This is a post about how my photos went from this:
To this, with Photoshop:
Then to this:
And this with Photoshop:
I don't know if you have noticed, but last summer I learned how to use my digital camera. I can relate to any of you who have been frustrated with digital photography! Maybe you create beautiful projects, but can't show them off because you can't get good photos? Maybe your kids are the cutest, but their photos aren't?
Well, my photography skills changed in a matter of hours with just a couple bits of understanding and today I'm here to pass that on to you!
First, you'll need to take your camera out of auto and place it into manual mode. (Believe it or not, but that first pic was shot in auto. Yep, that's what my camera thought was best.)
I'm using a pretty common camera, so your's might look a lot like mine. (I did have to shoot the pics of my camera with my cell phone!)
To get started, these are all the buttons you really need to worry about..... well and the one that you press when you actually "shoot"!
Your camera shows you a bunch of information on this screen. It also has this info inside. Press the "shoot" button halfway down to see it.
With this and the above charts you are well on your way to better pics! All of the following tips came my way from my sister Becky and I love her for them.
1. Focus exactly on what you want to be in focus.
2. Press the "shoot" button half way down and notice the following things (exposure, f-stop and shutter speed)
These three things impact each other. So, let me give you a quick and very simple explanation of how I think about them.
Shutter speed is how long the lens will be open. The longer it is open, the more light gets let in.
F-stop is how wide your lense opens up, the lower the number, the more light gets in. There's a lot more to this, but keep in mind that the lower the number, the shallower your depth of field. This means things in front and behind where you focus will be blurry.
Exposure is your camera's way of telling you if your photo will be too light or too dark. If your camera tells you your photo will be too light (over-exposed) or too dark (under-exposed), you can change your shutter speed, or your f-stop to fix it. BEWARE: Your camera lies!
OK, now let's get back to our photo!
3. Your shutter speed must be 1/60 or faster to avoid "shutter-shake" blurrying, unless you are using a tripod. The smaller the bottom number, the slower your shutter speed, so don't let that number get smaller than 60.
4. I overexpose almost every photo by at least one exposure. If I am shooting against white, in front of the window like in the above pic of Abby, or my subject is mostly light values, I will over-expose by two full exposures. (Underexposure shows to the left and overexposure shows to the right of the center point.)
5. I usually pick the f-stop that allows me the biggest depth of field (the highest number) while still allowing me my 1/60 shutter speed and 1-2 overexposures.
6. I focus exactly where I want the eye to go.
7. I shoot.
Keep in mind, this is your starting point and a very brief/ general introduction to using your camera in manual. But, this is exactly the advice I followed!
Now, just a few months later, I can manipulate and adjust these three factors much better. This jar was shot in a sunny, daylit room. I underexposed them to make it look like evening. I used a short depth of field because my walls have texture and it was distracting without the blurring effect.
This pic of Jack was shot at 6:45 am, before the time change. It was still mostly dark outside, but the low f-stop gave me plenty of light to work with.
With this card pic guess what... I didn't use photoshop at all!