Tips to Start with Photo Editing

Whether you are trying to become a professional photographer or just want to take better photos of your family or your work, knowing how to use a photo editor will go a long way in helping you achieve your goal. There are any automatic photo editing programs available too that are great at what they do, but if you’re looking to get into the world of advanced photo editing, these tips will be perfect for you to start off:

  1. Start with RAW 

Before you start editing any photos, you should shift the image format on your camera to ‘RAW’. This is a format that is essentially a digital negative version of your photo; it contains the full information captured from any scene, without any compression.  

What does this mean? It means that you can decide for yourself which aspects of the image to adjust and with what intensity. For example, in a RAW file, you can decide if you want all the light that was captured from the scene to show up or just a little bit of it. This gives you control over the actual aspects of a photo rather than making the image brighter or darker by adding some sort of layer or filter on it.

2. Small Changes Go a Long Way 

When you start editing, you often end up using every single tool and slider to its maximum possible capacity. This will ruin your photos, simply put. The first thing you should always do when opening any image for editing is to carefully analyze it and make mental notes of what could be made better. Once that is done, then go to each of the needed sliders or tools one by one. When you make smaller changes like this rather than completely pushing all the sliders to the max, you end up with a much better photo because you’ve gone to each setting after adjusting a previous one.  

3. Presets Will Make It Quicker 

Many modern photo editors come with presets, which are basically collections of settings that have been predetermined to give your photos a certain kind of look. So, if you want a vintage-looking image, you can just apply a preset to your photo and then adjust each of the settings within the preset to your liking. You can also stack multiple presets in some programs if you wish, but the point is that using such presets will cut your editing time quite a bit.

4. Selective Adjustments are Helpful 

This is more of an advanced tip but if you have gotten familiar with photo editing already, then you should try your hand at selective adjustments. These are basically edits made to certain parts of a photo as opposed to the whole photo.  

For example, if you feel like your brother’s eyes should have more of a ‘pop’ but everything else about his portrait is perfect, you can simply select the eyes with one of the selection tools, and then edit them how you like. This will ensure that the rest of the image does not get affected at all.  

5. Object Removal is Possible 

Sometimes, especially during family shoots, you may end up having something in your frame that you don’t want to be part of your photo. In that case, with the power of a strong photo editor, you don’t have to worry. Most advanced programs have the option to simply select the unwanted item in your photo and take it out or move it to a new location etc.  

With these kinds of possibilities associated with photo editors, there is really no reason for you to not be using them at the moment, especially if you take your photography seriously and want to advance yourself in this skill.  

Phone Photography Tips for Family Photos

As we talked about in one prior post, you do not need to invest hundreds of dollars in a camera to take photos around the house or on family vacations. You don’t even have to get an inexpensive point and shoot camera for this. All you need is a smartphone with a good camera and a little guidance on how to take good photos.

  1. Light is Everything

Well, not everything, but a very decisive part of every photo. Light is what makes your subject come into focus, it is what creates the ambiance for your photo, and it helps you take noise-free photos with your phone. So before anything else, just make sure you have a good amount of light on your subject.

  1. Composition is Half the Game

Taking family photos with your phone doesn’t mean that you can’t compose your shots a little carefully. You don’t have to just take out your phone, make sure the subject is in frame and tap on the shutter. Instead, take a little time to compose your frame. Put the subject either in the center of off to one side. Make sure the background isn’t distracting. Think about your shot a little more than usual and you’ll see how amazing the images from your smartphone camera can look.

  1. Shoot Manually

Every major smartphone brand these days has introduced a manual mode in their camera apps. This means that you have control over the shutter speed, ISO, and focus point of your camera. Learn to manipulate all these parameters to your advantage. Adjust the settings in a way that allows you to take the best possible shots. Take RAW photos if your camera allows for it and merge different exposures in any of the best HDR software out there. Be creative, be bold, and be resourceful. Doing that, you probably won’t need to invest in a fancy camera for a very long time.

Do You Need a DSLR for Family Photos?

