I've received a lot of emails in the past few months regarding questions about the photography on the Lune blog, so I thought it would be a good idea to do a general informative FAQ on what kind of process I go through, what tools we use, and some tips on basic photography for bloggers. Thank you for enjoying the blog, and I hope you'll find the information useful.
The Basic Tools
75 MM Standard Lens
I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Nikon. I purchased it just under a year ago and it's been one of the most enjoyable investments I've made in recent memory. It has so many features that make it the best choice for me. A few favorites are the very fast shutter speed, anti shake mode (I have a very shaky hand) and the beautiful big live view screen which turns down and flips to face you for easy self portraits. I instantly fell in love with it's Depth of Field (this is when a subject in the foreground is crisp, but the background is blurred and beautifully out of focus). It's low light capabilities are impressive, especially when used with a wide angle lens.
Speaking of Wide Angle lenses ... The photo above was taken at nighttime using the Nikon D5000 and a wide angle lens. My friend
recently joined the happy Nikon family, but hers is much bigger than mine. She shared her amazing lens collection with me and we took some pictures of us having a meeting in the park. The wide angle is my next big treat.
There are lots of other lenses, each giving your camera supernatural abilities of awesomeness (technically speaking). Macro is very useful if you're going to be taking a lot of product photo's for your online shop for example. I find it a challenge to use my standard lens for this purpose, and though I can work around it - a macro is pretty handy.
Other useful lenses are Portrait (used the first picture in this post), and Telephoto for long range shots.
These photo's were taken with NO FLASH. In fact, it was so dark out, I couldn't even see the camera so there's lots of shots where I'm looking slightly off to the left or right - or totally off! The only light source used was that of the mac's screen, and the faintest city glow. If you look closely (click any photo to see a larger version), even the stars are visible. This kind of shot would be impossible with a point and shoot.
When taking night photo's, use a tripod or place your camera on a safe stationary surface. If you aren't using a flash, you'll have to be aware of how long the shutter stays open. That's how long you'll have to stay still - or you'll get several overlay images like the one above. This is a fun photography trick, and it's how people do those
When it's daytime, always use natural light and turn your flash off. If you're shaky like me, use a tripod or even a mono pod to ensure a crisp photo.
When I purchased my $25 dollar remote, I realized I was a fool to go so long without one. No more arms length photo's or running back and forth to set the timer and press the shutter release. The remote is tiny, can be easily hidden, and focuses with you in the shot for a much crisper photo. It also allows you to take more photo's in a shorter amount of time, and takes more natural actions shots easily. Totally necessary.
Photo part of
Despite how owning a DSLR upped my game when it came to blog photography, I still use a point and shoot camera on a regular basis. The photo series above was take entirely with a
. I still bring this camera with me in my bag every day for just in case shots. The downside of only owning a DSLR is how inconveniently bulky they are and how expensive they are to fix and replace if you damage or loose them. In this case, I wasn't expecting to find such a hidden treasure at the beach, and didn't want sand or water near my camera baby. Luckily my trusty Elph was there, all covered in crumbs and gum wrappers. She got me through with a bit of natural light, and ....
I won't go into huge detail about this because (happily) L.A. already did in a series of before and after photo's about the use of 'actions'. Read all about what they are, where to get them, and how to use them
So if you're wondering how to get a vintage look to your digital photography, this is the answer. It also helps salvage less than attractive, slightly grainy or low contrast photography for use on your blog. It even helps minimize the color issues of basic flash photography. I also use photo shop actions to apply frames and borders on photo's, drop shadows, and rounded corners. It's fast and easy once you get the hang of it.
Taken using a Fish Eye Lens
YOU CAN TAKE BEAUTIFUL PICTURES YOURSELF!
My sister in law is an inspiring photographer, and is taking a pile of courses on the technique and practice of learning the craft. I'm confused and scared when she flicks that switch to manual, and starts adjusting settings left and right. The closest I came to that was screwing around with my ISO, which has something to do with light - all I know is it helped my cannon take better pics. I admire the skill of professional photographers and don't discount their knowledge for a second!
That being said, I know you can learn to take photo's of every day things that are beautiful, inspiring, and keep record of all the small moments that make up one big life. Practice, take LOTS of photo's, teach yourself how to use photo editing programs like Photoshop, use natural light, and have fun!
If I missed anything or you'd like to ask a more specific question regarding the photography you see on the Lune blog, just leave a comment on this post!
much love - Jill