Saturday, August 28, 2010

Photoshop CS5 and Metering for Exposure

This photo isn't related to any part of the post today, I just
thought that a picture makes a post more interesting. 
Well, I am crazy excited to say that I just got Photoshop CS5.  Now, having said is a lot more to learn than Elements.  Which of course, I love the challenge.  I might get a little more pasty white from not going outdoors since my nose is stuck in my newest Photoshop book.  If you already have Elements I am sure that you got the email stating that you could upgrade to CS5 for $299.00.  I think this is a GREAT deal so I jumped on it.  The cost is usually around $700.00!!!!  Just thought I would share my excitement and tell you how stinking AWESOME this program is.  I haven't gotten super far in the book, but what I am seeing so far is AMAZING!

On a different note, I am going to start to gather more info on metering for exposure for natural light photography.  I do have a couple of tutorials already in the tutorial section of the blog (the only working button at the top of the page besides "home", and "about me").  I guess I should finish putting my blog together too! :)  Anyhow, I have some of the basics for exposure already in the tutorial section. So, this week I am going to dive a little further into it.  Here are a couple of tutorials that might be helpful on metering,ISO,shutter speed, and aperture.  These are the basics on how to get a good exposure from my research.  Currently I have been trying to figure out what exactly I should meter on in different lighting.  Like if my subject is back lit, should I meter off the sunset, the grass, or the subjects face?  So, once I have my data collected, next week I will post my findings and some example pictures.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Natural Lighting in Photography: Finding the Right Kind of Shade also known as Open Shade

Okay, I have done a little research on the right kind of shade in photography, and this is what I have found. The photo to the right is of my daughters, you say daughterS.  Yes, that light colored blob behind the cute little face is my youngest chasing the dog in the garage.  This would be a better picture had all the background been dark, but trying to get my oldest to look not half dead in a picture is quite the feat. :)  This photo was taken with an open garage door in manual mode with Kya facing the sunlight.  The ISO was set at 400, I metered off her face for my shutter speed, I wore a white shirt for the catch lights, and angled her face until the light hit across her cheek nicely.  The f/stop used was a 1.8, a very shallow depth of field to blur out all the garage clutter, and BELIEVE me there is a lot of clutter.  White balance was set to cloudy since open shade can cause a blue tint, this cloudy WB will cause a warmer color throughout the photograph. The last tid bit of info here is that this picture was taken at 2:15pm on a super bright cloudless day during the hot summer.

1. You want to catch the light in the eyes of your subject, these lights are called “catch lights”. This can be done by either turning your subject to the light source, having a reflector reflect the light into the eyes, or standing near a reflective surface (like a white wall, white cardboard, or t-shirt).

2. Have a good amount of indirect light coming through the shadow. Indirect light is defined as light that has particles in it, examples of this would be the fog, dust, mist. Also, indirect light does not hit the subject at a 90 degree angle, it hits at either more or less than 90 degrees. Using indirect light will not cause those harsh shadows on your subject like mid-day (hard or direct light) will. Indirect light is more complimenting to humans, since it evens out the skin.

3. Places to find indirect light were surprising to me. Apparently open garages with light flooding in is a great place to start. Place your subject in the shade in the garage facing out towards the light. The light outside will help catch those catch lights in your subject eyes. Have subject stand closer to the direct light if you aren’t seeing the catch lights, or try having them turn toward the light. Another great place would be on a patio, porch, front door, or in between buildings. I need to try the last suggestion, in between buildings. I guess if you place your subject in the shade, but have the direct light hitting the other building (especially a light colored building to reflect the light) near the shade will produce great results. I read that putting somebody directly under a tree canopy isn’t the greatest, as I thought would be better than direct light. It said to go ahead and place them under the tree, but closer to the edge of shadow produced by the tree. Also, not to have too many beams of bright sun shining through, since they can cause bright highlights and dark shadows.

