Learn to use your DSLR and more

I love my Canon EOS550 but find I leave it on automatic. When I look through all my photos to pick some to scrapbook I often wish I had taken them better or had a better camera. I saved and got the camera last year and a macro lens as a birthday and christmas present but find I still resort back to auto mode.

I will be honest – this post is a shameless but honest plug for my cousin Tanya’s new photography course BUT before you stop reading please stick with me. Tanya and her partner live in the beautiful Australian Whitsundays and live and breath photography. Their website SLR Photography guide has been around for many years and it’s google ranking shows you that they know what they are doing. It is a sensible guide to using your camera.

But I honestly think the best thing about Tanya is her approachability. When I got my camera I bugged her continuously and she was always happy to help AND explain in terms I could understand. If you take a look at her facebook page you can see many thousands of people appreciate her help.

Need more convincing – just take a look at her awesome photos on Shutterstock

Tanya has developed her own iphone photography app and also offer free ebooks on her website but her new venture this year is the online photography course and for any of you longing to visit Australia she is also offering one on one live in workshops.

I have signed up for the new course as it is affordable and a great opportunity. Work at your own pace. There are no deadlines to meet, meaning students can complete the course in their own time and around work and personal commitments. Although we recommend taking it over a 12 week period, you can take the course as slow or as fast as you want. All content will be available from day one. This online course offers a unique way to learn your DSLR camera in that I want you to feel as though I am standing right next to you. No one will be left to struggle alone, as all students are given personal support when needed.”

Your Lifetime Membership [$79 USD] grants you unlimited access to the course site, materials and personal support for no extra cost. You not only have a great reference available to you at any time, but also gain automatic access to any new future content added to the course. You can also earn your fees back through the affiliate program that gives you 25%  on any sales you refer. That is a really good deal.

I started today with lesson 1 and it is clearly written with photos to make sure you know what you are doing. You can find out more including lesson structure here and yes a shameless plug for my affiliate code – I can see myself wanting new equipment as I grow in my ability.

I hope some of you may be able to join me.

How awesome can overlaid papers be

I love playing with papers and I love taking photos and I get inspired often to just play. I saw the latest work of Christine [les idees de Christine] who paints the most beautiful backgrounds and elements. I bought it straight away as I loved it all but one paper was my favourite.

It took me only a few minutes to find one of my photos I thought would look cool with an overlay.I took a heap of pictures in cairns last year at the kuranda butterfly house.Most aren’t fabulous as the butterflies move around so fast but I picked this one.

I grabbed the paper from Christine’s Carline kit and overlaid it then played with the blending modes. My final pick was linear light. A bit of text added under the overlay layer and here is what I finished with. I love it. Why don’t you have a play and see what you come up with.

Aperture Explained – Free ebook for DSLR beginners

One of my passions is taking photos. I am no expert but enjoying learning and experimenting. I got my first DSLR [Digital single-lens reflex camera] last year and found the hardest part is just learning how to use the settings especially when i bought my macro lens. I know a lot of people who buy one and then just leave it on auto the whole time. If you feel like that believe me it is not hard to get the basics. I kept putting it off as I started reading and then got confused but I found a great site and a free ebook and even app for iphone that made it much easier to understand and more importantly for me to refer back to when I found myself confused.

From http://www.slrphotographyguide.com

To help get beginners off to a quick start with understanding their digital SLR cameras, we’ve put together a free ebook called Aperture Explained. The ebook contains 23 pages of quality information with corresponding photographs to help explain each point. We believe that teaching by example is the most effective way for photography beginners to learn quickly... READ THE REST ON THEIR SITE HERE.



DOORS – They can mean so much. They can make you wonder what is inside, inspire you with their beauty or be a welcome when you come home. I often take photos of doors and this is the first in my explorations. You can get these exclusively at GoDigitalScrapbooking.com
The pack contains 4 12 inch papers based on my own photos. These are individually worked and textured and are gamut checked and at 300dpi so they will print perfectly.
Use them in your scrapbooks, as elements in your art or journalling, integrated with your photos or journalling and printed for the wall or as gifts.

