Lost In A Digital World

A few weeks ago upon arriving home for work, I did what I normally do-check the mailbox (of course, hoping that I got that check from Ed McMahon and Publisher’s Clearing House).  It wasn’t there, but our small local newspaper was.

The Sauk Rapids Herald.

I perused it, looking at the local police happenings (small town) and outcome of our beloved “Storm” sports teams.

As I was reading there was a certain article that struck a chord with me.  I can relate to the thousands of undeveloped photographs in my phone, how about you?

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Family Fun with Countryside Comfort

I love family time.  It is the best warm and fuzzy feeling there is.  I am sure that you have seen these family photos of mine on many projects, but let me share the story.

It was a fall day in 2011.  My oldest son was a senior in high school.  This mamma bear was on a mission to have fun family photos taken before the birdie left the nest.  At this point my boys were so tired of me sticking a camera in their face, so I was feeling “iffy” about how the day might go.

To my surprise, it was the funnest day our family had had in a long time.  We smiled, and laughed, and were just plain silly.  So, if you have seen some of the silly ones—this is why. We actually got in the car to head home, and they both commented about how much FUN that photo shoot was.

So, find yourself a FUN-loving photographer who will let your family be yourselves—-and capture those memories…..before the nest is empty.

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Photo Tips – ISO/Light Sensitivity

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With today being National Camera Day—let’s finish up with series of Getting To Know Your Camera.

ISO – International Standard of Organization or before digital it was known as film speed and not “in search of”.  Well, we are “in search of” more light!

Low ISO – less light and less grain or noise.

High ISO – more light and more grain or noise.

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Photo Tips – Photograph your Pets

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Our pets are important members of our family and photos of them are always treasured.  It can be fun taking photos of our pets, but also frustrating!  Just like children they don’t always do what we want them to, when we want them to.  I have come up with a few tips that you may find helpful.

GO WITH THE FLOW

Just relax and have fun with your pet and try not to get stressed when you want that perfect photo.  If you are feeling stressed they will feel it.  Patience is the best  quality to have and treats too!

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Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

My Mom is the centre of our family and we all love to spend time with her, whether it be a special dinner, shopping, cottage time, travel, out to dinner, a walk and or just having a cup of coffee together.  She treasures each and every one of her grandchildren as they treasure her.  Mother’s Day is a day to make her feel as special as she does with all of us.

I try to take as many photos of my children and my brother’s children with her as these will always be treasured memories.  Not just on Mother’s Day is it important to snap those photos, but all through the year.

Continue reading Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

To Smile, or not to Smile.

My life has been documented relentlessly since I was born.  Sitting on a bookshelf, the blue scrapbooks have multiplied through the years as I have experienced more and more in life. From the big moments: the first day of kindergarten, starting high school, college acceptance letter, my grandma’s last Christmas, and moving to Philadelphia; to the trifling: vacations, school dances, sporting events, family reunions, and day trips; my life is neatly remembered in those growing blue books.

Continue reading To Smile, or not to Smile.

Photo Tips – Shutter Speed/Time

How fast do I want to snap this photo?  That is the question you should ask yourself when you are setting your shutter speed in manual mode.  How much natural light is available when you are taking the photo has a direct relationship to how fast you want to snap the photo.  So if you are in low light you will need to hold your shutter open longer and if it is a bright situation you will need it to open and close quickly.

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Shutter Speed = Time

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Photo Tips – Aperture/F-stop

Ready to learn about aperture/F-stop? I am going to share a few tips with you about how to get started setting your aperture.

The first step is to decide what you are trying to achieve from the photo you want to take, blurred background, everything in focus, stop action, blurred action. If you are trying to blur your background or keep everything in focus it is your aperture you are going to set first. When beginning it is a good idea to go 50 percent manual and you do this by using the A(Nikon) or AV(Canon) mode found on the dial on the top of your camera. In this mode you set the f-stop and the camera chooses the correct shutter speed to balance the light meter in your camera.

untitled-5438I shoot with Nikon so my dial has M, A, S, P.

So a refresher on f-stop or aperture…

Aperture is the size of the opening of your shutter and the f-stop is the actual number related to the size. These numbers make no sense and we just have to accept them them as they are and memorize them.

  • smaller the number – larger the opening
  • larger the number – smaller the opening
  • each f-stop is twice as big or twice as small as the f-stop next to it.
  • And just to confuse you a little more there are smaller stops or clicks in between the full stops. These are often referred to as half stops. ex. 2.8, 4, 5.6 are the full stops and there are two numbers between the larger ones 2.8, 3.2, 3.4, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.6.  

Some of you may know which button or dial changes your f-stop, but if you don’t please refer to your trusty manual which came with your camera or can sometimes be found online.

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The dial located just above the red line is my f-stop control.

The size of the opening of the shutter controls how much will be in focus on your photo. Small number(large opening), only the subject will be in focus and large number(small opening), everything near and far will be in focus.
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In this example the f-stop was a small number(large opening) and the DOF is shallow meaning that only the 1st car is in focus.

untitled-1338.jpgThe f-stop is a high number in this example which means a small opening and the DOF is deep meaning many of the cars are in focus.

Depth of Field

Depth of field (DOF) is another term that you will here when determining your f-stop. DOF is the distance between the nearest and the furthest objects that give an image judged to be in focus in a camera. So if you are taking photos of multiple objects in the same frame and they are different distances in the camera you will need to adjust your f-stop to achieve the look you want. If you want all in focus you will need to have a small opening on your shutter which means a large number.

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Another example of DOF – The candy that is close is in focus and further away is blurry and you achieve this by using a small  f-stop  (large opening).
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The candy in this case is all equal distance from the camera therefore everything is in focus.  The f-stop could be small or large, the placement of the subject is what determines the DOF.

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In this photo I had a low f-stop(large opening) so only my parents were in focus and put the rest of the family out of focus.

Not only does the f-stop control the depth of field (DOF), but it also controls the brightness of the photo. Small number lets in lots of light and large number lets in less light. This of course is all dependant on the shutter speed and ISO as the three of them work together to create beautiful light in your photos.

Practice, Practice, Practice!!!

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Photo Tips- Get to Know Your Camera

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Would you like to get your camera off the automatic settings and take control of your camera?  I am going to teach you about the different features that are available on most DSLR cameras (digital single-lens reflex) in this post and then I will do a more detailed post on some of the most important components of manual photography.  The first step is to go to the dial on the top of your camera and turn the dial to “M” and away from the “Auto” or the green box option. 

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Photo Tips Using Your Cell Phone

I have to say I love my “big” cameras and I have bought camera bags that look like purses so that I can have my big camera with me when I am out and about, but I LOVE the convenience of always having a camera with me on my iphone when it is not convenient to bring my big cameras.

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Manufacturers are making them better and better with each new model.  For the majority of the population, phone cameras work perfectly for their photo needs on a day to day basis.  You can take some pretty awesome photos with your phone!

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