{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.

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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.

 

Berrytastic

Red and black

Baked Berry Cheesecake

  • 8 digestive biscuits
  • 50g butter , melted
  • 600g cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 175g caster sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, plus 1 yolk
  • 142ml pot soured cream
  • 300g raspberries, blackberries and strawberries
  • icing sugar

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Crush 8 digestive biscuits in a food processor (or put in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin). Mix with 50g melted butter. Press into a 20cm springform tin and bake for 5 minutes, then cool.
  2. Beat 600g cream cheese with 2 tbsp flour, 175g caster sugar, a few drops of vanilla extract, 2 eggs, 1 yolk and a 142ml pot of soured cream until light and fluffy. Stir in 150g raspberries and pour into the tin. Bake for 40 minutes and then check, it should be set but slightly wobbly in the centre. Leave in the tin to cool.
  3. Using the remaining 150g raspberries, keep a few for the top and put the rest in a pan with 1 tbsp icing sugar. Heat until juicy and then squash with a fork. Push through a sieve. Serve the cheescake with the raspberry sauce and raspberries.

Summer Berry Baked cheesecake

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.

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.

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.

{Texture Tuesday} – the 2-fer eDition

Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday again, another week that has vanished in a flash! The brief today is that  “Your image must include at least two of my textures…. that’s it..that’s all”.

Pink delight

Well what I did was as follows:

Adjusted the WB slightly to add some warmth in Lightroom 3.
Added a little fill light (15%) in Lightroom 3.
Adjusted the clarity slightly (15%) in Lightroom 3.
Increased the vibrance slightly (+50) in Lightroom 3.
Increased the saturation slightly (+10) in Lightroom 3.
Transfered to Photoshop Elements 11
kk_reverie, multiply @ 50% opacity
kk_confusion, soft light @ 50%
Flattened the image.
Text layer and watermark added.
The pre straight out of camera shot is here below

Before

As usual I would love to know what you think and any tips to improve it I would love to hear.

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

{Macro Monday} – the Metal eDition

This Monday the challenge was set, but my creativity failed me, the shot I took was the metal measuring spoons, the others are all ones I have taken that would have also fit the theme nicely. As I do not like to repeat shots for the challenges, if I can help it, I decided to shoot something new. Long days at work whilst my kids were at Easter camp meant that my options were a little on the limited side 😮

Half a teaspoon!

Playground link

Circular abstract

Natural weathering

Peaks

The Potato nightmare

Sieve-keh!

I hope you are all having a Happy Macro Monday 🙂

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

To a point

I am still working my way (slowly I might add!) through the exercises in the book Picture Perfect Practice by  Roberto Valenzuela. A few Wednesdays ago now I posted my Square shots, then rectangles and circles, yesterday it was the turn of triangles, which makes today converging lines.

Approaching

Converging telecoms

Along the path

Closed lines

Putting on an act

Long Swing line

All lined up!

Phew Chapter one done, now on to Chapter two 🙂

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