Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Blogging: Taking Photos

My Birthday Flowers

I take alot of pictures for my little blog. Some turn out. Many don't. Some make me think," Did I really take this picture?! It almost looks sort of professional or something!". Sometimes I even think I have a new career ahead of me: "Stylist, photographer extraordinaire". Sometimes......then reality sets in and I realize, mostly, it is luck. Yes, I think I can compose a pretty good shot. But I have no special camera (just a point and shoot, Casio EXILIM), no special lighting . I have learned quite a bit about how to "get by" from reading other blogs out there. And I sometimes tweek a photo with Picasa.

Roses in the Evening

But sometimes, a photo just turns out all on it's own. And it makes me feel pretty good. Not only because I, and my little camera made this image, but because I will have a record of something I saw that was beautiful to me and was fleeting.

Vegetables from Napa

I said that photos turn out sometimes because of luck. But perhaps that is wrong to say. It is not really luck to recognize that something is worth recording, and to compose that "something" into an image that is clear, balanced and interesting. I think that comes with practice, and learning to adjust our mind's eye to the way the camera can capture a scene.

Flowers on Bench from Aspen Hollow

There are many bloggers out there that have mastered this quite well. A couple of bloggers who have amazing skills are Leah Phinney from A Day that is Dessert, and Isa from The World According to Isa. I have learned just by looking at their photos. If you visit and look through their posts, you will see what I mean.

Lake Tahoe Sunset

So....I have some questions for you. Have you taken photos that you think turned out exceptionally well? Did you learn on your own, or take a class? Do you take many of your own photos for your blog, if you have a blog? Do you have any tips that make for a great picture? I'd love to see your masterpieces and share with everyone if you would like to send them.

29 comments:

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

My husband is the photographer in the family. He seems to be rather gifted in that area. All my favourite photographs of myself were taken by him. Could be because it's so easy for me to smile in his direction. Also, my oldest friend is a professional photographer, so I am not even going to try with these two around me! Funny, when she was just starting out, she used to practice on me. I had a large black Chow-Chow at the time and she would take endless photos of us together. She said if she could get the lighting right on the two of us....one very white - me, and one very black - him......she could do anything!

Oh, you can see her work here:

www.sandeeo.com

Hill Country House Girl said...

Oh Katie - this post spoke to me! I am so random in my photography. I have some photos that I love and get with luck with my little point and shoot Canon - others I am terribly disappointed in. I just did a post last week on some friends' house and was so, so embarrassed by my poor photography. They were so excited about my post, though, and I had tried once before to shoot good photos of their house, so I just went with it. I noted that the reader should click on the photos for better details if he/she wanted to, and several people did so, and commented about how much clearer they were.Anyway, thank you - I will study those other blogs and keep trying. Your shots are beautiful.

Anonymous said...

What beautiful pictures.
I'm the photographer in my family and just learned on my own after years of taking pictures. Having a design background has helped in composition and have taken no photography classes. You get better with practice. And you have to realize that not every picture will be perfect. I read once that Ansel Adams once said that if he took a hundred pictures and one came out, he was happy. That makes me feel a lot better about my own abilities!

vr

Vitania said...

I do believe i have been presented with a challenge. Most of the time I think it's luck - but I do enjoy photography and received a wonderful camera for christmas last year. So it's practice practice practice..

Your photos are lovely, and i will check out those 2 other blogs!

mary said...

I think your photos are great! I am truly photographically and technologically challenged--the photos on my website show it. Somehow, I simply can't stage the photos properly (right now I'm not supposed to lift anything); so that makes it even more challenging to shoot photos. I think that maybe some day, I'll have to take and class or two.

Bill said...

You're so right about the importance of photography as it relates to blogging. I think a strong photographic image contributes immeasurably to the success of a post.

Like you, I use a basic camera. After setting up the props ... composing the "still life" ... and then trying like crazy to capture the effects of light and shadow, it's always interesting to see it on the computer monitor and determine if it's a mess or a "masterpiece" (a remotely-near-masterpiece is all I'm striving for!).

Great post! Glad to have found your blog ... I'll definitely be back.

Bill @ Affordable Accoutrements

Laura Casey Interiors said...

I took a photography class when I was in college because I love to take pictures and really wanted to understand how to use a manual camera. I have been glad that I took the class but now mostly use an automatic. I agree with you that a lot comes from the photograph itself. I do think lenses can make a difference and picasa helps. You do a wonderful job of capturing the beauty and enhancing it.

Marie Cole said...

I think you have a natural eye for beauty/compostition and your photographs are absolutely gorgeous and quite professional looking as well.

I too think you have a new career if you want it, "Stylist, photographer extraordinaire"! :)

Rita Finn said...

