Friday, April 30, 2010

Shot of the Day...

This was taken around 2:30pm today, and it was pretty bright outside. Most of the pictures I was taking in Aperture Mode were all completely overexposed. So, we moved into the covered patio by our front door. This was taken with my D90, 50mm lens, 1/250th sec, f/2.8, ISO 400, White Balance set to cloudy, and Matrix Metering. Pretty cute, watching her so enchanted my the same snails I hate!

National Scrapbooking starting at Jessica Sprague's site...

Here are two layouts I did today. Yes, I did get the house cleaned and managed to go to lunch with my girlfriends. It is okay to give children maximum doses of Benadryl, right???? LOL, no I didn' took a nap and the other is at a friends house. Perfect!!!! So, I am sitting here with my hubby and we are both geeking out. He is playing some "kill everybody" video game and I am drinking a mojito (he made me!) next to him with my laptop. Life is good! Here are the layouts...

Supplies for the first layout used were:
Crystal Wilkerson August 2009 Basic Buttons
Frame: House of 3 Rounded Square4 Frame
Font: Bleeding Cowboy
Digital Kit used for all below was Macosx/mco Bohemian Summer Digital kit
Alpha: Boho Alpha 3
Papers: MCO Boehmian Summer Digital Kit, papers 10,11,3, and 1
Stitching: MCO Bohemian Summer Digital Kit Stitching Snippit 2
Glitter Stars: MCO Bohemian Summer Digital Kit Green Glitter Stars

The second layout's supplies are:
Brushes used: 3 large retro brushes by Eliburford, and NRJ Chalk
Fonts used: Bosshole, Bernard MT Condensed, and Century Schoolbook
Digital Kit used was Colorul Callaboration ScrapArtist by Creating Keepsakes
Stitching: AAB CK Yarn from kit
Papers: Yellow Green Circles, NRJ orange pp2 and Lili CK pp2

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sun Rays...

So, as far as I can tell lens flare/sun rays in your photograph is pretty trendy these days. Plus, I love it! I thought I got this information from Pioneer Woman Photography Blog at . However, when I went back to reference it...I couldn't find it. Basically, if I can remember what I read catch sun rays you need to shoot with a higher f/stop and position your subject between the sun and you. I did this on these shots. There is one shot that really shows the rays, which is neat. The others were a little surprise for me. When I looked at them in photoshop, there were little sunbursts on the glass, super pretty. You can see them if you click on the images to make them bigger. Those particular shots I did not have the subject directly between me and the sun. I was worried about my image sensor. Somewhere on the net I have read that pointing your image sensor at the sun is bad, just as it is for your eyes. So, I figured I would only take a couple right towards the sun. Also, I did this near dusk, so the sun was low in the sky and not as intense. I shot these with my trusty 50 mm lens, f/22, using aperture priority, since I had the bright sun in my view finder and didn't want to expose my eyes to the sun while I metered.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Low f/stop... bigger aperture.... less in sharp focus

High f/stop.... smaller aperture....more in sharp focus

Well, I think this one is pretty straight forward. It seems like I might be missing something though, since I totally understand it. ")

Aperture is the hole in our camera that allows light to the image sensors. Much like the pupil(aperture)of our eye to the retina(image sensor). F/stops are like the iris of our eyes, regulating the size of our pupils(aperture) and at the same time the amount of light hitting our retina(image sensor).

F/stops are a little confusing, since they seem to go backwards. A low f/stop number, like F/2.8 is actually a big aperture...allowing more light to the image sensor(like our pupils at night, big and letting in more light). While a F/22 is a big number allowing in less light, smaller apertures (like our pupils during a bright day, small and allowing less light in).

The size of aperture also determines depth of field along with amount of light allowed to hit the sensor. A low f/stop number, big aperture, will give a shallow depth of field. A shallow depth of field when you have a focal point of interest that is sharp in focus and the foreground/background are sightly blurred. I personally love this, especially for taking pictures of my girls. A lower F/stop creates bokeh, which is that slight blurring of the background/foreground and leaving your subject in sharp focus, great for portraits. The opposite of shallow depth of field is greater depth of field. Greater depth of field would be a high f/stop number, like f/22. More of your image is going to be sharp and in focus with a higher f/stop, small aperture. A greater depth of field is great for landscapes.

