7 Must Capture Spring Images

Now that winter is over, so says the calendar. (I’m choosing to ignore the snow that remains and is all too slowly melting away). I’m ready to capture all things spring! I always enjoy some inspiration so here are a few of my very favourite spring elements to incorporate into all my images.

1. Outdoor Adventures

I think winter is beautiful. I adore the fluffy white snow and sleepy frozen landscape but it gets cold here, very cold, often so cold it’s hazardous to venture outside for any longer than a few minutes so come spring we embrace our outdoor adventures enthusiastically. I wager a guess that, like me, you have been heading out into nature more. I love going for walks along our city pathways, venturing into the woods and parks, playing down by the river and stopping in at the park. These adventures all make for fantastic opportunities to capture everyday moments of childhood in a genuine and authentic way.

ISO 200, 35mm, f5, 1/1000SS

ISO 200, 35mm, f5, 1/1000SS

2. All Things Flowering

With spring comes new life. I’ve already seen green grass sprouting up through the thawing winter earth so I know it won’t be long now and the flowers will begin to bloom. Fields of flowering weeds, dandelions and flowering trees all begin to blossom over the next few months. I adore infusing the colour spring flowers have to offer both into my child images and landscape images.

ISO 400, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/2500SS

ISO 400, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/2500SS

3. New life

Spring is about new life. I’m certainly partial to the earthy smell of moist soil and green growth and I enjoy watching my children nurture tiny seedlings that will eventually be transplanted outdoors but for now need tender care and attention.

ISO 800, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/250SS

ISO 800, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/250SS

4. Bugs and Baby Animals

I don’t know about your children but mine adore bugs. Wiggly, squishy, fast, slow, slimy, hopping…all are excitedly scooped up and gently played with. I treasure these childhood moments because there’s so much joy found in such a simple everyday moment.

When my children were a little younger we used to visit a local farm around the Easter season. I have many capture of them petting the baby goats and holding tiny baby chicks. All wonderful sentimental moments that I cherish to this day.

ISO 800, 105mm, 4f, 1/800SS

ISO 800, 105mm, 4f, 1/800SS

5. Weather

Spring is truly about the full four seasons for us. Snow, rain, fog, sun we get it all. I enjoy the variety these weather elements offer and aim to incorporate weather into my spring images from both outside and inside.

ISO 400, 50mm, Freelensed, 1/4000

ISO 400, 50mm, Freelensed, 1/4000

ISO 320, 35mm, 2.2f, 1/320SS

ISO 320, 35mm, 2.2f, 1/320SS

6. Spring Vacation

Our spring vacations can range from sun and beach to snow and ice and somewhere in between. Holidays are always inspiring and I want to capture all the images all the time. Outside of everyday routine I always find myself inspired by scenes and the newness of my surroundings.

ISO 400, 16mm, 10f, 1/320SS

ISO 400, 16mm, 10f, 1/320SS

7. Colour

Winter where I live is either white and pretty or dried brown bland so I fully embrace the colours of spring. The brighter the better! I love to capture nature’s beautiful colours but I also embrace colourful clothing and accessories too! I find beautiful colour so refreshing and rejuvenated after a long white colourless winter.

ISO 640, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/1250SS

ISO 640, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/1250SS

Have you picked yourself up a Photographer’s Notebook yet? Take 5 minutes or so to brainstorm some spring themed images after reading this post! Jot down your ideas for images you can capture and be inspired to capture all the beautiful moments spring offers because this season often moves on in the blink of an eye! Happy spring friends!


4 Tips for Managing Outdoor Spring Light Outside of the Golden Hour

For all of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere spring officially arrives tomorrow! Hip Hip Hooray! Where I live, spring typically creeps in at a turtle’s pace however by the end of March we can usually begin to head outdoors more often. Along with warmer weather spring brings us more daylight stretching those beloved evening golden hours to later in the day. I find that sometimes it becomes less practical to venture out during the golden hour and often our time outdoors begins to take place beyond golden hour times when the light is higher and harder. Here are a few tips and ideas on how you can manage outdoor spring light.

1. Say hello to hard light

I mention full sun and people cringe but I think it is beautiful light! I adore how full sun deepens colours and evokes a strong and bold mood. Don’t be afraid to pull out your camera during full sun and play with the hard light. Front lighting your subject can work really well in full sun.

ISO 100, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/2000SS

ISO 100, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/2000SS

Full sun also offers really fun and unique light so embrace the harsh light! Look for unique situations where you can play with dappled light or unique full sun highlights and shadows.

ISO 100, 200mm, 3.5f, 1/1250SS

ISO 100, 200mm, 3.5f, 1/1250SS

If the sun is still quite high in the sky and you are worried about those dreaded racoon eyes falling across your subject’s face from the strong overhead light take the opportunity to capture a faceless image or try focusing in on detail.

ISO 200, 105mm, 3f, 1/500SS

ISO 200, 105mm, 3f, 1/500SS

Don’t be afraid to experiment and capture your subject from a variety of angles in the full sun. You’ll learn a lot about light and shooting in full sun by experimenting and I bet you’ll come away with a fun and unique look that you never thought you could capture with full sun!

