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Understanding Aperture for Beginners — Photography Basics

Lens Aperture

Aperture is one of the three pillars of photography, with the other two being ISO and Shutter Speed. It might be the single most important camera setting in all of photography, simply because it affects so many different variables of an image. Aperture can add dimension to your photographs by blurring the background, and it also alters the exposure of your images by making them brighter or darker. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about aperture, all in very simple language.

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The Benefits of Revisiting Older Photographs

PL revisit 3

I must confess that I very seldom go back through my older photographs unless I’m focused on a project that specifically requires me to do so. That’s been the case lately as I’ve been working on a number of eBook projects. What I’ve discovered is that there certainly are benefits when making the time to revisit old photos, and it is something that I will be doing on a much more regular basis.

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Photography Life

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How to make the cutest Valentines in Photoshop you ever did see…

***This tutorial was posted on our expansive photography forum; however, we think it’s so rad that we just had to share with you, too***

… AND you may just bring in oodles of clients, too!

For real, these Valentines are always a huge hit and last year convinced 15 families to schedule sessions with me. How awesome is that?!

Even better, my kids really love making them :hp.

There’s a few steps in the process here but I promise it’s fun and easy.

First, crop your photo to a 4 inch x 3 inch rectangle:

For real, these valentines are always a huge hit and last year convinced 15 families to schedule sessions with me. Even better, my kids love making them!

Add some cutesy Valentine’s text (I just used the color dropper tool on her dress to get the lavender):

For real, these valentines are always a huge hit and last year convinced 15 families to schedule sessions with me. Even better, my kids love making them!

Create a new document that is 4 inches x 6 inches:

You might also enjoy: 20 photos full of love that we adore

For real, these valentines are always a huge hit and last year convinced 15 families to schedule sessions with me. Even better, my kids love making them!

Copy and paste your photo onto the new document. Create a new solid color fill layer (again, I just used the color dropper tool to get the lavender color):

For real, these valentines are always a huge hit and last year convinced 15 families to schedule sessions with me. Even better, my kids love making them!

Add the text you would like on the back of the card. Press command + T and rotate it 180 degrees:

For real, these valentines are always a huge hit and last year convinced 15 families to schedule sessions with me. Even better, my kids love making them!

Your printed cards should look like this:

For real, these valentines are always a huge hit and last year convinced 15 families to schedule sessions with me. Even better, my kids love making them!

I had Annie sign hers before we assembled everything:

For real, these valentines are always a huge hit and last year convinced 15 families to schedule sessions with me. Even better, my kids love making them!

And then I folded them because I am a bit of a control freak and wanted the lines to be straight :giggle

For real, these valentines are always a huge hit and last year convinced 15 families to schedule sessions with me. Even better, my kids love making them!

Get treat-sized bags of a school-approved snack… and get extras because your little one will probably want some, too ;).

You might also enjoy reading: 10 Valentine’s Day pictures you need to take

For real, these valentines are always a huge hit and last year convinced 15 families to schedule sessions with me. Even better, my kids love making them!

For real, these valentines are always a huge hit and last year convinced 15 families to schedule sessions with me. Even better, my kids love making them!

Staple the cards to the tops of the bag:

For real, these valentines are always a huge hit and last year convinced 15 families to schedule sessions with me. Even better, my kids love making them!

And watch as your child beams with pride:

For real, these valentines are always a huge hit and last year convinced 15 families to schedule sessions with me. Even better, my kids love making them!

And make a few extras… I have actually had principals and teachers from other classes request our Valentines!

For real, these valentines are always a huge hit and last year convinced 15 families to schedule sessions with me. Even better, my kids love making them!

Hope this helps inspire you and you have the happiest of Valentine’s Day! :hp

Tell me, what are some of your creative ways for making Valentine’s Day cards for the kiddos?

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Understanding Shutter Speed – Photography Basics

Dolphin - 1/1600 Shutter Speed

Shutter Speed is one of the three pillars of photography, the other two being Aperture and ISO. Shutter speed is responsible for two particular things: changing the brightness of your photo, and creating dramatic effects by either freezing action or blurring motion. In this chapter of Photography Basics, we will explain everything you need to know about shutter speed, in very simple language.

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Photography Life

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10 things wedding photographer Ebony Logins loves

We like to shop around here but what we really enjoy doing is sharing our most loved items with our favorite people – YOU!

Today we have Ebony Logins, Click Pro and an inspiring wedding photographer, joining us to share just a few of her favorite things.

a dog in the woods at sunrise by Ebony Logins

1. Sunrise

I recently discovered that sunrise is my favourite thing in the entire world. Growing up, I would enjoy sunsets and slept in.

These days, I’m in bed really early and up really early. I’ve matched my grandmother’s sleep schedule. But that’s okay, because I am IN LOVE with sunrise. I love the fresh new feel of the day and how you get warmer and warmer as the sun comes up.

I think this realization came to me on a trip to England last year. I was determined to wake up early to catch the ponies of Dartmoor at sunrise and they did not disappoint. It was so magical that I’ve kind of been chasing that high ever since.

