Archive for Photo Tips – Page 2

Check your Settings….

Check your settings!  Make it a habit – before you go out on any type of photo adventure, check all of your settings.  You will never be plagued with images shot with the wrong exposure.  So make sure you check:

  • ISO
  • White Balance
  • Shutter Speed
  • Aperture
  • Bracketing
  • Exposure Compensation

At the end of a shoot, always restore your settings to the same each time and you will know where you stand.  It can be very easy to finish a shoot, put your camera away and then download your images – but wait!  Don’t forget to restore your settings, so you are ready for those great photo ops at a moment’s notice.

Photographing One of My Favorite Things

Today I got to do one of my favorite things – take pictures of cupcakes and cookies from Lady Di’s.  What a perfect way to end the week!  These mouthwatering treats are as good as they look.  Stop by her shop located on The Old Road and Valencia Blvd. in Valencia and take some home today.  Tell them we sent you!




Wedding Image of the Week…

Mel Carll-0077 web

Sometimes the best image is the details.  Here is an example of one of my favorite images from a wedding I shot this past month.

Wedding Workshop Wrap-up

On Sunday SCV Center for Photography hosted our Wedding Photography Intensive workshop with the awesome Wedding Photographer William Innes as our fearless instructor for the day.  The dedicated group started at 8am, yes, on a Sunday morning, and the entire group was early at that.  By 9am the group was shooting our totally decked out models Sarah & John, who did a fantastic job.  We were back in the studio b early afternoon for lunch and Q&A.  After lunch, it was all about workflow and editing the images from the day.  By 5pm the group was spent, but thrilled with the images and new found knowledge.  To see more on the workshop and about our totally awesome instructor, head over to

sarah garage door bw

Silhouette Photos

In looking at some photos on the web today, I noticed a lot of silhouetted photos on the beach that really made me think about how little I have seen this in our local photography.  So after doing some looking into my own images, I realized that I have done some of this, but really not enough lately, so I thought I would post some basic thoughts in creating a nice silhouette.

  • The basic idea is to place a strong subject in front of the bright light, which can be a person, tree, building, animal, whatever it is that interest you.
  • Make sure you great light behind your subject, and that light needs to be brighter than the light hitting your subject from the front, or foreground light.
  • It helps it you have a nice plain background, no clutter, nothing that could distract your viewers eye from leaving the main subject in your image.
  • Do not use any flash from your camera.  You are trying to make your subject go black in the image, although you will want some detail, but just enough so that you know what the subject is.
  • The most difficult part is the exposure.  Use spot metering, and point it at the brightest part of the image, as this will under-expose your subject.  If your subject is too bright still, either speed up the shutter speed or change the aperture.  So if your aperture is currently at f8, adjust to f11.  And then just continue to adjust to you get the image you are looking for.

Making a silhouette can lead to a great image, both in bright daylight, or even at sunrise or sunset.  So get out there and make some images, and if you need additional inspiration or assistance, check out our workshop schedule at the SCV Center for Photography via our website

Nikon releases new lenses

Nikon announced today the release of several new lenses.  The first that caught my attention was the 28-300mm f3.5-5.6 VR lens that compete directly with Tamron.  This will provide the everyday photographer with a great range, thus reducing the need to change the lens.  This will be a welcomed addition to the vacation photographer as it will improve the range from the Nikon 18-200mm VR.

The next lens is the 24-120 f4 ED VR.  The great thing about this lens is it is geared toward the full frame sensor, so no loss of megapixels.  Great addition for those with the D700 and D3 cameras.

The other lens is the 85mm f1.4 which has been a little late to the game.  While the 85mm f1.8 is a great lens, this should rock with the f1.4 aperture.

Shooting Ideas…..

