Friday, May 21, 2010

Photography Musings

Thank goodness there's at least one kid who will let me photograph him.  It seems that all the other kiddos run, or turn away from me when they see the camera in my hand.

Let's hope Rhodes doesn't catch on to too quickly to that idea!  I'm sure it's all downhill once he discovers how fast he can get away from me. :-)

And with very, very beginner photography becoming a creative outlet for me, I like the fact that Little Man will sit there long enough to let me adjust all the buttons on my camera and lens in order snap off a few's the only way I'll learn and grow, of course.

And yes.  I did get a new camera.  But let me say I worked very hard to raise the money to buy it.  And the little bit left over I didn't raise was my mother's day present.  :-)  I also had to reduce the size of my lens collection, but I'm very happy with my decisions.  I upgraded from a Canon Rebel XSI to a Canon 50D.  I got all I could out of my Rebel but so glad I started out with it as it was the perfect camera for me to begin with.

But I was ready for a little more challenge. 

With that being said, I thought I share a few thoughts on photography.  Every once in a while I get very kind comments or questions about my photos.  THANK YOU if you have been one of those kind commenters!

So a couple of years ago I bought my first DSLR.  Then I realized there was a WHOLE lot more to it than just turning it on auto and snapping away.  I mean, auto was great and all, but I wanted to get everything I could out of my camera.  I wanted to control my camera, not it control me (or itself).

So what I did was take ONE aspect of my camera at a time and learn it backwards and forwards.  And only concentrate on that aspect until I truly grasped what it meant and how it was supposed to be used.

I started by turning my camera on manual and experimenting with the relationship between shutter speed and aperture.

A wide aperture is a low f-stop number but makes for the fuzzy backgrounds.  A small aperture is a high f-stop number but allows more of the foreground and background to be in focus.

Shutter speed how long the camera's sensor stays open to capture the image. 

I think the second aspect I took on was ISO.  What's the difference between a high ISO and low ISO? When should I use a higher or lower ISO?  (answer:  high ISO in low light conditions and vice versa)

The next part of my camera that I focused on was the meter and how to read it.  The meter is located on my LCD screen as well as through my viewfinder.  I read blogs and played around with my camera until I really understood how to read it.

Then I took on white balance!  And even custom white balance.  Indoor shots can sometimes have an orange cast - and knowing white balance can help correct that!

Then I learned about focus points, focus modes, and metering modes.  I like spot metering!  I read my manual and played with my camera until I learned each of those areas!

The hard part is putting it all together for the perfectly exposed photograph!  Of course that's rather relative - because every person can have a different style and taste.  It's still tough for me (putting it all together) but I'm not giving up yet! 

Last but not least, Photoshop.  Yes, it can be quite fun to play around in it with my pics!  But you can't "fix" a bad photo.  I just try and enhance them a little! :-) Sometimes I overdo it, sometimes I don't even touch a picture.

One of my favorite photography blogs is  I find many of their posts very helpful and they also point you to other places/sites that you may be able to learn from.

So there it is.  A short version of how I got started.  I feel as though there is so much more to learn and I look forward to it!

I've really enjoyed this new little hobby of mine (though I loved it in high school too when I took the class - but it definitely wasn't digital).  It challenges me creatively and I have the perfect little subjects running circles around me every day! :-)

If you have any other questions (not that I'm at all qualified to answer them), I give it a shot and try and give them my best thoughts!


  1. Amanda (Pridgen) ThamesMay 21, 2010

    Thanks for the tips, Lindsay! I am slowly learning, but have a long way to go. I think I need to work on white balance soon to get rid of my orange indoor pictures...I'm going to check out the blog you mentioned. Congrats on the new camera!

  2. Your babies are absolutely beautiful. Honestly...all four of them are just such cute kids!!

    Thanks for the tips...I've been a lurker drooling over the cuteness... :)


  3. I just recently upgraded my dSLR too! I love love love using it and learning all about the different things you can do.

    You take amazing pics! (Having adorable babies to model for you doesn't hurt ;)

  4. Hey! I found your blog through a mutual friend, Tarver, and I'm so glad I did! I enjoy reading it and I would love to learn more about photography.

    I have a Digital SLR (Canon Rebel XT), and I've just started experimenting in manual mode with Aperture and Shutter Speed. But I can't make it work. My camera, even in manual mode, still wants me to try to get towards "zero" on what I think it the meter?

    I'm just using the lens that came with it for now, but I think a different lens would help. Do you have recommendations for lens that would allow me more control over the manual mode stuff. Tarver said I may need one with a lower F-value, at least I think that's what she said, but then we had induled in wine, so who knows. Any advice for a very beginner?



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