Inspiring book will help you take more photos in 2012

There are many great photography books out there. If you are looking for a photography book that you will to inspire you to take photos that might be out of your normal comfort zone, then perhaps you should check out this article: Inspiring book will help you take more photos in 2012.

Just remember to have fun in the New Year. If you are looking for some advice on how to keep a project 365 going throughout the year, check out this article: How to keep your New Years resolution to take more pictures in 2012


My Chirstmas Gift

For Christmas, I got the Diana Deluxe Kit...I am so excited to use it.

I just opened it today-- and got to look at everything. I am going to read the manual and then go out this week and take some pictures. But just holding it all in my hands... I am in love. I am amazed by the sheer number of items you get in this kit, it is truly amazing. Now I just have to get (my parents) money's worth out of it. Thank you mom and dad for my AMAZING Christmas gift.

There are a few things I want to do in 2012, and take more pictures is one of them. Here is my personal list of things I want to do in 2012:

  • Take lots of photographs
  • Organize all my photos (eek) and buy a second hard drive to keep the backups coming.
  • Go to the San Diego Zoo -- a trip promised to me last year (this year I am going to take it)
  • Go on a vacation.
  • Taste new wine, beer, and food. 
  • Learn to make at least one new meal.
  • Make money writing.
  • Go to Santa Monica (and take pictures of the signs). I have a mental project in my head, but it still hasn't made it into my real life yet.
  • Go to Venice. 
  • Build a darkroom. This one was set on the back burner because of money and wasn't sure if I was going to move or not (but I think I can do it this year).
  • Create art.
  • Live on less than I make (so I can save $$). 
2012 will bring a host of new tutorials and projects as well as my own personal projects. Hope to see you around next year!!


You Tube Sunday - How to set up a darkroom

When building a home darkroom, the first thing that you have to consider is the space. This video will help you understand what to look for when choosing a space for your own home darkroom.

The next important thing to think about is how to light proof the room. Watch the video for some quick tips on how to lightproof your new darkroom.

The next video will show you how to design the darkroom (with a distinct wet and dry side)

The next video will show you some of the supplies that you will need in your darkroom.

Now you'll need to learn how to install safe light in a darkroom.

This next video is helpful if you want to know what kind of enlarger you should buy. When buying an enlarger, its a good idea to buy one that supports the use of the largest negative you'll think you will use. This will save you from having to buy another enlarger years down the road. There are however some people who have two enlargers in their darkrooms. So if you have the space, that is another option.

These next two videos will show you how to set up the wet and dry sides of your darkroom.

Learn some quick tips on how to dry your prints (for less money than you expect).

This last tip just tells you to clean your darkroom. Dust is your enemy. It will stick to your drying prints and film (bad news).


Here are a few books that you might want to look at if you are planning on building your own darkroom. You will have to buy a used copy of some of them, but if you click the banner below, you can search and your purchases help fund literacy around the world.
  1. The New Darkroom Handbook - this book is a step-by-step guide that will help anyone plan and build a darkroom. The Second Edition is revised and updated version that shows you the best design, construction and equipment to use when you set up your darkroom. The book features money saving tips that will help you put up a darkroom just about anywhere. It also contains DIY plans to build essential darkroom components and includes cutouts and design grids that help you plan the best darkroom. In addition, it contains sections on building a color darkroom and a digital darkroom.  
  2. Build Your Own Home Darkroom -  this is a step by step guide to designing and building an inexpensive, yet professional quality, home darkroom for both black and white and color prints. Covering every aspect from design to full operation, this clear and detailed book is perfect for photographers at all levels. It includes information on darkroom design, woodworking for the novice, lightproofing, ventilation, worktables, building enlarger baseboards, light boxes, water supply panels, print drying racks, darkroom sinks, and much more. If you aren't into building things or don't have the proper tools, this might not be the best book for you. Keep in mind though that it could help you during the actual planning processes.
  3. Building a Home Darkroom (the KODAK workshop series) - this book is the least helpful in design and layout, but it is helpful in teaching you how to do the actual construction. 


You Tube Sunday - Build you own pinhole camera

Watch this video to learn how to make your own pinhole camera. This is a fun project. I made a camera out of a shoe box.


How I built my home darkroom (step one)

In my garage, we are building a home darkroom. This darkroom series will take you on a journey as I learn how to build a home darkroom.

The first thing that I did was buy an enlarger. It is one of the most important things about a darkroom. Well, that and a light tight room. Like leaks can fog your images.

