Photography 101 (creativity part II)

I apologize for not having posted the Mini Kabob recipe yet!  I will do it as soon as I can!  But for now David is back with more tips and great advice for going beyond just snapping pics on your own.


My last post was just a starting point and I didn’t want to overwhelm you with too many tips or info. Let us look at some more steps you can take to improve your photography.

Basking Tulip

Get to know other creatives. Join a camera club, or if you’re unable to join a club, engage other photographers in conversation online. You can meet a lot of nice photographers through blogs or websites like Flickr. Send them an email and start up a conversation. You just might make a friend who will let you pick their brain a bit. They’ll be even more inclined to talk to you if you share some knowledge or experience too.

Pismo at Twilight

Not ready to spend any money? Start out at It’s a great resource where you can find almost anything.

Another great free resource is the local library or bookstore. You can walk into any large bookstore and read all the latest photography and photoshop magazines for free. Even local libraries may carry a few photography magazines worth checking out. I used to take notes or pictures of the magazine on my iphone so I could try out new techniques when I got home.

Go to a workshop. Yes, they can be expensive, but you can learn so much in a day at a workshop, and you can network with other photographers there. I do have to add that its very important you choose a workshop that suits your skill level. A beginner is going to struggle in a more advanced setting, and if you take a class that’s below your level, you won’t pick up many useful tips and you’ll probably be bored. If you do go to a workshop, make sure you’ve read your manual a few times and know your way around your camera so you can get the most out of the class.

A happy couple

If you can’t afford a workshop, there are a few websites that offer excellent videos. Kelby Training and are both great. Kelby offers 75 24-hour free trials everyday that will give you access to all of their videos.

Rogue River Gorge HDR


If you feel like you’re talented and ready to take photography beyond a hobby, look for a mentor. Call local photographers and ask if they are looking for an assistant. If you do attend a workshop, stick around afterwards and ask the photographer running the class if they’re looking for an assistant. I have to warn that not everyone wants an assistant, and some people don’t pay very much, if at all. But, you will be paid in knowledge of how the photography business works and how a professional approaches their craft.

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Photography 101 (lighting)

I love photography and the many ways you can create beautiful images and unique pictures.  But, alas, I am not knowledgeable in that area so I invited someone to come share with us photography tips.

Meet Carlie!  She takes lovely photographs and is going to share some tips and the importance of lighting when it comes to photography…

Oh!  Don’t forget to check out her lovely blog!  Welcome Carlie!


Photography has been a passion of mine since childhood, but I didn’t just pick up a camera and become a photographer.

It takes time, patience, and many mistakes.

When I took my first photography course in college we only shot with natural light.

Natural light is known as available light, most commonly, the sun. By not allowing us to use a flash, my professor taught us how to be prepared for any lighting situation. To this day I still do not use flash even when it’s pitch black out.

For any beginning photographers out there, my advice would be to experiment, experiment, experiment!

Once you have mastered shooting with natural light, the possibilities are endless. Lighting can be used to create intense and dramatic photo effects.

Here are a couple pointers, I wish someone had told me when I was first starting out.

  • The best time to shoot is known as the ‘golden’ hour, which is just before sunset or sunrise.
  • Pay close attention to which direction the light is coming from.
  • Let’s say you are shooting a woman in front of a tree. If the sun is shining upon her face (direct sunlight), you will get a warm, light, and detailed photo.
  • If the sun is coming from behind her, which is known as ‘backlighting’, it would create a hard, vivid and contrasted image.
  •  Both lighting situations can work to your advantage; I love to use direct sunlight for portraits to bring out the details in my subjects’ faces and to get a beautiful glow.

I like to use backlighting to create artsy and contrasted silhouettes. Shooting in shade also makes for a beautiful, softer image, but make sure there aren’t shadows being cast on your subjects.

I hope this article was helpful. Remember to experiment and learn from your mistakes : )

A backlit image. You will notice that the image is darker, contrasty, and you lose detail in the subject’s face.

Now I’ve turned him around and he has direct sunlight hitting his face. We can now see more and a beautiful glow upon his face.

In this image I used backlighting to create a contrasted and colorful silhouette of this little boy running along the beach.