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The Photographer's Notebook





Tips For Beauty During the In Between Season

In some places, winter has begun to fade, temperatures are on the rise and signs of the renewal of life with the impending spring can be spotted. That touch of warmth and fresh new life will certainly draw us outdoors after months of hibernating indoors. That period of time between winter's thaw and spring's fresh arrival is sometimes less than magical. Unattractive mud puddles, dirty melting snow, and dried-up dead grasses are not always very photogenic. However, we create memories no matter the season. The following tips will help you continue to capture your everyday moments even when the ground is less than attractive.  

1. Crop in

Details are always beautiful. Cropping in on details during that period of transition between winter and spring is especially helpful to minimize the sometimes unsightly backgrounds during this time. Naturally, a viewer's eye settles on what is in focus within an image. Melting snow or mud puddles will fade into an...

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Common Landscape Photography Mistakes

Standing in a valley frozen or lush beneath majestic mountain peaks while the cool fresh-scented forest air fills my lungs is my ultimate cathartic experience. Photographing that splendour is an honour in which I hope that I can capture the beauty before me with some true-to-life replication.

I have yet to meet a landscape photographer who does not enjoy being immersed in nature's beauty.

Each photographer has her own unique way of seeing the world and then photographing that beauty, from her perspective, within a landscape scene. However, there are some common mistakes that landscape photographers can make. Here are some mistakes you can learn to avoid in your landscape photography.

1. Using an automatic or semi-manual mode

Our cameras have limitations in dynamic range, which is the ability to capture a full spectrum of shadows through highlights in certain scenes. If we leave our cameras in an automatic or semi-manual exposure mode (for most landscape situations), we throw...

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3 Tips That Will Help You Capture Better Images

Many of you already know that I've had a camera in my hand since I was a little girl, but it wasn't until I became a mother that my enjoyment for photography became an unquenchable passion. Shortly after I became a mother, I quickly realized the incredible speed at which my precious baby was growing and changing. I wanted desperately to capture the beautiful fleeting moments in my everyday life. So when I got my hands on my brand new DSLR camera, I was really excited because I thought I would suddenly be able to capture fantastic images of my dear little daughter. However, I was quickly disappointed. Those heart-tugging moments I longed to capture beautifully were not better with my new fancy camera compared to the images I had been taking with my point and shoot. 

Fast forward to today, and after almost fifteen years of learning and years of teaching other women photographers, I've learned a few lessons about how you can capture better images. Here are a few tips: 


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Getting creative with hearts this February-Here's how!

It's always fun to infuse a little heart detail into February's photos. February is heart month, and infusing hearts into your images shows support for heart health and, of course, embraces all the love-filled themes surrounding Valentine's Day.  

I recently had several requests asking if I could share how I incorporate heart bokeh into my images. Today I'm sharing two different ways I infuse hearts into my February and Valentine's Day captures so that you can give these techniques a try too! 

1. Foreground heart bokeh

The first way I like to infuse hearts into my Valentine's day images is through foreground heart bokeh. Foreground heart bokeh requires that hearts are placed between your camera and your subject. It's also best if you choose a wider aperture to blur the foreground hearts. 

To create foreground heart bokeh images, here are the steps you can follow:

Step 1:

Gather up your materials. You'll need red and pink cardstock or another...

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Inspiration for Valentine's Day Themed Images

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching, and who doesn't love a day filled with extra smooshy kisses, candy and smiles?! I felt like I needed a little inspiration this year when I was brainstorming for fun Valentine's Day-themed images the other day, so I thought you might too! Today, I'm sharing a few ways you can embrace the sweetness of Valentine's Day within your everyday moments and capture the fun within childhood on Valentine's Day. 

1. Details 

Do you have any little Valentine's Day traditions? At my house, heart-shaped pancakes sprinkled with icing sugar and candy are always required during the weeks before Valentine's Day. This is a must capture photograph for me in my home, and I love capturing the details of this sweet breakfast from above.

Perhaps your Valentine's Day details are handfuls of candy or carefully decorated sugar cookies. Or maybe your littles are crafty, and you enjoy creating a special Valentine's Day card or collage...

