Photography and Catching the Light

I’ve been fascinated with photography since I was a little girl.  I bought my first treasured “real” camera with my high school graduation gift money, and have been hooked ever since.

There’s been many things about blogging that I love, but being able to learn and experiment on a regular basis with photography has been a great joy for me.  I took a local photography class a few years ago, and then this highly recommended online video course from Shoot Fly Shoot.  (affiliate link)

Someone once told me that the more you learn about photography, the more you learn you have so much more to learn!

That’s exactly how I feel.

But, rather than be discouraged about how my pictures aren’t always perfect, I think it’s important to just keep trying and discover new things along the way.

Here’s a perfect example.

I was writing the blog post about the painted electric fireplace.  I already had the “before” pictures in the computer, but I needed to photograph the “after” shots.

When you’re working with a timeline, you don’t necessarily have the luxury of photographing things in the “perfect” light.  That was the case then.  The sky was gray and cloudy.  But, I turned out every light in the house, opened the front door to let in some side light and photographed away.  I did the best I could to add more light on the situation by upping the exposure.  Then, I went to Photoshop and started adjusting things slightly using levels, curves, and saturation.  I discovered that if I added in too much light, the picture quickly had washed out (too bright) spots.

After fussing and fiddling, I ended up with this:

painted electric fireplace after ps

It still seemed a little dark to me, but I just didn’t think I could do any better under the circumstances and the time frame.

I wrote the post and was about to hit “publish”, when I glanced up from my desk and saw a sliver of sun shining in just then.  Since I already had my camera and tripod in the room, I snapped a few more pictures.  Here’s what the “after” picture ended up like ~ straight out of camera:

electric fireplace 3

Oh, my stars!  I couldn’t believe the difference.

I also quickly snapped a few more of the mantle decor.  Here it was without the sun shining in and Photoshop touch ups:

mantle ps

fall pumpkins

And here it is with the light shining in (and I boosted the saturation a teensy bit):


fall pumpkin 2

I’m so excited!  That mantle might be the perfect little place to take stills for my Etsy shop.  I just have to catch the time when the light streams in!

catching the light

So, if you have a camera and are scared to use it for fear of doing something wrong, throw that thought out of your mind!  Snap away and you’ll be amazed at what you learn as you do.

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  1. Melissa, over at Inspired Room, just did a post on mantel scapes. Interesting that you’re doing one too, albeit yours is about photography.
    What a difference the sun shining in makes! Love it!

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