Raise your hand if the title of this post makes you sing a song from your youth that involves Bill Cosby.
Please, somebody raise your hand.
I have to know if it was a recurring dream, or if I really watched Bill Cosby draw pictures with a talking magic marker.
Okay, I'm back.
I was right. I googled it.
This is a post about pictures.
Every so often I am asked what kind of a camera I use, and whether I edit my pictures. So I thought that I would answer those questions here.
First, I would like to say irrevocably, unequivocally, expressly, unambiguously, and specifically that I know very little about photography.
Taking pictures and then fiddling around with them is a fairly new hobby for me, and something that I wish I knew more about. Hopefully with time and practice, I will learn more and more.
Two years ago I decided to invest in some photography equipment because:
1) JC Penney's photo studio just wasn't doin' it for me.
2) A professional photographer is expensive.
3) I like bacon.
Sorry. Not sure how that slipped in.
So for Christmas I was gifted by my darling husband with a Canon Rebel XSi, which is a perfectly nice entry-level DSLR camera.
I clicked away on automatic mode. The speed of the camera made me happy, but the pictures weren't everything I had hoped they would be.
So I read a little more, purchased one inexpensive lens (50mm/F1.8), got a basic photo editing softwear (Photoshop Elements), and learned a few things:
1) Flash=no good. Natural light= good
2) Automatic mode= okay, Exploring other settings= better (specifically, I shoot in aperture priority setting and use a single focus point. I'd be happy to expound on this if anyone is interested in the nitty-gritty details.)
3) Almost every picture can be made just a little better with some simple tweaking.
Now I am happy with the pictures I am able to turn out, I love that I don't have to schedule appointments for photographs. I just grab my camera whenever it suits us, and snap away.
The real trick for me is to just take a ton of pictures. Because for every picture I like, I've deleted 10 others that were no good.
On to editing-- a few clicks can make a big difference.
This is Brooke:
Isn't she cute?? I liked this picture of her playing in our backyard.
But it didn't really pop.
My preference is for sharp pictures with bright colors.
I used to adjust the sharpness and colors step by step in Elements.
Then I figured out how to use presets, and now it really just takes a couple of clicks to dial up the picture to something like this...
Warmer, brighter, happier :)
Here are a few more before & afters:
A little editing can also salvage a too-dark picture into something useable.
So there you have the basics of my photo skills*.
*Term used loosely.
I'm thinking of upgrading to a new lens this Christmas...but it's quite pricey, so I'm trying to determine if I've been a good girl this year.
I might have to try harder next year, and hope for Christmas of 2011.