ISO 100, 120mm, 3.5f, 1/1000SS

ISO 100, 120mm, 3.5f, 1/1000SS

2. Look for shade

Perhaps you’ve had enough of full sun but the light is still too high for that golden hour look. One trick to find softer light is to place or encourage your subject to play in the shade. This will allow for more manageable light. Your subject will be more evenly lit and you won’t be dealing with as many strong highlights. Also, observe your scene because there’s magic in the shade. Sometimes light will catch on the trees and branches that are creating the shade your subject is playing in. This light shows up in a magical way in the form of sparkle bokeh! I adore looking for this type of sparkle, it’s a favourite of mine.

3. Filter overhead light

Filtering the light in my environment is also one of my very favourite things to do because usually in the spring if I’m in a location with tall trees I can still fake a close to golden hour look or at least soften the sun in some capacity.  

ISO 100, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/400SS

ISO 100, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/400SS

4. Shoot up at your subject

This is similar to filtering the light except in this situation I use my subject in such a way as to block the strong sunlight. In this situation I’m very often lower than my subject and I’m shooting up at her or him. This technique is really fun to play with different angles and embrace creativity for different looks!

ISO 400, 140mm, 4.5f, 1/800SS

ISO 400, 140mm, 4.5f, 1/800SS

I really look forward to seeing how each of you uses spring light so be sure to tag @thephotographersnotebook with the hashtag #thephotographersnotebook on Instagram so I don’t miss your beautiful spring captures!

Happy Spring!

all content and images © Gina Yeo Photography, 2019

Break the Rules and Allow the Creativity to Flow. 7 Tips.

There are so many RULES!! Do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t do that. Gah! I say forget it! Well not really. I really do love photography rules and in general I’m a rule follower. But I also like to bend and break photography rules too. I think there’s something very freeing in breaking the rules and in that freedom I believe is where creativity is so often born.

Here are a few photography rule I think are meant to be broken.

1. Compose using the rule of thirds

Composition in photography is an extensive topic but the one rule you often hear as a new photographer is that you should compose your images using the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is a simple technique in which your frame is divided into thirds on the horizontal axis and vertical axis. The rule of thirds states that your subject should be placed along one of these lines and better yet the eye of your subject at one of the intersecting rule of third lines. The theory behind the rule of thirds is that visually this composition is more pleasing and comfortable for an audience.

One of my favourite ways to break this rule is when I choose a centre composition. Centre compositions are perfect for so many reasons. I enjoy using centre compositions in order to enhance symmetry and balance within my frame. Centre compositions can infuse a harmonious and peaceful feeling into an image.

ISO 100, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/800SS

ISO 100, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/800SS

2. Never shoot up the nose

Well why not? This rule definitely must be broken! There are many reasons this rule should be broken but one of my favourite reasons to get below my subject and shoot up is to give a sense of freedom and height.

ISO 1000, 16mm, 4f, 1/1000

ISO 1000, 16mm, 4f, 1/1000

3. Use a fast shutter speed

My friends slowing down your shutter speed is magical in all kinds of ways. Using a slow shutter speed is a beautiful and whimsical way of incorporating movement into your images. In my landscape photography I have an obsession with slow shutter speeds. The movement and dreaminess of slow shutter speeds captivates me every single time.

ISO 100, 32mm, 14f, 97sec

ISO 100, 32mm, 14f, 97sec

4. Make sure your subject is in focus

I’m a stickler for focus when it comes to my own images. Focus is extremely important to me. The sharper the better. However there are times when I think a purposefully out of focus image is both captivating and dynamic.

ISO 100, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1250SS

ISO 100, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1250SS

5. Make sure your subject is well exposed

I adore moody. Well moody images that is. A well exposed for subject looks out of place in a moody image. Underexposing is an excellent way to incorporate drama and mystery into a capture.

ISO 1600, 50mm, Freelensed, 1/200SS

ISO 1600, 50mm, Freelensed, 1/200SS

6. Keep subject eye line in the frame

I remember receiving a critique early on in my photography journey that made me take significant pause and give thought to for some time. The feedback I received talked about how I should avoid having my subject’s eye line leave the frame. I understand now that this can cause the viewer to plummet out of the frame quickly and not stay within the frame examining the image however I adore the senses of shyness within these types of images.

ISO 200, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/2000SS

ISO 200, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/2000SS

7. Stay away from all dappled light

Again, early on in my photography I was told to stay away from dappled light. These days I embrace it like crazy when it’s available! Dappled light is as beautiful as it is intriguing and I adore the play between the highlights and shadows!

ISO 500, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/250SS

ISO 500, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/250SS

all content and images © Gina Yeo Photography, 2019






4 Tips to Capture Fun-Filled Outdoor Images

Today’s blog post is incredibly exciting because I get to introduce the first featured artist here at The Photographer’s Notebook. I couldn’t be more thrilled to introduce Jillian Baudry who is a photographer residing in the south of France. She truly captures the most stunning images of her daughter and family in beautiful and colourful ways! Her use of light is both breathtaking and inspiring! I know you will enjoy what she has to say so without further ado lets dive into Jillian’s expertise on capturing fun-filled outdoor images!


