I've recently received a few different email and comment questions about and relating to my photos... and the pics that I post here on the blog.
So I thought I'd write a post with a little more information, as it relates to how i take my photos, what equipment i use, how i process the photos, and how i make "those cute little frames". ;)
And here is the disclaimer: i am still SO in the learning process of this whole photography thing. and really - when does the learning process ever end? in my case, i hope never. because i LOVE taking pictures, and there is always something new to switch up, change out, or try. So this is really just a bit of what i do know, and what works for me. :)
My equipment... all Canon. :)
Other: Canon Powershot A620 Point N Shoot ((just for fun!))
My first DSLR was the Canon Rebel - which I bought in November of 2004 - and learned while living in Philadelphia. Since then, I could not even begin to tell you how many photos I've taken. My first Rebel "died" atop a double-decker bus in London, on the very FIRST day of our European vacay, and then the xTi Rebel was bought (in London) that same day. The 40D is the newest little addition to our family. :)
I LOVE prime/fixed lenses for everyday type shooting. The 28mm 1.8 is my newest addition and such a fabulous lens for indoor photography - ie photos of evan. Wish i had had it sooner (when he was a newborn). It allows me to stand over him and snap pics, and easily get his whole cute little baby body in the frame. The 28-135mm IS is great for traveling. It's the only lens that I take along when we travel (which we used to do a whole lot more than we do now!), because it is just so versatile.
My Canon Powershot A620 point-n-shoot is just fun. And it takes GREAT photos. It's great to grab and stick in my purse or take along when I just dont want to be bringing the big camera. See photos HERE taken with the point n shoot. Like i said, fun. :)
When I bought my first DSLR in November of 2004, I really didn't know what 'post processing' meant. I heard people talk about it, and I was clueless. Then I started using the digi rebel and realized that my straight-out-of-the-camera (SOOC) photos needed to be tweaked both to maximize the image captured and also to better fit my own personal preferences. And so I learned. :)
I use Photoshop 7.0. I knew nothing about PS 7.0 a year and a half ago. My fabulous and talented friend Nisa showed me the basics, and I was off and learning. My sister, Kimmie, is a PS whiz, altho not so much as it relates to actual photos - more as it relates to design. Altho she did teach me how to digitally "botox" out my wrinkles in PS. ;) (VERY helpful now that i'm 30!) So now when I have a PS question, I usually go to her first. Then i google it. ha. ((what did we ever do without google?))
I like for my color photos to have a clean, sharp, slightly saturated, bright look. I use actions from Mindy Bush along with various other steps that I've come to know will give me the look that I want. My black and white images are processed in a similar way, using either a b&w action from Mindy Bush, or a new favorite B&W conversion action - from Brenda Acuncius.
Natural Light & How I Won the "Light-Lottery"...
I took this photo a few days ago (using the 28mm 1.8 lens)...
It was taken of ev, in our living/great room next to a HUGE wall-window, which when we were house-hunting here in minnesota, was one of the major selling-features of our home. Natural light and a bright home is key when you're a native Floridian unaccustomed to temps lower than 50 degrees. ;)
And now I completely realize that I pretty much won the "natural-light lottery" when we found this house. This window has been GREAT for photographing evan. It allows me to shoot at ISO levels of 400 and below, even with a kicking/moving baby. There's another very large window on the opposite side of the room (the front of the house), so there's really light coming in from all directions.
Here is the behind the scenes of this shot, and a look at the window that is pretty much our wall. :)
*I also occasionally use THIS very large reflector in order to better control where my light hits*
Frames for Posting...
as seen in the 2 photos above and in recent blog entries...
these are super-easy, and i personally just like the finished look.
so - after resizing my photo for the blog, ie as the size i want it to appear at in my post, i then go to Image - Canvas Size. I expand my canvas size by 4 pixels, in either direction, to create the interior thin frame around my photo. The color in the bottom portion of my color swatch is what the interior frame will appear as. I then change the bottom color to what I want the bold border of the frame to appear as, go to Image - Canvas Size again and expand the pixel size of my canvas by 100 pixels in each direction. I now have a frame on my pic that consists of the thin, interior-line, and the bold border. If you like - you can add text at this point, with the text tool. Most of my text is done using one of my favorite fonts - Qurillian.
and so that is about all i can think of right now. if you have any other Q's for me, i will be happy to answer if i actually know the answer. ;) leave it in a comment or feel free to email me... i always love emails. :)