February 18, 2013

day three::photography this and that.....

today is day three of answering your questions regarding photography. remember, the information i share here is based on what i know {or what i think i know} what i've been taught or what i've found while searching for answers myself. today, i've got some lightroom love, finding your style based on what and how you shoot, lenses and a little blip about lenses and shooting lengths.

the above photo was edited in lightroom
the below photo is sooc {straight out of the camera}
what a difference, right?

susan and gail asked me how i arrived at "my style" and how i found "my look" and to be honest with you, i have to thank lightroom for part of that. within lightroom, you can make your own "presets." i have about twelve of them now and almost every photo i shoot gets at least one of my presets added to it. some are specifically for indoor shots, while others really only work on my outdoor shots. the two photos above are a perfect example of why i use lightroom and the difference it can make to a photo. if this all sounds like a foreign language to you, i'm sorry, but i just can't tell you often enough how wonderful this program is.

another part of "my style" is based on what i love to shoot. i don't ever want to photograph a wedding, but give me acres and acres of old barns and farmhouses and i'm your girl. i think developing "your look" also comes with how you shoot. i like to spend time on the ground shooting children at their level or chasing them around a playground, but i also have the patience to stand completely still, barely breathing, just to get a great bird/dragonfly/deer/squirrel photo. {again, the above photo was edited in lightroom and the below photo is sooc. in all of my edited photos, i'm pretty much a fanatic when it comes to making sure the photo, or what's in the photo, level. in this case, it was the roof.}

one of the greatest compliments i've ever gotten...well, i've gotten it a few times now, thanks to so many of you...is when someone says, while looking at many photos, "i just new that one was yours." 
i guess maybe that's how you know when you finally have a style or a look that's all yours...when other people "see it."

let's talk now about LENSES. my first bit of advice is to buy really good ones, not lots of inexpensive ones. i've learned this the hard way. you're welcome.
most kit lenses, the ones that come with your camera, are just okay. if given the option, always buy your camera body separately and then buy your lenses. so what can i not live without?

1. my 50mm 1.4. some people refer to this as the nifty fifty. i refer to it as you're an idiot if you don't have this lens in your arsenal. snort. seriously, it's that good.

2. i love my 70-300mm 4/5.6. i think everyone needs a zoom lens and for most people, the 300mm is enough zoom, plus it's an easy lens to carry around ON your camera. believe me though, if i was a girl out in the wild, i think i would need this lens...but then i'd need a tripod, too and by the time i pack and carry all that, my other lenses, a lunch and a lawn chair, well i'd probably be too tired to even shoot.

3. my macro. i have a 100mm 2.8 and it's a charming little fella. don't believe for a minute that you have to use a macro lens just for macro shots. you don't. they take incredible anything and portrait photos, too. remember at 2.8, your depth of field is amazing !

here are the other lenses i have, that i don't use on a regular basis. 80-200mm {which is extremely old and was used with our first pentax SLR, but is still a honey}10-24mm wide angle, 17-50mm {non-kit lens} and my lens baby. i still love my lens baby and can't wait to play with her again this summer. i truly like her best when we're outside...like at the beach.

something i found while reading...while shooting, here 's a quick little thing to remember when it comes to lens length and shutter speed to avoid a blurry photo. if you're using a 50mm lens, your shutter speed should never be less than 1/50...when you're shooting with let's say your 70-300mm lens at the 300mm setting, your shutter speed should never be less than 1/300....and so on and so on. basically it says to match your focal length to your shutter speed. does anyone ever use this rule of thumb and if you do, i have to believe it's meant for outdoor photography?

another before and after {both above} with help from lightroom
i hope today's little tips were helpful. thanks for stopping by.


  1. Good info and I hope to be able to have the time to play with my lenses again this summer. xox

  2. not to be picky but ... I KNEW it was your photo ..

    and i always always always have to straighten my shots ... if i do nothing else to them, i straighten them because i seem to list to the right .. but you knew that ;)

    my kit lens a Nikon AF 18-105 is a lot easier to take on walks than my 28-300 ... i refuse to use a tripod or monopod, i list but i can stand very still and while i am very chatty i can stay silent and not breathe

  3. Best regards from Paris,


  4. I didn't know you were a Lightroom Girl! One of these days, I'm just going to have to break down and get it. And, yes, I can normally spot a Beth photo!

  5. I fell in love with Lightroom from the start and use it on every photo for one reason or another. I have taken shots that otherwise would have been in the DELETE category, but can fix them in LR and be very happy about that. Oh I have been wanting a good macro before the Spring flowers bloom. I use my 28-300 most of the time because I am a drive around/walk around kind of photographer and it gives me options. I can hand hold it most of the time, but there are times it would be nice to have something lighter....like a macro:-)

  6. Loving this series! Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  7. Your tips are always the very best. There is much to take in, so I will visit this post a few times and take notes. I recently learned how to straighten a picture in PS Element and so happy to know that. I really need to get that 50mm lens, I think. So much to learn, I try to push myself everyday.

  8. You are so generous xo

  9. You've always been so generous with your photography tips. Thank you!

  10. Hats off for this talent dear, love all the shots. Glad to see more from your blog. Got my eye on your next posts.

  11. You've just shown how there is more to a photograph than meets the eye
    great information, Beth. xo Jenny

  12. i love a woman
    who knows her style!
    thanks for all the beauty you share
    and are
    and encourage,

  13. Very helpful. You should do a column for your area paper or something. This is useful and accessible. And yes, you DO have a style and I love that style! Whenever I see a weathered building, I think of you!

  14. My notebook is filling up, thanks Beth for making me realize how much I don't know. What a crazy fun hobby.

  15. Once again I have to say thank you for your tips. I just got a 100mm macro for christmas. And I am in love with it. And I just purchased Lightroom. Still trying to figure it out. I was up till midnight watching you-tube videos on how to use Lightroom. I think in time I will love it as well.

    Your photos look amazing.
    So glad I stumbled onto your blog.


  16. Beth, those before and after shots are simply amazing! What a huge difference. Do you ever look at a photo and think there's no hope, then apply a preset and it's instantly awesome? Thank you for answering my question. I have a style, but I think it's boring. Birds, birds, and more birds. Sigh. I just can't stop shooting them. I learned the focal length/shutter speed rule a few months ago and it really does help when hand-holding. Even though I had read it when I first got my dslr, I didn't really understand until four years in. There's so much to learn!

  17. Ok, so by the looks of your images here, tell me if I've got this right...
    Is lightroom used to change the light in your images? (Sounds way too logical... it's called LIGHTroom afterall)... is it for exposure fixes and things like that, and then photoshop is for editing? I really don't want to buy another program if I don't need it, but the mystery of lightroom has a grip on me!


**I love reading the comments you leave, as they make me feel like we're sitting in my kitchen, having a cup of tea, discussing life and wondering where all the time has gone ...beth