How to Take Stunning Photos in Overcast Light

Light happens to be one of my favourite photography topics. I adore all things light. Finding light, manipulating light, capturing light…it’s a passion of mine. I also happen to love a good challenge so the more challenging the light the more enticing it is for me to work with and capture it in a technically strong and creative way. In the past I’ve found myself a little disappointed when the outdoors has given me overcast light. However, in time I’ve found ways to work with overcast light in ways that can be beautiful too. Here are some of my tips for working with overcast light.

1. Create portraits or environmental portraits

Overcast light can be beautiful portraiture light. The dynamic range or difference between the highlights and shadows in your scene is lessened as compared to shooting in stronger light. This creates more even lighting in your scene. This even lighting falls beautifully across a subject resulting in smooth and even skin with little worry about distracting highlights or shadows.

When creating portraits in overcast light I make sure that I’m still aware of where the sun should be. If you are unsure of where the sun should be you can look for soft shadows around you. The sun is always opposite the direction in which a shadow is falling. Or there are numerous free apps such as Sky View Lite, Sky Guide and others that will superimpose the sun’s placement when you hold your phone up to the sky when using the app. Knowing where the sun is will help you still use overcast light in a good way. I like to have the light behind me, falling flat over my subject. This creates beautiful catchlights in your subject’s eyes, especially if your subject’s head is tilted upwards just a touch, and soft and even skin tones. 

ISO 400, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1000SS

ISO 400, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1000SS

2. Embrace the mood within overcast light

Overcast light emits a certain type of mood. Usually one of peace, tranquility and calm or sometimes even moody drama. Play this up! Capture images in a way that enhances the calm or moody drama in your surrounding.

ISO 800, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/4000SS

ISO 800, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/4000SS

3. Incorporate juxtaposition

As just noted overcast light typically suggests calm or moody drama within an image. Incorporating elements into your image that are contradictory to these moods will likely draw attention to your image. Think energy within a moody scene, like a dancing child or movement of any kind.

ISO 2000, 120mm, 3.5f, 1/1600SS

ISO 2000, 120mm, 3.5f, 1/1600SS

4. Focus in on detail

Another favourite technique of mine in many situations is to simply focus in on details. When the light is not dynamic drawing attention to a simple detail can still contribute to a powerful and stunning image.  

ISO 200, 50mm, 2.8f, 1/1600SS

ISO 200, 50mm, 2.8f, 1/1600SS

5. Use interesting compositions

Overcast light is for the most part flat. Incorporating elements of composition that enhance depth can result in a more interesting and dynamic image. Challenge yourself to find creative composition after all you’ll be working with light that isn’t all that hard to manage so now is the time to take risks and challenge yourself with experimenting in composition.

CreativeCompOvercastLight.jpg

6. Incorporate a creative technique

I really enjoy thinking up ways in which I can push my images creatively. By using natural elements around me like shurbs, tree branches, flowers or other products like a prism or by freelensing a bit of artistic flair can be infused into an image making it unique and captivating even in overcast light.

ISO 200, 105, 3.2f, 1250ss

ISO 200, 105, 3.2f, 1250ss

Next time you are given overcast light remember these tips! Stunning images can be captured in every lighting situation!

4 Lessons Landscape Photography has Taught me that Make me a better Everyday Photographer

I have loved the Canadian Rocky Mountains since I was a little girl. As a child, I remember my sisters and I impatiently waiting for our father to arrive home from work while our mother hurried around packing up our motorhome in anticipation for another family adventure into the Canadian Rocky Mountains. I recall feelings of excitement as I buckled my seatbelt with my sisters beside me and my sheltie pup, Cindy, at my feet. There was a thrill in the air as we headed off towards the sunset and “my mountains”. Some of my happiest childhood memories are from these mountain trips. It’s been many years since I was a child but my connection to the Rockies has only grown stronger as the years have gone by. Now it’s my turn to take my own children into “my mountains” to create cherished moments and beautiful memories.  

As a mother my passion for photography was initially being fed by my desire to photograph every single moment of my sweet little children’s lives. However, in 2015 my desire for personal photography development branched off into me exploring landscape photography and I haven’t looked back since. This genre is truly a perfect fit for me. My love of nature and all things outdoors, my passion for spending time in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and my love of photography has melded together and made me into the landscape photographer I am today. I’m about as passionate a landscape photographer as they come and as my priorities to my family allow.

