Posts Tagged ‘Picasa’

Better Brighter Blog Photos

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Greetings!  I hope you all had a good weekend.  We had a great party despite the huge storm that is pounding California, and a splendid time was had by all.  Today I thought I’d address a question I keep getting via email and in comments:  “How do I take better, brighter photos for my blog?”  I do not consider myself an expert in photography by any means so I wonder sometimes why that question is even directed at me.  However, I have taught myself a few tricks for achieving higher quality images in the past year, and every now and then I take a pretty good shot.

The most important thing I have learned to make for a better brighter photo has everything to do with light.  And a good camera.  When taking photographs, either for your personal use or for your blog, good natural light and a kick booty camera are your two very best friends. 

Most photographs taken outside on a sunny day with a point-and-shoot turn out pretty well, all because of the natural light present.  Yet with interior shots, it’s tough to be as blessed with natural light unless you’re shooting a room with walls of windows on a sunny day.   When shooting pictures indoors in less than ideal conditions, here are a five tips I shoot by.   

My Five Tips for Better Brighter Blog Photos

1) Use a Good Camera

I think it’s essential to invest in a good SLR digital camera with variable settings (F-stop, shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, white balance, etc.) if you want to have high quality interior photos.  I know there are a lot of comparatively inexpensive point and shoot digital cameras out there, and they are perfectly fine for so many everyday uses, but for high quality blog photography, invest in a good camera.  I use my Nikon D60 that allows for changeable lenses, and I use two kinds of lenses that I mention in my FAQ page

2)  Know Your Manual 

When my hub bought me my Nikon D60 three years ago, I always used the auto setting just because it was so darn easy and I was, at first, intimidated by the manual settings.  80% of the time, the ‘Auto’ setting worked fine and produced adequate images. 

However, the ability to manipulate your camera’s light settings makes all the difference in the world in less than perfect light conditions, and when shooting interiors or detail shots.  Here is just one half of one page in my Nikon’s manual but look how much information can be gathered from this quick camera tour.   

nikon image settings

 

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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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