7 Small Reminders for Better Holiday Photos!

The holidays are upon us again, and during the hectic gatherings we dearly love to get great photos.  Here are some small reminders that hopefully will help you to do just that!

1.  Put your ISO in Auto – check your manual to see how to do that if you don’t already.  Since you’ll likely be in a variety of lighting conditions rapidly, it helps not to have to think about the ISO much.

2.  Put your White Balance on Auto – you don’t want to have to think about white balance either in the happy chaos of holiday season!

3.  Use Aperture Priority (Av or A) to try and capture shots with a blurred background – but remember to stay close to your subjects!

4.  Use Shutter Priority (Tv or S) and keep it on 1/60th sec.or faster to make sure you don’t get camera shake when shooting in low light situations (like inside around a dinner table).

5.  Use exposure compensation if you need to to try and get your subject the right brightness if the background is much darker or brighter than the subject. (think snow shots, sunset shots, backlit shots, etc)

6.  Alternately, use your AEL (Auto exposure lock) to get an exposure reading from something similar to your subject, then recompose your shot and take the picture.  This should help get a proper exposure on your subject.

7.  If al else fails put it in AUTO, have fun, don’t stress, and remember its not about the photos, it’s about the relationships!

Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas to all of you!

A Few of My Favorite Sites!

A Few of My Favorite Websites : I thought I’d take this month to share the links to a few of my favorite instructional websites – places where I learn a ton about cameras, techniques, and approaches to photography that help improve my craft.

They include shooting, editing, equipment, and business info. and have proved invaluable to my photography!  Hope you enjoy!

(In no particular order)

National Geographic Photo Tutorials (instruction, inspiration)

CreativeLive  (instruction, inspiration)

lynda.com (instruction)

bhphotovideo.com (equipment)

asmp.org (business and legal)

Pinterest (photo mania!!! Great for analysis of photos)

What are your favorite links??

Oh, and don’t forget the upcoming Landscape Photography Excursion!!

Shooting the World of the Little

The following is a great way to get great macro shots with your existing lenses!

VelvetAntS

Check out the gallery:  World of the Little by Silver Hill Images.

Buying macro equipped lenses or specialized macro gear can be very expensive.  But the World of the Little as I call it, is full of fascinating images!  In order to get up close and personal all you have to do is flip your lens of choice around backwards and put the front end over the camera mount.  I’ve done this successfully for many shots, and only once have I ever dropped (or rather, thrown) my lens.  Of course if you want, you can always buy what is called a lens reversal ring.

 

 This (relatively) inexpensive piece of equipment screws onto the filter threads on the front of your lens, and then mounts to your camera body.  This of course is the ideal as it frees both hands to then operate the camera normally.

 

Check out B & H Photo Video for some examples.  You purchase the reverse ring based on the thread size of the lens you have and the camera brand/type.

 If you are using a zoom lens, you can use the zoom ring as you normally would to bring the image closer or farther away.  You would then use the focusing ring in Manual Focus mode (switch on the side of your lens) to focus in on your subject.

 

 You may find it helpful to move towards and away from your subject until you find the sweet spot for focus.  You’ll have to play around, but that’s what’s fun about photography!

 

 Either way, using this technique allows you to utilize the lenses you already have to open up a whole new world of imagery.  Love it!

 

 Share your macro images using this technique at the Silver Hill Images Facebook page!