Catch ‘em while you can…
Since becoming the mom of two gorgeous girls I’ve actually been finding myself taking less pictures instead of more. Well less with my DSLR anyways and much less than I did of my eldest daughter Sophie. I suppose I had more time on my hands and could spend all day marveling at her little toes, her funny little faces and capturing her every squirm. I probably took more photos of Sophie in her first week than have done of Mollie in her whole 7 weeks. I guess that’s what comes with having to run around after a 2 1/2 yr old as well as a newborn.
I’ve heard of this before. My mother in law (mom to 3 boys) has told me about her first-born’s beautiful baby book, full of pictures and journal entries. She could tell you everything from when he had his first smile to how many diapers he went through a day (well almost). The middle child’s (my husband) book was a little less detailed with less pictures and the youngest’s is merely a shoebox of photos – one of him as an infant, the next his first day at Kindergarten
I’m not too worried though. Not having a digital camera by my side all the time hasn’t been a problem because I’ve found myself using something I didn’t have when I had Sophie – my iPhone. Not only do I have facebook to keep me company at the 3am feed, I can listen to my Podcasts while she’s fussing and I have a camera at the ready to capture all those cute smiles and giggles that are just spontaneous. Put that together with some of the cool Apps out there and I think I haven’t done too bad. What do you think?
This was done using Picnik in my web browser. I’m loving it’s simplicity right now.
And of course I would have missed this in the car:
Cute eh? Sometimes you’re better not to be too contrived. It doesn’t always matter about the technicalities – just BE in the moment and try to preserve the memory, in whatever way you can.
What spur of the moment pictures have you taken that have ended up being some of your favorites? Please share them in the comments below.
1. I love the SITS community and find it an incredible resource for a wide variety of information.
2. I really needed a bit of a kick to get my photography moving again. Because it’s been difficult to move around these days due to my impending “big event” I’ve hardly been taking any pictures – a terrible shame.
3. I think because I spend so much time teaching others about photography I’ve forgotten how much fun it is to take direction from someone else and simply put myself in the shoes of the student.
So for the past week I’ve tried to put all of my “know-how” to one side and focused on following along with the SITS Spring into Action Photo challenge expertly led by Lynda Giddens. Although I haven’t been able to blog about it daily I have been keeping up with the tips and most importantly, taking pictures every day!
Here’s what we covered on days 1 and 2.
Day 1 We were encouraged to consider Perspective and Composition. We looked at changing our point of view, shooting down low, from above and from the side. We were also told to think carefully about composing our shots thoughtfully using some of the “Rules” of photography such as the Rule of Thirds.
Instead of shooting the obvious (my DD) I decided to head outside and see what I could find and this is what I came up with.
Day 2 was all about editing our pics using some of the free online photo editors out there. I have to say that I really was impressed with the options that some of these offer and I’m working on a blog post that will review some of the most popular ones.
One of the coolest features online editors have is the ability to make photo collages in seconds – literally. Here’s one I made of my dandelions.
Seriously if I were to do this in Photoshop I’d be at it for at least 20 mins and this took about 2! For this one I used Big Huge Labs.
And finally I tried out Picnik. I’ve used it several times before but it was nice to give myself a bit of time just to play around in there and see what I could come up with quickly.
Here are the results showing the before and after shots:
Let me know what you think! I’m off to catch up on Day 3 and 4!
Picaboo Calendar Giveaway!!
This week I have something special for all my readers here on the blog. My friends over at Picaboo.com have given me a free 11 x 14 Premium calendar to give away to one lucky ready – a retail value of $29.99! I’ve been a fan of Picaboo and creating photobooks there for a while now and their calendars are a great way to try out their services.
With more than 40 themes and hundreds of backgrounds to choose from, and the ability to create your own from scratch, Picaboo makes it easy and fun to create gorgeous calendars that will make it hard to resist flipping to the next month. Photo pages are completely customizable allowing you to move photos and captions anywhere on a page – so easy to do. They recently added editable calendar grids, which allow you to personalize special dates with important dates like birthdays, anniversaries, or anything else you want to be sure to remember I think this is a super cool feature and makes your calendar truly unique.
The Premium calendar features 12 laminated, glossy photo pages that give your pictures a little extra pop, and matte date pages allow for easy writing. Use photos from 2010 to create the perfect gift that is enjoyed every day of 2011!
Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment below telling me you’d like to win – How’s that for easy?!
Extra Entry: “Like” CameraShy on Facebook and leave a comment below telling me that you did
Extra Entry: Subscribe to Snapshot – my Newsletter (see above right) and leave a comment below telling me you did
Extra Entry : Follow me on Twitter – leave comment below letting me know you did
That’s 4 possible entries peeps!