Camera technology these days has gotten great. You do not need a professional grade DSLR camera anymore to take great photos. There are very capable alternatives that can produce very good results for a very little price. Let’s talk about two types of cameras you can use to take photos of your family at various events.

1. Your Smartphone

Yes, you read that right! Smartphone cameras have gotten so good that you can do pretty much anything with them. Of course, the quality is nowhere near as good as a DSLR, but do you really need all that for family photographs? Smartphones these days have wide apertures, OIS in lenses, and even portrait modes to create a bokeh behind subjects.
The biggest advantages of using your smartphone to take photos are that you always have it with you and it’s easy to charge with portable battery packs on long picnics.

2. A Point and Shoot

While usually called ‘point and shoot’ cameras, these compact shooters come packed with features these days that you can use to take professional looking photos for not a lot of money. These are lightweight, easy to carry, and often pocket-able despite boasting manual controls and larger sensors than smartphones. You can get compact cameras that range from literal point and shoot cameras to those with manually controlled lenses and multiple shooting modes to deliver great photos.

So if you’ve ever asked yourself whether you need to buy a DSLR with an expensive lens to take family photos, the answer is the resounding no.

Tips for Starting a Scrapbook

Creating a scrapbook can be a lot of fun. Taking photos, putting them together, labeling them, and then looking back all those memories fondly after years have passed by is what this process is all about. However, the process can be made even more fun by following some suggestions.

1. Develop a Theme

To make a scrapbook that does not look like a random collection of photos, settle on a theme. The theme can either be related to the subject, the type of photos, or even the subject. For example, you can have a scrapbook showcasing the life of your daughter from the day she was born till her graduation. You can have a scrapbook of all the family vacations and picnics you take. It can be about general moments with all the pages of a certain color. A theme will add consistency to your scrapbook, making it more enjoyable to look at.

2. Design a Layout

Building on the theme, developing a layout for the different pages will also make your scrapbook look organized and well thought out. Think of where you want the photos to be, and how many should each page have. Think about how you want to label the photos. You can tell a whole story under just one photograph if you want or put multiple photos on one page and write a story on the page next to it.

3. Title or Mark Pages

If your scrapbook contains different kinds of photos – like photos of your children as well as family events – then it can help to title the pages or just differentiate between the different types of images with color coding. This can help a lot with navigation and when you want to find a specific photo.

4. Up your Photo Game

If you want to really take your scrapbooks to a new level, then try different kinds of photography techniques. We do understand that scrapbooking is not about having professional grade photos, but if you’re interested in photography then there’s no harm in taking great photos. Try things like HDR, color splash effects, vintage effects etc. These will add another layer to your photos and make your scrapbook much more pleasing to look at.

For more information about HDR photography, visit www.aurorahdr.com. If you’d like to play with vintage effects, visit www.macphun.com/luminar/vintage-photo-editor.

 

Following these tips will ensure that your scrapbooks are well-organized and beautiful to look at. They will also help you keep a consistent look for all your pages as this is important for compiling something that will always look fresh and be easy to navigate no matter how big it gets. ba

An Easy Way to Digitally Backup your Scrapbooks

We all have some old photos lying around that we never want to get rid of. Maybe it is a photo album from your grandfather’s time or from your own childhood when all people had were SLR cameras. Maybe these photos are in the form of a scrapbook that your parents made when you were little. These kind of physical photo collections are still very important, but at the same time the modern world has made digitally backing up these memories so easy that it’s just a shame not to.

All You Need is your Phone

In order to make digital copies of scrapbooks, the only thing you need to have is a smartphone, which most of the population has these days. There are many applications that turn your phone into a portable scanner, allowing you to create high-quality digital files on the go. One of the best and most highly rated of these apps is CamScanner. It has a very simple interface and a very good processing engine. Just be sure to use it in good lighting to get the best quality.

If you want something that is made for scanning physical photos, then Google’s PhotoScan is your best bet. The app is developed by Google for the sole purpose of turning your old physical photos into glare-free and high quality digital files that you can back up to Google Photos right away.

