What’s in my Bag | TLM Productions

What’s in my Bag? | TLM Productions

I have been asked a few times what do I take out on a shoot with me. For me it really depends on what kind of shoot I am going to, since today I am heading out to a portrait session I’ll show you what I take with me. Before March I would pack everything I needed up in my Vanguard backpack style camera bag, now I use my style-ish over the shoulder Missy Mint Johansen camera bag. I love my Johansen because most people don’t realize that it is a camera bag, and you can use it for a girls night out without the camera gear. But what is inside is what you are all wondering I’m sure.

I am a Canon girl, sorry Nikon shooters, but I’m sure you will still get a few ideas. Well as I am a Canon girl at heart (as of now), I have my trusty Canon 70D, it was my first DSLR camera and has served me well.

For my lenses, I use all Canon lens: EF 70-300mm, EFS 18-135mm, and a EF 50mm.

The 70-300mm is able to “compress” the background to bring out the bokeh of the image. I like using this lens first because people can be shy at first. This lens allows for a little private time while warming up to camera.

A 18-135mm lets me in a little, I use this to come in and work closer to my subject.

The 50mm lens lends it hand in creating shallow depth of field pretty quickly and it’s great for close ups of rings for engagement sessions or props that were used during the session.

These are my go to lenses, that are by my side for you. Of course a few other things always find their way into my bag, like a much need wallet, chapstick because I am always putting it on, business cards, keys, spare battery and a few SD cards.

I love my TurtleTaylor camera neck strap.

Happy shooting.

 

©2016 TLM Productions, LLC

Traveling the World with Panoramas | South Jersey Photographer

Traveling the World with Panoramas | South Jersey Photographer

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The world is a big place, I feel like I just can’t see it all. Do you ever get that feeling? This feeling comes most to me when I am on vacation, while going to the beach every summer is a lot of fun. I feel like I am missing a whole world that is right in front of me. I had always known about panoramas, but didn’t really know how to achieve that in my camera.

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In college I did them all by hand and let me tell you, it’s not that fun to try to stitch together 10 pictures. I never had created the right size canvas to create the final image, of course the coolest tool in Photoshop to create panoramas was sitting just under my nose. Once I found it, there was no stopping me.

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I’d say on pretty much every vacation I have taken in the last few years, I have taken pictures so that I could create my own panos. They bring this amazing view home with me so I can share it. Big mountain views, crashing waves on the Hawaii shores, “my own” jersey beaches all coming to life.

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The world is still really big and I’ve only started exploring it, but at least I am now able to feel like I can see it all.

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Happy Shooting.

 

©2016 TLM Productions

My 365 Project

My 365 Project

Life in sign language for life is fragile.

As photographers we are always looking for ways to be shooting every day in new and creative ways. So what do many of us do to get out of those creative ruts? Challenges! I have done a few before that lasted a week or a month, but this year I wanted to take the greatest jump that I could take for a challenge. A 365 photo a day challenge, I have seen other photographers and hobbyist do it but always said I wouldn’t be able to do that. Why? I have no idea. Before making a 2016 New Year’s resolution to do a 365 project, I took photos pretty much everyday with either my iPhone or Canon 70D. So why was a challenge of something I love doing so scary and daunting?

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Well I still don’t have an answer to that question and I don’t really care any more. I am now over 100 days in! It was hard at the beginning to find the inspiration for each photo, might seem funny for those of you who know me pretty well. My world is literally seen through a series of photos that move as if to make reality. I worked really hard and thought about giving up on something that seemed like it could really help me creatively. Halfway through January and getting frustrated, I decided that I was going to dedicate February to self portraits. I am not a fan of getting in front of the camera, but after a few days I found that I was excited about shooting. I also found a great challenge prompt list by Bethadilly Photography, each day I would take the prompt and figure out how I could do a self portrait with it.

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I learned about a group that started on Facebook that did weekly challenges, trying to incorporate a weekly challenge into and daily challenge turned out to be a lot of fun. I started following a lot of other photographers and people that were doing these challenges and it’s amazing how inspirational they are. I have learned so many creative ways of shooting and I am so thankful to them for inspiring every day to create the works of art that you all love.

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TIPS for doing a 365 project:

~Use prompts – It really does help. Find a daily challenge that inspires you, if the prompts and community behind the challenge are really inspirational to you, you will make it the full year.

~Pick up a camera every day – It seems silly that I am saying this, but there were days I really didn’t want to take a picture. I was being lazy or couldn’t find the inspiration, so I would shoot with my phone.

~Post every day – Use one of the many social media sites to show off your work everyday. I choose to post on Instagram and share monthly on Facebook.

~Collect – I wanted a way to make sure that I shoot everyday, Collect is an app that I can upload all of my photos into and it fills up a calendar. I had heard other photographers say “I make sure I take a picture everyday, because I don’t want an empty box.” They are so right, I don’t want an empty box on my calendar either.