4. You also want to have some of the sky showing in the background if possible, I am guessing so that there is still some fill light in the shot.  I am not too sure about this tip yet, I am going to have to do some experimenting myself.

5. Different types of shade also might cause color casts on your photos. Apparently, the color casts might show up a bit on the cool side, so maybe try adjusting white balance with a warmer setting if you notice this while taking pictures, maybe cloudy? These can be taken care of in some sort of editing program, or if you notice it while you are shooting photographs, adjust your white balance. Here is a tutorial that I put together on white balance
6. Here is a great site I found talking about all sorts of different natural lighting
This information can be helpful from when trying to figure how to meter in open shade.

Let's assume an F stop of f/8 and a ISO (film speed) of 400. Here's what these 10 light levels are and the shutter speed that would be needed.*Remember is you change the aperture you will need to change your shutter speed.
   A Sunny day outdoors — 1/2000 sec

* A hazy bright day — 1/1000 sec

* A bright cloudy day without shadows — 1/500 sec

* An overcast day, or open shade on a sunny day — 1/250 sec

* A heavily overcast day — 1/125 sec

* Deep shade. The woods on an bright overcast day — 1/60 sec

* Just before a thunderstorm or late on a heavily overcast day — 1/30 sec

* A brightly lit store interior — 1/15th sec

* A well lit stage or sports arena — 1/8th sec

* A well lit home interior — 1/4 sec

. I am curious if you are to meter off your subject, background, or sky. I am still playing around with metering.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Natural Lighting in Photography

Here is an outline of a photography class that peeks my interest, is a bit spendy for me at $300.00.  You can find this information at if you are interested in this class on natural light.  I am going to be taking the course details listed here from this email I received from Clickin Mom's and do the research myself on the net.  I will be posting my findings over the next several weeks.

Clickin Moms' Natural Light 101 Workshop:

Natural Light Workshop for Beginners


What we cover:

Metering for exposure

Positioning your subject

Using a reflector

Flattering shadows

Finding the right kind of shade

Avoiding dappled light

Finding the right location

Achieve back lighting outside AND inside

Focusing in back lighting

Camera position for great silhouettes

Silhouette images with impact

Visual interest and connections in silhouette images

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Northern California Mother Son Photo Shoot....

Here are a few more from the shoot with my sister, Cody, and Kya.  I am now going to try and do a shoot a week if anybody is interested.  Just spread the word and you can email me at  The only thing I ask is that I am able to post your pictures of the web, since I am eventually going to try and get a portfolio together.  No charge of course, I am still a total rookie...but I am liking what I am seeing so far.  I am having SOOOOO much fun learning and playing around with my new toys!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Second photo shoot....

Here is a picture of my younger sister and her adorable son.  Over the next couple of days I will edit her pictures and post some on the blog.  Here is a sneak peak at one that I thought really embraced the love they have for each other.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Win a free....

Go check out this link and try to win a pen tablet over at Tiffany Tillman's blog!!!!  Good luck!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Should you let your kids play on train tracks?

Should you let your kids play on train tracks?  Hmmmm...well, I think it is fairly safe as long as you have good site distance and working ears. :)  This picture isn't the best, but I love it.  My husband pointed out to me that our daughter looks just like her Papa, Jesse's Dad.  I can't get over the pose and expression, just like Papa's as a child. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Next photo shoot ideas...

Jamie Solorio Photography is now up, go check out some of my latest work!

I am going to be taking some pictures of my little sister and her son, my nephew Cody this Thursday.  So, what am I going to do about poses?  Just the two of them...hmmmm....  I have decided to start this post and just write down ideas that are floating around in my head as the week goes on.  Hopefully, by Thursday I will have several ideas so we aren't just staring at each other. :)  Another reason I like to do this is when I can visualize the outcome of the photo before I take usually ends up being a pretty good shot.

