Monday, January 30, 2012

Photography Tips - Light

The first thing I can remember really wanting as a child, was a camera. By the time I had turned 7, Santa had delivered me a red and black Konica. After learning how to load the film, I was off happily snapping shots of whatever I could ......... well, for at least 24 times, as that's how many photos were on a film. 

Cameras have somewhat advanced since then and I've had numerous upgrades over the years from my Konica. The biggest advantage I think in having a digital camera is that there is no cost involved with taking as many shots as you wish and you also get instant feedback as to how your photos look, making it easy to get just the right shot.

When I take photos I like to play around with the lighting. It is one of the most important things to get right when taking a photo. 

Here are some tips for using lighting in your photography.

~ natural light is the best source of light, not direct sunlight as it can be too harsh. find an open window or door and let the light flood in. experiment with different times of the day. natural light is not actually white, it is made up of all the different colours of the spectrum, so different times of the day will omit different shades of light such as blue or yellows.

~ experiment with different backdrops. a white sheet or pieces of cardboard give a fresh clean look and allow detail of the subject to be shown. try using patterned fabrics if you want a more fun and less sterile approach.

~ if it is an overcast day and there isn't enough natural light available, try covering a sheet of cardboard with some aluminum foil and use it to bounce off and reflect more natural light onto your subject.

~ make sure the flash is off . This will show the subjects true dimensions and won't make it appear flat. Use the 'macro' setting when necessary to take up close shots.

~ the best way I have been able to get extra light into my photos though, is by playing around with the position in which I initially focus the camera before actually taking the shot. if you focus straight on the subject and there isn't enough light, then you will end up with a dull photo. by 'focus' I mean to half press the camera button down that takes the photos. try focusing on an area near the subject area that is darker than the subject area. the camera should adjust to let more light in. then move the camera back to the subject area with the focus still being held down. then fully press the camera button to take the shot. if you are using a phone, then press on different spots on the screen to experiment with lighting.
~ here are four shots of the same scene. their quality all depends on the focusing position. all other variables are the same. the first one has too much light, the second not enough. the bottom two photos are the best.

Little Ladybird
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Monday, January 09, 2012

Quotes from Albert Einstein

I had a dream about writing a blog post last night, so today may as well be the day to start one....  

Welcome to my blog, Little Ladybird, where I hope to share with you thoughts and images that make up some of my life. Hopefully you will find some of this space inspiring and interesting

We are only one week into twenty twelve, so I think it is still okay to tell you about my goals for this year. There isn't a list of things to tick off. They are not measurable or tangible, at least not in the immediate sense, which goes against everything I learned during behavioural psychology at uni many years ago. However, to me, they are inspiring. And of course, they are not completely mine. Each one of my 'notes to self for 2012' has been inspired by Albert Einstein. After all, I think he was on to something, don't you ....

Little Ladybird

Photo credit: Albert Einstein, library of creative commons.