There are times when your photographic creative juices fail you, and you just can not come up with any ideas of what to photograph, but you want to photograph.  Here are a few ideas for you to consider:

  1. Your Yard:  You may think this is funny, but your  yard is a target rich environment.  Most of you are likely to have flowers, roses, herbs or plants.  These items always make great macro subjects.  And don’t forget the grass, which first thing in the morning with dew and sunlight can be pretty pleasing.
  2. Your House:  To be more specific, the kitchen.  Consider those hanging pots, or the many utensils you have laying around.  If you just look around, you may be surprised what you see.
  3. Park:  Most us have a park fairly close to home.  The kids play area always has some interesting objects, that might be interesting macro shots.  The kids playing, laughing and running are great photos to send the grandparents.  You may even be lucky to have a water fountain or other textures to consider.
  4. Industrial Park:  Take a drive though the local business park.  Check out the textures on the building, as they can make for some interesting abstracts.  A lot of businesses have some pretty nice landscaping, so again, flowers, plants and even water treatments can make for great photos.
  5. Farmers Market:  Most towns today have a local farmers market, and this can be an awesome place for photographs.  You should always ask the vendors if they mind having the produce photographed, but generally, most have no problems.

Hopefully these tips can you help you jump start your creative juices on those slow days.  Enjoy, and keep shooting.  If you are interested in other ideas, please log onto our website at and check out our many workshops each month at the SCV Center for Photography.

Sneak Peak of our latest portrait session in the studio….

Final Cassie 13_MEL9061-Edit_pp1_pp ver 2 web

Enjoyed shooting the happy couple after the wedding.

Come on into the SCV Center for Photography for your portraits.

Ansel Adams photos found at Garage Sale

You have read that correctly.  A Fresno man purchased 2 small boxes 10 years ago for $45, negotiated down from $70 and now reports are coming in that they could be worth upwards of $200 million.

According to the story, 65 glass negatives created by Ansel Adams were believed to have been destroyed in a 1937 fire that had destroyed over 5,000 plates.  The plates were created sometime between 1919 and 1935 and included his iconic locations of Yosemite and San Francisco.  It is thought that Ansel had used them to teach a photography class in Pasadena and then stored them in a warehouse and never reclaimed them.  The original boxes were purchased in a warehouse sale back in the early 1940′s prior to being purchased again in a garage sale in 2000.

So if you are out garage sale hunting, you never know what treasures you may come across.

Fall into New England Photo Trip

Fall Into New England – A Photographers Outing
Wed. Oct 6- Sunday Oct 10 Vermont/New Hampshire

Tues Oct 12-Saturday Oct. 16 Maine
Guide: April Bielefeldt

April Bielefeldt is a nationally-recognized, award winning photographer and current President of Santa Clarita Valley Photographers Association. She has lived in several areas of the country, but New England continues to be her favorite photographic destination. She has led photography sessions in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire for the past six years with great success. She has a degree in Fine Art and Design, and has curated both art and photography exhibitions.

Read on – this is an opportunity you shouldn’t miss!

October is not complete without our annual guided photo trip to New England. Autumn in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine is a feast for the eyes and the senses. The brilliant reds, the early morning frost on the leaves, bright yellow school buses filled with children in bright sweaters, red barns, single lane roads with fallen leaves blown across and the slow morning mist as it drifts through the trees. This is a wonderful sampler of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont- giving photographers some memorable and saleable images of a Classic New England Autumn.

Each day will begin early to capture the first light and end around 6 pm when we lose the light, followed by a wonderful meal in a local restaurant with foods reflecting the season of fall in New England.

Most of the Photography locations require some walking. Participants can choose when we stop if they want guidance or just be left on their own. Stops include a variety of photographic possibilities including historic buildings, interiors, farm stands, trees, covered bridges, broad landscapes, close up details, people and animals enough to satisfy any photographer. The small group allows for input from photographers and the ability to stop on single lane roads. The pace is structured to allow plenty of time to set up, use different lenses, and see all the details.

As always we are at the mercy of “Mother Nature”. I choose the dates based on what has typically been the best time to capture the color. Of course, the wind goes where it will, so no guarantees. On the other hand, “if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes….”

We still attempt to photograph on rainy days, as alternate locations are set up for these occurances. It is important to bring your gear and be ready to photograph! I am a CANON photographer and a variety of Canon Lenses will be available to borrow.

The details? This Year I have split the trip to accommodate those on limited budgets for time and money.

Please contact us soon to join us !! 818-723-7413 April or

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