Photo Challenge 10 – Self

This weeks photo challenge 10 is on the topic “self”.

Self

For me that’s rather tough. I am more critical of photos of myself than others. I don’t know how you are, but that’s how I am. That’s why it’s a good idea to take a lot of photos, instead of just one.

Try different angles and settings.

Props

Try different props, like scarfs and hats. I hardly ever wear hats. But I tried several different ones with caps, hats and scarfs and without any of that. Chances are that you’ll find one that you really like.

Lighting

Make sure you have good lighting. Sit besides a window for instance. Choose one that’s not in the sun, but rather a north facing one, than a south facing one. The direct sunlight can be really harsh. Which means that you have really deep shadows. And most likely you will be squinting, and that does not look good at all.

Post Editing

If you have Lightroom or Photoshop, go ahead and try some edits. Maybe you’ll find one that is really good and it’s good practice. I did some edits in Lightroom for this photo. I tried black and white also, but didn’t like it as much as the one you see above.

Photo Challenge

I created the 52 week photo challenge at the beginning of the year. Each week there is a different topic and a different photo to be taken for practice. You can read more about the photo challenge here: https://anikamcfarland.com/photo-challenge/

Facebook Group

For all of you who want to join in the fun and need some guidance and/or want to share your pictures, I set up a Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1701572876529588/

Phone Photography

I made a blog post about how to take better pictures just with your phone. Go check it out right here: https://anikamcfarland.com/phone-photography/

Your Turn

Now it’s your turn. Show me your pictures. It doesn’t matter where in the challenge you are: Week one, or week ten. Just post some pictures or join the Facebook group.

 

 

Photo Challenge Week Seven ‘Under’

Sorry for the long absence from blogging. I have been editing this website and hope you like the changes. The blog is now in a different place, and you can always access it through the Menu.

‘Under’

Here is my photo for week seven of the photo challenge for week seven with the subject ‘Under’.
For this challenge I chose two dyed eggs. I dyed both years ago and the small bottom one is a chicken egg for size comparison. I placed it under the large egg for this challenge picture. The large dyed egg has a moon, the sun and a star on it. I chose the moon side.

These dyed eggs such as the one on the bottom are also called psanka, which means to write or scribe. These eggs are Ukrainian Easter eggs. I learned how to do them from a friend, who is very talented in doing them. She taught me this years ago and I haven’t dyed one in years also, but still keep the ones I have done and the tools to do them.

Photo Challenge.

I created the 52 week photo challenge at the beginning of the year. Each week there is a different topic and a different photo to be taken for practice. You can read more about the photo challenge here: https://anikamcfarland.com/photo-challenge/

Facebook group.

For all of you who want to join in the fun and need some guidance and/or want to share your pictures, I set up a Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1701572876529588/

Phone photography.

I made a blog post about how to take better pictures just with your phone. Go check it out right here: https://anikamcfarland.com/phone-photography/

Your turn.

Now it’s your turn. Show me your pictures. It doesn’t matter where in the challenge you are: Week one, or week six. Just post some pictures or join the Facebook group.

Photo Challenge Picture 5 & 6 – Love & Family

Since I did not post last week I combined pictures 5 & 6 of the photo challenge with the topics “Love” and “Family”.

I took this picture of my dogs Ice and Raven playing with my phone and edited it with Snapseed. They are what I love and they are family. And clearly they love each other, too. Ice is a little ruffled from playing. I am glad I got at least one picture where Raven wasn’t all blurry. She’s has high puppy energy and loves to go fast. She’s now seventeen weeks old. We got both of our pooches at the local humane society.

Photo Challenge.

I created the 52 week photo challenge at the beginning of the year. Each week there is a different topic and a different photo to be taken. You can read more about the photo challenge here: https://anikamcfarland.com/photo-challenge/

Facebook group.

For all of you who want to join in the fun and need some guidance and/or want to share your pictures, I set up a Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1701572876529588/

Phone photography.

I just recently posted about how to take better pictures just with your phone. Go check it out right here: https://anikamcfarland.com/phone-photography/

Your turn.

Now it’s your turn. Show me your pictures. It doesn’t matter where in the challenge you are: Week one, or week six. Just post some pictures or join the Facebook group.

 

Photo Challenge Picture Week 4 – Window

This weeks photo challenge was the subject “Window“.

This Weeks Challenge.

I had a hard time finding the right setting for a window picture. The challenge seemed to be simple, but was less easy than I thought it would be.

The right moment came eventually. I was playing with Raven, my puppy, and Ice, my grown dog, when something outside startled Ice. He ran to the window as he usually does and stuck his head through the curtains to look outside.  That’s when I took the picture. It was rather spontaneous. And taken with my phone camera.

Phone Cameras.

Phone cameras are great for taking snap shots like this. They are usually close by and don’t require any settings other than to push the release button.

Though there are plenty of ways to improve your photography even with a phone camera.

I posted some tips and tricks this past Tuesday about it. Head over there and read it if you haven’t yet: https://anikamcfarland.com/phone-photography/

I have a favorite app that I am using, called snapseed. It’s a fun and easy way to make edits to your phone photos.

The 52 Week Photo Challenge.

If you don’t know which photo challenge I am talking about, you can read more about it here: https://anikamcfarland.com/photo-challenge/

I also have a Facebook Group you can join, if you want to have support with your photos: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1701572876529588/

Your Turn:

Now it’s your turn. What did your photos look like of the photo challenge? I would love to see them!

