Here is a picture of what the street looks like with no special effects :).
Going from using the "automatic" setting on the camera is much like going from driving an car in automatic and switching to a stick shift. Now why would we want to doooo that?? Needless to say the pictures are coming out worse than ever and it's a bumpy ride to say the least. Hopefully the end result will be even better and it definitely opens up a whole new world of options and creative possibilities. It's part overwhelming, part intriguing. But most of all it's a lot of fun.
I may have (erhum!!) complained a few times in my life that the CAMERA was taking BAD pictures...yikes! You'll never hear me say that again...or if I do just b*tch slap me :). Good equipment is nice but ultimately an expensive camera doesn't take great pictures unless you know how to use it and you have an eye for composition. I wish I had taken this class a long time ago, oh the pix I could have taken while living in Paris...ah but let's look ahead and imagine all the great photo ops to come! :)