Friday, 4 January 2013

My tips for better blog pictures

Hello Lovelies,
I've had quite a few comments over time complimenting me on the photos I take for my blog, and (while I don't think I'm any sort of expert on the subject) it does make me happy to be able to take a pretty decent photograph.

So today I thought I would share some of the tips and wisdom I've picked up along the way. It's a different sort of tutorial and I hope you find it helpful :0)



1. Take lots of Pictures
I feel  so lucky to live in the age of digital photography . Remember having 24 exposures on a roll of film and half of them turning out to be duff !
In those days you had to ration your pictures to one or two of each subject due to the cost of photo development, but not any more. I will generally take half a dozen shots of the same subject from differing angles ..........


This goes for all subjects....not just crochet :0)

It's easy to delete any I'm not happy with later.

2. Good Light This is such an important factor in getting good images. I always try to take pictures on bright days and I know the best spots in my home to get good light.  It's great to take your projects outside to photograph when the weather is kind . Or choose a well lit part of the room .



 It's best to be patient and wait for good light if you have a completed project to share.
 If you finish it a 11pm don't take a hurried flash photograph and then expect your readers to really be able to tell how lovely it is .
Wait till a sunny, or at least bright day, then have fun taking lots of pictures in different positions.
You have put a lot of effort into creating your project so do it justice with some detailed, well lit photos.

3. Turn off the Flash. Cameras often flash automatically when it's not really advantageous . I hardly ever publish a flash photo on my blog as I really dislike them. They wash out colour and make everything look so harsh.

4.Get to know your Camera and take it Everywhere. Play about with your camera , test out different settings to see if you can improve your pictures. My own camera is a  Canon IXUS  simple compact.
 I chose it because Lucy has the same make and I so admire her pictures.
 It's not perfect and struggles to capture red clearly .
It also hates too much contrast ....like capturing the true colours in the sky and land at the same time . But despite those shortcomings I still LOVE it. We are like old friends.It's great at Macro pictures, has a setting called foliage that heightens the colour in most pictures ( I leave it in that setting most of the time as to my eyes it makes the colours more true to life).


For pictures in low light I've found the "Aquarium" setting works well. Your camera will probably have something similar though it may use different names. 


It's small enough to carry everywhere ( in a protective case ) and still works well after nearly three years of blogging and several thousand photos. Including getting shaken around when I take it running !
Part of me would love a digital SLR but I know I would still end up using a compact most of the time when I'm out and about.

5.Think about the Background If you are taking a picture of something movable then  position it against a pretty background. Or if the subject doesn't move take your picture from an angle that has the best possible background.



6.Staging This follows on from background. It's not cheating to make up a bit of a "set" to add interest to your pictures. My home has lots of clutter,family stuff and boring bits, but I don't think my readers want to look at them.....this is my pretty space.

 I choose my angle carefully and maybe add flowers,ornaments,books,crockery, magazines,food, crochet or fabric to my pictures .
Staging is  creative and fun in it's own right and all the home magazines are experts at it. It simply gives your readers more pretty things to look at...........



7.Get Close up. If your camera will take macro images ( it's the button with a flower on mine ) then make the most of it. It's wonderful to be able to enlarge tiny details on so many things. I especially love taking close ups of flowers.Mother nature is amazing viewed close up............




8.Interesting Angles As I mentioned before I take lots of pictures from different angles. Things look completely different viewed from different perspectives.........


9. Copy those that Inspire you. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that. Really look at photo's you love and think about what it is that attracts you about them.

10.Upload Tips.....THINK BIG I visit many blogs that have lovely pictures but they are tiny so just don't have the impact created by a larger image. I write my posts and upload images in Bloggers "compose" option. The pictures are small but if you click on them you can re-size...I choose "extra large".







11. Enjoy as you practice and find your results improving hopefully you will get real enjoyment from this simple , free (once you own a camera obviously) hobby.

My top blogs for wonderful Photography
Attic 24
The Quince Tree
Posy Gets Cozy
Country Rabbit
Curlew Country
Tales from a happy house
Foxes Lane
Of course there is more to a blog than just  photographs, and these beautifully written blogs are so much more than just a series of great photos. I'm just concentrating on the photography aspect of blogging for this post.