Photography has given me so many amazing gifts. There’s nothing more thrilling then watching the morning sky fill with beautiful warm coloured light while listening to the good morning songs of the mountain birds or watching the sun fight stormy clouds during a dramatic sunset over mountain peaks while breathing in the scent of fresh rain or standing in silent awe beneath a sky twinkling with stars that shine so brightly it’s as if they were touchable…it takes my breath away, every, single, time. The giving doesn’t end there though. The friendships I have made, the laughter so fierce that your belly hurts and your eyes well with tears, the connections, the moments, the memories…all priceless and all because of landscape photography. There’s also applicable gifts that landscape photography has given me which make me a better everyday photographer. Those are what I want to share with you in more detail. 

ISO 100, 21mm, 14f, 1.6sec

ISO 100, 21mm, 14f, 1.6sec

1. Light is key  

One of my favourite all time photography quotes is from George Eastman who stated, ”Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.” 

Landscape photography has taught me how to embrace, admire, love and above all know light. As a landscape photographer my relationship with light found an all new level of respect. I cannot manipulate light when I’m out immersed in landscape. I must embrace and accept light for how she shows up. I’ve come to learn that all types of light are beautiful and that knowing how to work with any given light is truly the key to photography. There’s power and beauty in all types of light. 

ISO 100, 24mm, 13f, 20sec

ISO 100, 24mm, 13f, 20sec

2. Composition matters

One of the first lessons a new photographer, of any genre, learns is that composition matters. Then, usually, the rule of thirds is mentioned but composition is so much more than that. Landscape photography has taught how to thoughtfully consider the elements present within my scene and to use them in a way that helps tell a story in a meaningful, visually pleasing and creative way. 

These lessons have impacted my everyday photography. When I capture my children as opposed to just snapping away I try to always compose very thoughtfully. I’ve also become more comfortable with embracing creativity and it was landscape photography that opened my eyes to this possibility.  

ISO 400, 16mm, 11f, 25sec

ISO 400, 16mm, 11f, 25sec

3. Post processing matters 

I find that there are two type of photographers…those that loathe post processing and those that adore it. I’m in the latter category. I think that there is an incredible amount of post processing freedom within the digital manipulation of a landscape image. I’ve embraced those freedoms and thoroughly enjoy creating an artistic image. 

The freedom I have found within processing landscape images has most certainly translated over into my everyday images. I enjoy manipulating and creating something beautiful.

ISO 100, 17mm, 14f, 3sec

ISO 100, 17mm, 14f, 3sec

4. Embrace your own creative self and infuse you into your images

When I was a new photographer learning all the things I could possibly learn I remember feeling anxious whenever someone talked about photography style. Did I have one? Or didn’t I? What if I didn’t? I needed one! When would my style develop? How would I know that I’d found my style? What if I never found my style? Ha! Well these days I’m much more relaxed about such things. Why? Well because I’ve learned, but sometimes still have to try hard, to let go of what I think others will think about my images and instead embrace my own creative self and infuse that into my images. Landscape photography has taught me that no two photographers will ever capture the same scene in the same way. The differences might be subtle, in some cases, but will never be identical. Landscape photography has taught me that as a photographer I need to trust in myself and then capture my images in a way that no one else can ever replicate. I need to always capture what I love, from my own heart, and in my own unique way. 

ISO 1000, 16mm, 10f, 3sec

ISO 1000, 16mm, 10f, 3sec

I’m absolutely delighted to be able to co-facilitate: Enchantment in the Rockies with Kristen Ryan of Kristen Ryan Photography coming this November 6-10, 2019. This retreat has been created for women and will be held in my beloved Canadian Rocky Mountains. Priority registration opens up tomorrow, Wednesday, April 24, 2019 for those subscribed to my website. I look forward to meeting the ladies who attend. I’m thrilled to be able to have the incredible opportunity to connect, learn and grow with each of you as women photographers.