1.  Holding hands in a field, silhouette/and the blank farmer like know the one from the old guy and his wife holding the pitch fork picture.
2.  My sister kissing Cody's forehead with the sun setting in the background, close-up.
3. My sister's arms wrapping around Cody's neck and torso in a bear hug from behind.  Hopefully he will be giggling during this embrace.
4.  My sisters arm around Cody's shoulder and his had holding her hand/both standing straight towards camera and her head looking off to the side too.
5. Walking hand in hand down a path from the front/side and from behind/ have subjects off center.  Also have each one look towards me while other looking down path.  Several shots can be taken here.
6. Erin standing looking at something(back to me) while holding Cody's hand.  Have Cody turn and look my way.
7. Both Cody and Erin back to back holding hands, crop off Erin's head so hands and Cody are the focal points.  Angled picture.
8. If both are comfortable with this one, have Cody rest his head on Erin's upper of him looking at me, off to the distance, and eyes looking down.  Erin either looking straight at camera, off to side, or head down kissing his with her eyes closed.
9. Forehead to forehead, no laughing!!!! Right, smiles and giggles are what I am after here.
10.  Back to back while sitting, one looking off in distance other looking at camera.  Can have Cody's feet straight out in front of him, my sisters in a triangle or visa versa.  Cody fiddling with something, like a tall weed and not paying attention...Erin looking my direction.
11. Close up full frame filled with cheek to cheek, second person off in distance in soft focus.  Both looking same direction and one person sitting just a bit taller in the background.  To see their profiles next to each other to show their likeness.
12. A picture of them sitting on something tall and their knees and feet dangling down.
13. Running hand in hand down a weed like hill, one person barley in front of the other.
14. Jumping Silhouettes are fun too.
15. Cody in foreground off center in sharp focus with thumbs in pant pockets with cool kid pose looking off and straight to camera, my sister in background off center in other direction with coolish pose.  I can see it in my  mind, but hard to describe their poses.  Coolish pose sounds pretty cheese ball, but I think this will be a fun shot.

Well, I guess that is all for tonight.  I think my tapping on the keyboard as my hubby is trying to sleep next to me in bed is a little disturbing.  Speaking of my hubby, he bought me CS5 today!!!!  Super excited to try it out!!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Win a cute camera bag....

Check this link out to see if you can win one of these super cute camera bags from Jo Totes.  Even if you don't win, I think they are very reasonably priced as far as purse/camera bags go.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Face and Feet.

Sometimes just hanging out and snapping a picture of your child on the most normal of normal days is something very special.  Here are a couple of shots from our livingroom, I think turning them black and white really helps make them more timeless and interesting.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Give Away from Tiffany Tillman...

Go check out this link over at Tiffany Tillman's blog.  She is giving away a spot in her next class called Photoshop Brushes 2.  I am currently taking Photoshop Brushes and loving it.  By posting her link on my blog gives me a chance at taking that free spot in the next class.  Wishing luck to all!!!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Taking Still Life...I think?



So, my brother-in-law, Steven is quite the pottery guy.  He owns a store in Red Bluff, California called Village Pottery, and he is currently an apprentice under a Master Potter.  He wanted some pictures of some of his work to show some of his customers, so he asked if I could help out.  I am always willing to experiment with anything photography last night that is exactly what we did. 

It was quite difficult for me to fit all the pieces he wanted in a shot.  I think I would do better with just a few items in each shot, but here are a few that I got.  I think that I need to do a little research and see what tips there are out there for this type of photography.  Later this week after some research, I will be adding a new tutorial to the blog about still life photography, assuming that is what this type of photography is even called.

I am still in the process of building my blog buttons and links.  Currently the Tutorial button will actually take you to a list of my tutorials...super cool that I figured out how to do that!  I now have an About Me button, not super exciting, but it does work.  I am still working on the Photo and Life buttons.  Funny to think that I was the girl who couldn't even attach a photo to a email a couple months ago, to now getting a blog going and running Photoshop Elements with SOME ease. ")