Digital Editing: My Journey of Becoming a Great Photographer

This week, I learned about digital editing and decided to screencast while I tried.


After Photoshop
After Photoshop



Spring is here! – My journey of becoming great photographer #7

The important thing to remember when you are taking photo of baby is capturing the moment, I think. Because I cannot request her to smile or pose, she won’t do anything that I want her to do for a photo. I just have to be ready to shoot when the moment comes.

It was warm afternoon and the snow on the deck has cleared away, so it was time for my girl to take a first step on the deck. She was so excited being outdoor and feeling a light breeze on her cheeks. I grabbed the camera and started to shoot, tried to capture this precious moment.

After about 50 shots, I realized that I have not changed the exposure setting from last time I took photo inside the house. But the moment was over, it was getting chilly to stay outside. Well, actually it was not too bad. Over exposed with light, she got nice glow around her and make her look like she is in the heaven, soft and blight. I am really happy with the results.

Cat photos: Journey of becoming a great photographer #6

Last week has been a tough one for me… my baby was teething. My poor girl suffered fever and lots of crying, less sleep and she was not her happy self. So I couldn’t have photo shoot session with her.
Well, I found some moments to snap photo of my fur baby, Shoko.


First two were shot with natural light on his back and next two were shot with natural light on his face.

I do like both effects, back-light gives the photos warm and cozy ambiance and light on face brought great texture of fur.

Past photo of Shoko, check my Flickr album.


Craftsy online class: Journey of becoming a great photographer #5

Why do we choose to learn online? Because we have the access to abundant resources existing on the web, maybe on the planet. There are many that asks for subscriptions and charges $$$ for their information, classes or materials, but you can find things for FREE!!

During my learning process, I realized that finding good learning materials for free can be time consuming. You Google search, then click here and there to see whether it worth looking/reading into the sites. Sometimes you get lucky and find really good resource right away, but you spend lots of time browsing.
I downloaded an iTunes U photography course material last week and I found that reading materials were not inspiring me to work at all. And I read only few lessons on it.

Well, I got lucky this week. Just happened to landed on It was offering a free photography class and it was just what I needed!!

Screen shot from

This Craftsy online class offers video lecture (lesson 1 to 5 with chapters in each lesson) and a discussion forum on the side of the video where subscribers can ask questions to the instructor or fellow classmates. It provides material lists, you can type in notes in the video lecture, you can share your project with fellow classmates.
I think this site might work for me!!

And here are some of my project after watching lesson 2.
(I decided to post my baby’s photos, because I trust my fellow classmates and people who sees her photos.)

First, I chose the brightest room with natural light in the house and got neutral background. I wish I had backdrop of some sort, but the chair and folding screen worked well for this time.

I have used the manual setting without flash for the first one and tried Auto portrait setting (come with flash) to see the comparison. I thought the second photo turned a little cold, so I decided to go with manual. As well, I wanted to give a photo more blurry background.
I went to the Canon website once again to check about exposure.
After quick change of outfit, I tried two different settings. Because the sun moving, the warms of light changed between my shoot. I am happy with third photo, it captured my baby very well. But I like the light and color of fourth photo.

I am going to try Photoshop these four, and see what I can get.

My dreams under your feet – Journey of becoming a great photographer #4 2/2

Continued from part 1.

After the guessing work was done, I dove right into taking photos. I was really excited about this photo, thinking about printing it out on canvas or something nice. But I did not know how hard it was to take photo of baby feet.

First, I laid my girl on the floor with a toy in her arm, hoping she would raise her feet up in the air just like the original photo. But no, she wouldn’t. I tickled her tummy and shake some toys but no. So my husband came in for a rescue. He raised her feet up and said “Go!” “No-, she put her feet down!” “Again!” “GO-!” “AGAIN!!” “Do it NOW!” “Awww”

IMG_5331  IMG_5332



And here are the results… nothing close to my inspiration photo. I was so discouraged.

I guess hard part of leaning photography online is, everything is guess work in the end. You read and you think you understand about exposure, but photography is about the moment. You are trying to capture the split second of happenings and especially trying to shoot moving subject (=baby) is hard for beginner. I have taken few that I am proud of, but those are products of luck.
I wonder what would’ve been the results like if I had someone beside me coaching how to shoot this particular photo. Perhaps same, but maybe the someone can give me some advice what I can do next time.

