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Giveaway Monday — Win a Lightscoop!! {say goodbye to ugly flash photos}

9 May
UPDATE — Giveaway Closed.

The winner was #302 Missy from Pure Femininity 

 

I know I’ve said it before, but I really want to share some of my favorite things in my  giveaways this year. And I’m so excited to tell you about another one of my favorite things — the Lightscoop.

I love my digital camera. And I am still learning all of the ins and outs of taking a great picture. One thing I have learned is natural light is a must for a good picture. 

But what happens when something wonderful happens after the sun goes down?? 

You either have to use a very low shutter speed and hope for the best, find some sort of expensive studio lighting or use the dreaded flash!!

But I recently found a fabulous solution that I just had to share with you — the Lightscoop!! 
It slides easily over your camera’s hot shoe and redirects your pop-up flash to a ceiling or wall.

 Look at the difference: 
Without Flash,            With Flash,            With Lightscoop!

All of these pictures were taken at night…
Can you see how much warmer and more natural the light is on the picture on the right? 

The Lightscoop takes the light from your flash and redirects it up to a ceiling or wall, and redirects it back to the subject, creating a softer, more natural picture.  

And it’s only $29.95!! 

And…Lightscoop is giving away a standard Lightscoop to a Tatertots and Jello reader!! 

Here’s how YOU can win:

  • required: Visit Lightscoop and tell me how owning a Lightscoop would improve your photography. one entry.
Get Extra Entries by: (leave a separate comment for each)
  • Tweet about this giveaway: { Check out this  #photography #giveaway with @Lightscoop & @jenjentrixie http://bit.ly/cl0Pgd }. one entry.
  • “Like”  Lightscoop on facebook and leave them a comment. one entry.
  • Spread the word about this giveaway through Facebook, Twitter or on your blog. one entry each. 
**Winner must live in the continental US
{this giveaway will end on Monday, May 16th}
Have a Happy Monday!! 
xoxo
PS coming up this week on TT&J: 
A birthday party 
An Office Idea
A Spring Wreath
A Furniture Tutorial 
And more…

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Giveaway Monday — Win a Lightscoop!! {say goodbye to ugly flash photos}

9 May
UPDATE — Giveaway Closed.

The winner was #302 Missy from Pure Femininity 

 

I know I’ve said it before, but I really want to share some of my favorite things in my  giveaways this year. And I’m so excited to tell you about another one of my favorite things — the Lightscoop.

I love my digital camera. And I am still learning all of the ins and outs of taking a great picture. One thing I have learned is natural light is a must for a good picture. 

But what happens when something wonderful happens after the sun goes down?? 

You either have to use a very low shutter speed and hope for the best, find some sort of expensive studio lighting or use the dreaded flash!!

But I recently found a fabulous solution that I just had to share with you — the Lightscoop!! 
It slides easily over your camera’s hot shoe and redirects your pop-up flash to a ceiling or wall.

 Look at the difference: 
Without Flash,            With Flash,            With Lightscoop!

All of these pictures were taken at night…
Can you see how much warmer and more natural the light is on the picture on the right? 

The Lightscoop takes the light from your flash and redirects it up to a ceiling or wall, and redirects it back to the subject, creating a softer, more natural picture.  

And it’s only $29.95!! 

And…Lightscoop is giving away a standard Lightscoop to a Tatertots and Jello reader!! 

Here’s how YOU can win:

  • required: Visit Lightscoop and tell me how owning a Lightscoop would improve your photography. one entry.
Get Extra Entries by: (leave a separate comment for each)
  • Tweet about this giveaway: { Check out this  #photography #giveaway with @Lightscoop & @jenjentrixie http://bit.ly/cl0Pgd }. one entry.
  • “Like”  Lightscoop on facebook and leave them a comment. one entry.
  • Spread the word about this giveaway through Facebook, Twitter or on your blog. one entry each. 
**Winner must live in the continental US
{this giveaway will end on Monday, May 16th}
Have a Happy Monday!! 
xoxo
PS coming up this week on TT&J: 
A birthday party 
An Office Idea
A Spring Wreath
A Furniture Tutorial 
And more…

Wenderful’s — The Anatomy of a Snapshot: Exposure

27 May
The Anatomy of a Snapshot: Exposure

If you’re looking to make “The Switch” from using your DSLR in auto mode to shooting in Manual, you’ll need to understand Exposure. (And if you’re totally happy shooting in auto, kudos to you. There is certainly no reason you need to be shooting in any mode other than what you are happy and comfortable in, unless you’re planning on taking on photography as a career. In that case, you really should know your way around exposure).

