Photography Tips for Kids: Lighting

Photography Tips Lighting

Lighting.  I think that figuring out lighting angles for photography is hard, but there are a few rules of thumb to work with.  Maybe these can make your next photos stand out.

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  • Early morning and early evening are great times for taking pictures.  Things won’t seem as vibrant outside, but that bright sunlight can make your subject impossibly bright – or strangely dark.  The blue sky and trees were beautiful to me, but the scene didn’t translate to a photograph well.

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  • Taking a photo into the sun, even if your subject is in the shade, can make it seem very dark.  Make sure that your camera, your subject, and the background are all evenly lit.

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  • Close-up pictures of individual subjects, like foods, shoes, etc., may be best taken outside.  It’s difficult to get good lighting inside, and your camera’s flash might not be enough.  If you can go outside for your close-up shot, remember to look for similar lighting, like on a porch or in the shade.  If you have to stay inside, try taking your picture near a window, where more natural lighting might be available.

Photography Contest Now Live

Don’t forget – the Nature Photography Contest for Kids is now live!  You have until Friday to enter your photos here.

Book Club, Girls’ Edition: “Callie’s Contest of Courage”

Callie's Contest of Courage

This month the girls read a really wonderful book:  Callie’s Contest of Courage by Jan May.  I appreciate this book for many reasons, not the least of these is the way that it encourages girls to be strong and faithful.

But it does something else, too:  it provides many ways for kids to be like Callie in real life, and we had fun trying them out at our October Book Club party.

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First, a photographer friend came over, and she shared some simple tips and tricks to taking great photographs.  The girls asked good questions, and afterwards we headed out in search of interesting subjects.

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These magnolia seeds fascinated several of the girls.

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They got really into their photography and tried out lots of different perspectives for each shot.

Callie 7

After that we went inside to talk about editing photographs.  I’m no expert, but I’ve played around with PicMonkey a bit, and so each girl chose one photo to edit with that program.  This one was a magnolia seed pod …

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while these were the seeds that they were studying so intently.

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Another girl was fascinated with the American flag that we found up the street.  Personally, I enjoyed seeing how creative they could be – both with their initial photographs and with their editing!

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We decided, though, that no book club about Callie would be complete without a pie eating contest – and the girls really got into that!  We made basic plastic bibs to keep the pie off their clothes, and I asked the girls to come with their hair pulled back.  Then, after making simple banana cream pies, they stuck their faces in and got to town!  Giggling was rampant during this part of book club, and they grinned from ear to ear – with whipped cream decorating everything in between – while they licked their pie tins clean. 

We all loved Callie – even My Little Man, who’s determined that his book club needs to read Callie, too.  With such a strong and interesting character and lots of adventures, Callie’s Contest of Courage is a great choice for your next book club.

Photography Contest Now Live

The girls were so fascinated with photography that we’ve kicked off our Nature Photography Contest for Kids – which is now live!  Click here to learn more and enter your child’s photos.  You could even win your own copy of Callie!

For some information about how to take good photographs, read Photography Tips for Kids: Perspective here.

What makes you pull out your camera?

Photography Tips for Kids: Perspective

* The Nature Photography Contest for Kids is now open and ready to accept entries!  Find out more here.

This post is the first in a series designed to help budding photographers take better pictures. I am personally not a trained nor experienced photographer but have received several tips from those who are – and so I’m passing them along.

 Photography Tips Perspective

Last week at church we saw this amazing sight:

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The sun was setting over our newly paved parking lot, which was covered in a veritable sea of corns.  My Big Helper was excited about the shadows created by the sun – but how to photograph them?

Perspective is your point of view.  It’s the way that you see things.  Using a camera to take a picture of something allows you to show people your perspective – to show them how you see it.  Standing in the parking lot, at my full-but-short height, this is how I saw the whole scene. 

It’s a pretty scene, but it doesn’t really focus on any one part of it.  If you wanted to focus in on the sheer number of acorns, then …

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAyou might move down lower.  Cut out some of the background, like the houses and the sunset, and focus on the acorns.  This might be more from the perspective of a cat.  It’s about that height and lets you see more about the number of the acorns in the lot.

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What if I moved my camera even lower?  What if I moved it almost directly above an acorn?  This might be from the point of view, or perspective, of a butterfly.  Butterflies might see the acorns looking like this.

But what if I wanted to show more than one acorn?  What if I wanted to include the sunset but didn’t want to make it the focus?

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This time I moved my camera so that it was nearly sitting on the pavement.  I was sitting on the pavement, moving my camera around, trying to get a good angle.  This would be more from the perspective of a really tall ant.  You can see the acorns, lots and lots of acorns, and you get a bit of the sunset in one corner.  I think that this is the most interesting picture.

When you go out to take pictures, think about perspective.  Do you want to show the top of whatever you’re photographing?  Is it more important to shoot from a tall angle or a shorter angle?  How can you move your body to improve the angle – sitting down, laying down, standing on a chair (with permission)?

How can you use perspective to improve your photography?

Nature Photography Contest for Kids – NOW OPEN!

Voting is OPEN!  Please scroll to the thumbnails below and click on the word ‘vote’ under your favorites.  You get 10 votes!

