Friday, December 28, 2012

End of the Year Ramblings

Well, I knew it had been a long time since I've posted here but I have to admit I was a bit shocked when I saw I had only posted 4 times this year! It's that time of year to begin thinking about next year and what focus, if any, this blog should have. I loved doing the shot a day a few years ago, but I just can't seem to pick up that pace again. I did it for awhile on a photo club page on Facebook. That's easier because I know not many people will see it and I put much less effort into the shot and post processing. But my interest in that has waned as well with only 2 posts this month. If I'm only going to post here 4 times a year I don't think it's really worth keep the blog going. So what to do????

Here are some random thoughts off the top of my head:
1.  I just posted a macro tip post. So, I could occasionally post tips on other topics and look for feedback. (I think I'll run out of ideas quickly.)
2.  Look on flickr and 500px for inspiration and try new things and write about it here.
3.  I want to start a photo business shooting babies and kids. My goal is to be making a little money at it by the time I retire in 4 years. So, I could write about the process here.
4.  Make an attempt at the photo a day or maybe select a favorite photo from the week to post, yep that seems managable.
5. I'm open to suggestions!!

I know one thing for sure, if I'm going to write more I need to change this template. I love the black background for pictures but I find it very difficult to read white on black.

You may be wondering if I'm still taking pictures since I'm not posting here. The answer is yes. I think I'm posting mostly on Facebook. Mainly because I have trouble getting my flickr posts to show up in Facebook. I haven't posted as much on flickr and I have not been connecting with anyone there and that I truly miss.

A few photo highlights of the year-
Photo Club-a great group of creative  people, we've done some awesome shoots this year and we participated in the Help Portrait Project.
Flash-I just got my first external flash along with a softbox and umbrella. Lots to learn and I'm excited!
Engagement Shoot-our son got engaged so my husband, daughter and I all took engagement shots for them! They've never told me which pictures were their favorite so I'm thinking tomorrow I'll just select my favorites and post them for some feedback.
Snowflake-A few days ago I got a shot of a snowflake that I actually like, the one at the top of the post. I know it could be better but I was ready to do a happy dance when I first saw it. Maybe I shouldn't admit this but it's taken me 3 years to get a shot of a snowflake that I like.

Here are my 2013 Photo Goals:
1.  Post to Flickr and start commenting and reconnecting with others there.
2.  Get back to blogging here, about something, at least twice a month but preferably weekly.
3.  Start my photo business using baby steps, I need to begin but not hurry.
4.  Only post family related pics to Facebook.
5.   One of my macro tips was to look for inspiration and try to duplicate it. I need to follow that advice.
6. Go to Pinterest and read those articles I have pinned!

What are your photo highlights from the past year? What are your photo goals? Please share I'd love to hear from you.

Happy New Year!

Macro Tips

Earlier this week, Kevin Jarrett sent me a message to let me know that he was so inspired by my macro pictures that he bought a macro lens!  Now he's looking for some advice on macro shooting. First of all this was a bit of a wow moment for me, enough so that it inspired me to write a blog post! Shocking, right? Secondly, I thought, tips? What do I know about macro photography? Well, I've been doing macro for about 3 years so I must know something.

So, here are my tips for macro photography:

  1. Experiment-set up a shot and take multiple shots using different apertures. Remember, the smaller the aperture (lager number) the greater your depth of field so more will be in focus.
  2. Understanding the connection between shutter speed, aperture, and ISO will help your shots. This past summer I finally started shooting in manual mode most of the time and that step really helped me understand this whole triangle much more clearly.
  3. Practice on ordinary objects around the house. One of my favorite shots is of a wire whisk from the kitchen. Besides playing with my macro lens I was also experimenting with lights for that shot.
  4. Edit- just so you know I edit my pictures in Photoshop. My snowflake shots are also heavily cropped.
  5. Don't rush to buy more gear to get even closer shots. I bought extension tubes and have played with them a bit but so far haven't found them worth the money. But....I'll keep playing.
  6. Go to Flickr and search macro. Find shots you like and look at the exif data. Find shots that you can try and recreate using the same settings.
  7. Use a tripod when possible.
  8. When using a slow shutter speed be sure to use the timer on your camera so you don't have any camera movement.
  9. Learn from the mistakes. Analyze a shot that is not what you wanted. Try to figure out what you could do to improve it next time.
  10. Be patient and don't give up. It took me 3 years to get a snowflake shot that I really like even though I know I still want to do better.

Well, those tips flowed out much easier than I was expecting. So, what do you think? Will this be helpful? I hope so. Let me know if you have any questions. I'll try to help.

Hey, other macro users out there, what tips do you have? I'd love to hear them. I'm always trying to improve my shot.