Hi everyone! Hope you’re having a good week so far.
As I told you in my last post, I decided that that I was going to talk a little bit about photography since it’s the topic about which I probably receive the most emails. The two main things that people seem to be interested in are what kind of camera and lenses I have and also if I could offer any photography tips. Well, I’ll do my best to answer both of those questions right here.
Okay, let’s first talk about equipment. It seems like there’s always the question of Nikon or Canon…Canon or Nikon. When I was shopping for a new camera, I had a hard time choosing since I didn’t know too much about photography, but after a little research, I ultimately decided on a Canon Rebel T2i and an 18-55mm lens. It isn’t the fanciest set-up, but I don’t think a person could go wrong with any of the cameras from either brand. I chose Canon since they were supposed to be easy to use and, frankly, I just needed to finally make a decision.
I’ve had my camera for about a year and a half, and while I really like it, I also have dreams of upgrading. It seems like most people who love photography, either as a hobby or profession, are always thinking about what other equipment they’d like to add to their collection. The hardest part is getting your pocketbook to match your desires or having the patience to save for that special something.
Once you have your camera, the next thing I would suggest is one simple, but important thing, which is to read the manual, over and over. If you can purchase a nice, big, in-depth manual for your camera, such as this one…DO IT! I have found that reading that big book, rather than the little teeny, tiny thing that came with my camera, to be so helpful. I would also recommend the book, Understanding Exposure to gain a better grasp of aperture, shutter speed, and lighting.
Okay, time for some tips…there’s only a few and they’re nothing too earth-shattering.
When I think about photography and my workflow, there are three elements that come to mind…composition/styling, shooting and post-processing. Since I think I’ll do a separate post about composition, I’ll just jump to my shooting basics and you can glean from that what you will.
First, I should say, I’m mostly a natural light photographer. The pictures in this post were shot outdoors, which is something I do quite frequently. I generally take my photos either early in the morning or later in the day since the light is softer…with my preference being late afternoon. Since the majority of the things I photograph are little vignettes with flowers or food, I usually take everything outdoors and arrange it all on a big board, which I then move around on the ground to adjust to the changing light. The best placement seems to be areas that are brightly lit, but not in the direct sun…a little backlighting or dappled sun is nice though. As I’m working, I’ll take things away and add new items, varying the heights, textures, and colors to see what seems to look best. I don’t really plan things out, preferring to let things flow naturally. To brighten up my shots and reduced any shadows, I use a white foam board to bounce light back onto the subject.
This probably goes without saying, but when you’re taking photos try and remain as still as possible…don’t be all herky-jerky. Keep your elbows tucked close to your sides and your body stable. And when you’re pushing down the shutter release button try to do it slowly and smoothly.
As for my camera settings, I prefer aperture priority mode, although I am trying to be better about using manual more often. To get some background blur, I generally keep the aperture pretty wide open, and more often than not, I’ll also increase the exposure compensation to lighten the photo up a bit too.
Okay, once I’m all done shooting, I use Photoshop Elements for post-processing. While it’s definitely a program that takes awhile to learn, I’d never be able to get my photos close to my liking without it. It seems as if there’s always something to lighten, brighten, darken, sharpen or erase. Sometimes I’ll use textures or actions from Kim Klassen or Florabella to alter the look or feel of my photos, except when the photo involves food which, I feel, looks best in its true colors. Although I could probably put together a few basic posts about photo-editing, I don’t really want to, nor do I think I’m the best person for explaining all that’s involved.
Well, that’s that. Hopefully, that wasn’t too boring for you. Does anyone have any tips or anything they want to add?
Have a good day!