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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Shutter Skills: Exposure Triangle

This is the first post in my new blog series, Shutter Skills. Yay! I'll be sharing my knowledge about photography so you all can improve your own photos. We'll start off with the technical stuff, which will be used later with different techniques.

So lets start with the exposure triangle. What exactly is the exposure triangle? Well it's the three elements that are used to create an image:

   -Shutter Speed

The goal is to create a proper exposure, a photo which is nether too bright or too dark, using the three element above. When you adjust one setting, it affects the other two as well. It takes a lot of practice to get it all down, so the best thing to do is just practice, practice, practice!

Shutter Speed

The shutter speed is how long the shutter remains open while capturing an image. Slow shutter speeds let in more light, while a fast shutter speed will let in less light. Shutter speeds are measured in seconds or fractions of a second. 1/1000 is fast, while 1/40 is slow.

High shutter speeds
 are good for freezing the action...

slow shutter speed can capture the feel of motion.

While hand holding, you'll want to keep your shutter speed a little bit faster than the focal length of your lens. For example, if you're shooting at 50mm, 1/60 is about the slowest you'd want to go, but if it was 200mm you wouldn't want to go lower than about 1/250. If you need to shoot at a slower shutter speed, you'll need a tripod or something to set your camera on so it doesn't move at all while the shutter is open.

Aperture is the size of the opening in the lens when a photograph is taken. The wider open the aperture is, the more light it will let in. 

The aperture is measured in
f-stops. The smaller the f-stop, the the wider the lens is opened. For example f/2.8 is a large opening, while f/8 would have a much smaller opening.

The ISO is how sensitive the image sensor is to the light. A low ISO, such as 100-200, use less light. If you use a high ISO, your camera will use more light. Therefore, when your in a situation when you need more light, such as indoors or when it's getting dark outside, you'll want to bump up your ISO so it can capture more light. However there is a downside when using high ISO's, which is grain. The higher up the ISO goes, the more grain your image is going to have, so always try to keep your ISO as low as possible.

Camera Modes
You know that little dial on the top of your camera? The one with letters like "Tv", "Av", or "M" for Cannon users and "A", "S", and "M" for those using a Sony or Nikon? Here's what they all mean and how you can use them:

   -"Tv" or "S" is Shutter Priority. In this mode you get to choose your shutter speed and the camera will pick the aperture and the ISO. Shutter priority is great for when you want to freeze the action and stay at a higher shutter speed or when you want to do a time exposure by leaving the shutter open longer.

   -"Av" or "A" is Aperture Priority. You choose your own aperture in this mode, while the camera will choose the shutter speed and the ISO. Aperture priority is the mode I shoot in about 90% of the time. I like being able to choose my aperture, especially with portraits, and let my camera do the rest.

   -"M" is manual. You choose all three settings; aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. It's best to get familiar shooting in aperture and shutter priority before going to manual, because you'll have a lot more to think about.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Catching Some Zzzzz's

Doji was so cute sleeping with his head on the pillow the other day. I love having cats around the house. ♥


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cookies & Milk, Anyone?


Who doesn't love a good chocolate cookie? I know I sure do. Cookies are good and chocolate makes them even better.

I hadn't done any baking in quite a while, which is quite unlike me, so I though I'd remedy that by baking these tasty treats. It wasn't long before the house was filled with the yummy smell of chocolate. 


Chocolate Brownie Cookies

original recipe via Pure & Yummy

1/2 cup butter

19oz chocolate chips
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla


1. Melt butter and half of the chocolate chips in a pot stirring constantly until butter and chocolate is completely melted.

2. Beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla in an electric mixer. Gradually add the flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. Add the chocolate mixture, then the remaining chocolate chips.

3. Scoop dough onto greased baking sheets at 350°F for ten minutes. Let cool five minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday Randomness

{a self-portrait from the other day}

It's already February 6th, my how January just flew by! I've been keeping busy doing quite a bit crafting, particulary sewing. Some of my latest project are a bucket hat and a stuffed cat. The cat turned out kinda funny looking, but it's not too bad, considering it was the first stuffed animal I've made. I've also been having fun making desktop backgrounds for my computer. My latest creations is a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers one and one inspired by the song Blue Skies by Ella Fitzgerald.

{a candle holder I made by gluing strips of fabric to a jar with mod podge}

It's been unusually warm around here lately. The last several days the sky has been clear and blue and the temperatures have been getting into the high fifties. I wonder if it will stay or if the winter weather will be coming back...


Yesterday I turned a purse into a camera bag by adding foam that I covered in fabric to add some protection inside. After months of searching for the perfect purse, I finally found one, and I can't wait to use in on our cruise we're going on at the end of the month.

{a shot of Tiana before she and Alina filmed a little movie}

Saturday I tweaked the blog design a bit. I replaced all the green with blue, which I think fits me a bit more. There are also new images in the header and made several social media icons which are on the sidebar. I also created a Google+ Page as well, which I've been having fun playing around with.


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