Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Week 3: 31 Days to a Better Photo

I can't believe I'm well over half way finished with this 31 day series! And that I'm still on track to finish before October! Here's the latest...

Day 15: Histograms in the Field
First off, let me say that I LOVE using the display screen that shows the histogram for reviewing my photos. Now. Before I didn't have a clue. Once again, thank you Darcy! And, the cool thing about my camera (and maybe they all do this) is that the white (255) or black (0) spots flash on the screen so I can tell, even in a tiny 1 inch-ish image, where the super light or super dark spots are. This is great because sometimes, as Darcy mentions, its ok. Like in this pic of the pillow I made.

The area behind the chair and pillow was flashing on my camera display screen and I could see on the histogram that there were bars in the 255 spot.

I took this image with my iPhone so you could see what my display looks like.

But, because I felt that the light filled window could be super light and not affect the image I was trying to share, I was OK with it. Make sense? Well, it does to me (thank goodness) and I'll be using this feature on my camera a lot now.

Day 16: Exposure Compensation
OK, so I have a confession. I didn't watch the tutorial video Darcy included about setting exposure compensation. Its not because I'm lazy, I swear! Its because my little squirt was sleeping and I couldn't turn up the sound on the computer. But, I did read my trusty, never dusty, manual and learn how to use this feature. On my camera, this only works in Tv and P modes. Which I don't use very much. Because now I'm shooting mostly in M. So I don't have a pic to share but I'll be armed and ready if the situation ever arises.

Day 17: The Low Down on Lenses
Unfortunately, I already knew that my lens sucks. Or maybe its a good thing I already knew or I'd be sad and defeated from reading this post. I'm thinking about getting a 50mm f/1.8. Its really the only thing I can afford. My sister has one so I'm going to put it on my camera and try it out this weekend. That's why I have a Canon. My sister is a Canon girl and I thought it would be good if we could talk about stuff and help each other out (although she does more helping than I do...maybe not after I finish this Better Photo series, huh?!). Moving on...

Day 18: What Camera do you Have?
Darcy takes this day to talk about photography as art. Basically saying that someone with a good camera can still take crap-ola pictures but that a true photographer, a true artist, can get amazing images even with something as basic as a camera phone. Adding also, and very importantly, that a good/great/amazing camera serves as a tool for making a great photographer even better. I get all that. Which is why I'm hoping that I come out of this on the other end taking the best photos that I, Carrie, am capapble of with the tool that I have. Which is a Canon Rebel xsi (450D), by the way.

Day 19: When Natural Light Won't Cut It
This post wasn't really for me. I'm probably never going to get any other equipment (except a new lens) for my camera. I'm not looking to make any money taking photographs or anything like that. But, I did disagree with her for the first time. She makes a point of saying that she never uses her built in flash (actually "never, ever, ever, without exception" if we're quoting). I don't have a lens fast enough to catch some of the indoor images I want. Shots of my girls doing silly things can't be staged or recreated outside in natural light. Sometimes I don't have time to run around turning all the lights on and opening the blinds. These pictures are for me. For my memories. To document my life. And if I have to turn on the flash, by golly I'm gonna do it. Do I see that the pics aren't as good? Yes. Do I wish they were naturally lit? Yes. But will I miss getting a shot of that moment in time? No way. Not if my camera is within reach. So my flash will get some use (but only a teeny, tiny bit).

Day 20: Art in photography
This is an area that I need to work on. I don't have an artistic eye so I need to learn what I like in images (basically, not seeing the messy kitchen counter in the background has been good enough for me) and how to set up the shots where I have control of the setting.

Day 21: Elements of Composition
Hopefully I'll become familiar with the 9 elements mentioned and it will become second nature to frame my shot according to them. I'm going to try to use the next week to get a few shots using the ideas from this post to share. We'll see how I do, won't we?

I think next week has a lot of info about Photoshop, which I don't have and won't be getting any time soon. I've just started using Picnik so maybe a few of Darcy's tips will be transferable to that or iPhoto (which I don't have here at my momma's house, only back in Vegas).

1 comment:

  1. Hi Carrie. I have a Canon Rebel xsi also. I'm pretty happy with it so far but I would like a better lens for sure. I have photoshop but find it so user UNfriendly that I never use it. Windows Live Photo Gallery has been an incredible tool in photo editing and most PC come with it standard now. When it comes to photography though, it's a constant learning process. :)


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