Author Topic: A few photography tips for us amateurs!  (Read 4133 times)

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Offline Codysmom

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A few photography tips for us amateurs!
« on: October 08, 2016, 01:29:31 pm »
We all love sharing our gorgeous fur babies so I thought it would be nice to share a few tips that I've picked up along the way that have helped me.
Hopefully some professional photographer will join the forum sometime.

I thought to start it off really slowly and easily as I know most only have phones or use the auto settings on their cameras. So this is for all of you! :)

A common mistake we make is seeing our furbaby in a cute pose and we grab the phone/camera and just shoot.

This was Katy sleeping next to the window, with her face in the shade....cute pose, but the sunlight was behind her and this caused the camera to pic up the backlight and that caused her face to be very dark and little detail.


TIP: I should have moved my camera so that the camera didn't 'see' the backlight  or put something inbetween the window and her to allow the settings on the camera to show her up lighter. (Hope I'm making sense here, lol, I'm trying to put it in layman's terms).

Try if at all possible to move yourself between the natural light (window) and the subject and then take the photo, like this. (No editing done on this pic)

Katy was sitting on a table watching the birds through the window which was great for me as I had the ability to stand in a position that caught her sweet expression, ears forward, eyes in the light. Our house is rather dark so I'm always looking for ways to use the natural light as best I can.

Mittens was in my bathroom the other day and saw Mittens sitting in an IDEAL spot as far as lighting goes. She had a window with sunlight coming in from the one side and the bathroom door on the other side with the light shining into the bedroom on the other side, I couldn't let the opportunity pass so I grabbed my camera and got this pic.

The downside in this particular setting was that it had a very busy background. To help with that problem I moved in closer to her to try and eliminate most of the unwanted background, but not so close as to distort her face (some lenses do that, make the poor kitty look top heavy). But I was rewarded with good lighting and to get her attention I was wiggling some hair ties I found lying there, that got her attention, and I got a cute pic! :)

These are just a FEW easy to fix tips that I thought to post to start us off. Please feel free to post your 'problem pics' here and we can try and help you improve. Don't feel any question is too dumb to ask, we will learn together and we're here to help each other. Nothing lovelier than been able to take a great pic, whether it's a fur baby, or a family member, nature etc.

Please mention if there is something specific you need to know...we'll do what we can to help out.



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Offline Linda

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Re: A few photography tips for us amateurs!
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2016, 01:49:41 pm »
Colleen, here are some of my problems that maybe you can help me out with.

The cats sit a lot on the window seats or the tower. Neither of those places give me a way to get between them and the light that is coming in. I have tried to put myself in all sorts of different places to help stop the shadowing, but have not been very successful. When I try to "hide" the light coming in, they see me and move from the cute position that I was attempting to capture in the first place. So, my question in this instance is..

What can I use to possibly (and easily, as to not disturb the pose) equalize the light by adding more to the interior room. If I use the camera flash, I get all of that unwanted red eye. I've tried using a small lamp in one hand, but that didn't put out enough light (or maybe I wasn't using it properly to get the most out of it) to offset the natural light from behind. When I try to get close enough to make most of the back light go away, the pic gets distorted or once again the kitty gets disturbed and moves.  I have also found that if I do not hold the camera very still with both hands, that I cannot get a clear shot.

I do get some decent pics when they are laid out on the bed, because when they are there, I do have the ability to get the light behind me...that is why most all of the pics I post or have sent to you have been taken with them on my bed...Plus, they are the most comfortable and less likely to move when they are there....but even there I still get lighting issues..

Getting the lighting RIGHT is definitely my biggest issue!

