15 September 2010

Photography 101

Now....when I say Photography 101...it may sound like I know something about photography....the truth is....I really don't know much about it except for what I've learned from trial and error.

I often get comments and emails asking about my photography....I have to tell you....I giggle at these comments and emails because I'm such an amateur photographer (I'm actually more of a picture taker)....but with those sweet comments....comes the drive for me to try to get better.

So you may be wondering what this post is all about then....well....it's just a few things that I've learned while on the road to trying to take better photos....and if you have an etsy or shop where people have to purchase something solely based on your photo....a good photo really counts.

You may also be thinking that you need an expensive camera....you don't....you also may think you need to learn Photoshop....you don't. I have neither of these....I use an inexpensive camera and know nothing about Photoshop. I instead use Picnik...a wonderful free website that can make all the difference in your photos.

Below are some examples of things you can do with your photos using Picnik....

The photo above is an untouched photo....so you can reference the changes I made below.

Above I used the Sepia effect...love the muted colors of this effect.

This black and white photo was done with the Holg-ish effect.

The sunflower photo above is untouched.....

the sunflowers above were done using the Gritty effect...my favorite Picnik effect.

And lastly this photo uses the Cross-Process effect...another favorite.

And this is the camera I use....a Sony Cyber-Shot point-n-click. It costs around $200.00 so it's a very reasonably priced camera....and a good one to start off with.

Now again....I have to disclose....I'm no photographer....and these are just my own tips and tricks to better "picture taking". I have lots and lots to learn...but will hopefully someday....graduate to a big girl camera (a DSLR).

Here's a couple more tips...when taking photos try to place the item your photographing a bit off center...this gives the photo a more artsy look....and browse through etsy....there are some amazing photographers on etsy....and look at how they frame a photo....it's funny....sometimes if you don't show the whole "picture" in a photo...it adds to it's intrigue. If your taking a photo of flowers for example...it often takes on another feel when you only have half the flowers in the photo.

I just went and took a peek at my earlier posts....and I think this is the longest post I've ever written. I'm usually not a "writing" kinda blog...I let my photos tell the story....another reason for me to keep practicing.

If you have any questions....just ask....but then I'll have to write another "writing" post...ugh....I'm so not a writer.


  1. Wow, Beautiful...I am a lurker mostly, don't comment much, but a loyal follower....I love how your pictures turned out...i have used picnik before but its been a while, actually i had forgotten about it....I am so not good at taking pictures but doctored up, they can turn out pretty good..

    I would love to ask premission to save a use(for personla use only) the last pic of the sunflowers in the crate....it is just fabulous...but of course I will understasnd if you decline..

    I always feel like I have SOOOO far to go to get good picts, and wonder if I have the energy to get there! I am so going to use all this useful info! COme check out what I learn in a few days at

  3. You are so awesome for letting us know about Picnik!!

  4. Hi Andrea,
    Thanks so much for this great information...I just went and tried it out - no wonder your pictures always look so beautiful!
    I can't wait to use this on my next post!

    Hope all is well - crazy weather we're having, huh... :)

  5. I think Picnik has more "goodies" than my Paint Shop Pro! I do love your photos, and you have given me hope for my little point&shoot camera which is over 9 years old. I have to change the battery out about every 5-10 shots. :)
    Have a great day, Andrea!
    ~ Zuzu

  6. I love Picnik! There Cross Process is my favorite effect but I'm slowly branching out. Another I use ALOT is the rotate function. hmmm, guess that means I take too many crooked photos!

    Thanks for sharing all your tips. I really need to work on how I frame the shot.

  7. Good tips. I always love your photos and especially your title photo...

  8. Perfect tips, Andrea - I so need a photo 101 so I can get better at my picture taking. If there's something that I need - it is how to edit photos. Love your editing eye!


  9. It's so funny how leaving pieces out of a picture make it more interesting. I agree with you on that one! I have a SLR and it is only 7.1 mega pixels...yours has 8. I think that makes a HUGE difference on the clarity.

