Here are instructions for a manual DSLR camera with a 200mm lens or greater.
1-First turn off auto focus.You must manually focus on the moon. Then, find your self timer on the camera. I found this helpful anyway to prevent camera movement when pressing the shutter button as the shutter can be set with the timer to go off a few seconds after you press the shutter button. The vibration of the mirror up and down did not effect me at 1/200th of a second. And , check your focus - it is a moving object so focus check each time. I am a focus fanatic!
2- Use a DSLR camera and at least a 200 mm lens. 300-600mm is better.I used a Nikon DSLR.
3- Dial in these 3 settings in ahead of time: ISO 200, Shutter speed at 1/200 of a second and Aperture at F11.These were my full moon settings and I never changed anything until the moon was partially covered during the eclipse, reason being, I wanted the sharpest images I could get. My shutter speed which controls the light entering the camera started at 1/200th of a second. Aperture was set at F11 period and I never changed it. This is a generally good setting to control sharpness in most DSLR cameras.
4- When the eclipse starts be ready to adjusted the shutter speed.I changed my shutter to 160th of a second as the shadow was 1/4 -1/3 across the moon. When halfway, I found I had to slow down the shutter speed almost every shot. (Let more light in as the moon gets darker) My full eclipse exposure was at 3 seconds at f11, ISO 200. Be careful to not touch the camera or tripod during a long exposure. Your camera might be more or less light sensitive than mine, so get yourself in the ballpark BEFORE the eclipse begins and adjust as needed. I shoot digital so I could monitor how things were going.
That is my best advice on how to photograph the moon, considering it was my first time. Be aware that it was a clear calm winter sky, after midnight and the moon was high overhead. These conditions are different than a moon rising over the mountains or ocean with humid air that is thick with moisture. Be ready to adapt your settings to the conditions you are in.
Wow was it exciting! It really wasn’t that hard… it was harder to be in the cold and not freeze my fingers off!
I hope you will try it the next time we have a full moon or the next eclipse. In 2 years there will be another total eclipse in our area… you have plenty of time to practice!
How to prepare for your Engagement Session - Tips from a professional photographer.How to prepare for your engagement session is something I work on with my wedding clients. I give these tips to all my clients and want to share them you with you. Over the past 10 years in my wedding and portrait business, I have helping my clients look their best so they feel at home in front of my camera. I'd like to teach you some simple concepts that will help you look and feel great during your engagement session (with the help of a professional photographer, of course!) This photo here is one that I created for this couple last year. Red was an important color for their wedding day. They wanted it to be a part of the engagement session clothing choice... so I had to be careful how I posed them. More on that in a minute.
#1-The lightest thing in a photograph appears larger.Dress up in that favorite outfit and then stand in front of the mirror and answer this question - What is the lightest color I see? If the lightest thing is your face, PERFECT! That is the most important part. If it is your pants, shirt or shoes, it’s NOT so perfect. The lightest thing in a photograph appears larger so unless you have a perfect figure it would be best to wear darker shades or dress in one color tone to create a slimming effect. Your photographer will position you in the most flattering pose for you but they cannot change the color of your clothes so easily. The colors you wear will help you look thinner. I always make sure my clients faces are the brightest things in the photo.
#2- Bold patterns and colors attract the eye.Fire engine red, brilliant pinks or yellows stick out like a sore thumb. If you are the only one in red, you will stick out like a sore thumb in that photo, and as a result, you will look larger. Neon colors, bold horizontal stripes or other large patterns do the same thing. Small patterns in colors that coordinate with your outfit and your partner’s outfit are much prettier and slimming.
#3- Avoid sleeveless shirts or blouses.Sleeveless tops are cool in summer and feel good. However, unless your shoulders and upper arms are the same tone as the rest of you, don’t wear sleeveless. This goes for the guys and gals - cover your arms or roll up your sleeves instead guys, it’s cool. Ladies, wear 3/4 sleeves. Sleeves hide small imperfections in the shape of your arms and its more flattering. If you lift weights and work out regularly and you like your arms, great- go for it! But I do think that the covering as much skin as possible slims down everyone and makes everyone look their best.
#4 - Coordinate color and style with your partner or family.For engagements, I suggest you dress as if you’re going out to a nice lunch or casual dinner. Talk to each other and coordinate colors and styles. If your man is showing up in shorts and you in nice dress, probably not a great choice. So talk to each other about it the week before so you have time to figure it out. Best practice, lay clothes out on the bed or floor and see how they look together in color and styles. Then, wear them to see if you are comfortable. That is a big part of it too - be comfortable and happy in your clothes so you feel and look your best.
