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12.16.16   |   View More: PhotoTips

Holiday Photo Tips


The holidays are a great time to photograph your friends and family. So, whether you're using a smartphone or maybe Santa brings you a new DSLR - the following 4 tips can help with the creation and preservation your images.  
 
1: Get Level with Children 
 
It's easy to whip out your camera or phone and just start shooting but if you drop down to your little one's level, you'll often get a better image.
2: Move in Closer 
 
Not sure about your home but things can get a little messy around here. Nine times out of ten your pictures can have more impact by getting in closer. If you're using a camera with a zoom lens - zoom in tighter. If you are using a smartphone try zooming with your feet - ie just take a step or two closer. This is always a better option over using the digital zoom - ie pinching the screen.
3: Shoot Moments 
 
It's so easy to ask your subjects to stop and look at the camera - we do it all the time :) This time of year is full of activities so why not try and capture some moments as well. The simple things happening around us all the time are so easy to take for granted but may make for some of your favourite images as the years go by.
4: Backup your images! 
 
More images are being created today than ever before in history. While it's wonderful to have so much recorded, we all run the risk of losing these electronic bits. I've heard many sad stories about failed hard drives and damaged smartphones.  
 
You really want to have at least two digital copies of everything you shoot. There are numerous cloud based services that can automate this process. We use Dropbox - Apple and Google also have tools you can use that cost very little.  
 
Please feel free to email me if you have any questions about setting something up for your images.
5.31.11   |   View More: PhotoTips

Camera Shopping


Travel (and new babies) seem to be a great excuse to buy a new camera. Recently my Mom decided it was time to upgrade to a new digital SLR camera for a trip to Rome she and my Dad were planning. Of course I was happy to help so off to the camera store we went. After looking at the options and chatting with a very helpful salesperson, my Mom was outfitted with a new DSLR kit. The whole experience was great and, as I gave my Mom a few tips with the new camera, I was surprised how well it worked and with the quality of the images.  
 
Here are a few tips that you might find helpful if you find yourself in the market for a new camera:  
 
> Go to a store that specializes in cameras. While big-box stores can be an option, the staff in specialty shops are usually very knowledgeable and very in to photography themselves. Also, don't assume that it will be more expensive at the specialty shop - it's very competitive out there - you may get the best price and excellent advice and follow-up service - pretty good deal! 
 
> There's a lot of information online so do your homework. For years, I've recommended the site Digital Photography Review. Here you can see hands on reviews for most DSLRs and point and shoot cameras and even compare models side-by-side. You can also 'google' the model of camera you are considering along with the word 'review' and you'll probably get lots of opinions.  
 
> No matter how good a camera is on paper, what really counts is how it actually works for you in the field. So check the stores return policy - you may have 7-14 days to return your purchase if you are not happy. Just and unpack the camera carefully in case in needs to go back.  
 
> Camera manuals are your friend. While you don't have to look at them right away, it's not a bad idea to go through the manual several times as you get to know your new camera. There is always something new to learn and technical info like this seems to register better after you've had some hands on time with the camera.  
 
 
 
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3.9.11   |   View More: PhotoTips

Window-Light Photo Tip


When you're inside and want to take a picture of someone, ask them to stand facing a window. Depending on your camera and how close you want to crop, your subject should be about 2-3 meters away from the light source  and the bigger the window, the better. Then stand with your back to the window and face your subject. Avoid direct sun, and by the way, this technique doesn't work when it's dark outside :) Another variation is to use the front door of your home. Open the front door and have your subject stand or sit just inside facing the doorway. You then step outside, shooting your subject through the open door.
...and the resulting image.
One more from the same series. Notice the sparkle in Sophia's eyes?
This is actually a reflection of the light source and is called a "catch light". In this case you can see the sky through the open door.
Posted by Alex - 8.4.10   |   View More: PhotoTips

Vacation!


Since we are in the heart of vacation season, I thought it was a good time to share some ideas and images with a vacation theme.  
 
Use your self-timer 
 
It's nice to have a record of everyone that was on the trip and often the photographer get's left out. For this shot, I set the camera on a pic-nic table. I also ran back to the camera a couple of times to increase the odds of having a nice picture with everyone looking at the camera.
Capture the flavour of the people and place you are visiting 
 
On a recent trip to PEI, we rented a cottage that was on a dairy farm. We had a great chat with one of the farmers and made sure to ask him for a quick portrait. Don't be shy about asking someone that ends up being part of your trip if you can take their picture.
Watch for details 
 
While we took other shots during Sophia's first attempt at mini golf this one is my favourite. It's of her picking out the purple ball - her favourite colour.
Always have your camera ready! 
 
When traveling with kids, you never know what might happen. 
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