There might be more to aperture, but for me at this time...I am fine with a basic understanding. Now that I have figured out aperture, ISO, Shutter Speed, and somewhat metering...Exposure will be next big step. To create correct exposure is a whole other topic. Trying to create perfect exposure seems to be difficult for me. I always seem to be overexposing my pictures and having to fix them in photoshop. I will be reading up on this for a while.

A shot a day...

April 29, 2010 shot of the day

Here is todays shot. This was taken yesterday and I thought it was a neat shot.

Taken in aperture mode with f/4, 1/640 sec, matrix metering, white balance set for cloudy, ISO 400. We were out playing in the shade of a tree after it had rained, so it was sunny, but not to bright.

Each day I want to post a shot, and have them all in their own category. I am not too sure how to do that yet, so for now...I think I am going to just add pictures to this post.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Photo Walk...

Here a couple of shots I liked from a photo walk my friend and I took last night. Crown Camera a local photography shop in town hosted it, and it was a lot of fun. Most of my pictures really were horrible, but I really liked these. The first two were taken at ISO 200, White Balance set to cloudy, F/2.8, Shutter Speed 1/800sec, and Spot Metering in manual mode. The last one had the same settings, except the shutter speed was 1/320 sec. I did adjust the exposure in photoshop, it was a little overexposed to begin with. All in all, I am pleased with these shots. I guess 3 out of 100 is good, right? ;)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Shutter Speed...

My disclaimer, remember I am a total rookie learning as I go. These are just my notes to help me become a better photographer and maybe help others along the way.

Shutter speed is the amount of time your shutter stays open and allows light to hit the image sensor in our digital camera. Shutter speed is measured in seconds, usually in fractions. Don't freak out, the fractions aren't difficult to understand. :) The bigger the denominator (the bottom number on the fraction) the faster the shutter speed. The smaller the denominator, the slower.

To freeze action in your photography you will want to use a faster shutter speed, and slower to cause blur (movement). Examples of times to use higher speeds would be to catch an action, like your child playing baseball and wanting to freeze some movement. Or if you want to see the water of a waterfall to look all soft and marshmallow like use a slower shutter speed, with a tripod. A tripod is suggested since anything below 1/60th of a second might show some camera shake. The picture of my daughter's feet on the potty is a good example of this. I wasn't trying to catch movement, but I was trying to allow a lot of light on to the image sensor since we were in the bathroom with little natural light, and I did not want to use flash. Some cameras offer REALLY slow shutter speeds, like a whole second to several, and even a setting called "B" or "Bulb". The Bulb setting allows you to leave your shutter open as long as you want to.

Slow shutter speed is usually 1/60th of a second to 1 second. Long shutter speed is considered 1 second or longer. Fast shutter speed is considered to be 1/500th of a second or faster. As you experiment with these different speeds in manual mode, be sure to keep an eye on the little ruler mentioned in my earlier post. This will ensure you have correct exposure. If you have a faster shutter speed, allowing less light in, you will have to compensate with a lower f/stop number, bigger aperture. Shutter speeds increments about double with each setting, examples would be 1/1000, 1/500, 1/250, and so on. This is good to know since aperture also doubles with each stop. So, if you want to change your shutter speed, but want to keep close to the same exposure you can adjust your aperture. This works both ways, if you want to change aperture (change your depth of field) then either open up aperture and lower shutter speed for similar look or go the opposite way.

Here are some guidelines from
The speeds listed are the needed speeds to freeze the action under normal conditions. If you want to blur the action, decrease the shutter speed. To adjust for a very fast situation, increase the shutter speed.

