Monday, August 27, 2018

Slow Shutter Motion Photos


It's August, and that brings our county fair to town!

I thought the fair would be a perfect place to try out some
slow-shutter shots!

I talked about creating motion while panning with a slow shutter in this blog post.

But this time, I wanted to focus on a subject that was standing still
while the world swirls around them.


This technique requires it to be darker outside.

I shot these as the sun was just about down.
That way, the long shutter would not blow out the photos.


You can shoot in the daylight if you use a neutral density filter.
Learn more about those in this blog post.

I figured the county fair would be colorful with lots of beautiful lights.

First, I looked for subjects that were standing in one position.
At the fair, this was usually while they watched a  swirling ride.


I set my camera to manual and
put my aperture at f.9.
My ISO was 100
and my shutter speed was 1-second.

I had to adjust the settings as the light changed.
I usually changed the aperture,
but if it was exceptionally bright near a lighted area, I 
sped up the shutter.


Look for various movement
and a stationery subject.


I did this hand-held which was extremely difficult to hold steady for a full second!
Your subject will most likely move a tad, so they probably
won't be in perfect focus.

I had my best results with people glued to their phones!
They sat like statues!

My motto for them:  If you are on your phone...life is passing you by!



I made a ton of movement mistakes and only came away with these few winners.

Sooooooo,

I went back another evening with my friend Terri to have more 
control over the main subject.

Terri writes a wonderful lifestyle blog called Champagne and Grace.
I love to take photos for her
and use them for me to teach you!

This technique was so much easier with a willing model!

"Terri, stand there and don't MOVE!"


This is where I had my best results...with a model who knew to 
stand absolutely still!

You can try this with your kids, your family members or friends.


Stand your subject right in the middle of the action to capture lots of movement.


Or place your subject by a moving vehicle or in this case, a ride!


This really is a fun technique to try out and play with.

Think of dark locations like a busy city street,
or inside a bar...any place with lots of movement!

I can't wait to try this technique again!


Summer Portraits


It's August, and summer is beginning to fade.

One highlight of my summer is the amazing wildflowers that 
grew up to my shoulder along our nearby walking path!

I had a vision for that photo above, with Miss Ella's arms reaching wide
trying to capture summer's magic!


Look at the height of those flowers, and these are walking distance from my house!


Here's a little behind-the-scenes video
from this photo shoot with Ella:





I had fun with some purchased butterfly overlays.

I decided to make my own butterfly overlay using beautiful photos from Pixabay!

Since they were free to me...I want my butterflies overlay to be free to YOU!

Click here to download my free butterflies overlay!


I ended up doing three photo shoots among the lovely wildflowers!










I made my kind daughter pose for me before she flew off on her
summer adventure to Alaska! 

Thanks, Sweetie!  
I know you were supposed to be packing,
but I love photos of my baby!

Look how tall the flowers are!






Find the last of the summer flowers in your area and
add the whimsical butterflies overlay!

I hate to say goodbye to SUMMER!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Street Photography Part 3


If you have been following my series on street photography,
(Read Part 1 and Part 2.)
I hope you have had time to shoot some candid photos yourself!

I snapped quite a few street shots at the Fourth of July parade in a nearby village.




Once you take your street photos, you will want to edit them!

One of the first decisions is whether to turn them to black and white.


I love color so much, that it just about kills me to remove color from my photos.

But, I must say, with street photography, I often prefer black and white.

If a photo has a lot of detail, color can confuse the eye:


Notice how the colorful background clutter fades away
and now the eye focuses on the subject...the waving beauty queens!


Black and white can also help with lighting problems you may have encountered.

I was at an outdoor market in France and saw this lovely lady
in a white ruffled dress.  I stalked her a bit because I loved that dress!

I was finally able to snap this photo, but the bright sun created harsh shadows.
The black and white fixed that issue.


I think it's worth trying ALL your street photos in black and white!
I'll continue to show you the comparisons of the photos I shot.

In this next photo, I prefer it in color...love that pink and green!

But, it's really what YOU like best!


Some people think you should not edit street photos.

I disagree!

                                     Unless you are a photo-journalist and it is ethical to show
it like it is...you should EDIT!

At the very least, add a bit of contrast,
boost the saturation if necessary,  straighten the horizon, and sharpen.

I ALWAYS edit every photo.  

You can edit as you please...you are the artist 
of the photo and you can do whatever you want with it!

I often remove distracting wires in photos using the clone tool in Photoshop.
Click here to watch my video tutorial on how to use the clone tool.


There are no laws against editing.  

I want to create a pleasing photo!

I like to boost the color a tad:




And, edit just like I do any other photos I take!


I even add painterly effects



I wanted to create some whimsy on a rainy summer day,
so I added falling rain to these next few photos!


It WAS raining, but it's hard to capture the raindrops falling.


You can add rain using my rain drop brush that I am sharing for free!

Click here to download my rain brush.

Once you download, 
the download will open in Photoshop and load your brush.

This is a unique brush, so to learn how to use it, 
watch my video tutorial.

Now, that you know how to create rain...challenge yourself
to go out on a rainy day and shoot some street shots.

I LOVE the photos with people dealing with rain!




Capture a bit of your own umbrella in your shot!






All my rain photos were taken with my iPhone. 

You can edit right on your phone with what I consider
 the best all-around editing app called

If you are going to be taking lots of photos with your phone, you really need
 to learn how to use this app that is FREE from Google!

Click here for a good tutorial on how to use Snapseed.


You can do basic edits while out and about or on vacation and
share your photos on social media rather than waiting to get home!

If you want to add rain and cool effects with your phone,
check out this app called Rainy Daze.
It's $1.99 in the App Store.


One of my favorite editing apps for iPhone photos is
Brushstroke for $3.99 in the App Store.

With just a few clicks, you can turn any photo into 
a beautiful painting!


An app called AfterFocus for 99-cents will blur the background for you.


I hope you will continue to explore street photography...








I notice PEOPLE so much more since 
I began snapping street photos....wherever I happen to be!


I'll share more as I shoot more...