Social media can be a burden. Hours are precious. Daydreaming is a lost art as most of us admittedly need to cut back on our screen time.
But sometimes a little dose of social media can bring you joy. And isn’t that just the best way to start your day? A cup of coffee and a smile. Nice.
Instagram is my smile-a-day social media app of choice. No surprise I suppose since I am a photographer and it is all photos. I also love Instagram because it’s quick, simple and my Instagram community is so positive. I follow feeds that are happy, inspiring, creative, funny and beautiful.
I want to spread the joy and share my favorite Instagramers. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Bev Weidner (@bevcooks): Oh, this food bloggin’ mama of twins is hilarious. I was already a fan of her recipes, but now I can’t take my eyes off her babies! You will laugh out loud at her photo captions.
Sarah Cornish (@my4hens): This lady has an incredible talent for capturing the beauty of the everyday with her kids. And, she’s an inspirational soul. Her words and stories to go with the photos are meant to lift you up and find the good in even the hard days.
Theron Humphrey (@thiswildidea): This guy is blessed. He travels in a pimped out FJ60 with a fabulous dog named Maddie and takes amazing pictures. Just how does he get Maddie into these stunts and poses? He captures her and the world with stunning creativity and skill.
Jane Samuels (@janesamuels): This UK artist showcases her eye-popping, color-bursting landscape photos on Instagram. They never fail to make me stop and just study the image and long for a hike into quiet and wide-open spaces.
As I have practiced it, photography produces pleasure by simplicity. I see something special and show it to the camera. A picture is produced. The moment is held until someone sees it. Then it is theirs. – Photographer Sam Abell
It was such a thrill to photograph the art of Robin Scialabba. I love that I am a part of enabling her work to be shared and enjoyed by a wider audience. And, most importantly, as her original art is made available for purchase, Robin will always have a record of the pieces she created.
Robin’s art is very vibrant and I was able to reproduce the depth of the colors and details by surrounding the art with filtered natural light. For most of the work, I shot down from a tall ladder with the art laid flat on the ground. My lens of choice was a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
You can view more of Robin’s art and inquire about buying original or reproduction prints in her web gallery through Angie Windheim Photography.
Paint the Moon started a “Let’s Do 52” weekly challenge. Each week, Annie presents a new theme to interpret through photography.
Baseball Photo Tip #9: Get the right equipment. Digital SLR cameras are fabulous. I love my Canon. But what sets the camera apart is the ability to swap out the lenses. For outdoor sports, you want as much telephoto power as you can afford without losing f-stop capabilities. Zooming in close helps capture those amazing expressions on the field. And that’s what it’s all about. You want your pictures to show the emotions of the players and make the game more personal. A 70-200mm with an f-stop of 2.8 is a great combination for closeness and clarity. I’ve also gotten great shots with a cheaper 70-300mm lens with an f-stop of 5.6. However, I very much prefer the 2.8 and do see a significant difference in the sharpness and background blurring. And, though I’ve lost some “zoom,” I am able to crop photos to get “closer” with great results.
Another equipment must? Please, get a monopod. A telephoto lens looming off a camera for two hours gets heavy. A monopod has great flexibility for action, stabilizes your camera for less blur, and helps keep your back and arms pain free.
One more requirement? A backup memory card and battery. Tournaments usually have you away from outlets and computers for an entire day. An extra memory card and battery save you from missing great shots, like the trophy presentation at the end.
Baseball Photo Tip #8: Be creative, always be ready with the camera and try to capture the whole experience. Photos of kids on the bench cheering or just peering at the game, high fives, pitcher and catcher conferences on the mound, seed spitting or grass picking (if it’s T-ball) are all part of the game. And, don’t forget the great moments from the coach. There are usually numerous pats on the back, inspirational speeches and dug out antics to be remembered in photos.
Keep in mind that some kids don’t get a lot of touches on the ball, so you can’t count on getting them in action with the ball. Luckily, even a kid in the “ready” stance is fun to shoot. A catcher getting on his gear, batters putting on helmets and gloves, and the adorable bat boy hustling out to his job add to the team’s story.
Baseball Photo Tip #7: Watch the sun. Sometimes it’s just not even worth shooting at noon on a sunny day. The ball caps create shadows across the eyes that no adjustments can fix, and the color can be hard to correct. Grasses look gold and whites are blinding. In desperate times, you can go artsy and monochromatic to disguise the color issues. You can also drop your ISO to 100 and shoot into the sun with a shade on. The shade minimizes sun spots. Shooting toward the sun puts the player’s whole face in shadow and avoids the cap shadow line.
Ideal sun conditions are in the early morning or early evening. The light is fantastic, warms the skin tones and creates few shadow issues. The filtered light on cloudy days is excellent as well.
Note: The above photo was taken with a blinding sun in the background. It creates a little bit of a halo, but the shadows are minimized. The photo below was taken with a setting sun.
Baseball Photo Tip #6: Move around and anticipate the big plays. Think about the game as a whole. It’s not all about batting and pitching. Be sure to take some shots from deep down the first and third baselines to get fielding and sliding pictures. When there’s a runner on second base, be ready to capture the steal or play at third base. Station yourself close to first base and you’ll often get photographic evidence if the runner is really safe. When pop flies or big hits take off, I can usually anticipate where it’s going and focus on the player involved in the catch and throw. And, of course, behind the plate is great for catchers and slides home when a runner is on third.
Note: It is possible to shoot through the chain-link fence by gently resting your lens against the fence and focusing on your subject. The fence will almost disappear. An f-stop of 2.8 really blurs the fence out. If the fence is truly a problem and you need some pitching and catcher shots, then get out on the field for warm up pitches. No one has to know there wasn’t a batter at the plate.
Baseball Photo Tip #5: Check your angles. If you want the ball in the throw, then getting just shy of straight-on is best. I’ve gotten nice shots from between the right side of home plate and the very beginning of the first base line. However, I do mix it up and get further out on the first base line to get the “stretch” of a pitcher. To capture those priceless facial expressions and a full swing, righty batters are best photographed on the first-base line and lefties on the third-base line.
Another angle to consider is up and down. Sometimes getting down low and shooting “up” at the players achieves a better stage for the photo. Cloudy skies, rolling hills and such can be a great part of the story you are telling. In contrast, sometimes getting up on a hill and shooting down puts the focus purely on kids, dirt and grass.
Baseball Photo Tip #4: Stick with autofocus. Manual focus is great if you are shooting the batter only, but you’ll have better luck quickly focusing on the action point with autofocus. Just be sure to press half way to set the focus where you want it and then start shooting. Not doing this can cause the camera to adjust it’s focus while you’re shooting and miss the shot.
Major secret alert! For pitchers and batters, I focus on the face before the pitch, press the shutter button halfway, then move the center of the frame slightly ahead of the batter or pitcher. This allows you to anticipate their forward motion and keep the photo in focus. It also puts the face in the ideal space. A composition rule of thumb is to think of your frame as a tic-tac-toe board and try to get the face on one of the intersection points rather than dead center.