Football - 1/400

Baseball/Softball/Hockey - 1/350

Kids Running - 1/350

People Jumping - 1/250

Golf Balls - 1/3200

Water Splashing - 1/350

How does shutter speed effect focal length? If you are using a lens with a longer focal length you will want to use a shutter speed that is faster than if you are using a shorter focal length. If you are using a focal length of 50mm (which is what I use most of the time) you will want to make sure your shutter speed stays above 1/60th of a second. Then if you are using a longer focal length, like a lens that is 200mm, you will want to use at least a shutter speed of 1/250th of a second. Notice the denominator in both examples is bigger than the focal length. A general rule is to use a shutter speed that is 1/(focal length number) of your len's focal length. However, if your lens has image stabilization, you can use a lower denominator in the shutter speed and should be able to get your shot. Image stabilizers in your lens should allow you to go down in speed by about 8 times lower than the general rule.

A great site to check out for more information on shutter speed, and some GREAT examples of being creative with shutter speed is There is a picture of stars and stationary objects that is so cool. I am going to have to try this one night, loved it!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Your Spot...

Inspired by Cottage Arts ScrapTemplate Set 13

Supplies used:
Fonts: Bakersfield Old Face, Eight Eighteen, Perpetula Titling MT
Papers: Jessica Sprage Kraft, Crystals 2009 Neutrals kit (brown striped, lined, graph, Worn)
Overlay: Cottage Arts text path 1 Sampler
Word Art: Simply Elegants One Enchanted Moment

I made my own template using vector shapes and subtracting custom shapes from them to create the torn bottoms of paper. The background paper is just text I wrote about my daughter and copied several times over and used as an overlay. I also used to burn tool around the group of papers to the left to make them stand out a little more along with the border of the background paper.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day...

Here are todays snapshots in honor of Earth Day.

Here is a picture of my youngest reaching out to touch the mint. This photo was taken around 4pm with a 50mm lens f/1.8 Aperture set at F/5 ISO 200 1/640 sec WB cloudy Matrix Metering Exposure Value -0.3. I did do some work in photoshop with his as well. I have to research exposure more, but I tend to like my photos a little underexposed(darker)for some reason. I am sure once I do a little reading on what is considered good exposure, I might change my mind.

This one I used some textures in photoshop to create more dimension. This was taken at F-stop F/2.5 ISO 400 WB Cloudy Matrix Metering Exposure Value -0.3.

This last one was taken earlier in the day. I used a F/1.8 1/1250 sec WB Cloudy ISO 200 and Matrix Metering. I seriously underexposed this in photoshop to create more of a dark background. Again, I don't know if this is considered "good" to do. But, I figure I can post it and see what it looks like for a few days.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Wow, I am super excited!!! I entered my very first photography competition and was selected in the Amateur division to have this photograph hung at the Turtle Bay Museum of Redding, CA for one month. Too cool!

This second picture is one I took of my daughter today. I think I am going to try and take a picture each day and post it. I am proud to say that I did it in manual mode!!! Taken with 50mm Lens F/1.8 1/400 sec ISO 400(since it was dusk) Center-Weighted Metering White Balance set for Cloudy(since it was cloudy and a portrait)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Welp, after trying out for the Jessica Sprague Creative Team for 2010...I lost. I am a big, fat, loser face...does that sound 3rd grade or what? LOL! I do congratulate all those who did win and watch out next year...I am going to rock it. Positive thinking, right? Here are the 3 layouts I did enter, just for more salt in the wound. Hee! Hee!

All supplies used are listed at in the Creative Team Gallery.

Monday, April 19, 2010


ISO speed tells you how sensitive the image sensor in your camera (back in film days, the film) is to the amount of light available. So, the higher the ISO, the more sensitive the image sensor(film) is. If you are using a high ISO, you can take a picture when there is not a lot of light available. Beware though, the higher the ISO, the more noise (grain) is seen in your photo. Noise is like artifact almost in your picture, your picture will just not look as clear with a higher ISO than a lower one. If you use a low ISO, the less sensitive the image sensor (film) is to light. Then you would want to use a low ISO in the afternoon on a sunny day. What is great about digital cameras is that we can change our ISO anytime we want depending on the light available. Back when and still when people use film, they have to change the roll of film to work with their lighting situation.

