13 July 2012

Outtakes- What goes on behind the scenes

Hi friends

Welcome back to my photography mini series.
If you are new to this mini course the schedule with links to the previous posts can be found here

Today I want to chat about what happens behind the scenes, the things that go on behind the camera, the photos that aren't often posted.

I will say it now and I will say it again but there will never be a batch of photos that you are 100% happy with. There are however, things you can do to ensure that you have every possible chance of success...

Lesson 1:
Take LOTS of photos. It costs you approx. half a second more to take a second photo, but that photo may be the difference between a duff one and the perfect shot. Take this set for example. Near identical photos but only one is good enough to use. That comes from clicking the shutter just a few times more.

It is a standing joke in my family that I take literally hundreds of photos. You know what though, I would prefer to have a back log of pictures I haven't used and have the choice than find I have missed that special moment.

Lesson 2:
If you are shooting people, have your camera focused and ready when the subject isn't looking. Call their name and click, A beautiful, natural shot. With children call their name and do something silly, you will automatically get a good laugh!

Lesson 3:
In a dark room or in the evenings, use a tripod. That way your shutter speed can be nice and low and you won't blur your pictures. I use a gorilla-pod which can be bent around different objects. If you don't have a tripod rest your camera on a solid object like a bookshelf.

If you really don't have anything to rest your camera on, take a breath in, press the shutter and breathe out. Honestly it works!

Lesson 4:
Set up your camera before you shoot. If you know you are going to be taking lots of photos at say a party or event, get there early and take a trial shot. You can work out your shutter speed etc when no one is around then when you are in the thick of it you don't have to drastically alter your settings.

Lesson 5:
When taking photos of craft projects, find a space with natural light, a window is spot on! Try not to use flash, it bounces off photos on a layout and looks horrible. Get has high above your project as you can ( I use a chair). Point your camera directly down over your work like this. (It may take a bit of trial and error).

After you have taken the photo crop out the edges. I also lay my projects on a white piece of card first.

Lesson 6:

Try and get as good a picture as you can on camera. There is only so much editing afterwards that you can do. If you need to edit, do it subtly. A tweak of highlights and shadows is normally all that is needed.

I do most of my editing here

Again, this is just a peep into my world. The things I do behind the scenes to make sure I have the best possible chance of getting a good photo.

Thanks for stopping by. The next post in the series will come on Sunday and is about those beautiful candid photos.



Maria Ontiveros said...

thanks so much for this series Abi! I've been saving the technical ones for when I can focus on them, and I'm loving these creative ones as well. I have found that a bag of rice, lentils or split peas can also work in place of a tripod.
p.s. You were a stamp winner last week, and I think you still need to send me your regular address.

Lizzie said...

Hey, I'm just beginning to catch up on loads of people's blog posts...Sitting in bed right now, nursing my cold (and listening to Mr LizzieMade making lunch down in the kitchen...).

This looks like a nice series of posts - I'll have a peep at the others too.

Just a note: when photographing projects / books/ scrap pages, I have a large square of white mount board, plus an A2 sheet of white paper, which I keep just for photos. A small project can be laid on the board, larger ones on the sheet of paper. But the other item (ie. board/paper) makes a great light reflector, to help banish shadows on the "non-window" side of the item. It can also be used to block out undesirable distractions in the background. My little pop-up white light-tent is also great for this. I put it on the table, with the opening at the top, then lay my board in the base, place the scrap page on top and climb on the step-stool to get a good shot.

Thanks for all the interesting hints and tips!

Sian said...

Abi, this is wonderful! I'm catching up too after the holidays and I am finding plenty to entertain and educate me here (as always..)