Category Archives: Cool Products and Sites
I have been really struggling with how to approach my blog and website. I struggled with whether I should keep it separate or start a blogsite. I wanted a better blog but really didn’t want to abandon the location I have been since I have started. I wanted you to still find me since I took such a hiatus from everything. So, this is what I did:
I stayed with blogger. I purchased a domain name www.staceybishopphotographyblog.com (I know it is long but it is easy to remember). It was so EASY! I did it right through my blogger account! (Settings, Publishing) It was $10 and it automatically redirects anyone who types in my old www.staceybishopphotography.blogspot.com. I KNOW there are other options out there but this is what I chose to do. It was simply time to pull the trigger.
I also purchased a blogger template for photographers. There are actually really good ones out there so I just Googled for one with a slideshow header option and I chose to go with:
The one I purchased was $25 but they had ones that were even cheaper! There are lots of blog templates that are free out there too. I just liked the look and ease of this one so I committed.
Also, I didn’t realize that Blogger has separate pages now so I was able to link at the top to individual pages and not just old posts.
So, for $35, I have a more professional url, and a great blog that is totally customizable! The cool part is that I can change my slideshow via a flickr set!
Keep in mind:
That my ranking on Google searches may be affected until my new URL has been around for a while. I’ll have to keep an eye on that.
HISTOGRAMS!! and my Beautiful Averi in her Baptism dress;)…
That mountainous box that you see all the time in Photoshop, Bridge, ACR and your camera is a very helpful little tool in both correct exposure when shooting AND for proper editing.
Here is a rediculously simple way to put it:
If the hills are mostly on the left, it is underexposed. If the hills are mostly to the right, it is over exposed. If it is touching the top, something is either blown out (too bright) or clipped (too dark).
There is a setting on your camera that will make the areas that are blown out blink on your LCD. This can be very helpful when you are shooting. Especially if it is bright daylight and it is difficult to see the LCD.
Here is an example of a well exposed photo. In ACR (Adobe Camera Raw), if you click the arrows at the top of the histogram, it will show the blown out areas in Red and the Clipped areas in Blue. This is very helpful. I don’t usually care about the dark shaddows (as long as it isnt important to the photo) but the blown out areas can be detrimental. On this photo, I used the Recovery slider a little to bring back a little detail in the areas the sun was hitting. I NEVER pull the Recover slider too far. It will cause skin tones to look “muddy” but it is one of my favorite little tools.
Now, here is the same photo and Histogram after edits. Notice that the Histogram has changed. It is very easy to actually blow out or clip a photo through processing alone. Keep an eye on that histogram while you edit. You can change the little drop down menu to “colors” to see specifically what color family your are blowing out.
ETA: not sure why these next ones loaded so large. Click on the photo to see the full histogram.
YOU ultimately decide what looks best. In this photo, according to the histogram, there are some areas on her dress that are blown out. Since I still have the detail I want, I am okay with a few blown areas. There are shadows that are clipped. Since I like the contrast and it is in areas that are not important, I don’t mind.
I am super PUMPED to introduce you to Pumpkin Seed! Megan at Pumpkin Seed has the most amazing pettiskirts and ruffle rompers. If you are like me, you want to stash your prop closets with tons of this stuff but they are usually super expensive……well…….your welcome!! I just found you a reason to stock your prop closet!!!!
Amazing designs. Never heard of, fabulous prices. PLEASE do yourself a favor!! If you live in the So cal area, there is a boutique October 21st in Los Alamitos that she will be at. Click on the link to her blog and get the info!!
Go ahead and “like” Pumpkin seed on facebook too. Pumpkin Seed Facebook page.
Who else to convince you to stock up on these bad boys, than adorable Brynlee….
Okay, lets talk photo first. See how the catchlights are in the right spot? (other than this last one because she is looking up now) I love them in the upper left of the pupil. BUT….See how they are kinda small and pin pointy? A larger 50″ softbox would remedy that. HERE is one. I will definitely invest at some point……don’t tell my hubby…..:0
Backdrops!! Aren’t they FABULOUS!!
Did I forget to mention that they are Vinyl? After Crew’s cake smash I washed it down with some windex…So cool!
