Custom Search

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

10e20 Blog

Today I was looking through and there was a blog post referenced that I found to be useful so I thought I would share it. The article is called: 21 Ways to Shoot Better Photographs. Check it out if you feel so inclined.

:) Roon-bop

Monday, April 28, 2008

I love Shutterfly!

I thought I would take a moment to plug Shutterfly. When I got married, our photographer was supposed to create a wedding photo book for us, but after we told her which photos we wanted in it, she backed out and we were left to do it ourselves. As such, I was left wondering about photo books. I did some research and finally decided to go with

The software to create the photo book was really easy to use. You pick a theme, chose your font, how you want the photos to be framed, etc. We decided on the 12 x 12 hardcover. One thing I found annoying was that it would sometimes automatically crop and zoom a photo. Generally this is something you would control, but with some options that was not a choice. One great thing with Shutterfly was that I was able to download some software that would link to iPhoto (Mac) to make it easier to upload multiple photos.

As soon as I submitted my photo book, I got a confirmation in my email account. It processes really fast, so you only have about an hour to cancel an order. The following day I received another email letting me know that the book was printed and ready to be shipped. I got it in the mail 2 weeks later. It was very well packaged and was flawless when I opened it up. We were so impressed with it that we ordered an 8 x 8 photo book for our honeymoon pictures.

Good things to note:

1) When ordering a smaller sized book (ex. 8 x 8) try to limit the number of photos on each page to about 1 or 2 per page. We had 5+ on many pages without really realizing how small the pictures would turn out.

2) Be careful with some layouts. We had a couple photos in our wedding book where the photo ended at the end of the page. One in particular had a person's head look a little cut off because it was too close to the binding. Therefore make sure with those layouts you leave a little space for that.

3) Shutterfly has live chat help. I used this a couple of times when creating my photo books and found it to be very useful. They were generally very quick to respond.

4) Shutterfly is constantly putting items on sale. If the photo books aren't on sale when you're creating your photo book, just save it and wait a few days and another sale will come around.

What are your thoughts on Shutterfly or other online tools for creating photo books?

:) Roon-bop

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Other People's Dogs

I have definitely thought that taking pictures of other people: families, pets, etc, would be fun. I am always taking pictures of my own family, and think that catching the spirit of people and those they love is, well... nice.

This weekend, my husband and I had the pleasure of dog-sitting for a friend of ours. Sam is a sweet 5 year old male Yorkie and Dimi just loves him. I thought this would be a great opportunity to practice taking pictures of another person's dog.

When I take pictures of Dimi, she listens, she stops to look at the camera, she ignores me... she is pretty much as close to a perfect dog subject that I will get. I have discovered that other people's dogs, even Sam who knows me and has lived with me the past 3 days, are a little more challenging to capture. When shooting Sam, he moved around a lot, which created blurry pictures, he wasn't interested in having his picture taken and because we were in my home and not a place that is familiar to him, he didn't interact much with toys and things around him. This just proves the importance of taking pictures where people / dogs feel comfortable. I also took some pictures indoors at night with bad lighting, so the flash was used and so I see the difference in quality between good natural lighting and that of a small camera flash.

Another struggle was taking pictures of the two dogs together. Trying to get their attention to look at me; taking pictures in places where the background is less than ideal, because I'm just so thankful the two of them are in the same shot; getting them both to sit still. The best pictures of the two of them were taken when they were playing and interacting with one another. Getting them to sit pretty for the camera, just didn't work. I did manage to get one picture of the two of them sitting pretty. This was completely by fluke. They were play fighting on the couch and the phone rang, which much to my dismay ended the photo shoot, but when I answered the phone, they both took a spot on the couch one up and one below and watched me while I was on the phone, so I snapped a couple photos and got a nice picture (which of course, would have been nicer had there not been a blanket on the couch and if everything looked a little neater, but that is another lesson in itself).

Here are some of the pictures I took of Dimi and Sam. Please note, there is nothing fancy going on with any of these pictures. I just wanted to share my experience and be forced to really think about what worked and what didn't and how I might be able to get better at taking pictures of other people's dog. If you have any advice / comments, please share.

:) Roon-bop

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Starting Point

I thought I would start off by posting some pictures I've recently taken to show my starting point. I have to admit, I'm not a complete blank slate. After I signed up for my first photography classes I borrowed a book from the Toronto Public Library (props to Deer Park for having it in). This book helped me see photography and photographs differently. The book was John Hedgecoe's The Art of Digital Photography. I really enjoyed this book because it wasn't full of technical camera information, but was great at showing the importance of framing and planning a shot. I've also been reading blogs. Primarily Digital Photography School and Natalie Norton's Pics and Kicks. Basically, as of late, I've been surrounding myself with photography.

These are some pictures I took this past weekend. My husband and I took the dog (Dimi - rhymes with Timmy and is short for de minimis maximus) to the dog park and I used it as an opportunity. None of these pictures have been processed. I don't have Photoshop yet, so they come to you direct from the camera.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

First Post

Well, I may as well start with an introduction.

My real name is Sarah, but for the purposes of this blog and as an introduction of my digital self, I go by Roon-Bop. I'm 25 years old, living in Toronto and am married to a wonderful man and have a sweet 9 month old pup.

On May 5th I will be starting classes at George Brown College in Toronto, ON in digital photography. I have always been interested in photography, but always in a casual sense. I decided to take continuing eduction courses in it, because I was feeling under stimulated at work and felt like I needed to do something creative and thoughtful. Never one to spend money, this was a pretty big step and commitment for me.

From May 5 - June 23 I will be taking 2 courses. Mondays are Intro to Digital Imaging and Thursdays are Digital Photography I. After that will be a bit of break in classes, as I'll need to wait for the fall semester. I will however be enjoying the summer months taking what I have learned and practising.

Currently I am using a 10X zoom point and shoot Panasonic camera. By week 3 of the course, I will have had to have made a purchase of a DSLR. I've been researching cameras for months, but will wait until after I hear what my teachers have to say before I make my final decision. At the moment I am leaning towards a Nikon. I have many questions about the purchase. I want to buy something of professional quality, but I can't afford to spend $5,000 on a camera. I'm interested in how important price is when considering quality in a camera.

I guess the whole point of this blog is to capture and invite you to share in my journey into photography. Hopefully we will be able to see a transformation in my skills and my creativity and learn much. I will post blogs about things I've learned, pictures I've taken and general thought and commentary. Comments and suggestions are always welcome!

Thanks for reading!

:) Roon-bop