This week we are looking at this beautiful image by Stacy Phillips.
I love the way Stacy has chosen to process this shot as a Black and White image. It makes the foggy atmosphere all the more intriguing and those trees to appear all the more frightening! If you’d like to hear what else I had to say about Stacy’s image, please click on the video below.
Shutter Speed: 1/200 sec
The Take 52 Weekly Photo Challenge is a really great way to improve your photography by getting out there and shooting! We have a great group of keen amateur photographers over on facebook who are always ready to jump in with advice on their comments on your work. We’d love to have you join us!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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)
Shutter Speed: 1/30
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.
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
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.
Shutter Speed: 1/80
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.
This week’s prompt was “Clear” and this week’s image was submitted by Chris Racklyeft.
Shutter Speed: 1/200
Focal length 32mm
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.
Getting inspiration for your photography can sometimes be a tricky thing. We all know the frustration that sometimes comes with trying to figure out what exactly to photograph. This week’s theme was all about that – Week 22: Inspired.
Wendy Dunne did an excellent job at capturing this week’s theme with her beautiful image below. Wendy achieved that slightly worn look to her image by using a texture in the editing process to wonderful effect. This is a great example of something so simple and everyday can look so beautiful. You can check out more of Wendy’s work over at her blog Got the Shot
Focal length: 90mm
Shutter Speed: 1/100
Click on the video below to hear my critique of Wendy’s image.
If you would like to join the #Take52 Weekly Photo Challenge then come on! 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.
This week’s theme could have been interpreted as a camera function or something completely different -Week 21: Flash (That’s the great thing about the Take 52 Challenge – it’s your Challenge to do with whatever you wish!)
This week’s image is from a long time contributor to the Challenge – Christy Zacharias who also showcases her weekly images along with a beautifully written blog over at A Thousand Words. You can check out her backstory to this image here.
Shutter Speed: 1/30
Click on the video below to hear my critique of Christy’s image.
If you would like to join the #Take52 Weekly Photo Challenge then let’s go! 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.
This week’s theme gave Challengers a chance to just get out and shoot and to worry less about the theme as the prompt for Week 20 was Random. Some choose random things, others random moments which was what Beth Pack chose to do in her image below. I love this image because even though it’s a seemingly random shot of her son and husband, it tells the viewer so much about life at this particular moment in time.
Lens used: 28mm
Shutter Speed: 1/60
Click on the video below to hear my thoughts on Beth’s image. *Note – this is Beth’s son and husband – not grandson as I erroneously say in my video!
If you would like to join the #Take52 Weekly Photo Challenge then 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.
This week’s theme was a nice easy one! Angles are everywhere – as soon as you start to look for them.
Shutter Speed: 1/125
I chose the above picture to critique by Julio Rivera as I felt he did a great job capturing angles and used editing to his advantage to do so by changing his image to black and white.
You can click on the video below to hear my short critique:
If you would like to join the #take52 Challenge you can sign up here – it’s never too late to jump in!
’til next week