The contest will end on Tuesday Jan 18th at 9pm EST and the winner will be contacted by email on Wednesday Jan 19th.
Please note that the contest is for a coupon code which will allow the winner to create their own fully customizable Premium calendar. It does not cover the cost of shipping. The coupon will expire on 2/15/11 – this could be a great Valentine’s
Day gift for a friend or loved one! Order by Monday, 2/1 to ensure delivery by Valentine’s Day with Ground shipping (within the continental US).
Testing Flickr Slideshow
Have you tried Canvas Photo Printing ?
This week I’m eventually getting around to enlarging and framing my daughter’s first year pictures. Well, I was going to get some of them framed but the cost of getting large format frames has been putting me off. So for a lot of pictures I’ve opted instead for getting canvas prints from photos from the past year of her life. The funny thing is this is actually working out really inexpensive!
Canvas Photo Printing
Many people don’t realize that you can get canvas prints from photos that you already have on your hard drive. Thanks to wonderful digital printing technology , these personalized piece of art can be yours with a few clicks of the mouse. For my prints I’ve opted to use Canvas People . I’m always cautious about getting prints made online – I guess it comes from my background in printing and extremely high standards! Canvas People are actually giving away a free Canvas print this month so it’s a great way to try out their quality with no risk.
Advantages of Canvas Prints
One of the best things about canvas prints from photos is that you can go really big with your picture without having to worry about having to buy and hang a big expensive frame. Canvases are so lightweight that can be hung on virtually any wall.
Pieces of Art
The canvas wraps around the frame, (sometimes known as a gallery wrap) and gives a wonderful professional finish. They have a look of an oil painting and also have a special protective coating to protect from dust and dirt.
Unique and personalized
Canvas prints make wonderful unique and personalized gifts for those hard to buy for people in your life.
Tips for Canvas Photo Printing
- I think that canvas photo printing works best for extreme close up shots of kids (think big blue eyes popping off the canvas) and landscape or travel photos. These types of pictures really lend themselves to this format.
- Make sure your colors are vibrant and rich. In my experience, Canvas prints tend to make colors look a little less vibrant, so it’s important that your pictures not washed out to begin with.
- Make sure you upload a high resolution shot. Going big means you’ll need lots of pixels so make sure your saving your image in the highest quality
- Crop carefully – as the canvas will wrap around the frame, make sure that you allow for this when uploading your image. The software that Canvas People use gives you a great visual on where your image will go around the edges.
- When your enlarging pictures for display on your wall remember that you probably need to get them enlarged bigger than you think you need to. This is especially true for Canvas Prints because you wont have the added size of a mat and a frame molding in your finished product.
- Make groups or themes of prints that go together. Putting together a triptych (3 pics of the same subject) or several picts of the same theme is a great way of displaying your pictures and canvas prints are an idea way to showcase this kind of work.
- Consider using Black and White/ Sepia for a different feel for your Canvas Prints. Use a software program such as Photoshop Elements to achieve this look.
I hope I’ve inspired you to try out some Canvas Prints from photos that you have sitting on your hard drive. Why not check out Canvas People for yourself and get a free canvas print of your own to get you started!
The eternal quest for the best Digital SLR Camera Bag
So I’ve got the diaperbag, I’ve got the laptop, I’ve got my purse and I’ve got my Digital SLR camera bag. How on earth am I going to get all of this plus my 18 month old on a transatlantic flight to Ireland this summer? Well, careful packing will get me so far but the ever changing regulations on baggage allowance are so tight I’ve decided that I’m treating myself to a new digital SLR camera bag from Crumpler.
I’m going all out and going to splurge on the 8 Million Dollar Home bag which has room for a full size Digital SLR, big zoom lens, my laptop and loads more extra space. I love the Crumpler range of camera bags mainly because they don’t look like a camera bag! They have a whole variety of shapes and sizes so there’s bound to be one in there to fit your requirements not to mention style.
As the name suggests, the 8 million dollar home does not come cheap but when you’ve spent serious money on your gear it’s worth spending a little extra on a good quality bag to haul it around in.
Plus these bags are really comfortable to wear and if you’ve ever used a bag that’s not comfortable you’ll know what a pain it is – Frustrating and can sometimes put you off taking your camera with you. Not Good!
The same can also be said if your DSLR camera bag is difficult to access, to close or just doesn’t have enough room from everything. These bags have heaps of space and lots of dividers inside so you can customize the interior to suit your needs. The outside is made of a water resistant Nylon which will be great in the lovely Irish weather!