There are several ways that you can go about buying an enlarger. You can check out yardsales, flea markets, friend's garages, buying it in a photo store, or buying used online from eBay.

I bought mine from eBay. There are several other items that you will need for a darkroom also. Here is a quick list.

  • Enlarger
  • Enlarger timer (foot switch is also helpful when dodging and burning)
  • Grain magnifier
  • Easel
  • Film Tanks and reels
  • At least two safe lights
  • Light-tight paper safe
  • Running water
  • Large sink (at least 5 feet, to hold trays, but it can be smaller if need be)
  • Deep tray with holes (washing tray)
  • Hose that connects from deep tray and the faucet
  • Trays (at least as large as your prints)
  • Print tongs
  • Graduates (small, medium, and large)
  • Dark bottles for chemical storage
  • Film clips


Learning Night Photography

Night Photography: Finding Your Way in the Dark Night Photography: Finding Your Way in the Dark
This book just arrived in the mail today and I can't wait to read it.  If you've read it before, let everyone know what you think and post a comment. I'd love to hear from you.

This is what Better World Books has to say about it.

Night photographers have one big thing in common: a true love of the dark. 

Rather than looking at night photography as an extension of daytime shooting with added complications, they embrace the unique challenges of nocturnal photography for the tremendous wealth of creative opportunities it offers. 

That's just what this book does. But if the idea of setting out into the deep, dark night with just your camera (and maybe a cup of coffee) gets your creative juices flowing, dive right in. Lance Keimig, one of the premier experts on night photography, has put together a comprehensive reference that will show you ways to capture images you never thought possible. 

Good for beginners and pros alike, this book will teach you a few things. In this book you'll find history, theory, and lots of practical instruction on technique, all illustrated with clear, concise examples, diagrams and charts that reinforce the text, and inspiring color and black and white images from the author and other luminaries in the field. 

*Includes the most complete information available for learning the art of light painting 
*Emphasizes digital night photography with a concise chapter on film 
*Stunning color and black and white images from some of the world's most well-known night photographers provide creative examples of the techniques discussed in the chapters 
*Includes the most complete information available for learning the art of light painting 
*Covers both film and digital shooting 
*Stunning color and black and white images from some of the world's most well-known night photographers provide creative examples of the techniques discussed within the chapters.

If this sounds good to you, click the button below to purchase your own copy and start learning a new technique. 


You Tube Sunday - Sharpen your Photos

In this tutorial you will learn how to sharpen your photos. You will use the Unsharp Mask filter in Photoshop for complete control over the image's sharpness. Remember to use Layer Masks


You Tube Sunday - How To Create Multi-Colored Glowing Lines

There are a lot of people with similar tutorials to this one, but this one is pretty good.   This video tutorial will show you how to create the glowing lines effect but also show you how to variate the colors at the same time. Have fun using Photoshop in this tutorial.


Easy Online Editing

Here is some awesome news for those who don't have photoshop, you can make simple corrections to your photographs by using Adobe Photoshop's online Express Editor. It is really easy to use and you don't have to install anything on your computer. All you have to do is create an account and upload a photo from your computer to edit it. You can fix red eye, crop, re-size, adjust the exposure, lighting, or white balance, add text, and many more things. Its a quick and easy way to edit photos. 


How to turn Digital photos into B&W using photoshop

Black and white creates beautiful images. Black and white photos are often more beautiful and captivating than its colored counterpart. Sometimes color can act as a distraction and removing color can add more focus to an image.
However, with digital images, sometimes black and white images can look muddy. But here is one easy way to convert a color photo into B&W using Photoshop.


You Tube Sunday - Ansel Adams

Today we have a video from the Ansel Adam Documentary. If you haven't seen it yet, you might want to check out this short clip. The documentary has some amazing images from Ansel Adams.


Quotes of Photography

"You don't take a photograph, you make it." - Ansel Adams

"Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever... it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything." - Aaron Siskind

"Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still." - Dorothea Lange

"To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them." - Elliott Erwitt

"There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are." - Ernst Haas

"Simply look with perceptive eyes at the world about you, and trust to your own reactions and convictions. Ask yourself: "Does this subject move me to feel, think and dream? Can I visualize a print - my own personal statement of what I feel and want to convey - from the subject before me?" -Ansel Adams

"A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words." - Ansel Adams


YouTube Sunday - 365 Grateful project

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie
Learn about the amazing 365 Grateful Project here: from hailey bartholomew on Vimeo.


YouTube Sunday - tips for wedding photography

Here are 5 great tips for taking photos at a wedding. Great as a refresher course for getting the best wedding shots. Start watching the video now.

