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black and white christmas | children photographer racine, wi

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christmas this year was a lot of fun with j.  he is at that age where the excitement and facial expressions are just priceless.  i decided to go all black and white with these, just because.

it started at christmas eve with the family

Love his expression when opening his gift.

Hard to say "no" to that face!

My niece or little elf passing out the gifts.

The excitement is priceless.

My second cousin swagged out :)

The Mobigo was a hit!

We sat out cookies and milk for Santa and J was very surprised!

"he drank it all gone"

He was so excited!!!










J grilled us dinner later that night...delicious!




 
The slinky...


I loved this picture for whatever reason!!!!

hope you all had a great christmas and thanks for stopping by!



Photographing Your Christmas Tree | Tutorial and Tips

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Around the Christmas season we tend to take more pictures than any other time of year.  We want to capture the traditions, the kids, the decorations, the lights, the cookies, etc...  I thought I would write a "beginner tutorial" or "how to" post on how to get those lights to 'sparkle' on the Christmas tree. 

Here is what an above average or somewhat typical family Christmas tree would look like photographed.


Obviously, this is a cropped image and not what you may take, but you get the idea.  So how do you get the lights to sparkle like this

Camera Settings: f/22, 5s

So your first thought may be, "but I don't have a good camera" or "I just have a point and shoot camera"...it doesn't matter!!!  BUT you will need to know where to adjust some settings on your camera, so go and grab your camera, manual and tripod if you have one.  Yes, you will probably need to dig your manual out of some drawer.  A tip that may save you some time - Google your camera make and model (ie 'Canon Powershot SD1200 IS manual') and you may find it online.

Now that you have your camera and manual.  You will need to find out how to change the following settings:
  • Aperture (this is a measure of how big the hole will be allowing light into the camera when taking the pictures)  This is measure is known f-stops or f-numbers and will look like f/2.8 or f/5 etc...
  • Shutter Speed (this is how fast or how long the shutter remains open when taking a picture)  This measure will look like 1/100 s or 1/1000 s or 1 s, etc...
In order to adjust these settings you will need your camera mode set to one of a few modes.  For simplicity purposes (as this is more of a beginner type tutorial) I will suggest you set your camera mode to Time Value (TV) or Aperture Priority (as shown in this picture of the Canon Rebel Xti)


Once you have figured out how to set your camera mode to this you are ready to adjust the Shutter Speed.  An example of what these settings are can be seen in the below picture (Canon Rebel Xti).

You can see the Shutter Speed in the above picture shows
a speed of 1/50 (ie 1/50th of a second) and the Aperture is set at F2.8.

These two settings are the most important for achieving the sparkle of your Christmas lights.  The reason I suggested setting your camera mode to Time Value (TV) is because you will only need to adjust the shutter speed and your camera will automatically adjust the aperture to what it thinks it needs to produce a properly exposed photo.

Next thing you will need to do is set up your tripod.  If you do not have a tripod, prop up some books, use a chair, whatever you can do to get a stable platform that you will be able to set your camera on when taking the photo.

Ok, there is one more setting you will need to be able to find on your camera and that is the 'self-timer'.  This feature is pretty much standard on all digital cameras.  You will want to set your camera to the one of your self-timer settings (2-sec or 10-sec).  You will see why you need this as we go on.

So before we take the photo here is a checklist:
  1. You have your camera set to Time Value (TV) (may be called something different in your manual)
  2. Your tripod is set up or your stable, flat space set up where your wanting to take the photo.
  3. Your camera is set to self-timer.
Now were about ready to take the photo.  You will now need to set your shutter speed to 4 s, or 4 seconds.  You can start with this setting and adjust til you get the sparkle of your liking.  The reason you need a tripod or flat stable surface is because of the long (4 second) shutter speed.  If you were to hold your camera and take this photo you would get a very out of focus photo (blurry).  Now once you change your shutter speed to 4 s your aperture should automatically adjust as mentioned above.  Next, set your camera on the tripod or flat surface and take the picture.  Remember you should have your self-timer on so once you hit the shutter button it will count down until it snaps the picture.  The reason you need to have it on self-timer is because of the long shutter speed (4 seconds).  You just touching the shutter button to take the picture would move the camera just enough to make the photo out of focus or blurred.

Your picture should look something like this

Camera Settings: f/22, 5s

Have some fun with this and change your shutter speeds to see the change in the photo.  This being my first "tutorial" or "how-to" blog post, I hope I was clear and detailed enough for the "beginner".  If not, please email me with any questions (timothyprust at gmail dot com).

Thanks for stopping by.

Believe | Photo Challange

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I know I have been missing from my blog for quite some time now.  As we approach the end of 2011, my goal is to get back to the blog and sharing my photography.  You will probably see some other types of photography on here other than the majority of people and portraits.  Stay tuned.

I wanted to share this shot for a photo challenge at Mortal Muses.



the j kidz | children portraits kenosha, wi

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here are a few shots from a recent session i did on the beach.  thanks john and alicia for allowing me to capture your kids.






landon clark | newborn photography racine, wi

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did a newborn session this past weekend for little landon clark.  congrats to owen and aubrey.  here are a few pictures from the session.   please comment and thanks for stopping by.









rockin the hat | wisconsin childrens photographer

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jax and i were out and about while dawn was in ny this past weekend and i picked up a hat for him on impulse.  he looked pretty fly in his redsox hat, and how appropriate that the redsox just swept the yankees this weekend!  got a couple of shots before the hat ended up on the floor.






analog one | custom photography racine, wi

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some of you may remember, i did a quick shoot of one of my brothers custom motorcycles (analog motorcycles) last summer.  well i went down to il a couple of weeks ago and shot another bike he built.  he is selling this bike, so send me an email if your interested.  here are a few pics i got.  






















 

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