Featured Photographer Post By: Jillian Baudry

Whatever the weather, our little family is at it's happiest outdoors and there's nothing I love more than being able to capture those adventures with my camera! Here are a few tips I've picked up along the way to make our outdoor time fun, avoid meltdowns and return home with images I love.

1. Plan a fun activity

I discovered early on that little ones don't have much patience for sitting still and posing! My little girl is constantly on the move and it can be a challenge to slow her down enough to be able to take some shots. With this in mind, when we go outside and I intend to take photos, I plan a fun activity. Something such as collecting shells, flying a kite, or throwing sticks in the river not only means she enjoys her time outside, but it also keeps her occupied and in one area for long enough to let me take some shots. She's now learned to associate my camera with having fun outdoors rather than standing and posing for boring photos, so it's a win-win !  We are creating happy memories at the same time and after all, aren't these the moments we all want to record, the reason why so many of us picked up the camera in the first place? Activities don't have to be complicated or costly. There are so many things you can come up with. It can even be something as simple as examining a pine cone for really young children, anything that slows them down a little bit and means they don't feel uncomfortable in front of the camera. 

ISO 500, 20mm, 4f, 1/2500SS

ISO 500, 20mm, 4f, 1/2500SS

2. Move around

I rarely shoot posed images and I don't direct my subjects, but the scene as it appears right in front of me isn't always perfectly photogenic. My solution is to move myself, so much easier than trying to move my little subject and disrupting her play! Try walking around your subject and moving closer or further away. That way, you can utilize different kinds of lighting, include more or less of the surrounding environment to tell your story or find a less cluttered background for your subject. Don't forget to get really close to preserve those important little details too, such as a tiny hand holding out a found treasure or the way your little one's hair blows in the wind. Shooting from above or below can also minimize background distractions, provide variety and help focus on the details.

ISO 250, 20mm, 2.8f, 1/1600SS

ISO 250, 20mm, 2.8f, 1/1600SS

ISO 800, 20mm, 3.5f, 1/1000SS

ISO 800, 20mm, 3.5f, 1/1000SS

3. Add some color

A quick glance at my images will tell you that I'm a big fan of color! I love to add a pop of color whenever I can, as it not only helps add contrast and interest to my images but also helps me capture the fun-filled mood and energy of our outdoor adventures. Although she's only 4, my little girl already insists on making her own decisions on what to wear. We avoid arguments by me offering her a choice of brightly colored tops, boots, umbrellas etc. leaving the exact details up to her. Along with my beloved wide angle lens, using a pop of vibrant color helps me to create images with a fun, dynamic feel.

ISO 200, 20mm, 3.2f, 1/4000SS

ISO 200, 20mm, 3.2f, 1/4000SS

4. Be prepared

We always dress appropriately for our trips outside but very often, we need a dry change of shoes and a towel too. We've fallen in puddles, Daddy wades into the river when necessary to rescue an escaped shoe, our dog has fallen in the canal...In fact we've found a whole host of ways to return back to the car wet and muddy! A dry change of clothes, a hot or cold drink and a snack for everyone helps the adventure end on a happy note amid promises to do this again soon!

ISO 320, 50mm, 2.8f, 1/1000SS

ISO 320, 50mm, 2.8f, 1/1000SS


Jillian Baudry

Jillian is a natural light photographer, living in the south of France, creating colorful, light-infused imagery of her family's outdoor adventures. Living between the Mediterranean and the mountains, you'll usually find her out and about, camera in hand, exploring with hubby and her little girl with their rescue dog Hector leading the way.

You can find Jillian on:

Instagram

Website

Bio image.jpg

My Favourite Types of Indoor Natural Light

Winter is certainly sticking around up here in the Northern Hemisphere where I live. Although most have made it through the majority of winter, if I’m being honest as opposed to optimistic, I know that we will not see signs of spring, outdoors, until about late April early May. However, signs of the coming spring are abundant inside my home. Once February arrives I begin to see new light in my home that disappeared during the darkest of the winter days. I get really excited this time of year discovering new light and using it in fun and interesting ways.

For those of you who know me as a photographer you will know that I’m incredibly passionate about light. I especially enjoy watching light move and change throughout the seasons inside my home. It’s like a little gift. As spring approaches and I begin to see the significant and dynamic changes within the light inside my home I begin to ponder how I can push my light use it in a creative way.

Here are some of the types of light I like to look for and use within my home.

1. Soft light

In its most basic form natural light found indoors can fall into two different categories: Soft or hard light. If you are new to the study of light, soft natural light can be defined as light that generally has a softer transition from highlight into shadow. If there is no clear definition between lightness and darkness the light is defined as soft. Soft light can be used in many different ways inside your home and is probably the most used light. I also think that soft light is often easiest to photograph.

