On-Camera and Off-Camera Flash Photography

Let’s face it…natural light photography is hard to do indoors during the winter months.  Unless you are shooting babies and can do some shots close to a window, you almost have to know how to use flash.  I just recently took a Lighting class to become more knowledgeable about mixing ambient light and flash.  I don’t like when photos look overly flashy.  It’s amazing that there are ways to blend the two.  I recently purchased 2 books by Neil van Niekerk.  I bought these two books by recommendation from another photographer because they are laid out simply, give great visuals of the angles/techniques used (he shows pics of the photographer in action and the result of the photograph taken), AND he gives the settings that he used and why.  I am more of a hands-on learner, but I also am a visual learner so if I were to ever buy a photography book, it HAS to have info incredibly easily accessible and be easy to try after visually seeing it.  Note…I do not own any other photography books.  Why?  I borrow some from the library and try to read them, but they do not hold my interest and I don’t get much from them.  These 2 books are the exception for me so far. 🙂  I’m trying to read them here and there so I can continue to master the art of flash photography for the occasions when I need it.  I most definitely prefer natural light, but am not adverse to using flash when necessary.  I hope you’ve enjoyed Tuesday’s Tip!




My Favorite Blog- Blending Faith and Photography

Here is my favorite blog…a blog where perspective and insight are awakened within me.  This woman writes in the most amazing way.  She encourages me to see the world with eyes anew.  Not only is the writing beautiful but so is the photography.  Seriously one of the most amazing things I’ve come across…beautifully simplistic.  I’m also reading her book “One Thousand Gifts”.  It’s so good that I am trying to savor it and read it slowly.  For any of you faith followers…you will love this!!  You can subscribe to it and her posts will come to your email inbox just like my blogs do, too!  Enjoy!


Still feel uncomfortable shooting in Manual Mode? Come to a 2 hr Refresher Class!

DSLR Manual Mode Refresher Class (2 hours)- $60(Beginner/Intermediate Level)
Do you understand some of the modes on your camera, but still feel uncomfortable shooting fully in manual mode?  This class is for you!  The first hour is a review of the exposure triangle and the 3 elements that work together while shooting in manual mode.   The second hour is for extended practice, trouble shooting, and asking any lingering questions from the DSLR Camera Class.   There will be a combination of guided practice and independent practice to help you feel more comfortable shooting in manual mode.

Class date and time: August 27th 9-11am

Location: Indianapolis

Best spent $25 on photography gear

I recently invested in 2 new camera bags!  Yay to birthday money!!!  My favorite one is my new photo sessions bag- a small Lowepro Messenger bag shown above.  I carry it throughout my sessions.  It can hold 2-4 lenses, a speedlight, memory cards, etc.  It wraps nicely around my body.  It doesn’t have a ton of padding, so it’s lightweight and good for carrying throughout sessions.  It has 2 velcro (removable) dividers inside and 2 pockets for storing small things. You can buy it on Amazon for $25.  Check it out here!  http://www.amazon.com/Lowepro-Exchange-Messenger-Camera-Gray/dp/B002PK14VC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1313539034&sr=8-1

I also bought a new large bag- the Lowepro Nova 200 aw.  It holds all my lenses, speedlight and 2 camera bodies. It is good for storing equipment every day and carrying back and forth places.  It has great padding.  Roberts Camera store has it for about $80.  Amazon has it for about $69.  Someone on Ebay is selling new ones for $63.  This is where I ended up getting it b/c I wanted the best deal! 🙂  You can check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/Lowepro-Nova-200-AW-Black/dp/B0016J1EIQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1313539777&sr=8-1


My awesome new organizers!! :)

So I recently bought a few things with my birthday money to help me get a little more organized!  Yay to birthday money…and yay to new photography gadgets that organize me!! 🙂  Thought I’d share these gadgets with you in case you are in need of some cheap organization tools!!!!

I bought a Think Tank Pocket Rocket to hold all of my memory cards.  It folds up and can fit in your pocket.  I love that it’s compact and keeps them all together!  I have a habit of sticking them “somewhere” and having to hunt them down.  So this is perfect.  I only have 4 compact flash memory cards right now, but there’s room to grow.  They also make a smaller version that holds 4, but I like the opportunity to grow.  I got it at Roberts Camera store for about $12-13.  May the never-ending searching through my bags be done!!!

Also, a little extra tip for you this week.  Number your memory cards.  If you do multiple sessions close to each other or a large event, it helps to keep track of which cards you’ve used!  Also, write your name and phone number on them in case you misplace one.  If it accidentally falls out of your pocket, hopefully someone nice will call you! 🙂

Here’s my 2nd new organizer!  Battery cases!!!  I do use flash when needed, so I always have batteries with me just in case.  I have a really bad tendency to intermix used and new batteries.  This will help tremendously!!! 🙂  I had even tried labeling baggies before.  But if you look in my camera bag right now, it’s full of random batteries (like over a dozen) and I need to do a battery check on them to see if they are used or new. 🙂  Hoping this cheap organizational tool will encourage me to be better!!!  Check them out on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Cell-Battery-Storage-Bundle-Cases/dp/B004CSKKZ6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1313031753&sr=8-1.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my Tuesday tip.  Sorry this is a day late.  My daughter was sick yesterday and today I had news of losing a friend to cancer.  Just been busy!  Till next time…

What’s that thing on the end of your lens?

It’s a lens hood!  Many lenses come with them when you purchase them, however, some do not.  I highly encourage using them for several reasons.  I use them almost all the time!  Not only do they eliminate lens flare and unwanted extra light (which means your photos taken outdoors will have truer colors and saturation with it on!), but they are an extra layer of protection of your lens.  I always use a UV filter on my lenses, which is another layer of protection, but a lens hood is the first layer of protection.  I once read a story about how a 220 lb photographer fell forward with camera in hand directly onto cement.  The lens hood broke, but the lens and camera body were undamaged.  He replaced the lens hood for $8.  It really is smart to use them!  Now, if you want lens flare in your photo, just remove the lens hood! 🙂

Some people do not like them because you have to remove the hood and invert them when storing the lens.  Also, they can produce a slight vignetting that some people do not like.  I do find either of these things to be an issue for me, so I use it almost always. It’s a personal preference, as all things are, but to me, it’s worth using.

If you have any other thoughts to share on using a lens hood, please respond for others to read!!!

Here’s a few articles on lens hoods:

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/lens-flare.htm (this article shows diagrams regarding lens flare and talks about the different types of lens hoods)