March 2020

Welcome to March!

Spring is on the Way. You made it through the cold winter months (at least those of us in the Western Hemisphere)! Have you enjoyed capturing the everyday? Or has it been a chore? Have you felt pressure to produce only perfect photos? Or have you learned to embrace the everyday and what it holds? We have been giving you tips and advice each month on how to approach your 365 project. We asked you to think about your whys and your hows and your whens. We have encouraged you to get to know your camera. We have reminded you that you don't have to stay on prompt if you aren't feeling it that day.

This month, the Team really wants you to concentrate on the everyday and what that means to you. If you are traveling, photograph it. If you are sick in bed, photograph it. If your child is throwing a tantrum, photograph it. If your pet is being funny, photograph it. If you are home alone, photograph it. If you are working, photograph it. If you are celebrating a birthday or anniversary, photograph it. If you are cooking and cleaning, photograph it. If your child graduates, photograph it. If your grandchild wins a spelling bee, photograph it. Get the idea?

This community is not about competition.....  it is about encouraging each other. If you document a day where you are sick in bed, It is guaranteed that you will receive prayers and well wishes from this community that will lift your spirits.  If you are traveling to an amazing place, we will delight in the sights with you. If you are sad because you are alone, we will send you virtual hugs. That is how special this community is.

Many times we are tempted to skip a day... or to dig into the archives.... but let's really focus on our why this month. Your 365 project is for you... only you know your why, but I can guess they include everything from getting photos of your children everyday, to capturing places you visit, to improving your skills, to making new photo friends. Your goal isn't to find an archived photo that fits the prompt; it is to actually push the shutter every day. At the end of the year, you will have 365 (oops 366... it is leap year!) photos that you would not have if you weren't taking on this challenge. 

If you are struggling for inspiration or just a need a creative kick, don't be afraid to google ideas or browse through Pinterest. It is also perfectly okay to ask other community members to share how they achieved a certain image...  camera settings, set up, post processing. We want to share ideas and help one another.

We all go through photo slumps...  life can throw us some hard stuff that makes it difficult to be inspired. We face illness, death, injury, family struggles, financial struggles.  We get it! We all get it, because we are ALL dealing with something. Don't look at a community member and think that they have a perfect life because of the photos they post. When you share your struggles with us, you will likely find many people are dealing with the exact same thing. And if things are going great, share that too! We want to rejoice with you.

To quote Victor Hugo in Les Miserables "If people did not love one another, I really don't see what use there would be in having any spring." That sums up this community pretty well, don't you think?

Happy Spring!

Monthly eBook

Light

The word that comes to mind when thinking about the month of March is change - change in temperatures, change in colors, and change in light.  As photographers we notice light; often, it is what “makes or breaks” our photos.  For this reason, professional photographers do everything they can to control the light during their sessions.  Portrait sessions will be done around dusk and dawn when “the light is best.”  Or, they will employ artificial lighting set-ups.  As everyday photographers capturing our life as it unfolds before us, we don’t have the luxury of waiting for the perfect natural light or taking the time and incurring the expense of setting up studio lights to make our photos.  We shoot when the moment happens and hope that the light was “good enough” to capture that fleeting piece of time.

You and your camera work together to use whatever light you have to create the best image possible each time you press the shutter button.  Our cameras have many settings available to help us navigate the infinite possibilities when it comes to controlling light .  Sometimes we forget that we have options when it comes to how we use our camera settings in different light situations.  Here are a few of those settings to keep in mind:

The Exposure Triangle

  • Aperture - Determines how much light the lens itself lets in. Aperture also determines depth of field, how much of the frame is in focus.  
  • Shutter Speed - Determines how long the lens stays open. Shutter speed determines how movement is captured.  A fast shutter speed allows us to “stop” action.  A slower shutter speed will give motion blur.
  • ISO - Determines the sensitivity of your camera’s light sensor.  The lower the ISO, the less sensitive your sensor is too the light hitting it.  The higher the ISO, the more sensitive the light sensor; also, the more grainy your image will be.

It takes practice and patience to find the “perfect” balance between these three settings.  Changing one affects how the others will behave.  Experimenting with the relationships between Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO ultimately becomes a big part of our personal creative choices.

Metering

Your camera has a light meter that shows you whether your current settings will yield a correctly exposed image.  We can choose where our cameras gets this information to make its determination by using Metering Modes. 

  • Matrix/Evaluative - Samples the lights and darks across the entire sensor
  • Center-weighted - Samples from a smaller portion in the center of the sensor.
  • Spot - Samples from a very small part of the sensor, which we can control.  When your camera is set to Spot Metering, you determine which “spot” it is using by moving an indicator in your viewfinder.

Metering choices determine how light affects the relationship between your subject and the background in your image. Metering settings are another way for you to control the light in your photos.

Camera settings are certainly important when it comes to a technically successful photo.  Remember, though, that the most important light when it comes to creating a meaningful and beautiful image is the light that shines from within.

It's an illusion that photos are made with the camera....they are made with the eye, heart, and head.~Henri Cartier-Bresson

PHOTOGRAPHY TIP OF THE MONTH

CHECK THE LIGHT

It is best to observe from the light before you take your photo.  Is it natural light or an artificial light?  Is it coming from behind, to the side or in front of you.  Use the light to create interest; light in front of your subject can create bokeh, side light creates interesting shadows, light behind you highlights the subject.  How is the light interacting with the scene and the subject? Is it highlighting an area or casting interesting shadows? These are all things you can utilise to make an ordinary photo become extraordinary. 



Team Members

Garnett
Garnett
Kris
Kris

SNIPPETS FROM THE TEAM

AMY

Living at the beach, the light is quite harsh. To counteract this, I like to add sunbursts to my images. They can add a little something extra to your landscapes and a bit of magic to your portraits. To do this I shoot in Aperture Priority Mode, using a low ISO with a narrow aperture of at least f16. Give it a try the next time you find yourself in the glaring sun! 


GARNETT

I am sure I am not the only person who enjoys shooting in the Golden Hour... but that isn't always possible. When I am taking photos of people and the light is too harsh, I always put them in the shade. I look for even light. I can usually find it behind a building, or under a tree, on a porch, doorway, etc. However, there is really nothing like the beautiful Golden Hour Light. It makes everything magical.


KRIS

My head knows the times of day that will always yield beautiful natural light, but my schedule does not always allow me and my camera to be together during these magical moments.  I have learned to do the best I can with whatever light I have.  Some days I rely on the flashlight on my phone for light.  When I am forced to shoot at midday, I look for shady spots.  When I have no good options for light, I set my camera the best way I know how, go for it, and hope for the best.

 


LEE 

These days when I wake up, the first thing I do is look out the window to see what the light is like!  If it is foggy, frosty or snowy or all three, I am out of the house straight away and off to the forest or the lake with my camera and obviously Jasper in tow!  The blue hour and the golden hour on sunny days are the best days for getting outside for those beautiful photos.