ISO 400, 50mm, Freelensed, 1/1000SS

ISO 400, 50mm, Freelensed, 1/1000SS

2. Hard light

Hard natural light can been seen in situations where there is a distinct line between a highlight and shadow without a smooth transition between the two. I really enjoy playing with hard light which can bring unique and fun patterns into a scene.

ISO 100, 50mm, Freelensed, 1/1000SS

ISO 100, 50mm, Freelensed, 1/1000SS

3. Patterned light

Patterned light is one of my favourite types of light. It can result from both hard and soft light but is very often hard or towards the harder side of soft in nature. I think it’s really creative light and can be used in all kinds of ways to add drama or unique interest into an image.

ISO 320, 35mm, 3.5f, 1/500SS

ISO 320, 35mm, 3.5f, 1/500SS

4. Sunburst or sun flare

Capturing a sunburst or sun flare adds gorgeous dynamic light into an image. A sunburst and sun flare can be found and captured when the sun is directly shining in through a window. You will most often see hard light in your home when there is the possibility of capturing a sunburst or sun flare. It’s easiest to capture that burst or dispersion of light rays when the sun is being filtered through or hitting an object such as the side of a window frame. This helps disperse the light creating that sunburst. Flare will occur when the light enters the lens and can be controlled with small movements in your positioning. A sunburst and sun flare can occur together or separately.

ISO 400, 35mm, 3.5f, 1/250SS

ISO 400, 35mm, 3.5f, 1/250SS

5. Silhouette

Silhouette isn’t as much a type of light rather it is how a photographer uses the dynamic range within a scene but I think it’s worth mentioning. Silhouettes are a beautiful way to highlight a profile or enhance a mood within an image. A tip here is to try and have your subject’s limbs separated from his or her body so that there is definition and your subject doesn’t become a black blob.

ISO 1600, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/320SS

ISO 1600, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/320SS

Here’s a little challenge for you this coming week! I’d love to see you find these types of light situations in your home and then shoot for them! Actively noticing the light in your environment will help you understand light better which in turn will result in you becoming a stronger photographer! Another tip is to pull out your Photographer’s Notebook! Have you picked one up for yourself yet? Study the light inside your home and jot down notes about what you see! This will help you not only learn about the light in your home but you’ll know where to go when you want to use a certain type of light in a creative way!

all content and images © Gina Yeo Photography, 2019









9 Tips to Encourage Subject Cooperation

I’ll admit it. I’m extremely fortunate to have, for the most part, cooperative subjects to photograph but trust me it’s not always this way. I also have two preteens and as they age their opinion in how I photograph them in addition to their compliance plays a role in how and when I capture them.

I am also not a documentary photographer. Yes, I enjoy capturing everyday moments but photography feeds my creative soul and because of that I have a need to capture everyday moments within my creative vision. Sometimes I’m a little more relaxed with my vision for an image but sometimes I do aim for a specific outcome. Over time I’ve learned a few tricks and tips that help me achieve the images I want and allow for my children to have fun with my photography too.

1. Short and sweet for all vision focused images

I’m often a vision focused photographer. What this means is that I have an idea in my creative mind about what or how I might like to capture a memory. Before I even ask my children to participate I set up every single detail from light manipulation to creative props to camera settings and so on. I’ll even take a test shot to ensure my settings are spot on and that I’m on the right track for what my vision is. Only after I’m completely ready will I ask my little subject to pop into the scene. I quickly snap away and get what I want within a few short minutes.

For example, in the image below I knew what I wanted to capture and how. I was completely set up and prepared before I asked my daughter to start twirling for me. She only twirled a few times before I knew I had what I wanted. This ready beforehand and short photo shoot session makes it fun and easy on everyone.

ISO 800, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/640SS

ISO 800, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/640SS

2. Make it fun

In addition to making any planned photo shoot short and sweet I also try to come up with fun photo shoot ideas. I find things like movement and play are openly embraced by my children. I also know that almost any type of outdoor play will be welcomed by my children. Outdoor adventures are always the most fun and easiest moments for me to capture. Also, if I incorporate an idea that is mildly dangerous to me or entertaining for my children I know my children are bound to participate.

For example, my son loves to throw snow balls at my camera lens! I just make sure I stand far enough away out of full impact reach!

ISO 250, 92mm, 4f, 1/2000SS

ISO 250, 92mm, 4f, 1/2000SS

3. Use a longer lens

I prefer longer lenses anyway but I find the use of a longer lens important when my children are just not quite in the mood to be photographed. Outdoors, I use a long lens pretty much exclusively. This allows for my children to run and play and be themselves while I can maintain distance and hang back a little. My longer lenses also allow for me to experiment creatively with things like light or composition or even creative additions into an image like a prism.

ISO 500, 190mm, 2.8f, 1/640SS

ISO 500, 190mm, 2.8f, 1/640SS

4. Ask for their input into a photo shoot

I use this often with my children. I let them know that I’d really like to photograph them and tell them that they get to come up with what we do.

