Friday, January 27, 2012

Photo Friday

So about that New Year's resolution thing. I usually make really un-fun resolutions, and unsurprisingly, they don't usually pan out. (How many times have I resolved to lose ten pounds? It's never happened.)

This year, I'm making fun resolutions I might actually keep, starting with photography. 

We have a decent camera--not a DSLR, but a point-and-shoot with manual shooting capabilities. We got it when we went to India almost three years ago now, and it takes nice pictures, but neither Andrew or I have any idea how to use the manual features, and that's dumb. 

So this year, I've resolved to learn to take better pictures. To start with, I'm using a couple things I found on Pinterest: A 31 Days to a Better Photo tutorial, and this list of daily photo assignments:
I started at the beginning of January, but then I went out of town, then I got sick, so I only ended up doing through day 6. Oops! I'm going to start being better about it, and to motivate myself, I'm going to post some of the pics here, on Fridays, starting today!

1. Self-portrait. (Wearing a Christmas present from my lovely CP Leigh Ann!)
2. Clouds. (There weren't any clouds in the sky that day, so I just took pictures of the sky. And this photo is SOOC (Straight Out of Camera)! No photoshopping at all! (Most of these have at least a little color balancing/contrast work.) As much as I can complain about New Mexico, the sky here is beautiful. 
3. Something green. (I took these the first week of January--Christmas decor was still up.)
4. From a high angle. (A lamp I bought at a thrift store.)
5. From a low angle. (Kitchen cabinet. Never got the lighting on this one to turn out right, so I went a little crazy in photoshop and tried to make it Instagram-y. Actually it just looks...dark and grainy. Oh well.)
6. Bonus! cat picture. From left, Whiskey, Scotch, and Bourbon hiding behind a stack of Andrew's shirts.

So what did I learn this first week?
-Shooting without flash really is better
-You usually won't get a great shot the first time. I had to take a lot of pictures to get a good one. (This was easier when I was taking pictures of the kitchen cabinet for #5 than when I was standing in the front yard pointing at my boobs for versions of #1 where I was showing off the shirt.) 
-A bunch of technical stuff I'm not going into here. 

I'd say week 1 of my resolution=success!


  1. I love your cats. Especially the seal-marked ones (no offense, Scotch); I've always had a thing for those breeds, though I've only ever owned one siamese myself.

    Looks like you're off to a good start with the photos! I remember what a learning curve it was for me when I first started exploring the manual settings on my camera. I really had my aha! moment in reading The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby. Suddenly the /why/ of what I was doing made sense which made it a lot easier to know/remember when and what to do. He's got a lot of great tips, it's worth checking out.

    1. That book sounds great, thanks! Yeah, I still kind of have no idea what I'm doing with the camera, but it's fun. And of course I love taking pics of the cats. :)

  2. What an awesome idea for a resolution! I've always wanted to be able to take artsy type photos. I can never be bothered playing with them in photoshop afterward though.

    I came across these two blog posts here and here a while back. They have some really good tips on taking portraits, but I think a lot of what's in there could be applied to a lot of different photography.

    One of my fun NY resolutions is to teach myself French! I'm learning in the car in my drives to and from work. :)

    1. PS. I kinda wanna do this now too! I might join you. ;)

      PPS. My Capcha word was REALON. Yes ... I am real.

    2. Awesome--those are some really good tips! And you should totally join me. I'm working on getting my hubby to do it too. :) How's learning French going? I've tried that in-the-car learning a couple times and it's super fun, but I quit after not too long. :)

    3. French is going well. I got the Michel Thomas CDs and so far I'm finding them really affective. I spend so long commuting to and from work everyday and I wanted to put the time to good use, instead of having 2 hours of wasted time listening to the radio. It definitely makes the drive more bareable!

      Ok, I'll do the photo challenge. :) I'll start today! (I'd better set a reminder for myself. Such a bad memory).