10 on 10: October 2017

Hello and happy October! I am so happy it is October. Fall is a wonderful season and October is THE month for fall. You may be wondering why this is called 10 on 10. Well, I have joined a group that encourages each other to blog more and one time a month on the 10th, we post 10 of our favorite photos from the past month or from a day. Here are my 10!

I hope you enjoyed all of those photos. Here is a blog you should check out in addition to mine…

Lisa R. Howler

Thank you so much and I hope you have a wonderful month.

Sports Photography For Parents

I started, a few months ago, a course on how to take better pictures of my daughter doing sports. I have been mostly practicing on my family and friends kids. Here are some of my favorite photos so far.

If you are also interested in learning how to take better pictures of your kids in sports, the school I learned from is enrolling soon. UPDATE! Early bird special today, October 6th! Just click on the link below and it will redirect you to the enrollment. 

Shultz Photo School Sports Course

Or if you want to learn to take better pics of your kids, in general, you can click on the following link.

Shultz Photo School Photo Fix

Every since I joined Shultz Photo School in February 2016, my pictures have improved so much. My photos went from the left picture (9/2016) to the right one (2/2017) and YES, you can do the same.

If you are still not sure, you can check out some free tips from the same school at the following link.

Free 7 Part Snackable Course

Just be sure, if you choose to pay for the courses, please use one of the two links above.

Photography Struggle: Children Portraits

children portraits

Part of the reason I started to take my photography more seriously was so that I could take better pictures of my daughter and not have to pay for it. I, once again, envisioned something that I thought was going to happen and did not happen. I thought I would be able to get these beautiful portraits of my daughter and she would smile when I asked her too. Looking back at it, once again, I laugh at myself. Very rarely, she actually cared I had a camera in my hands and that I wanted her to look at it. Luckily, I realized that I did not always have to have my daughter looking at the camera. The picture still told a story and documented the beauty of everyday life whether or not I could see her face. Here are some examples of how you can capture your family’s life. Each one of these brings me joy.

Library Day

library day

My daughter has really been into books lately. Now we read a book every night before bed. She even requested to go the library although I wonder if the desire was for the play area and not the books. No matter, I took her and we got a few books. It also gives me the opportunity to practice taking pictures at the library. I love library pictures.

FYI for you parents out there with younger children (under 2 1/2 years)…I am sure you have read that reading books to your child is very important to their growth. Every time I read that when my daughter was younger, I felt guilt because I did not read books to my daughter often. I found it frustrating. She wanted to turn pages before I was done reading. She wanted to throw the books. She wanted to open the book in the middle and go backwards. She obviously did not understand that I had words to read on the page in a set order. I was envisioning being able to sit with my daughter on my lap while she calmly listened to me read to her. Reading books is important but word of advice, be flexible. It will be awhile before you can sit and read a full page to your kid, let alone a whole book. If you only read a few words on the page, that is fine. Instead of reading, talk about what is on the page. You will still use words you would not normally use in everyday language. I did not know this and I wish I had. Well, happy reading.

4th Of July Traditions


Do you remember on my last blog post I said I love capturing the details of an event? Well, we had 4th of July this month and I captured those little details that I think make the holiday so special. The meaning behind the holiday is important but I also think the traditions are important. Traditions repeated from year to year and passed from generation to generation have a special history that is shared among many people.

You will see that I painted with light in the first picture. What a very fun technique! You can do the same if you copy the settings. All of these pictures were taken with my Nikon D3000 and 50mm lens.

365 Projects & Camping

pin16I have stopped doing my prompted 365 projects. Gasp! Truthfully, I became bored with the prompts because I had a lot of repeats. My two goals with the 365 projects were to pick up my camera everyday and to challenge myself to take pictures of things I normally wouldn’t take a picture of. I still pick up my camera everyday and I have new challenges. Right now I am challenging myself to gain experience with other people’s families and about 1x/week I do look at a prompt.

In other news, a few weeks ago we went camping. I love camping and I love capturing the details of an event and what makes it so special. Here are a few camping photos. Let me know if any of these bring a feeling of comfort. Also, if you want me to capture details of a special event for you, let me know.


A New Tool for My Camera

pin1I briefly said in my last post that I bought an attachable macro lens. Well, they are actually called macro filters and I love them. I am having quite fun with them and when the pictures come out sharp, they give me a whole new perspective of an object. I have wanted a macro lens for awhile but never bought one because of the cost. This is a cheap way around that. Here’s the article I read about them.