One site I found stated that an ISO of 50 is good for bright sunny days, and maybe even an ISO of 100 would be okay also. For low-light conditions like late afternoon, early evening an ISO of 400 would be good. Then for really low light-light conditions like night time an faster ISO of 1600 or 3200 would be good, but to expect noise. These ISO values were a little different at a different site listed below. The only way to decide which ISO you will like for certain types of the day is to practice shooting all different ways.

The other night when I was taking the metering photos of the candles I used an ISO of 200, which is my camera's default setting. I think that tonight I am going to try a higher ISO and see what happens. I think the exposure was good, but I had a little bit of blur just because of the long shutter speed. If I wasn't so darn lazy I could of pulled out my tripod and set it up, and then used my self timer on my camera to ensure no camera shake, but that was too much work for me at that time. So, if I raised the light sensitivity (ISO) of my image sensor the shutter speed could be faster and create a more crisp image...we will see. However, I might get some noise though. I will post the pictures later tonight. I read an article by Bryan F. Peterson about ISO and worker bee's, which made it easier to understand ISO and shutter speed. He said that if you have you ISO set and 100 and I had mine set at ISO 200, and we both had our apertures set at F/5.6 that I would take my picture faster than you! Why? Because I have 200 worker bee's trying to gather the light and you only have 100. Neat.

Here are a list of ISO's and times of day to use as a reference created by

ISO 50 for bright light/bright overcast
ISO 100 for heavy overcast/heavy shade
ISO 200 for early morning/late evening
ISO 400 for dawn or dusk
Use flash at night or up ISO as mentioned below. I also read that if you need to increase shutter speed even more, like to catch your toddler running after something, you can up your ISO to 400 and this will amp up your shutter speed, even if you have enough light available at 200. I guess I will have to give this a try, I wonder if it would overexpose the picture with too much light. Though, the author at did say that this could increase your noise.

Try not to use flash, and try upping your ISO. First you will need to open your aperture all the way, and this you can make your shutter faster, and even faster with that higher ISO. For every F/stop lowered (bigger aperture) you can increase your shutter speed by half. Each time you double up your ISO (example 200 to 400) you can halve your shutter speed (from 1/2 second to 1/4 of a second). This will help you not use flash and not have camera shake due to a long shutter speed.

Friday, April 16, 2010


After doing a little research on metering I think I have it down. Metering is when the camera takes readings on the light levels to create a good exposure. Exposure is the amount of light that is allowed to fall on the film. So, that is why you might hear somebody say a photo was overexposed (too much light) or underexposed (not enough light). Exposure can be very creative depending on what you want to capture, and this all can be done on the manual setting of the camera by using shutter speed, f/stops, and any other features you want to try metering.

On my camera there are 3 different types of metering: 3D Color Matrix II Metering (Multi Metering), Spot Metering, Center-Weighted Metering. This is what my Nikon manual said about each. Multi Metering is recommended for most situations; selected automatically in auto and scene modes. Camera meters a wide area of the frame and sets exposure according to distribution of brightness, color, distance, and composition for natural results. Center-Weighted Metering meters the entire frame but assigns greatest weight to center area. Classic meter for portraits. Lastly, Spot Metering which camera meters a circle 3.5mm in diameter. Circle is centered on current focus point, making it possible to meter off-center subjects. Ensures that the subject will be correctly exposed, even when the background is much brighter or darker.

After reading several different websites about metering, they all pretty much say the same thing. So, for me...I will leave it on Matrix most of the time, but when I am shooting indoors I might go for Spot or Center-Weighted if I want to make sure the person I am shooting is exposed correctly. Or if I am out in the sun in the middle of the day taking a picture, I would go for Center-Weighted, unless the sky was really the brightest thing in the camera, Spot would be my choice then.

