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Snap! Even More Photography Tips

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Hello hello, hope you all are staying warm amidst the storms!  I hinted in last week’s article about better brighter blog photos that I would be bringing in some friends to back me up in my explanation that you can achieve better interior shots by pulling more light into your lens with the manual functions on your camera.  Well, well, that day has come! 

I gave all four blogger photographers a mini assignment.  Shoot for me the same image 1) with a flash, 2) on Auto with no flash, and then 3) in a Manual Mode, adjusting your aperture or f/stop, shutter speed and/or ISO setting.  (My brief definitions here.) 

Please welcome four of my favorite bloggers, who just so happen to have excellent photography skills, and are here to offer some fabulous tips for you!  Settle in with a hot cup of coffee or tea on this blustery day, and hear what they have to say. 

Mrs. Limestone of A Brooklyn Limestone in Progress:

“If there is one thing I repeat a lot on my blog it’s this: cameras don’t take good photos, people do.  It is essential you get to know your camera and some of what it can do to make great photographs.   It might seem daunting at first but it’s worth the effort.  Let’s use an example of this trio of vintage cameras.  Apropos, no?
 
The first shot is with the camera set on Auto with the flash turned on. I shudder just thinking about it because if there is ever a way to ruin a photo, it’s with on camera flash.  Take my word for it – never ever  use it and you’re photos will be so much better without doing a thing.

brooklyn limestone 1

See, not so good. So let’s try it again, this time with the flash off.

brooklyn limestone 2

 

So much better, but not quite right. I will be the first to tell you that the AUTO function (always with flash off) is pretty darn handy.  It makes for lovely photos 7 times out of 10.  That’s because nearly all cameras are quite smart in that they figure out how to get a good photo without any effort on the photographers part.  Particularly wonderful when you are trying to capture an image quickly and don’t have time to fiddle.  But sometimes there are outside influences that fool your camera and that’s when using the manual controls come in.
 

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Seven Links

Friday, July 16th, 2010

I’ve been blogging for well over a year now, and in my quest to keep my toe in the know, I stumbled across ProBlogger a few months ago.  I like to read ProBlogger’s daily tips because I am trying to learn everything that I might want to think about maybe, perhaps, considering or actually doing someday with this blog when I either discover how to clone myself or give up sleep entirely.  I subscribe to ProBlogger to absorb helpful bloggy stuff to incorporate here and there.  Today is the Seven Links Challenge, where I am playing along by listing seven links in these categories:

  1. Your first post
  2. A post you enjoyed writing the most
  3. A post which had great discussion
  4. A post on someone else’s blog you wish you’d written
  5. Your most helpful post
  6. A post with a title you are proud of
  7. A post you wish more people had read

OK, today I’ll bite.

Here are my Seven Links:

#1)  My Very First Post.  First let it be heard all across the land that I’ve almost deleted my first post many times, but something in the back of my mind keeps saying, “Aw, how cute” every time I read it.   I confess that my very first post was about . . . . . chocolate shoes.  

I remember sitting there at my computer, stumped about what to write about (in hindsight, why???) and going to Google images and typing in the word ‘chocolate’. 

Somewhere between the third and tenth page, this image (pictured right) came up. 

So I wrote about it.  Right here.  My favorite thing about that first post is the one and only comment from across the sea.

Now that you’ve read my very first post, we shall speak of this no more.

It’s unlikely I will ever write about chocolate shoes again.  Although *confession* they are fabulous.   

#2  The Post I Enjoyed Writing the Most.    This is really challenging question to answer.  This online journal of my adventures allows me to connect with people across the globe that I’d never ever meet in my lifetime.  It’s really extraordinary.   I enjoy writing just about all of my posts, although some days I am sillier than others, like this one about fuzzy pillows

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Picasa is My Friend

Monday, December 21st, 2009

OK peeps, I think it’s time I spill the beans on how I take and manipulate my photos.  Several of you have sent me emails asking me about the camera and the software I use on this site.  I’m here to share.  Sharing is what I do.  I love to share, especially with those of you just starting out.  Ha, that’s funny.  “Just starting out.”  That’s me, like, nine months ago.  Strange, surreal, and completely true. 

But first, before I share, I have a few confessions to make. 

First confession:  Believe me when I tell you I am a complete amateur when it comes to photography.  (Some of you are saying, “Um, yes, we know that.”)  In fact, if you said the word “aperture” to me a few months ago, I’d have looked at you cross-eyed. 

Second confession:  I have a really killer camera that does half the work for me.  My weapon of choice is a Nikon D60 and it totally rocks.  Mr. CG bought it for me two years ago when I complained about my flimsy digital never taking pictures when I wanted it to.  You know that 3/4 second delay that misses the moment ?  That fleeting precious moment when your kid is doing the cutest thing ever ?  Then your camera never captures it ?  Hated that.  I complained constantly.  Tears welled.  I might have thrown my old camera a few times.  Then hubby bought me my Nikon. 

Yes, they’re expensive, but oh my goodness gracious darling, are they ever so worth it.  Mine has paid for itself tenfold with the quality of pictures it has given me.

nikon d60 

For example, take this most recent picture of chocolate covered biscotti from yesterday.  My friends, I simply set the camera to “no flash” and shot this beauty.  The camera did 80% of the work. 

biscotti up close

Third confession:  I’ve learned to never ever ever use a flash.  The flash is not your friend when taking up close and personal shots of your latest craft, project, recipe, or kid.  Turn it off, that’s all I can say.  Turn.Off.The.Flash.  Light is your friend.  The flash is not. 

Fourth confession:  I do not use Photoshop for my everyday blog editing.  I don’t have the patience, time, or in depth knowledge of Photoshop to manipulate every single photo.  Yes, I’m learning the program slowly, but I never turn to Photoshop for my everyday blog photos. 

I use Picasa.  Picasa is free.

Picasa is my friend ! 

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