Monday, 13 April 2015

Photo/Camera Post including my favourite Iphone App
Tips on Photographing Teens, Plus my Editing Recipe!

Hello everyone!  I hate to go a week without a post so here is a little update!!
I have been sick, sick, sick with flu & had to take a whole week off work!
Then my daughter graduated (again as she did an Honours year!) so we had
a week away planned for that!  So all in all I have been 'out of it' for some time!

I need to get back into the swing of things as of course I have Design Team
projects due & finally I have all my overseas supplies (bar one supplier
 whose box mysteriously got returned to them!  So am having to make
 a plan there!!)  So my lesson preparation is also under way here, 
along with my ongoing 2015 Studio renovation. 

I am very active on Instagram these days - finally got into the swing of it
 & have to say I do love it!!  You can find me HERE if you want to follow -
 I love the 'day to dayness' of it & have found a great company here
 that print Polaroid style prints & strip prints directly from your 
account.  Awesomeness.  Definitely helping with my memory keeping.  

That plus Pic, Tap, Go App for only R12 means I have daily Insta-awesomeness 
that I print out every 3 months.  Gotta love modern day memory-keeping!
 It has definitely reduced lugging around my DSLR with me but I do bring
 'the big camera' out for special occasions & there really is no 
comparison. ' Real' photos of special occasions are a luxury I love!  

Now that my kids are all young adults they are not nearly as photo-friendly
as they used to be - which is understandable but nevertheless frustrating!
My trick is to tote my big camera around on occasion - NOT ALL THE TIME -
so that when I do bring it out they can have no valid complaints!  Then I 
snap away randomly as we are all chatting - & they take hold of it & do 
the same.  A lot of the photos end up in the recycle bin but so what...
We end up with some keepers!!

I'm not a purist when it comes to photography so sometimes I like to
edit my photos to oblivion for artistic effect.  Works well on subpar
photos, especially turning them to black & white & blowing out
the highlights.  Great trick for saving photos!!

I'm still using Picasa to edit my photos even though I have PSE
 & Light Room!  Crazy but ain't nobody got time to learn those
 programs!!  Always on my 'to do' list but to be honest it's really
 not a priority.  I have a recipe I use for every photo in Picasa.
I've never shared it so here goes!!

1.  Click I'm Feeling Lucky, Auto Contrast & Auto Colour -
9 times out of 10 just 3 clicks & things are already better!

2.  Move across to the next top tab & pull the slider across
that says Fill Light.  I prefer lighter photos.  Don't overdo
it though.  Subtlety is key. Now do the same with Highlights
& Shadows.  I never touch Colour Temperature as I have
that correctly set on my camera so never a need. 

3.  Now click on the next top tab & sharpen your photo.
This makes a dramatic difference but can't be overdone
without getting grainy so watch carefully & adjust accordingly.

4.  On the same editing page click Saturation & desaturate
as much as necessary.  I find this makes for classier photos
as there's nothing more unprofessional looking than over-
saturated photos in my opinion.  

5.  I miss out the next page tab altogether as I'm not into
gimmicky filters - so go straight to the end tab & add a slight
vignette if you like.  I think it's appropriate at times & does
a good job on group photos when there are often distracting
elements - it hides them a bit!  I often prefer white to black.
Use the sliders gently for best effect.

6.  I like all my photos with a fine black edge & a white border
within it.  I think it looks kind of hipster & makes for a 
crisper looking image when scrapbooking/creating art with
your photos as it draws the eye right to the photo immediately.
To achieve this click Border & adjust the sliders accordingly.

My camera is a Nikon D5000.  I own a few lenses but the one that 
'lives'permanently on my camera is a Tamron AF 28 - 75mm F2.8
MACRO lens.  It is the best for taking the type of photos I like best,
which are close up shots with a bokeh effect in the background. 

Let me know if you've found any of this info useful & feel free to 
share your own photo/editing/camera tips in the comments!!


Lizzy Hill said...

Great tips Helen.... I used to use Picassa all the time & still like it for things such as collages... I've learnt the very rudiments of my PS program - but I found it frustrating for ages!! Love your daddy's girl pic here.... & her outfit!!! Off to check out that Insta App right now!!! TFS - hope you're feeling better now:)

Anita said...

Sorry to hear you have been so ill Helen. Really great tips. Thank you. You have a lovely family ~ very photographic.

Margaret Mifsud said...

So sorry to hear you've been so sick Helen. Glad you're feeling better now. You have a gorgeous family and you always take the most amazing photos. Great post!! xx

Unknown said...

Glad to hear you're feeling a bit better. Love your photos. TFS. :)

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Glad you are feeling better! LOVING the photos!!!! I use Picasa too!! I use "Feeling Lucky" and "Sharpen"!!

Ava Gavloski said...

Thanks Helen for the photo tips. I will refer back when I have the opportunity. I use Picmonkey, which sounds similar so i will compare. Like the tip about the black border. Congrat's on getting those young adult photo's...wink wink... I have a 24 yr old, know all about that.

Kathy Bradley said...

First of all - and I've said this before - you have a beautiful family! Thank you so much for sharing your tips on Picasa. I have PSE too - but have never used it! My photos are never awesome - so I will try Picasa and your tips. As always, thanks for sharing!
P.S. Hope you are feeling better!

Heather McMahon said...

Wow Helen - what awesome pics! Hard to believe they were taken on a phone! Thanks for the tips.

paperpapier said...

Hi Helen,
Thank you so much for sharing photography tips. I have a Nikon D5100 which the auto-focus system is on the lens itself. Does your Nikon camera still auto-focus when using Tamron AF 28 - 75mm F2.8 MACRO lens? I intend to get a prime lens but still weighing with the cost and functionality options.

Di Garling said...

AWESOME photos Helen & thanks for your extra tips on Picasa. I love this program & use it all the time along with Photoshop, although from what you say here, I could probably do everything just in Picasa. I will definitely give some of these a try. Thanks for sharing.

Denise van Deventer said...

Your photo's are just gorgeous Helen! You really do take good photo's and your editing tips were super! I have been using ACDSee Pro Photo Manager lately and it's really easy to use also! I don't believe one has to go with really complex and difficult software to get a good result. Picasa is super too! ;-)