Tips, Travel

Cropping your way to creativity. Really? Really.

October 12, 2016

This is the second half of my conversation with a friend. Someone new to photography. Someone now using her iPhone to take images that are becoming more interesting and more important to her. Someone trying to figure out how to find her way in her images (compositionally speaking) and tell her story. How fun! How wonderful! However, please keep in mind, if you are already a comfortable photographer this suggestion may not be for you.

Where we left off…

Me: Okay, so I know you’ve had it happen where you’ve been walking around a city on vacation and turned a corner and something about the scene made you want to take a photo, right?

Friend: “Right.”

Me: But when you looked at the image later it just didn’t “feel” the same — not to you and certainly not to anyone you showed it to, right?

Friend: “Well, that’s kind of mean but right — I hope this gets better.”

Me: Hahahaha! (I have the best friends). It’s because you didn’t tell the story in your photo that you felt when you were standing there and you do that by how you compose it.

Friend: “Right, and I’ve already told you that I don’t know how to do that.”

Me: Yes, but you can get better with this easy (no-pressure) exercise.

Friend: “No pressure? I’m in.”

Me: Alright, alright, alright. (I say with my best Matthew McConaughey impression — no, I don’t know why I have one). Anyway…

After you take a picture, take it into an app (or even just with your phone’s editing app) and start cropping the image in different ways and around different elements within the image to figure out: (a) What exactly was it that you found so interesting? And, (b) How might you show it, crop it, compose it, (or tell the story) next time so that others can experience it in the same way you did? It’s free, it’s easy and it’s fun to see what could have been different had you thought differently about how to take the picture.

Remember, you’re new at this so you need to experiment in order to help train your eyes to see differently than they have seen before. Cropping can be a quick and easy way to show yourself what could have been and helps to train your eye for the future. Do this a lot and with practice you’ll start shooting differently and the need for cropping won’t be as great. (Though with a phone you might find you still need to crop from time to time because you don’t have the ability to zoom like other cameras but that’s another post).

I have included some example images below to illustrate what I mean.

So you wandered down this street and something struck you, you felt something, saw something and so you took the photo. Now, try cropping it in different ways to figure out what it might have been that moved you. You can crop your own images as many times as you’d like — it’s up to you — it’s play time so have fun!

Above: Was it the table and chairs, or the stairs?

Above: Was it something low? The cobblestone street? The puddle? The people?

Or was it that there was just enough mist about this deserted entrance that it reminded you of the page of a novel and you knew
(with just a little editing) it could be this? Yeah, I think that was it.

Anyway, after you’ve started to take notice of how you feel, use this little trick to start to compose differently, and then you can start the fun process of learning some really helpful “rules” like the rule of thirds. But first have some fun because if you do, it makes learning the rules a lot more fun, too.
I promise.

Have fun and have a great day everyone!

Moments, Photography

Certainly didn’t think a stadium shot would be one of my first iPhone7plus pics

October 7, 2016

But I’m so happy it was because it meant that I was (almost in the clouds) spending a gorgeous day with my awesome son and my beautiful sister last weekend. This was about 40 minutes before the game started and just enough time for me to catch my breath from “the climb.” Hahaha!
#rolltide #pano

Happy to have escaped Hurricane Matthew’s wrath this weekend and praying for those who didn’t.
He will soon be a memory — the sun always comes out again in Florida. I like that about Florida. 🙂

Featured, Nature, Travel

“Alice: How long is forever?”

September 27, 2016

“White Rabbit: Sometimes, just one second.”

— Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland

I often have moments that feel that way and this one, on the Oregon coast, felt just like that.

Have a lovely day everyone.

Blog, Mornings, Nature

Easy like Sunday Morning…

September 18, 2016

Good morning everyone, ☀️ I hope you have a peaceful Sunday! I’d also like to thank you for subscribing and if you haven’t subscribed — I hope you will — it makes it easier for us to stay connected but mostly because I had to figure out how to install a subscription plug-in all by myself. 😂 Whew!

Definitely will need to use the other side of my brain today for balance. 😉 A little “Sunday Sketch” offering of a beach nearby.
✍🏻 #drawnwithmytrustyipad Hahaha! I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Featured, Photography, Tips

You say you don’t “see” like a photographer but you want to — maybe this will help…

September 14, 2016

I’ve wondered how to start this conversation and, thankfully, the statement of a friend sparked one that helped me figure out how to do it —
I like that about friends.