I hope these tips will help any of you lovelies who struggle with photography to get better results this year.
I'm always happy when I can record pretty things or family moments.
Like my craft , being able to share pictures here adds greatly to my enjoyment of photography....so thank you :0)
Jacquie x

Edited to Add :- Since June 2013 I have mostly been using THIS camera. It's picture quality is very similar to my old IXUS but I do love it's better Zoom.
Jacquie x

73 comments:

  1. Fab!! I often think that my photos are rubbish so there are some great tips there! I didn't know you could click on the photo and enlarge in whilst in blogger compose. I will definitely have to try that out the next time I post :O)xx

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  2. Ahhh the art of patience, I must learn that one. I am often in such a hurry to share I take a crappy photo :)

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  3. thank you very much for such good tips, simple and tested!
    I always wonder why I love some blogs photos and some not, and I am trying to improve myself to give good pictures on mine!
    very well seen, the hurry to photography the last blanket you finished at night and can't wait until week-end to take a photo!
    sorry for my poor english
    friendly
    Marie (south of france)

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  4. Thanks Jacqui, what a great post. I have just started a blog so these tips are invaluable. Am hoping that with the structure of a blog it will force me to take more time and think about my photos.

    SmallP
    xx

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  5. Thank you for these lovely tips! I always get overexcited about taking a photo of a completed piece and the lighting in my home is pretty terrible so I definitely need to learn more patience. I'll be trying your tips out on my next post, thanks again :-)

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  6. I am often here Jacquie, admiring your wonderful photography. its a great compliment in return that you enjoy the photographs I take. I am a more visual person when it comes to blogs i read, great eye catching photography helps me follow the persons blog better...also it inspires me. but i do follow quite a few blogs just for their writing abilities as i feel i lack in that quite a bit and enjoy a true life journal.
    I also enjoy seeing your crafting, especially crochet. you are one very talented lady x

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  7. Thank you so very much for sharing your tips. They are really good and I really must remember them. I seem to always have problems with my lighting. I live in an apartment that doesn't have much light, so my pictures come out kind of dingy most of the time. I do try to take pictures outdoors when possible, weather permitting. I agree with you on the blogs with the best pictures. Some people really have the talent to bring out the best.
    Thanks again and have a great day!

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  8. wow. I will definitely be employing these tips.
    In fact, i've just played with the width of my blog and found that I can make the pictures larger already. You are a star. Thanks
    x

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  10. Wow, thank you so much, this is so useful. I've only recently begun blogging, and I've found taking photos of finished crochet so difficult to get right - I should definitely be more patient and try and take pictures in natural light!

    Thanks for a lovely blog, as well!

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  11. Fantastic tips, I love your photos and just fell foul of photographing anyway in poor light. Serves me right! I really must go back to using my compact camera again and not the phone that I got that a couple of months ago, lazy me! Thank you for taking the time to write your tips down. Fiona

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  12. Wow, very helpful, thank you, and your pictures are so lovely!

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  13. Thank you for the tips I find my worst problem is lighting, waiting for a nice bright day could take forever in my corner of the world :)

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  14. I love reading your blog because you're photo's always look so lovely and inviting. I thought it was because the sun always shone in your house :-), wouldn't that be lovely. I have a digital slr camera but its rather big so it isn't always with me however I did treat myself to the samsung galaxy just before Christmas so now I have a compact camera and your fantastic tips hopefully I shall produce same good quality photo's. J x

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  15. You do take lovely photos. U've found it quite challenging leaving for work in the morning and not getting home until dark. So even delicious cooked items aren't photographing their best.

    Chrisy
    Lil Bit British

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  16. Have to see if I have an aquarium setting on my camera and practice my macro photos a bit more... Nice post. Thanks for sharing.
    Annette ♥♥♥

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  17. That is really strange.. I have been thinking about you a lot lately. Not in a stalky kind of way but because you have inspired me to make a big blanket full of colourful little squares! I am trying to rein in my " bull in a china" shop approach to projects by enjoying the making ,and not just wanting to cross the finishing line. Wow! I am finding it hard.
    Anyway I was lying in bed thinking this morning about your blog and my blanket and thinking about your photos. And of course not in a cloney sort of way, I was wondering how you get some lovely photos. Tah Dah . Triple Tah Dah the content of your very next post. Thank you so much.kindest regards Linda

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  18. These are great tips - many thanks! I've only just started blogging and I can see what you mean about the flash. Also, winter is not a forgiving time of year for the light! Will be more patient and wait to see the light (so to speak!). Was uploading in small or medium but will increase to extra-large. Really helpful, Heather x

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  19. I love your blog, your photos and your crochet.
    Wonderful post! :)

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  20. Thanks for those tips, I always try to improve my photographs, too. What bothers me most is the poor light in my apartment - even on a sunny day it's hard to find what you call "a pretty place" for taking good pictures. Anyway, I'm trying to learn and get better.

    hugs from k-town,

    Barbara

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  21. This is something I really want to get my head around this year. I borrow my daughters camera, but I would love one of my own.....better get saving! :) x

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  22. Thanks for this. My Bloggy New Years resolution really should be to improve my photography. xxx

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  23. I'm with you on the digital SLR comment - I would like one in theory but in practice a compact is so handy and I'm happy with the photos I get from mine despite the pre-focus not working for over a year now!
    Happy New Year by the way...

