Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Software

So recently I downloaded a free trial of Lightroom 3, and I am obsessed!!!! I absolutely love this software and now need to figure out a way to purchase it! It is a lot easier to use then my outdated Photoshop 5.0. While I am playing around with the software here are a couple of pictures that I have edited (I will post both before and afters).







This software is amazing! It is on the pricey side, which is one reason I decided to try it out first using the free 30 day trial. But of course, now I am hooked and will be shelling out some dough. It does go on sale quite often I have seen and can be found on Amazon for around $180-220 (normal retail is around $300). Also if you are a student or a teacher you can get it for as little as $88.99 (which I found HERE ), all you need to show is proof of employment or enrollment to get your product license number. It's a great deal! So now to pinch some pennies before my 30 days expires.
Also the nice thing about this product (the same goes for Photoshop) is there are many presets you can find online. Here are some websites that I found helpful in finding some really nice presets.

Presets Heaven

Hope this is helpful for anyone out there, now time to go take some more photos :-)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Challenge for Myself

Alright so to get this ball really rolling I am going to do a weekly challenge for myself. I want to do a picture a week. I am going to post one picture ( or more ) a week that really sticks out to me. If I edit using software I will be sure to post a before and after picture so you can all see the difference. This week it will be some nice quiet play time on our onsie blanket with my daughters A. and H.

This was taken with my 50mm f/1.8 lens. I must say that I love H's sassy look in the last one. These are the days I love the most, sitting around the house with no plans. I must cherish these every day, since I know one day they will be teenagers and want nothing to do with me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Light Writing

One New Years Eve our neighbors had some fireworks they were going to shoot off. I decided to take my camera out and get some pictures. I figured it was a good time to play around with some night settings and use my tripod. Once I got the ISO and shutter speed adjusted right it was a lot of fun. I also used a cable shutter release to keep them from getting to blurry.

Then one of the neighbors mentioned something about sparklers and a light bulb went off. Lately I have seen a lot of posts and tutorial of light writing. You basically take something like a sparkler and set your camera on bulb and leave the shutter open for an amount of time and move the object around. You can write names or hearts or just about anything. ( Click Here for a how to) Here are some of the pictures we were able to take, again using the tripod and the cable shutter realease.

And my favorite (it reminds me of magic ) we had all the kids run around for this one.

It is very fun and I can not wait to play with this more. Unfortunately we ran out of sparklers once we really got the hang of it. But this is a fun one.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Bokeh Filter Fun

I recently ordered a bokeh filter set from Photojojo for $25. I thought this would be fun to have around the holidays with all of the twinkling Christmas lights. For those who may not know a bokeh filter will put a shape around all of the blurred lights in the back round. They are really neat and fun. For those who may not want to buy, you can also make your own ( click here to see how to do that). The filter goes over the lens and you just click away. The larger the aperture (smaller number = larger aperture) the better. With my new 50mm f/1.8, it would  be perfect. Here are some of the pictures I got using the filters.

Its very fun and I think could look really pretty at a wedding.  The kit I bought had many different filters that you can use. My favorites so far are the hearts, butterflies, and bird.

The kit also gave me a couple of "blank" ones that I could stamp my own design into if I wanted. Its a very fun little extra to play around with and for only $25 I thought it was worth the cost.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My starter kit

So over the last 30 days I have acquired some items that I found were wonderful in starting up my new hobby. First being my new lens, he Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens. My Canon 30D came with the kit lens which is an 18mm-55mm f/3.5-5.6. It is a good lens but it is an amazing what a difference the 50mm lens makes. I bought this lens after discussing some options with my friend, who takes photos for a living. It is great because it is not as costly as most of the lenses out there, you can find it on Amazon for about $100.00-$120.00.
With the purchase of this lens I also bought a lens cleaning kit. I had my Canon for almost 4 years and have never cleaned the lenses before, like I stated this is all new to me. I bought the pen kit and found it quite easy to use. I also went on You Tube to find out how to clean my lenses properly. Here are the videos that I found most helpful.

Lens Cleaning

Sensor Cleaning

My next step was to learn more about how to use the camera I have, for that I turned yet again to Google and Pinterest (aw the power of the internet).  Here is the site I have found most useful. They have everything thing you could possibly be looking for and then some.

Digital Photography School

and a cheat sheet I found helpful as well.

Now with that down I was on for some picture taking and experimenting.