The more pictures I take the more I realize how much I have unknowingly been wasting the potential of my camera AND the more determined I am to learn to use it well. I feel overwhelmed, and I have so far to go, but when I look back at some of the first pictures I posted on this blog, two years ago, I see that the learning curve is at least moving forward, even if it has been slow movement.
In my Sears Grilling Photography Class, this week, we have been learning about my photographic nemesis – light – or at least ways to utilize and alter it to create the best shots. I am so incredibly intimidated by this skill and am weary from the struggle to master it, but I have finally completed my lesson for week 3. I hope as the lessons progress, I gain a better understanding of how to apply the use of aperture settings in my own camera. I experimented a little bit with a bounce board this week, too, attempting to bounce light into the shadows of my subjects. Let’s just say it’s a work in progress, when it comes to achieving a good result with that. I did take all these shots with natural light — no flash. Some were done a couple hours before sundown. Some were done in the bright sunlight, which I found to be too much against the shiny stainless steel of the grill. Oh! The grill. Let me tell you about our new baby!
Sears provided a new grill and accessories for our family; and for me to use in this photography class. We are over-the-top excited and so incredibly grateful for their generosity! I used the gift card they provided to purchase a Kenmore 4-Burner Gas Grill; and is it ever gorgeous! I love the open storage shelves on the side and am so excited about the side burner. David is in “grill-king heaven”! The hardest part has been that he suffered an injury on the 4th of July that has knocked him off his feet – literally. He is only now beginning to stand on his own occasionally, and sort of shuffle-step, with help. He is dreaming of the day he can fire up the smoker box in the grill and prepare a feast for the entire family. In the meantime, I’ll be manning the new grill tools and preparing the first delicious bites from our new Kenmore grill. (It should also be noted that I am THE most blessed mother-in-law ever. He doesn’t like his picture taken, but my son-in-law, Jason, is responsible for the assembly of my beautiful new grill! And, he was excited to do it.)
For this lesson, I needed to take pictures of my new grill and accessories, using what I’ve learned about photo editing and lighting in the first three lessons. Some of the new tips that were shared this week were:
- Make sure the product is the main focus of the shot, using props with caution, so as not to distract from the product.
- Standing back and using an optical (not digital) zoom will allow me to fill the frame with my subject and create a softer, out of focus background.
- Photographing in natural light and “natural” settings makes better pictures. Photographing a grill on the deck or patio will be a better image than in the dining room or on a showroom floor.
- Soft lighting can be more flattering, and in the case of the stainless steel on the grill, it was almost essential in order to pick up any details instead of just harsh reflections.
- Fill light can be added to a picture using a bounce card. Bounce cards create fill light to bring out detail in the shadow of the subject. Hold white poster board or a tri-fold board just out of the frame of the camera, and you can notice the amount of light that is reflected. Be sure to keep the bounce card out of the photograph!