After HOURS chained unhappily to my computer I finally finished our 2009 family albums. I have put all crafty and house projects to the side to get these babies done. So glad it is over! This would be an easy project…the software is fast and simple….but I have a BAGILLION photos! Every year I weed through our pictures and pick my favorites to put into MyPublisher albums. There are lots of album companies online, I go with MyPublisher because of the quailty, but also because I can usually use a 50% off coupon. That 50% is huge when your family album consists of 2 100 page books. I also always order two copies of each book – one for the coffee table for my kids and our friends to enjoy and one copy is stored in our fire safe box. I really don’t enjoy making these because it is such a big and daunting project (since I feel the need to edit and tweak every picture I use in the book). However, with great discipline I finally finished…5 hours before my 50% off coupon expired. I know when they arrive in the mail I’ll be so grateful I took the time to do it. I don’t order a copy for each kid…they can fight over them when I am gone
On a totally selfish note, if you think you want to do a MyPublisher album…email me. MyPublisher does a referral program…if I submit your email as one of my referrals, they will email you and invite you to make a book (usually with Buy one Get one free coupon)….and I get a $20.00 credit. I know that is totally selfish, but hey I am all for taking advantage of my blog readers! (kidding – kind of).
And now back to answering some of your questions from last week:
What camera do you use and what lens do you use the most?
I shoot with a Canon 5D and Canon 30D. I go back and forth between my 85mm f/1.8 and my 50mm f/1.4
What lens would you recommend everyone have?
A 50mm f/1.8 (Canon’s is around $100.00)…not sure about the other brands. The smaller the number after the “f” the more blurry of a background you can achieve.
I love my 50mm lens, but am getting a lot of blurry photos…why?
With every camera lens there is a certain distance from your subject that the lens can no longer focus. To see this get super close to your subject and try to focus, then slowly back up until your hear the ‘beep’ that most cameras make when they focus. I am guessing your blurry pictures are due to either being too close to your subject, the lens is set on manual focus (little button on the lens usually) or you just aren’t focusing before taking the picture. Some cameras allow you to use different buttons for focusing and taking pictures…that way you can focus with one finger and take the pic with another.
What sort of post-processing tools/actions do you use…do you do a lot of post processing or do you pictures look like this out of the camera?
I use Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Kubota Actions, Jesh DeRox Fine Art Textures and Totally Rad Actions. I post process everything you see on the blog. Mainly I tweak contrast, sharpening and color. Some pictures have very little if any post processing, others have more. I try to get every picture right ‘in the camera’ – I don’t have a lot of time to sit around and process pictures.
What is your favorite camera setting for shooting active kids?
There isn’t one setting just for active kids. Every picture takes into account the subject, the action, what you are trying to capture, the available light, reflections, etc….they all work together, so I can’t say I have one setting for active kids. A good place to start is the “action” mode on your camera – it usually looks like someone running.
What is a good setting for early morning and afternoon light?
See answer above. Lighting is always different. In general if you have clear skies you can keep your ISO as close to 100 as possible and then it depends on what you are doing portraits (try your Av mode), action (try your Tv mode).
What setting do you use most often and how often do you use your flash?
I shoot fully manual. I usually set my aperture and ISO first and go from there. If I were using one of the automatic creative settings I would probably use the Av mode the most. I rarely use my flash. I really only use it when there is no option for natural light (inside churches, indoor wedding receptions, bedtime, bathtime, etc.). I tend to plan activities with my kids when I know I will have natural light….even do that with DIY tutorials.
What dslr would you recommend for a beginner?
I would stick with Canon or Nikon if you think you’ll want to invest in more lenses or a better camera down the road. For Canon I would go with any version of the Canon Rebel, the Canon 20D, Canon 30D, Canon 40D…depending on your price range. I would get a Canon 30D (model is about 4 years old) over a newer Rebel. That is just me. I am not familiar with Nikon. If anyone has Nikon suggestions, please let them in the comment section.
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