just for you

I'll try to answer some questions I've gotten recently:

1. What do you use to process your photos? Lightroom2 and Photoshop CS3

2. What's your secret to getting your photos looking so cool? Ginnie's Actions. They're the first and only set I've ever purchased, and at $20 for the set, they're a STEAL! Seriously. The girl could charge two or three times as much and be totally justified. They are THAT good.

3. What camera do you shoot with? Up until yesterday, everything you see here was taken using my Rebel XT. Now I am the proud owner of a 40D! (So exciting!!)

4. What lens do you use? my Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 is on my camera 90% of the time. Most people compare it to Cannon's 24-70L glass, which is 4x the price. Someday, I'd love to own it, but for now, my Tamron suits me just fine! I also own the 50mm f/1.8, and of course my new fishy (15mm f/2.8)

5. How did you format your blog to get that nice wide body? (Did you edit HTML?) Yes, I did. (I'm lucky it worked, because I haven't a clue when it comes to that stuff). But, I found Blogger Buster and it taught me how to do it. Click on tutorials. I'd recommend creating a test blog to play around on while you're learning.

6. How do you get your photos looking so clear on your banner? I'm not really sure, but I think the trick is to make sure its formatted to the right width. My banner, for example, is 960 pixels wide, so when I make banners, I save them at that width.

7. I've noticed that you've grown a lot over the last year in your photography skills. Can you share your journey? I'm not totally sure what to say! My goal from early on has always been to nail the exposure in camera. If you're not sure how the "exposure triangle" works, check out Bryan Peterson's book called Understanding Exposure. That's where I started. It'll teach you how aperture, shutter speed and ISO work together. Then you, not the camera, are in charge of making the creatively correct exposure.

In order to improve nailing the focus, I started selecting the focus point manually, rather than letting the camera choose where to focus. I noticed this made a big difference too.

The only other thing I'd say is that I've also worked at learning how to use Photoshop. I'm no expert, but it can make a good photo great. My favorite thing to do is to "paint with light." It's also called "burning and dodging." It's an old darkroom trick that you can use to focus the light exactly where you want it to be.

My new goal is to try to master using my external flash. My advice? Set a little short-term goal for yourself and work at that for a few months. Do it with other people. It's more fun that way.