White Balance – Video: Snapshot

Hey guys and gals!   In this video snapshot Josh walks us through his process of adjusting the white balance of some digital images that he shot at a recent wedding. He covers the importance of shooting at a consistent temperature to make proofing easier and faster. Check out the video below to see his process!   Have questions or comments about white balance? Join the conversation below! :)

By | May 16th, 2015|Photography Tips, Video Snapshot|0 Comments

Harsh Lighting – Video: Snapshot

In this video snapshot Josh discusses harsh lighting and shows us an example of how he used different angles to work around a tough lighting situation. Check out the video below to hear his thoughts and learn his work-around: While I was shooting some images of my wife, Layla, for her new t-shirt design, I decided to turn her around and try a couple of shots facing the sun to give you a good visual of the difference the right angle can make. In the first shot, she is facing the sun and in the second shot, she is standing in the exact same spot, but turned around with the sun behind her. The harsh light from the sun puts hard shadows on her face while she is facing it. Simply turning her around made all the difference in the world, and this is a great example of soft light versus hard light.     Have questions or comments about harsh lighting? Join the conversation below! :)    

By | May 16th, 2015|Photography Tips, Video Snapshot|0 Comments

Enhancing Your Photos

I remember when I was first learning how to use my DSLR, I would see beautiful pictures captured by other photographers that looked so perfect, and I couldn't imagine how in the world they got such incredibly vibrant shots. When I would look through my images after a day of shooting, they looked dull in comparison. I  learned very quickly that although it's important to get the shot right with your camera, most professional photographers further enhance their images by using some kind of post processing software. Whether it's Photoshop or Lightroom almost every photographer has a system they use to proof and then adjust their images. Photoshop and Lightroom can do some crazy cool things and both programs can get really deep. That said, I have found that using some simple actions and filters can really speed up the process without having to be an expert. Below is an image that was shot by one of our Photography 101 students. (Photo Credit: Peggy Holland) I love the composition of this shot, but I wanted to see if I could make the image pop a little more by using some filters in Photoshop CS5. The image below is the same [...]

By | February 20th, 2014|Composition, Photography Tips|7 Comments

5 Steps to Taking Better Photographs

I wanted put together a post that highlighted what I believe to be five key actions to taking better photographs. I asked myself, "What were my big a-ha moments while learning  how to shoot photography?". So here they are! :) 1. Learn to shoot in manual mode. I recently came across a study conducted by Sony that showed that nearly 2/3 of DSLR owners never take their cameras out of automatic mode. A lot of those consumers think that if you buy a more expensive camera, it will automatically take better pictures. Unfortunately this is not the case. If you put your DSLR camera into automatic mode you are officially the owner of a very heavy (and expensive) point-and-shoot. The great thing about a DSLR camera is that it gives you control. I shoot a lot of interiors and I love the fact that I can make the image as bright and beautiful as I want. Shooting in manual is not as complicated as you may think either, we've had over 1,000 members learn to shoot in manual mode over the last year. I still get excited every time I see someone post their first manual shot in our Facebook group. Here [...]

By | May 20th, 2013|Photography Tips|11 Comments

Photoshop Touch Up and Photography 102

Hello! We launched two more classes this past month, so we wanted to publish a post about each of them here today. The first new class is called Photoshop Touch Up, and it's all about re-touching photos of people in Photoshop. We worked as re-touchers for several years before we started our own photography businesses, and we've included all of our techniques in the Touch Up class. You can see some examples of the techniques we'll cover by moving your cursor on and off of the photos below. Everything from how to soften skin, remove blemishes, and add vignette effects... ...to how to reduce redness in eyes without making them look too white... ...to how to tame down fly away hairs, add sparkle to eyes, and whiten teeth... ...to body reshaping: Our favorite kind of exercise- ha! If you're interested in checking out the class, just click on Photoshop Touch Up in the Classes tab in our menu bar. The cost is $25 and the class is an hour and 40 minutes long. And just like all of our other Photography and Photoshop classes, our Photoshop Touch Up class video is hosted on Vimeo, so once you purchase it, you can watch it [...]

By | March 14th, 2013|Photography Tips, Uncategorized|8 Comments

Choosing the Right Lens

Choosing the right lens is an important part of getting the results you want. The two most important things to consider are 'Focal Length', and 'Depth of Field'.  Let's start with focal length. Focal length refers to how much you can see through the lens. It's important to note that the two most common lenses are zoom lenses and prime lenses. A zoom lens has the ability to zoom in or out through a range of different focal lengths. For example, my 17-40mm lens can shoot at both 17mm and 40mm and all points in-between. Whereas a prime (or fixed) lens has only one focal length and cannot zoom. If you want a closer or wider shot with a fixed lens, you have to physically move forward or backward. Let's take a look at some of the different ranges:     As you can see, 18mm (and lower) have the widest focal lengths and are considered wide angle lenses. Wide angle lenses are great for landscapes and interiors because you can fit a lot into your shot. A 200mm lens would be considered a telephoto lens, and they're great for zooming into shots that may be further away. To give [...]

By | September 13th, 2012|Photography Tips|15 Comments

Handheld vs. Tripod

A couple of weeks ago Layla and I stopped by a house in Montgomery to shoot some quick pics and chat with the owner about his wonderful home. We only had about one hour to tour his house, so I had to shoot as quickly as possible. In a perfect world, I would set up a tripod and use a low number ISO. This allows me to make the image brighter by slowing down my shutter speed. But since I was hand holding my camera, I had to use a much higher ISO number to make the images brighter. The main point I wanted to drive home today is that using a higher ISO number is completely okay. For example, I knew the pics I shot that day would only be used online, and wouldn't be shown any larger than 600 pixels wide. When the images are that small, you can't really see the graininess that a high ISO causes. Here's a closer look... Even at 600 pixels wide the image below still looks nice on the internet. You can start to see the graininess a little on the back walls, but it doesn't ruin the shot by any means. [...]

By | July 12th, 2012|Interiors, Photography Tips|17 Comments

The Beauty of Bokeh

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 [...]

By | July 3rd, 2012|Photography Tips, Uncategorized|16 Comments

Better Composition – Rule Of Thirds

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 [...]

By | June 28th, 2012|Composition, Photography Tips, Uncategorized|29 Comments

shootFLYspotlight: Josh Moates

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 [...]

By | March 14th, 2012|Photography Tips, Video, Wedding Photography|29 Comments
Load More Posts