9 Tips for Using Macro Filters

It does take getting used to them but well worth it. You may notice in a couple of the pictures below that the focus is not quite perfect. From my understanding, using a tripod helps because the depth of field is so shallow it is easy to lose your focus.

I love the crayons because I never really noticed how dirty crayons look from being marked up by other crayons.  I love the picture of the dandelion because it is in focus and I can see so much detail I never noticed before. The paper clip is not so neat but the details of the wooden table below are. The crab apple buds are beautiful and the seedling is not so interesting but the detail of the dirt below is interesting. I love how macro photography shows me details that I look over every day. This is just another way to show you beauty in the everyday mundane life, which is my mission with photography.

I will continue to experiment.

Here are some of the fun photos I have taken so far.




Using Manual and How I Learned

pin2As you know, I am a student of Shultz Photography School. I am in his Grads program but I also purchased his Photo Fix. Photo Fix is where I learned manual so I cannot go into detail as to how he taught it but the program helped give me a visual in my mind when I use manual mode. Eventually the settings became second nature. Now when I see a low number aperture, I think lots of light and bokeh. When I see a slow shutter speed I think lots of light but possible blur. When I see a low ISO I think low light but less grain. It is a bit more complex than that but the more you shoot in manual, the more you will automatically have those associations. Also, the more you shoot in manual, the more you will know which settings will work. For example, I always start off with ISO 400 in my house. If I am outside and it is sunny, I automatically start with ISO 100. If it is cloudy, I will start with ISO 100 or 200. Most of my photos are indoors so usually my camera is on ISO 400. Here are the steps for when I shoot indoors on a sunny day.

  1.       ISO 400 (usually my camera is already on this setting)
  2.       Aperture (usually as low as I can get it because I like bokeh)
  3.       Shutter speed
    1. I start minimally with 1/50 (for my 50 mm lens) because that will at least reduce camera shake
    2. Adjust shutter speed and try and get my meter at ‘0’.

The same process is similar if I am shooting outdoors on a sunny day.

  1. ISO 100
  2. Aperture (as low as I can get it)
  3. Shutter speed
    1. Start with a minimum of 1/50
    2. Adjust shutter speed to get my meter at ‘0’.

In other news…I bought some attachable macro lenses. Here is a picture using my macro x10. I will go into more detail in another blog post.


Also, I apologize for not being around the last month but family has been in town all month and every bit of free time has been dedicated to them.

I hope you get outside and enjoy the beautiful spring. I love all of the flowering trees!

Editing Photos – From a Hobbyist’s Perspective

pin3I have watched a few professional photographers edit photos. Honestly, I do not like editing much. I feel it takes a lot of time and it can be a rabbit hole that you can get lost in. However, being that I still consider myself an intermediate hobbyist photographer, I figure I can probably offer a different view on how I edit photos. Below you will find what I do most of the time. I use Adobe Lightroom to edit photos. Once in a great while I use Adobe Photoshop but I am not including that down below.

  1.       Adjust Exposure
  2.       Adjust White balance (look at skin tones)
  3.       Check Enable Profile Corrections (under Lens Correction)
  4.       Crop and Straighten
  5.       Adjust Shadows or Highlights if I feel there is too much or too little
  6.       Adjust Clarity
  7.       Adjust Vibrance
  8.       Adjust Saturation carefully (you do not want too much typically)
  9.       Possibly use a preset (usually a Shultz Photo School preset)
  10.       Possibly tweak preset by doing numbers 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, & 8 again.

Well, that is what works for me at the moment. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them. Adios!


In a Hobbyist’s Photography Bag

pin4Often when I read about photographers and what they have in their camera bag, it is usually a professional photographer (someone who actually makes money off their photos). Well, I am not making money off my photos so I would not consider myself a professional. My budget is far less and I find it harder to justify spending money on photography. In thinking about this, I realize that my perspective is different. So what does this intermediate hobbyist photographer have in their bag? Well here you go.

  1.       Nikon D3000
  2.       Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8 lens
  3.       Nikon 18 – 55 mm f/3.5-5.6
  4.       Nikon 55 – 200 mm f/4-5.6
  5.       Amazon Wireless remote
  6.       Aperlite Off camera flash
  7.       Tripod (not actually in my bag but I do use it)
  8.       Mini soft box for my flash

My favorite lens of the three I have is the 50 mm. It allows me to have beautiful bokeh, which I love and it allows me to get more light into my photos. Because I enjoy the low aperture on my 50 mm so much, now I want a wider-angle lens and a macro lens with small apertures as well.