Tip #6: PHOTOGRAPHY & PHOTOSHOP
This is our final week of our blogging tips series. Thank you so much for joining us - and I hope it has been helpful. For our last week, we are sharing our tips on photography and Photoshop.
Great photographs are what can make a blog look more professional. To create professional looking photographs, you really need to invest in a good camera and lens. I decided to invest in a camera - which I love to use for my blog, but also use it for photographs when we have family parties. I had tried a Canon; however, I was not that impressed with it, so I decided to purchase this Nikon instead. Although, I should say, taking professional looking photographs takes a lot of practice and work - I am still in the learning process - and hope one day to have mastered the art of great photographs. A lot of bloggers you see with professional looking photographs - either hire a professional photographer or have spent a lot of time perfecting it. Also, you can buy a good camera or you can spend a lot of money and buy a great camera and lens. A good camera will range around $1000 or less with the lens, a great camera is around $5000 and more.
Lens & Blurry Background
At the same time I bought the camera, I also invested in a 50 mm lens. You may hear a lot of bloggers talk about a 50mm lens (or "nifty fifty" lens). You may also wonder how bloggers get the blurry backgrounds, well, it is usually by using the 50mm lens. A few tips I have found to get the blurry background photographs. You will want to learn how to shoot in manual mode. This allows you to adjust the settings, like the aperture. The aperture is opening that allows light through the lens. A wide open aperture and low f-stop - like f/1.2 creates the blurry background. Also, the distance between you and your photographer makes a difference. The closer the photographer is to you - and the farther away you are from your background will help to create the blurry background. Photography is a lot of trial and error and practice - the best thing is to practice and with time, you will learn more and improve. I am still figuring out all the settings on my camera. And, have to have a re-fresher when I haven't used the camera in awhile.
Another important setting that you can adjust in manual mode is the white balance. Each location will have different varying colors - and amount of light, so it is best to measure the "true white" in each location. In order to do this - be sure to take something "true white" with you to the location, like a piece of paper, where you are shooting and set the white balance based off that white. White balance is what may make some of your photos have a blue or red tint sometimes. Our eye compensates for the differences cast by the light, but the camera will record what it sees, unless we adjust the white balance.
Here are a few camera resources.
The 19 photography tips for every blogger - such as the rule of thirds. Another great resource is this blog, A Southern Drawl - which walks through a lot of different camera settings for different lighting situations and backgrounds - and it is FREE.
To create my outfit collages and to crop my photographs, I use Photoshop. I have used Photoshop for almost 20 years, so it is something that is pretty easy for me to use. I do not know all the special features and effects of Photoshop - because it is a pretty powerful program and keeps getting more robust each version; however, I know enough of the features to make it the best program for creating graphics for my blog. For a beginner, however, the program can be somewhat overwhelming.
Here are a few helpful training tools to help you get started if you want to learn Photoshop.
CreativeLive has different courses in Photoshop (and photography).
Lynda.com has a lot of great resources, plus they offer a free 10 day trial - so you could easily check out some of the tutorials for free.
If you would like me to do a tutorial on how I create my outfit collages in Photoshop - leave me a comment and let me know.
Next, be sure to "hop" over to Marta at Sweaters, Stripes and Sweets to hear her tips.
Week 1: What to know Before Starting a Blog
Week 2: WordPress vs. BloggerWeek 3: Social Media
Week 4: Monetize the Blog (Affiliate Programs & Sponsored Posts)
Week 5: Where to Go for Help
I am participating in the following link-ups.