Easter-3 Must Capture Perspectives

In my home Easter is a fun time! My children always request Easter egg decorating as an activity this time of year. They literally sit for hours perfecting their egg masterpieces while I snap images on my camera. After awhile though I begin to realize I’ve taken the same image over and over again just with a different egg. Ha, ha! Okay, I better mix things up! In situations like this where my children are still and engaged in an activity I like to add variety to my images by changing my perspective. This allows me to get several different captures out of a single photo shoot.

1. Eye Level

This is certainly the most traditional perspective when capturing an image. This straight on, at eye level, capture is a must have. You can also try for variety in this perspective by capturing different facial expressions and maybe an image or two with eye contact as well.

ISO 1250, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/250 SS

ISO 1250, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/250 SS

2. Bird’s eye view

I really love this point of view. This is certainly a perspective that us parents can all relate to as we often view our children from this view point. Whenever I see images captured from above a child I find I’m filled with that parental feeling of nurturing.

ISO 1250, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/250 SS

ISO 1250, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/250 SS

One way you can add variety within this perspective is to capture the bird’s eye view point from in front of but also from behind your subject.

ISO 1250, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/250 SS

ISO 1250, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/250 SS

3. Details

Details are beautiful but so easily overlooked. I am making a more conscious effort to capture the details around me. You can certainly vary how you capture your details as well and use various different perspectives. Also, don’t be afraid to shoot at a wide aperture which will draw attention to your subject and blur out your background.

ISO 1250, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/250 SS

ISO 1250, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/250 SS

There! All done! Now I have at least 4 or more Instagram worthy images ready to be posted! That sounds like a win in my books! Happy Easter friends! I hope you have some fun and relaxation planned with your family!


all content and images © Gina Yeo Photography, 2019




Let in the Light: Secrets to Controlling Lens Flare

Ahhh! Lens flare! I happen to adore all that dreamy haze, artistic, colourful, and geometric shaped light but this was not always the case. When I was first starting out as a photographer, I, like many, found myself drawn to those hazy and dreamy flare filled images but when I tried to capture images filled with flare I found my captures were often wash out or my flare overpowered my main subject. Whether you are embracing the gorgeous artistic enhancement of lens flare or want to eliminate it knowing how to control lens flare is your first step. Here are a few secrets to controlling and mastering lens flare.

To help you better understand lens flare let me briefly and simplistically explain what it is. Lens flare is simply light. When a photographer captures an image, using a digital camera, light hits the camera sensor triggering electronic signals that then turns the light into an image. However, sometimes, in certain lighting situations, there is light that refracts or reflects inside the lens. This light shows up in various forms of flare depending on the lens type, lens settings and how that light is refracting.

ISO 200, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/400SS

ISO 200, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/400SS

1. Use a lens hood

The first point of control when it comes to lens flare is in your gear. That hollow circular part that attaches to the front of your lens is your lens hood and it can be very effective in controlling and even eliminating lens flare. Lens hoods help block or minimize the amount of light entering the lens which will help reduce or control flare. Now if your goal is a lot of haze or lens flare then by all means remove your hood and let the light in! 

ISO 400, 105mm, 2.8, 1/800SS

ISO 400, 105mm, 2.8, 1/800SS

2. Lens choice

Lens choice matters when it comes to flare management. Wider angle lenses are often build to handle more light entering the lens and can sometimes manage flare better when compared to telephoto lenses in the same light. More expensive lenses often have an anti-glare coating which can help reduce flare. Prime lenses or fixed focal lenses also tend to control flare better because there are fewer internal parts in which light can bounce off of. My favourite lens for capturing lens flare is my Nikkor 105mm 2.8f. It’s dreamy every single time.

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

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

3. Type of light

This may be obvious but the type of light you use will impact the amount of flare in an image. Direct backlight is going to result in more flare than shooting with your back to the light source, which will likely almost eliminate most flare. Side lighting will result in different flare than backlight. A high light source will result in less flare than a light source that is low and directly shining into your lens. Filtered light will typically result in less flare than full unfiltered light. Be aware of what type of light you are working with and conscious of how that light source will impact potential flare.

ISO 400, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1600

ISO 400, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1600

4. Photographer composition

This point is similar to the last except it’s not the type of light you’re using rather it’s your own position to the light that is important. Small movements can make a big difference in managing lens flare. I often take several shots of the same scene making small movements up, down, right or left so that I can choose how much or how little flare I want when I’m in post processing.

