5 Things you can do to improve your photography

weekly-photo-challenge

January 6th at home in Ireland is called Nollaig na mBan or Women’s Christmas. It’s traditionally the last day of the festive season and one day for the women to finally put their feet up and take a rest. Ha! Not likely in this house! Here in the US the Christmas season only lasts one or two days and this year we even took our tree down on the day after Christmas day itself as we were headed out of town.  Needless to say today, the holidays are truly over, despite me still finding pine needles everywhere (I guess Spring Cleaning has yet to begin in this house!) Our minds have instead turned to the New Year, new resolutions and new commitments to master new things.  Now’s the time to finally figure out how to use that camera and polish up your photography skills!

Improve your Photography in 2015

If improving your photography is something on your list for 2015 I’ve outlined my top 5 tips below on how to help you achieve this goal.

1. Take your camera out of the box! Seriously! Take your camera out and have it accessible in your daily life so that when the notion takes you, you can grab it and shoot. Charge the battery, stick on a lens and leave it somewhere convenient in your home. Better yet, get one of these cool camera purses and you’ll have no excuse not to take it everywhere you go and look cute to boot!

2. Schedule playtime for yourself.  Try to calendar in some dedicated time each week to allow you to play with your camera and it’s settings.  Press the buttons and see what happens – I promise you can’t break anything and if in doubt you can always turn it off and turn it on again 😉

3. Read the Manual.   I know you have one – it’s probably still sealed in the little plastic baggie in the bottom of the box.  Throwaway the French/Spanish version and read a little of the Double Dutch version that came with your camera.  If that doesn’t work, consider buying one of the appropriate Dummies for … Books which help to break your camera functions down into easy to understand language.  The less intimidated you are by the thing, the more likely you are to become it’s friend. I promise you there is no self-destruct button on there so you really can’t do any damage (at least not on the new models…) If you are local to Atlanta and want to meet up to go over your camera functions get in touch and we can meet for my crash course session which will have you confident with your gear in no time.

4. Get out of Auto.  Move away from that little green box or smiley face and play with all those other modes on that mode dial.  Mr Canon wouldn’t have put that dial right up there on top if he didn’t want you to turn it, now would he?  It’s only by taking control of the settings that you are ever going to improve.  Spend some time learning what some of those numbers mean and what happens when you change this or that.  There is oodles of info on all this stuff out there but if you would like to cut to the chase, check out my course for absolute beginners and my course for those who feel a little more confident and are truly ready to get of of auto.

5. Shoot Shoot Shoot.  Did I mention I think you should shoot? It’s really the only way to get better.  One of the ways you can commit to doing this is by taking part in a daily or a weekly photo challenge.  Project 365 has been around for a while and it involves taking a picture every day of your life to document the everyday.  I tried this for about 20 days and decided instead that a photo a week might be more doable for me.  Hence the Take 52 Challenge was born! I now head up a group of more than 1,000 like-minded beginner photographers who hang out in a private group on Facebook.  Every Monday morning I issue a one worded prompt to inspire participants to get out and shoot around that particular theme.  It’s amazing what a little assignment can do and this weekly, constant practice is truly one of the best ways of improving your craft.  The Take 52 group has the added bonus of a supportive community to answer questions, give help and advice and critique your work.  The improvements made by past participants is incredible and I’d love to have you join us. Click Here to Join the Take 52 Challenge for 2015

Hope to see you in the Group!

Happy Snapping!

Ingrid Owens CameraShy

 

Take 52 weekly photo challenge critique week 36

It’s week 36 on the Take 52 Challenge and this week’s theme was “Crushed.” I choose this image by Cindy Csomo for critique as I was enthralled by her use of bright colors and when she shared on the Facebook group of the lengths she went to to reshoot the image I was super impressed!

using-color-in-images

Image Stats:

ISO 100
1/50 Sec
f 7.1
No flash, Outside light
Nikon D3200, Kit Lens 18mm – 55mm
Edited in Lightroom 5.6

If you would like to hear my critique of Cindy’s image please click on the video below.

If you are trying to improve your photography then joining our weekly photography challenge is a great way to do just that! You can take a look at this page to see how it all works.

Happy snapping

Ingrid

Multiple Exposure Images – Critique of Week 35

We have reached week 35 on our Take 52 Challenge and our theme is Unexpected. This week I’m critiquing the beautiful image below from Harsha Priolkar.

Harsha

To hear what I have to say about this image and how Harsha achieved this multiple exposure image click on the video below.


There is still time to join our Take 52 Challenge group and you can begin where you are at!  Click here for all the information.

Happy snapping!

Ingrid

Trick Photography – How to do Multiplicity

We are onto Week 34 with our #Take52 Challenge critiques and this week’s theme was “Tricky.” I absolutely LOVED how Julianne Anderson interpreted the theme to capture a regular everyday moment (at least this is in our house!) In this case, one picture tells the story of at least 20mins (or the duration of Doc McStuffins)

See how Julianne Anderson uses the photography technique Multiplicity for this week's theme of Tricky

Image Stats:

Shutter Speed: 1/30

Aperture: f/9

ISO: 400

Edited in Photoshop

To hear my critique of Julianne’s image click on the video below.


