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Notes on Photography


I am a bit wary of this topic, because well, I probably do everything wrong.  I don't have a DSLR.  I edit everything.  Recently, most of the pictures have been taken on my camera phone because I lost the charger for my proper camera.  But, I do love taking pictures for the blog, so any proper photographers who read this, please forgive me.

I have 2 cameras.  My main camera is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18.  Its considered a "high specification, super zoom" camera.  Its bigger than a compact, smaller than a bread bin. We bought it because we couldn't afford a DSLR and it has received great reviews.  It takes excellent shots in  good light...not as great in low-light situations, but still much better than other cameras I have used.

My other camera is the camera on my new iphone. Yes.  I own and iPhone and I love it.  Gadgets and travel will always be my down fall in living the simple life, I admit it. But the thing is, its really fantastic.  Its easy.  Its accessible. I can edit and upload pics to Picasa in a few short clicks.


How do I edit the photos?

For pics taken with the Lumix, I will almost always perform some basic editing to the photos.  Essentially all of my photos on the blog have been at least slightly saturated.  I also often try to give my photos an interesting crop. Writing this, I realise I favour a crop of the right hand bottom corner of objects.  I am sure there is some deep Freudian meaning in there...

To do this editing, I use Adobe Photoshop Elements (for heavy duty editing like the photo above), but on the whole I prefer the quick and easy applications of Picasa and Picnik.  Both are free and do exactly the basics...quickly. 

The camera on the iPhone is pretty poor.  To make the grainy look intentional, I use Polarize and CameraBag that give the photos a retro feel.  Both are very easy to use, but I'll leave it up to you to decide whether you like the quality or not. For the camera phone pics, that is all the editing I do.

Technical issues aside, what else helps me?

- I take lots of pictures.  That pic above with my phone and the flowers took me 14 tries to get something close to what I wanted. Yesterday's photo of the elderflower fritter was 25 pictures and 3 dirty plates.  I can always delete them later and dishes will wash.

- I try different things.  Who says cake has to be photographed on a table?  Why can't a bag be shown hanging in a tree?  In the digital age, there is no excuse for not trying it. 

- Take a camera with me all the time.  Bloggable and photographable moments happen when you least expect them...better to come prepared. If my camera is with you, it makes it a lot easier to capture them.

- Look at other people's pictures.  This has been probably the biggest help to me to get my own pictures looking how I want them.  Flickr is invaluable for  connecting me to some great images that people take.  Some of my personal favourites right now:

Molly Dunham (who blogs at A Foothill Home Companion)

Eren  (who blogs at vintage chica)

Susannah's Unravelling course has really helped me on to think about different ways to photograph things.  Its brilliant.  Surrounding myself with other women taking pictures has moved my own photography on by leaps and bounds. 

- I take it seriously but enjoy it.  Ok, so I know everyone else says "just have fun".  But I guess I approach it as I would other things that I want to do well.  I committ to it. I want it to be good and look good, so I do what I can to make that happen.

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