS. AMAZING!

I am a total Nikon fiend, so this is my dream camera.

If you would be so kind to click on the link below, and “Like” Pictureline, as well as sign up for the contest (if you are a U.S. resident), I get an extra entry into the giveaway! Plus, you are entered to win yourself! If I can’t win it, I would love for one of my readers to!

Completely quick and easy. Oh, and you would totally be helping moi out!

Thanks a million!



DSLR Struggles

(I set this to auto-publish days ago. Guess it didn’t work!)

My new Nikon D90 is fantastic. A little too fantastic.

It (and the lens I bought) has so many buttons, bells and whistles that I don’t have a clue where to start.

I took a film SLR class in high school (yikes, 7 years ago now), and preferred working in the darkroom to taking the photos. My friend and I devised a plan. She took most of the photos and I developed them in the darkroom. It worked out (the teacher never caught on and we passed).

But now I am kicking myself for not paying more attention and mastering the art of the f-stop, aperture, and shutter speed. I literally have 15 library books on digital photography and DSLRs strewn across my bedroom floor as I write this. Clearly going the self-taught route is a messy affair.

I have spent countless hours over the past few weeks surfing the web and watching You Tube videos trying to get a grasp on the basics.  Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman website has been a HUGE help. She (and contributor Miz Booshay) are simply fantastic!

I am scheduled to take a 3-hour introductory DSLR workshop from Fotofly next month, but from there I don’t have much in the way of formal lessons planned. As a University of Utah employee I get a 50% discount on Continuing Education classes, and they do offer some photography classes, however, even with the discount they aren’t cheap. Plus, I leave for Alaska in about 4 months , so I don’t have much time to schedule classes.

If anyone has any advice or knows of any websites, blogs, books, DVDs, etc that I should check out, let me know!


Oh, and here’s my coveted next purchase:

The Nifty Fifty


It’s About Time

Well, I finally did it!

My Nikon D90 is in the mail.

I did so much research I thought I was going to go crazy. But I finally just went for it and I am so excited I could barely sleep last night. I am definitely like a kid on Christmas Eve.

I already have a list of lenses and accessories I want to get down the line. Just wish I had the $ to get them all now!

Can’t wait to get my hands on my D90 and get down to business learning the ins-and-outs of a DSLR.