Julianne shared with the group that she achieved this image by following a tutorial on YouTube by Photo Extremist.  This guy does LOTS of cool things with photography and even has a brilliant ebook on the subject which you can check out here.  I think it would be a great read for anyone tempted by this type of photography or if you are just a little bored by the same old stuff. I know I’m going to try out some of the things recommended and I’d love to see your efforts too! Click here to learn more about the Ebook which includes 9 hours of video tutorials.

Trick Photography Artwork

If you would like to join the Take52 Challenge there is still time and we always love to see new faces 🙂  Find out more here.

‘Til next week

Happy snapping

Ingrid

 

Take 52 Photo Challenge Critique – Affection

This week we are critiquing this beautiful image from April Waltz.  Our theme for week 33 was Affection and I think you’ll agree that April the captured affection between these two subjects very well.

Critique for Affection

Image Stats:

Shutter Speed: 1/80

Aperture: f/4

ISO: 400

Natural Light

If you want to hear what I had to say about April’s image, click the video below.

 

 

There is still time to join our Take 52 Challenge group and you can begin where you are at!  Click here for all the information.

Happy snapping!

Ingrid

 

CameraShy Q and A: Can I get a Shallow Depth of Field with a Compact Camera?

Get all your photography questions answered live each Tuesday In cameraShy Q and A with Ingrid Owens.  No such thing as a stupid question - beginners welcome! Welcome to my first ever live Hangout on Air! Check out the video below to see me doing my very first live broadcast – not the best quality but I’m so impressed by the technology – and its totally free!

In this series I’m planning on answering any of your photography questions in a (mostly) live Google Hangout every Tuesday morning about 11am EST – CameraShy Q & A .  Email me your question if you’d like or show up live and we can chat about it!

This week’s question was from regular blog reader Jackie – click on the video to hear her Q and my A!

To get an invite to the next hangout be sure to follow me on Google +.

Happy snapping

Ingrid

Changing your Angle: Critique Week 32

Another critiqued image this week from regular contributor to the Take52 Challenge – Susan McClung

Susan Adrian MClung - High

Our prompt for week 32 was High and Susan chose to photograph her family High up from her low down vantage point.  I love so many things about this image – the angle, the colors, the spot on exposure, but most of all I love the the connection the photographer obviously has with each of the subjects in the image.

If you would like to hear my video critique of Susan’s image then just click on the video below.


There is still time to join our Take 52 Challenge group and you can begin where you are at!  Click here for all the information.

Happy snapping!

Ingrid

 

 

Photographing water – Take 52 : Week 31

This week’s prompt was “Clear” and this week’s image was submitted by Chris Racklyeft.

 

Image Stats:

Shutter Speed: 1/200

Aperture: f/14

ISO: 100

Focal length 32mm

Single flash.

Click on the video below to hear my critique of Chris’ image.

If you would like to see the behind the scenes of how Chris set up this shoot check out his bog post here.

Join the #Take52 Weekly Photo Challenge  –  we’d love to have you! You can find out how it works and sign up here to receive my the weekly prompts via email and to get access to our private Facebook group. It’s a great community and a wonderful place to learn and improve your photography.

Happy Snapping!

Ingrid

 

Critique for Week 30: Drive

This week’s prompt was “Drive” and this week’s image was submitted by Amanda Cornelius.

 

Drive by Amanda Nicole Cornelius

Drive by Amanda Nicole Cornelius

Image Stats:

Shutter Speed: 1/1000

Aperture: f/8

ISO: 250

If you would like to hear my critique of ‘s shot please click on the video below.

 

Join the #Take52 Weekly Photo Challenge  –  we’d love to have you! You can find out how it works and sign up here to receive my the weekly prompts via email and to get access to our private Facebook group. It’s a great community and a wonderful place to learn and improve your photography.

Happy Snapping!

Ingrid

Week 29 – Bright – Effectively using color in images

This week’s prompt was “Bright” – another easy one right? Well, that depends – it’s not easy to convey a bright subject in an image.  Correct exposure is key and somethings the Auto Exposure features of our cameras can get it wrong.

Bright by Debbie Butler

Bright by Debbie Butler

 

Image Stats:

Shutter Speed: 1/250

Aperture: f/13

ISO: 200

If you would like to hear my critique of Debbie’s shot please click on the video below.

 

Join the #Take52 Weekly Photo Challenge  –  we’d love to have you! You can find out how it works and sign up here to receive my the weekly prompts via email and to get access to our private Facebook group. It’s a great community and a wonderful place to learn and improve your photography.

Happy Snapping!

Ingrid Owens CameraShy