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No Flash Zone

It's been a while since I've done a photography post, but I had some fun with the camera this weekend and wanted to share more tips for using your SLR!

A good friend of mine asked me to take some pictures of her and her little girl this weekend. We decided on Duke Gardens as our destination because that is one of the best places to take pictures around Durham.

So, one thing I've been doing some reading on lately is natural light photography. Seems that most good photographers don't use that built-in flash that comes with the camera. Some are even snobs about it. And that's how they get those wonderful, light-filled shots you see on photography sites.

It really is all about timing - the right time of day (not noon), the right angle of the shot,  using front lighting (light behind you) to enhance your subject from the front seems to be the best way to start playing with light.

You also want to get the white balance correct - here's a good post on this from the Pioneer Woman's blog:

Actually, the Pioneer Woman's intro to photography entries are quite great, so here's a link to everything she has to say about photography, and I've found it to be a wonderful resource:

Another fun lighting technique I've been trying to learn is the catch light - when the subject's eye has a reflection in it and it makes the eye twinkle in a way. I finally was able to capture some this weekend with sweet baby Ava. I took LOTS of pictures, to get just a couple of great shots, but I feel like I'm making progress.

There's still so much more to learn!


  1. WOW! these are such beautiful shots!

  2. Nice work, super cute kid too!

  3. These photos are amazing! She has beautiful eyes.

  4. You have gotten SO GOOD! You will have to take some picture so of our family this Fall. What is your rate?? I am so proud of you because these are awesome!

  5. Beautiful photos!

  6. oh my goodness, SA, your photos are amazing!! I can't wait to play around with our camera more soon! I am bookmarking!

  7. These are GREAT photos! It's amazing what natural light can do. I try to avoid my flash at all costs!

  8. Beautiful photos! I have been doing a lot of reading and taking some classes. I have a question for you! Do you use Photoshop or Elements? I am trying to decide what to buy. I have a free trial of PS and did one night class on it and I swear it is the most unfriendly user thing I have ever done!!! Your catch lights are fantastic and you got some stunning shots!

  9. You.
    are my hero.

    I LOVE THESE!!!!!!!!


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