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Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Bubble Fun

Blowing bubbles can be real fun.

Especially if you take your camera with you and find that dear special someone who’ll assist you in this exciting game and will make bubbles for you.

Furthermore, it is a great exercise for your shooting skills. I know it because that is how me and my man spent all afternoon yesterday.

Try it!

It’s awesome.

 

Love,

Petra

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We went for a short holiday a couple of days ago.

 

There was a lot of water.

There was a motor boat.

There was a lot of nice food.

And most of all, there was a lot of laughter, relax and great time.

Oh, and there was a lizard, too…

 

Here are some moments that I captured to share with you:

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

All the pictures show a picturesque European country called Hungary – the land where we love to come back again and again and again.

I guess it’s something in the air there that makes us come back.

Or maybe it’s in their wine.

Anyhow, we are in love with that place.

(Despite the lizard.)

 

Love,
Petra

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Lazy Walking

Lazy walking outside is my sweet joy these days.

I do a lot of it because I need to get my lymph pumping and stuff.

The whole experience is utterly magical. Especially when I take my camera with me and we hunt for some lovely eye candies together.

 
 

Even the simplest things look so cute.

… if you want them to…

Don’t you think?

 
 

I love simple things.

They make me happy.

 
 

Lilac.

Sweet lilac.

I find its smell the most delightful and amazing in the whole nature.

It’s head-spinning good.

 

I hope you are having a wonderful spring and the world around you makes you happy.

 

Love,

Petra
 

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As I promised before in the post about my cameras, here I am with a couple of words about my lenses.

First of all, I love my lenses.

Very much.

Second of all, I just love them.

 

These are the names of the babies (from left to right): Canon 50mm F 1.8, Tamron Macro 60 mm F 2, Canon 18-55mm (which came as a kit lens with my Canon Rebel T2i camera).

I use the first one (Canon 50mm) to shoot food.

The Tamron 60 mm is great for food too, but since it is a macro lens I use it quite often outside to shoot flowers, bugs or other cute tiny things.

To capture wider angles, I use the Canon 18-55 (the kit lens).

 

Now let me show you and compare a few interesting features that these lenses possess.

 

1. Comparison with the Same Settings

Each of these shots was taken with a different lens. To make the comparison most accurate I kept the same settings for each shot. All pictures were taken at 5.6 aperture and they are not edited at all.

Though that last thing was a bit hard to digest.

I find these images pretty similar in their appearance. Maybe just the last one is a little colder in colors (has more blue tones in it) than the other two.

But there’s more to compare…
 
 

2. Lowering the Aperture (Blurry Background)

Well, who doesn’t like a nice blurry background.

That really injects the magic into the pictures, doesn’t it?

The part of the lens which provides for the blurriness of the picture is called the aperture (if you are not that familiar with this term you can find a little more about it here).

I love to use low aperture settings, especially for the food shots.

The kit lens that came with the camera (Canon 18-55mm) has the lowest aperture number of 5.6 (the second picture of this post shows you the result).

But I knew that there was a whole new world of possibilities when you go lower than 5.6.

So there came a moment in my life when I felt that I couldn’t go a day longer without a proper low aperture lens. That was when I got these two:

This picture was taken with the Canon 50mm at its lowest aperture – F 1.8.

See the blurry background? And how little portion of the picture is actually in focus? So that is caused by the low 1.8 aperture setting.

Again, this picture could really benefit from some vigorous Photoshop treatment, but this post is not about that.
 
 

This is a shot taken with the Tamron 60mm at 2.0 aperture (which is its lowest aperture number).

I like the blurriness of the background a lot.

In this aspect, these two lenses produce very similar results.

 

Also, these two lenses are prime, which means that you cannot zoom in or zoom out. In other words, they have fixed focal length. But that thing is perfectly all right – it makes you move a little more and stretch your body quite often which, I guess, is a nice health supporting benefit.

 

If the low aperture setting had been the only feature that I wanted for my pictures I would only have acquired the Canon 50mm lens. That one was much cheaper than the Tamron 60mm.

But I also needed Tamron. Have a look why…
 
 

3. Getting Closer to the Subject

This is closest that the Canon 50mm allows you to get to the subject.

If you go closer, the lens cannot focus anymore.

 
 

This is how close the Tamron 60mm allows you to get.

Amazing detail!

I often use this feature when taking pictures in my kitchen – spices, sugar or cake structure, that all looks perfectly detailed.

I love it!

 

So these are my beloved lenses.

I hope this information helped you.

At least a little.
 
 

… and psst, don’t tell this to my boyfriend

There’s also this cutie!

It’s the Canon 75-300mm telephoto zoom lens.

I frequently steal this one from my boyfriend to capture…
 
 

… squirrels …
 
 

… or baby orangutans, or basically anything that happens to be far away from me.

I think I love this lens much more than my boyfriend does and I also use it way more often.

So who really has the moral right to own it, I ask?

I think it’s me, I answer.