~Have fun – A challenge like this is meant to be fun and give you a chance to learn about yourself as a photographer.

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Happy shooting.

©TLM Productions, LLC

Shooting Free Lens

Shooting Free Lens

Freelensing

There are many techniques to shooting, while I am still learning a lot of them; I have been playing around with free lens. Free lens is where you take the lens off of your camera and hold the camera and lens in both hands. Learning free lens was not easy in the beginning by any means, I spent a good week or more figuring out just how to do it and get the look that freelensing is and that I wanted. It was an amazing feeling the day that I seemed to finally get the hang of it. I thought I had a better handle on it than I did and my mom just laughed at me when I tried shooting free lens and captured my dog Timmy. I didn’t have the skill set needed for a moving subject just yet.

Freelensing is a technique for photographers.

Freelensing is a technique for photographers.

I was really nervous at first because I didn’t want to detach my lens. I’ve read that it’s dangerous because of cause x, y, z, but if you are careful and really pay attention to what you are doing the pictures will turn out really cool. As, Shannon Kathleen said on one of my photos when I was still figuring it out, “I can see the dreamy free lens softness.” That dreamy softness is what freelensing is all about, one point in focus and the rest a beautiful blur.

Freelensing

I hope you all play around with freelensing during the springtime, the flowers that are blooming and bringing new life, are the perfect subjects. Remember you don’t need to move the lens far from your camera, just slight tilts up or down and moving closer or further away to find your focus.

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Happy shooting.

©TLM Productions, LLC

Springtime Flowers

Springtime Flowers

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It’s officially spring! Last week on the 21st it was the first official day of spring, although it has felt like spring since March 8th or so when it was 80 degrees for a few days. Watching the trees wake up from their winter naps is one of my favorite things, minus the allergies that come with them. The trees have buds on them and the dogwoods are starting to bloom or have already bloomed. The spring flowers are not far behind.

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Spring brings new life, fresh colors, fragrant smells, laughter and smiles to the world that was hiding from the clean look of fresh snow. With all of the love and joy that comes along with the sunny days, of course the cameras come out. The mornings are starting earlier and the nights are ending later, which means more time to snap away.

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The best times to photograph the new life of flowers and playing outside is in the early mornings as the sun is coming up or when the sun is going down in the evenings. These times are called the Golden Hour, because you won’t have to worry about long casting shadows on faces or across that pretty pink flower. Try shooting through a sandwich bag to get a hazy look on the edges of you flowers photos, getting in close for some macro photos, or free lens which I will be blogging about next time.

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Happy Spring and joyful shooting.

©TLM Productions, LLC

Magnifying the world

Magnifying the world

Venturing into new territory can be scary, even when it’s within something you know like the back of your hand. To me the little details in life mean everything, without them things would not be as they are. There’s a whole world that we don’t see living right under our noses, but we need some help seeing it.

Journey into the unseen world, shooting in macro during the last snow storm of February.

Journey into the unseen world, shooting in macro during the last snow storm of February.

Macro photography has always intrigued me, probably because it’s bringing a world that is so small to life. Photographer, Vyacheslav Mishchenko, has a whole series of snails shot in macro, I know it sounds funny but the photos are amazing. I started looking into ways that I could shoot in macro without spending a few hundred dollars on another lens. There are filters and rings to do reverse macro, this might seem crazy and it did to me too at first. I got a ring to shoot in reverse macro, which really just means that I take my lens off of my camera and turn it around, to mount it backwards. Makes sense right? A lens magnifies what we see so turning it around would do the opposite, brilliant!

Journey into the unseen world, shooting in macro during the last snow storm of February.

Journey into the unseen world, shooting in macro during the last snow storm of February.

Turns out, as brilliant as it was, I had to relearn how to shoot. Just turning the lens around proved to be harder than I thought, you loose the option to focus with the focus ring. You have to physically move closer or further way to get the right focus. You also need a lot of light, the aperture setting turns to ‘00.’ I used a handful of flashlights and some natural light in order to get my pictures. After a lot of trial and error, I finally was able to get some amazing photos of snowflakes during our last winter dusting.

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Now that it’s spring, I looking forward to practicing on the flowers in my garden to get the details in the petals and leaves. If you don’t have a ring or filter you can still practice shooting in macro, all you have to do is turn your lens around and shoot free lens reverse macro. It is more difficult but a great way to start practicing while you wait for your filter or ring to arrive.

Journey into the unseen world, shooting in macro during the last snow storm of February.

