This blog captures my journey to take a break from jewelry designing to learn something new. Join me as I learn the art of photography and Photoshop Elements and watch me create through my lens. ~ Dee

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Straight Out of Camera Talk...

Yesterday I spent a small part of the morning with my photography group.  The assignment was to shoot straight out of camera (ssoc), view finder and no post processing.  That's right, we went back to the basics of applying what we've learned about making manual adjustments to your camera settings, and not being able to adjust based on immediate feedback from the view finder.  In a sense it was like shooting with film, and you didn't know what you had until you got home and downloaded to your computer!  Basically, we were forced to think about what we were shooting before pressing the shutter button,and applying all the principles of photography we've learned!

You may be asking...well, why would you want to do that with all the technology available today on DSLR cameras?  The best way that I know how to explain it, is to compare it to learning, math two ways.  When learning math in elementary school, we were never allowed to use calculators. We were taught to learn multiplication and division to rote, and use paper, pencil and basic concepts to figure out harder problems.  Later in High School, with the aid of calculators, I could do these simple tasks much easier and faster, but if the situation ever arose that I didn't have these aids available to me, I could always go back to basics to complete the task at hand. 

To me, photography is similar in a backwards kind of way, in that it's important to learn the basics of exposure, aperture, lighting, composition and shutter speed; but, with programs like photoshop, lightroom and others, it's also very easy, to shoot in RAW all day, with the intention of fixing it and cropping it when you get home, if it's not exacly what you intended.  So what's the problem you ask?  Well, here comes "backwards"; If you don't know it yet, post processing can be very very time consuming, especially when you have a ton of photos to process! If you ever get into a photographing for business, the post processing time alone (if you don't focus on getting it right out of camera), can take longer than the photo shoot itself....chi ching, chi ching, chi ching goes your profit!  

So, to make a long story short, its very important to know your camera and how to take great photos by applying the basics, it will ALWAYS come in handy for situations when the lighting is not in your favor or the situation is not what you expected, and it's also smart to try to get it right straight from the camera, so you don't have to spend hours doing post processing work, when you could be out taking more photos.  

So, how did my morning go?  Well, not bad, but I will be practicing more with this concept.  I was only allowed to use one lense all morning and one Iso. I made the decision to use my kit lense (17-55mm) thinking it would give me enough range for the park scenery.  What I didn't count on was the heat at 10am in the was scorching.  Needless to say, I only stayed one hour and didn't get very far to explore more of the scenery available.  My photos came out close on the lighting, but could have been better, but I love the richness of the greens.  Below are three photos from the day, SOOC and after processing.  The good news is that because I gave thought to my shots, the post processing only took literally 5 minutes to fix! 

post processed, by adding some light, and changing exposure slightly.


Post processing by lightening exposure a tad and dialing in some contrast.


Post processing, by adding some light and dialing up the exposure.

Lesson Learned: It's important not to forget the basics of all that you've learned about photography.  You can save a lot of time by getting it right straight out of camera and avoid spending a lot of time in front of the computer afterwards.  Unless time is of the essence, like during a wedding, shooting sports or animals, take the extra time before pressing that shutter button to crop in camera, think about your exposure and what it is you want the end result to be.  You'll be a lot happier, a better photographer and able to spend that extra time doing what you love...taking more photos!

Unveiling SOOC,

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Studio Lighting and Model

I'm still here and I'm still shooting and learning.  As I said in a previous post, I've been focusing on learning to shoot portraits.  My biggest challenge is I haven't created a model release form, so I haven't been posting many people portraits, but I'll work on that as well as try to remember to post other great things I'm learning.

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of taking a studio lighting workshop that was offered through my photography meetup group.  The experience was amazing.  I learned a little about studio lighting, I had the pleasure of working with a very very talented New York model and most of all I had a blast!!  Below are a few shots from the workshop, and I'm pretty stoked about how the pictures came out.  

Lesson Learned:
First lesson learned is I can't afford studio lighting at this time...way way out of my budge; but, there are studios and equipment available in your town for rent. So if you're looking for an opportunity to get started there are options.  The other lessons  I learned was how to aim for a glamour shot, how different angles of lighting in a studio affect the degree and tone of shadows, I learned about strobe lighting, light boxes and I can go on an on.  If you ever have the opportunity to take a class or workshop to learn how to shoot in a studio, don't sleep on opens up another world of possibilities to lighting, especially once it starts to get cold outside.

Unveiling in the studio,


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