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In my last post about my own photography, I told you all that I have spent the last year really focusing on seeing the light. I set out to really watch where the light is coming from, where it is falling, how strong is it, what color is it...and many more questions. Many, many, many times I just observed, without my camera. I wanted to become a master of the light in the same way that we attempt to become masters of our equipment. The equipment is only a piece of metal and plastic that allows us to capture the light. Sometimes you have to sit back and drink it all in. You have to watch without trying to capture the moment. I feel like over the last year of truly focusing on the light I have nearly mastered it.
"Ask yourself, where the light is coming from, where it is falling, how strong it is, and what colors can you see"
This year, I have decided to focus on perspective. Sometimes, the best pictures are the ones where the subject is not looking directly at you and smiling. For instance, my dogs look out the window every evening, waiting for my husband to come home. With my eye newly trained on perspective, I would take a picture from behind them to capture what it looks like from their perspective. Here is an example of a composite I did last week.
I took three separate images (because life just doesn't happen like this in my house) of these three looking out the window waiting for Daddy to get home. I used the Absence Collection (Actions) and Light Bokeh (Overlays) for the lights.
This year I really want to focus on mastering perspective, it truly makes images much more interesting and ultimately better quality.
In the image above of my 14 year old cocker spaniel, I got down really low and photographed him on his level, head on, and centered. You can see how I achieved the dark, moody, edit below in the video tutorial using the Absence Collection and Moveable Haze from Spring IV.
A couple of months ago, we released the Essential Food Photography Action Set. This set is geared toward Food Bloggers and Food Photographers. As Food Bloggers ourselves we use this set every day and it makes life incredibly more easy around here. I am able to post on average 3-5 times per week and I attribute this is quick editing.
I thought it would be fun to take a look at some before and afters from the last couple months of using this new set.
Rose Cosmopolitan Recipe by FoodieFoodster.com
If you are a Food Blogger and you find yourself just sitting and staring at your RAW images in Photoshop, wondering where to start, this is a great tool. Included are 3 Storyboard Templates and 33 Actions designed to help your food photography reach a professional level.
Fresh Thai Spring Rolls with Sweet and Spicy Cashew Dipping Sauce Recipe by FoodieFoodster.com
Not Yo' Mommas Tuna Casserole Recipe by FoodieFoodster.com
If you are a Food Blogger or thinking of becoming one, you should know that it is essential for you to have to best possible images. There are a million food blogs out there and most of them are on point. If you want to be competitive online then your images need to stand out. Sites like Foodgawker.com and TasteSpotting.com have very strict guidelines but are essential to the growth of your blog . We are consistently accepted on those sites (with the exception of three submissions [boo]) and have seen tremendous growth on the food blog as a result. Three months in we are sitting at 10,576 pageviews for the last 30 days. Much of this traffic is coming from Foodgawker.com and TasteSpotting.com.
I am a professional photographer and my images still need to be edited. If you shoot in RAW (which you should be doing) then you need a basic clean up of your image. This can be accomplished with the Image Cleaner Action. It mimics the camera RAW filter but allows you to make selective adjustments on each layer, giving you more control. This is the most powerful Action in the set.
You can find more specific information about this set, including all of the Actions included, by clicking on the button below!
Happy Food Blogging!
We're Celebrating 4 Years Of Magic!
I can't believe it has been 4 years. I started Magic And Light Collection 4 years ago not knowing what the future would hold, and really not know much about digital design. It took nearly 60 days to make the first sale and that moment has catapulted us into the most rewarding experience.
Our first customer from that sale was Steph Barber from Steph Bee Photography. The only product we had available at that time was the Gypsy Collection. From then on, Steph and I have been great friends. She has offered so much encouragement to me in times where I was ready to give up on MLC. The greatest thing about Magic And Light Collection is that I have had the opportunity to meet customers that have turned into friends. Did I tell you she lives in Hawaii? Did I tell you her florals are amazing!?!
Another example of this is Hayley Warren of Hayley Warren Photography. We met through MLC and became instant friends. She is always around to talk, not only about photography, but about life in general. She has done testing for me, contributed images when I needed new material, given me feedback, and generally been awesome.
That is what I love the most about MLC. The people. Hearing from customers, helping, and getting to know you all has been the most rewarding experience for me.
Going forward, in the years to come, I would love nothing more than to get to know more of you. We of course offer products, but also friendly advice. Please don't hesitate to post on our Facebook page, send us a message, or send us an email. It makes my day to hear from you.
Going forward, we are considering a few new things like bringing on additional designers and offering an affiliate program (where you post our products on your website and get a large percentage of the sale). Please keep an eye out for these new programs this year.
In honor of how much I have loved the last four years, we are offering all of our products at 30% off! When you checkout, use the discount code BIRTHDAY4. This includes all of our 5 for $5.00 products (which end up being only $3.50 each)!!!!! Grab them all up for that price y'all!
Here's to another great year!
Magic And Light Collection
As I mentioned in my 5 for $5.00 post about Spring V, I have been a little absent from my usual daily blogging here at MLC. My sweet girl is back in preschool and so I am finding a little more time to get back to work.
Today I have a video for you on how to remove a common lens distortion called vignetting. We all know about vignetting because at times we add it to our images to draw focus toward our subject. While this kind of vignetting is a creative license we all take from time to time, there is a darker side (no pun intended...hardy har har) to vignetting.
Generally this kind of distortion occurs with lower level lenses, but that isn't always the case. Take my image for example, it was taken using a Canon 5d Mark III and a mid-range 85mm prime lens. You can see the edges are considerably darkened.
While it wasn't immediately apparent to me, once I ran the new (free) Correct Camera Distortion Action I am releasing today, I noticed a big improvement. I rarely notice the vignetting problem unless it is overcast outside and I am underexposing the image.
Watch Me Fix It!
FREE PHOTOSHOP ACTION