If you are planning on shooting a wedding, it never hurts to do a little research. Reading new books is a great way to get fresh ideas. Click on the links to view and buy the books.


YouTube Sunday - Create a Collage in CS5

In this tutorial, you will learn to create a collage in Adobe Photoshop. In less than five minutes, you can be creating a collage in Photoshop. Click to watch now.


Earn money writing about what you love

Join Examiner and you can do just that. I know that you all love photography and that you have picked up a few things over the years. Share what you know with the readers of examiner. Write about photography and earn a little money too. Just click the link to get started.


How to create your own actions in Photoshop

There are probably well over a thousand FREE photoshop actions out there... because they are so easy to create.
Recording an action in Photoshop is simple.

Step 1:
Open up the “Actions” palette in photoshop and hit the new action button. If you don't know how to open the palette, go to Window>Actions.

actions step 1

Step 2:
This will open a new dialog box with various options for the action. You can name the new action and add it to an existing set. You will also be able to assign a keyboard shortcut that will activate the action immediately in Photoshop. If you think you will be using the new action on a daily (or weekly) basis, creating a shortcut will be VERY useful. 

actions step 2

Step 3:
Hit "record" in the dialog box and carry out the steps you would like to have in the action. Before you actually create an action, you should know exactly what steps you are planning to take. Its a good idea to have these steps in mind or even written down.

actions step 3

Keep in mind that selection sizes, saving, and other specific steps will be replicated exactly in the action. So make the steps generic enough so that they will on all of the images that you'll be applying the actions to.
When finished, hit the stop button at the bottom of the actions palette.
When you want to use your new action, select the action and hit play.


YouTube Sunday - Create a Card in Photoshop

Learn how to create a card in photoshop. Today is mother's day, so you have just enough time to print one out and hand it to mommy dearest.


Light Leaks in Photoshop

Creating light leaks in Adobe Photoshop is really simple. It works great with a lomo image.This tutorial will show you how to create simple light leaks using gradients.

Step 1:
Open your image in Photoshop. I used the same image from the lomo tutorial.

light leaks 1



Are you ready to create a real cyanotype?

There are a few things that you can buy online that will get you printing cyanotypes in no time. First is the Sun Art Paper Kit that provides you with what they call "sun paper." Its a pretty inexpensive way to get started. All you need is the paper, sunlight, and water. There are no messy chemicals.

I would definately recommend buying the Sun Art Paper Kit if this is your first time making a cyanotype. There are no dangerous chemicals involved.

Next, you are going to need either a negative or if you would rather, you can create the sunprint using nature. You can place any object (a fern, leaf, key etc.) on the SunArt paper and set it in the sun briefly to create a cyanotype.

The Complete SunArt KIT contains
15 - 8 x 10 inch SunArt UV Sensitive coated Paper Sheets
1 - 8 x 10 Transparent Acrylic Sheet (To hold lightweight objects in place during expusure to UV sunlight)
Complete instructions.

Now you are going to need a negative if you don't choose a leaf. Most people shoot digital now, but there are quite a few books teaching you how to create a negative in photoshop. Here is one book that you can find on amazon showing you how to create a negative: Digital Negatives: Using Photoshop to Create Digital Negatives for Silver and Alternative Process Printing. 


You Tube Sunday - The Orton Effect

Learn an awesome way to create an orton effect in Photoshop.

After that video, I am certainly ready to have some DIY fun. Check out this amazing awesome book if you haven't already heard of it Photojojo!: Insanely Great Photo Projects and DIY Ideas

Photojojo!: Insanely Great Photo Projects and DIY Ideas


Plastic Cameras: Toying with Creativity

Plastic Cameras: Toying with Creativity, Second Edition
Click to see more information
I just ordered this book from amazon, I am so excited that I'll be getting it by the end of the week.  
Product Description (from Amazon)

Take a tour of the burgeoning world of plastic cameras and low-tech photography in this fun and funky guide to creating the most artistic pictures of your life! Whether you're an experienced enthusiast or toy camera neophyte, you'll find this guide full of tantalizing tips, fun facts, and absolutely striking photographs taken with the lowest tech tools around.

You'll learn how to prep your plastic camera, their advantages and quirks, and what film to feed it. You'll also explore what makes a good subject, vignetting, multiple exposures, panoramas, close-ups, night photography, color, flash, problems and solutions, and so much more. Michelle Bates also takes you from a negative to either prints or pixels so that you can show off your photos and jump on the toy-camera revolution!

