Monday, April 21, 2008

photo tips

photo tips

i've had a couple of requests for photo tips... now i'm no professional, and have had no formal training. all of my training comes from taking tens of thousands (seriously, i'm not kidding about that) pictures of my girls and stuff over the years. and i really believe you can get great shots from almost any type of camera, it's all about keeping your eyes peeled and your camera handy. (and learning about your camera settings doesn't hurt either!)

all that to say, i sat and thought about a few of the fun things i've learned through trial & error and some online tutorials. (don't you just love google!!!) two peas offers a great set of online pdf style lessons on improving your photography & understanding camera settings. i read through the 12 weeks to better photos which really demystified camera-speak. :)

now for the random photo tips. i'm not sure if these will be helpful at all... but they are the things that i enjoy & try to accomplish.

1. have your camera out & ready and with you, when possible. it makes capturing fun, in the moment type pictures possible. i got this one of my daughter just over a week ago. (we had sunshine one weekend and snow the next!)

2. fast shutter speed = freezing the action. very cool for getting those little droplets of water. this picture was taken at 1/1600 at f10 in manual mode with my nikon d80. you can also do this with a point and shoot by setting it to the little running man (action setting) or by putting it on the S (shutter priority setting).

3. take more pictures than you think you'll need. it's an easy way to get better shots. you can always delete later (not that i do... i have a really hard time deleting any but the most blurry pictures), but you can't usually recapture a fleeting moment. :)

4. experiment with depth. on a point and shoot a shallow depth of field (meaning the foreground is in focus and the background is blurred) can usually be accomplished by turning your camera to the little flower (macro mode), sometimes in the lady face (portrait mode) and also in the A (or aperture priority mode). this was shot was taken after i'd had my nikon for about a month. it was shot on auto mode with the flash off at 1/200 at f5.3.

5. turn off the flash. this was probably the #1 thing that improved my pics. you'll get richer colors and less of the harsh light and shadows a flash will produce. if you're nervous about not getting the shot, you can take some with the flash and some without. find your light from a nearby window (north facing window produce great light) if that's an option. this picture was taken by my sliding glass door in my living room.

6. try to duplicate shots you like. i remember seeing a picture similar to this in creating keepsakes magazine several years ago. i loved the shot so much i wanted one like it when my daughter turned 5. so i tried to set her up in a similar to the picture i remembered and gave it a shot. :) if you're looking for cheap & easy photo backgrounds, i use king size bed sheets that i've picked up at discount stores. there are lots of photo background options on ebay, too... but sheets are a good cheap way to start.



7. try taking a picture, with your subject in the same place from three different angles. in this series of shots emma was standing in the same place, and i just moved around. depending on where i was standing (or kneeling) the pictures had vastly different perspectives and moods. in the last shot because i was kneeling the path she is on almost disappears and it looks like she's right in the middle of the rows of tulips (which is against the rules!)

8. try a photo journal of your day. try taking pictures of a day filled with shots from a slightly different perspective. zoom in close on your morning cup of coffee... or your kid's bedhead. :) take your camera into your favorite restaurant and try some fun shots with just a foreground object in focus (like the tea pot or fondue pot pictures in the seattle trip post).

well, that's all i've got for now. i hope it was kind of helpful, and not just long winded. :)

{{hugs}}

21 comments:

joscelyne cutchens said...

can I tell you, I love the google reader. I have you on my list, and when I walked past the computer, I see, OH Noel has a new post, YAY! I loved reading your tips... :) You are awesome! Troy said it's a fat chance, us getting up there for a duty station. but, oh wouldn't it be awesome...

Sarah E. said...

I loved your photo tips Noel! I do trial and error with my camera too and you learn so much! Hope you have a wonderful day! :)

hgmcconnaughey said...

Thanks so much for your photo tips, Noel! Love your work! You are an inspiration!
Heather

sssalad said...

Great tips, Noel! I took an online photography class, and also downloaded the one from 2 peas - to be honest, the two peas one was better - and FREE. I always like to hear what people do to get great shots - thats how I learn best. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

Britt and Jon said...

Noel- THANK YOU so much for these! My pictures are bound to be beTTer now! I just have to learn my camera seTTings... :)
Take care,

BriTTany

LambChop00 said...

Thank you! The tips are great!

Anonymous said...

thanks for the great tips!...
;) angie (craftyscrapr)

okanogangirl said...

Thanks for the tips Noel -- you are awesome! And you are so right about taking MANY pics, that's what the pros do, shoot off tons and tons of pics in hopes for one or two gems. Thanks for sharing -- great job!

I love your comments about perspective.

Miss Onigur said...

Thanks Noel! I actually take LOTS & LOTS of pics b/c ur right, the moment passes quickly! I'll usually delete once I upload to the computer! Another reason to keep handy, extra SD cards ;)
These tips are great. I'm experimenting as well, and seeing this helps! Veronica

anna said...

fun! thanks for the great tips! i'm right with you in not being able to delete any pics. it's almost annoying, this undecison of mine. :)

Eileen said...

Timing is everything, isn't it? Here I am, looking for a new camera, and here you are giving free instructions on how to take pics. How great is that?

Here's hoping my pics will come out as good as yours! They're awesome.

Lynn said...

Thanks for the great tips! It's always fun to see your pictures since we have the same camera! Now I just have to get as good at using it as you are!

joscelyne cutchens said...

Noel, I was given a bloggy award and I am passing it forward to you because you are an incredible inspiration ;) come check out my post about it.

Ericka said...

You are so COOL!!! thanks for the tips!!

Sara Ancich said...

This is amazing...we (my son and I, who is 6 by the way) were trying to get a picture of me for my blog tonight. I must have switched the settings on the camera 10 times...I would love for you to see what we ended up with(on my blog) and offer me some constructive feedback...My hair looks like a light bulb???

I have to say- I truly enjoy your blog...I check it all of the time. I am not sure what I look forward to more...the photos... or the layouts? You are so talented!

Jackie said...

great job leaving hints on how to use your camera...i need another lesson with the pro......or maybe just to use the first lesson i had????

Anonymous said...

great tips, I will keep them in mind. Love your blog! jeni4tx on GR

Sabrina said...

Thanks for the comments!! I was really trying to get into character for the formal, it was fun going back in time to the 1920's. I also got a chance to wear my Grandmother's pearls and earrings which was an honor. I feel soo special because you read my blog :-D. I can;t wait til school is over so i can Scrapbook some more. I love love all the tips and things that you put on your blog, I look forward to using your photography tips when i get a new digital camera. TTYL.

Jen Cook said...

love your tips!! I have a nikon D50 and no clue how to use the manual settings. I'm lucky when I get a GREAT shot. Thanks so much for sharing!!
Jen

Kristy said...

Noel, Thanks for the photo tips. I need to remember them the next time I am snapping away!

Kristy

Tracey Locher said...

Awesome tips, Noel! Thanks!!!

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin