Play time

books, props and cameras
Some of the things that I love about digital photography, from books to props and cameras

It took me some time to realise that digital photography doesn’t need to be all about those scary lists of specifications for a camera or a lens. I don’t need to learn charts and mathematical formulas, I don’t need a light metre or the ability to interpret a histogram on the hoof. When I first wanted to buy a camera, taking photos was indeed more like that. But digital cameras have freed us from a whole lot of technical stuff that kept me (and probably many like me) from taking the plunge.

There are a whole lot of helpful aids built into the camera. Settings range from fully automatic to fully manual, with all manner of options in between. And for me the biggest delight is the EVF (electronic viewfinder) which means I can see, quite accurately, what I am about to shoot. That is closely followed by ‘focus peaking’ and ‘manual focus assist’. Both of these help with getting good sharp focus to your shot, especially helpful when you are shooting on Manual. More about how I use them another time.

In this section I’m writing about all the playing I do with my digital cameras, and what I have discovered along the way – and to share some of the delight I have in digital photography. Yes there are things it is useful to learn, there are also times to throw away the rule books and just try things out and see what happens! What’s to lose? A few digital shots and some time.

Possibly the hardest part in today’s world is learning how to manipulate the shots you take on the computer. Mobile phones and tablets are developing plenty of apps to help you with this part of the process, which is a huge relief for many of us. But I am a Photoshop woman, have been for many years. I’m not an expert by any means, but I do like to do most of my editing on a PC or laptop, and Photoshop is my go-to editing program.

So, on to the fun! The articles in Play time are all in the top menu, but I’ll also list them here, with a short description and link through:

Playing with Light
Using traditional drawing techniques to look really closely at light and shadows, and how we can use the same way of looking in photography. It can be a quite an eye-opener!
Ivy Leaves Transformed
Taking a shot of ivy leaves and transforming it into a B+W image. Using NIK, Photoshop and High Pass sharpening techniques.
Chasing the Light
… or ‘3 cameras and 1 flower’. A tale of chasing the late afternoon light as it moved around the house, and shooting through different windows trying the catch the last droplets of sunshine.
Playing with the White Balance
The problems of trying to mix natural and artificial lighting in one shot. And then experimenting with using differing WB settings to give quite dramatic and different colour values to your shot.
Leaves in the sunlight
When a shot has potential, but nature needs a helping hand to really shine!
Failure Revisited
Taking a failed shot and playing with it in Photoshop to see if there is anything there worth saving!
Help the camera!
When the camera can’t quite cope – especially with extremes of light and shade.
Musing in Black and white
A piece from 2018 when I began to get really interested in B+W photography.
Lose the Colour
It’s 2019, and I am taking a further look at my ideas on B+W and monochrome photography, and how I want to use it. This is a kind of preface to the further move into Infrared photography, which has grown out of my B+W work.

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© 2019 Elisa Liddell