Monday, April 11, 2011

Photo Tip #14 - Try something new

I had a great time today with my grandson at the zoo. We saw a bunch of cool animals, but when I asked him about the two things he liked most today, he said "my churro" and "the skyride". Of course he got the first thing right with churro. He is my grandson you know. :)

The second thing puzzled me. All he talked about all day was wanting to ride the sky ride. So at the end of the day, we road it to the bottom of the zoo. During the ride he started to get scared. He didn't like being up so high. I remembered having the same feeling the first time I rode it when I was a little guy. I told him papa would take good care of him and he didn't have to be afraid. I'll be honest...him getting scared on the first leg of the trip was not cool. I was picturing myself carrying him all the way up the hill if he didn't get on the sky ride for the return voyage.

We got off the first leg of the sky ride and he saw a churro stand. He asked if we could get one. Of course I said yes...if you ride the sky ride back up the hill I'd be glad to get you one. I am so pitiful! Well...we made a deal. This time though, he wasn't showing any signs of fear. When we got off, I asked him if he was scared. He said he was only scared the first time, but that he was very brave the second time and wasn't scared anymore.

That's the way it is for just about everything in life. The first time we do anything, we are a bit scared. The next time it's a little easier, and it keeps getting better. It's that way when you join your first life group at church, or photograph your first event. It's always a little scary the first time. The important thing is...don't be afraid to try something new!

In photography, don't be afraid to try something new! Whether it's a different technique, learning to use new software, or exploring new places, if you are willing to try something new you'll be guaranteed to get some great photos!

Today, I brought my point and shoot camera to the zoo. Here's something that might be new for you. Don't just settle for the photo your camera gives you. Spend a few minutes and let your software get you a better shot. One of the most common fixes I do is in Adobe Lightroom. Here is my workflow:

Correct white balance.
Add contrast to liking...usually about +45 in Lightroom.
Add Vibrance (like saturation) to liking...usually about +30 in Lightroom.
Add a little Black if necessary.

That's about it. You can do this in Picasa, PS Elements, or Lightroom. The point is, take the time to do it. Here is a before and after shot with my point and shoot. As you can see, just a little effort gives a better result in quality.The first shot is a little dull, but the second is richer and more vibrant. Like I said in a previous Photo Tip...your camera is smart, but not that smart...especially point and shoots!

Have fun trying something new!

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