  10. Oh wow--I tried it and it's fantastic! I have very little savvy with the computer (can barely upload my pics) and it was user freindly for me (with a little help from your guidelines)! Thaks for the great post!

  11. THanks so much!! Great post...great information!! I always feel like I take terrible photos...this helps a ton!!

  12. PS: now my hubby can be off the hook for buyin me a big ol' camera...for now :) so, he says thanks too!

  13. I just adore picnik and am so glad to have found it. I've not used gritty or cross process, I'm more of an ortonish and sepia user. I love the way ortonish makes a picture look magical.

  14. Thank you so much for sharing this info. I got a DSLR for Christmas and LOVE the quality of the pictures and that I can actually capture the movements of my on-the-move two year old but have been so envious of the Photoshop user's effects...I will definetly try out the site you suggested!

  15. Wonderful post!
    I wish more folks knew about picnik, it's a great starting place for people who love photo editing.

    And yep, the crop can make ALL the difference between a meh photo and a WOW one.

    Have a wonderful Wednesday!

  16. great tips Andrea, your photos are always fabulous!!! love picnik too!

  17. ~*~*THANK YOU soo much Andrea~Ive never heard of picnik before..I will have to give it a try..my pictures on my blog are horrible compared to others..lol!! Thanks,Rachel ;)~*~*

  18. Andrea, I am glad you wrote this "long" post ( not long at all really) and told us your "secrets". I use picnik too and love it. I got a fancy new camera for Christmas and still don't know how to use it properly. ugh! xo Lynn

  19. I love your photo tips. I have heard about Picnik, but haven't checked it out yet. I'll have to take a look since I really need to improve my photo skills :)

  20. Hi Andrea...I had to come back and leave you another comment :) I just went to picnik and tried altering a few photos and I have to tell you I am in love. Thank you, thank you for posting about this!

  21. you are so cute! i love your post!! picnik is pretty fun to use i'll have to try some of these myself! hope all is well! susan

  22. Andrea, I am amazed. You definitley have a photographers eye. Your pics are always lovely on your blog....and big girl camera...(dslr)..you don't need that. You take some great pics with your point and shoot. thanks for the tips.

  23. Thank you so much for telling us about picnik! I'll try it out, I will, I'll just HAVE to find time for it!!!
    And oh, that camera, had a similar one but it broke and then I bought a more sophisticated one, terrific for outdoors-pics and close-ups but no pretty pics indoors, tried everything already, went back to the shop, had an explanation totally off the point, surfed the internet for tips but nope, no improvement! My tip for you: take good care of your camera and don't buy a more sophisticated one, your photos are great!
    This comment is much too long, you probably won't even read it,seeing how many comments you get.

  24. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, Andrea!!! Anne also posted on her photography techniques at one time, which is where I discovered Picnik. I love playing around with photos there! I recently created some b/w vintage-looking photos of hubby and I on our fav beach and stuck them in some eBay vintage flower frogs to display. Sooooo French!!! One question, tho --- do you pay for the "extra bells & whistles" per month that Picnik offers? Thanks again, sweetie! :)

    xoxo laurie@heavens-walk

  25. oh, you are so sweet to let me use that photo...Thanks so much for leaving a comment on my blog to tell me....If and when I get it printed to use in my home, I will show it and link to your blog for a thanks....

  26. What a beautiful blog. Just found you through my friend Rosy Inspiration's blog roll! So glad I stopped by!

  27. Wow, thank you so much for your kind words! It means so much!

  28. Great post! I remember I asked you what camera you used lol! I've always heard it's not the camera it's photgrapher and your prove this. And I LOVE Picnik too!