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  24. Great post thanks for the hints and tips I think I'm just scared of my camerasI have two fuji cameras and I keep looking at others thinking theyll take better pictures but really its just user error/incompetance!!

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  25. Great tips! Since a month I have a digital SLR and I will take a course for it soon, just to get the most out of the camera. In the meantime I have to make due with my little knowledge about the SLR so thanks for these tips!

    Love, Kirsten

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  26. great post, some good tips here, I just wish there was a bit more daylight around at the moment! On a working day its dark when I go in and dark when I get home!! Roll on longer days!! :-)

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  27. Invaluable stuff! I've just started my blog and am worried about the quality of the few photos I've posted so far. I was just about to google some advice when I came across yours. I'm off to experiment in blogger now - thank you x

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  28. Great tips, thank you.camera is now in my bag ready to go on outings all the time to practice.

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  29. Thanks for all the lovely tips! Especially ones about getting the settings of the photo right:) Very useful post..

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  30. I always love looking at your photos. Thanks for the wonderful tips.

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  31. Great tips all! I never use a flash either. If I'm desperate to take a photo at night, I position the object under a "daylight" bulb - one with full-spectrum rays - and snap it without a flash.

    I also rely on Picasa (free photo editing program) for tiny tweaks like light/shadow and for cropping, which can make a huge difference. :)

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  32. Great post Jacqui!!! If you pics don't turn out quite the way you want them, you can always 'improve' them on www.picmonkey.com - It's a great site and well worth a play to find your way around. Thanks again for the tips. ♥

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  33. Great post! thankyou for all of those tips! love your blog :)

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  34. Hello Jacquie

    Thank you so much for your tips. I love your blog and you always take amazing photos. My camera in now permanently in my bag.
    luv
    irene
    xxxx

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  35. Great tips Jacquie. Love the one especially about the x-large photos...I've tried this in the past, but it messed around with my margins. If you make the middle margin a bit wider, it helps to fit the x-large photo. Now that I've discovered that, I'm going back and changing all my popular posts. Thanks! Alison

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  36. Jacquie, you absolute star, it is LOVELY of you to include my blog in your list! You are sending such bloggy love my way, thank you. I am not at all confident behind the camera and all my photos are very much trial and error, so it means a great deal to me for you to praise my photography.

    These tips are very good. Good ideas and practical advice which is well explained and well laid out. I am very glad I found your blog Jacquie. :-)

    Gillian x

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  37. wonderful tips Jacquie, thank you for doing this post! Heather x

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  38. thank you so much for the tips Jacquie, they are really helpfull....i so love your photos and i really wish mine were half as nice...but my camera is not helping at all :/

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  39. All great tips, Jacquie, but the one most relevant to me was the one about uploading bigger sizes. Since this time last year I've been meaning to revamp my blog and make it wider so I could fit bigger pictures, but never got around to it. You've given me the push I needed and my blog is now big, bright and beautiful, so thank you for the inspiration! I'm feeling more enthusiastic about blogging already!

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  40. Great tips, thank you. I've got a canon cool pix that's a few years old, but have to admit I can't even remember the last time I used it because even my lowly iPhone 3GS took better pictures! I've got a 5 now which takes great pictures for what I need as long as the lighting's right, although I do really miss fiddling with the settings. Perhaps I've found myself a birthday present for this year now- a decent new digital camera to practice your tips with!

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  41. Hiya... Happy new year and thank you for this post. I would like to spend more time this year on photos of lovely caravans. Love, Sharon x

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  42. Thank you for these tips! I'm really bad at taking pictures, but I'm sure that following them I'll improve!!!

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  43. Jacquie, just a question if you have a moment. I upload my photos from flickr, which I think you do too. I wonder if that's why my photo doesn't appear on blog roll lists and if you know a way that they can? Heather x

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    1. Hi Heather, I upload straight from my computer so I think you are probably right about the reason your pic doesn't appear. I'm afraid I don't know if you can make them do that via Flickr.
      Jacquie x

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  44. Hey Jacquie, great post, lots of wonderful tips.......
    After reading this, I went and changed the layout of my blog, got rid of some borders and now extra large photos upload without squashing the thumbnail pics on my side bar.......yeeeees, much happier....thankyou.

    Claire x

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  45. Lots of great tips, thanks you! I have the same camera, although I don't think my pics will ever be as good as yours.

