The Truth About Photography

 
photography tips
Today, my friends, I return to a topic very close to my heart: photography. Photography that we love, that we enjoy and that makes us happy.

I’m making my way back to the thorny topic of equipment and its association with producing a great image.

Now, before we get too deeply in let me say one thing: if you’re a professional photographer whose shots will go to print then I fully accept that clarity, focus and lighting all need to be spot on. But does anyone and everyone who has a penchant to snap away need to invest thousands in the latest state-of-the art camera?

No.

And more to the point, will it make that him or her a better photographer? You can bet your bo-diddly that it won’t make any difference whatsoever. Well, it will possibly cause a few frustrated moments as they get to grips with their new almost certainly ‘over-spec’d-for-what-they-need’ device.

For me photography is and always will be an art. If you have a larger digital (or not) single lens reflex camera then you’ll need to understand a few basics, but after that? Let your imagine and creativity run wild! Because that’s what will make all the difference.

If I had a pound for every time I’d been asked on Twitter what type of camera I use … Well, I’d have enough to splurge in an over-the-top upgrade, most probably!

So, for the record, these are the cameras I use:

A secondhand Olympus E3 (favourite lenses are my 50mm and 14-54mm)
A newer Canon 550D
A Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 – a nice little point-and-shoot that I regret to say I use less and less these days in favour of …
My iPhone – without a doubt the one I use most, because? I’ve always got it with me.

This, for example, is one of my favourite photos of my boy Ben, taken around four years ago with said Lumix; I was lying on the floor as he was giggling away at a cartoon on TV (I liked it so much I had it put onto canvas and it now hangs over the fireplace in our bedroom)

Bcanvas_web

Now I suppose if I had £20k lying around I might be tempted to go and upgrade, but I know deep down it will barely make a difference because it’s all about the capture.

The moment.

That ‘je ne sais quoi’ that you can’t define technically.

The other day Ben grabbed an old Sony Cybershot that I’d passed on to him some time ago, and as I watched him taking snaps of everything and anything around the house I realised that the one gift he still has that most of us lose is this: he has no preconceptions or hesitations about ‘the right way’ to take a photograph.

  • He lay on the floor with the camera taking shots at ground level.
  • He swung the camera through the air as he pressed the shutter.
  • He snapped abstracts without even thinking.

Ben1_web_car

In short, he saw the camera as something to have a bit of fun with. He wasn’t worried that someone with a bigger, better and more expensive piece of kit was going to look down their nose at what he’d taken.

So, in short …. what am I saying exactly today?

Don’t get hoodwinked.

The only thing you need to remember when it comes to your photography is to keep your eyes open. Experiment! And if you need ideas, take a look at this piece on experimenting with white balance to give you a flavour of what’s possible with limited means.

There is a photo opportunity everywhere and anywhere, I promise you that.

And don’t ever become bogged down in technique. Untether your beliefs about what makes a great photo, because the truth is this:

It’s you that will make your photos great.

 

Winter Photography: Snow on the Ground …

 
It’s that time of year again. Snow is on the ground so let’s bring on a spot of winter photography!

I’ll freely admit, usually I’ll head on out to take photos in the snow full of excitement and then when I get back home and start editing I’ll quickly realise that taking a good photograph of (and in) the snow is not easy! White balance is usually all over the place, your fingers are not likely to thaw out for a week as you try to tap away on your keyboard and the beauty you saw through the viewfinder somehow isn’t coming across …

This is where I’ll hold my hands up and admit that Photoshop is my dearest friend. I can’t help it. I find snow a bit boring on the screen, but with a dash or two of a Photoshop action I can spruce my pics up to look a tad more romantic than they were when they came out of the camera.

There, the secret is out! But I suppose a little like I’m convinced that I look better with a bit of make-up on, I also think I can make my winter photos a little more enticing with Adobe’s cosmetic touch-ups ;)

Still, it doesn’t detract from the fact that snow is indeed very beautiful, and although I’ve been known to swear and curse at it at times it does grace the landscape around our Lincolnshire home very well.

Here are a few photos I captured yesterday, and with a deluge of the white stuff forecast tomorrow I’m suspecting this will not be the last of my winter photography pieces!

Enjoy, and please feel free to share your photo tips in the comments below …

Lincolnshire

snow photography

winter in Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire snow

Lincolnshire winter

There’s no two ways about it, we are very blessed to be living in a wonderfully rural part of the country that shows off natures white wonder to greatest effect. I recall slushy town roads all too well. Here we have a few monumental tractors ploughing up and down the lanes to quickly disperse any snow.

I’m wondering if I’ll be quite so keen to get my camera out if the current cold snap continues. I suspect my endeavours may be directed towards making pan loads of veggie soup and tanking up the wood burner. Who knows … Let’s make the most of it while we can and perhaps drink a toast or two to Jack Frost while we secretly long for a few spring buds to appear … maybe!

Until the next time … keep warm!

social media bootcamp

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Well, I have to be honest … I still can’t quite believe that in five days we’ll be celebrating the big HoHoHo! Day (when did we start calling it that, by the way?!?)

I think I’m almost done decorating and trimming up the Grand Old Lady, although I’m fairly certain that a fabulous project will grab me on Pinterest later and I’ll convince myself that one more won’t hurt.

Here are a few snapshots of how she’s looking; now let me see what I can do with some old jars and a few sprigs of rosemary … ;)

Ribbon-wrapped cider bottles! May look to carry this over to more projects in the new year …

I painted some old terracotta pots with gold acrylic paint, filled with moss and holly sprigs, added a candle … Et voilá!

I love these giant pine cones! Again, painted in gold acrylic and suspended with sumptuous red satin ribbon.

This ribbon ornament was made from wired metallic ribbon. What I love about these is that you can quickly add some large statement pieces to a slightly bare tree (for the first time we have a nine foot tree this year, and a shortfall in baubles!)

No handywork here … I just like the bokeh effect!

And again … loving the bokeh ;)

I’m very much a “less is more” kind of girl, so this year I opted for Scots pine branches interwoven with fairy lights only on our lovely marble mantlepiece in the sitting room. The smell is to die for!

So there we have it … for now. I have almost a hundred hours before the big day, don’t I? Let’s see what I can come up with ;)

Until the next time!

Debs x

 

Ho ho ho! He’s on his way …

 
Happy “almost Christmas” Friday, everyone!

This week has been a mad panicky rush to get the house decorated in time for the big day … I’m telling myself I’m 75% there but I think realistically it’s closer to 30%. Hey ho, who needs sleep?!

Anyway, the good news is the tree is decorated and every inch of its gorgeous nine feet looks quite beautiful.

I had the idea of taking a slightly different portrait of my boy with said tree, so I got snappy with the camera the other night. Here’s my favourite shot so far:

Hope your preparations are going fabulously well! Until the next time …

Debs x

Seeing Red!



 
Well … here we are all safely installed and now living in our delightful ‘Grand Old Lady’! It seems little more than a dream …. She is every inch what I expected; full of character and with the odd draft but teeming with potential and history.

We’re still in the very early stages of even being vaguely organised, but as I now have a semi-functioning office I’ve taken the time to go through a few shots on my camera.

Here’s one of a very beautiful tree on the front lawn; can anyone tell me what sort it is? Its red foliage looked rather splendid today against the azure blue autumnal sky …

And here are a couple of our beloved Red Arrows in action a few weeks ago. We’re so very lucky to seem them almost on a daily basis as they’re based at RAF Scampton, just a stones throw from here.

OK, so now I’d better try and get on with some unpacking, cook some supper and finish some ironing ;)

Until the morrow, dear friends!

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