Friday Favorites: Photography

Today I’m turning over the blog to Robin, summer sponsor and photographer extraordinaire. She’s put together a great Friday Favorites for you – enjoy!


 
One of Robin’s beautiful photos.

Hi everyone, I’m Robin from Around the Island Photography, one of this summer’s sponsors here on Dragonflight Dreams – that’s my badge with the poppies that you see over on the right sidebar, and thanks to the magic of the internet clicking on it will magically zap you over to my etsy shop, where you can see a wide range of my fine art, travel and nature photography as well as all occasion greeting cards and photo bookmarks.

I’ve always had a passion for photography, but until about 5 years ago it was a frustrated one. I would see a finished image in my mind’s eye but the shots I took never reflected what I was trying to say. It wasn’t until I had children and began photographing them in earnest that I realized my little point and shoot camera just wasn’t capable of producing the kinds of images I was looking for – I got my first DSLR so that I could “take pictures of my kids with those cool blurry backgrounds” – I didn’t even know the term for it (bokeh), let alone how to do it! Once I got that new camera I became what my loved ones might call “a bit obsessed”. I quickly discovered a profound love for fine art, nature and travel photography (often all rolled up into one) and began to read all I could and to practice practice practice until my skills caught up to my vision. These days, another camera upgrade, several lenses and thousands of images later I am proud to call myself a self-taught fine art photographer.

As a self-taught photographer my most important learning tool is not my camera, because even those little point and shoot cameras or phones can take fabulous pictures, even if they can’t get that yummy bokeh. Whether you’re an experienced professional or an interested amateur looking to improve the snaps from your next vacation, the most important tool is the one you have right here in front of you – the internet. There are a wealth of fabulous tutorials and photography websites out there to help you improve your photography and I’m delighted that Amanda has given me the opportunity to share a few of my favorites with you here today:

  • Everyday Elements – this amazing website features both how-to photography tips (like this one on how to achieve sharper photographs) as well as super-helpful tutorials for Photoshop Elements and full Photoshop users.
  • Coffee Shop Blog – a wealth of free stuff for photographers and scrapbookers, Rita is incredibly generous in sharing her knowledge. This one is not to be missed.
  • Shadowhouse Creations – free textures, photoshop brushes and more.
  • Photonaturalist – quick tips for nature photography
  • Sky Blue Sky – inspiring photography from a Far East-based photographer
  • Digital Photography School – chock full of helpful articles, hints and the occasional giveaway
  • [b]ecker’s blog – insanely good wedding photography – truly the stuff dreams are made of
  • And of course Pinterest is chock full of inspiration and tips (BUT please make sure that the photographer is okay with pinning – a Pinterest button on their site is always a good sign, and never pin without proper attribution and a correct permalink to the original site).

Thanks again Amanda for inviting me to share my passion with your readers. Visit me at http://aroundtheisland.blogspot.com/ to see more of my work – I’m about to head back to Israel after a few weeks visiting family in New England and will be sharing lots of new images in the days and weeks to come.