When I was first learning how to shoot photography I was always drawn to the beautiful images with blurry backgrounds. The point of interest would literally pop off the page when the background was slightly out of focus. This blur is referred to as Bokeh (pronounced bo-ka), and it quickly became my mission to learn how this was done! (Photo credits left: Shoot Fly Shoot and right: Heather Bullard) A lightbulb moment for me was when I learned that creating this effect was all about depth of field, and this was accomplished with the lens. So what is depth of field? In a nutshell, it refers to how much of the image is in focus. • Shallow depth of field = A small portion of the image is in focus leaving everything behind, and in front of, the point of interest blurry. • Deep depth of field = A large portion of the image is in focus. Meaning, more of the image is sharp and not blurry. Shallow depth of field (Photo credit Maria Carr) Here's another look at depth of field from a different perspective: Notice how in the top example only the flower being focused on is sharp. This is a [...]
Composition in photography is about framing up an image to make for a more interesting and eye-catching photo. There are a few different rules that can help with composition, but like I told everyone when I was in high school, "Rules were meant to be broken!" Ha! :) Seriously though, you know better than anyone what you want, so always trust your gut! One of the most popular rules of composition is the 'rule of thirds'. The rule of thirds states that if an image is divided into nine equal parts, the compositional elements that run along the lines or at the intersections are more pleasing to the eye. It's more of a rule of thumb than a set-in-stone, absolutely-unbreakable rule. But looking back through some of my "beauty shots", it is interesting to see how many "keepers" I chose that follow this rule! Here are a few that we used in our Photography 101 class, and from our talk at the Haven Conference. This also works for portraits and horizontal shots like the images below. Another cool thing about the rule of thirds is that if you don't shoot it that way, you can always crop your photo that way with [...]
Josh and I had an absolute blast speaking at Haven Conference 2012 this past week. We spent hours meeting new friends and talking photography, and the whole trip was just awesome! During the Q&A part of our session we answered a lot of questions about camera equipment and pricing, so I thought I would do a blog post about a killer online camera store that we mentioned during our talk. The store is called KEH.com and you can find some serious deals there. KEH professionals travel all over the country and buy unsold cameras and lenses from camera stores, to resell at a discounted rate. All of the cameras and lenses are inspected by their professionals and given a rating. Even their "bargain" cameras are in great shape. The customer service is awesome, and you can return anything within 14 days- no questions asked. Below is an Instagram pic I took of the Canon 17-40 lens I purchased from KEH.com. It's in excellent (like new!) condition, and saved over a $100 on it... I always check KEH.com before buying any new camera equipment. We aren't sponsored by KEH, we just love the company and wanted to share this little nugget [...]
Every once in a while Josh and I will round up some friends and we'll take a trip to somewhere interesting to spend the day shooting pics. A couple of months ago we decided to check out a small festival called Doo-Nanny. We had absolutely no idea what to expect, but we ended up having a ball! We met all kinds of interesting people and ate until we almost popped. Here's a short video and a few pics we shot that day... Josh was shooting with a medium format film camera, and I used a Canon 7D digital camera.... We're looking forward to speaking and taking more photos at the Haven Conference next week in Atlanta. Hope to see you there!
I'm always on the lookout for cool camera-related gadgets and this pencil sharpener is one of my recent favs... It's available at MyFunkyCamera.com for $14. Now if I could just make up my mind between these iPhone covers... (cover 1, cover 2, cover 3) Any votes?
The winner of our Photography 101 e-class is... Congratulations, Kara! We'll be in touch with you soon to get you signed in to the class. And the correct answer to the question in our last post is... Photo #1! Happy Easter weekend, y'all!
***THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED*** My wife, Layla, and I had the pleasure of photographing a beach house for Flea Market Style magazine last Fall. As with all of our interior shoots, I'm in charge of snapping the pics, and she's in charge of styling them. The house we shot for this particular issue was located on Tybee Island, Georgia, which is about 7 hours away from where we live, so, we decided to take a "better safe than sorry" approach, and shot a couple different set-ups in each room. That way, our editors had a few different looks to choose from, and we didn't run the risk of not capturing something they could use before we headed back home to Alabama. It's always a fun surprise to see which photos they choose to publish when the magazine comes out! For instance, we shot the fireplace below with two different pieces of art above the mantel... The painting in photo #1 is propped against the mantel, and we left some white space to the left of it, in case the folks at the magazine wanted to insert some text or graphics there. The painting in photo #2 is hanging on the [...]
Josh and I are still hard at work putting together our Photoshop Elements class, (we're looking forward to launching it in April!) and we've got a few fun posts lined up for our blog this week, too. Today, I'm guest blogging over at Inspired By Charm... It's a post all about old house elements...some of my favorite things to photograph!
Hey there! Just wanted to take a moment to spotlight fellow shootFLYguy, Josh, today. He's super talented and we were so excited to hear that his photography studio won The Knot's "2011 Brides Choice" award! Click on the play button below for a sneak peek at how he spends his Saturdays, and to hear some of his thoughts on wedding photography... Josh and I have been friends for 15 years, and I respect him and his photography work so much. He shot this photo of my parents a few months ago using a medium format film camera... I got pretty choked up when it popped up on my monitor for the first time. Such a powerful, powerful photo! Ansel Adams once said, "a photograph is usually looked at- seldom looked into", but I see a story every time I look into this one. It has a beginning, a middle, and a happily ever after that I can feel all the way to my core. It's layered with warmth & joy, and when I look at it, I realize, this picture wasn't only created because of what happened on the inside the camera that day. It was created because of what was happening all [...]
Hey guys! Thanks to everyone who has registered for Photography 101 this week! The response has been wonderful, and we're excited to have you here! Before I announce the winner of the 50mm lens (thanks to everyone who left comments on that post, by the way!), I thought I'd share a few photos that didn't make it into the Flea Market Style magazine article I had the pleasure of shooting recently. Composition is a big part of capturing photos that "feel good", so I wanted to talk a little bit about the differences between a couple of shots I snapped at the shoot that day. First up, these photos of a bowl of apples: Composition-wise, both shots are fine, but photo #2 feels stronger to me. In photo #1 you can't see the apple stems, and while it's not the end of the world, being able to see the stems really gives the apples more personality. Also, by moving the camera up and looking down a bit, you can see the color inside the bowl, more of the sofa, and there's more separation between the apples and the items in the bookcase in the background. Pictures are 2D, so any [...]