I took these pictures SOOC (straight out of camera, no photoshoping them) on Manual setting using my D90 with a 50mm lens. F/4, 1/2 sec shutter speed, ISO of 200 for the Center-Weighted and Spot Metered photos and changed my shutter speed on the Matrix Metered picture to 1/6 secs. I had to change the shutter speed since my fancy little light meter that sorta looks like a ruler at the bottom of the viewfinder was reading not at zero. The official name for my little ruler is the Electronic Analog Exposure Display. If the bar lines up on the "0" I am golden, correct exposure. But, if it moves past the zero to the right (-) side...then my photo will be underexposed. To the left of the zero, my photo will be overexposed.

Which photo do you prefer? I think that I am leaning more towards the Spot Metering on this one. I feel like the Matrix Metering is a little too glowy ( is that even a word?) for me, and Center-Weighted is nice, but lacking something. One thing that I do like about the Matrix Metering was the light on the table runner, I think that glow looks nice. I guess it is just personal preference when it is all said and done. I bet that I could combine the two photos in photoshop and have the best of two metering worlds, which is the first photo that was cropped also. I also wish that I had measured the distance between each candle on my table to make sure they would have equal spacing. Oh well, this was just to see for my own eyes the differences in my metering selections available on the Nikon D90.

I haven't played around too much with the Manual Setting yet, but that is the whole point of this blog. To use the ever so scary Manual Setting. Just want to point out something I read somewhere on the net, that using Manual will help ensure that all your photos look like they were taken at the same time. I guess if you use Auto Settings, the photos might not look like they were shot the same day. I guess only time and practice will show me if this was a correct statement.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Jessica Sprague's weekly Challenge...

Here is this weeks layout for the weekly scrap challenge over at I finished it in about 30 minutes, and I really like how clean it looks. Lately, I think my layouts have been a tad on the busy side.

Supplies used:

Photograph created by Lisa Bentrim of Photo LAB.

Brushes used: AJ Swirls, Vector Brushes by Rapture, and Wet Liquid Paint by Boyingopaw
Overlay used by Cottage Arts Natural 11 page 12
Font used Castella

Technique used: Combination Mask with drawing tool and brushes merged together. The rest is mostly stroke lines and drawing tool again for white mask. These techniques were taught by Jessica Sprague in NWR digi class.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Creative Team Layout #1

Here is one of my pages that I am sure I am going to enter in the Creative Team Search at Jessica Sprague's Website.

Supplies and Techniques used:

Papers used: LivE square in one papers 1 and 2, and R Young's Summer Slushee April Papers 3-6.

Fonts used: Century Schoolbook, Felix Titling, Bosshole, and Bleeding Cowboy. No, I did not make those names up....")

Embellishments used: Stars by JM So Charming Kit from Little Dreamers Designs.

Brushes used: SS Swirls 2 and Retro Vectors by RedHead Stock, and Spikey Swirls by Mels Brushes.

Techniques were all taught at Jessica Sprague's website.

From NWR class:

Color Burning, Justified Type, realistic drop shadows, rotating and flipping brushes, darkening the edges of layout for dramatic effect, combonation mask with brushes and drawing tools, and adding pop to photos by using hue/saturation, and photo manipulation to crate a better looking image.

From Deep In Digi:

Use of compound shapes for clipping masks for photos and papers, recolr the stars to match layout. I also used many of the different design ideas she sugests: such as color, triangel and the rule of 3's. I stroked lines for mulitple items, like photo's as mats, and some of the text. Using a mask for my title to attatch paper to it. I also used the hue/saturation to change to colors of the two papers from LivE, to make them match my layout better. Embellishing the papers I used to make them my own with brushes, and using the spacing on the brush tool to create lines of dots that look nice and neat.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Another Layout...

I will list supplies tomorrow....Sorry my battery is about to die!!!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A few pictures I took today...