For example my daughter has been working really hard at reading and I told her I wanted to capture this milestone. I asked her to plan the shoot in her room. When I showed up she had all these sparkly crystals she’d found that she wanted me to use. She willingly participated in the photo shoot and I captured that milestone image I wanted. She was super excited to see how her idea of the crystals came out in the final image.

ISO 1000, 35mm, 2.0f, 1/200SS

ISO 1000, 35mm, 2.0f, 1/200SS

5. Be sure to make a effort if they want something captured

This is similar to the above point but different. I almost always have my camera with me but there are times when I actually don’t feel like picking up my camera. I remember a particular hike we were on last summer when we came upon a field of beautiful fox tails. I was feeling disappointed about the smoke from forest fires ruining the mountain view but my oldest was extremely excited about running and playing in the field of fox tails. As she was playing she asked if I was going to photograph her. I remember not feeling all that interested in picking up my camera but I did because she wanted me to preserve that memory for her. Looking back now I’m glad I have those moments captured. When they ask for an image I always make an effort to do just that.

ISO 100, 35mm, 2.2f, 1/2500SS

ISO 100, 35mm, 2.2f, 1/2500SS

6. Capture what they love

I find if I ask my children to do something that they love that they’ll be way more cooperative as subjects. My oldest adores going to the park to feed the Chickadees and Nuthatch. These little birds will actually fly right up and sit on an open hand. Yesterday, she asked to go to the park and when I agreed she got herself ready, without any prompting, in a winter coat, toque, matching scarf and her more attractive boots…all items I’d be thrilled with photographing her in.

ISO 55, 190mm, 2.8f, 1/640SS

ISO 55, 190mm, 2.8f, 1/640SS

7. Capture moments not poses

I came across an image the other day when I was browsing all the beautiful images grouped into #thephotographersnotebook on Instagram. I absolutely love what this Momma had to say:

“It always goes like this when we actually plan a photo - I end up loving the photo that I just randomly took for fun before we took the “planned” photo! I’ll never tire of real and authentic shots. To me they tell a story, like this beautiful one of my amazing little girl who has the biggest heart of all.” Amy Louise.

Image Credit:  @agirlwandering

Image Credit: @agirlwandering

What Amy Louise had to say completely resonated with me. I love portraiture. That beautiful soulful connection with the camera in a gorgeous well lit pose is captivating to me. However, my children have zero interest in standing a certain way to allow for light to fall in the perfect Rembrandt Triangle while staring deep into my camera. I’ve tried this. It doesn’t work out well. This feels rigid and uncomfortable for them and can be frustrating for me. I’ve learned to let go of having this expectation and instead aim to capture a relaxed portrait. I adore these types of portraits even more and the authenticity that comes from images like this. In a relaxed portrait personality shines through and these are always the images I love the most.

ISO 500, 125mm, 3.2f, 1/640SS

ISO 500, 125mm, 3.2f, 1/640SS

8. Photograph only the details

Yup, I do get that look. The rolling eyes, the intentional defiant expression, the “I’m not going to look pretty on camera” glare, the “There’s no way I’m participating” pose. In these situations I switch directions and focus in on details.

For example, my son did not want to be photographed prior to me capturing this image. He was giving me the frozen eye roll glare. However, he’d found a rock that was shaped like a bear and when I suggested we capture that detail he was all in.

ISO 200, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/1000SS

ISO 200, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/1000SS

9. Take no for an answer

Sometimes putting down the camera is the best answer. I want my children to feel like participants in our photo shoots and enjoy my camera too. So if they are truly not in the mood I put my camera away. After all, there will always be another opportunity.

ISO 200, 50mm, Freelensed, 1/500

ISO 200, 50mm, Freelensed, 1/500

all content and images © Gina Yeo Photography, 2019

4 Ideas for Valentine's Day Themed Images

Valentine’s Day is a couple of days away and I always enjoy being creative when it comes to themed images. There are a ton of creative ideas out there which can be incorporated into Valentine’s Day images but I do have a few favourites!

1. The Paper Heart Project

The Paper Heart Project is an incredibly important campaign that was started by a fellow photographer friend, Danielle Awwad. Danielle’s son, SJ, was born with 10 different Congenital Heart Defects and Heterotoxy. He has undergone significant surgeries and extensive medical procedures. Currently his heart has only one pumping chamber. 

Danielle explains,

“The Paper Heart Project is a campaign to spread awareness about Congenital Heart Defects also called CHDs. Congenital Heart Defects are the most common type of birth defect. The severity of CHDs can range from mild to deadly. One out of nearly 100 babies is born with Congenital Heart Defects yet it is one of the most underfunded childhood illnesses in regards to research.”

Danielle’s campaign aims to bring awareness to Congenital Heart Defects during the month of February. Anyone can participate in this project by taking a photo of a paper heart and then posting that image to any social media outlet and with both the following hashtags: #paperheartproject and #CHDAwareness. More about Danielle, SJ, and the project can be found here.

