The Photographer's Notebook

 

 

A LEARNING BLOG WITH PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS

FOR THE MOM AND LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER

How to Photograph Landscapes in Summer Storms

Summer storm season is just around the corner. I enjoy watching nature and her power, so it's always a treat to see a storm brew up and move through, as long as there's no destruction left in that storm's wake. Up here in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, a thunderstorm can pop up without much warning unload her furry and move on in a matter of minutes. I adore the drama in a good storm and have indeed chased my share of thunderstorms up and down the mountain highways. If you, like me, enjoy capturing a good mountain storm, remember these tips next time the weather turns dramatic. 

1. Be Prepared

A landscape photographer knows that she must prepare for all types of weather. Even on a sunny day, I never venture out without adequate supplies tucked into my backpack. My necessities include a waterproof rain cover for my backpack, a rain sleeve for my camera, a medium-sized, highly absorbent towel, an umbrella, mittens and a toque (that's Canadian for a winter hat).

During a...

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How to Capture Beautiful Sun Flare

Sun flare or, more technically, lens flare can be a beautiful phenomenon in photography. The type of light that creates flare is drool-worthy and almost every photographer I know becomes a little giddy around this type of light. Lens flare occurs when certain types of light enter into a camera lens and bounce around scattering and refracting. The scattering and refracting results in creative haze and artifacts (colourful geometric shapes) that show up in an image's exposure. Lens flare is an effect that many photographers love, as it infuses beautiful creative light into an image. I've put together a few tips for you specific to how you can capture images with beautiful sun flare.  

1. Backlight 

If you are looking to infuse your image with sun-drenched haze and geometric flare artifacts, then you will want to backlight your subject. Backlight occurs when light placement is behind your subject. You will be shooting directly into the light. When you...

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How to Capture the Perfect Swing Image

The days are now noticeably longer, and spring is definitely in the air. That means a lot more outdoor playtime. I know that makes me, my children and our puppy very happy. With more time spent outdoors, there's bound to be trips to the park. I don't know about you, but my favourite piece of equipment at any park is the swing. I still like to hop on pushing myself up high into the sky. Oh, what a joyous feeling that is! These moments of flight are always freeing. I'm sure you agree. My children adore a swing too, even my teenager, and over the years, I've had lots of practice photographing my children on swings. I love the movement and laughter in every swing shot. Today I'm sharing my thoughts on how to go about capturing the perfect swing image. 

1. Use a fast shutter speed

Swings are in motion, and it's vital that you choose a fast shutter speed, or your joyful little subject is going to be a blurry mess in camera. Of course, your shutter speed will...

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How to Critically Evaluate Your Own Images

I think that being a photographer is a truly remarkable experience. We are all on a journey as we go about capturing our everyday moments and growing into the photographers we are meant to be. We learn and grow in our technical abilities and practises, and we also develop as artists in our unique style. Critically evaluating your images is a fantastic way in which you can grow as a photographer. Examining your photos doesn't have to be an exhaustive process; rather, it can be as simple as being curious about how you could have made an image better. Critical evaluation is not only about recognizing what you may have done better, but it's also about highlighting what you did well. Evaluating our images is something I think each of us should do from time to time because this will help you grow as a photographer. I believe that the development of a photographer is twofold. It consists of two meandering side by side paths. One of these paths is in technical skill, while the other...

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Find Beauty in Landscapes In-Between Seasons

Sometimes, it can be challenging to photograph landscape images in-between seasons. Melting snow can be dirty, leafless trees aren't always that attractive, and the leftover muck from winter's freeze can be an eyesore. It's your job as a landscape photographer to find and photograph the beauty that is present regardless of the time of year. There are a few ways in which you can hide or minimize unsightly in-between season elements.

1. Compose thoughtfully

Knowing what to include and exclude within a landscape scene is an important skill to have as a landscape photographer. Thoughtfully compose your scene to eliminate elements that are not overly attractive during the shoulder seasons. Ensure that your main subject is highly visible, as this will draw the viewer's eye, minimizing less attractive features within the frame. Pay close attention to the edges and close objects within your frame. Crop out elements that are not as attractive around your frame edges with...

