Saturday, September 13, 2014

Take Great Photos On Your Phone

In six easy steps, this shows you how to take clear, 
interesting shots on your phone! 

Subject: child modelling clothing
Lighting: direct sunlight
Camera: iPhone 5S
Setting: Photo/HDR Off
Orientation: portrait
Filters: none
Phone/Computer Editing: none
Props: handmade paper chain
Rainbow Dress: Threading My Way

If the conditions are right, your phone is the ultimate device to use when taking photos. 
Your phone is usually nearby and more handy than your camera and is probably always charged! Plus, afterwards, the photos are instantly at your fingertips to do as you please with them, without having to upload them onto a computer.

Here are my six tips.

1. Lighting - if the lighting is good then your phone will take clear, bright photos very easily every time, even if there is movement from the subject. Whilst indirect sunlight is very effective for taking beautiful photos, nothing beats direct sunlight, to enhance clarity and colour.

2. Subject - decide what the purpose of your photos is. Make sure the subject is showing the audience what you want them to show. Use props that further enhance the theme or feeling of your photography.

3. Background - the backdrop does not have to be stunning for your photos to look great. Use the space around you to create layers or levels in the background so that your subject is not against a one dimensional or one coloured backdrop. This helps your subject to look like they are part of the real world. Viewer's eyes like to see things placed in the real world as it gives our brains something to compare and contrast the foreground against. Lastly, make sure that there is nothing too distracting in the background that would take the focus away from the subject.

4. Aspect - Experiment with the angle from which you take your photos. This is how you will create interest in your photography. Take you photos side-on from the subject so that you background extends beyond them at an angle, and isn't a flat shape behind them. Try taking photos from a low level, looking upwards. The photos in this post were taken whilst laying on the ground. The subject can appear longer and taller at different angles and the viewer is able to see more of the subject this way, compared to what they will see front on. In this instance, taking my photos from a low level allowed me to capture the ground (lower layer), the subject (middle layer) and the sky (upper layer), all in the one photo at an interesting angle and with detail!

5. Movement  Have your subject move freely and play in the space you have given them. This allows more natural positions to be captured and doesn't make your photography look posed or forced. If the lighting is right (tip 1), then the movement won't cause your photos to be blurred. 

6. Don't wait Don't wait for the right moment to press the camera button! You will need to take lots of shots so you can sift through them later to pick out the perfect ones. Click away as much as you can as the perfect line-up for a photo sometimes only lasts a split second, especially when the subject is moving. 

Do you have any tips or tricks for taking great photos on your phone? 

Little Ladybird

Friday, August 08, 2014

Cool Kid's Play Areas

As a kid, growing up, we had a very large backyard with lots of space to run around. My brothers and I had enough space that we were able to claim bits of the yard to do whatever we pleased. Whether it was a small vegetable and flower garden, an outdoor science table or a digging patch to turn into a bike jump, we had some outdoor space that was just ours, with no adult interference.

As an adult, where we live now, we don't have much outdoor space. So we're determined to make the most of every centimetre. I don't want my kids to miss out on having some outside freedom to tinker about and to discover and learn through play. Having a small backyard is a challenge, but Ikea makes it easy.

On one side of our house we have a small walkway which is about 1.5m wide. Here's what we did to turn it into a little area for the kids to play. 

The play kitchen had to come outside. I was sick of the mess it was creating inside! We then added a mirror above and a basketball ring.

Next to it we hung some metal rails, hooks, mini magnetic round storage containers and a wall hanging, from Ikea. They were very easy to attach to the wall and are perfect for hanging water play and measuring equipment. 

We placed a long seat underneath, also from Ikea, and attached a black board from Bunnings. 

The beautiful Australian handmade bunting I picked up from a shop called Bold Australia, who make and print all of their products here in Australia.

Lastly, we made a water wall and a marble run out of pegboard, recycled water bottles and wood. It took a few goes to get the angles correct, but it was fun and a learning experience for the kids in itself!

The kids love it and they can make as much mess as they like. It's hidden around the side of the house which is awesome! And I like it when they call me round to read the messages that they or their daddy have written for me!

Little Ladybird