This is just way too fun!

We are planning a cruise for early 2014 and one of our excursions will be snorkeling! We considered buying a couple of disposable waterproof cameras to use, but those pose a couple of problems: 1. You can’t see what you are photographing (digital has spoiled me). 2. There are a limited number of pics you can take.  3. The resulting files aren’t digital, so it’s harder to share and edit or delete if need be. 4. No video capabilities. We thought of others, but you get the idea. So…what to do? Well, this is the point and shoot digital camera that we own currently:
It’s a Canon Powershot Elph 300 HS, and it’s a great little P&S camera. We love it. After a little research online (VERY little research), we found a fun case that renders the camera waterproof and for just under $60!
Canon WP-DC320L Waterproof Camera Case
There is another case, about $160, that is even better quality, but we can’t afford an extra $100 for it. We decided to go with the one above and give it a try!
Here are some of the results – these were taken in a fairly dark swimming pool, so I was impressed with the results:

What was the verdict? Thumbs up!!
If you are taking a vacation near some water, why not check online to see if there is a waterproof case for your camera! You might be surprised, and it’s a great investment, in my opinion. We also took some video and the sound picks up quite well, too. Bonus! 
Can’t wait for our Cruise!!!

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Become A Better Photographer! A fabulous new eBook!

I am so excited to share a fabulous find!! It is no surprise that I LOVE photography, especially the kind that captures the every day moments in my life. I have been a professional photographer for about 6 years and a “mom with a camera” for many more, so I would say I am experienced, but every now and then I seem to hit a creative roadblock. I need some serious inspiration to move forward with excitement!
 I recently (like, this week) read a new eBook from Rebecca Cooper that gave me just that inspiration, and I even learned a LOT of great tips as a bonus! It is called “Real. Life. Photography” and it is available from Ella Publishing.

Hey, I thought I knew a LOT about photography (and, maybe I do) but in this 70 page eBook, I was so impressed by the quality and quantity of the tips, and I loved how easy to read it was. There were chapters about lighting – how to find and use the BEST light possible, chapters on how to capture real moments, real relationships in our photos, and there were even chapters on how to enhance the photos in Photoshop with really simple instructions. I really, really love this book and I highly recommend it for anyone who loves to capture memories in photographs – whether you are a seasoned professional or an amazing mom with a camera! I think kids could even learn a few great tips from this book as well – it really is for everyone. I give it an enthusiastic TWO THUMBS UP!

Real.Life.Photography eBook - how to take amazing photos in real-life situations

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Tutorial – Learning About Aspect Ratio

A while ago I had a “Ask Me Anything” post and one reader wrote in to ask:

12. Micki asks “That age old ‘printing certain sizes’ question. Some say you have to crop to a specific size but what if I like the crop the way it is??? I was also told I would have to save for each size…. that could mean 2 or 3 saves for particular photos….. i’m so confused…. personally I should be able to crop the photo to the 2:3 or whatever dimension and I should be able to get 4×6, 5×7, etc.. prints from that without it ‘cutting’ some of the picture.
 
That is a great question, and a common one. Today I want to share my answer as it’s own post, one that you can refer back to whenever you need a little reminder 🙂 
 
What you’re really wondering about is ASPECT RATIO. It’s essentially the relationship between the width and height of the photograph. When you are cropping your photo to the 3:2 ratio, for example, you are cropping a relationship, not an actual specific measurement. Does that make sense? 
Let’s say that I have an image with a 3:2 aspect ratio. The actual size of this image in pixels can be 300 x 200, or 600 x 400,  or 1350 x 900. So long as the relationship between the width and the height is always 3 to 2, the aspect ratio does not change even though the size of the image does. The resolution can be different.
 
So, a 3:2 ratio will give you a completely different crop than a 5:7 ratio, for example. Here is an example chart of different common print sizes, and their aspect ratios:
 
Print Size Aspect Ratio
4×6 3:2
5×7 7:5
8×10 5:4
20×30 3:2
So, if you upload a photo that has a 3:2 ratio, but you want to print a 5X7 or an 8X10 print, you are going to lose some of your photo as it will have to be cropped. Let me show you an example.
This is a photo of my daughter. It currently has a 5:7 aspect ratio. Different cameras automatically produce images with different aspect ratios. Let’s say my camera produces photos at a 5:7 aspect ratio, like this one.  I could order a print as a 5X7 and it would appear exactly like the photo below.
But let’s say I wanted to print it as a 4X6, not a 5X7. Well, let’s see what happend when I try to crop the image in photoshop, using a width of 6 in and a height of 4in. 
 
Can you see the part at the bottom of the photo that will be cut off? That’s because a 4X6 photo has an aspect ratio of 2:3, NOT 5:7. 
If I wanted to order the print as an 8X10, what would happen?
Now I’m losing some off the side, because an 8X10 photo has an aspect ratio of 5:4, not 5:7. If you want the photos you are seeing to come out in print exactly the way you see them, you can either use a camera that automatically uses the same aspect ratio as the prints you order (eg. use a camera that produces image with an aspect ration of 3:2, if you order 4X6 shots). OR, crop the photos in a photo editing program BEFORE you order your prints. That way you can control what get’s cropped off your photo. There is no “one size fits all” ratio that works for every print size, unfortunately.

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