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My Favourite Spring Photography Props

I welcome springtime photography, especially after the very long winters we endure up north here. Spring is the breath of warm fresh air that we've been dreaming about all winter long. Spring is full of nostalgia. The sounds and sights of spring bring me back to childhood memories of running barefoot through dandelion fields, moseying through fields of flowers and skipping rocks into the finally unfrozen and meandering river. The smells and sights of spring are irresistible and refreshing, and I know that I want to capture every spring moment that I possibly can during this short season. I think many beautiful spring props can be infused into spring photographs. Below are a few ideas I want to share as a means to inspire you this spring.

1. Flowers

Nothing shouts, "Spring!" more to me than flowers. New blooms pop up everywhere, and I revel in the smells of warming soil, neon-bright grass, and all that beautiful colour after the long winter. Around here, we are careful to pick...

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Blending Your Passion for Baking into Photography

This week I'm thrilled to feature photographer Lu Huang. As a photographer, Lu is passionate about documenting lifestyle images with touches of magic. Lu is also an exquisite baker. I adore how she infuses her beautiful baking projects into her photography. I know you'll enjoy reading about how Lu blends her passion for baking into her photography and how you can do so too! 

"Thank you for sharing your talents with us Lu!"


If you are reading this, it’s likely that you have a passion for photography. What about baking? Are you like me who is passionate about both? As a mom, I love baking and decorating cookies for my little guy and his friends. At the same time, I also consider myself a hobbyist photographer with a love of capturing childhood and everything beautiful with my camera. You can imagine how happy it makes me when I can combine my two favorite hobbies together. Here are some of my quick tips on how to fit baking/cooking into your photography. ...
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Must Capture Easter Images

Oh, how I do enjoy Easter! For the most part, we are through the hardest and coldest part of winter, although winter seems to be sticking around a little longer this year. Usually, there are small signs of spring on the horizon like my favourite sign, the friendly robin's chirp. The air begins to smell fresh, and signs of swelling buds are visible on the trees. This year Easter will look at bit different with COVID-19 at our doorsteps, but I know I still want to make the most of the season. I especially want to make sure I'm documenting Easter this year and below are some tips for my must capture images.  

1. Traditions

I think traditions are a wonderful thing. I know that they create bonding and connection in my family, and I bet that they do the same in yours. They bring smiles and laughter from my children and these moments warm my heart. In my family, baking cut out sugar cookies and decorating easter eggs is a happy tradition and one that I...

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5 Important Tips for Creating Stronger Landscape Images

Landscape photography is not for the faint of heart. Us landscape photographers rise before the earliest of birds begin to sing their morning songs. We skip meals and ignore hunger and fatigue. We hike through forests and fields, hoping that the animal tracks in the snow are not fresh or that the howling wolf pack is farther away than they sound or that the bear frequenting the area signs are old news and he's actually up over the other side of the mountain. We haul heavy gear and wear layers of clothing through weather elements most would remain inside for. We wade through streams and hop into rivers to achieve the perfect composition for sunset. We stay up way past reasonable hours to witness night skies and drive home in dense fog and enveloping darkness. But we love every single moment of this passion. 

With all of the efforts we put into getting to a location and with all of the other unknown elements at play like weather and light, us landscape...

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How to Approach your Photography Amid a Pandemic

It's tough right now. Uncertainties and unknowns are flooding my mind, and I feel, at times, as if they are choking away all things positive. While I've been isolated in the bubble of my home, there's a selfish part of me that wants to and has complained. I've grumbled about my office space being taken over by my husband, who must work from home. I've griped about my now lack of computer access. I've missed the previous quiet of my days when I could focus solely on my goals but instead are now occupied by my children's needs. It's easy to let all the things that are happening and all the unknowns overwhelm. I know, however, that this type of thought pattern is not healthy for me on a physical or mental level. Years of living with anxiety have taught me that when I'm triggered by events beyond my control that I need to choose to accept the things I cannot change. I've learnt that I need to look for positivity. Looking for positivity doesn't negate the fact that...

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