March 30, 2009

Photography stuff.

There have been a lot of discussions in the SC Forums lately about photography, from cameras to photography books to Photoshop and PSE. It's a given that photography and scrapbooking go hand-in-hand. And many of us grew in our photography in order to improve our scrapbooking. At least that's how it was for me.

In my own little world, there are no secrets about taking great pictures. Anyone with any kind of camera can take great pictures. Do you need an expensive, complicated, trendy camera to take a great photo? No! But here are some things that might help:

The Rule of Thirds. This rule applies to most visual media, not just photography. But the gist of it is that you want the subject of your photo (or your subject's eyes) to be along one of the grid lines or at an intersection of two lines. I agree with what is stated on the linked page. That this rule can be broken with excellent results. But this basic rule is a good one.

Read your manual. That's the manual that came with your camera. READ IT, front to back, and carry it with you. Whether you have a point-and-shoot or a DSLR camera (DSLR - digital single lens reflex), there are important things for you know about your camera. There are probably things your camera can do that you weren't even aware of. So break it open and read it.

As a companion to your manual, check out the Magic Lantern guides to see if there is one for your camera. I have one for my 5D and I am always referring to it.

Practice. If you've read any of my forum or blog posts, one of the best ways to get better at photography is to practice your brains out. Seriously. Take what you learn from reading your manual, a Magic Lantern guide, photographer's websites, etc. and apply it through practice. Not one photographer I know got better at photography without practice.

Take a class. Whether it's an online workshop (like one of Maggie's) or a class at your local community college, it'll be well worth the investment. From photography and camera basics to work flow and Photoshop tips, you'll learn stuff. And that's always good.

Ask questions. There are no secrets to taking good photos. (Did I say that already?) If you have a favorite photographer or three, ask them questions. Most are nice enough to answer questions or at least direct you to where your answer can be found. And if you never ASK, you'll never GET. (Heard that somewhere recently and it stuck.)

Study other photographers' work. Those favorite photographers? Study their work. What is it about their photos that draws you in? Color? Composition? Lighting? Clarity? Effects? Location? Angle? Study their work and try to apply some of those things to your own photography.

Here are some links to some of my favorite photographer's websites:

And here are a few of my own favorite photos:

And if you have any questions about photography, cameras or Photoshop this week, leave your questions in the comments section of this post, and I'll have an answer for you on Friday.

Ciao for now!


♥ joleen said...

Great post - very informative! :)

Brochure Printing said...

Excellent post. One definitely has to know their cameras, what limitations and options you have. And of course, the rule of thirds. This is like, the golden rule of photography. Great stuff.

Laura said...

Gorgeous photos Tina!!!!! I took a photography class this past fall from Karen Russell and I learned so much - especially I learned how much I need to learn :) The thing I am really working on now is trying to get exposure correct in difficult lighting situations - bright backlighting, a really sunny day with harsh shadows or really dark lighting (like the Playhouse Disney show). I would love to hear your thoughts on choosing the exposure mode and any other tricks you may have for getting the exposure right. Thank you :)

Houston said...

WOW, great photos and information! Thanks Tina!

I have a question about filters, do you use them, if so can you give me a run down? I use certain ones for the sky and snow here in CO, but I don't know what I should get for other things like beach, city, or canyon (red rocks) shots.

1scrappycat said...

Is there a lens you use 99% of the time?

meganklauer said...

I would love to know anyones thoughts on the new Canon Rebel X1i that is coming out in May.

walesk said...

great post! thank you for the info :)

ok. I have a question... how do you edit/save your pictures to post on the blog? they look so crisp! when I post mine they look grainy/pixelated but they are not like that in my computer...