Kerestase shampoo and conditioner by Ebony Logins

2. Kerestase Shampoo & Conditioner

Okay, a little confession: I cut my own hair. I just don’t trust anyone around it!

My hair parts strange, grows tons of baby hairs, and is a weird in-between of wavy and straight in all the wrong places. There have been too many visits to the salon that end in tears!

Even though I take care of my own cuts, I still enjoy the fantastic feel of your hair when you leave the salon. So I always keep a bottle of Kerastase Shampoo & Conditioner around for the days I want extra shiny, bouncy, soft, beautiful hair.

the view on top of the mountains by Ebony Logins

3. Mountains

There’s something so magical and powerful about being in the mountains. On New Year’s Day, some people like to polar bear swim but I like to climb a mountain.

Being on top of the world for the first day of the year makes me feel like I can conquer anything! Plus, for some reason, the weather is always beautiful and sunny.

I have a back injury, so it was hard to carry my big camera around on hikes until I invested in a Spider Holster! Now, I can hike for hours and not worry about missing a shot.

dinner table at a restaraunt by Ebony Logins

4. Eating out

While I do love to cook, there are just so many incredible restaurants in my town. Many places support local farmers by using fresh, local ingredients, and many change their menus to match the season’s produce.

I stay away from gluten, dairy, and soy, so it’s nice to have a variety of delicious menus to choose from. In any given week, I’ll have a few tacos, sushi, burger, and whatever the high school cafeteria is serving up. Honestly, the school cafeteria may even be the best menu in town!

Clickin Walk in Canada by Ebony Logins

5. Clickin Walk

One of my favourite events of the year is the Clickin Walk! I love meeting up with local photographers and spending some time together as we walk around our beautiful city.

Not only is it a great way to connect but it’s also a great excuse to get some street photography in! I hardly shoot street images since I live an hour from the city. Gathering a group of awesome ladies to wander the streets makes you feel secure and confident when photographing the energy of the city and it’s people.

I make sure I bring along my Vanguard Alta Pro aluminum tripod so we can get a great selfie!

travel photography by Ebony Logins

6. Travel

I’m quite a gypsy at heart. I love the excitement and adventure of change and challenge. My favourite places to travel are Belize, Costa Rica, and Panama. The Central American region in general has totally stolen my heart and soul!

I usually bring along my Nikon D700 and Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art lens when I travel. I won’t pull them out all the time, but I like to use them as a little relaxing escape.

Travel and vacations can get a little hectic since there is always something to do or see. So pulling out my gear and setting aside time to look at the world in a different way allows me to relax and really take in my surroundings.

macro photo of red flower by Ebony Logins

7. Macro photography

Many photographers enjoy macro photography as a means to show the beauty in the details. The things we would typically pass by, we spend a bit more time with and photograph to share with the world. Macro photography is one of my favourite genres for that reason!

Another thing I love about macro is how you can use it to study lines, light, color, emotion, depth, creativity, and other artistic elements. It really forces you to slow down, practice your manual focus, and shoot with vision and intent.

I use my Tokina 100mm f/2.8 macro lens for macros and my Sigma ART 35mm for close ups.

a basketball hoop reflecting in a water puddle by Ebony Logins

8. Basketball

I have been coaching a junior girls basketball team for 5 years at the high school where I work. It’s so much fun to get to know a new team each year and train them for a competitive season!

I’m so lucky to get to coach with one of my best friends, too. She brings her littles to practice and they have started to tell the players to bend their knees when they shoot. So we inadvertently started training the next generation of coaches!

I also get to help organize an outdoor 3-on-3 tournament each summer where we have players of all ages join in.

black lab photo by Ebony Logins

9. My dog, Cooper

This dog is such a sweetheart! I love having a big giant cuddle bug around at all times. Cooper is a black Lab crossed with a Bernese Mountain Dog. I got him when he was 8 months old and 120 lbs, so I’ve never known him to be small or puppy-like.

He is 5 years old now and is pretty timid and quiet, except when he’s excited to see you! He enjoys sleeping in the rain all winter which is so not fun to clean up every day, but I have to let him do it because he loves it so much.

He will never pass up a car ride, but he does take up the full width of the car while he sticks his head out one end and his tail wags non-stop on the other end!

wedding photo by Ebony Logins

10. Weddings

Yes, I am a hopeless romantic at heart! It’s such a joy to be a wedding photographer and to constantly be surrounded by love. Hearing vows and speeches and watching the ceremonies always brings a happy tear to my eye.

Before I bought my first DSLR I was a wedding planner, but when I was just starting out with photography, I swore I’d never photograph a wedding. I was certain that it was too much stress and too much work! Then, I realized that my years of wedding experience would pay off, because I new a few tricks of the trade and how the day unfolds. I was already trained for the unexpected.

Once I got over my fear, I jumped right in and started to learn how to make people connect and how to draw out emotion in my wedding clients. I photograph all my weddings with prime lenses, two camera bodies, and natural light.

On the rare occasion, I will pull out my Nikon SB900 speedlight for the reception and dance shots, but I do like to challenge myself to work with available light whenever possible. It has been such a rewarding experience!

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