ISO 500, 35mm, 2.5f, 1/320SS

ISO 500, 35mm, 2.5f, 1/320SS

5. Aperture

Closing down your aperture (f9, f13, f22) will result in less light entering your lens and less lens flare. Most often you can create a sun burst at these apertures especially if the rays of light are being dispersed by an object. A wider aperture (f2, f2.8, f3.2) will result in more lens flare because more light is entering you lens. Also, this type of flare is often more hazy and less defined when compared with apertures like f9, f13, f22. 

ISO 31, 35mm, 22f, 1.3sec

ISO 31, 35mm, 22f, 1.3sec

6. Post processing flare

Yes! I’m all for it! My love of all things creative runs pretty deep. I admit that indeed I do use flare overlays to add and enhance flare in post processing. As long as the flare works with the type of light in the image I will often incorporate an overlay to enhance already present flare. I enjoy being creative so this type of editing works with my style of photography.

ISO 200, 200mm, 2.8f, 1/1250SS

ISO 200, 200mm, 2.8f, 1/1250SS

If you are subscribed to my website I sent you a spring gift so check your inbox! Did you get it? My spring gift to you is a sun flare overlay, which I created specifically for those subscribed to The Photographer’s Notebook! I used the flare in the image above. Enjoy using the overlay to enhance the flare in your images. If you are not subscribed to my website you can pick up the flare by subscribing, but do so before April 30, 2019 because this gift disappears after that date.

Enjoy embracing light!

4 Tips that Draw Attention to your Subject

There are many different reasons photographers pick up the camera.  It could be to document a moment and preserve a memory or perhaps to create art, or maybe it’s a combination of both, or perhaps photography is a business for the photographer? Regardless the reasons behind why a photographer captures an image I wager a bet that there is a subject in the photographer’s frame. Capturing an image in a way that draws attention to your subject will create stronger more dynamic images. Here are four elements that I use in order to draw attention to my subject.

1. Light

Light is hands down one of my favourite elements in which to bring attention to my subject. The power of light is undeniable.  Thinking about how you can light your subject in a way that makes him or her shine is a sure way of drawing attention to your subject.

ISO 1000, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/800SS

ISO 1000, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/800SS

ISO 400, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/800SS

ISO 400, 35mm, 2.8f, 1/800SS

2. Composition

Composition is an in depth topic. It’s vast theory is extremely powerful and can help draw your viewer into your image towards your subject, can help lead your viewer’s eye through the frame and can help tell the story you intend through your images.

Two favourite compositional techniques that I often use which draw attention towards my subject are framing and filling the frame.

Fames are a very effective way in which to define your subject within an image. I enjoying looking for and finding all kinds of frames and I love creating them too. There are many types of natural frames outdoors such as trees or even grasses. There’s also artificial frames which can be structures like bridges or park equipment. When I’m outdoors my favourite kinds of frames to find usually involve something sparkly. I enjoy shooting through shrubbery which creates that frame I want but also adds a touch of sparkle magic into my images.

ISO 400, 135mm, 3.5f, 1/4000

ISO 400, 135mm, 3.5f, 1/4000

A second way composition can be used to draw attention to your subject is to fill the frame. Filling the frame ensures that your subject is front and centre within the image. Distractions are often completely eliminated and there is nothing else to focus on but your subject.

ISO 100, 35mm, 4f, 1/320SS

ISO 100, 35mm, 4f, 1/320SS

3. Selective focus  

When we view an image our eyes are typically drawn to areas of focus. Our brains tend to feel more comfortable with in focus aspects of an image and will be drawn to areas of focus before exploring out of focus areas within an image. The use of purposeful and selective focus can help draw your viewer’s eye into an image and towards your main subject creating impact.

Dandelion.jpg

4. Colour

Colour is a high attractant and will almost always draw attention towards your subject especially when that colour is bright and bold against a more neutral background. I use this technique often and have a collection of bright and colourful accessories and clothing for my children.

ISO 640, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1000SS

ISO 640, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1000SS

These are only a few ways in which a photographer can draw attention to a subject. There are many more. In fact, I think in the future I’ll write under this topic again with different tips!

Thanks for reading!

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

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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