Are you snap happy? After vacation, a celebration or just going to dinner- are you left with an over flowing camera roll? Do you believe that a live well lived is a life well documented? What happens when documenting leaves you feeling overwhelmed?
Is it time to organize your photo life?
Sometimes it’s necessary to take multiple shots in order to maximize your chances of getting “the one”. For instance capturing babies (doing anything) or busy pets. The key to this is to choose your favorites right after shooting. The first thing I do is cull them — deleting any and all images that are blurry, accidental bursts, closed eyes or poorly lit. This helps me spend time editing the photos that are the ones I love the most, and it also helps me feel less overwhelmed when it’s time to choose what images I want to share to social media or print. Once I have narrowed a batch down, put all of my favorites into one folder. (When you press the star button below the photo, it goes into the already-set-up favorites folder). Then, I edit those few which best represent the moment I was trying to capture.
Start using the albums tool on your phone to organize your memories. Create albums based on both the year & occasion so you have a place for every picture that is meaningful. Add photos into their corresponding album as you go — it’s so much easier to find them in there than in the depths of your camera roll. By organizing your best shots intentionally it’s easy make gifts or just find to show or refer to later (collecting photos for that renovation?).
Consider using a few apps to help stay organized. First, iCloud photo sharing (which is already on the iphone with iOS). Here, you can make different collections and allow others to contribute (perfect for making a shared book for a friend or family member!). Ypu can also use Google PhotoScan to scan so that all of my photos are in one place — on your phone. Also, Google Photos is a great tool for backing up / auto-organizing your photos. At the end of every few months, upload all of your photos there.
Creating stylish and minimal photo books straight from your phone is simple. So easy that, you can make one every year! For birthdays, milestones, holidays — anything is an excuse to print out my images. Tangible memories. You can rest easy at night knowing that your photos exist — in real life. But– they ultimately end up on an external hard drive, in case of the apocalypse. You know.
Be sure you get them saved in a 2nd location (like an external hard drive or even a USB stick). Then put that in your fire box or safe deposit box.
Don’t risk losing your family history, by keeping them ONLY on the phone.
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My back yard was perfect for this vintage session last week! We got it in just before the leaves fell.
I had been planning this concept for a while—a 20’s era, feminine type of shoot. Something VERY different for me. I began checking out Goodwill and other thrift shops. I saw this dress (on the Halloween rack) and walked away from it 2 times before I decided to just go for it. BUT, it had no size, so I started holding it up to women in the gym and finally got a friend I was having lunch with to go into the ladies room and try it on!
Next- the model just fell into my lap- the daughter of the other friend with us for lunch. And it fit like it was made for her. Next, I purchased a twig wreath from Michaels, attached some silk flowers to it and pulled out a shawl my grandmother had made for me. My mom happened to have an umbrella that at one time brides sat under for their bridal shower. (Do they still do that?) Allie came with soft curls, light makeup and great shoes. Mother nature cooperated with beautiful colors on the trees, and the perfect amount of filtered sunlight.
This is just a sampling, playing with B&W and minimal color. Final photos with vintage looks coming soon!
If you think the moon looks eerily large this weekend you are not crazy - it’s the Super Moon. This full moon will be the closest and largest of 2013, but it is not as close as the one from 2011.
Want to grab a photo? Here are some tips. I hope you will share your photos on brenPhotography Facebook page next week.
You may need to get out the instruction manual, but it will be worth it.
Set your camera to full manual.
Use a tripod. Or place your camera on a stable surface. The reason for using a tripod is simple -for sharper images, a tripod can help.
Hold your breath when pushing the shutter – again to avoid camera shake and a blurry photo.
Use a fairly fast shutter speed (around 1/125). The moon moves fairly fast, and slow exposures can show movement and thus blur. Also the moon is bright so you do not need to let as much light in as you might think.
Use a fairly large F-stop. In situations like this, where you are aiming for lots of detail, you are better off at f9, f11, or even f16.
Keep your ISO low. At ISO 100.
Bracket exposures. Do multiple exposures by bracketing, or changing one of your settings (ISO, shutter speed, or F-stop) to be sure you get the best shot, especially if you want to expose for the moon and clouds.
Manually focus. Do not rely on autofocus. Instead set your focus manually for sharper images with more detail and textures.
Consider what is around you. Most submissions and shares on Facebook are of the moon on the black sky. This shows details in the actual moon. But they all start to look alike. Shooting the moon near the horizon with some ambient light and surroundings like mountains or water, adds another interesting component to the images.
Photograph soon after the moon rises. The moon tends to be more dramatic and appears larger when it comes over the horizon. Through the night it will slowly appear smaller.
Graduation day is tough for adults. They go to the ceremony as parents. They come home as comtemporaries. After 22 years of child raising, they are unemployed.
I can’t believe it- I am the parent of a college graduate!
It doesn’t feel quite like yesterday that I brought her into the world. Remembering those early days of motherhood seems more like walking around a neighborhood I lived in long ago — familiar, yet vaguely dream-like, with some of the important details completely elusive.
On the other hand, it actually does feel as if I just dropped off my daughter as a college freshman. While mature then, she has grown even more mature and self-assured today.
Throughout the weekend I experienced an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the support my daughter and I have received along the way. Much of it came in the form of likely candidates such as family and friends; other people though, crossed our paths for just a moment in time.
Congratulaions to you, Kathryn, and all this year's grads. May you follow the right path and have a life filled with love and happiness.
Mother’s Day has come and gone. That means the days are getting longer, the temperature is on the rise, and all around me, flowers are starting to bloom. This is a great opportunity to grab a camera and capture some of the natural beauty around us, whether it's in your backyard, at the local park, or along a hiking trail just out of town. So. let's focus on tips for capturing some great flower photos.
Know When to Get in Close
More often than not, flowers look their best when you get in close, which often calls for using a macro lens or dialing in the macro setting on your camera. Macro mode lets you get very close to your subject, filling the frame with small details. The macro setting is generally marked with a tulip.
Try shooting with the interesting bits of the flower parallel to the lens, so everything is equidistant from the lens and in focus
In this shot only one small portion of the hibiscus's stamen is in focus.
Shooting in macro mode can be challenging because the depth of field is so narrow--and the closer you get to the subject, the smaller your region of sharp focus will be. That can sometimes be an advantage because it blurs the background so you can emphasize your subject, the flower.
However, you might also consider not working in macro mode at all. Many cameras allow you to get reasonably close to your subject (within a foot or so) even in normal focusing mode, and you'll have a lot more depth of field if you keep some distance. That makes it easier to ensure everything that's important to you stays in focus.
You don't have to be so close that you can see dew drops glistening--backing off can give you great results, as you see here.
Choose Your Background
If you're really close to the flower, your background will often blur away into oblivion thanks to the narrow depth of field. But there's more you can do to set the mood for your photo. You might try shooting against a background that complements your subject's key col
The foliage around your flower can make a lush green backdrop. And if you shoot from under the flower, up towards the sky, you can get a gorgeous blue or overexpose the sky so it's white, like a giant piece of foam board.
The sky was the backdrop in this photo
So get out in the great weather this weekend and photograph those flowers that are beginning to bloom in your garden.
Then post them on my facebook page, or my PINTEREST Share Your Photos board!