Thanks for all of your great tips! And as far as I am concerned...WE DO HAVE A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER as a member here!  :)
BTW my prints arrived yesterday and they are AWESOME!  Happy Birthday to ME! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
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Re: A few photography tips for us amateurs!
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2016, 01:49:41 pm »

Offline Codysmom

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Re: A few photography tips for us amateurs!
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2016, 02:00:19 pm »
Do you ever have someone around who can assist you? Take a sheet of tin foil and use it as a reflector, just try it out somewhere to see what I mean. Get the natural light to reflect onto your subject, this is much better than a lamp. A lamp although not bad, does cause a yellowing effect in the photo. I am forced to use it sometimes, but try and avoid it. Fortunately I do have a reflector which helps a LOT. But a sheet of foil or a large white cardboard also helps to reflect light a bit. Am I making sense? LOL
You could take a piece of thick cardboard and cover one side with foil and rest it against something in a position that reflects the light onto your subject. I do something like this sometimes and then you do have two free hands to take the pic. If you have someone good to help you, then they could hold it for you while you're taking the shot.

Lol, the things we do to get 'the right shot!' :D
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Offline Linda

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Re: A few photography tips for us amateurs!
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2016, 02:11:11 pm »
Those are great tips and YES they make perfect sense! I typically have no help, but will do what I can to utilize the cardboard covered idea. That is a great help and sounds reasonably easy. I can also keep it close at hand to use as needed.

I will let you know how this goes, once I've had the chance to incorporate it.

and yeah, I have also noticed that unwanted yellowing when using a lamp..
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Offline Codysmom

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Re: A few photography tips for us amateurs!
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2016, 02:21:28 pm »
Please post pics you've taken using the reflector along with anything you learned from it. That way we can all improve together and I think it'll be a lot of fun!

Hopefully Linda p will be able to chime in with some of her tips too, and anyone else who has something helpful/useful to contribute.
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Offline Codysmom

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Re: A few photography tips for us amateurs!
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2016, 02:32:12 pm »
Fosco was lying against the window here doing some bird watching. It was quite a job getting myself into position to take this pic, but I loved the 'look' he had on his face.


(I just edited out the background here, but him I kept as is. I didn't like the window screen, it was distracting)
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Offline Linda

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Re: A few photography tips for us amateurs!
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2016, 02:35:49 pm »
Awww that is a very sweet pose of my special boy!  I adore that fellow!
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Offline Linda

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Re: A few photography tips for us amateurs!
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2016, 02:39:47 pm »
I would join in on siggy contests if I could actually remove backgrounds so I could create new ones...THAT is an impossibility for me. I can go to places like pic monkey and add things to pics (or maybe even hide some background interferrences by covering them over with add ons, but I cannot get the backgrounds to go away completely like you can. I always count on you to do that for me. :)
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Offline Codysmom

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Re: A few photography tips for us amateurs!
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2016, 02:44:16 pm »
The best is to as far as possible remove as much background interference as possible. Although I know that isn't always possible. One has to just learn to be aware of the background as well as the subject.
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Offline Rebecca

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Re: A few photography tips for us amateurs!
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2016, 09:02:02 pm »
Found an tutorial for removing background in picmonkey

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Re: A few photography tips for us amateurs!
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2016, 09:02:02 pm »

Offline Meggins

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Re: A few photography tips for us amateurs!
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2018, 09:39:00 pm »
I am looking forward to getting back into my picture taking mode! Now that I am retired I hope to jump back in with both feet. Even though my job was from my home it was still time-consuming...

I will check back frequently for more tips!  :D
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Offline Rebecca

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Re: A few photography tips for us amateurs!
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2018, 11:11:57 pm »
That would be nice.  If I remember correctly you take some beautiful landscape photos as well
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Offline Canizales

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Re: A few photography tips for us amateurs!
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2018, 05:12:32 pm »
I am looking forward to getting back into my picture taking mode! Now that I am retired I hope to jump back in with both feet. Even though my job was from my home it was still time-consuming...

I will check back frequently for more tips!  :D

Go for it, Meggins! Maybe give us some of the tips of your own.
 

Offline Teresa

Re: A few photography tips for us amateurs!
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2018, 05:15:38 pm »
Meg - I've always loved the pics you take - especially from around New York!
 

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Re: A few photography tips for us amateurs!
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2018, 05:15:38 pm »

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