Exposure: is the total amount of light allowed to fall on the photographic medium (film or sensor) during the process of taking a photograph.

Whenever anyone asks me to help them learn how to shoot in manual I suggest two things:

1. Read your camera’s manual from front to back. At least three times. Until you know what every button and switch does and why.

2. Once you understand your camera, read Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson. It’s the best “textbook” for learning exposure. You can find it on Amazon.

I’ll do a quick review of exposure to get you started. But if you’re serious about learning to shoot in manual, do the two suggestions above, and then practice, practice, practice, and you’ll be well on your way.

I thought and thought about the best way to explain exposure for this post. I came up with an analogy that may not technically be the most correct analogy, but I’m going with it anyway.

Exposure is made up of three components: ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed. They make up the Exposure Triangle. Think of a window with sheer curtains and wooden shutters. For this analogy, we’ll imagine exposure as the light coming into the window.

In the “olden days”, when you loaded actual film into a camera, when you headed to the pharmacy, you were given the option to buy 100, 200, 400, 800, etc… ISO film. That number indicated how sensitive to light your film was. Now that digital cameras don’t use film, ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor on your DSLR camera. For this post, think of ISO as the sheer curtain. The sheerer the curtain, the more light comes through your window, and the more sensitive your sensor is to light (high ISO – good for dark and rainy days when you need to let in more light). The thicker the curtain, the less light will come through your window (low ISO – good for bright, sunny days when you don’t want to fade your furniture).

The Aperture of a lens is the diameter of the lens opening and is usually controlled by an iris. The larger the diameter of the aperture, the more light reaches the film / image sensor. In this case, aperture is how wide you open the shutters. Open them wide on dark days to let in the most light (low f/stop number, or what we call shooting “wide open”). Open them just a crack on sunny days to protect that furniture of yours (high f/stop number, or what we call shooting “closed up” ). Aperture is also what will let you hone in on a single object and allow the background and foreground to be out of focus by shooting wide open. It will also allow everything to be in focus when photographing something like a landscape by shooting closed up. Now, aperture is counter-intuitive. As the f/stop value increases, the aperture gets small, and vice versa, as the f/stop value decreases, the aperture gets larger. That can mess with your mind while you’re learning. But it’ll get easier the more you practice.

Shutter Speed refers to the length of time a camera’s shutter is open. In this case the shutter speed is how quickly you open and close the shutters. Close them quickly on sunny days so you don’t let too much light in. Open them slowly on dark days to let in more light. It’s important to note that the longer your shutter is left open, the more likely you are to get a blurred image. The faster you open and close that shutter, the less likely you are to have a blurred image. A high Shutter Speed is great for sports and children. A low Shutter Speed is good for stationary objects, landscapes, etc… Play around with shutter speed to create motion. I can’t hand hold the camera and get a sharp shot under 1/80 unless I brace myself against something stationary and hold my breath while releasing the shutter. At the same time, I can’t get a sharp shot of a moving object (like a child) at under 1/200 of a second.

Once you understand how each component of the exposure triangle works together, you’ll be able to adjust your settings so that they create “correct” exposure, meaning your image will neither be over or under exposed. Once you understand what settings do what, you can start to get creative. You’ll be able to look at the conditions for your picture and know exactly what your settings should be. Once you know that, you’re on your way to some pretty spectacular creativity.

For my final post next week, I’ll wrap up this series by answering your questions.

If you have any questions about what we’ve talked about in The Anatomy of a Snapshot or anything else you’d like to ask me, leave a comment and I’ll come back next week and leave you an answer in my post.

Happy Shooting!!!
Thanks Wenderful! It’s been so fun learning more about how to take a great picture! Leave a comment here if you have a question on anything photography-related. Wendy will answer YOUR questions in her last post next week!
Have a Terrific Thursday!
XOXO

Wenderful’s Anatomy of a Snapshot: Part 4 — Composition

29 Apr

Do You Shoot on "automatic"? How to Take a Fantastic Picture!

15 Apr
7

I’m really excited to introduce you to someone special!

