{Texture Tuesday} – the Free & Easy eDition

Just because….

Wow where did that week just go! It is Tuesday again, so I have edited another photo for Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday, this week Kim just told us “Your photo must contain at least one layer of any of my textures…that’s it..that’s all.” 🙂

Well what I did was as follows:

Adjusted the white balance in Lightroom 3 to warm the image (increased by 500).
Added a little fill light (5%) in Lightroom 3
Decreased the vibrance (5%) in Lightroom 3
Increased the saturation (18%) in Lightroom 3
Adjusted the Sharpened the image slightly (15%) in Lightroom 3
Transfered to Photoshop Elements 8
Cloned out the dark spot at the top.
kk_plaster squared, multiply @ 50% opacity
Created a Layer mask and reduced the effect of the  texture on the tulips, with the brush opacity at 50%.
Text layer and watermark added.
The pre straight out of camera shot which I was not impressed with at all is here below

I would love to know what you think?

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE – enjoying and recording the everyday moments of life.

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{Macro Monday} – Geometric shapes

Today’s Macro Monday theme was set as geometric shapes, as I had already taken a few recently for Picture Perfect Practice I found it more difficult finding something new to post.

Fully charged

Stacked

We have been pretty hectic over the last couple of weeks with redecorating, hence I have not been around that much, I should be back to normal fairly soon and look forward to settling down with a nice glass and catching up with all my favourite blogs 🙂

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE – enjoying and recording the everyday moments of life.

Wishes & dreams

Lets go fly a kite?

I often wonder what my children will become, at the moment my daughter has decided she would like to be a doctor or a teacher, she is pretty bright and so good with people that I can see her doing either. My son wants to be either a professional footballer or own his own company!

I was surfing the web and found this quote and thought it was perfect to go with this photo, as I know I just want then to grow up healthly and to be as happy as they can in whatever direction they choose.

Make a wish

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE – enjoying and recording the everyday moments of life.

 

In search of the light

To the point

Starting Project Life last year has meant that I often need to capture moments early in the morning before it gets light, in the evening or at night when the light can be challenging. I do not particularly like taking shots like this with a flash, as I just love to use natural light whenever I can for this as I prefer the atmosphere that it evokes.

When there is lots of good quality light, there’s no denying that it becomes easier to take a good picture, it does not mean though that you have to stop shooting when the light starts to disappear or avoid low-light photography altogether. It just get a bit trickier if like me you prefer using available light. You have to know how to set your camera up to make the most of the failing light.

The tips I have found along the way  (in no particular order) are:-

  • Shoot in manual mode – if you shoot in manual mode and monitor your exposure in the viewfinder, it becomes easier.
  • Shoot with both eyes open – often I know I do close one eye when shooting in normal situations, but in low light I make sure both are open.
  • Use Single point auto focus – if not manually focusing.
  • Increase the ISO – I am lucky that my camera handles higher ISO’s quite well, but I have found quite a few shots I have taken have been grainy, especially my Project Life ones, for these types of shots I have embraced it and found that I actually love some of these shots now.
  • Use a fast lens – the faster the better. I use my 50mm 1.8 or 35mm 1.4 most of the time for this type of photography and have had a lot of success with my 100mm 2.8 macro too :-)
  • Spot meter – this type of light often has extreme, uneven ranges of light levels. Metering for such situations is difficult. If you choose to meter, keep in mind that you likely will NOT want middle gray tones; you want your night scenics to look as though they were taken at night, so they will usually be a couple of stops darker than what your averaging meter says. If you have a spot meter, take your measurements off important highlight areas, and use those settings. Bracket if you can.
  • Find the light – position yourself according to how the light falls on your subject.
  • Use a cable release – it reduces the risk of movement from pressing the shutter down.
  • Know your camera – it really does help to know your camera inside out as it makes it so much easier.
  • Shoot in RAW – this maximises your chances of getting more shots that you can use.
  • Keep steady – one of most important things in low-light photography is the shutter speed, it is important that the camera is as steady as possible to avoid camera shake, which is inevitable with slower shutter speeds. As a general rule, for sharp images you should use a tripod when the shutter speed is greater than the inverse of the lens focal length (for example, if you are using a 50mm lens then the shutter speed is 1/50 or longer).
  • Improvise – if you are using only ambient light it can be fun to explore the different  lighting sources that can be incorporated into an image – candles, lamps, and torches etc.
  • Reflectors – I usually use one now to ensure that I make the most of any available light and bounce it back on the photographic subject.

I am sure there are a lot of other tips that you have found, but these ones have really helped me a lot to be more successful in low light situations.

Below are just a few photos I have taken (including the top one above of some of the older girls, at a ballet show my daughter did).

I found this document recently online (which I added to my Pin Interest account), as the post says it can be used on blogs, I thought I would share it here, as it has some useful info on it.

low light photography
[Snapsort’s Low Light Photography Infographic]

Don’t miss another photo due to low light, embrace it and the fun begins :-)If you have any other tips for photography in these conditions I would love to know?