Contributors include:

Michael Ackerman, Thomas Michael Alleman, Erin Antognoli, Jonathan Bailey , James Balog, Michelle Bates, Phil Bebbington, Gyorgy Beck, Susan Bowen, Laura Corley Burlton, David Burnett, Susan Burnstine, Nancy Burson, Perry Dilbeck, Jill Enfield, fotovitamina, Annette Elizabeth Fournet, Brigitte Grignet, Eric Havelock-Bailie, Christopher James, Michael Kenna, Wesley Kennedy, Teru Kuwayama, Louviere & Vanessa, Mary Ann Lynch, Anne Arden McDonald, Ted Orland, Sylvia Plachy, Dan Price, Becky Ramotowski, Nancy Rexroth, Francisco Mata Rosas, Richard Ross, Franco Salmoiraghi, Rosanna Salonia, Jennifer Shaw, Nancy Siesel, Mark Sink, Kurt Smith, Sandy Sorlien, Pauline St. Denis, Harvey Stein, Gordon Stettinius, Ryan Synovec, Rebecca Tolk, Marydorsey Wanless, Shannon Welles, Matthew Yates, Dan Zamudio

* Now including the latest and greatest cameras, from the Pinhole Wide Holga, the Stereo Holga, and the all-new Blackbird, Fly
*This edition expands on its fabulous lineup of artists by including well-known Christopher James and Michael Kenna
*Still the most informative, colorful, and inspiring Plastic Camera guide in existence

You can buy the first edition also:
Plastic Cameras: Toying with Creativity
Plastic Cameras - click for more information


You Tube Sunday - Creating Light Leaks in Photoshop

Toy camera will often have light leaks in the photos. So, here is a nice tutorial in Photoshop.

Check out some tricks for using some toy cameras:Fantastic Plastic Cameras: Tips and Tricks for 40 Toy Cameras
Fantastic Plastic Cameras: Tips and Tricks for 40 Toy Cameras


Create a Lomography Photograph in Adobe Photoshop

Step 1:
Open the photo that you want to edit in Adobe Photoshop. Turning a digital photo into a “lomo” works really well with images that are slightly out of focus, which will help you give new life to your out of focus photos using Photoshop CS5.

lomo photo1


YouTube Sunday

Sunday is officially YouTube day. Or at least it is my day of YouTubing. Get up late and stay in my pjs watching some YouTube videos. The following video is a quick and dirty Photoshop tutorial of creating a lomo photograph. Next week, there will be a full tutorial on creating your own lomography image(so stay tuned). There will be a few extra things that will be done than are covered in the video. But for now, enjoy this easy digital photo manipulation.


Saturday Night Searches

I was searching the internet and found lomography! Well. I actually already knew about lomo, but I found out that there are actually rules!! (That are completely meant to be broken.

The Lomographic Society International has lived by the following 10 golden rules in logography since the early 1990’s.

1) Take your camera everywhere you go.

2) Use it any time – day and night.

3) Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it.

4) Try the shot from the hip.

5) Approach the objects of your lomographic desire as close as possible.

6) Don’t think.

7) Be fast.

8) You don’t have to know beforehand what you captured on film.

9) Afterwards either.

10) Don’t worry about any rules.

So if you don't know about lomography, google it.


Learn how to Create a Cyanotype in Photoshop

cyanotype by Photo Processes
cyanotype, by Photo Processes on Flickr.
Create your own Digital Cyanotype Photoshop Tutorial

This Photoshop tutorial assumes a basic understanding of Photoshop. When working with a different photo, the final result will be very different. So, use the steps below as a basic guide to learn how to create your own digital cyanotype. Changing the settings below will help you achieve the best outcome of your digital photo.

  1. Open the photo you want to use in Photoshop


Pinhole Photography Day

Did you know that there is a Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day?

It is an international event that was created to celebrate and promote the wonderful art of pinhole photography.  Everyone is encouraged to:
  • Take time out from this digital age and participate in the act of making a pinhole photograph.
  • To share their photographs with the world to promote this day
The Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day is held each year on the last Sunday in April. The next pinhole day is Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pinhole photography allows you to make a photograph that requires only a light-tight container (box, can, etc.) with a tiny hole in one side and any photo-sensitive surface in it. You can adapt an existing camera, or make the camera yourself . The experience of image-making becomes a little more special when created with your own hand-made camera because you are involved in every aspect of the picture making.

Pinhole photography has infinite depth-of-field, long shutter speeds and skewed perspectives which can lead to wonderfully surprising images.  

If you want to learn more about this fun process, go to