This post is for those of you who have been snapping pics with your phone and realize you’re enjoying it or perhaps just because of all the advancements with their image taking capabilities you’re now curious and want to do more. Whatever the reason, this conversation might help you. Certainly couldn’t hurt. 😉

Friend: “I can’t get pictures like you do with your phone. I’ve tried.”

Me: What do you think is keeping you from doing that?

Friend: “I’m not an artist, like you. I don’t see the way you see things.”

I’ve heard people say this before — a lot. That “seeing” is their problem with photography. Versions of what I’ve heard over the years are: “I don’t know how to see.”
“I’ll never see like this person (or that person).” “I’m not an artist.” And so on…

Me: I think you’re putting the cart before the horse.

Friend: “How is wanting to see putting the cart before the horse? I hate it when you do this.”

Me: Hahahaha! I’m going to let that last thing go and say, “Stop trying to see and pay attention to how you feel. Pay attention to those moments
that tug at you.”

Friend: “This sounds harder than seeing.”

Me: Hahaha! Let me explain. You have a shot of your son and nephew that is awesome and you’re proud of, right?

Friend: “Yes, I love that photo of them! They were so cute trying to stack the sand fast enough — not realizing it was never going to work.”

Me: Well, when you were watching your son and nephew attempting to build that sand castle was it because of the picture you saw or was it first because of how you felt about what you were seeing?

Friend: “I think I see what you mean.”

Me: It’s like I told my son when he was first learning to drive, “Your hands will follow where your eyes are looking.” Similarly your photos will follow what you’re feeling. Just train yourself to pay attention to that and when you feel it, shoot it!

Friend: “Okay, I get it! But how do I frame it up?”

Me: You’re talking compositionally, right?

Friend: “Yes. Once I know what I want to take a picture of, how do I know how to compose it so that it doesn’t just look like a phone shot?”

Me: Actually, I do have a super easy and fun exercise to help that. 🙂

I’ll write about what I told her in my next post but, for now, pay attention to how you feel and give yourself some time to practice that. I hope it helps.

I wish you all the very best.

P.S. This little cafe in Nice, France (where I had an intimate dinner with my husband) made me feel like I was in the pages of a Hemingway novel.
Oh, Hemingway…

Coffee, Featured, Mornings


September 13, 2016

It’s how adults get stuff done.

Well, that’s how I explain coffee to Yittle anyway. Hahaha!

Good morning! ☀️

Blog, Tips

Will you help me plan my space?

September 9, 2016

Okay, not the space in this photo but this blog space. I’m very thankful that I can see you’re already coming and visiting pages here (the analytics tell me so), but I’d like to create a space that’s also helpful to you on your iPhone photography journey. A place where you might find helpful ideas on your own or where you feel comfortable asking questions. And, you can help me do that by leaving a comment or idea of what you’d like to see or what you think would be helpful to you. I am not a professional instructor or teacher but I’ve been told that I share really well and that’s what I’d like to do with you so, will you help me?

What You might be thinking: “So, you just want me to help you? Why would I do that?”

Me: Because you’re a nice person and you want to do a nice thing and I have faith in you and because if what you would like to see or know is something I can add,
I absolutely will.

You: “Well all that sounds good, I mean, I do like being a nice person and I like that you’re willing to help me in return but what if you can’t
accommodate my request?”

Me: Then you’ve tried to help me and you’re still a nice person.

You: “Are you kidding me?”

Me: Nope. So, are you in? All you have to do is leave a comment below and tell  me what you think I could do, add or change about this blog that would
be helpful to you. Easy peasy.

Oh and thank you. 🙂

Featured, Travel

Goodnight boats

September 8, 2016

Portofino, Italy

Shot on: iPhone 6s Plus
Edited in: Adobe Aviary App


Can’t wait for my (new) trusty iPhone 7  Plus! Whee!!!

Featured, Kids, Things I hope my children will read one day, Travel

Moments, Rocks, and Yittles, Oh My!

September 1, 2016

Yittle: “But I want to lead Mommy so, you wait here.”

Me: Haha! Dear Yittle, I’m not sure that’s how it’s done.

Yittle: “What?”

Me: Leading. You can’t ask others to wait behind you. If you want to lead, you just have to lead. If it makes sense to me, I’ll follow.

Yittle: “If it doesn’t?”

Me: You might be stuck out on some dangerous rocks in the middle of the water all by yourself.

Yittle: (Long pause…) “I’ve decided to explore the rocks that are a little closer.”

Me: Right behind you! ☺️ Hahaha!

In reality, our rocks were at a beach near home but this photo illustrated it well. 😉

Have a great day everyone! 💛

Vernazza, Italy