My sister — Wenderful!  
I know I’ve talked about her a bunch on my blog. She is the person that got me blogging. She also is an amazing photographer. 
She even won the *I Heart Faces* Blogoversary contest! And she has spend YEARS studying photography. As someone who shoots on “automatic” most of the time, I thought it would be fun to have her come over and give us a few tips from a pro!
73
black-white
{she took this picture of my Hannah}
She also has an amazing “365” blog.  
a.m.a.z.i.n.g
I’ve been there.
You’ve been there.
You’ve finally rounded up the kids, wiped the remaining lunch off their faces, wrestled the swords from their grasp, bribed them into standing together without punching, pulling, or poking one another, and you swiftly flip on the camera and snap their picture before chaos ensues. Only to check the back of the camera to find something similar to this:

Look familiar?
This is what I call A Snapshot.  Unfortunately most of us have at least a handful of snapshots in our photo files.  Believe it or not, it only takes a little thought,  a few seconds of planning, and a touch of creativity to change a snapshot into a memorable portrait.  
In this series of posts, we’re going to dissect
The Anatomy of A Snapshot
I’m going to give you tips on how to take better pictures of your family.
There are six main ingredients that make up A Snapshot.
1.  Limb chops
2.  Cluttered background
3.  Distance from your subject
4.  Poor composition
5.  Fake smiles
6.  Poor exposure
Let’s start with limb chopping.  Fingers, toes, hands, feet, elbows, knees.  It’s a common offense among people with cameras.  It’s easy to do and you don’t notice it until you start clicking through your photos or files.
“That’s a great picture!  Awww, too bad little Johnny is missing his left hand. “
or
“What a sweet shot of Grandma!  Awww, too bad she has no feet.”
I’ve done it plenty of times.  Ruined a perfectly good shot by chopping vital body parts.
Take a look through your own photo files and take note of how many vital appendages are missing in your pictures.  Sometimes you’ll shoot close up and you won’t have enough room to include the entire limb.  In that case, avoid chopping at joints.  Shoot in a way that your chopping looks intentional.  A “planned chop”, if you will.
You get the idea.  Pay attention to those outer appendages and include them in your photos whenever possible.  It’s usually just a matter of being aware of what you’re  filling your frame with and recomposing a fraction of an inch.   It could mean the difference between A Snapshot and a Memorable Portrait.
Next week:  Cluttered backgrounds
***
Thanks Wenderful!
If you want some great picture ideas, check out her 365 blog!

52 ... Things I Love (mail)
78

69

XOXO

Do You Shoot on "automatic"? How to Take a Fantastic Picture!

15 Apr
7

I’m really excited to introduce you to someone special!

My sister — Wenderful!  
I know I’ve talked about her a bunch on my blog. She is the person that got me blogging. She also is an amazing photographer. 
She even won the *I Heart Faces* Blogoversary contest! And she has spend YEARS studying photography. As someone who shoots on “automatic” most of the time, I thought it would be fun to have her come over and give us a few tips from a pro!
73
black-white
{she took this picture of my Hannah}
She also has an amazing “365” blog.  
a.m.a.z.i.n.g
I’ve been there.
You’ve been there.
You’ve finally rounded up the kids, wiped the remaining lunch off their faces, wrestled the swords from their grasp, bribed them into standing together without punching, pulling, or poking one another, and you swiftly flip on the camera and snap their picture before chaos ensues. Only to check the back of the camera to find something similar to this:

Look familiar?
This is what I call A Snapshot.  Unfortunately most of us have at least a handful of snapshots in our photo files.  Believe it or not, it only takes a little thought,  a few seconds of planning, and a touch of creativity to change a snapshot into a memorable portrait.  
In this series of posts, we’re going to dissect
The Anatomy of A Snapshot
I’m going to give you tips on how to take better pictures of your family.
There are six main ingredients that make up A Snapshot.
1.  Limb chops
2.  Cluttered background
3.  Distance from your subject
4.  Poor composition
5.  Fake smiles
6.  Poor exposure
Let’s start with limb chopping.  Fingers, toes, hands, feet, elbows, knees.  It’s a common offense among people with cameras.  It’s easy to do and you don’t notice it until you start clicking through your photos or files.
“That’s a great picture!  Awww, too bad little Johnny is missing his left hand. “
or
“What a sweet shot of Grandma!  Awww, too bad she has no feet.”
I’ve done it plenty of times.  Ruined a perfectly good shot by chopping vital body parts.
Take a look through your own photo files and take note of how many vital appendages are missing in your pictures.  Sometimes you’ll shoot close up and you won’t have enough room to include the entire limb.  In that case, avoid chopping at joints.  Shoot in a way that your chopping looks intentional.  A “planned chop”, if you will.
You get the idea.  Pay attention to those outer appendages and include them in your photos whenever possible.  It’s usually just a matter of being aware of what you’re  filling your frame with and recomposing a fraction of an inch.   It could mean the difference between A Snapshot and a Memorable Portrait.
Next week:  Cluttered backgrounds
***
Thanks Wenderful!
If you want some great picture ideas, check out her 365 blog!

52 ... Things I Love (mail)
78

69

XOXO