Monday, September 27, 2010

photography related Q & A

wow.  i apologize that this post has been sitting in my drafts, forgotten, since march.  yikes. 
anyway, i quite often get asked about my camera and photography in general - here are some hopefully helpful answers for you. 

What kind of camera do you use?
i have a canon 5d right now, as well as a lomo fisheye 2 and a vintage pentax film camera, + an underwater olympus point & shoot that i use rarely.  i used to have a canon 20d as well, but i sold it to steve (it's still very close if i need it)

if you're wondering what camera to buy, get what body you can afford and have money to buy a good lens.  lenses are the amazing part of the camera.  my fave lens is my 50mm 1.4.  i also have a sigma 28-300, which is fine, and great when traveling.  i am saving to get something new, either a wide prime or the canon 24-70 2.8.  i am a canon fan, but nikon has some great cameras too.

as for other equipment, i have a couple light reflector discs, a canon 580 ex flash with the gary fong lightsphere set and some random gadgets like a remote control, macro extension tubes and 3 tripods.
a tripod is essential for anything in dim light or macro shots.

if you have any tips and tricks on how to make mobile camera photos less ugly i'm dying to know!
i don't really.  haha.  i don't use the camera on my phone because i always have a camera of some sort in my purse.  but, things to remember would be:
keeping the camera still - even using a table or wall to steady the camera so it's not shaky and blurry.
find the light - taking a picture of a scene that's near a window will be better than in the dark corner of a room.  bright daylight scenes will always turn out crisper and have better colour.
edit the picture - i know the iphone has a lot of great apps, including photoshop, or do it on your computer later.
it's all about the light.

what are some of your "go to" edits and what editing software do you use?
i use photoshop most often, but am starting to like lightroom too. 
things i always do to photos:
crop.  things can often be improved, even on the best shots. 
make sure the colour is suited to the picture.  sometimes you have to desaturate and boost the contrast, other times you boost the colour.  
ie.  romantic wedding pics - i desaturate to make them look more subtle and soft.  
desaturated & played with the overall colour cast

kids photos at the playground and carnivals are great for bright & bold.  

black & white looks classic & timeless.

personally i love bright whites - often "blowing out the highlights," which some photographers aren't a fan of, but i like clean bright whites a lot.  i do this when editing the RAW file.

and i always always retouch skin.  but not too much.  no one wants blemishes, but they also shouldn't look like they spent a weekend at the Mattel factory.

what is one photoshop trick everyone MUST know?
learn how to use the curves function.  and to use layers and masks if you want to advance and do more complicated edits. 

On your flower shots, the backgrounds always look perfect... do you edit those, or hold something behind them, or do you just happen capture perfectly how they are?
the backgrounds are whatever i have around that day.  this has included scrapbook papers, painted walls, my tank top collection...
flower photo with tank top as background

i hope that helps someone! and feel free to ask more if you have something you're curious about. 
ciao :)


  1. Thanks for the great tips, and brilliant photos!
    From Carys of La Ville Inconnue

  2. your photos are great! i love the look of the bright whites as well.

  3. Beautiful shots, love the wedding couple.


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