Four months ago, our littlest farm boy made his arrival. He was smaller than we imagined he would be, but so so so cute.
He has a beautiful disposition, and is already giving us glimpses of his little personality. I took a couple of weeks off but have gotten back to work in the last few days. He was born just after Valentine's Day and everything got put on hold these last few weeks. I'm not putting too much pressure on myself but I promised myself this time that I wouldn't slow down and so far I have been able to strap him into a carrier and carry on with my responsibilities. It helps that he is such a good baby, he is up for anything as long as he is snuggled up to me.
I'm not saying that I'm getting things done quickly, it took me 5 weeks to take these pictures, and another week to sit down and edit them. For me, these are the perfect newborn photos. While posed newborn photos are beautiful to look at, and seem fun to style- I prefer real life, real moments...real memories.
I love the way he sleeps. It's the best to me. I just want to remember those little things, because it's easy to forget. Really easy.
Do a 365 project
Enter a photo contest
Going forward, I am going to share more of myself and my personal photography. I never want anyone to think that I am absent from this or that they sent their money out into the internet, never to get something in return.
With all of that said...check out my sweet 15 year old Cocker Spaniel, Copper! My baby boy!
He is attached to my three year old, they are best friends. She was in the pool swimming with her Dad and it was pretty hot outside (try 125°). Copper doesn't enjoy the hot weather anymore but he still needs to keep an eye on his baby. This is him, literally on the edge of his seat, waiting for anything to happen that might require his immediate attention.
I noticed the amazing backlighting and knew I had to run and grab my camera. Backlighting is everything to me these days. I can't tell you what Actions I used on this image because it was a month or so ago.
That's a little glimpse into what I am shooting these days. I still dream of being at National Geographic photographer, but for now family life will do.
I'm here y'all, working hard for MLC- whatever you need, I'm here to help.
"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 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.
We're Celebrating 4 Years Of Magic!
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
It's officially here! Enjoy the longer days, warmer temperatures, and baby animals.
And white fluffy clouds.
Because they are all coming your way this Spring in the form of Overlays!
What spring would be complete without rainbows, butterflies, and sweet fluffy clouds to brighten our days...and images!
Magic & Light Collection
Take a moment, in the middle of the week to drink in the silence of dawn and be mesmerized by the worlds beauty.
Happy Tuesday! -Amy, Founder Magic & Light Collection
In post processing, I would shoot with my kit lens (18-55mm f5.6) and then use a blur filter to try to achieve the same results. In time, I learned that the beautiful out of focus backgrounds I was looking for were actually called Bokeh and simply blurring in post processing would never achieve the same results.
What is Bokeh?
What Is Blur?
The visual difference between Bokeh and Blur?
This is an example of one of my images taken using Manual Focus and is complete Bokeh. In comparing to the image on the right, you can see that the qualities are much different. When you look closely, you can see the points of light of rendered in much different way.
This image was taken in focus with a Gaussian Blur filter applied in Adobe Photoshop. The beautiful points of light achieved in the image to left are non-existent in this image.
How Do I Achieve Bokeh In My Images?
There are few ways to achieve beautiful bokeh in your image. My greatest advice is not to use your kit lens. Bokeh is achieved by narrowing your field of focus and opening up your aperture. The widest aperture on a kit lens is typically somewhere around 5.6. Unless you are getting very close to your subject with a kit lens, it isn't going to happen. You should instead, be on the lookout for a lens with a wide aperture. Keywords to look for would be f 1.4, f 1.2, f 1.8. Even at a reasonable distance you will achieve a beautiful bokeh and bring the focus to your subject. I have laid out some product recommendations at the end of this post.
My Own Out-Of-Focus Photography
Wide Aperture Lens Recommendations
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Let me just tell you a secret.
I was so upset that I didn't take my camera out for nearly 6 months. Since I take at least 100 pictures a day, that is profound.
As I started going darker and darker with my exposure, it changed my photography and it changed how I saw and ultimately captured the light. I made it a point to really see the light. Where is it coming from?Where is it landing? Where is it concentrated?
Here are some images I took around that time.
What I learned through this process is that there is power in under exposure.
If you slightly under expose or even greatly underexpose your image, you will see where the ambient light is coming from and where it is landing. There can be power in underexposure. It can make the seer look closer, pay more attention, and it can draw the focus toward your subject.
I usually snap away and then deal with exposure issues in post processing but I knew this time I really wanted to go dark and "find the light". This is a dramatically haunting location. I followed my husband and my daughter down the ramp and into the chamber. They walked through and left. I hung behind because I knew there was something poignant to capture.
While in the past, I have specialized in commercial photography, my photography has evolved into something that is not commercial. I'm okay with that.
Are you wondering how to under expose your images to find the light?
Look through the viewfinder of your DSLR that is set on "evaluative metering". Do you see this:
This is your in camera light meter. The center (in theory) should represent correct exposure. The numbers to the right of the center represent a brighter exposure, and the numbers to the left of the center represent a darker exposure. Depending on how your DSLR is set up, you will use a dial to move the exposure up and down. Moving the exposure even slightly to the left will help you get a feel for how your camera responds to under exposure. I recommend playing with it to see the results that you get. I should note that I don't believe in this as rule but rather as a technique used to achieve a specific outcome.
Ready to take the next step in post processing?
This MLC product is perfect for dramatically dark exposures.
Absence Black & White Actions for Adobe® Photoshop® & Elements®
a former commercial photographer turned Mom-tographer. I started Magic And Light Collection 8 years ago and have loved watching it grow over the years! I am currently working hard on raising those littles, and sharing all the Photoshop shortcuts that help me work smarter, and not harder!
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