Thursday, March 15, 2012

It's Amazing What That Little Learnin' Does!

I fell in love with photography about a year ago when I found the iPhone app, Instagram.  I took several pictures each day, edited them with numerous other apps, and posted them.  Other members would host challenges which taught me a ton about "rules" of photography, like colors, balance, framing, etc.  Those challenges helped hone my eye and were lots of fun to participate in. 

When I got my camera (a Canon T3i) back in October, I used my knowledge learned on IG to help take my photos.  If I got lucky and the stars aligned, I would get a great shot.  I've done a ton of reading and practicing over the last few months, and I really feel that I've improved.  But honestly, learning to shoot in manual mode has given me several headaches. 

I decided it was time to take a class.  I had read over and over about f-stops, shutter speed and ISO, but I needed hands on help because I couldn't seem to put it all together.  Thankfully, I found a local photographer who offers very affordable lessons.  After just one class, I think I've found that "missing piece".  Enter in the light meter.  It's amazing what that little meter has done for me.   :)Anyway, I've been practicing getting correct exposure (and experimenting shooting in RAW format). 

I took this picture of my son (correctly using my light meter ;) and in RAW).  I did not edit the colors or lighting.  I did use a Pioneer Woman's action to "bring out the eyes" and ran her "quick edge burn" and reduced its opacity on both.  Too much?  I'm still learning and would appreciate the feedback. :)

Mom Tried It


  1. This is a wonderful shot. I can't believe you've only been shooting for a year. It's really beautiful and I'd be happy to have taken it.
    The only thing I'd suggest is to have gotten down a bit to his level, but, maybe you didn't because the background was better this way?
    Oh my gosh, I love his expression and messy hair. Very cute.

  2. I love his expression and how you've captured such a cute moment. I like the perspective you chose too. It emphasizes his smallness with the big personality bubbling to the surface.

    You caught some nice light in his eyes and I can see your reflection there. I have not been shooting in manual very long either, and putting it all together has been the hardest for me, especially when shooting kids who rarely stay still! I think you did a great job here. The only thing I might change is that I'm not crazy about the vignetting at the edges of the frame, but that's really a personal preference. Nice work!!!

  3. Thank you for joining in Photo Feedback, so glad to see you.
    This is a great shot. As a mom I can totally appreciate the personality you captured. I love how it looks like an every day moment, but still captured in a special way.
    The lighting on his face is perfect. I love the tones and the bokeh. My only suggestion is that the vignette is a little much. I think it just might go in too far for my taste. I know I usually do not like the oval edge burn, but that is definitely a personal preference. Maybe just turn down the opacity a tad more.
    Totally fantastic shot!!

  4. You are doing great and your exposure is perfect. I with I was this good after a year. This is a great image, but you wanted feedback...I have two picky suggestions - First, the focus seems to be off just slightly off. It looks like his hair is clearer than the eyes. Second, the cropping at the top of the head is near that awkward area of looking slightly clipped. You might be able to take another inch off of his hair and get to a more comfortable edge. These are really picky - I'd proudly put this up on my wall in an instant.

  5. I had to take a photography class locally too when I started becoming frustrated with my inability to grasp some of the technical things myself. I am glad I took those classes because not only I got technical help I needed, I also made friends with other photographers and aspiring photographers and I have stayed in touch with a few of them all these years. Great job on reaching out for some help and taking that shot! :)

  6. This shot is REALLY good!!! You've captured great personality here - just lovely!
    I have a small editing tip for you - you might want to try and sharpen the face a bit? This is probably a personal preference, but I always like to see the face (especially the eyes) very sharp (not to say this would be blurry in any way, of course!!!). Pioneer woman has some sharpening actions. Also check out The Coffee Shop blog for their face editing actions (for example "Baby Powder Room"), these actions include layers like "sharpen eyes" etc.
    But anyway, the shot is wonderful and totally frame worthy!!!!