My life has been documented relentlessly since I was born. Sitting on a bookshelf, the blue scrapbooks have multiplied through the years as I have experienced more and more in life. From the big moments: the first day of kindergarten, starting high school, college acceptance letter, my grandma’s last Christmas, and moving to Philadelphia; to the trifling: vacations, school dances, sporting events, family reunions, and day trips; my life is neatly remembered in those growing blue books.
How fast do I want to snap this photo? That is the question you should ask yourself when you are setting your shutter speed in manual mode. How much natural light is available when you are taking the photo has a direct relationship to how fast you want to snap the photo. So if you are in low light you will need to hold your shutter open longer and if it is a bright situation you will need it to open and close quickly.
Shutter Speed = Time
Ready to learn about aperture/F-stop? I am going to share a few tips with you about how to get started setting your aperture.
The first step is to decide what you are trying to achieve from the photo you want to take, blurred background, everything in focus, stop action, blurred action. If you are trying to blur your background or keep everything in focus it is your aperture you are going to set first. When beginning it is a good idea to go 50 percent manual and you do this by using the A(Nikon) or AV(Canon) mode found on the dial on the top of your camera. In this mode you set the f-stop and the camera chooses the correct shutter speed to balance the light meter in your camera.
Would you like to get your camera off the automatic settings and take control of your camera? I am going to teach you about the different features that are available on most DSLR cameras (digital single-lens reflex) in this post and then I will do a more detailed post on some of the most important components of manual photography. The first step is to go to the dial on the top of your camera and turn the dial to “M” and away from the “Auto” or the green box option.
I have to say I love my “big” cameras and I have bought camera bags that look like purses so that I can have my big camera with me when I am out and about, but I LOVE the convenience of always having a camera with me on my iphone when it is not convenient to bring my big cameras.
Manufacturers are making them better and better with each new model. For the majority of the population, phone cameras work perfectly for their photo needs on a day to day basis. You can take some pretty awesome photos with your phone!
What do you photograph at birthdays? I wanted to share a few of the things that I like to photograph on that special day in our home.
Do you buy a cake or make a cake for the birthday person? Is there a family favourite that you always make or buy? Is there a theme cake? I always try to take a photo of the cake so we can look back each year to see what creation I have come up with.
Grant’s Car Crash Cake was perfect for his 11th birthday! He loves anything to do with cars and racing so he loved his cake!
Dress in layers when heading out to do winter photos and don’t forget your gloves instead of mittens! Also, protect your camera from the winter elements by climatizing it to the cold slowly. Put your camera in your camera bag and put near the front door or in a porch that is colder than the rest of your house, then move your camera bag to the car so it is isn’t directly exposed to the cold, but it is definitely getting colder. This prevents your camera from fogging up when you take it out to start shooting. It is now time to take your camera out into the cold. If it is snowing cover up your camera with a clear plastic bag to protect it from the wet and cut a hole for the lens to fit through. Once your camera is cold you want to avoid getting it warm and then cold again because your lens will fog up similar to your eyeglasses. Also, the condensation is not good for your camera.
Having an extra battery is a good idea. Your camera battery won’t last as long in the cold so have a back up one in your pocket where it is warm.
Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year and it is most often surrounded by traditions and family. I try every year to come up with a new photo idea, the topics usually remain the same, I just try to find a new perspective when snapping the photos. Looking at the same things in a new way and capturing that moment to remember for a lifetime.
Favourite Family Tradition
Every year our family visits the Christmas tree lot where we cut our own tree and I take the same photo of the tree falling. It is nice to look back and see the difference in the size of the children and who is cutting the tree. It used to be my husband when the children were small and now that Ben is 16 he is doing lots of the work. I took that same photo this year, but I think my favourite photo from the day was Lauren and Grant grabbing a selfie while Todd and Ben cut the tree.
Christmas tree lights are one of my favourite things to photograph at Christmastime! The tree makes a perfect backdrop for holiday photos. I thought I would share some fun ideas I have tried with my camera settings to get different looks for my photos.
One of the best tricks up my sleeve is a 50mm prime lens. It gives that beautiful blurred background and the soft bokehs. Bokehs are the out-of-focus light spots that you can create with your lens by fixating on your main subject. You can achieve the look with other lens’ and you can work with what you have. The 50mm just makes you look like an expert photographer! They are a small investment and wonderful for portrait photos.
Snapping photos at night can be challenging and rewarding! There are so many fun things hiding in the dark to capture – the moon, stars, shadows, lights, reflections …. I find working in manual mode has made the biggest difference in success for me with my photos in the dark! This post may get a little techie, but I will try to keep it simple and easy to understand. There is a lot of trial and error that goes on with night time photography and digital is so fantastic for learning and experimenting.
I like to capture the lights on our home at Christmas time, especially after a fresh snow.