Katrina is a wonderful photographer, and since I hope to take lots of pictures of our Big Summer Fun, I thought Katrina would be the perfect person to ask for some summer photo tips. Katrina has also offered one blog reader a free pass to her newest online photo class! So don’t miss the details at the end of this post. 🙂
1. Do I need a fancy camera in order to get good pictures?
Knowing how to use the camera you have and how to see great light are more important than a fancy camera! Being there, in the moment, connecting with your subject and capturing the memory is what matter most for me.
2. What types of photos should I think of taking to document our summer fun?
Grab the little moments, the everyday moments, the tiny bits and details. I love bare summer time toes, the colors of beach towels, and dripping popsicles. Events may be what we think of first, but all of the little things make up summer for me. Ask your kids what their favorite things about summer are and make sure you get those shots. Think of including yourself in photos too, so that your family remembers what you look like! I think it is important to put the camera down as well. Get into the fun of the summer with your kids!
3. Many activities seem to take place during the “full sun” hours. What can I do to make sure I get good pictures?
Avoid over exposure of your photos and your body, by finding shade!
Full sun can seem like a great idea for photos, but can cast big ugly dark shadows over eyes or leave people squinting. Look for the open shade of trees, awnings and play structures to grab your photos. Open shade near pools work really well. Have your subject near the edge of the open area with the light reflecting evenly back on their faces.
During the summer, you can also use your body as a bit of a sun shade! Cast your shadow over your subject and shoot. It is the one time having a wider shadow can be a welcome thing!
4. Do you have any tips for organizing all these summer photos that I’m taking?
Organizing…ahhh. My best advice is to upload your photos to your computer on a regular basis, don’t keep them on your card. Whatever system you are using, delete as you import and flag those you love, those you want to scrap, and those you want to have printed. I use Lightroom so that I can give them keywords, star ratings, and flag for printing. Be diligent about it, summer activities mean more photos and potentially more headache if you don’t keep up!
Consider too, slowing down your photography some. Be more deliberate in when you choose to click.
5. What is your favorite camera equipment?
This is like asking someone which child is their favorite! I love everything I use for a specific reason.
I shoot with a Canon 30D, which is my favorite of course.
In the summer I love my wide angle lens (17-40mm). I want the big picture more than other times during the year, my wide angle lens lets me grab that.
6. What is your favorite photo that you took, why and what settings?
Two photos come to mind instantly.
The first photo is of my son, playing at the river last summer. We were there right before sunset, he was in absolute heaven. I saw the photo before I took it, which always delights me. I exposed for the sky next to him to create the silhouetted look. I shot this at 20mm, ISO 100, f/ 5.0, and a shutter speed of 1/500. I keep my shutter speed fast when photographing moving kids!
My second photo, is of a bike rider you may recognize. The Tour of California came through my town last year. In a time trial, each rider made a 3 mile loop around downtown. I had one opportunity to capture him as he passed. The crowd grew as his turn neared. A cloud came over us and then you could hear the cheers. Everyone knew Lance was on his way. I put the camera to my eye. Held my breath and fired off multiple shots as I moved the camera with his movement for a panning shot. I was beyond pleased with the results. Lance was photographed at 40mm, ISO 200, f/5.0, shutter speed of 1/100.
It was merely a coincidence that both photos were taken with the same aperture.
7. What’s your favorite recipe?
I’m vegan and live in a vegetarian house, so our recipes are simple and veggie based. We grow much of what we eat in our backyard garden, so recipes change as the season changes. My current favorite is to slice mushrooms, toss them in the wok to sweat out some of their moisture. Toss in some garlic. Stir for a bit. Add in asparagus. Stir for a bit more. Grill or lightly pan fry tofu at the same time. Mix it all together and dinner is served! I sometimes dress it up with a little rice or noodles. For recipe inspiration I spend a lot of time at fatfreevegan.com and vegandad.blogspot.com
As I mentioned above, Katrina has graciously offered one free pass to her new class Your Life: Captured Through the Lens. It starts May 26 and runs through June 30. The class includes weekly written lessons and videos, live chat/office hours, and access to a private forum and gallery where you can ask for help and share your progress.