ISO 200, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/250ss

ISO 200, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/250ss

 2. Think red and pink

Anything red or pink goes around Valentine’s day so brighten up those frames with the beautiful colour of red and pink and make your subject pop. I think Valentine’s Day clothing with cute little festive sayings are adorable to capture and preserve into your Valentine’s Day themed captures. 

ISO 200, 70mm, 3.2f, 1/1600ss

ISO 200, 70mm, 3.2f, 1/1600ss

3. Hearts 

We all know that hearts are associated with love and Valentine’s Day. So take advantage of that! The more hearts the better I think! Don’t be afraid to get creative here. There are a lot of heart overlays that can be integrated into an image. I love creative editing, so I often have a ton of fun in post processing integrating hearts into my Valentine’s Day themed images. 

ISO 1000, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/500ss

ISO 1000, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/500ss

A fun creative technique that you might want to try, is creating your own heart bokeh. Cut a circle, a little larger but relatively the same size as the lens you’ll be photographing with, out of black card stock. I use my Sigma 35mm because the edges around the glass are a bit raised. Using a lens that is a bit deeper than the encasing I know I won’t accidentally scratch my lens when I place the card stock over the front of the glass. Cut a small (about a half inch) sized heart into the middle of the card stock. I happen to have a heart paper punch that I like to use. Now tape around the card stock securing it to the front edges of your lens. Then capture images with lights in the background. I hung out some indoor Christmas lights in the image below. The lights will turn into little heart shaped bokeh! Make sure you’re shooting fairly wide open here and that your subject is a good distance away from the background lights for the biggest results.

If you experiment with this and post to Instagram be sure to tag me! I’d love to see what you come up with!

ISO 2000, 35mm, 1.6f, 1/400ss

ISO 2000, 35mm, 1.6f, 1/400ss

4. Valentine’s Day details

What are some of your favourite Valentine’s Day traditions? Over here our favourite traditions are writing out cards to our friends and baking cookies. I really enjoy documenting those details. Make sure you capture some of those little details this Valentine’s Day!

ISO 800, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/160ss

ISO 800, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/160ss

ISO 1000, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/250ss

ISO 1000, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/250ss

Enjoy a Happy Valentine’s Day!

all content and images © Gina Yeo Photography, 2019

8 Mistakes I Made as a New Photographer

When I first began my photography journey I made a lot of mistakes.  That’s okay, really! I truly think a person learns from making mistakes. A person can also learn from information and so I’ve gathered together some of the mistakes I made as a new photographer to give you a little food for thought.

1. Shooting at slow shutter speeds

This is probably the biggest mistake I made when I jumped from shooting in auto to manual mode. I didn’t quite understand the importance of a fast enough shutter speed.  Shutter speed controls motion in your images so it’s really important to ensure that you maintain a fast enough shutter speed to freeze not only the motion of your subject but your own movement as you capture your image. Rule of thumb when it comes to shutter speed is, try to keep that shutter speed above 1/160 if your subject is very still, like asleep still. Personally, I do not like to set my shutter speed below 1/200 and prefer 1/250 if I have a still subject. Now when it comes to a moving subject I like to keep my shutter speed at least 1/800.  I prefer to go higher if I can.

Now having said that playing around with shutter speed can be extremely fun and will introduce creativity into your images. You can try panning and other creative slow shutter techniques, like long exposure, as a means to feed your creativity.

Here are two examples of shutter speed. In the first image, the shutter speed was fast enough to freeze her motion and the movement in the drapery. In the second image, the shutter speed was slow which blurred the movement in the water and clouds in the sky. A tripod is a necessary tool when capturing long exposure landscape images.

ISO 640, Freelensed with a 50mm 1.4, 1/2000ss

ISO 640, Freelensed with a 50mm 1.4, 1/2000ss

ISO 100, 35mm, 13f, 127sec

ISO 100, 35mm, 13f, 127sec

2. Using a wide open aperture

I remember purchasing my first pro lens.  I saved my pennies and bought a Nikkor 50mm 1.4. I was really excited that I could now open up my aperture to 1.4 and so I did that. At the time I did not understand the relationship between aperture and depth of field.  Aperture significantly effects depth of field.  Depth of field is what is in focus or how big your slice of focus will be.  Another factor that impacts depth of field is how close you are to your subject and your focal length.  I’d open up my aperture to 1.4 and then I’d shoot a close up of my subject. I didn’t understand why my subject was not fully in focus and why only one eye or half the face was. I understand now that a large aperture (f1.4) will have a small area of focus and a small aperture (f22) will have a large area of focus.

Now shooting wide open has a purpose and is a wonderful creative technique to use when you want a small slice of focus to bring visual attention to only a part of your image.

ISO 400, 50mm, 1.4f. 1/800

ISO 400, 50mm, 1.4f. 1/800

3. Thinking that a high ISO would ruin my images

One of the reasons I was shooting at an aperture of 1.4, when I first started, was because I was concerned that a higher ISO would ruin my images. Yes, it is true that a higher ISO will add some noise, or a grainy texture, into your images however noise is always preferred over an out of focus or blurry image due to a poor choice in aperture or shutter speed.  There are noise reduction options in post processing that can really help reduce noise. I often shoot at ISO 2000 or even higher in low light in order to ensure I make good choices about my exposure triangle.  

