Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Photo talk - Lesson 2 - More on composition - "faces, lines and crops"

First off, I'm so excited that people are doing these! It's really fun to see what you do with your photos, so thank you for playing and sharing your work with me! I'm going to ask Dave to put a link over on the side so these lessons can be archived and easy to find.

This week we're sticking with composition so you can keep practicing the rule of the thirds while you think about these other things.

Faces. When shooting portraits and using the rule of thirds, you want your subject "moving into the frame." Especially if they are walking or looking away from the camera. Basically, this just means, you want the person to be facing the empty space in the portrait, not facing the edge of the portrait. A good way to visualize this is to imagine yourself in a box. If you were to stand in a box, you would automatically position yourself with your back to one side of the box and most of the empty space in front of you. In pictures, it often makes the viewer uncomfortable to see the subject facing the edge of the picture, or walking right out of it with all the empty space behind them. The other problem is the viewer of the image will follow the gaze or movement of the subject. If they're right on the edge of the photo, there is nowhere for the viewers eyes to go but off the picture, and you don't want that! You want to keep them looking at the picture! Here are some examples.

See how the movement is going towards the right of the image? And she's facing that way, but she's on the left? So your eye starts at Aria and follows the movement into the picture, then goes back to Aria. Make sense?

This one is more posed, but you can see how your eye stays inside the image because they're both facing in. Can you see how if I would have turned either one of them around to face the edge, your eye would follow them right out of the image?

A non-portrait example. This picture has 2 focal points, the front of the church with the door and cross where the light is falling and then the sign. If I had photographed the church by itself, it could stand alone if I kept it in the same general space, but had I moved the camera so that the door and cross were along the left side of the image and the whole right side was just the plain side of the church, it would lose a lot of it's impact.

I hope this is all making sense. Remember, rules can be broken, but it's best to learn to use the rule first, before you start experimenting with creating a good image while breaking the rules. (it can be done, but often it's because you're allowing a different rule to take precedence over the rule you're breaking. Like maybe the lighting...) Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Lines. Lines can be tricky in images because the viewers eye follows the line. If the line leads out of the image, you just lost your viewer. If the line leads to a focal point, you've created a good image.

Here the line of the railroad track leads right to the main subject.

Because of the angle I chose on this one, the lines of the logs lead to the end of the log where your eye stops. Had I taken this picture with the logs going completely from one side of the image to the other, your eyes would follow the line right out of the image. Make sense?

Lines can also be used for framing. It's a bit different, but if you have a framing opportunity, use it! It keeps the eye right on the subject when you've framed them properly.

A couple framing examples.

Crop. Cropping is fairly simple. When you're doing a portrait that isn't a full length portrait you want to crop the person off in places that don't make the viewer uncomfortable. Basically, you want to avoid the joints. Cropping off just somebodies hands right at the wrist doesn't look that good. Same with feet at the ankles. Go for the forearm, calves, thighs or waist.

Mid-thigh crop example.

Don't be afraid to get in close. In fact, change your afraid to be back too far. When you're taking pictures of your kids, what do you want to see? Their face! Their eyes! Their expression! Get in there, people. Eliminate all that dead space in your images that's surrounding the thing you really want to see.

Getting in close.

Alright...let's see those images! Feel free to ask questions in the comments!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Is it finally spring???

With this looong winter, we've really been hoping for spring soon! We've had a few nice days now and I think we might be able to say spring is here! I love spring pictures and have been dying to be able to take pictures of the flowers.

So our very first tulip came up last week and Aria picked it for me right away, she was so excited to see a flower! I put it in the window and the light was so beautiful coming through the tulip that I had to take some pictures of it.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Photo Talk - Lesson 1 "The Rule of Thirds"

I've been tossing around the idea of putting basic photography lessons on my blog for a while now and since I'm just hanging around waiting for baby to show up, it seemed like a good time to start. So here we go.

Once a week (or so) I will post a lesson. You will then get your camera and use what you learn to take pictures and you will post them on your own blog. I'll have a link wizard at the bottom of the lesson where you can put the link to your post and we can all go look at the pictures you've taken and leave comments.


First, just a quick sidenote. There are 2 types of cameras that most of you will be using. Point and shoot or SLR. Some of these lessons will be much easier for an SLR user to understand and execute, (point and shooters can still do them, it just takes a little more manual reading to find the functions on your camera) but no matter your camera, if you become comfortable with the basics of photography, you will be amazed at the improvement in your images!

For the visual people, this is an SLR. It stands for Single Lens Reflex.

This is a point and shoot.

Lesson 1 is about the rule of thirds. The beauty of this lesson is it's all about composition, so it doesn't matter what kind of camera you have. Just remembering this one small rule when you're taking pictures will greatly improve your images!