Improve your Phone Photography in 8 Simple Steps

Let’s face it. Not everyone has a digital SLR camera and if they are like me if they have one, they don’t have it with them 24/7.

But I do have a phone with a camera. And I have that with me all the time. I love to use it to capture pictures of my puppy Raven. Though I do break out my DSLR from time to time, I have my phone always there and get really cute, spontaneous pictures that way.

Phone cameras are great for capturing every day life. They are not so good with specialized photography. That’s where DSLR cameras have their place. But there are ways to improve your photography with a phone camera nevertheless.

1. Keep the composition simple.

I know I have said it before, but it really is a great and easy way to improve your photos. Keep them simple. If you’re new to photography you most likely try to over-complicate your shots. Pick one subject and stick to it.

2. Change the angle.

I know it sounds funny, but just changing the angle that you’re photographing things with can give a new perspective to everyday situations. Try a high or low angle.

3. Show depth.

You can show depth in your photos through leading lines like pathways or walkways. Or use something interesting in the foreground to frame your subject.

4. Get closer.

If you’re struggling to find things to photograph, try to get closer to everyday things and shoot close-ups or details.

5. Photograph reflections.

Try taking pictures of reflections, in puddles, lakes or windows.

6. Use both hands.

When using your phone for taking photos use both hands. Hold it with your non dominant hand and release the shutter with your dominant one. Do that gently. You will get less blur in your pictures due to shaking.

7. Don’t use the digital zoom.

Don’t use the digital zoom, because it will make every movement of your phone so much more prominent, that you get blurry pictures a lot more often that way.

8. Look for scale.

Look for people or things that will give your photos a sense of scale.

 

These are simple ways to improve your phone photography. I would love to see some of your photos taken with your phone! Comment below.

 

 

Photo Challenge Picture Week 3 – Dessert

Here is my photo challenge picture number 3 for the 52 week photo challenge with the subject “Dessert”.

A Celebration.

My husband just celebrated his birthday and wanted an ice cream cake. So I went out and bought him this one. And took the great opportunity to take photos of it. Certainly we ate a slice right after I got done taking photos, since my husband waited patiently for me.

The Challenge.

The challenge that I faced was that it was close to dinner time and the natural light was getting low. To help with the light I opened all the blinds and curtains and let in as much light as I could. Then I adjusted the white balance to combat the tint of the evening light. Sometimes you might want that golden light, but here it would have been too yellow. I use Kelvin in my camera to adjust the white balance, but yours might have different settings.

More Information.

You can read more about white balance in photography here: https://anikamcfarland.com/white-balance/

If you want to know more about what the photo challenge is about read about it here: https://anikamcfarland.com/photo-challenge/

And if you want to participate and want some extra support you can join my Facebook group here: Anika’s 52 week photo challenge

Now it’s your turn: Comment below with your approach to week 3 “Dessert”. I’m looking forward to seeing your photos!

 

The 7 Best Photography Websites that Help you Learn

A review:

This week I looked for the best photography websites to learn from. For beginners to the advanced.  I looked at navigation as well as content and if the content was paid or free.

My take on things:

These reviews are solely my take on these websites. I read their articles and use them in one way or another to learn and broaden my horizon. I did not include private blogs that sell their photos. The reason was that the focus of this blog post was to find the best websites to learn about photography. Though some blogs do this as well as selling, their content has from what I found not the in-depth articles, amount of posts and reviews that the specialized sites do.

1. Improve Photography

https://improvephotography.com/

This site has great content and is easy to navigate. They have free as well as premium (paid) content. Beginners as well as the advanced photographers will find content tailored to their needs. Their categories include:

  • Beginner
  • Landscape
  • Portrait
  • Really good photo spots
  • Recommended Gear
  • Business
  • Post Processing

2. Photo.net

https://www.photo.net/

Photo.net has a photo library, a forum as well as content to learn photography. They do have a members area also and it’s free to join. There is content for beginners as well as content for advanced photographers. The categories on this site depend on what you are looking for and then go more in depth. What I like about them is that they have plenty good and free classes. They have a category for inspiration as well.

3. Digital Photo Buzz

http://digitalphotobuzz.com/

This website has good overall navigation and like the first two content from beginner to advanced. Their post processing focuses on three programs: Lightroom, Photoshop and Pixelmator. They have content for business and marketing side of things, product reviews and spotlight interviews. It’s a good all around photo site.

4. Expert Photography

https://expertphotography.com/

Expert Photography is easy to navigate and offers support from beginner to advanced. They do have paid content and a members area. Their free content is great and to the point. For post processing they do prefer Lightroom over other programs. If you are a Lightroom fan you’ll find good tutorials and information here.

5. Popular Photography

http://www.popphoto.com/

A great site with interesting articles for beginners through advanced. Navigation is easy. This site offers contests as well as news and tutorials.

6. Fstoppers

https://fstoppers.com/

This site has a community , groups and lots and lots of categories that you can use to find content about a very broad amount of topics. They also have premium (paid) tutorials. Thus you can find content that fits any and all of your needs as learning photographer.

7. Strobist

http://strobist.blogspot.com/

Strobist is a specialized website that focuses mainly on how to use your off-camera flash. And it does this well. It has plenty of articles about it and has content for the flash-user beginners as well as content for the advanced.

Summary:

There are plenty more good websites out there that can help you learn photography, but these are my go-to ones.

(P.S. I did not get paid to post these websites.)

Comment below which photo sites are your favorite and why.