#5 - Shoes matter.When I photograph my couples, it is may be the first time they have ever had photos together. They might be a little nervous so I start the shoot with them walking together or sitting down on something a little farther from me. This means their feet will be in the photographs. So wearing white sneakers and socks will not rock your session. Closed shoes with socks that match your pants or nice sandals will look so much better. If you are at the beach most likely you will not have shoes on. During my sessions, even at the seashore, I insist that my people bring closed shoes and sandals so we have choices. A small bag in the trunk with extras and alternates are really helpful and come in handy so if you decide you made a wrong choice - you still have option
Pulling it all together.So the photo above addresses most of these concepts: The color red was a theme for them so I snuggled them together to minimize the amount of red that showed. I found a background that had red brick tones (blurred out) but which pulled it all together tonally. They coordinated their outfits beautifully, their faces are the lightest thing in the photo, his sleeves were perfect rolled up, they dressed like they were going out to dinner and they looked relaxed and radiant. These are things I talk about with all my clients. I always meet up in person with my clients so I can see who I am photographing and we can discuss all these things to help make their session fun and awesome. I hope this was helpful to prepare you for your engagement session or any portrait session actually. Check out my weddings here, then give me a call to set up a time to chat about your engagement or wedding day photography to see if we can work together. That's all for now. Spread the love on Valentine’s Day and please leave a comment so I know you were here. Thank you, Kim
Planning Your Senior Portrait Session.So make sure to start planning your senior portrait session at the end of your junior year in high school. You will have more time to be photographed in the summer when the weather is good and the days long. OR, like I did with Lexi here, in the fall of your senior year - BUT plan it early, there are only so many weekends in October and the weather is not always good. I ALWAYS make rain dates.
Big Changes Ahead.Once a student graduates from High School, everything changes. It happened with my two sons. The changes personally and physically are enormous. In fact, every parent of my high school senior portrait clients say the same thing one year later, "We are so happy we had a senior portrait safari with you, our daughter has grown up so much since then!"
Interview Photographers in you area.Find an experienced photographer and look at their work. Make a date to chat with them in person well in advance so you can get a session date that works for you. There are limited weekends for fall portrait dates at the peak of color. I will shoot during the week if school schedules allow. I usually meet many weeks prior to our session for 30 minutes or so. We discuss what kind of photos my senior wants, I tell them how I work with my seniors in order to capture who they are right now. I show them photo samples, possible locations, what to bring to the session and find out what they want to do with the photographs after the shoot. I show them wall prints, books and albums that I have created for previous clients to get an idea of what they might like for themselves. Meet Lexi, a young lady who loves riding horses. She could not bring a horse, so she brought her saddle. We had a great day on the Joshua Trust property near my studio and made some great portraits last fall. Take a look here- Then we had a change of clothes and continued our 'photo safari' to a few more of my favorite autumn locations and made these images below. Stay tuned for more senior portrait session photos coming soon! Contact me anytime if you are interested in planning your senior portrait session. If you are a junior in high school, let's start a conversation to see if I am the right photographer for you! Thank you for visiting my blog. Kim
SUMMER DREAMING.Do you miss summer as much as I do? Well, with another n'or easter rolling into Connecticut today, I am really done with winter. Earlier today I was reading a blog post about how going to the beach is so healthy for your mind and body and found myself lost in a fit of summer dreaming. Since it is not a good beach day I started photographing my seashell collection. Yes, it is kind of dorky, but I love photographing pretty things. Still, I would rather feel some warm sand under my feet and smell the ocean air. Hopefully, today is the last snow storm of the season!
My Favorite BeachesI feel very lucky to live here in southern New England because there are many nice beaches a few hours away. These shells and crab leg (above) come from my visits to Cape Cod's National Seashore . If you go there in the warm months, the beaches are amazing before 8 am and after 5 pm. (Less people and free parking.) We like the open space and feeling like we have more beach to ourselves. Here is a great spot I found early one morning on the National Seashore in Wellfleet, MA. Some signs of erosion over the past year or so... but still beautiful.
Did you know:
- A walk on warm sandy beaches activates thousands of nerve endings in your feet that are therapeutic.
- Sand exfoliates your feet and skin and makes them feel softer.
- The nutrients in sea water help retain our skin elasticity.
- And the sun and fresh air help our mood. Just thinking about these things cheers me up!