Tag Archives: toys

Let There Be Light!

But only if its good light.

I finally decided to get myself some lights. I am only really able to do anything, unless someone is looking after my children, at night. Enough said. I had resisted getting lights because so many photos I see look ‘studioish’. You know what I mean. Hotspot here, too dark there, flat, shadow in distracting spot. The list goes on. I have no idea why I decided to become obsessed with photography? It must be the most complicated obsession around. Anyway, I set up my lights last night. I am interested in newborn portraits so I had a go. I didn’t have a newborn. I had to use a teddy. I also wasn’t happy with the placement of lights in the beginning. In the end I had one with a softbox facing the front of the bear and one without anything aimed at the ceiling, then used a reflector (balanced on my head due to lack of assistant!) to reduce the shadows I didn’t like and to introduce a catch light in the eyes. I had to use an ND filter as the lights were too bright for the space. Obviously this is going to need to be refined if it is going to be workable, but I am reasonably happy with my first effort.

Behold, the bear!




OK, I considered your thoughts and I managed to find some time this morning to try to get my head around the manual settings on my DSLR. I read a blog entry here that really helped me. When I first heard of ISO, f-stop and shutter speed I thought they might present a challenge. When I couldn’t remember which was which the next day I recognised that they would be one of those things that just weren’t going to stick straight away. So I found something as basic as I could and I used it to create myself a cheat card to put on my carkeys. The process of constructing the card is useful to me in two ways. Firstly, once finished I have a handy reference to take with me for when I get stuck and second, deconstructing the terms and figures to create the card makes requires me to understand it. Otherwise I would have an incorrect and useless reference.

The purpose of me telling you that is that today’s photo is taken with Mr Fancy Pants. I am sure that I will have to rename the camera something else eventually, but alas Mr Fancy Pants stuck.

Here is four.


After Z comes 1

I wanted to use a photo that isolated one without actually being one thing.

Here it is 🙂 Have you seen enough pictures of children’s toys yet? Haha. Unfortunately I don’t have many options on days that I am at home.

For anyone turning their head to the side and looking confused.  That’s one yellow carriage.

Composition: Point 3 Keep it simple

I decided to combine my black and white quest with my list of composition points to practise. If you remember I was up to number 3 which was to keep it simple and remove anything that doesn’t help tell the story.

I have been talking about how much I love colour and it’s true, but kids toys are one area that occasionally I wish for less colour. Our toy box (this is just one of many) is overflowing with toys and all in bright colours to “stimulate” kids. It is sensory overload! I wonder if the amount of stimulating colour has an impact on behavior? There seem to be a lot of hyper sensitive kids these days, perhaps we should tone it down a bit?

Anyway, I neatly packed up the toys and took a photo. I then removed the colour information…and felt more relaxed, hooray!

This photo is my life and my attempt to have some control over it.

I am…kidding myself, heheh.


What to do with average shots?

I take photos of everything that goes on around me. Its the one good thing about using my camera phone. It’s always handy.
Most of the photos I take are, well, terrible to be honest. Half are blurry, some are ho-hum and a few I like. In amongst that are a few that I think had potential in the theory part and just didn’t translate. Pity. I though I would post a few. I generally play with filters in cases like that. A futile attempt to turn something average into something…else. It never works. A great photo is just that. The saying, ‘you can’t dress mutton up as lamb’ also applies to photos.

W eating guitar


E out walking with his umbrella. Please note it was NOT raining, but he insisted he take it all the same.

E’s collection of little people. I thought it was ‘interesting’ (try ridiculous), that the one little person with darker skin was a prehistoric cave person?!! I realize that there are different races represented in little people, but it seemed slightly skewed. My comment on mainstream race representation did not work anyway. Oh well.


Leading the eye

Still experimenting, this time with leading the eye around using shape and colour.

The first photo uses the trunk of the tree to lead down to the leaves and circle then up through the scattered leaves to the bit that shouldn’t be there at the top. I tried cropping it but couldn’t work out why I didn’t like it as much with the brown bit at the top gone. Then I realized it was because it finishes off the circuit. Unfortunately it makes it weird so it is a photo conundrum. Oh dear.

The second shot I took because it ‘felt good’. I noticed that W’s socks with the orange toy drew attention then my eye wandered down the yellow quilt edge to the car toy. From there the same blue in the socks completed the circuit. The colours (blue, yellow and orange) were a classic split complementary combination. The vibrancy really helps make an otherwise ordinary shot interesting.

I love colour. July will be the start of my Colour Photo Series. July will be – Red.