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Friday, March 23, 2012

Want To Get Better?

I love taking photos, I really, really do..
My Canon T1i and I are great friends.
I have even taken a photography class or two, but I can’t seem to remember all the tips and tricks that the teacher shared with us.
This means a few things: I need to stop using the auto setting pay better attention, take better notes, and actually practice what I am taught).
Clearly, I have a long way to go...

On the other hand Justine… she knows what’s up.
Check out some of her photos

She's so cute =)

 


I really admire her photography skills, and I asked her if she could share some of her fanciness with you.
Yup, it’s your lucky day..

1. White balance
The biggest rooky mistake I made was not adjusting my white balance, which left my pictures too orange at night or too blue on a cloudy day. Go into your shooting settings and select white balance, an array of options should come up. All you have to do is select the option for which you are shooting. I always choose Incandescent when I have any lights on. This is usually if it is nighttime or if it’s a cloudy day. I choose Cloudy or Shade when I am inside or outside during the day with natural sunlight. And lastly I pick Direct Sunlight if I am obviously directly in the sun. I adjust the color/white-balance within each setting accordingly, but I usually tend to be on the blue end of the color grid. I am consistently manipulating my white balance, which makes my pictures ten times better than they ever were. I always go for a more white/cool color-balance setting. For me, it’s easier to have a whiter photograph that I can make warmer with editing. This is as opposed to an orange/warm picture that is nearly impossible to correct the color.
*I use a Nikon, so for you Canon users this may be a tad different.
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2. Natural light
Another rooky mistake was my use of the flash, back when I shot automatic. It is so much easier to just pop open the flash and snap away, but the light is so harsh. And to be honest, flash photography looks dated to me. I make as much use of natural light as possible. Natural light is soft on skin, it perfectly illuminates a picture, and the list goes on. I never, ever use the flash. The great thing about learning to shoot manual is being able to control the light within our pictures. If there is something you take away from this, I hope it is taking advantage of natural light and learning to shoot in manual.
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3. Aperture
I love the look of bokeh, which is the soft, blurred background. The best way to achieve that bokeh effect is by adjusting the aperture setting. I take pictures at the widest aperture setting possible. When I am taking macro pictures, I generally stick to the f/1.4 setting. If I am taking pictures of people I tend to be within the f/2.8-f/3.2 range depending on how I want my depth of field. Honestly, the best way to learn is to play around. That is the great thing about digital photography. We can adjust our settings, snap a picture, and see exactly what those settings control. I really rely on my aperture settings to get the pictures results I love, which are soft and natural feeling.
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4. A good lens
The best thing I ever did was purchase a good lens. I use a 50mm f/1.4 prime lens on my Nikon D3100. I have other lenses, but this is my primary lens. For me, having a great lens is what makes the pictures not the camera. I use a beginner DSLR camera, but getting this lens has taught me so much more than a traditional 18-55mm lens. I gush about this lens all the time so I won’t bore you but for me this is a huge component of my everyday photography.
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Told you she’s good =)
But she doesn’t just take amazing photographs, she’s also a genuinely kind and sweet person.
I'm so lucky to have met Justine through blogging.
Check out her sweet blog I promise you'll like what you see

P.S. Hope to see you at the San Diego Shine Event this Saturday!
P.P.S. Don't forget to enter my Scentsy giveaway =)





17 comments:

Sandy a la Mode said...

these are some great tips!! i think white balance and a great lens are super important!!

Jussie De Guida said...

Thanks for having me dear :)

Lauren said...

Amazing tips! Thanks so much for sharing :) We just bought a new DSLR last weekend and although the pictures are already 10x better than what we used to have, I'm excited to make them even better!
Lauren

Gina said...

Great tips! I recently got a new camera and need all the help I can get :).

Ash said...

look at all these lovely tips we get to practice tomorrow (:

Courtney Pollock said...

Tamms - check out this website: phlearn.com - its a photography tutorial website that has some great tips for taking really cool artistic photos. Hope you like it!

Amira said...

These tips are awesome! The 50mm lens really changed the game for me too :-)

Farra @ Bohemian Honey said...

What a great post! Always excited to learn new techniques for using my camera! Lots of photo ops at the shine event tomorrow!

Cara said...

Good tips! I like that you took pictures to show the differences... it really shows you how much better a photo can be.

Cara said...

Good tips! I like that you took pictures to show the differences... it really shows you how much better a photo can be.

Emily Baker said...

GREAT tips!! Thanks for sharing, love :)

Kate @ Daffodils said...

All great tips! I am always looking for ways to get better, thanks for sharing!

Mr. Taylor and his Lady said...

what great pictures and great advice. you will be pro in no time ;)
xo TJ

Laura [Beauty & the Beard] said...

oh my gosh, what great tips- amazing- i'll definitely need to start working them into my pictures for the blog! i was stopping by to check out your fridays fancies outfit and love the blog following now- thanks for showing her skillz with this kick ass post!

Liz said...

I'm jealous that you've been able to take a photography classes. I really want to, hopefully in the fall. I feel guilty that I haven't begun to master my camera.

Such great tips!! Hopefully my camera will get a little time in manual this weekend!!

carlieblissirwin said...

Thank you so much for this post! I'm a total amateur and didn't know anything about white balance. I experimented with it over he weekend and it makes all the difference in the world! Thanks for the great tips!!

Katherine Toyoko from Paper Gatti said...

Awesome tips. I'm motivated to try and dig up the user manual for the point and shoot I just bought off a friend -- he didn't have the manuals anymore and I just know that the white balance settings are off. I thought it was my not-so-stellar postprocessing skills that made it so difficult to turn an orange-y shot into a normal hue, but I guess it's not just me!

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