Learn me How.

I have a confession.

I suck.

I suck at photography.

Don't get me wrong, I take TONS of them...I never miss a thing.

Yeah..its partly my fault. I am lazy. Lazy to learn. Its also hard to sit down and try to figure out the beast of a camera I have, and well...don't even get me started on the monster that is Photoshop.

I really..and I mean REALLY want to learn my camera...learn some Photoshop tricks. I'm not trying to be a professional. But I DO want pictures that I can be proud to say I took. And well I'm also sure that Amber is tired of messing with my pictures and with me. :o)

So tell me...what is the best trick you learned? What really made your pictures go from blah to wow? What are your secret recipes and formulas? What is something you wouldn't have known had someone not sat you down and taught you? What books have been helpful? Where do you get some of your inspiration as far as creative ideas? (Interesting shots of the same ole stuff) What is the best kept secret in Photoshop? What about your camera can you not believe it took a whole year for you to discover?

I am really serious about this guys...Email Me. Help a sister out. Educate me. Let me learn. Make me do it myself. I know it will take time and lots of practice. And I'm willing to do that. But with three young children, I want to make sure I'm making the conscious effort to try. Tired of being INSANELY jealous of others' photography. Want to be proud of my own.

Thanks ladybugs. And a HUGE thanks for all the sweet well wishes!! Wow. Means the world to me. You have no idea.

And by the way...I took that picture up there. Today. I said...I will learn this camera...I will try to play in Photoshop...and this is what I got. I don't think I'm quite ready for constructive criticism, but I do LOVE this picture.


22 people took the time to say:

Amber said...

i would never tire of you.
this much is fo' sho.
but i am so proud of you.
you are gonna be a photomasta in no time.
and please bug me when ever you wish. promise.

shannon said...

Curves. Just mess around with it until you like it. That has helped the most with me.


Heather said...

i am very much in the same boat with you. i have a snappy little canon digital camera. no idea really how to use it properly. i love to take photos that people look at and saw "great picture". i know nothing about photoshop either, don't even own a copy. i just use picasa to fix red eye and change to black and white, stuff like that.

there are 2 things i've learned that have helped me use my little digital. to use the view finder instead of the display to frame your shot and to use the macro mode for closeups. i've had the camera since last november and i just started reading the manual. that's how i figured out the macro thing.

i'm gonna be interested to see what others post.

the pic you posted is great. i love how she's looking at him. the lighting is great and i also love her wrinkly skin.


Michelle W. said...

I think you are doing well... just mess around with it as much as you can. Like Amber said, need anything, I'll try to help (actually I'll ask my husband! lol)


Jen said...

Hi sweet mama.....
The only tip I have is to download Picasa.
It's free, and I love to edit my pics in it.
SOOOO much easier than ickle nasty photoshop, which I can't figure out to save my life.

island girl said...

awww...mar-tini is just too freakin cute! lurve her!!

and i am photoshop challenged too, so if you get some good tips...forward them on!! :-)

Ashley said...

beautiful, beautiful photo of a beautiful, beautiful little girl :)

I don't know much about Photoshop and editing and stuff, but I do know I was much happier with my photos when I learned about indirect, natural sunlight (it's a good thing), and getting down on level with your subject. That's about all I'm good for. :)

hope you and mini-pie are well!!


Christy said...

I can TOTALLY relate as I too am photo impaired and would love some pointers on how to make my photos look better. I'll be checking back to see what everyone says...

Gorgeous, gorgeous photo... she is positively perfect in every way!

Caroline said...

another photo impared chick here.
so when you learn some tricks...help another sistah out, okay? :)

Kelly Van Voltenburg said...

Miss Marley is absolutely beautiful! :) The best photo tip I ever learned was to turn off that flash. It really does make for stunning photos.

BUT when I'm in a dark situation and have the flash off, that is when I get stuck. I haven't figured that part out yet.

I know how to do a little stuff in photoshop elements. Let me think a little and I'll send you some tips.

Congrats on your new teeny one! :)

tara said...

i totally love that shot!
the book i just LOVE is called: how to shoot your kids by arthur elgort. it can be found at barnes and noble....just some simple tips but mostly photos to drool over. just everday shots you might not think to take!!!!!!
i just say practice will make you better...
no flash ever is my rule.
a good lense is a MUST> esp. if you have a dark house like i Used to have.
i am still working on getting better though! so i can't offer you too much in the way of advice.
take a course.
study photos online.
try your camera on manual mode...
emulate amber n. she rocks!
love your baby girl!! she is so pretty!

kellymccaleb said...

i could copy and paste this entry into my blog. feel the same. no tricks for ya, but i LOVE that pic too.

linda (lburanas) said...

oh. my. god. ashley, i was wondering where you were and if you had the baby yet. that is such a perfect name. she's beautiful. congrats!

and i can't help ya on the photog skills, cuz i don't have very good skills either! i <3 photoshop!

gabby almejo-garza said...

well from the looks of the picture you posted i would say that you definately have photo skillz. yeah baby!

i've been playing around lately with some baby pictures. you can take a look and if it suits your fancy, e-mail me (sorry but i lost your email addy) and i will definately share some of my tips. not that i'm all that...but it is something i enjoy.


plus, i think i've learned more from (or i should say that i've been inspired more) by the likes of tara whitney....because c'mon who doesn't like tara? you'd have to be blind (literally) not to adore her pics. and some other names i'll drop...shannon montez, marie cox and i think that's it for now.

- g

gabby almejo-garza said...

oops...my link got cut off, but here it is again...


- g

*Fauve* said...

Ow i totally suck too!!Going to follow this!!:)

erika said...

no advice.
love that photo of miss marley tho...

Anonymous said...

oh, now your photo up there is a good one!

As a PSE user, I've found playing w/levels really can make things pop visually... both b&w and color. In PSE go to enhance > adjust lighting >levels. Move the sliders till you like what you see. (this is a Tara Whitney tip.

Also shooting in natural light is just the best! Practice, practice, practice makes perfect (almost, anyway) and as yucky as it sounds, READ your MANUAL... I do it in small chunks, as I'm easily bored. But I have learned LOTS every time I make myself do it!

Glad to see Miss Marley... she's beautiful!

Anonymous said...

love the little one
so precious
i think everyone has better advice than me
good luck
and keep trying

themacmomma said...

I'm no professional either, but I am learning.

Photoshop: it's all about the curves for me. I also like to saturate my photos, and, the thing it took me forever to find was there... unsharp mask. It is in the 'sharpen' menu. It makes your photos pop just a little bit more.

A book that I like: Amphoto's Complete book of photography by Jenni Bidner. Composition can make a good photo great.

My good friend has great photography links on her blog. Her addy is http://theloveandlifeofthewattsfamily.blogspot.com/

Hope that helps a little!

Chris-el-da said...

please please please remember that
"cameras don't take pictures, people do" and that's from Ansel Adams or someone of that caliber!

i personally think you're fine. don't focus so much on the picture,but the moment. makes a world of a difference.

get Scott Kelby's Photoshop for Digital Photographers... best investment ever. Curves, sharpen mask, saturate, and brightness/contrast, are where it's at...

with my two turntables and a microphone. (sorry, i digress)

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