It looks like I will meet the handluggage requirements on my flight after all as my new Crumpler digital SLR Camera bag even has room for a few diapers and a sippy cup!
PS You can find the complete range of Crumpler Cags here . They have every size, shape and almost every color!
Check out Digital Frame HQ
So you’ve figured out how to use your camera. You know how to make your pictures pretty using Photoshop. Now what do you do with all your photos? Share them of course! And where best to share your pictures then in your living room using one of the latest Digital Frames? I’ve recently discovered a wonderful resource for buying digital frames - www.digitalframehq.com It really has a wonderful selection of frames at every price point from all the big manufacturers such as Sony, Kodak and Hewlett Packard.
The website is so easy to use – you can choose your frame based on size, brand or price. You can check out a really great image of the product your interested in too.
And one of my favorite things about Digital Frame HQ is their Learning Center which is a section of their website devoted to explaining all about their products and how best to use them. You can find out how to get your images onto your frame, wireless frames and how to set up your frame. Pretty cool stuff!
So don’t forget to check Digital Frame HQ here and do your pictures justice and frame those bad boys in a digital frame!
My interview with LadyT
Last Wednesday was March 17th which as everyone knows is St. Patrick’s Day, our Irish national holiday (and also one of my favorite days of the year!) As my regular readers already know I’m Irish through and through – no really - I was actually born there and lived the majority of my life there so it really is a special day for me!
Anyways, I just thought I’d let you know that I spent this glorious St Paddy’s day morning being interviewed on Blog Talk Radio on “For Powerful Women Only” about Adapting and Changing (to my life here in the US) and entrepreneurship and all sorts of other chit chat. The interview was such fun and was with Lady T “The Business Coach for Moms.” She an awesome coach! Even through the course of the interview, she was able to pull out of me some really interesting and thought provoking insights. Being a work from home/homeschooling/ mom of 5, she knows a thing or two about all the trials and tribulations that moms have while endeavoring to run a business. I am, as ever, a huge fan of hers and recommend her highly.
So, if you are interested in finding out a little about me and my background you might want to give the interview a listen here
And don’t forget to check out LadyT’s blog here for really awesome tips for women starting their own business.
Stuck for Creative Photography Ideas?
Sometimes it’s hard to get creatively charged to get out and take some pictures. I know I’ve felt it – how many more photos can I take around the same environment! I’ve completely exhausted all the possibilities – right? Creative photography ideas just are not jumping out at you right now? It’s a bit like writer’s block, except its photographer’s block I guess! Well, I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way – I’ve found a few ways to over come it!
First of all, I’ve been participating in (and helping to present) an awesome telecourse with Sheila Finklestein. You can check out her course info at Through and From the Lens. Sheila teaches how to see your world through fresh eyes and hence rejuvinating your photography skills. I’ve certainly found that I’m starting to look at things a little differently. Check out the faces I found in the trees in our yard. I’ve been inspired to create a whole series of them. (these guys have been around forever!)
I’ve been reminded to look at everything from different angles, close-up and at a distance. Looking at color, texture and thinking more about light. In these pictures I was looking for faces in nature.
Then this morning I discovered this new site thanks to the ever cool Photojojo - Noticin.gs (see what they’ve done there?) It’s a game really, played on Flickr.com. “Noticings are interesting things that you stumble upon when your out and about” You post your pics on Flickr and tag them with “noticings” and Geotag them with where they were taken.
You get points for noticing things like noticing the first thing in a neighborhood or noticing the same thing for a week. Seems like a great way to get into the habit of taking pictures on a regular basis – one of the key ways of improving your photography.
So I’m headed out to get creative and find some noticings before the snow hits Atlanta
A little late but none the less – Happy New Year!
So how many of you got a new digital camera for Christmas? Judging by my inbox – a lot of you! That’s my excuse for not being blogging as much lately. I’ve been out helping my clients around Atlanta get to grips with their new DSLRs. It’s been great fun but I just realized that I had gone a month without posting here and I’ve been neglecting my readers. So from now on I promise to write more regularly, with more tutorials, recommendations, reviews and all round great photography advice for beginners and anyone else who wants to listen!
So for this post I’m just going to try to encourage you to get out and start shooting and make 2010 the year when you really learn how to move out of Auto mode, get creative and really master your camera. I’m planning on learning a few new techniques myself and I’m challenging myself to improve my skill set to bring my photography to the next level. So let’s learn together – it’s always more fun that way, isn’t it?
If you are in the Atlanta area and would like to book a One-to-One private instruction lesson with me email me for my availability and more info at firstname.lastname@example.org