Beginner Blogger Photography Tips

I am slowly coming along with my photography for my blogs. I still know absolutely nothing. But I do have people ask me about it, since they can see from my beginning posts till now a MUCH improved situation, although I truly have a super long way to go.

I do not profess any knowledge, just my own experience here from playing around with setttings, reading when I can from pros', and just trying, trying, trying.

I really need to take a digital photography class (there are so many online now too!) But until then I'll answer just a few questions for other beginner bloggers.

Q. Do you need a fancy camera?
A: NO! A simple point and shoot camera is fine, it has many settings on it that you may not know about. Read the manual that comes with and spend an afternoon playing with the settings. As you get better you may want a nicer camera, but you can do great photos in the mean time.

Q.What setting do you find most important?
A: Me personally? I find Aperture to be the most critical. Aperture is EVERYTHING in my opinion. Ok, let me rephrase that. LIGHTING is everything.

Again please all you skilled photographers, help us newbies out with some tips!

3 Ways I know to Improve Lighting!

Aperture: Let me share the definition straight from one of my favorite places to learn:

"What is Aperture?

Put most simply – Aperture is ‘the opening in the lens.’
When you hit the shutter release button of your camera a hole opens up that allows your cameras image sensor to catch a glimpse of the scene you’re wanting to capture. The aperture that you set impacts the size of that hole. The larger the hole the more light that gets in – the smaller the hole the less light."
Let me share an example:
The other evening after dark I was in my kitchen at my island.  Here are two photos taken at the same time:
The first photo is in my kitchen sitting directly under my flourescent light (daylight light bulbs)
at about 8 pm with my camera just on a simple point and shoot mode.

The second one is shot in the exact same spot with the exact same lighting. I just simple set my aperture setting higher to let in more light. No other settings or lighting were changed from the first.

Pockets of Light
LisaTarplee.com Is one of my favorite places to just see what she does. She is so generous with her insights and I love seeing her work: She shares: 
"A pocket of light is basically any light that peers through, or separates itself from the darkness.  Common places to keep an eye out for them are windows and rays coming through trees."
I have found that at certain times of the day I have several places right inside my house where the sun is creating a pocket of diffuse light. In my kitchen before noon, My kitchen window faces east so I need to wait till the sun is above the window and almost ready to go over to the other side of the house. THe other pocket is on my living room mantle near another window. Certain afternoon times  the lighting is pretty good.

Try to take advantages of little pockets of light:
This valentines shot was taken on a chair draped with a table cloth in front of my living room window. I only used a point and shoot mode and did not use aperture at all here. I realize a real photographer could point a million things out, but for me the beginner, I hope not too bad.

Light Box or Light Table: 
Source: Wikipedia
Whether you buy a light box kit or rig up your own (and there are quite a few DIY ideas out there) a light box will be your best friend when lighting isn't really great. (especially if you are like me and find yourself at 9 pm at night trying to do this.)

My hubby rigged up one for me by cutting out most of the sides of a cardboard box, just so it is mostly just a frame. then I drape a sheet over the box and line the inside with a white poster board. (which you can easily replace if food spills on it!
Then he bought me $3 clamp lights from the hardware store and I use daylight lightbulbs.  Mine looks almost like the one above.


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