Come over and check out my FACEBOOK page, I would love to know what you think and hit the like button if you’d like 8)

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE – enjoying and recording the everyday moments of life.

{Texture Tuesday} – the celebration eDition

Celebrate

Kim gave the theme of celebrate, she said

“Your photo must center around the word celebrate….Before you think… but…but… Hear me out…there are so many ways to interpret this…………Next Tuesday…let’s CELEBRATE.”

The first thing that came to mind for me was a birthday celebration, this was a photo I took of my daughters Birthday cake and I added 3 of Kim’s textures to it.

I hope you are all having a fantastic week so far and Happy Texture Tuesday 🙂

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE – enjoying and recording the everyday moments of life.

{Macro Monday} – the Rainbow eDition

Rainbow Droplets

Over the Rainbow

Rainbow of colour

Love Rainbows

Rainbow Sparkles

Colour me a rainbow

As you can see from all these shots the theme today was set as Rainbow for Macro Monday, I LOVE rainbows and have since I have been taking photography more serious taken LOTS of actual rainbows in the sky as well as ones I have created myself 🙂

Come over and check out my FACEBOOK page, I would love to know what you think and hit the like button if you’d like 8)

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE – enjoying and recording the everyday moments of life.

A bit of light reading

I decided to go to the library this week with my kids and picked up a few books for myself too One was a landscape photography one. I started reading The Photographer’s Guide to Landscapes by John Freeman which I really enjoyed and would recommend to any beginner or intermediate photographer interested in landscape photography.

This is the third volume in John Freeman’s photographic series which gives advice on capturing the beauty of the world. It provides information on an exhaustive range of topics, including guidance on creating interesting foregrounds, modifying backgrounds, developing panoramas, framing, working with multiple images, and utilizing black and white as an alternative to color. Over 200 images offer perspective on capturing specific types of landscapes, from skies and deserts to waterways and urban landscapes. For me I found the advice on equipment: filters, lenses and film really interesting; technique: exposure, shutter usage; and editing: cropping and retouching.

The book raised a point to check out on my camera : how to set the white balance to a set figure (John mentions 5,200k for sunsets)!

Further techniques mentioned that I want to look into:
1. Creating multiple images
2. Building panoramas
3. Digital composites
4. Using filters (get some ND filters and a polorizer for my wider angled lens).
5. Infrared – I have a contact on Flickr who I have admired for a while, he does quite a few shots using this style.
6. Re-touching
7. Digital toning
8. Abstracts

Eek, I there is so much I want to learn and will re-read it before taking it back…………

This is the first blossom I have managed to take this year, surprisingly! I just love this quote by Robin William and think it goes so well here.

I have also decided to put a little effort into my online presence, so have updated my FACEBOOK page, come over and check out my new header, I would love to know what you think and hit the like button if you’d like 8)

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE – enjoying and recording the everyday moments of life.

Natural Light v Flash

I have long been an avid fan of natural light photography, I am sure I will always have a preference for it, but as I am now starting to take a few bookings for shoots, I really need a back up plan just in case. To that end I am now teaching myself how to use my speedlight to give a “natural look”

Looking up

The above shot was taken in low light using just the available light, I love the drama that shooting in the dark towards the light has created. Here I just used the SOOC shot and converted it to black and white in Lightroom.

In contrast the shot below I used a bounced flash to remove the shadows and soften the image, I think that it looks fairly natural, I converted to monotone to remove the colour of our sofa, but to me the tell-tale sign that a flash was used is in the catchlights, but I can start to see the benefits of using a flash.

Shattered

I would so love to know what you think as this is my first attempt using a speed-light for portraits  Also, if anyone has any tips for setting up or any good reference books to read on flash use for portrait photography, I would love to hear from you.

Come over and join me on my FACEBOOK page, I would LOVE to see you over there too 🙂

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE – enjoying and recording the everyday moments of life.

Busy, Busy, Busy

Week 11

This week in March was so busy for us, I seemed to be rushing here there and everywhere, we had our usual clubs and then a class assembly, Steel Pan Rolling Concert and then mufti day for Red Nose Day 2013, this year my two kids wore their pyjamas to school for the charity.

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE – enjoying and recording the everyday moments of life.

Colour Play

Day 11 of 2B, or Beyond Beyond saw Kim talk about colour boards and tips and tricks on how to create them, this was such fun, I can see me doing more of these 🙂

Spring Pinks

Purple love

Kim then showed us how to create a “hazy” preset in Lightroom, boy I cannot believe how much I am learning here. Day 11 and I have already know so much more in Lightroom. I created 4 different presets after watching Kim’s video. I will share some photos soon where I have used them 🙂

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE – enjoying and recording the everyday moments of life.