Three Easy Tips for Taking Better Pictures with your Point-and-shoot Camera

Story: A famous photographer attended a dinner party put on by a famous chef. When the photographer entered, the chef said, “I love your photographs, you must have a fabulous camera.” When the dinner was over and it was time to leave, the photographer said to the chef, “The was meal was marvelous, you must have a wonderful stove.”

It’s not what you have (as far as fancy camera equipment) but what you do with what you have that matters.

I do subscribe to this idea. In fact, you’d probably be very surprised to know that many of my art pieces first begin from images taken with my point-and-shoot camera; aka ‘purse camera.’

Taking better pictures is all about training your mind to see differently. The normal way we perceive the world is with large, expansive vision. We ’take everything in’ when we look around. To improve your images, you must train your eye to see how the camera sees. This is basically narrow down your vision into a rectangle shape…paying close attention to every area inside of that rectangle.

Here are three easy tips to improve your own point-and-shoot camera results.

1. Time of day.

This graphic shows how the light during certain times of the day can cause distraction within the image. At 7:30 am, there is a big bright spot in the left corner. Our eyes naturally go to the lightest spot in the image first. My optimal light choice is at 3:30 pm because the light is even. If I had a person sitting in one of those chairs, their face would be the lightest spot.

2. Rule of Thirds.

Learn to place the subject of your image some place other than dead center.  If you are taking a landscape picture, place the horizon in the top 1/3 of the frame.

3. Camera Cropping.

original image and cropping both horizontally and vertically

This graphic shows the full frame from the camera. I deliberately took it this way so I would have the option to crop it horizontally or vertically later. You can greatly improve your images if you crop within the camera – get closer to your subjects to minimize distractions.

A fun experiment: take pictures of the people in your contact list with your cell phone camera. Save the image as part of their contact file. In order to see their faces clearly in your list, you’ll have to get pretty close up.

Have fun taking better pictures!

Redfern Studio Video

A relatively new Redfern Studio product / service – web video.

Web Videos are a powerful, interactive way to tell the story of your business, profession, product, event or service by combining art, music, and voice with video capture and still imagery created by yours truly.

With my business and marketing background & my art and and portrait expertise, I begin mentally composing the visual elements of your presentation as soon as I first hear about your project.

I think everyone who works with people and who has a website needs to have (at least) one web video. Frequent, fresh web content is a MUST in today’s fast paced world.

As I have been working on creating a number of these to promote other local businesses, I realized that I needed to make one that promotes MY own!

Artwoks Gallery Window Display

The Gallery recently completed its most recent rotation. A complicated ‘dance’ where every artist (37) takes down their work, walls are repaired and moved, spaces are reassigned and artwork is put back up. All of this is accomplished in the space of a day and a half!

I was thoroughly impressed with the planning and execution of such a feat. When you walk in the Gallery now, it looks TOTALLY different!

Right after the rotation, three of us had the opportunity to combine our talents to create a new window display. Yvon Dockter, Fred Hodgson and I decided that we all had art pieces that would go along with a ‘garden theme.’

We worked from one end of the space to another combining our metal sculpture, pottery and Transformative art pieces so that we had a pleasing array of interesting shapes, heights and colors. It was really fun working with these two artists. We were all happy and satisfied with our efforts.

‘Our window’ will be up until the end of August.

Intuiting Creativity

I have done it enough times to have deep feelings of trust that it WILL happen. It is like knowing all of the ingredients for one of your favorite recipes but never knowing exactly what the end result will be. That surprise at the end …is pure magic.

Lindsey’s Portrait Session

Last week we created Lindsey’s Senior Portraits. She brought in her sketch book and paint brushes. Which was great!

As we began visiting, I asked about her art and if she had some that I could see. She hadn’t brought any along. Lindsey’s mom was there and enthusiastically described several of her pieces. With a meaningful look, I asked, “How far away do you live?”

Lindsey and I began the photo session while mom made the quick trip. By the time she arrived back a the studio, with the entire art portfolio (rather than the two pieces we’d originally talked about), Lindsey and I had gotten comfortable with the flow of how we worked together.

She was wearing that fantastic red jacket when the art arrived…. I was able to pick out a piece that neither mother or daughter would have chosen. When I shared the idea that popped into my mind, everyone could feel the excitement sparkling in the air around us.

Mother nature must have felt it too because a gentle breeze blew through – then that magical moment occurred…

Artist and her Artwork