Definitely, it’s me!
 
 

It fills the last free space in my camera bag perfectly, anyway.
 

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Right now I am preparing a yummy recipe that I’ll be posting here tomorrow. Meanwhile I have something else you might want to see.

 
Over the past few months some of you asked me how this or that photo had been taken. Your questions gave me an idea that you might find interesting to see how several of my sets looked like. I myself love this kind of information and seek it eagerly wherever possible.

So, from now on, if I find the photo set that I’ve created interesting in a certain way I’ll show it to you.

If it helps at least one of you then my mission was worth it.

 

The picture above is by far not perfect or exquisite or anything. But what I find interesting about it is the lighting. You might be wondering how on earth that set was lit and whether I used artificial lights or not. And how I dare own photography lighting without letting you know.
 
 

So, this is what the set looked like.

I don’t use lights since I don’t own photography lights.

But what I own is my home-made silver reflector (you can find its heart-touching story here). And then I have one window. And then I have some white paper that I duct taped to the wall and to my kitchen countertop. And that’s it!

Very, very simple.
 
 

This is the job that my camera did.

Well, she was really trying.

I still love her dearly.

And yes, I refer to my camera as her. It’s my best friend after all. Actually, I might start calling her Amelie.
 
 

And this is how Photoshop helped.

Needless to say, I love Photoshop.

I might start calling it Fred.

 

See you soon!

Love,

Petra
 

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I am writing this post for one reason.

I’d just like the whole world to know how much I love Photoshop.

Among millions other things it helps me with every day, it is a real hero when it comes to correcting shadows.

Especially in food photography, eliminating the underexposed areas (aka shadows) and showing their true structure and color is a very precious thing. It makes the food so much more appetizing.

Just let me show you something…
 
 

This is the original picture from my recipe for Farfalle with Tomato-Cheese Sauce.

I like the picture, but not as much as…
 
 

… I like this one.

This picture has undergone one simple Photoshop procedure.

As a result, the most wonderful shade of red color I know has appeared. Mere looking at that color has strong therapeutic effect on me.
 
 

This is how to do it:

1. Open the photo is Photoshop (I am using Photoshop Elements 8).

2. Click EnhanceAdjust LightingShadows/Highlights in the upper bar.

3. A smaller window will pop up with the first (Lighten Shadows) slider dragged to 25 automatically.

You should already see that your picture has improved substantially. If you don’t see any change, make sure you have selected the Preview check box.

You can move the first slider left or right to find the right amount of correction.

4. If you are happy with the result, click OK.

And that’s it.
 
 

Just give it a try and enjoy the beautiful changes it brings.

Love,
Petra

(To learn more about my quest against shadows have a look at this.)

 

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See the picture?

I’ve taken it.

It proves that I don’t write and think about food only. Sometimes I leave my kitchen for a little while to go for a trip and visit some strange places. (Hm, now that I think about that trip, I just remembered that I had a really awesome sandwich prior to taking these photos. It was yummy!)

Anyhow, in my life there surely are other issues than food that catch my attention.

Like, food photography, for example.

Oh, yeah, you’re right. That’s still very much about food.

Hm, there has to be something else that interests me. I am a sensitive and caring human being, after all.

YES, now I remembered!

The next thing I really care about are my personal issues.

They are fun!

Not!

 

For example, I like to climb onto very strange vehicles.  They carry my high in the mountains. But that’s not the issue. This one is simple to solve. I’m too lazy to walk and too eager to take nice pics from high above.

The issue that I want to talk about is my nervous breakdown that I seem to go through each time I find myself in a stressful situation.

The breakdown lasts for about five minutes.

And it’s wild.

And beastly.

And on this particular trip it started right after they had sat me in the blue chair that you see in the picture.
 
 

Right now, when I am taking this picture, I am cursing the day this insane passenger ropeway was built. I am cursing the grass below for not being more soft and cushy. I am giving my man a threatening look because he dares to breath and rock our seats as a result. And most of all, I am cursing myself for not wearing a parachute on my back.
 
 

Mere five minutes later I am the king of the world. I am enjoying the cool fresh air, I am reveling in the beauty around and I am tapping my man on the knee saying: “Lovely, huh?”.

 

I can’t reverse that thing although I know it is coming.

When the stress begins I get convinced that I am a goner any time soon.

When the five minutes have passed and I come to my senses a wide smile appears on my face and you wouldn’t find a more careless person in the whole wide world.

But those five minutes – you don’t want to be near me when they are happening.

You just don’t.

 

Which makes me think of my man right now. Poor him, he gets to be near me all the time.

Lord, bless his kind and precious heart.
 
 

I doubt this guy has his 5 beastly minutes.

Though, he might – when he meets a photographer who takes photos right IN HIS FACE.

Luckily, we were heading in opposite directions. Which is the only occasion when I dare take pictures of strangers.

I am that courageous.

Hm, I think I’ve just revealed my next issue…
 

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