So if you have ever wondered what you can do to make sure that your precious memories stay with you forever, just take out your mobile phone and simply back them up.

Spain – The Origin of Knitting in Europe

The art of knitting has existed in the world for a very long time. However, to date exactly when the first knitted item was made is hard because of the fact that organic fibers used to knit decay quite quickly. However, researchers have managed to find out that some of the earliest signs of knitting were found in the Middle East, from where the art found its way to Europe.

European Origin of Knitting

The earliest knitted items that are known to us were first created by Muslim knitter who used to work under various Spanish royal families. Spain became the origin for knitting in Europe. Knitted gloves and cushion covers created by the hands of these Spanish Muslims can still be seen in the tombs of the Abbey of Santa Maria la Real de Las Huelgas in Spain.

After Spain, knitting found its way to many other parts of Europe, including Estonia, France, and London. The first knitting guild was created in Paris during the 13th century, and knitting had become an advanced craft by this time.

The Knitting Machine

William Lee was an English man who, in 1589, invented the first knitting machine. The country saw an increase in these kind of machines over the next few years, and the hand knitting industry took at major hit. This was when commercial hand knitting saw its demise, and the machines took over. Even to this day, knitting by hand is thought of as a domestic hobby that anything else, but the art is revered in many parts of Spain to this day.

 

 

 

Don’t Let Spain’s Hot Summers Ruin Your Photos

Spain is undoubtedly a beautiful country. The natural beauty of the country, with the historic architecture, winding streets, and vast coastline make it one of the best travel spots in the world.

Whether you are traveling to Spain or live there permanently, you may have faced a problem when taking family photos outdoors with the harsh sunlight. The blue skies that you see with your eyes would wash out into white backdrops most of the time, doing an injustice to the beauty that the country holds.

A Quick and Easy Fix to Your Problems

A great way to take perfect family photos in Spain is to make use of HDR. Many cameras have this functionality built in, where they take successive shots of a scene at different exposures and merge them to create one well-exposed photo. However, if your camera does not support this feature, you can make HDR images yourself in just a few steps:

  • Take at least three photos at different exposures. One of these should keep the sky in perfect exposure, one should focus on the shadows, and one on the people in your frame.
  • Go to www.aurorahdr.com and download the software. Also go through some of the tutorials and features of the program to learn a little more.
  • Import all the exposures into Aurora HDR and simply merge them. You can then tweak the final image to your liking, and the end result will be a picture that showcases your family in front of the beautiful natural backdrop that Spain has to offer.

Reasons You Should Give Scrapbooking a Chance

As we speak about homemade scrapbooking here, we need to tell you one thing for sure, home craft, scrapbooking, or knitting and such stuffs have always been a staple of the Spanish culture and trust us, and you will be amazed to see how beautiful these homemade stuffs are. However, although scrapbooking is a long lost arts, or people opt for scrapbooking only when their children have homework on the same, it is worth the time.

Here are a few reasons why you should give scrapbooking a chance –

  • A real life home for your photos – When you capture those memoires, don’t you want a special home for your photos that would be safe and intact? And no! We aren’t talking about the phone or the laptop. We are talking about the scrapbooks. These scrapbooks make a great home for these beautiful memories!
  • Unleash your own style and your creativity – We know you might get quite held up with your day to day activity and when you get one Sunday, you want to relax and have some “me” time; but hey! This is important too. On the plus point, you can use your own style and unleash your creativity.
  • Do you know that memories lie – Well, not really, but let’s face it! Your mind has a different story about a particular memory and someone else will have something else for the same memory. But journal entry like a scrapbook would have all the detailed information about that particular memory. This is beautiful.
  • Enhances your photographing ability – If you are planning to scrapbooking, you will for sure need lots of photographs and you will definitely keep clicking pictures. The more pictures you click, the better of a photographer you become. That’s a good thing for you.
  • The peace of mind – When you finally complete your scrapbook, we bet you will not stop thanking yourself for such a lovely gift to the family. trust us, it is beautiful and the memories are going to last forever.