August 11, 2011

Getting Better Pictures for 25¢

I've been working a lot with my SLR and trying to figure out how to get each picture a little better then the last. 

The most important thing in a photograph is lighting. You might want to debate it but here's my philosophy. . . all photos are is light going through a hole and hitting a surface (be it film or digital). So it's really important to get that light right and make the hole (aperature) right too.

First, I want to talk about natural light. You can give your portraits an extra glow with a reflector. A reflector does just what it says. . . reflects light onto your subject. Angle your reflector to bounce some beautiful natural light back on your subject and give them that  "glow."

Here's Nick holding our 25¢ reflector (a piece of poster board.) I also made a reflector out of tinfoil but it was a little harder to get a nice even glow. We finally got it right you can see the "glowing" effect in the picture of my momma.

Here's Nick holding a reflector AND a glow worm.
What a guy!

This is the picture with the light bouncing onto her face.
Original (no photoshop)

This is with a TINFOIL homemade reflector. . . holding it with one hand and taking a picture with the other.
Sometimes I wish I was an octopus. 


Angie said...

Smart idea.

Phyl said...

Hi Erica, you recently asked me what kind of lens I was using for my photos, and I never answered. Actually I'm almost embarrassed to answer, being that I used to know something about photography. So here's what camera I'm using: (don't laugh) it's a simple little Canon Power Shot and I'm not quite sure what to tell you about the lens. I carry it in a ziploc in my kayak, and half the time I'm shooting pics on an automatic setting, maybe overriding the exposure settings. But I'm kind of a macro freak, and I shoot about 20 macro pics for every one that is in focus enough to use. I'm doing some serious zooming for dragonflies. The automatic controls drive me crazy and I'm forever trying to remember how to override them, and by the time I figure it out, the turtle has jumped in the water and the great blue heron has flown away.

My son's the one with the nice Nikon digital SLR, but he's unfortunately had problems for a while. Last summer just before he left for Africa the lens wasn't seating right and some little prong on the lens had snapped and was replaced the day before he left. It's broken again and the repair people are telling him that it is not fixable and to buy a new lens. Oh dear. (the camera was a gift from us for 21st birthday Christmas/Chanukah all rolled into one. He doesn't have the cash to replace a lens).

I didn't mean to rattle on so long but oh this is so funny - the word verification that I have to type in is the word "lens" with a few extra letters tacked on the end!

Phyl said...

Did you say that's your MOTHER?! She's beautiful!

Unknown said...

I'm so glad your little camera takes such close up shots! People take great pictures with a box with a whole in it :) And I almost always fall in when kayaking, usually though because someone's pushing me or my dog is jumping out and rocking the boat. So I couldn't imagine that you would bring a great camera on board. I think that little camera does the job quite well!

Maybe the word verification is a sign! I hope your son's birthday is coming up soon:)

Kelby said...

I have been using a Lightscoop that I bought for $30 on amazon. It is way better than an expensive hot shoe and does an excellent job at reflecting light. No red eye or ghost face! Plus you don't need 3 arms when taking a self portrait or holding a wiggly baby :)