  29. Hi There Andrea--
    You ARE such an incredible photographer! I love how you make great use of your wooden porch for that rustic feel in your photos. Girl, I could've wrote this post! :) I feel the same way plus I don't have a DSLR nor a Photoshop program either. Thank God for Picnik, right? For awhile.. I was going through some serious self doubting some time ago.. I had SLR envy big time. Well.. I still have a wee little envy.. but, I've finally come to terms that I do not have to have a SLR to take a decent photo. You said it so well about the off centering & studying Flick-r photos.. great tips. Your examples are great.. I love cross process, too. I've been thinking about upgrading to get curves & such.. but I keep putting it off.. I need to just bite the bullet. Fun post!
    Hugs :) Lara

  30. Fabulous post Andrea! I love seeing which picnik processes other bloggers use.
    Happy Friday to you.

  31. Hi Andrea! It me...yet again. I just wanted to tell you that I did a blog post last night and used photos that I doctored up in picnik...very fun. I don't think they look as good as yours though, I might need to play around with things a little more. Thanks again.

    Best wishes for a wonderful weekend :)

  32. I agree with you completely! I've used Picnik for mosaics, but haven't played around much with the effects. Now I'm inspired to do just that.

  33. thank you for taking the time out to post all this wonderful info I can't wait to head over to picnik and have some fun!

  34. Andrea, Don't sell yourself short! You take FABULOUS photo's! Thank you for the tips! I need them desperately!
    Have a pretty day!

  35. Hi Andrea,
    I love Picnik, too. That's how I made the header on my blog. I love your pictures! You can really tell the difference from the before and afters. They look beautiful unaltered, though, too!
    You sound like me... I'm not much of a writer either. If I could, I would just post pictures and call it good (LOL). ;o)
    Hope you had a great weekend!
    ~ Jo :)

  36. thank you so much for your help.
    these are all very great tips!

  37. Thank you sooooooooo much for your tips and info! I just love it, when bloggers do such. I'm totally amateur and always happy to read tips.

    Thank you!

  38. Love the pics!!!
    I have SO much learn about how to use my NIKON...and Photoshop!

    Love your kitchen...saw it over at Morning T's.

  39. Hi Andrea! I just saw your kitchen featured over at Morning T, and had to come by and tell you what a great looking kitchen this is!! so great!

    well done...
    Anne Marie

  40. THANK YOU SO MUCH !!! I have long admired your photography and just presumed your pictures were taken with one of those cameras I would have to take out a mortgage to purchase! You have no idea how much joy your post has given me (and I am sure many, many others). Kind regards ... Felicity

  41. I've been mourning
    my big-girl camera
    that was STOLEN from
    on my summer vacation,
    but now you've given
    me hope ~ thank you!
    I've been wanting to
    try picknik and today
    may well be the day!
    Your blog came up when
    I was with a group of
    blogger friends, recently,
    so I had to pop over
    and visit, myself : )
    I'll be back!
    xx Suzanne

  42. BRILLIANT post - thank you! I'm always marvelling at the AMAZING photography skills that everyone seems to have in the world of Blogdom. Thanks for the amazing tips - very generous of you! xx

  43. Hi There,

    I have been enjoying reading your posts, and I love that you talk through your images, and not have to write so much, pictures do tell a thousand word, which leads me back to this post, you mentioned did we have any questions...well I was wondering, how you get the vintage feel to your images, I have the program paint & I think its call adobe 7...could I use either of these to get that look?



  44. Andrea,

    Thanks for the tips, what a difference a couple clicks on the computer can make! I play with photoshop, once upon a time I used photoshop for work and was pretty good at it now with all the upgrades it is way complicated...I will definitely give this a try!

    Best wishes,

  45. Thanks for the tutorial, which obviously helped a lot of people, including me! I linked to it from my post today. Have a great weekend.

  46. Andrea, I do love your pictures-even if you are not professional, you have tons of panache! Thanks for the pointers.

  47. I love those old coke bottles! They remind me of my childhood. I love your blog. So glad I found it.


  48. Thanks for a great post. I have been in a quandary about whether or not I should purchase a better camera, but I think I need to spend more time experimenting with Picnik instead. I'm also going to spend some time reading your blog (I don't know why I haven't been a regular reader....."my bad!")