I have to thank all you sweet readers who took pity on me and wished me better health! I’m much improved so thank you again! This weeks blog post is a little different, I was feeling inspired by nature and my love of photography so this post was born! I found myself wanting to get outside and do something fun with the kids, so we decided to go on a photography walk. We found a short moment between rain showers to get out doors this week. The rain is making fun, outside activities, a challenge this summer here in north central Indiana. Let me insert here this isn’t to make you think I’m one of those mom’s who plans all kinds of activities to do and has the entire summer planned out. No, no quite the opposite, I’m too often found behind the computer and my are kids watching TV or movies….just keeping it real here!
The objective was we each had a camera and we just found pretty things to photograph. This prompted the idea to share with you a few tips to improve your photos and make them more pin worthy or scrapbook worthy! I love photography, I have since my teen years and was blessed to own a business and photography studio. For the past two years I have been “retired” from the business and I’m so thankful to be discovering the joy of photography being mostly a hobby again.
I used my “big” camera the Canon 5DMkii with the 24-70mmL lens. My son used by older Canon Rebel with a 50mm 1.8 lens (this is called a prime lens, so the user has to be the zoom) and my daughter used my Sony Cyber point and shoot.
Most of the images I have here on the blog have been taken by me. Occasionally I do use unsplash images if I don’t have what I’m looking for in my own collection. I hope you will find these tips helpful in taking photos of nature or your own kids!
1. Perspective: Get Down.
Get down to the level of what your wanting to capture. When you are photographing your toddler get down on their level instead of standing over them, this makes a more visually interesting image and usually helps avoids extra clutter being in the background. If your capturing something in nature getting down at eye level allows you to capture the entire flower instead of only the center/top of it.
2. Rule of Thirds.
This rule is one of the most basic of composition rules, the easy way to think of this rule is don’t put the subject you want the audience to focus on in the center. Think of your image being cut in thirds vertically and horizontally by placing your subject off center it is more balanced and interesting. Studies have found that when a person is looking at a photo the eyes tend to move towards on of the intersecting points.
In the above image I placed the large part of the flower on a cross point which will lead the viewer’s eye into the center of the image.
3. Zoom In.
Yep as easy as it sounds! When you zoom in on the subject instead of the entire room the viewer immediately knows the purpose of this photo. Think of a birthday party, to stand back and photograph the entire setting, doesn’t allow for detailed capturing of the birthday boy or girls facial expressions or eliminate the distractions of other background items. I always like a few pull back shots to capture the whole room but for the most part getting in nice and close always looks more appealing! This tip combined with perspective captures moment beautifully. By zooming in on this image I kept the focus on this sweet sibling moment instead of them sitting on a porch at a park.
4. Look for the Light.
This type can be the hardest to learn but will make the most impact on your images. The best lighting is often found on cloudy overcast days. Full sun is very hard to shoot in, it makes people squinty and causes unappealing shadows. Look for light that allows for catch lights in the subjects eye (little reflections of light in the eye). The golden hour is my favorite time of day to shoot in. It’s the time of day just before sunset (or just after sunrise if you’re an early riser) everything becomes cast in a beautiful yellow cast from the setting sun and harsh shadows have turned softer.
This image doesn’t show perfect catch lights but you can see small ones. You will notice the even light on her face it makes her skin glow. Don’t mind the messy face and sweaty bangs!
5. Learn Manual Mode.
This often sounds so complicated and hard to people but with lots of practice it really isn’t. All my tips so far have been directed to any camera user but this one is for the DSLR owner. To learn manual mode there a few things to keep in mind-this by no means is a full lesson!
a. ISO: this doesn’t stand for in search of but tells your camera how much light is around you. Remember the film days of 100, 200, 400? This is what ISO is, for bright sunny days pick 100 for overcast/cloudy days or shade 400 will be better, for darker settings or inside use 800. The bigger the number the darker the environment you are in. One more thing to remember depending on your cameras capabilities the higher in ISO you go your final images could start to become grainy.
b. White Balance: this is the button on your camera that has little pictures associated with it this is easy, just pick the picture that represents your lighting conditions. Shady, full sun or florescent lighting are just a couple of choices.
c. F/Stop: is for how big the aperture (lens opening is) this is also what controls your background being blurry. The smaller the number the blurrier the background (depth of field) and the better for lower light settings. This number is also dependent on what your lens capability has.
d. Shutter Speed: This tells your camera how long to keep the shutter open. For fast action your want a shutter speed 1/200 or more. For low light the number often gets smaller (1/100) But you never want to go lower than 1/60 unless using a tripod.
e. Metering: This is the little numbered bar inside your view finder, when the moving line is near the middle you should have a fairly well exposed image. By changing either your f/stop or shutter speed this bar will move and show you if it’s going to be under/over or properly exposed.
6. Background is important.
I’ve already mentioned that by getting down or zooming in will help remove distractions from the background. By positioning myself this direction I eliminated the door of the house and patio furniture and was able to just focus on this selfie moment.
Also think outside the box for backgrounds, these cherries were on the hood of my car!
I hope you find these tips helpful and I love to help people learn and grow their skills so if you have any questions be sure to leave a comment!
This week was another hard week to chose who to feature, thank you for sharing such great posts! There were several posts on spiritual warfare which I found to be such a God thing, so cool that we were on the same page last week sisters!
My first featured post is Lauren of Sobremesa Stories her authentic post on prayer grabbed me from the beginning to the end. She wrote about being afraid to pray specifically how true her words are. “When we withhold our most vulnerable hopes and desires for ourselves, other people, relationships, and circumstances, we present ourselves to God as we think He wants to see us, instead of as who we are.” Be sure to read the rest of this great post.
Next feature is Debbie of Notes Along the Journey she shared about feeling inferior and what God’s truth really is. “Beloved, you are not inferior. You are a confident woman of God. Don’t believe those lies the enemy hisses in your ear. Nothing scares him more than a woman walking boldly with her God!” Her words of pure truth spoke straight to my heart you definitely should read this post!
Also featured is Deborah of Growing in His Grace I loved this farmer’s wife light bulb moment when she found a yoke in the barn. This post will change how you view taking Jesus’s yoke. You’ll be missing out if you don’t click over and read her post.
This last post inspired me and I would love to see more of you ladies join Kim from Host and Hunt on Instagram for the 40 days of summer project. Be sure to tag your Me and Mom photos with #mandm40daysofsummer