Thursday, September 15, 2011

Photography Tips from The Hollie Rogue

We have a fantastic blogger here today with some great Photography tips.  I love taking pictures and Andi's post has been very helpful to me. 

I know every time I have a guest blogger over, I stress how excited I am, but the things it....I really  am excited.  I really love having my bloggy friends here and sharing them with you.  I know you will all love Andi as much as I do.  So go one over and show her some love.  Tell her Miss Mommy sent ya, and I bet she'll have a big smile on her face :)


Hi! I'm Andi and I'm the momma of two kids, Hollis (2.5) and Rogan (9 months), hence our blog name: The Hollie Rogue. You can learn a little more about me and my family, here.

Being a bit of a type-A personality and since having my second child, I felt like I needed something to do that could challenge me and help me continue to learn something new (that didn't involve changing diapers or wiping snotty noses).  When my husband surprised me with a new DSLR camera for mother's day (2011), PHOTOGRAPHY became just that for me!

Pretty much since the day I got the camera, I have taken it everywhere, read many photography articles online, talked to photography professionals, and hosted a photo friday link party every week that highlights what I have learned about photography/my camera that week.

Today, I'd like to share just a few of the most basic things I think every newbie photographer should understand to start improving your photos RIGHT AWAY:

1.  The Practice: You have to be inspired to take photos and take them often if you want to improve.  I have probably taken 5,000-7,000 photos in the past 5 months.  It's ok to take a lot of pictures (especially with the digital cameras that can just erase the ones you don't like).  Experiment and challenge yourself to capture the everyday activities of your life.  The more you take, the better you will get!

2.  The Right Gear:  I'm not an expert on what the best cameras are or anything, but I do recommend getting a camera that allows you to use a manual setting to experiment with things like iso, aperture, and shutter speed.  I have a Nikon D3100 with the kit lens and a telephoto lens (50mm-300mm).  It definitely isn't the top of the line, but it is really good for what I, as a beginner, use it for.  Also, you need to have a fairly big memory card (remember, we will be taking LOTS of pictures)--I have a 16GB and it holds thousands of pictures. 

3.  The Rule of Thirds:  You can do this one without even getting a new camera!  When composing your pictures, think about the photo as divided into thirds.  If you keep the subject(s) in one third of the whole (instead of always centered) you will start seeing improvement in the overall feel and appeal of your pictures.  For more information from a professional about this topic, click here.
sign is in the right 1/3

horizon/sun is in the top 1/3
kids are in the bottom/right 1/9
4.  The Optimal Lighting:  Basically, lighting is EVERYTHING in photography---finding the best light and working with the light you have is really crucial in getting a great picture.  When possible, use natural lighting (outside, in front of a big window, a bright room with the curtains open, etc.).  For beginners, this is especially helpful, because I think it is easier to get your shutter speed/aperture combinations correct with natural lighting.  

5.  The Editing:  This one is my favorite, because even if you don't take the best photos (meaning your exposure isn't perfect or the shadows are too dark, etc) you can make them look more professional and exciting using simple editing techniques.  If you haven't heard of "actions,"  they are basically applications that you can download and use in photoshop or photoshop elements or other editing programs like lightroom.  Just download them and then you can use them on any photo and it does all the work for you!   Coffeeshop Blog has a lot of choices and all the instructions for downloading and installing them.  Even if you don't want to buy editing software there are some great free online editing programs like Picnik.  


Coffeeshop Attic Vintage action

Coffeeshop Velvet Cream

Ok, that's all I have today, but if you are a beginner (or even if you're not), and you want to follow my journey to figuring out photography, I'd love for you to stop by my blog every Friday for "Photo Friday."  It is a link party and also where I share what I am learning about my camera or just photography in general.  I often have guest photographers who post and teach us important techniques as well.  I'd love for you to be a part of it!
the hollie rogue

Thanks to Nicole for asking me to guest post today!
Blessings, friends!

P.S.  I'm blogging over at Andi's place today all about how I opened my Etsy shop!.  Go on over and check it out.  Click here to see my post :)


Candice said...

Great tips! I need to start doing the 1/3 rule more. Thanks!

Stephanie {Blonde Highlights} said...

LOVE those tips! I have been wanting to get more into photography, and having someone lay it out so simply is just the thing to make me want to dive in!


MJ said...

What great tips. I never thought about downloading a editing program for myself. Thanks.

Stopping by from #commenthour

ASingleMothersJourney said...

I have the same camera but lately my picture quality has been bad. I haven't even taken the time to figure out all the settings yet to get it right and I've had it for months. Your pictures are great. I can't wait to see more.

Ciao Mama's said...

God these are some gorgeous photo's I am going to eventually get a real camera instead of the one on my Iphone. New follower from vB. Hope you can swing by my site.

Lisa said...

These are some great tips, Hollie! Some I know, but need to brush up on! ~
~Lisa @ Organized Chaos

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