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  46. Thank you for all the good tips :)

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  47. This is a fantastic post! Great tips, and I love your photography!!
    Kate :}

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  48. I just discovered your blog...I love it! Thank you for all the great hints. Looking forward to following!

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  49. What an excellent post Jacqui. I agree with absolutely all your points especially the first -take gazillions of photos and number ten -make them as big as possible (but not so big you can't see the whole thing on the screen).

    I use a DSLR now but my first camera was the IXUS like yours which I bought because Lucy recommended it. I love my DSLR but after lugging it around Cornwall on holiday in 2011 along with all my lenses I resolved to leave it at home last year. So glad I did, the IXUS did a fantastic job of capturing our holiday. But for home use I rely on my DSLR and I love my macro lens for food and flowers shots.

    The disadvantage of a DSLR for blog purposes (if you use Blogger) is that the photos have so many pixels that they take up a large amount of your Google storage space. I recently picked up this tip from Annie at Knitsofacto - resize your photos for free using Picmonkey. I resize them to 640 pixels which renders perfectly on a blog and gives you much more room.

    I feel very honoured to be one of your top blogs for wonderful photography. Thank you.

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  50. ooooh, thank you for the handy hints. Your pictures are so vibrant and lovely

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  51. Thank you so much!! Yes, everything you suggested is perfect. I do need to be more thoughtful and get more familiar with my own camera. Loved all of the tips for staging and settings. Sometimes I think we get into a rush to share, and don't think of all those things.

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  52. Thanks so much for the great tips! When I try to use the extra large setting on blogger the pictures go over into my side bar so I normally stick to large, I would like them to be bigger though I'll have to investigate further. Rowen@Coastal Colours x

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  53. Me gusto mucho su blog, la verdad es que antes de ver esta entrada, me atraparon las bellas imágenes que usted muestra.
    felicidades una entrada muy educativa.
    Bendiciones.

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  54. I have carefully read your tutorial about pics . Everything you mention obivously helps.

    Only the last tip:
    'think big" is a bit of a problem for me. Each time I try to publish more than two pictures, Blogger always allows met to enlarge the first two pictures of the series, but with the third one it refuses to do so .
    What can be done about this problem?

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  55. I am being a bit simple here but I can't get hang of what you mean on tip 10.

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    1. Hi, when you upload your pictures in "compose" you can click on the photo and a blue bar comes up with options including large and extra large for your photos.
      Hope that's clearer.
      Jacquie x

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  56. What a well written article. I had once shared on the same topic..here is my link :
    Blog Post Photo Tips

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  57. Thanks...can't believe the difference just by turning the flash off...wow!
    Hugs x

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  58. People need to forget the idea that dslr cameras automatically take better pictures..I have a dslr and sometimes the shots can turn out worse compared to my point and shoot just because there are so many options and buttons to play around with Keep up the lovely posts!

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  59. thank you very much for such an inspiring post!

    Vaida

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  60. Thank you so much for the fantastic tips! You have a lovely blog and your pictures are amazing:)

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  61. This was exactly what I was looking for! I have only used a couple pictures on my blog because I had no idea how to get them to look appealing. The ones I did use are awful and I really want to replace them. I'm going to go right now and practice with the steps you have given. Thanks so much!

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  62. Thank you. Your tutorial is simple and sensible and I have already enlarged the photos on my blog - they look much better! I hadn't realised how much the photos are part of the text, but one of the reasons I like certain blogs (including yours!) so much is the lovely photos x

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  63. Thank so much for these great tips! I'm buying a new camera tomorrow, so I will be trying everything you mentioned out;) You need share buttons on your posts! LOL I wanna share on Pinterest and Facebook :(

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  64. amazing tips thank you so much. I do the extra large thing too.

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  65. Hello, great post! I was wondering if you find that posting photos on your blog slows down the load time? Is there a way to make sure that doesn't happen?! I am new to all of this!

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  66. Hi Lou, thanks for your comment. Yes pictures will slow down loading time, but I LOVE lots of pictures in a post don't you.
    You can re size them to help alleviate this problem ( see Sue's comment above ) but I'm afraid I don't :0)I like that my readers can click on any image and see it even bigger if they want to.
    Hope this helps.
    Jacquie x

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  67. What a great post Jacquie, thank you for taking the time to share these tips. I've had a Canon Ixus for ages, and I really like it too. I've also got a basic DSLR, but nothing beats the Ixus for portability and the quality is really good too I think. The photos on your blog are always wonderful, you have a very good eye for a picture.

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  68. Thank you Jacquie for this encouragement ... I am about to start blogging again in a bid to improve my web presence!
    Heather xxx

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  69. loved this post so much! please follow my blog,it is new http://maybemayhemmakeup.blogspot.com.au/

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