 

© TLM Productions, LLC

 

Holiday Fun

Holiday Fun

 

Welcome to the holiday season! Thanksgiving has passed and Christmas is nearing and as always it’s a time of joy, excitement, gift shopping, decorations, holiday parties, giving thanks, and giving back. You have probably already took your holiday photos or have them scheduled, but what about some special ones of your family in front of your family’s decorations. In all of the holiday excitement and spirit, the camera comes out and spends a lot of time capturing all of the little memories that are the most cherished ones.

I love sitting in my living room with the lights turned down or off and letting the lights on the tree twinkle and glow. The tree bringing light to everything in the room, almost like it’s magic. Being in the magic, made me want to capture that magic. I pulled out my camera and rearranged the room a little so that I could create some pictures that I have seen on different social media sites.

I start with four little gold elves, we’ve had them for as long as I can remember and my mom had them when she was young. They are a staple on our tree. Since they are something that is really special in our house I wanted to take a few pictures of them with a beautiful bokeh background. I used my Canon EOS 70D, 18-135mm lens, a tripod and a remote (I didn’t want to create any shaking on the camera from me hitting the shutter). I put them about 2 feet away from the tree sitting on top of a lantern so that it would be up a little higher and I would be able to get the bokeh background. This trick will work when taking pictures of your kids too.

Do you remember when you were a kid and when you squinted your eyes the lights looked like they were flying off of the tree? There is a way to create that look with your camera, if you are using a DSLR start by setting up your camera on a tripod. Turn the lights down low or off, you are going to want to shoot in manual, so find your focus when you are pulled out then zoom in. Now it’s time for your exposure, I played with mine to find the right setting for what I wanted. I used a 2.5 second exposure and I left the aperture and ISO in auto. Once I had everything set up, I clicked my shutter and slowly and gently zoomed out from the tree. This gave me streaks of light coming from all angles.

 

©2015 TLM Productions, LLC

Holiday Photo Challenge

Holiday Photo Challenge

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is now upon us, Thanksgiving was this past Thursday, then there was Black Friday shopping, and yesterday was Cyber Monday. I hope all of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving with your family and friends. For those of you movie watchers tonight starts the 25 Days of Christmas on ABC Family, for me, probably like many of you that means a lot of TV watching. But for me that also means today is the first day of my Holiday Photo Challenge.

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I see a lot of people doing different challenges throughout the year to practice new skills in photography. I have accepted a 365 day challenge for the new year, yes that means one photo a day for the entire year. To start, why not be creative with a season of joy and a lot of creative things around? The holiday season I pretty much have my camera out 24/7 anyway, so I have created a list of 31 photos to take during this holiday season.

I will be posting my photos on Instagram and Facebook, follow me during the Holiday Photo Challenge to see the pictures I come up with. Are you up for the challenge? Take it with me! I’d love to see your photos on Facebook (TLM Productions) or Instagram (@_TLMproductions), be sure to tag me so I can follow you and your challenge.

*Bonus for the month of December, I will also be posting each week with a new tip or trick to creating some really cool holiday photos.*

 

©2015 TLM Productions, LLC

Rule of Thirds

Rule of Thirds

The lines of the soccer net are leading your eyes to Renae.

The lines of the soccer net are leading your eyes to Renae.

Our eye is being pulled to one spot in the picture. We’ve all seen them, the pictures that make you wonder… What are they looking at? The person is off to one side of the frame and slightly looking off camera. What is just behind the photographer that we can’t see? Our eye is being pulled to one spot in the picture.

 

Gracie is almost centered in the frame, but the background frames her nicely in both the left and right third.

 Gracie is almost centered in the frame, but the background frames her nicely in both the left and right third.

 

This is called the rule of thirds, using this rule you are able to create space that draws the viewer’s eyes to your subject. The rule of thirds take a little bit of thought and practice to master. Picture a grid when looking through your viewfinder, there are nine boxes in your view where you can choose a box to place your subject. Some DSLR cameras now have an option to put a grid on the LCD viewing screen, this is a great training tool for beginners or a great reminder for those of you who are more advanced.

 

In this self portrait I'm filling the left side and part of the middle, an adjustment to the Rule of Thirds.

 In this self portrait I’m filling the left side and part of the middle, an adjustment to the Rule of Thirds.

 

Choosing the placement of your subject will depend on how close or far you are. If you are shooting close to your subject you many want it to fill more of your photo than just one box, you can try placing it on the cross point of the lower third of you photo for it to fill more of the picture.

 

Placement and color contrast pull you to the red flower, the Rule of Thirds line draw you to the little green bug on the red flower.

Placement and color contrast pull you to the red flower, the Rule of Thirds line draw you to the little green bug on the red flower.

 

Remember to practice shooting and try the rule of thirds. No matter what others think of your photos, if you love practicing and learning, keep going. If you don’t love the rule of thirds let us know what you have found that makes you fall in love with your pictures.

 

©2015 TLM Productions, LLC.