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Day 132 of 365: TIPS on how to photograph flowers!

tulips (lg file)

Day 132: Tips on how to shoot flowers! One of my all time favorite subjects are flowers. They are so colorful and put a smile on my face, especially in the winter when I am starved for color! Here are some easy tips on how to best photograph flowers!

  • Get down on their level to shoot them.
  • Get as close to them as you can.
  • Shoot a part of a flower, may have to use manual focus.
  • Strive for good composition, place the center of the flower using the Rule of Thirds.
  • Use the Rule of Odds, in a group shoot an odd number of them, not even.
  • Use selective focus.
  • Use a wide open aperture in natural light, set vase in window, and make that great bokeh happen!
  • When outside, lay on the ground and shoot them at their level.

Hope this helps! Get out and shoot some colorful flowers today as they start to emerge from the soil!

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Day 106 of 365: Quick Tips on How to take better portraits!

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Day 106: Quick tips to take better portraits with your DSLR. This photo above is of a great young high school senior that I took at Hyalite Reservoir in Montana.

  1. The right lens: I use an 85mm f1.8 lens, another good lens is a 50mm f1.8 lens.
  2. The right white balance. I have found that adding an amber colored filter over my speed light or using a gold colored reflector when working outdoors adds a nice warm hue to the skin tones, which is more attractive than cool skin tones. The above photo I took in the evening sun light which is also a good option. Set your white balance to match the current lighting situation.
  3. The right ISO. Set your ISO (the camera’s sensitivity) to 200-400 range.
  4. The right aperture. Set the f/stop from 5.6-9.0. The wider the aperture the more blurred the background will be. Beware, you run the risk of your subject not being in focus, especially if all of the subject is not in the same plane.
  5. Set the right focus. Set your camera to single area AF, focus on the eyes. The sharpest part of a portrait should be the eyes.
  6. Try to always shoot in RAW. It gives you more information and allows you to do more in photo editing.
  7. Lastly, a good rapport with your subject. This helps them to feel more comfortable and you will be better able to capture their true personality!

I hope this helps! Portraits are fun to do! Go out and try these tips when you shoot your next portrait.

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Day 101 of 365: Gratitude

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Day 101: I am talking about gratitude today! For those of you that have been following my blog, and I love you for that, you know that I have just taken on a new business venture. That venture is an art printing service. Since I made that commitment and announcement 3 days ago, I have made connections with 3 different artists that want to utilize my business. It is AWESOME! I had one artist tell me that I am going to be very busy and I take that comment to heart and HOPE that I am busy!!! I told him that I want to be the “artist friendly” art printer person!

I am grateful that this COULD be my niche! Everyone needs to have a purpose and to feel useful. I feel that this is that avenue for me. As a photographer who has been struggling to make a sustainable living at it, I was in search of a way to support my LOVE of photography. I really want to buy a nice macro lens and cannot afford it right now, unfortunately! After my recent purchase of a large format printer, affectionately called “the Beast,” I saw an opportunity to not just use it for my own purposes, but to turn it into a money making venture, so I did! I could not be more grateful for this opportunity!

There is a website that I go to often for inspiring quotes, BrainyQuote.com. I found a great quote about art and gratitude written by Friedrich Nietzsche that says, “The essence of all beautiful art, is gratitude.” I believe that as an artist and a photographer, I actively look for beautiful light in our landscape in order to capture and preserve an image for posterity. This has become my passion, it feeds my soul and for this I am grateful! I am also grateful that I have been given this art printing opportunity in an effort to help other artists make their art.

What are you grateful for? Let me know!

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Day 98 of 365: What is your least favorite feature?

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Day 98: What is your least favorite feature? That is the topic for today! I cannot take credit for this photo, got it from the free photo library, wish I had taken it though! It’s great, which is quite funny because¬†freckles are my least favorite feature! I must say I like it on others, but not on myself!

When I was growing up I had the “triple whammy”: freckles, red hair and braces! Boy was I ever teased, endlessly! Names like “railroad tracks, choo-choo cherry, and Howdy Doody.” Now I just have the double whammy, red hair and freckles. It is funny how when you get older people don’t make fun of you anymore. I guess maybe it is because there are more red heads on the planet than when I was little. With freckles comes fair skin, usually. Sunscreen is a must for me, which can be a drag, but so important. Foundation is good because it helps to cover them, thank goodness!

All of my 4 kids have freckles, but only 2 have red hair. My daughter has beautiful long red hair and freckles. I tell her quite often that she is gorgeous! I hope she believes it! She is forever being called a “ginger” by her brothers (not by the other red haired brother) and she still HATES it to this day! South Park has not been kind to gingers! Those of you that have seen the show know what I mean.

Well, now you all know what my least favorite feature is! I am proud to be of Irish descent, however! I realize that not all Irish folks have freckles, but I know I got my freckles from my Dad whose parents came to America from Ireland, so there you go! Let me know, what is your least favorite feature?

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PRESENT

I choose to talk about the “present” as a realm of time and not the “present” that is a gift given to someone. I think there are not enough of us living in the present. I know I am one that is guilty of this. To live in the present and to live with intent should be a goal for everyone. It is so hard to do when your head is full of thoughts about what you need to get done by the end of the day or you are having a bad day and can’t wait to get the day over with! Living in the present allows us to savor those people who we are interacting with in the moment and to cherish those “moments” that are taking place. Remember you may never get those moments back again! None of us knows when our last day on this earth will be. I don’t mean to be a “Debbie Downer,” but it is the truth. via Daily Prompt: Present

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Day 89 of 365: TIPS on how to photograph flowers!

sunflowers without wm

Day 89: Tips on how to shoot flowers! One of my all time favorite subjects are flowers. They are so colorful and put a smile on my face, especially in the winter when I am starved for color! Here are some easy tips on how to best photograph flowers!

  • Get down on their level to shoot them.
  • Get as close to them as you can.
  • Shoot a part of a flower, may have to use manual focus.
  • Strive for good composition, place the center of the flower using the Rule of Thirds.
  • Use the Rule of Odds, in a group shoot an odd number of them, not even.
  • Use selective focus.
  • Use a wide open aperture in natural light, set vase in window, and make that great bokeh happen!
  • When outside, lay on the ground and shoot them at their level.

Hope this helps! Get out and shoot some colorful flowers today!

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Day 84 of 365: Best Quality about Yourself

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Day 84: What is the BEST quality about yourself? I would have to say that my BEST quality is STUBBORNESS! I guess it could also be considered my worst quality, depending on how you look at it.

The meaning of the word is “dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something.” That is me in a nutshell. I am a Taurus after all! I have had some letdowns lately, but I am not going to quit now. My Dad has a sign in his room at the nursing home that reads, “never, never, never quit.” Dad has had several strokes and one of my sisters lovingly gave him the sign for inspiration.¬† I have seriously taken that as my mantra!

When you enter the art world as I did, from the world of nursing, it is full of creative competition! It is TOUGH to find your niche!!! I ask myself everyday about what my niche is. I photograph all things and I have trouble narrowing my focus to something that other photographers are not doing. I am having trouble finding the answer to this question, “what is my niche?”

Needless to say, I am STUBBORN and am going to continue to do what I do until I hopefully have that “ah ha” moment.” I have a quote I would like to share that made me laugh, “Sometimes I feel like giving up, then I remember I have a lot of mother- – – – – – –¬† to prove WRONG!!!”

I dare you to LIKE or COMMENT on what your favorite quality about yourself is!