Thursday, June 15

Developing Your Photographic Style

How do I find my own photographic style?  I've been asking this question for a while and I've been searching and studying and this is what I've come up with.

1.  Stop looking at everyone else.  Look around your house.  Your town.  Your family.  THERE is your inspiration.  You just haven’t seen it yet because you’re stalking someone else’s work.  You browse that “other blog” and you love it, but it makes you feel crummy about your own work.  Am I right?  Well, unsubscribe and be inspired somewhere else.

2.  Don't Copy.   Don’t copy someone else’s photography style.  Instead, take an IDEA and run with it.  Find what you like about that photography style and make it PART of your photography style.  

3.  Shoot daily.  If you shoot daily your photography style will emerge.  

4.  Learn the rules.  You NEED to know the proper technique and rules if you’re going to break them.  You have to know how to get proper white balance.  How to compose an image.  

5.  Think about what you want rather than what others want.  Shoot what makes YOU happy.  Only still life, go for it.  Only black and white, go for it.  Be yourself and make you happy with your photography.

So I took these tips and ran with it.  I've been looking over my photos from the beginning and I have discovered this about myself.   I enjoy still life photography....taking inanimate objects and "bringing them to life".  I also enjoy clean, simple styling.  And, I really like close up photography.  I adore shooting with my 35mm lens and I really like moody lighting.   

After discovering these things, I decided to explore the post-processing arena and decide what it was that I like there.  I process in Lightroom, and as I said, I like the moody lighting and I prefer a little moody processing to go along with that.  I've purchased TONS of presets and I've found that while these presets look good on someone else's photos, I don't particularly like them on mine.  Therefore, I worked to get a look of my own that I was satisfied with.  

So there you have my photography style.  How has your style developed? Have you noticed a big difference in the way you shoot or edit now, compared to where you were say, three years ago or even six months ago? Share your before and after photos in the comments section below, and any tips you might have for developing a personal photographic style.

Pin It

Sunday, March 12

Dying Cheesecloth

My friend Beverly Cazzell really started something when she asked Kim Klassen and Kyla Ferguson about some cheesecloth they had used in one of the photographs for The Studio.  Once the question was asked and the discussion that followed in our facebook group, I was hooked.  I HAD to have some colored cheesecloth.

Beverly dyed her cheesecloth of lovely shade of light and springy.  Once I saw her photos I was on a roll.  I bought some Dylon dye (available at Walmart, Michaels or Joann) and several packs of cheesecloth and away I went *grins*.

The Dylon dye was extremely easy to use and surprisingly not messy.  I used a glass bowl which I filled with hot water and added the dye.  I soaked the cheesecloth for about 10 minutes, rinsed and hung outside to dry.  It turned out so pretty.

I am going to also try my hand at dying this fabric with koolaid, tea, and maybe beet juice.  But that's for another day 😏

Now for some results:

The first one I did was this lovely shade of lavender (I used french lavender dylon hand fabric dye)

Next was this lovely yellow (sunflower yellow dylon).  It IS lovely but I used a little too much dye.  I was hoping for a much lighter shade of yellow.

Then I went for the pink (powder pink dylon).  It turned out exactly as I envisioned and I adore it.

Finally I did the blue (china blue dylon) and it, too, turned out exactly as I was hoping.

All in all, it was and interesting and fun afternoon.  As I said, the Dylon dye was so easy to use and no mess at all.  Also, I love the little extra "something" that the cheesecloth adds to a photograph.  Thanks so much to Beverly for the inspiration and push to do something creative.  I look forward to sharing my results of the next round.

Pin It

Monday, February 20

Processing Photos with Kim Klassen Presets

My friend Kim Klassen, founder of The Studio (where I love to hang out with some lovely new friends and learn about still life photography) has released her newest set of lightroom presets called Be Still Presets and Be Still Light Play.  I think these are some of Kim’s best presets and I fell in love with them the first time I used them.  They suit my moody style perfectly.

I process all of my photos in lightroom, unless I want to add text or do some major cloning which I do in photoshop.  Kim gave us a great tip about importing photos into lightroom.  I have made a default setting for all of the images coming from my Nikon D90 camera.  I start with a little noise reduction, lens correction and the adobe standard profile.  Then, the first steps I take when processing are the same with every photo.  I double check the white balance, then set the black and white points and highlights, and crop.

To set the black and white points and highlights, in the basic panel you hold down shift and double click on whites, blacks and highlights.  This gives me a decent place to start when processing.  I can either leave my photo at this or I can delve further into artistic processing.

Once I get to this point, Kim’s presets are pretty much one click and I’m done.  Here are a few examples of some of my favorite presets.

Kim has several preset collections which you can check out at her site:   Thanks for visiting today.

Pin It

Sunday, February 12

Etsy Shop Reopening

I have been working hard to reopen my Etsy Shop with new and exciting offerings.  The new year has brought about some changes and I'm hoping they result in a variety of more creative items in the shop.

Some of the new prints I have:

I've also created blank note cards which I am very proud of.  These note cards come in sets of 10 and are all blank on the inside.  Nothing is quite as nice as receiving a handwritten note in the mail.  Here is a sample of what's available:

I have personalized cards:

Blank everyday cards:

Thank you cards:

and Sympathy cards:

I also have been working on some inspirational downloadable wall art, available in three (3) sizes.

So that is what I've been working on since the last time.  I would love to hear what everyone else is busy with.

Pin It

Saturday, November 19


You know those days where you feel like just staying in bed all day?  Yup, today was one of those days.  It's been cold and getting colder all day long until this.............

I love snow but it just made me want to snuggle under blankets and sleep.  😴  I did that for a while and then I couldn't do it any longer.  So I got up and decided to play with some dark and moody photos to match the day.

I have a table which sits next to a south facing window and the light was very very low (obviously).  I felt a candle would be appropriate.  To set this up, I have several black canvases from Michaels which I set one behind for the background and one to the right to block some of the available light.  I pulled the candle right to the edge of the light so that just a portion would be in the shadows.  My camera settings were ISO 800, 1/125 @ f 3.2.  I have a Nikon D90 which does fairly well in low light situations but I don't like to push it past ISO 800 or I end up with just too much noise.

I decided to move in closer.  I actually love extreme close-ups.

I have tried for quite a while now to capture smoke or steam and it's not worked out well.  *grins*  As I was taking out the camera card and blowing out the candle I glanced up and the way the smoke was curling in the light was amazing.  I hurriedly relit the candle and replaced the card in the camera.  I tried several shots and this was the best.  Settings were ISO 800 with 1/80 @ f 3.2.

I was quite pleased with it.

Well that was my day *grins*.  Hope yours was more exciting!

Pin It
Pin It button on image hover