Tin Tile 21
(White tin tile)
Wood floor 169
(white wood floor)
Michelle Black 14
(Graffiti rustic door/wood)
If you order these, I suggest paying $5 extra for the rod pocket. Also, keep in mind that when mine arrived, I noticed that they were really “cool” in color. I was very unsure. However, when I photograph them, they are beautiful. Don’t freak out if they appear different when they arrive…
So, after feeling like a failure at posting here and posting on my family blog, I’m gonna kinda merge the two. If I am going to share with you the creative process and my new ventures in photography, you are just naturally gonna get part of my family too. I hope that is okay. I wont get mushy and detailed but you will get to know me and that can be a little scary….:/
So, If you are up to it, I would like to share my family, my home, my diy projects (including lots of thrift store hunting), my dark obsession with Pinterest (Click HERE to follow my pin boards. If you want an invite, let me know!!), my venture into practicing studio photography, and lots of links to everything you can possibly think of. I will allow my mind to rest in one area instead of spreading myself so thin. Here’s to simplifying!!
So, with that, here is Crew. My sweet baby boy. I can’t believe he is ONE! He is the most mellow tempered, loving, pinchy cheeky little boy you will ever see.
I think my first love will always be outdoor photography. But, I have a little studio space in my home and studio photography is just more convenient for those “quick” shots. I have really enjoyed my backdrops. I have accumulated 8 of them and you will be seeing lots of them! I will post links to the backdrops and studio equipment at the end of the post;)
whoa. interesting how when you edit two different days, the color comes out so different. See how the blues in the one below are more turquoisy?….ugh. Went much warmer on this one…oh well…he doesn’t care…super easy client:)
I haven’t bought Photoshop actions in a LONG time. BUT, i saw these Oh So Posh actions and I knew that they would be GREAT for field photography. YES, I could increase saturation and contrast on my own, but, actions are really fun sometimes!!! (link at bottom)
Okay, lets pretend that I put the N backwards and upside down on purpose for whimsy:/. The cake was supposed to be intricate and beautiful with flowing layers of gradient shades of blue frosting……sometimes, you gotta quit. Apparently “creamy” frosting doesn’t hold well. So, this is what you get…good enough right?
Okay, I do NOT usually promote actions. I have lots of actions and love to play with them but my biggest pet peeve is when photographers RELY solely on Actions that they have purchased and then wonder why they don’t get the look they are going for. IF you purchase actions, PLEASE learn how to open them and turn off different layers, mask back stuff, decrease opacity etc. There is no 1 action fix all. Okay….off my soapbox:)
Here are some before and afters of the Oh So Posh Bohemian Symphony actions (link below):
Oh So Posh “Bohemian Symphony” Actions
I linked you to her blog because I really liked seeing the before and afters on there. She just release a limited edition set that is cheaper than her full set!! Also for ELEMENTS users!!!!
While you are over there, check out her beautiful photos. She really relies on beautiful light. Stunning stuff!!
Backdrop on the first photo and floor on the birthday cake shots
Floor on the first photos and Backdrop on birthday cake shots
I order them with a pocket for a rod ($5 extra) Works perfect for my set up ( I use a curtain rod holders on the wall and PVC pipe to store each one)
Cactus V4 wireless flash trigger and receiver
This is a crazy great deal for those just starting and don’t want to pay the extra money for pocket wizards. under $40? you seriously can’t go wrong!
24in Softbox with L bracket
I really want the 50inch softbox. It gives WAY better catchlights. But, I didn’t want to invest much and this is a great set that works beautifully for the time being and is super portable.
I will show pics of my studio/office space and set up.
Found a really great photographer that also does actions and templates. I took the plunge and ordered some actions for Photoshop Elements. This has really sped up some of the normal and mundane things that I do in post processing and allowed me to spend more time playing. My faves are the defog, resize for web, vignette, and expose (quick lighten and brighten). The best part is that she leaves the layer open so you can change the opacity as needed. She also does actions for all Photoshop programs and templates for easy storyboards and such. Check it out! I will post some samples soon.
I found her site through twopeasinabucket photography site. This site is seriously awesome. There is a constantly changing photo gallery where you can post photos for fun or for critique from others who are professional or just learning. I have learned so much from their comments and are loving all the resources they provide. The message board is full of freebies and ideas!