Photography Contest Now Live - 2

Here’s how it works:

  1. Any child aged 7 to 12 may enter.
  2. The photographs must be taken by the child, but adults may assist in the uploading or digitization process.
  3. Each photograph must fit the nature theme.
  4. A child may submit multiple pictures – but each entrant is eligible to win only one prize.
  5. Photographs may be edited, but all editing work must be done solely by the child.
  6. Photographic entries must be taken between September 1, 2014, and October 31, 2014.
  7.  Winners will be chosen based on the number of ‘likes’ and clicks received on each thumbnail. 
  8. The top five vote-getting photographs will be displayed in a later blog post at A Nest in the Rocks AND displayed in a CafePress shop of children’s art.  This art will be available for sale with proceeds going towards children’s ministries at Warren’s Grove UMC.
  9. The grand prize winner will receive:  a copy of Callie’s Contest of Courage and the accompanying Liturature Study Guide by Jan May and a copy of The Stolen Necklace by Andi Bradsher.  The second-place winner will receive a copy of The Stolen Necklace by Andi Bradsher and a journal with his winning photo on it. 
  10.  Entrants may campaign for votes by advertising their entries and this contest.
  11. By entering this contest, you agree for your photographs to be shared on A Nest in the Rocks at the end of the contest, with CafePress at the end of the contest, and in the advertisement of this contest.  No names will be attached to any work, and while you agree to share it with us for this short time, it remains yours.

This contest will run through October 31 with voting set to begin on Saturday, November 1st.  So, break out your camera and start taking pictures! 

Let your kids be creative.  Think nature.  Maybe fall is very evident where you live right now.  Go for leaf collages, buckets of nuts, busy squirrels, or whatever thing outside strikes your kid’s fancy.  Let loose and have fun with it.

Good luck!

To make sure you’re up to date on the latest and greatest contest news, subscribe in the sidebar.

* Prizes for this contest are being donated by Jan May and A Nest in the Rocks.

Shared at:

I Choose Joy!

New Nature Photography Contest for Kids!

Have you been in awe at the beautiful fall scenery outside your window?  Have your kids been excited to pick up leaves and discover nuts hiding in the grass?  Then this is the contest for you!

My Big Helper’s book club recently read “Callie’s Contest of Courage” by Jan May.  Callie is a creative girl who loves her family, animals, and photography.  During our book club meeting we learned about how to take good pictures, and the girls had a blast – and then we thought, why not have a contest like the one that Callie entered?

Photography Contest

So here it is:  our Nature Photography Contest for Kids! 

  1. Any child aged 7 to 12 may enter.
  2. The photographs must be taken by the child, but adults may assist in the uploading or digitization process.
  3. Each photograph must fit the nature theme.
  4. A child may submit multiple pictures – but each entrant is eligible to win only one prize.
  5. Photographs may be edited, but all editing work must be done solely by the child.
  6. Photographic entries must be taken between September 1, 2014, and October 31, 2014.
  7.  Winners will be chosen based on the number of ‘likes’ and clicks received on each thumbnail. 
  8. The top five vote-getting photographs will be displayed in a later blog post at A Nest in the Rocks.
  9. The grand prize winner will receive:  a copy of Callie’s Contest of Courage and the accompanying Liturature Study Guide by Jan May, a copy of The Stolen Necklace by Andi Bradsher, and a scrapbooking kit.  The second-place winner will receive a copy of The Stolen Necklace
  10.  Entrants may campaign for votes by advertising their entries and this contest.

This contest will open on Friday, October 17, and will run through October 31.  So, break out your camera and start taking pictures! 

Let your kids be creative.  Think nature.  Maybe fall is very evident where you live right now.  Go for leaf collages, buckets of nuts, busy squirrels, or whatever thing outside strikes your kid’s fancy.  Let loose and have fun with it.

Good luck!

To make sure you’re up to date on the latest and greatest contest news, subscribe in the sidebar.

* Prizes for this contest are being donated by Jan May and A Nest in the Rocks.

Book Club, Girls’ Edition: “A Surprise for Lily”

Disclosure Pic 
We are currently experiencing both the best and worst of times in our book club this month.
 
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The best, because we had a really wonderful time reading and interacting with A Surprise for Lily by Suzanne Woods Fisher.
 
The worst because this is the last in the series.  There are no more Lily Lapp adventures to read.
 
Because Lily had so many outdoor adventures in this book, we decided to make our club meeting a whole-family affair and moved it to a local park.  

 

My husband manned the grill.  Although Lily usually roasts her hot dogs on a stick over the fire, that wasn’t possible for us in the park.  We enjoyed our freshly roasted hot dogs, anyway.  He makes a great grillmaster!

 

The girls enjoyed eating together and discussing the book, although they were really anticipating our next adventure …

boating!  We decided to take to the lake the way that Lily and Hannah did in the family rowboat – hopefully, though, without capsizing.  Together our families rented two canoes and two kayaks.  The kids took turns canoeing around the lake with some dads in charge …

while some of the older kids were able to kayak on their own.  They really loved this part!

 

Afterwards everyone played a spontaneous game of baseball.  The kids get along well together.  We’re happy not to have any rocky Lily-and-Aaron relationships at this point!

We have enjoyed reading this series together.  I’m sad that our time with Lily is ending.  Perhaps Suzanne Woods Fisher will write another great kids’ series.

You can read more about our other Lily Lapp book club adventures here:

“A Big Year for Lily”  by Suzanne Woods Fisher



What are your kids’ favorite books?