It's Back! - A Camera Walking Post

If you are like me, you probably have favorite subjects that you like to capture when out Camera Walking. I have several, including Lola, our neighborhood dog, the city skyline featuring the Space Needle, and an old Studebaker truck that sits in the driveway on top of the hill where I live.

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I like it because it has a personality - notice that one yellow light - and I play with my images to get different moods. I used Nik's Color Efex Pro's filters to get this grungy look. I even made a puzzle from the image below for a friend.

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During the holidays, the owners decorate the truck, which I appreciate.

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Then one day I walked by and the truck was gone! There was an Audi in its place. I thought that it might have been out for repair, but each time I walked by there was no Studebaker. They must have sold it. Sigh. I was happy that I had my images from the last two years to look at.

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This weekend I decided to walk by the house and to my delight the Studebaker was back!! I was so thrilled, and glad that they didn't give up on this old truck. I had my Lensbaby Sweet 50mm lens with me, so I experimented taking different shots with the lens wide open.

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I loved the blur and dreamy focus on the truck, as well as this close-up of the light. 

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One of the things I like about photography is the ability to capture an image of something that might not be there the next time I walk by. If you have favorite subject, take and appreciate each photo you take. I am excited about trying out various lenses to see what I interesting images I can capture of this great truck.

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I love to hear from you, so comment below, post on Camera Walking's Facebook page, or send me an email at carol(at)getmoving.com.  

Take Great Smartphone Photos - A Camera Walking Post

The other day someone reminded me that many people only use their phones to take photos.  Although I primarily use my DSLR, I do use my phone as well, so I searched for tips on how to get great images. 

This video, produced by Mango Street Labs, focuses on 10 tips to improve your results, including good composition, shooting with purpose, and nailing your focus.  Take a few minutes and watch this video to see all of them. It is worth it!

The first tip, minding your horizons, is very important.  I learned this lesson on my first photography workshop when I shared a photo with crooked horizon.  The instructor, who called that out, was right.  Now when I look at people's photos with a crooked horizon I cringe.  There are so many ways to straighten it on your phone.  Here is the photo I took on my Mount Rainier trip with the horizon straighten.

Nailing your focus is also a good tip.  As a friend of mine says, when taking a photo of a person or animal, if you don't get the eyes in focus you didn't get the shot. 

I strongly believe in processing photos once they are out of my camera to achieve the image that I saw when I took it.  That is also true of smartphone photos. There are so many apps available to help you take your fun phone shots to the next level.  I came across this video tutorial by David Cogen of TheUnlockr that focuses on the six best photo editing apps.  I loved it, and hopefully you will as well.

I start with Snapseed to edit my iPhone photos then go to other apps to create the image I want.  These two images are good examples.  I look forward to experimenting with VSCO. 

And if you want to really experiment, here is a video that will give you seven fun photography tricks to try on your phone.

I tried the macro tip with water with some success. I look forward to playing with some of the other ideas.

You can create some great images with your phone if you play with some of these editing and composition tips.  The main point is to have fun, so grab your phone and go out Camera Walking!  We love to hear from you, so comment below, post on our Facebook page, or send us an email.

Pushing Boundaries in 2015

In January we naturally focus on new goals, resolutions, and things that we want to improve in the New Year.  It isn't always easy to keep the inspiration going, so I appreciated this video from one of National Geographic's photographers, Cory Richards.  He communicate,  through his own story and his photographs, the power of pushing boundaries.  Give yourself a treat and watch this 13 minute video, and hopefully you will be inspired, as was I, to set out to push the boundaries this year.  Happy New Year

Hardwired for Stories

I just came across an interesting TEDx talk that I thought I would share.  Sara-Jane "SJ" Murray, a screen writer and producer, gives a fascinating view into why stories matter.  She states that we are 22 times more likely to remember a story than a fact, but it must be told well.  Take 10 minutes and watch her to better understand why we humans are hardwired for stories.  It might just improve your next story, personally or professionally.

The Power of Visual Storytelling

Every organization has a story to tell.  We know that content marketing is greatly enhanced if there is a photo or a video that conveys the message, and yet many organizations, especially smaller nonprofits, are not seizing the opportunity.  

Blue Waters

Blue Waters

Powerful images can evoke emotions that engage people.  Now I am not talking about manipulating people with your emotional photographs, but rather catching their attention so that they hear and see your message.  So how do you create powerful visuals? Here are a few tips for you to consider as you look at your storytelling.

Real and authentic:  People respond more favorably to images that seem real and are not staged stock photos. If at all possible, capture photos of people you serve.  You don't need expensive equipment to do this, so make it a priority to take more photos.

Working at the Market

Working at the Market

Relevancy:   The world is a very diverse place with various cultures, ethnic backgrounds, and beliefs.  Depending upon your audience, be sure to use that diversity to tell the story in a relevant fashion.

Flower Growers 

Flower Growers 

More than one image: Although one image can work when posting to Facebook, or other social media sites, telling a story requires multiple images. Also it is important to know what the story is that you want to convey before going out to take the images.  

Play Time

Play Time

Remember the story arc: Stories have a beginning, middle and end. We need to help the viewer travel through the story and feel like they have ended somewhere with more insight, knowledge, and understanding.

So grab a camera and capture and share the stories around you.