 Painted Doors is a pack of 4 large graphics for CU. They are 300 dpi,gamut checked and based on my own photos so there are no copyright issues.
One is 12 inches and the other three are approx 10 x 13in.
You can see the painted finish in the extra closeup previews and you can find my TOU here.

The world up close

I have been really enjoying my macro lens. I have wanted one for ages so every day now I have been venturing into the backyard stalking anything I can find. it is definitely a learning process and quite hard on the old muscles. I need to contort around to get in the right position and keep the lens as still as possible. My first shots were not very good. It did however force me into learning more about my camera.
My cousin is a camera whizz – so I have pestered her with questions. She has a great resource website for photographers as well and is clever enough to have made an app that I downloaded to my iphone. My internet connection is not so good out the back so it meant I could quickly look stuff up on my iphone while I was immersed in the backyard.
So my photos have been getting better. The best part is seeing things you would not normally see. I have been amazed by the beauty of simple things. This little spider was lucky to be a cm including his legs. he hangs around my clothesline and just looks an insignificant dark brown. There are a few around the yard and with photos I can see how different they all are. He very kindly one day made a web right near the shed so I could lean on it to steady myself. WOW what awesome shiny metallic colors he is up close. You can see my macro photos on Flickr if you are interested.

In case you suffer from arachnophobia here is a pretty pic 
This is a hibiscus flower. 

My Garden

The weather has been beautiful here in my part of Australia. Sunny clear days around 22 celcius and cold nights around 10. The mornings in my backyard are perfect for gardening or just sitting in the beautiful outdoors. Our backyard is a bit of a mess as we had a water leak and had to dig up a bit around the back of the house to find it. I also had decided to rejuvenate an old large timber get that was suffering some rot.
I took it apart and then made a smaller one with the good bit of the materials. This also gave me more room to plant. Having recently bought a macro lens I aim to attract more butterflies and other insects to the backyard – as well as have some flowers to inspire me. I got help from my dear hubby on the mother’s day weekend and bought some plants with my gift vouchers so it is all go.  I am getting my daily exercise out in the garden.

Here is a couple of pics and if you like my photos you can see my Flickr photostream here.

Tis one shows te new deck in the foreground. Beyond it will be my new flowerbed and the pot is to rehome my goldfish as I demolished his old horrible pond.

This is my herb garden. The ladder was rehomed from a neighbors shed.  The pots are held in place by a large nail in the rungs that you simply place the pot hole over. I also have herbs scattered through my gardens – these are extra ones. We have had to move this to dig up near the back of the house where the water leak was but hopefully it will all be back in place next weekend..

Art for your Home no 3 using those travel pics

Another idea I had came from a poster I saw that is around the souvenir shops – a poster of doors. I decided to make my own as I had taken lots of pics of gorgeous doors.
I bought a blank canvas from a dollar type shop. The pics were printed out onto canvas paper. I had worked out the size I needed and used photoshop to get them that size, I laid it all out on the floor and arranged the pics,glued them onto the canvas. To cover any edges I ran a fat marker pen over the joins. A quick couple coats of a mat varnish finished it of and it was ready to hang. The close up shows the last door – my home.
You could make this any size you wanted to. A smaller one would be great with doors that have significance to you.

I hope this gets your creative juices flowing.

Art for your home Idea number 1

Do you have travel snaps just sitting in a box or on your computer ? Do you need some art for your walls ?
I loved this photo I took in europe and love interesting frames so it was a perfect match. The wall was crying out for a small picture. The photo is only tiny around 5cm but I find the light on the statue draws your eye in so you go to have a closer look.
My tip is buy frames you love when you see them on sale – eventually you will find the perfect place for them. Keep an eye out at the local thrift shop as well.