The Photographer's Notebook

 

 

A LEARNING BLOG WITH PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS

FOR THE MOM AND LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER

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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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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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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How to Photograph in the Rain

Spring is in the air! I know that spring is already in bloom for some while others like us up North still have a while longer to wait despite what the calendar tells us. Soon, though, for all of us, snow flurries will turn into rain, and cold winds will begin to shift towards slight warmth. Those gentle raindrops are sure to be welcomed by the new blooms of spring, but can we photographers welcome a rainy day too? I certainly think so! The element of rain can be fun to infuse into spring images. Here are some tips for you about how you can go about capturing gorgeous photos between the raindrops!

1. Protect your camera

It's crucial to protect your camera from the rain. I enjoy embracing the elements and atmosphere that come along with weather, but I always ensure I protect my gear. Rain sleeves are a fantastic solution when you purposefully or accidentally get caught in the rain. So keep one tucked away inside your camera bag for such occasions. I recommend...

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How to Capture Beautiful Images In-Between Seasons

Spring hasn't officially arrived quite yet, and it'll still be some time before spring starts blooming up North here in Canada. This in-between season's stage we're in right now is not really all that pretty. There's half-melted snow piles and mud puddles galore. There's squelch and dead all over the forests. All that yuck and muck isn't attractive, but I still have this desire to capture beautiful images, so how do I go about my photography even when it's unsightly? Today I'm sharing with you some ideas about how you can still capture the beauty in your life, within your images, during the in-between seasons. 

1. Crop out the unsightly 

Compose your pictures in a way that crops out what is unattractive. This might mean cropping in on your subject to avoid dirty and melting snow piles. Try and shoot through something pretty, like the branches of an evergreen tree. Or use a telephoto lens so that you have less environment in your image. 

ISO 400, 130mm,...
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Finding and Photographing Creative Indoor Shadows

It's finally happening! The daylight has begun to increase noticeably. Winter up here in the North will stick around until at least April and maybe beyond, but I'm happy to see a significant brightening in the light within my home. I thoroughly enjoy exploring this return in light, and I find my creativity is rejuvenated with the light. I like to think about how I can use the newly returned light and shadow in fun and creative ways. Here are a few ideas about how you can use light and shadow in your images.

1. Look for shadows from windows

Window shadows are some of my favourite ways in which to use light and shadow creatively. Watch for light and shadow during different times of the day as the sun enters your home. Think about how you can use this light and infuse this often creative light and shadow into your images.

There are many different ways in which you can use the same light source and window in your images and create different looks. Try backlighting, side lighting...

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6 Ways to Boost Creativity and Avoid a Rut

This time of year is tough for me. Outdoors it's still wintering with bitter chilly winds that I'm tired of enduring. Indoors, the light is getting more plentiful, but it isn't quite as cheery and bright as I'd like. Predictably, I find myself falling into a bit of a rut this time of year. So I thought I'd brainstorm some ways for me and maybe you too, to feel less rut-like and more inspired to photograph all the beautiful everyday moments. 

1. Just have fun

Rut equals blah. I find that sometimes I need to do the opposite of what I'm feeling to force myself out of a mood. Kick that negative self-fulfilling prophecy in the behind and jump into a more positive frame of mind. For me, the opposite of blah is energy. My children, even though they are getting older, still love to be silly. So let's bring on the silliness and laughter. Activities like jumping on the bed or couch, building a fort out of pillows, or even a trip to the park are bound to spark energy and fun...

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A New Year with New Goals

I think the development of a photographer is quite incredible. The embodiment of being a photographer has two correlating journeys, one in technique and one as an artist. Photography techniques can continuously improve through practice. Art is also ever-evolving. I think that's exciting and it is also one of the things I love about this never-ending journey called photography. The ability to continuously learn and grow is attractive to me. 

The beginning of a New Year is undoubtedly a time for self-reflection and one in which personal goals are often set. As a means to help you move forward in your development as a photographer, goal setting is an excellent idea. Here are a few things to think about this year as you begin to set your goals.  

1. Set small goals

As noted, the development of a photographer is never-ending. There's no finish line, and there's a lot to learn. Set small, attainable goals. This will help you from putting too much pressure on...

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