ISO 5000, 35mm, f4, 25sec

ISO 5000, 35mm, f4, 25sec

4. Not understanding the relationship between light and mood

I had a big moment of learning when it was brought to my attention that there is a significant relationship between light and mood. I’ve always been fascinated by light but it was a long way into my photography journey before I understood that light impacts mood. Brightly lit images are more likely to evoke happy and energetic moods while low light is more likely to evoke peaceful or tension filled moods. It’s not only important to find and use good light within your images but it’s also important to think about the mood within the light.  A smiling happy child might seem out of place in a low and minimal light situation.    

ISO 800, 50mm, 1.6f, 1/500ss

ISO 800, 50mm, 1.6f, 1/500ss

5. Using actions or presets without tweaking

Actions and presets can be incredibly useful in post processing.  They can help a photographer cohesively edit a series of images, maintain a style and speed up workflow. However, very often actions are not one click and will likely need some tweaking. It is best to learn what an action or preset will do to your SOOC (straight out of camera) image before using it. It is also best to tweak most actions and presets.

ISO 640, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/400ss

ISO 640, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/400ss

6. Wishing for more gear

Gear does not make a photographer. It is the photographer that captures the image. Don’t get caught up in thinking that a different camera or a different lens will make you a better photographer.  Practise and learning the technical side of your camera is more valuable than any new gear.

A fun creative exercise to try here is to use a different lens then you’d normally choose in a situation and see what you can come up with!

ISO 500, 200mm, 3.5f, 1/1250ss

ISO 500, 200mm, 3.5f, 1/1250ss

7. Being afraid to ask for feedback

Putting yourself out there is really hard.  I understand this. However, asking for critique will help you learn and grow as a photographer.  Take the advice or leave it.  It’s up to you. Being open to the opinion of another photographer can certainly help you see differently.

ISO 500, 200mm, 4f, 1/640ss

ISO 500, 200mm, 4f, 1/640ss

8. Comparing

Theodore Roosevelt was absolutely right when he said, “Comparison Is the Thief of Joy". Comparing inhibits you from infusing yourself and your own unique artistic vision into an image. It’s impossible to create an image just like that of someone else. In the end you’ll only be doing yourself harm if you compare. Capture what you love in your own unique and beautiful way.  

GinaYeoPortfolio-32.jpg

all content and images © Gina Yeo Photography, 2019

The Dreaded Winter Photography Rut. 7 Tips to Help you Stay Inspired.

January can be tough.  The nights are long and the days are short. It’s often very cold up here in the Northern Hemisphere, especially where I live, and we are sometimes stuck inside with cabin fever. By this time of year we’ve already had a couple months of winter and with a few months to go before spring starts blooming we can start to feel kinda blue. 

I, however, actually love photography during the winter months!

Here are a few tips on how I stay inspired and avoid the dreaded winter photography rut:

1. Bundle up and head outside

There are plenty of days when spending some time outside is absolutely possible. Here, we bundle up in our winter gear and off we go. There’s a ton of fantastic childhood winter moments to capture and personally I love how those winter toques, that’s Canadian for hat, covers up unsightly hair! I have a small collection of colourful toques, mittens and scarves that I can pop on my children before we head out into the winter elements. My children play joyfully in the snow and I capture all those rosy red cheeks and fun snowy moments. They don’t seem to mind the cold like I do!  

Tip: Make sure your camera is protected from winter elements like wet falling snow. I use a plastic rain sleeve and it works great! You can find rain sleeves in most photography stores and through online retailers. 

ISO 1000, 35mm, f8, 1/320ss

ISO 1000, 35mm, f8, 1/320ss

2. Indoor treats

I don’t know if this is the case at your house, but at mine, after we’ve played outside in the cold a warm treat is always requested. Absolutely! As long as I can capture that moment with my camera.  

Tip: Capture details like those little fingers clasped around a warm cup of hot chocolate.

ISO 400, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/800ss

ISO 400, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/800ss

3. Bring the outdoors inside

Alright, I get it! The winter chill is not for everyone but snow and winter atmosphere can be gorgeous! I like to try and capture outdoor elements, like falling snow or a snowy backdrop, from the inside of my home. 

Tip: Try setting your exposure triangle for the brighter outdoor light allowing your subject to fall into the shadow or try a silhouette. This will allow for you to showcase the outdoors from the inside of your home.

ISO 200, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/200ss

ISO 200, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/200ss

4. Don’t be afraid to use artificial light

Natural light is at a premium during the winter months.  Often my children leave for school in the darkness of the morning and by the time they’ve settled in at home after school the daylight is almost gone. I’ve learned to enjoy embracing the challenge of artificial light. No I don’t have any fancy equipment here! I like to use light sources such as an iPad, computer or lamp.  