All of these were taken in Aperture Priority using my 50mm f/1.8 lens. The first picture I really like, except I think that the depth of field is too shallow in the foreground, but I like the backgrounds blurring. I used f/1.8 when I shot this. I took a couple later in the day, which I haven't fixed yet, and they were with a higher f/stop and looked better. But I think the light in these photos are way better. As far as the rest of the pictures, I like them. Still learning big time, I had to do a lot of corrections to the exposure in photoshop to make these look nice. I have no idea why these were so over-exposed when I took them, but they were...even though I used cloudy WB(since it was cloudy) and messed with the exposure bracketing to get the picture darker. It was still really fun and I can't wait to go out and do it again, this time with people. Landscape pictures are sorta boring to me. Okay, well that i s all I have for you now.

Latest layout...maybe I will submit it to the Jessica Sprague Creative Team search...

What do you think? I will list all supplies used later, too tired right now.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jessica Sprague is looking for new members for her Creative Team...

So, Jessica Sprague, my favorite digital scrapbook designer and site to learn new digi tricks is looking for members for her 2010 Creative Team. These lucky people who are chosen get to design pages for her products. This means that if I was fortunate enough to be chosen, I would have access to all of her classes offered at her site, and her products. How cool would that be? In addition to that, my scrapbook pages would be seen by people all over the world who visit her site. So, keep those fingers crossed for me! I am thinking of entering this page, but Jesse isn't a big fan of it. Let me know what you think or if there is something I should change on it. Don't worry about my feelings, I just want to get on the be HONEST please. I also have to choose two other layouts for the contest. Once I have figured out which ones to enter I am going to post those here as well. Thanks for your help and those tightly crossed fingers!

Here is the website that is having the contest I mentioned above:

Supplies used on this digital scrapbook page were:

Fonts: Adler, Century Schoolbook, JailbirdjeNa, and Felix Titling
Brushes: Js-Swirls, Kao5 Splat, Swirl Ornamentals by Magical Viper, Swirls and Seeds by Melemel, SS retro vectors by Stephanie Shimerdela
Overlay: Trish Jones Distressed Diva Overlay
Paper used to clip to my compound mask by Eva Klipper Half Tones
I created the rest using the brushes listed, gradients, masks, and feathered Marquee Tool.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Rain break...

Okay, these are pictures of my adorable daughter, Kya. We had a small break in the rain and ran out to the front porch and took a few shots really quick. Unfortunately, there are a bunch of dead plants in the background from this crazy freeze we had this year. Oh well, it was better than haning out in the wet grass.
I am pleased with the warmth of the photos. I used a White Balance setting of Cloudy, then when I edited these pictures in photoshop I added the 81 photo filter on a couple of them. Sorry, forgot which ones. I also shot on Aperture Priority and used my 50mm f/1.8 lens. The f/stop I used was f/1.8 for all of these photos.
My friends and I are trying to keep inspired and trying new techniques each week and this is this weeks challenge. Which is a open aperature (small f-stop), and anything portrait style. You can find everybody's attempts at The Cali Girls Photo Fun! Link is listed below:

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter! These were created by my friends Sam, Ami, and their kids.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

White Balance

Okay, White Balance is what I researched a little today. What did I find out, well...white balance is pretty important when it comes to taking a picture and trying to capture the true color that you are seeing at the moment. Another approach to white balance (WB) is if you want to take a picture and try to get creative, to make the photo look more cool or warm.

I know these images are pretty fancy, right! Well, I was just trying to experiment with all the presets. The first one is of my husband, and he has no idea that these pictures were posted here. Hee! Hee! Anyhow, the first one on the left was taken with the Shady preset as suggested later in this post. But, there was a lot of clouds out today, so I am not too sure this is the best example to show. I guess something is better than nothing. The second picture of him is the Auto setting. Now to the ever so impressive shots of my converse, these were taken inside the house with natural light only. The first photo to the left is Direct Sunlight preset for WB. The second was the Shady preset and the last one is Auto WB preset. Which one do you like more? I actually like the Shady preset for the converse and Jesse. Hmmm... Something to consider.

