One of my favorite things about blogging is that there are always new challenges and learning experiences involved, and one of the most fun challenges has been attempting to improve my photography skills. It’s become a hobby of mine, and I really enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a lot to learn, but I feel that since I started this blog my photography has definitely improved. One of the reasons for that (aside from investing in a good DSLR camera, of course) has been overcoming my fear of the “M” and learning to shoot in Manual mode.
|Source: Kristen Duke Photography|
How did I do this? Well, several ways, mostly involving trial and error and lots of Googling. But one of the most helpful resources I found was the Kristen Duke Photography e-book, Say No to Auto. I purchased this e-book earlier this year and it was the perfect starting point for learning what all of those intimidating settings on my camera meant, and how to go about getting a good photo without relying on that “Auto” button. Why switch from Auto to Manual? That’s easy. Your pictures will improve significantly if you control everything yourself rather than relying on your camera to “guess” the right settings for the situation. You don’t have to be a blogger to find this e-book helpful. If you enjoy photography, or even if you just want to take better pictures of your kids, this is a great resource.
Why this e-book is awesome for photography beginners:
- It narrows down everything for you into 3 simple questions you need to ask yourself before you take a picture in manual mode, simplifying the process.
- It highlights the absolute basics.
- It can be printed as a 4×6 booklet, perfect for throwing in your camera bag and carrying it with you.
- It shows comparisons of photos taken in auto to those taken in manual mode so that you can actually see the difference.
- More info here.
If you are already comfortable shooting in manual mode and you are ready to move onto the next step, Kristen has another e-book called Get Focused which is great for intermediate photographers. I recently read this one too, and it was extremely helpful as well. Now that I’ve been shooting in manual for a while, I’m really working on improving my skills. This e-book has several great tips to really hone your skills and get the best possible shot. Many of the techniques in this e-book were exactly what I needed to know at this point in my photography “journey.” There were some points that made me go, “Aha!” – because I realized exactly what I was doing wrong, or needed to be doing, to get the right lighting/effect/etc., or even to compose my shot better.
|Source: Kristen Duke Photography|
To purchase one or both of the Kristen Duke Photography E-Books: Say No to Auto or Get Focused, click here. I highly recommend both of them! She also sells printed copies, and these would make great holiday gifts too. And guess what? Kristen is giving away a pair of these e-books to two of my lucky readers! You can still purchase them now just to get a head start on reading them, and if you win the giveaway, she will issue a full refund.
And in case you need a visual testimonial, below is an example of my photography “back in the day” when I first started this blog (on the left) and now (on the right) after using these e-books as a resource. I’m no pro, but there’s definite improvement.
To enter the giveaway, simply wait for the Rafflecopter box to load below, then follow the instructions. Giveaway ends on Monday, October 29 at midnight EST. There will be TWO winners, and each winner which will receive both e-books.
Disclosure: I received the Get Focused e-book for free to review. All opinions are my own.