Camera basics - Sunny 16 Rule

 My friend Lisa taken on a medium format film camera. {London}

My friend Lisa taken on a medium format film camera. {London}

Can I just say I am NOT A CAMERA NERD.  I don't like talking about cameras and lenses and apertures.  It makes me feel all icky inside.  But I understand that sometimes I need to push myself outta of my creative comfort zone and talk nerd.  Just don't expect it too much ok.

So my first SLR was such an exciting purchase for me.  FINALLY I can take some amazing photos because I have this professional camera right?  I'll be a photographer in no time! Everyone will be so jealous of my photos right? Nope.  Roll after roll of film I got back I was so disappointed. Whhhhyyyyyyy am I not getting amazing results waaaaahhhh?  *insert emoji pulling hair out while chucking tanty*

The first mistake most of us make is not realising that a new camera is going to do crap all if we don't know how to utilise the beast first.  We HAVE to first understand the relationships between Aperture/Shutterspeed/ISO and how they affect each other.  Don't worry about anything else until you get this right.  Seriously stop playing with the "scene" mode or I'll smack you.....

 From DIY Photography 

From DIY Photography 

Soooooo I'm not here to teach you how to use your camera today.  I just wanted to share this cool - Sunny 16 Rule.  If you grew up with film cameras you might of heard of it or if you are a complete geek you might of but most probably wouldn't of because its really a film photography term.  BUT saying that it totally works on digital cameras too.  

Whats the point of it?  Well back in the day when everyone had film cameras they didn't have light meters like we have now.  We tend to click and look at screen, then adjust our settings.  Nothing wrong with that but it doesn't help with getting to know our equipment - you know I'm right.  Have you ever been in a situation where you wished you were a bit faster.....  didn't have to adjust your settings 5 times to get it right?   Well film photographers could do that, they knew what settings to use in different lighting situations - because they had to.  

The good news is.......you CAN do this too!  On a sunny day go outside and start with setting your ISO to 100, Shutter to 100 & Aperture to f/16.  

Have a play around with it.  See what happens if you decrease the aperture number 5 stops and increase the shutter number by the same......Its not as hard as it sounds.  Give it a go.  You'll be SO wrapped with yourself its seriously a cool exercise.  You'll be having Oprah moments I promise (ah haaaa, stay with me).

The chart you see above is not mine its from the DIY Photography site.  I recommend clicking on the link and having a read its really interesting.  He takes you through all the steps of getting a good exposure without looking at the back of your camera once.  Its a really good way to get your head around aperture/shutter/iso relationships.  

How about getting your camera out today and having a play.  Let me know how you go.

Bx


Bump Shoots - What to wear?

So I thought I'd just check out what ASOS had in the way of maternity dresses today.  I was pleasantly surprised by what they had, a good mixture of romantic and quirky.  I especially loved the prices, very reasonable.  

Thought you might like some inspiration, no rules here just soft suggestions for you to think about when choosing a drop dead gorgeous dress.  

My Top Ten guide when choosing bump dresses are as follows:

  1. Black is bad or any dark colour.  You can't see your bump and it gives no shape.
  2. White is ok, even better is white lace because it gives texture and softness that 'just white' doesn't do.  
  3. Pattern is fine if its small and not distracting. You don't want your dress to outshine the bump!
  4.  Flowy is good because it means a) you will be comfortable during your shoot and b) it adds an extra dimension to your images with movement and c) its really pretty.
  5. Off the shoulder is pretty and feminine and also suits most shapes.
  6. Ties around the waist like wrap dresses are awesome because you can adjust as you like and it gives you a lovely silhouette.
  7. SHAPE, it's all about shape - you know this already it's just a reminder.  You want a dress that compliments your shape, sometimes just adding a belt makes all the difference.
  8. Pastels are very feminine and flattering, think soft pinks, apricot, grey, green.... 
  9. The first 4 long dresses are my favourite simply because I'm a sucker for long dresses, I think they add a bit of romance and really pretty movement. 
  10. HOT TIP...... Choose a dress that you love and more importantly choose style over fashion and you will love your images for ever!

 

My top pics from ASOS today & why...

Feminine

- Colour perfect
- Self Pattern perfect
- Romantic
- Flowy/room to move
- Adjustable waist!

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Whimsical

Very romantic
Off the shoulder - lovely
Colour is gorgeous
Lace detail adds subtle interest
Flowy goodness

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Floral 

This dress is gorgeous
Especially if you like your arms
Lovely waist definition
Flowy Skirt
Great Colour
Beautiful simple details
Just buy it
And the flower crown

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Flowy fun 

We can have fun with the movement of this dress
Colour is fabulous
Off the shoulder is very flattering
In at the waist gives shape

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Cute & fun 

Shape is lovely
Pattern is not distracting
Its fun
Colour is lovely

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Colour wow

- Colour gorgeousness
- Flowy but still has shape
- Full sleeves are flattering
- If you like your legs this is great
- Could team with tights and boots for winter

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Chic

Sweet little number
Love the belt!
Off the shoulder is very flattering and breaks up the white
Movement in the skirt

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Retro Cute

Colour is spot on!
Love this cute little dress with the puff sleeves
Waist definition
High neck, on trend
Great if you like your legs! 

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Glamour 

Very modest dress
Sequence adds a bit off elegance
Colour is spot on and flattering
Waist definition is pretty good
Flowy sleeves are sweet


What Not To Wear

Some things to think about when choosing dresses.  Try not to choose a dress that:

  • has a large distracting pattern
  • too dark
  • no shape

If there was only one thing...

photography-tips-blog

ONLY ONE THING.....

That I wish I had used earlier, that I'd taken the time to learn.  Something that  you might think is really basic but actually when you are in the rhythm of a photoshoot you can quickly forget to use and regret it later.  But if you use it consistently it becomes part of your routine and you don’t even think about it

Something technical… snore… zzzz

Bare with me all you creatives....

But seriously though, there are some things that can really affect your photography and make you feel frustrated, this is one of them.  Remember that session you felt like you nailed and then you get home, upload your images onto lightroom and BOOM realise your focus was off……..  not creatively off, not emotionally off, but technically off.  Literally your focus wasn’t good.  Photo after beautiful photo you have to trash because they can’t be used.  

 Be deliberate in your focussing and nail the shot first time.

Be deliberate in your focussing and nail the shot first time.

The answer?  It's as simple as setting the AF Points manually or “Auto Focus” (not to be confused with Manual Focus, very different) every single time you take a shot.

 It's good to refresh your memory sometimes 

It's good to refresh your memory sometimes 

When I talk about focus I don't mean crisp obvious-everything-in-focus-boring kinda focus, I mean deliberate choices even at a shallow depth of field.  See opening image, it's not crisp and all in focus (boring) thats because I deliberately focussed on her fringe knowing that it would soften the whole image leaving a really dreamy 'painterly' image.  The focal choice needs to make sense for the image to work. You're with me I can feel it.

My camera has the button on the back, I have my finger on it the whole time I am shooting my subject, when I move the subject or myself I adjust the AF point.  Simple and doesn't slow me down because I've perfected it.  Give it time and you'll feel the same.

I used to keep my focal point in the middle of the lens thinking that I could focus and then move my camera to frame the shot…..  sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.  It's like sometimes I put darks in my wash and it's fine and other times everything comes out grey.  You can leave it to luck and hope for the best or you can nail 99% of your images by learning how to work this small step into your routine.  

My advice to you you would be to dig up that manual now, sit down with a cuppa and get focussed……….  it'll be worth it trust me.

Britt x