I have read the section about WB in my Nikon D90 Manual 3x's now, and am starting to understand more each time I read it...still, there is more for me to learn. My camera has several presets for WB: Auto, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, K (choose color temp), and Pre Preset manual. Of these presets, from what I have read from several different sites...the Auto preset isn't the greatest for direct sunlight. The preferred WB setting would be Cloudy -3, which apparently is a pro photographer secret. Now, I haven't tried this yet, since it was crazy gloomy today...but I will. I am wondering if the -3 is EV or Mired, I am guessing Mired. Which I need to research more! I know that it involves a change in color, the colors being amber, blue, green, and magenta. So, I guess that will have to come another day. Another site suggested shooting in the sun with the Shady preset for WB. Again, I have to wait until it clears up around here to give this one a shot.

A cool thing on the D90 is the Pre Preset Manual WB, which allows me to set and save 4 or 5 different WB setting based on either an actual picture or ones that I program in myself. I can program ones that I use on a regular basis in difficult lighting, which would be inside the house when I have sunlight shining in through a window, combined with incandescent lights in the house, tv, and who knows what else. Which is something that I am going to have to play with to figure out the right WB settings to use.

Here is a chart that I found showing the different temperatures of light that I might come across while taking a photograph. I found this information at . This information would be useful if I decided to take advantage of the WB preset called "K", where I choose the temperature myself.

Color Temp
Light Source (in the roughest sense)

Candles, some flashlights


Household bulb, used

Household bulb, new / some studio lights

Sunrise / sunset (without the influence of heavy smog/smoke)

Fluorescent bulbs, cool white - "daylight" balances

Electronic Flash, portable (new bulb)

Studio Electronic Flash (new bulb)

Sunlight, bright day

"slight" overcast skies at lower elevations

Heavy overcast / slight shade

Rain at lower elevations / clear day at higher elevations (above 8000 feet)

Overcast to snowy days at higher elevations (above 8000 feet)

This photographer likes to shoot with an 81A lens filter, which helps warm up his pictures, which most people like. I do not have this filter, but in Photoshop Elements 7, in the Adjustment Layer icon (black/white circle above the layers palette)this photo filter can be found.

Another site I really found very useful was this one

Here is a description of the different effects of each of the presets my camera has.

AUTO (also called AWB) mode works OK with flash and indoors and outdoors. Usually the images will still be fairly blue in shade and pleasantly warm indoors at night. When the flash is on most cameras automatically switch to flash white balance.

The fun starts when you take it out of AUTO and set it yourself. Here's what the other settings do:

Tungsten (symbol of a light bulb also called "indoor"): Very, very blue most of the time except indoors at night, for which it looks normal. "Tungsten" is the name of the metal out of which the bulb's filament is made. Even indoors many people prefer the warmer AUTO setting. TRICK: Set -1 or -2 exposure compensation and use this setting in daylight to simulate night! In Hollywood we call this "day for night."

Daylight (symbol of a sun): Bluish normal. This is a little bit bluer than I usually prefer. Only use it for shooting test charts in direct sunlight.

Cloudy (symbol of a cloud): I prefer this. It's a little warmer than the daylight setting and best for most shots outdoors in direct sunlight. Why not the daylight setting? The camera manuals are written by engineers, not artists. The engineers are interested in copying color test charts, not making a good photo. I prefer things on the warmer side.

Flash (symbol of a lighting bolt): Almost identical to cloudy but sometimes redder depending on the camera. Use this the same way. On Nikons like the D70 you usually can set separate fine-tuned adjustments for each setting, so you can set different adjustments under cloudy and flash for quick access. This is optimized for the little on-camera flashes that tend to be blue, thus this setting tends to be warm to compensate. With large studio strobes you probably don't want to use this, since the images may be too red. Try the Daylight setting to match carefully daylight balanced studio strobes.

