Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Sunday Afternoon Photo Shoot, Photography Tips, Lens for Sale & my To Do List!









I find it very frustrating at times when I have so little time to devote to what I really want to do with my life.  I know I have a responsibility to my husband, home & children & I don't view it as a chore at all - in fact I love to do it - but nonetheless I get a bit tetchy when I am facilitating everyone else to realise their dreams while mine are so often relegated to the back burner!

I am hoping that this will change just a bit in 2011 as I try to give my own dreams & goals a bit more priority now that my children are growing up, but if these last few weeks are anything to go by then that will most certainly be a challenge.  Trying to think of all that needs to be done, bought, arranged & considered when sending a child off to university hundreds of miles away is a job in itself, particularly as they are generally more interested in ensuring that their I-Tunes is up to date???!!!

I was meant to post these photos yesterday then our bandwidth - all 12 Gigs of it - miraculously disappeared...I could write a whole post on that but I am looking forward now so won't!  I requested the presence of my daughter's best friend, Sophia, at our house at around 4 on Sunday, and was most surprised that the photo shoot I had in mind actually materialised, teenagers being as they are as far as plans go...(she actually arrived an hour early which did NOT do me a favour as the sun light was far too strong & we had to hunt for shade).

I snapped this one of an unsuspecting little sister just to check my settings were okay before I called the big girls & got started...
This is the first photo I took yet one of my favourites.  I took 345 in total & deleted 4/5ths of them, which is about right I gather?!  I really knock myself when it comes to my photography because I get frustrated that I just can't make it happen despite my best efforts...to me I just am not good enough...It is somewhat of a strange & masochistic obsession but there you have it...

Like here for example - too much highlight in my daughter's face & nothing I can do about it now - I could add more but not reduce it...the frustrations of not being able to devote enough time to Photoshop, not enough money at this stage to purchase Lightroom {although I know that that is almost certainly going to feature in my future} & not enough power in the editing program that I now know like the back of my hand.
 Some tips for you nonetheless...catch the catchlights or delete the photo - the dead Zombie look is so not a good one...

Changing a photo to black & white helps save a less than stellar photo - why I don't know but try it...it works!
Unless you are ahead of me & have all your favourite actions installed on Photoshop, make use of the Saturation tool in Picasa - I desaturate almost every photo I take & that works too!

Cart a small step-ladder around the garden with you as well as your tripod (yes - you DO have to use a tripod at all times & once you have done it & seen the results you will wonder why it took you so long to get one!)  Photos taken at different angles, like this one taken from above - add some interest.
And if, like me, you are clueless as to why your 50mm AUTO-FOCUS 1.8f.stop portrait lens absolutely refuses to auto-focus then just cut your losses & turn your completely unfocused slightly blurry  images into artistic shots...
Desaturate, colourpop, edit to death!!  Whatever it takes to rescue some of those pretty pictures...

Look for interesting & non-competitive??? backdrops {like our garden shed here :)} and make use of the straighten tool - often it is just the thing a photo needs - a bit of tilting {ironically I use the straighten tool to tilt and add more interesting angles as opposed to straightening things up most of the time}...

Just tell your portrait subjects that you were going for the soft, nostalgic look to explain away the bluuuuuuuurrr...(the blurry spots in front of them are bubbles btw...)

Now on a more serious note it looks like my lens is in fact not compatible for my Nikon D5OOO so it is up for sale.  It is a Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D & appears to be more suited to full-frame cameras & apparently I will always have to manual focus it.  This is not easy even for seasoned professionals so if you are interested in purchasing a lens that is in effect "2 hours" old let me know :)

I have started my online photography course with this lovely lady this week.  I want to be "just like her" when I grow up {in my photography vocation :)}  so should be pretty easy hey...yeah right??!!

On top of digging deep with this course I need to get off the internet (spent all morning catching up & sharing gallery love)  keep a lid on my e mails, that are continually boiling over from the Outlook pot, get another couple of layouts done this week - because I WILL do at least one layout a week come hell or high water, and January has seen two materialise so far...(yup I know what the date is!) and Project Life is in da house!!!  Which means I must get my photos & journaling printed & get my first monthly/weekly/whatever spread done soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon...

Oh, and then there is the small matter of not being around for 6 days - Friday to Wednesday - while I concentrate on my REAL life - getting Chelsea down to uni & all settled.

Have a great week!

9 comments:

Lynette said...

Stunning photos...I love the ones where the bubbles is in focus and the girls not. Have you taken a photo a day for your project life, or are you starting from now?

teacher jessy said...

Wow your photos of you DD are so so beautifully taken! I love the dreamy look and can't wait for you to scrap these photos!! Seriously I love them :)

Stefanie said...

I have the same camera -Arrgh!
Beautiful girls.
Getting ready for a new stage in life, with 1 out of the nest.

Helen Tilbury said...

COPYING & PASTING FROM FACE BOOK FOR Shayne Spacey Sheard

Hello, i think the reason i can't comment is that your blog takes an age to load, and my fab connection times out wiaitng for it. Loved the pics you took. the first is my fav. I so often find that the first pic taken in a series is the one i'll use - a lesson to be learn't in that perhaps? xx
4 hours ago · Like

Helen Tilbury said...

Lynette I have been taking the photos & doing the journaling for PL all year as I knew my box was on it's way - but now I must get a month's worth compiled before I find myself at the end of February!

Thank you Jessy - that lens is absolutely amazing but as I said I am still learning my way around it - unfortunately it is not going to auto-focus for me with my model of camera but apparently there is still a way to guarantee sharp focus - let's hope I can figure it out???!!!

Stef don't panic - it's a great camera - I just rushed on that lens & didn't do enough research on it - totally my fault - if you want to buy a lens it is IMPERATIVE you do your research thoroughly before spending a lot of money on it - there is a better lens - the 1.4 - that apparently focuses beautifully & automatically - go for that one if you can afford it. (Actually I thought you had the D90?) although they are almost identical.

Only out of the nest for 9 months out of 12 so not quite & not permanently (makes it easier to swallow...)

MARILYN said...

Dear Helen, your photos are GORGEOUS!!! I really love them!!! I would like to take photos like these!! You're great with the camera my friend!!
I can't wait to see what Beauty...you will scrap with these photos!!! and continue with your dreams girl, never stop!! Take Care!!
HUGS!!!! :)

topkatnz said...

The photos are Great - but you've gotta keep trying to do better - that means you care - otherwise not worth doing at all. I'm glad its really inspiring you:) I love the photo of the two girls lying on the grass the best.
Hope all goes well for the start of Uni - good luck to you both - thinking of you.hx

Kirsty Vittetoe said...

Oh wow, I want my picture taken by you... amazing shots there, thanks for sharing!

Diana said...

Your photography is coming along nicely ma'am!
I checked out the photography class but that is out of my budget for now. Especially since I did the Maggie Holmes class which should have brought me up to speed (I improved but not as much as I should have for what I paid lol) I will have to keep self-teaching and practising for now. I will continue to look for a "real live" teacher too.
I am feeling your "pain" about not having time for yourself. Don't I know it?! And mine are still in diapers!