Friday, February 20, 2015

Technique Tuesdays will now be "Technique of the week"

I am changing the name of "Technique Tuesday" to "Technique of the week" as it seems Tuesdays come and go with life happening in the way.  During the week I will do a different technique each week.

Technique of the week - Photos

This week I want to talk about photos.  One of the biggest things used in scrapbooks are photographs.  Most people get 4x6 photos.  Most of them are "Landscape" which means the 6 inches is horizontal and the 4 inches is the vertical.  (The 4 inches horizontal and 6 inches vertical is called "portrait".)  You can go to stores or online to get photos printed.  Note that Close To My Heart does digital scrapbooking where you don't need to print the photos and it is called Studio J - more on that later).

With 4x6 or 6x4 photos, you can often cut down easily to get a 4x4 for use in a layout.  There are other sizes in the Close To My Heart Workshop on the Go or idea books and you may wonder how you can get them.  There is a program called FotoSlate 4 which is free to download which will allow you to print your own photos in a paper saving mode as well as in any size you wish.

Here are some tips that will help you as you use your camera:

1. Know your equipment - don't wait until the "big" day to play with all the settings. This is true for a camera or a cell phone.  There are different programs, magazines and web sites that will help you know how to use all the stops and settings. Play with all the settings.  See how the photos look.  Take some time to write down what you used and what you like.  Try getting images in the dark, in the shadows, in full sun, indoors and outdoors.

2. Your phone can be enhanced by apps.  Cell phones can give you good images.   Sometimes apps can help give the program more power and options.  There are also applications that can help you manipulate the image after the fact.  If you want some ideas - message me.

3. Try the same photo at different settings as well as different angles.  There is something called the Rule of Thirds.  Imagine a Tic Tac Toe board.  Where the lines intersect is where you should focus your image - not dead center.  You can also follow along the lines 1/3 in any direction will make the images more interesting. Sometimes you can put the "grid" on so you can see as you are doing it where the focus will be.  Try seeing same image from high, low, different angles and in as many ways as you can. If you bracket -that is take more than one of the thing you are trying to take - if one way doesn't work you have a good chance that another will.

4. Watch your backgrounds.  You may not see until much later that the pole looks like it coming out of someone's head.  Our eyes focus on the subject we want to see and the brain ignores pretty much everything else.  Sometimes your image is in front of a "busy" background and you can hardly see what you want to see.

5. Be creative.  Use mirrors or windows to help frame what you are looking at.  See the colors and try to use them to your advantage.  There are people that know what paper they want to scrap with and choose their families attire accordingly on vacation trips or gatherings.  There are settings that allow you to do "sepia" tone or "black and white".  Try changing how fast or slow (speed ) or how wide or narrow ( aperture) the lense in the photos.

6. You can also try different programs that help you change your image: One of the things that you can do when you print your own or get photos printed is called "crop".  This means that you have a chance to "cut out" the things that distract from what you want to focus on. Many of the programs let you lighten or darken the image or "fix" red eye or other things that didn't work out for you on the first take.

7. Don't hide behind the camera.  Remember that you are in relationship with people around you. You want to remember moments of the event but you don't want to miss the event in real time.  Have your phone or camera ready to catch the great shots that happen in the moment but don't stay behind the camera all the time.  Also if you are the family "official" photographer, remember to hand the camera to someone so you can get in some shots too!

8. Figure out what system you want to store your digital images in or your physical photos.  There are many programs you can use to store your images.  You can also use an external hard drive so that they are in one spot for your use.  Even if you have real photos, you need some system to store them so when you want to use them in scrapbooking, you can find them.  Many program are free or inexpensive and will work well for you.  One of the simplest is to keep them by date.  Many programs will allow you to tag more than one thing for each photo.

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