Monday, March 16, 2009

Cool Photography Books!

First, a note on CoffeeShop Storyboard Template actions. I realize that some PSE users would prefer that they did not flatten the final image at the end, so I am writing a version that does not do that. Also, I am making a set that will round the corners and/or add a border (if you want to do that). All of these will be posted very soon on my blog, so keep an eye out for them!

Now, onto actual photography! I know many of you readers are parents who are just starting out in the world of photography, mainly because you have the most amazingly beautiful model living right under your nose. It is impossible to take too many photos of your baby or child (my husband disagrees, but only because he has to keep on buying external hard drives to hold all of my images of our children). However, you might find that you take picture after picture and you are just not happy with your results. You look at people's flickr photostreams and can't figure out what YOU are doing wrong. Learning how to take a great image is more important than learning how to edit. Anyone can edit a spectacular photo, but not everyone can take a spectacular photo. The capture is the most important part of photography.

When my sister had her little girl (the first little baby in my family) I was completely confused how to photograph that little adorable creature that just laid there, spitting up and little bald head flopping to the side. My pictures were often those lovely "deer in the headlight" shots, or so out of focus that my niece could have been my pet cat. I had quite a few photos looking up her tiny nose, or her surrounded by so many toys that you could not even tell there was a baby in there. "Why did you take a picture of the couch, oh, there is a baby there!". So I went online and I purchased this book hoping to learn something, and it made all of the difference in the world:



How to Photograph Your Baby is an amazing book for the beginner photographer. It is a quick and easy read and not full of confusing technical jargon. This book simply shows you how to take stunning images of your baby or child (or anyone for that matter). If you are just starting out (or very unsatisfied with your images), this is a wonderful simple book that should be on your reading list. One evening with this book and you will start loving your photographs. And you don't have to have fancy equipment either. Just a camera and a little one!

There are many other books out there that can improve your photos of children and babies. Here are a few:








If you are lucky your library might have some of these books. But if they don't and you buy them, they are great to pass on to new parents so they too can improve their photography. I think the best baby gift to a new parent would be a book on how to photograph their baby and a gift certificate to your favorite photo lab. You have only one chance to capture those images. And no professional photographer can take better photos than you, because you are there all of the time and have the unique opportunity to capture the most amazing moments in that baby's life.

7 comments:

  1. Very cool! As always, thank you for your info and willingness to share it with the rest of us.

    (By the way, I just posted some photos I took of my children using your actions to touch them up on my blog. It was my first attempt and I couldn't be more thrilled!)

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  2. Defog? I think I know what that is : a double shot white chocolate mocha? But really, I almost always use the Duke icon action (I'm so technical, huh) to get rid of that, which I think is more prominent with point and shoots. I need add Erin to my reader, I keep forgetting to go there.

    Hey stop over and pick up a lemonade award from me. After all it was 60 degrees in MN today! Woo hoo!!
    ~Claudia

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  3. Rita you rock, but you hear that alot I know. :) Regarding the storyboard actions not flattening, if just go to edit once the action is complete, you can then UNDO the FLATTEN and *boom*, you have the layers. Just tried it on one and it worked perfectly. :)
    Thank you again for all you do!
    ~Leslie
    www.3rdGenerationPhotos.com

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  4. Just wanted to thank you for your Creamy Chocolate action. It literally saved my Christmas photos. My camera is on the blitz and the photos were grainy. I used your action on them and they are really nice now. Thank you so much.

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  5. I would love to see the list of recommended books, but it's not there, there is just a big white space. Is it just me or did they not make it to the post?

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  6. very cool, now if we could make one for removing sun orbs and rays for peoples faces.

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  7. Oooh, I'll take you up on that shot of syrup. You'll definitely owe me since I just found a few more books that I want to buy. Just what I need, more to spend money on!

    These books sound really good!

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