Category Archives: Blogging

Photography Tip #3: The Trio

Shutter. Aperture. ISO. If you want to have full control over your photos those are the 3 things you must master and understand (with giving focal length an honorable mention). To best describe them I will take you through my process when taking photos but by all means make your own and do whatever feels comfortable.

Step 1: ISO. This will determine how sensitive to light your “film” is. 100 = not so sensitive and higher equals progressively more and more sensitivity. In other words… sunny day at the beach is 100 and evening cocktail party is 2500. I set this first because along with determining how sensitive you want your camera to be at its core (the “film”) it determines the quality of the photos. The higher the ISO the more grainy the photo is.

Step 2: Aperture. Aperture controls the depth of field. Lower aperture, like a 2.8, is a very shallow depth of field. Higher aperture will allow for more and more in focus as you go up. The lower the aperture number the more light is being let in and, of course, the higher the number the less light will be let in. Setting this second will allow for you to choose your desired depth of field. I mentioned earlier about the honorable mention focal length – which is how far zoomed in or our you are. Zooming in more on the subject will create a shallower depth of field than zooming farther out… so keep that in mind.

Step 3: Shutter. This is last because, personally for me, it is the least important and allows me to adjust the shutter accordingly so that the previous settings hold true to the reasons I set them. I am not saying shutter has no effect, it does. Faster shutter will give you crisper images and show less movement. Slow shutters will allow for more light in but give you motion blur depending on how low you go. The majority of the time, when taking a “normal” picture the shutter is the easiest to adjust to allow for correct exposure. Be aware that if you are at a 100 shutter speed and its gets darker for some reason causing you to go below about a 50 shutter speed, you’re going to start seeing a good amount motion blur from a moving subject or moving the camera.

This is my personal preference and I do stray from it sometimes but overall it has worked out the quickest and easiest for me in most situations. If your environment changes go back to step one and start again. The advantage of using manual mode is being able to set how you want each photograph to look manually BUT just like a manual car you can’t jump from park to 4th gear without going through the proper steps first.

Hope this helped in some way. Let me know what your processes are or if you found using a better mode is better for you.

www.bluegiraffeimages.com

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Free Spirit

 

This week the weekly photo challenge is “Free Spirit”. My first thought was something or someone flying… but that is probably about 85% of you. So as I went through my photos and searched for what popped out at me as free spirit I came across this one. With everything going on with the elections I found it especially fitting. I don’t get all political on things but this is more about the spirit and less about a specific point of view (Obama).

“USA.” Don’t forget that we live in a country that allows us to have a free spirit… and there are reminders of that almost everywhere we look.

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First sale on ETSY

ETSY First Sale

Well… I have made my first sale. To my mother.

I have realized that when I go and buy something I look into the success that person/business has had before me and what people thought of it. So I needed a little help to start showing some activity at the store and my mom can always use a good photograph of mine.

As I think about what makes a small business something you want to buy from, it becomes more and more NOT a small business. Everything you have to put into it, all the things you have to worry about people thinking when they come there, having 1 bad review cripple you, etc. Basically it boils down to first impressions being you’re ONLY impressions. Especially online.

Think about when most of you go to Target. You don’t think about the credibility of the store or that one random item you pick off the shelf. You don’t call your friend asking if they liked their toothbrush they bought last month. Now, I realize I’m making a stretch in comparing the two and that Target is a time and time again proven store. But it is more about how the mind works when buying something – most of the time with every right to think that way. There is a check list we go through in our heads before purchasing something, Target has just proved themselves enough to allow us to enable the 1-click purchase.

This has been way more of a learning experience than I ever thought it would be. The best part so far is getting to connect with everyone and being pushed creatively and always finding new inspiration. Plus, it’s better than my pictures just sitting on my computer.

Side note: Stay turned for an updated macro posting. I think you’ll enjoy it.

@bluegiraffeimgs

http://www.etsy.com/shop/BlueGiraffeImages

www.bluegiraffeimages.com

And here is the print I sold my mom. It is of my sister at Malibu beach when she was visiting from Ohio.

Sister KCACO Malibu Beach

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The ETSY Journey. So far.

ETSY Storefront

ETSY. It’s a great place but man is it a whole new world. One more social network. One more place that I have to work to get people to find me.  Over the past week or so I have been putting my store together. Adding listings, then changing them, then deleting them, then adding them again. I mean they’re only 20 cents a listing so why not right!? Wrong. I want to figure this ETSY puzzle out so that I can set it and forget it. Or do I? Can you open a store on ETSY and have a build it and they will come way of thinking? I’m starting to doubt it. Sure, its only been a week but if it was as easy as taking pictures, uploading them and waiting – everyone would do it.

I’m not sure if you guys are on ETSY either as a buyer or a seller. But if you are, and you have any tips please let me know. Even if you’re not check out my store and let me know what you think as an outsider.

[click here] to visit my store. Andddddd if you happen to be looking around and need a print for your house, well everything is 50% off right now! Use code: “BLUEGIRAFFEHALFOFF”. Please contact me with any questions. One thing I do know is that sales and reviews help A LOT when people are looking to buy something.

Thanks to everyone for their input and likes on the last blog, means a lot. WordPress, unlike anything else so far feels like a small community.

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The 50 Followers Update


50 Followers in 23 Days. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s about 2 new followers a day on average. Not sure if thats good, but at least it doesn’t sound like a failure. I thought I would talk about some things I’ve learned and some things I still don’t understand.

LEARNED:

• There would be times I would be sitting on my couch and just stare at a draft I had written wondering if I should post it. Once I do end up posting them, after some internal debate, they actually tend to get the most responses from people. Maybe its the part of me that is being real in those posts that wonder if people actually care – surprisingly they do.

• You will get likes from people that actually like it and likes from people that like to like things. If you’re slightly confused as to what I’m talking about, you may be the person who just likes to like things.

• It takes A LOT to get comments out of people (except for spam). People are more than willing to give their time to a like button, but it seems more of a challenge to gain the interaction along with it.

• So far from the posts I respond to and the posts of mine people have responded to people like genuineness (that’s a crazy word).

• WordPress is a great community to learn whats going on and see different ways people document some of their journeys. Whether its a story with photos, just photos, unique ways of laying them out. It’s very interesting.

• Unlike Facebook I feel like I am allowed to look at your pictures and your stories because thats what you post it for. I feel slightly stalker-ish on Facebook and I even know those people.

STILL LEARNING

• The best way to display my pictures. Do people want to scroll through large pictures or click and go through a gallery? How many is to many?

• The best times to post. This will always be a topic I think. It’s a huge world out there so maybe there isn’t one time better than another. So far I have gotten good luck with evening posts.

• The best ways to tag images and posts so people can find them. I have heard to had a lot of tags and then I’ve heard that adding a lot of tags can actually hurt you.

• Im still learning how to promote myself and to gain new interest from new people. Lets be honest, I’m doing this to sell photography.

Overall I started this to try to get more people to buy my photography. Maybe eventually that will come of it but it not it has gotten me looking at things differently, being more involved and open to new ways of talking about and presenting ideas and journeys to outside people. It has gotten be out taking pictures and going through old pictures. It’s forcing me to share my work with more people hoping they like it. But most importantly it has given me some sort of confidence to keep going and that some people, even if its only 50, care enough about a picture I took or something I said to click the FOLLOW button.

As a reminder get 50% off any print with new being added daily CODE: “BLUEGIRAFFEHALFOFF” order on ETSY by [clicking here]

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