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Top Five Reasons you Must Attend a Photography Retreat

Photography is a journey of learning theory and technique sprinkled with a touch of creativity. A photographer's learning journey has moments of enormous gains and then times when learning is more plateaued. This is certainly to be expected. If you are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience, you'll want to attend a landscape photography retreat, as this experience is bound to help accelerate your development as a photographer. With the support of a teacher and surrounded by like-minded photographers, all with tips and techniques to share, you are certainly going to learn and be inspired! 

Since registration for Captivated by the Rockies: Larch, which will be held in Banff, Alberta, Canada, during the height of the fall season in September 2021, opens later this week, I thought it'd be fun to share my top five reasons you should attend a landscape photography retreat. 

5. The ability to photograph sunrise through sunset 

One of the unique experiences of a...

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Staying Inspired During Dark Winter Months

Winter can be uninspiring, especially this year, when many of us are under health protocols that keep us from gathering and engaging in our usual activities. Beyond that, though, days seem to fly by due to the short hours of daylight with little light left once the daily routine has been attended to. It's also chilly and outdoor adventures can be a lot of effort. Often, and this is certainly true for me, we find ourselves picking up our camera less and less. Here are a few tips on how you can stay inspired until spring arrives and new blooms rejuvenate your inspiration. 

1. Keep your camera close

Moments pop up every day that are beautiful and worthy of capturing, but it's easy to miss them when our cameras are not accessible. What's that quote? "Out of sight, out of mind." Purposefully keep your camera in a room where there is a lot of activity with typical indoor settings already dialled in. If your goal is to capture the beautiful everyday moments of your life, then...

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One Simple Tip that will Help you Become a better Photographer this Year

You've likely heard this from me before. Photography is a never-ending journey of learning, practice and growth. January can be a tough time of the year. The joy in the holiday season is over, many of us are still under COVID-19 health restrictions, and up here in the northern hemisphere, winter has us in her cold and icy grasp. It's often expected that resolutions and goals should be set with a new year, but sometimes setting photography goals is a tough thing to do, especially coming out of a year like 2020. Despite the challenges you may be facing during this time of the year, I want to encourage you to adopt this tip this year as I guarantee it will help you become a better photographer. 

1. Only set goals this year that are attainable

Before you set any goals, keep this advice in mind, don't set yourself up for failure. I love to dream big. I have grand ideas and big plans. However, I also like to see the results of my daily efforts in my photography...

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5 Important Tips for Successful Winter Landscape Images

Wintery landscape scenes hold stunning beauty. The Canadian Rockies recently experienced heavy snowfall and currently looks like a scene out of a winter wonderland picture book. Scenes heavy with frozen details, sparkly untouched snow and trees kissed by winter's frost are always a photographer's dream. Sometimes the beauty of it all has us rushing off into nature with thoughts of only good light on our minds, but before you venture off into the great outdoors and while you are out immersed in nature, keep in mind the tips below as they will help with your winter landscape image success. 

1. Always be prepared

A fresh layer of snow has the mountains calling my name as much as it does the next landscape photographer. Winter holds so much beauty that I can hardly wait to hop in my truck and head out into the Canadian Rockies' backcountry playground. However, one thing that I know I must be and meticulously ensure is that I am prepared. The landscape environment within the...

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Three Images to Capture on Christmas Day

Christmas Day is almost here! I can feel an excited energy building in my home. Holiday shopping is, for the most part, complete, presents are wrapped, Christmas traditions are in full swing, and that elf has been up to all of his shenanigans! Left to do is the baking, especially gingerbread cookies and a few other holiday favourites like marshmallow squares. With all the hustle and bustle within the preparations for Christmas Day, even during a COVID Christmas where restrictions have damped the holiday events, putting together a Christmas is never an easy task. I know that I want to photograph a few of our most precious memories this Christmas.

1. Capture one meaningful Christmas tradition

Of course, there is no better way to preserve a memory than to capture it on camera. As a family, we have many different traditions that we like to enjoy on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, some of which include opening up that last advent calendar goodie and warm apple...

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