Shade (symbol of a house casting a shadow): Very orange. This is perfect for shooting in shade, since shade is so blue. It's also for shooting when you are under a cloud on a partly cloudy day since most of the light is coming from the blue sky. It's also for shooting in backlight, again since the subject is lit more by the blue sky instead of the direct sunlight. TIP: Some cameras skip this critical setting. If so, manually set the CUSTOM preset while in shade (also called one-push, Manual and white card and other things depending on manufacturer) and use this setting in place of the missing shade setting. TIP: I often use this mode even in direct sun when I want to make things look warm and inviting. Try it and you'll probably love it. The SHADE setting is a professional secret for getting great images, pass it on!

Fluorescent (symbol of a long rectangle or Fluorescent tube): Use this if your photos are too green or under Fluorescent, mercury, HMI or metal halide lights as you might find in street lights. It will make other things look a bit purplish. With Nikons the fine-tuning adjustment (+-3) is much stronger in this setting and adjusts from fairly warm to fairly cool. Because of this you may not be able to get the exact color you want under Fluorescent lighting, in which case try AUTO or preset.

Fine Tuning (+3 to -3): Color is critical. The basic settings above get you close, but probably not exactly what you want. These fine adjustments allow you to get the exact amount of coolness or warmth. + is cooler and - is warmer. Nikons allow you to adjust this and remembers your preference for every setting while the Canons often skip this. Without the ability to fine tune these settings I find the Canon Rebel, 300D and 10D cameras not very useful. One can even fine tune Nikon's AUTO setting. Most photos on my D70 are made in AUTO -3.

Another tid bit came from the Crown Camera class I took last week. The instructor mentioned a Expodisc, which automatically will aid in manual setting of white balance. This comes at a cost of $120 or so though. Apparently, it is better than using a white piece of paper and snapping a shot to set WB, since it takes in light from all angles, while the paper does not. Another site said that a Expocap would be a cheaper alternative and pretty good, better than the sheet of paper. It is important to remember that WB is going to change per shot depending on the lighting, so if shooting with direct sun and moving to shade a second later, you will have to reset WB. Personally, I think I should at least become very familiar with what my camera has to offer before I add any new gadgets. Even though, this expodisc sounds pretty cool.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Ha Ha Ha....

Are you wondering why this beautiful child has such huge crocodile tears? For such a happy child who never cries too! Well, let me tell you why my darling baby is crying. My friends! Yes, my friends!

What could any friend possibly do to cause a child such misery? I am not too sure how to answer that question...a friend is supposed to bring joy, happiness, and make you a better person. However, I am not too sure this was accomplished last night!

What was accomplished was a total destruction of my personal property! Yes, destruction! I know, I are looking at the pictures and saying gee's, somebody just TP'd your house. No, that isn't it! There were poopies left behind! Now, this is a whole other issue! Fecal matter is very harmful if consumed and this particular BM looked like there were chocolate chips in it! What if somebody, I dare not say...but what if they ate it? It did look a lot like brownies. But, who could sculpt a brownie into a perfect mound of poo? I am not sure any of my friends are that crafty!
Oh, and Isa was even more upset because it was raining this morning. I am not to sure if these villains understand that toilet paper gets crazy hard to pick up when it is wet! My my my, what to do, what to do!

I know, I have incriminating evidence. YES! I have a Walmart receipt that was just thrown out haphazardly upon my yard. Well, well, well you criminals...I can nail you now! Whomevers card has a last four of 1381 is toast! If this lead doesn't get me the info I need, then I have one other avenue I could try. Boy, you TP'ers have no idea who you are messing with! Don't you know I used to work for CHP! Silly, Silly girls!

My other source to find out who you are is that I know that your items were indeed purchased at the Walmart at 23:47:43, to those of you who aren't trained, as I have been, this would be 11:47pm. And you checked out at terminal 16! I was also trained at the Shopko on how to read a receipt. Oh, and I can find you just by asking the store manager Mike B. to review the tapes and tell me who exactly checked out at that time and local. Oh, yeah...he used to have a crush on me in high school, so I have a Walmart in!

What can I say except BUSTED!

You guys crack me up! Hope you had fun, and don't worry my little pretties I will get you back!:)