Friday, January 14, 2011

Not Always Picture Perfect with Tezzie

First off, what a thrill to have been asked to guest blog here at Photo Freak’s fabulous place...and what a totally humbling experience it is to follow the past guest photography bloggers who have written such amazing posts! I’ll do my best to keep the quality standard at (at least) a ’worth reading level’....the best I can hope to achieve, comparatively ;D

(a very rare thing; a self portrait from the summer '09...wouldn't post that for just anyone, Aurora! ;D)

So, all about me, huh? Well, let’s see...I call myself Tezzie here in blogland (for many reasons not worth getting into, I prefer to blog under an assumed name). You’ll find me at Not Always Picture Perfect where I sometimes write and post pics about my life living in Finland as a Swedish Canadian...but mainly it’s an outlet for my attempt at creativity and art through photography, and it’s a place where I can truly be myself. And, before you get all excited about ’creative and artistic photos’, I should mention that at the age of 40, I am (at best) an aspiring photographer who has only been clicking pictures for 2½ years now, having bought my first DSLR camera in 2008 (a Pentax K200D, for anyone who might be wondering).

I’ve always loved looking at photos (especially ones taken by people who know what they’re doing!). I feel like I’ve always viewed the world through a camera lens, even when I haven’t had one! My eyes have naturally sought out scenes that I would love to capture in order to share them and have others see and experience the beauty of what I saw. One could say that I’ve yearned to fill the need to express a natural part of myself... and after economy and circumstance finally merged (plus with the amazing guidance from my younger brother, who started his photographic journey a couple of years ahead of me), I was at last able to buy a decent camera!

My style...hmm...while still at an intermediate amateur stage, I’m not sure if I have a style that can be defined as such. I suppose ’candid natural light photography’, might describe it... I also love creating ’photo art’ from landscapes and macros...but my personal favourite thing to capture is ”beauty in the oddest places”. Very, very rarely will I do posed shots...and it’s also uncommon for me to ’set up’ a photograph. What you see, is (pretty much) how it was!

It’s hard for me to give advice to other photographers, since I feel like such a beginner still! A couple of things, though, that truly make a photograph a ’good one’ are lighting and focus. If you don’t have those two basic ingredients, the rest won’t matter much.

When taking a photo, consider what it is that made you want to take that picture to begin with...(what is you want to show?...what is the most important thing you want the viewer to see?). Consider, then, how you will compose your picture to get your ’message’ across.

Something that has stayed with me from the first day I got my camera, is something my brother said to me; ”try to show your subject in a way that has never been shown before...find an angle that will make the viewer look at your subject as if it’s the first time they’ve ever seen such a thing, even if it’s something as common as a flower”.

Some simple ’tricks’ that can greatly help your photo composition are the rule of thirds, and the use of leading lines. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I strongly suggest you google the terms and read up on them; I promise you that you’ll improve your photography immediately if you start incorporating them into your photos!

Another thing that (in my opinion) is a MUST as a beginning learn-it-yourself hobby photographer, is photo editing software of some kind. So many of my shots have been either greatly improved, or even saved because I was able to ’fix’ them later on. Start learning editing with the easier things; like cropping, adjusting the lighting, sharpening the focus, and boosting colour. You’ll be amazed at how a photo you thought was pretty good SOOC (straight out of the camera) is turned into fabulousness with just a bit of tweaking in photoshop! (or, in my case, Photoshop Elements 6)

Here are some before and afters to show what I mean (all of the befores are SOOC, other than the watermark and resizing for the web):

Edit 1


What I did: slight straighten and crop, unsharp mask, brightness and contrast boosting, colour saturation boost.

Edit 2


What I did: slight crop, white balance correction, unsharp mask, lighting corrections, colour desaturation to bring a melancholy mood to match my boy’s expression, edge burn to help focus the attention towards the centre of the photo

Edit 3


What I did: flip to mirror image and crop to make use of leading lines and rule of thirds within the photo, unsharp mask, brightness and contrast boosting, colour saturation boost.

Edit 4


What I did: drastic crop to bring the subject much closer and place it centre/right (also taking advantage of the natural framing of the leaves), unsharp mask, brightness and contrast boosting, colour saturation boost, edge burn

The most important piece of advice that I have to give, though, is to LOVE what you’re photographing; if you can’t see the beauty in what you’re capturing, then noone else will be able to see it either!

OK, folks...I need to wrap this up now...hopefully I’ve managed to inspire some would-be photographers out there from a fellow beginner’s viewpoint. If any of my advice was helpful in creating an image that you love, please stop by my blog to let me know; it would make my day!! :D

Thank you, Aurora, for allowing me to do a guest post was a true honour, for sure <3

Happy clicking, everyone! :D


Photo Freak said...

Thankyou Tezzie. You are truely one in a million!

SherilinR said...

those are some fantastical pictures & i love that on the before/after shots, the steps taken were explained. i think editing makes some newbies nervous.

Kari said...

This post was amazing...beautiful pictures, thoughtful words, inspirting advice, and great information! I learned a lot! Thank you both!

Danni Meyers said...

Amazing images! And I love the way you approached this guest post. Awesome job Tezzie!


rachel said...

amazing photos. I LOVE seeing all the befores and afters, as well as your editing steps. great post.

Tezzie said...

Thanks for your kind comments! You truly warm my heart <3

Audrey @ said...

TEZZIE! I ALWAYS LOVE YOUR PHOTOS!! amazing AMAZING and inspring that you have only being doing this for 2 years! AWESOME!!

Band of Brothers said...

these photos are absolutely exquisite. you have a unique eye.

urban muser said...

such beautiful photos! a great post.

Natalie said...

Your photos just blow. me. away!

Photo Freak said...

and your so beautiful! BTW

Tezzie said...

@ Aurora...heh...thanks...but the great thing about self portraits is the free range we get with the editing process ;D But, thank you for saying <3

Nicole said...

Tezzie knows her stuff!!!

creatingme said...

I am in awe!

rae said...

GREAT post! I love the guest poster; very cool!