Tip: Use a high ISO to keep your exposure settings balanced. My ISO during the winter can be upwards of ISO 2000 or higher inside my home.  

ISO 3200, 35mm, 1.6f, 1/800ss

ISO 3200, 35mm, 1.6f, 1/800ss

5. Practise your low light photography

My house does not get a lot of bright natural light during the winter months with it’s position to the sun but what I do get are unique patterns of light. I’ve learned to embrace low light photography. 

Tip: Look for fun patterns of light that might only occur during the winter months. 

ISO 3200 35mm, 1.8f, 1/200ss

ISO 3200 35mm, 1.8f, 1/200ss

6. Take advantage of that early hour golden light

The light during the winter months is incredible. I find as the sun lowers itself to the horizon the light becomes soft and buttery in a stunning way.  I adore this type of light. 

Tip: Try faking a golden hour look.  It’s quite possible during the winter months because the sun is low to the horizon. Use a natural screen like a forest or treed backdrop to help filter some of the light during the day when backlighting your subject. 

ISO 200, 105mm, 3.5f, 1/1600ss

ISO 200, 105mm, 3.5f, 1/1600ss

7. Try something creative

Still feeling uninspired? Try getting creative. This is when it’s time to try that genre of photography you’ve always wanted to try, like macro or maybe landscape. How about trying to freelens? Do you have a Lensbaby you’ve been neglecting? What about shooting through something like glass or crystals. Trying something new is bound to stir up those creative juices and leave you feeling inspired!   

Tip: Don’t put expectations on yourself here! Just click away on your shutter embracing the potential for creativity.  

ISO 800, Freelensed, 1/500ss

ISO 800, Freelensed, 1/500ss

all content and images © Gina Yeo Photography, 2019

6 Tips to Capture Everyday Moments without the Overwhelm

ISO 400, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/2000

ISO 400, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/2000

Thank You!

Before I dive into sharing the photography tips I have for you, I want to thank each and every one of you for being here! This is my first blog post on The Photographer’s Notebook! Very exciting! I’m honoured and grateful that you’ve chosen to allow me to guide you in your photography journey!

Now let’s get to it! 

We are all busy. Our days are filled with routine and obligation. There isn’t much downtime. How in the world do we find that extra time we’ll need to capture those everyday moments before they pass us by?

It really isn’t that tough. I promise! Here are a few quick tips for you to use when you go about capturing your meaningful everyday moments.

1. Keep your camera in an accessible location

I like to ensure my camera is safe but visible. This keeps my camera easily accessible but also reminds me to pick up my camera and capture something in my everyday. I also like to have user friendly exposure triangle settings ready in my camera. This way I’m less likely to miss a moment. My user friendly settings for my camera inside my home are usually ISO 1000, SS (shutter speed) 250, f (aperture) 2.8 with a WB (white balance) of 5250 K (kelvin).

ISO 200, 35mm, 2.0f, 1/320ss

ISO 200, 35mm, 2.0f, 1/320ss

2. Keep a log with moments you want to capture

I love my photographer’s notebooks! I have quite a few. I am constantly jotting down notes, ideas and inspiration that come to me about how and what everyday moment I want to capture. If I’m feeling stuck or uninspired I take a quick look at my notes which are bound to motivate me to pick up my camera!

ISO 1600, 35mm, 2.2f, 1/320ss

ISO 1600, 35mm, 2.2f, 1/320ss

3. Schedule in an appointment with your camera

This might seem a little silly but trust me it works! You wouldn’t miss an appointment, right? Scheduling in a date with your camera prioritizes photography. It doesn’t need to be a long date. Short and sweet works. Try 10 minutes to start. Capture that simple everyday moment that you’ve been meaning to!

ISO 1250, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/160ss

ISO 1250, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/160ss

4. Bring your camera with you when you leave your house

My camera is not small. I find if I’ve made the effort to shove my camera into my purse and take it out of my house with me then I’m going to make the effort to use it. I enjoy nature. Being outside is invigorating so we go on a lot of nature walks. My camera is always by my side. My children have fun playing and I capture them doing just that. Wonderful, memorable, childhood, everyday moments preserved! Yes! Put it in the win column!

ISO 320, 125mm, 4f, 1/1600ss

ISO 320, 125mm, 4f, 1/1600ss

5. Change your perspective

This tip is fantastic for making the most out of a single photo shoot. Varying perspective to your subject will get you a ton of unique looks. A few ideas to try here:

  • Side light your subject

  • Front light your subject

  • Backlight your subject

  • Capture your subject from above

  • Capture your subject when looking up at him or her

  • Capture a close up of your subject

  • Capture your subject from far away

  • Capture precious details like eyelashes

ISO 500, Freelensed, 1/1000

ISO 500, Freelensed, 1/1000

6. Give yourself some grace

You do not need to be super human. There are days when picking up the camera is just not possible and that’s okay. Try again tomorrow.

ISO 400, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/800ss

ISO 400, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/800ss

all content and images © Gina Yeo Photography, 2019