This week’s reflection:

  • My living room is not suited for photo shoot. Not enough natural light coming in.
  • Perhaps baby as my subject is little too advanced. I really cannot control her as I intend.
  • Perhaps I should practice photographing landscapes or still objects.

I have download iTunes U and Digital Photography on my iPad mini for next week. Let’s see what this will give me.


My dreams under your feet – Journey of becoming a great photographer #4 1/2

As I made myself a homework this week, I am questioning myself about my subject being my baby girl. In our class, we discussed about the digital citizenship and safety, but now it is making me to rethink about sharing my baby photos.

Am I violating my girl’s right for her privacy? Am I putting her in danger by posting her photos, so some random people will misuse the photos?

So I decided to pick example photo for me to try re-create that is a neutral without a face from Flickr.

Baby by gabi menashe

First, I went back to the Canon website’s PLAY and tried to figure out what exposure settings this photo was taken with. I came with Aperture 2.8, Shutter Speed 1/750 sec and ISO 1600 as my best guess.

guess shot

Well, great thing about picking example photo from Flickr is that photographer posts their camera settings.

model1Screenshot from Frickr, Baby by gabi menashe

My guess was quite off from the actual settings the photo was taken… But I am going to try taking photos from both settings and I would like to compare them in my next post.

To be continued…



Creative Control – Journey of Becoming a Great Photographer #3

I have been able to do much of photography for past two weeks due to the cold taking over our home. But I had really good discovery of one website, Canon Outside of Auto.

canonThis site was just what I needed!! It explain about exposure settings (Aperture, Shutter speed and ISO) and what they do to your photo very clearly with great visuals. After I read through LEARN pages, I explored in PLAY. challengeI have never been able to use Manual setting because I had no idea of exposure, however, this practice made it so much easier to learn about good balance of Aperture, Shutter speed and ISO.
Then I did CHALLENGE by adjusting exposure settings to try matching the target photos. I still cannot get 100%, but I now starting to get what it is to take Creative Control of my own photo. So after I played with this website I tried taking few photos.

practice1I think I was able to use depth of field (Aperture) and digital noise (ISO) in these two photo. But it is still difficult to get right photo with motion (Shutter speed).

By next post, I would like to find few photos on Pinterest and study them: guessing what exposure settings were used to take the photos. Then try to take photos of own to match the target photos.




PLP – journey of becoming great photographer #2

PLPAfter reading the cheat-sheets and watching the YouTube video , I just took some photo of my daughter to see what kind of photo I can take with each mode.
I still had to keep the auto focus on, because I just couldn’t focus well without it.

mode dialI started from A-DEP and went down. It is obvious that I have no skill what so ever to use manual settings right now, because it is dark and fuzzy. Although auto settings should have been easier for anybody to take good photos I am not happy with it either.
I really thought more experimentation is necessary to figure out each setting.

After the first week of my project, I decided to google photography podcast to see if anything would catch my eye, but I have not found right one yet. Plus, the cold is going through our house and my baby being sick, I just did not have time to search as much.
So I did more thinking, what do I want really? What kind of photo do I want to take? What do I want to showcase as my learning?

Well, right now I want to snap as many moment of my daughter’s growth as possible and create memory book of some sort. I also want to learn about PhotoShop. (I just read a tweet about free PhotoShop software. Thanks @lawsonames link)

Now I have better idea of what I want to accomplished through this project. And for coming up week, I hope to find podcast and tutorial for portraits, taking photo of moving subject.

Personal Learning Project – Journey of becoming a great photographer Week 1

For many years there have been few different things I always wanted to learn and be better at: playing guitar and taking beautiful, cool photographs.
To help my ambition, my husband had bought me a DSLR (Digital Single-lens Reflex) camera and a guitar for my Christmas gifts in the past. Yet, I have not really taken any initiative to learn them. So when this class started, I was kind of excited to start this project; however, which one?

I have had this Canon Rebel T3 for over 5 years and only thing I’ve been doing is point and shoot. I experimented on my own without reading the manual for all these time, and that has given me médiocre results. Now I have beautiful daughter as my model, I better be a great photographer for the sake of capturing her precious life!
Plus, I don’t think can practice my guitar while holding her… maybe later.

To start my project, I Google searched about my camera first. And here are the result.
I hope I will know a whole at better about my own camera.


  1. Cheat Sheet
  2. For Dummies
  3. YouTube videos