Sunday, 26 February 2012

'The key to taking better pictures'.
Please click the link on the right hand side bar.

Please click on link on right hand side bar.

How many of you, like me, own a digital camera but you're so bewildered by all the buttons, settings and modes that you stick it on Auto, shoot away and then deal with the over/underexposed image in your camera software?
And who, like me, is so bewildered by ISO, F stops and shutter speeds in their individual elements let alone how one should be used with the other that instructions fly right over your head and out the window?

Well guys  until recently I too  had come to terms with the fact that 'auto' is just going to be my best friend from here on in - what a complete waste of a DSLR.

So what's changed?

I read an Ebook by Katie Evans titled 'The key to taking better pictures', (click link on right to see it) it's as simple as that.

So why is this Ebook so special and who is Katie Evans?
Katie Evans  began her photography career as an assistant, took the opportunity to be trained by a talented professional photographer and now runs her own small photography business. Her website 'Katie Evans Photography'  is a mine of information, tutorials and workshops suitable for all photography enthusiasts from beginner to professional.

The first thing that struck me about Katie Evans' Ebook was that her style of writing was easy to read and easy to understand, but what I found a real breath of fresh air is that Katie doesn't insist that you need every lens available or a fancy fandangled, multi dimensional, brain of its own Tripod to take professional looking images. In fact Katie takes professional images using 1 of 3 lenses only and doesn't use a tripod at all. 

FStop...............did you shiver?
ISO...................shaking all over yet?
Shutter speed..................... cold sweats now?
Finally I can honestly say that I understand those terms. Plus I am confidently learning how each individual one interacts with and defines the outcome of the other and I cannot even tell you how suprised I am by that. They suddenly seem to make sense thanks to Katie Evans ebook - cool huh!

Over 7 chapters Katie clearly explains the concepts and actions she uses in her own photography and covers everything from those dreaded ISO, Fstops, shutter speeds and all other shooting modes (including auto) to 'Lighting', 'The Shoot', 'Composition' and 'Editing'. All chapters and sub chapters are detailed, clear and very informative.
Just from reading the first chapter you get the feeling that this is a lady who wants to teach you how to take better pictures and that she is more than happy to share her experience and help you to get there and once you have 'got there' Katie then takes you through some of the editing techniques you may still want to make use of.

Before reading this ebook I  spent many a time trying to get a photo of a diary that belonged to my GreatGrandmother detailing her journey to Scotland in the early 1900's, but no matter what I did I just couldn't get the image right. Yes CS5 would do it for me eventually but I want to be able to spend more time taking good images and less time editing them.
Well this is it now:

Well, I know it's still not fabulous BUT the only thing I have done to this in my editing software is to reduce the image size, normally CS5 would have had to rectify everything for me.
The fake flower is a bit naff  as composition is soooooo not my strong point but that pencil is the exact one my Gt Grandmother used so I wanted to get that in the shot. You even get a sense of how pencils were cut to be sharpened rather than using sharpeners as we do nowadays.
If the image looks a bit blurry it's because I used those screw on lens filters that screw onto your usual lens and +1 or +4 or +6 the image. It's a cheaper option than a proper lens but it means you have to focus in a weird way, but at least there is a point of focus there now.

Here's the Lichen that covers all the trees here (apparantly it's a sign of clean air - which I know we have).

tree lichen

Again not perfect BUT all my previous attempts before reading 'The key to taking better pictures' resulted in either under or over exposed images and I just couldn't get the tone right without going RAW and editing it. This has only been edited to reduce the image size.
I'm going to spend some time getting a fabulous Macro image of the Lichen now I have my ebook to help me get it right.
So now I can continue to improve on these new found skills and use them to take better pictures for my blog. Who knows maybe I'll even take something that is printable or could be used in postcards or note books - now THAT would be super cool!

So if you want to improve your photography skills and get the most out of your camera. If you want to take better photos for your blog, your business, crafting printables or even family portraits then you should click the link over on the right, head on over to Katies blog and get your own copy of  'The key to taking better photos'. You will not regret it.

Linked up with

'Somewhat Simple'
'Nifty thrifty things' 
'The Southern Institute'
'My 1929 Charmer
'Under the table and dreaming' 
'Keeping it simple
'Sew can do
'Three mango seeds
'The Girl Creative
'Sew chatty
'I'm along for the ride'


Connie @ Measured by the Heart said...

I am happy to be your newest lf follower. I found your cute blog from the linky followers blog hop. If you'd like to follow back, you can reach me at

leavesnbloom said...

Congrats on moving away from auto - your pictures will never be the same again Linda and I can see the detail in the way the pencil is sharpened. I can remember reading an article once on digital photography school from Katie. You mentioned that she only uses 3 lens - could you let me know which 3?

Pieces of Sunshine said...

Very tempting. If I had a DSLR I think I'd be buying a copy by the sound of your report. There's always something new to try and experiment with.

cathy@my1929charmer said...

I usually leave mine on auto, I need to learn more about my camera, but always so much to learn. thank for sharing the information. Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration over at Sunday's Best Par.tay PS - now following you on Linky!