Your photos are gorgeous! Yes, I do take my own photos and will only ocaissionally post someone else's if I have permission. And yes, I took a class which helped me to better understand my camera and made me ambitious enough to run out and get a DSLR, but having done the whole art school gig, I already knew about composition and lighting ... and when just allow inspiration to flow over you!

Jaime said...

Love those flowers- what a lucky bday girl you are :)

Elise said...

Hi, lovely post & what a sunset! I really like your blog, thank you so much for sharing it ! Best wishes and lovely to meet you

Cote de Texas said...

omg - you REALLY have gotten good! wow!! I am so impressed!!!!! and jealous too! haha!! seriously. I am so bad. The better the camera the worse I get.

Pigtown-Design said...

In addition to taking good pictures, one trick is to be able to work with them in post-production. Tweeking the brightness and contrast, or changing the light levels can make an ok photo really good. I get Digital Photography School tips delivered by e-mail every day and it's helped lot.

lise said...

Don't forget you even took a picture so good that an artist chose to paint it! Accident- I think not- lucky- maybe- or perhaps you have an artists eye for composition?

katiedid said...

Dear Pamela-
"Because it's so easy for me to smile in his direction" I think that is one of the most romantic things I have heard. It made ME smile!

katiedid said...

Hi Hill House!
I know what you mean! I am often dissatisfied with photos...so much so I will sometimes give up on a post. But that is happening less and less as I get more practice. Taking pictures has become one of my favorite things about blogging!

katiedid said...

Hello vr-
Thanks for visiting and weighing in. Ansel Hoffman was certainly at the top of the heap...so I think I will take his advise!

Thanks Vitania!
Hope you enjoy.

katiedid said...

Hi Bill!
Thank you so much for visiitng and introducing yourself. I am hppining over to visit your blog right away!

Hi Laura!
I am thinking about getting a camera where I can very a lens. Thanks for your kind words.

katiedid said...

Hi mary!

What is your website?! I would love to visit. :)

katiedid said...

Hi Maria dand Rita!
Aw! Thank you!I am blushing right now.

Jaime and Elise!
Thanks for the visit! The flowers were from my friends yard...SO beautiful!

katiedid said...

Joni!
You take great pictures.Don't listen to her everyone.AND she had a GREAT post about photo taking on her blog. I will link to it asap.

urbansardines said...

I take some photos for my blog, but I want to take a bunch more. I took a basic 101 photo class that helped a lot. Here are a few of my shots:

http://urbansardines.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/hot-shots/

http://urbansardines.wordpress.com/2009/09/04/postcards-from-the-edge/

I'd be happy to share a few tips although i am kind of a beginner, myself!

Found said...

beautiful photos - i especially love 'vegetables from napa'. we have multiple 'photographers' for our blog, but i personally have been feeling challenged when it comes to merchandising photos. i'm usually happy with the photos i take elsewhere, though. i'm wondering if it's a light and/or camera setting issue. please let us know if you have any advice! -t

Its So Very Cheri said...

Absolutely Gorgeous.

My blog has just been growing like a crazy weed and I haven't been able to get by for as many visits. I miss all my blog friends.
Come for a visit and see both of my new parties for the week. They are up every week and I hope you will participate.

Cheri
Its So Very Cheri

Renae said...

Katie,
You do great photos...I have thought so many times when reading your blog. Sometimes I think I need a new camera, I too, have a point and click...Canon Powershot. You are right though, some turn out better than others.
I always enjoy popping over and seeing what you are up to!

Greet said...

I would love to have pictures like yours! I try to take them well but it is so difficcult.Last week I have learned from Naps Between the Porch to NEVER use flash!
And indeed it's much better!
But my question is if you want to have a larger picture into your blog, how do you can do that!!! I really can't find it!!

Greet

Paula Grace Designs said...

Wow Katie, these are very good photos. I have always enjoyed your picture. I just read the recommendations on the next post. Thank you Ma'am!

Blue Muse said...

Hi there! I have been so stupidly busy that I haven't had time to come visit my favorite bloggy friends for a while! I am so very flattered that you mentioned me - photos are magic - sometimes you get that shot, sometimes not. I've never taken any photography, but I look at everything as Art in my world.
Your photos are amaaaaazing. I especially love the flowers on the bench.
Hope all is well in your world, and that you are enjoying the beginnings of Fall!
xoxo Isa

samiya said...

you are absolutely right abt the two bloggers being good photographers.. :) they sure are.. well your post made me realise taht my shots are terrrrrrible.. and i go by them.. that is y i have been unable to share as much wiht the world as i should and could have.. :) thanks alot for teh insight will gain from this advise for sure.. and u are not a bad photographer urslf.. pretty amazing stuff u have got there.. :) need photgraphng advise myself..