Last week I took a photo walk at the Bellevue Botanical Garden. Although it is still fairly cld out here in Seattle, I got to see some very nice things over there. The morning was perfect, not too cold, and I managed to walk for 11/2 hour just before the rain started. Here are some of the highlights:
If you were ever wanted to take your camera off auto and take great pictures or maybe just understand what happens when you press that button, you need understand the exposure triangle.
First let's talk about exposure. Exposure determines how light or dark your image I can be, when captured by your camera. This is determined by three camera settings: aperture, ISO and shutter speed, the exposure triangle. By selecting some combination of these three elements, you will have your exposure.
Aperture - Determines how large the opening of our lens should be to allow the right amount of light into the sensor. The larger the opening, the more light is allowed in, the smaller the less light is allowed in. Aperture is measured in f-stops, such as f/2.8, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16 and so on. The smaller the number the larger the opening of the lens.
Aperture also, determines the depth of field of your image, how much of your image is actually in focus.
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) - Determines the light sensitivity of your camera. The higher (800 or more) the ISO, the more sensitive the sensor on your camera is t light. Keep in mind that very high ISO can introduce a lot of noise to your image. For this reason is best the keep your ISO allow as possible.
Shutter Speed - The amount of time your shutter is open in order to record an image on your digital sensor. Fast shutter speeds are required for sharply photographing fast moving subjects. When you select a fast shutter speed, you freeze movement, whereas selecting a slower shutter speed allows you to blur movement, A good rule of thumb for sharp images is to keep your shutter at or above your focal length.
When taking a picture, think about your vision. Do you want your focus to be on your subject, and blur the background? Would you like to imply movement? Your vision is your guide to determine your exposure for any given composition.
Most people come to me saying that they want just the digital files because they want to print them as needed on a later date. The truth is that most of these people simply put that CD or USB drive in a drawer and never look at them again, or do so rarely. The best way to truly enjoy your family pictures, is by printing them.
Technology changes all the time. Remember those floppy disks we used to have? I haven't seen one of the in long time, computer don't come with disk drives anymore. How would you access pictures stored in them? You can't. But you can always go back and look at an album.
I printed a few albums of with pictures of my kids. Every other day my daughter picks them up and ask me to show her pictures of her as a baby or of her older brother before she was born. She would never have this experience them if they we in a a computer hard drive.
There is something magical about walking by your fireplace and seeing your family picture hung just above it, or opening an album of your child's early years. Touching, feeling these pictures bring to life memories of time that won't come back.
Photographing children is not easy, they are always on the go and not always willing to cooperate. Photographing your own child's birthday party brings its own set of challenges.
Here are a few tips on photographing your child's birthday [arty and help you have a more enjoyable experience:
1. Designate a Photographer: It's your party, you have to entertain guests, make sure things are running smoothly and of course be in the pictures. Have someone else take the pictures for you, so you can spend more time with guests and enjoy!
2. Get down to the children;s level. This is actually a tip for photographing children in general. you want to show the children's perspective.
3. Photograph details. Don't forget the cake, the decor, the presents. Those re important too!
4. Take Candid pictures. There is nothing more fun than looking back and see people having enjoying themselves and interacting with each other.
5. Have fun! Enjoy, it's your child's birthday, go with the flow and make memories to last a long time.
Leading lines are used draw your attention to certain parts of the frame. Our eyes are naturally drawn along lines in photos, they make us feel like we standing in the picture itself thus creating a dense of balance and flow to the image.
Leading lies are usually found in the bottom right or left corner f an image and sometimes in the center, bringing the viewer into the image and connecting the foreground and background.
Let's look at some some examples of leading lines:
Last week we took the kids to the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. I have to say I was a bit nervous about little kids running round glass, but they loved seeing all the glass sculptures. They are so beautiful!
My five year old loved the Hot Shot - an amphitheater were you can see artists creating art pieces from molten glass. We could have stayed there for hours. Although the Museum is not very big, it was a nice family outing on a rant Sunday afternoon.
The golden hour is the first hour of light after sunrise and the last hour of light before sunset. The reason why we talk a lot about golden hour in photography is because it is during this time of day that the sun is lower in the horizon. When a light source is larger relative to the subject, it produces soft light.
Soft light doesn't create harsh shadows and therefore tends to be more flattering to the subject. in addition, the lower angle of the sun creates longer shadows, adding interest to your images.
Framing is the technique of using other objects to frame the main subject on your photograph. This helps draw attention to the main subject in your image at the same time it adds more depth to it.
You can use any kind of frames including, shooting through trees, shooting through windows, using archways, tunnels, doorways, using people. Your frame can be in focus or out of focus, on all edges or just on one edge of the shot, as long as they add to the image. Use our imagination and be creative to find frames for our photograph.
Composition and lighting is what makes a photograph, not the equipment you may have. Right now, we are going to talk about one of the most basic rules of composition: The Rule of Thirds.
The idea behind the rule of thirds is to imagine that a photo is divided evenly into thirds both horizontally and vertically therefore having nine parts.
if you take a look at the grid, you will notice four points of intersection between those lines, the power points
The idea is that if you place the main points of interest of your photographs on these power points, you will have a more balanced and powerful composition.
For example, if you are photographing people, the eyes would be placed on the intersection points, typically on the upper third.
On the picture below, the bridge is on the power points.
Of course, rules are meant to be broken, so use the rule of thirds as a guideline and experiment. Breaking this rule can indeed result in stunning images.
We recently went on a family trip to NYC and Boston. With a 5 year old and a 2 1/2 year old. Someone asked me how we manage such large cities with little kids. My answer: it's all about your expectations.
No we did not go to museums, my 2 1/2 would be running all over the place we would not get to see anything, but we still had lot of fun. we paced ourselves, did one thing a day, usually in the morning and let the kids rest for the afternoon.
Kids are curious creatures and they love learning new things. This trip was no different.