What you do is imagine a tic-tac-toe grid on your image. You want the main subject to be at the crosspoints of the lines. NOT IN THE CENTER. If it's a close-up portrait, the eyes are the main subject. If it's a horizon style landscape, then you want the horizon to be on the upper or lower line. Again...not in the center.

Here are some examples. Feel free to ask questions in the comments and please try this out and leave a link so we can all see what you've done!








GOOD here and add the link to your pictures! Can't wait to see! And if you need a little guilt, just think about how you'll be entertaining a very bored, very pregnant person.

Just a little clarification...if you click the Mister Linky thing, then a new window will pop up and anyone who has added their name and blog address will show up. You can then click their names to see what they posted. Make sense?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ok...I'm ready now

So Aria was 2 1/2 weeks early. Because of that, I have this need to be ready by that point in my pregnancy. That point is today.

My house is clean.
My garage is clean (and organized!)
The birthing tub is inflated.
My bed has a sheet of plastic under the sheets.
Babies clothes are washed, folded and put away.
Babies bed and carseat are set up and ready to go.
I have dejunked every closet, cupboard, bedroom and shelf in the house.
I have all the necessary birth supplies in one location.
I'm caught up with proofing pictures and burning CDs for clients.

Now what?

So, even though my due date is still 17 days away...feel free to think baby thoughts and send labor vibes!

After all, the next logical step once everything is ready is to have the baby! Right?

Friday, April 11, 2008

This just needs documented

We love mandarin oranges around here. Gabe loves that he can get one, peel it and eat it all by himself. So right now he's laying on the floor with little mandarin orange pieces spread out all around him. He counted them (he says there are looks more like 10 to me) and then he started eating them. He heard a squeak as he bit down on one and turned to me and said "mmmm....sqeaky crescents" (that's their a crescent moon).

It always weirds me out when he identifies things like crescents, trapazoids and parallelagrams with his cute little 2 year old lisp.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Gabe's tongue is hardwired to his fine motor skills

Wanna see? Watch his tongue as he speeds up with the cups.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Catching up....

This is going to be one big, picture heavy post because I don't feel like breaking it up into several. So here's what we've been doing lately!


We thought Nathan wasn't eligible for belt promotion because he hadn't quite been with the studio long enough, but the teacher encouraged him to take the test just for experience. We didn't think anything would come of it. About a week later, she presented him with a yellow belt! Said he passed the test and since he was ready there was no sense in making him wait 3 months for the next promotion ceremony. He is beyond thrilled!

Baby Shower!

My awesome friend, Traci, threw me a baby shower! It was fantastic. That girl can throw a classy shower. Check out these candles she had made for everyone who came! How cool is that?

Traci and I have been friends since 7th grade, and our other bff, Anna (who I've known since 6th grade) came up from Portland for the shower. We had a great time hanging out for several days and showing Anna exactly why she doesn't want kids yet. lol. (My 3 with 1 on the way and Traci's 1 with 1 on the way was enough to make anyone think twice!)

Here we are. And Aria. She was very tired by this point and wanted to be in the pictures but didn't want to because she was crying....drama, I tell ya.

Here are me, my sisters, my cousin and our babies. We're only missing one cousin with her baby! Hopefully we'll all be together for the family reunion this summer.

And me and my sisters.

The Bellah

I'm trying to do things this pregnancy that I've never done before to make it more memorable for me and the kids (like my rockin' belly pics that Lee Ann took). So I told them they could paint my belly for easter. Then I forgot. (pregnant brain). Aria reminded me and we did it last weekend. It was fun! Dave was the official photographer. I set my camera on auto and he took 500 pictures (I'm not joking). I went through and pared it WAY down and photoshopped a few. These are some favorites.

Gabe was a little bit grossed out. He kept making this face like..."ew."

Miss Mae

I left my kids in the room with Mae for a few minutes last week and heard her fuss a bit and then stop. When I got back this is what I saw. (looks like they tried to put her toy over her head like a necklace). Luckily she doesn't mind my kids slightly unorthodox methods of cheering her up. Hey, it worked!

Global Warming, my foot!

This picture pretty much speaks for itself. I'm incredibly cranky about all of this. This is what we woke up to yesterday and today. IT'S APRIL! UGH!

Here's to spring! Oh, and YAY for the kids going back to school tomorrow! It's amazing how much saner I am with one in school daily and one in school 3 days a week.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Another cousin baby!

This is baby number...shoot, I can't remember what order they went in now. I think Teresa was first, which means this is family baby #4. Little Eli! You can see them all here, Maryanne I'll call when I have your disk ready.

Here are a couple I liked.