Monday, February 6, 2012

a year of Christmas: February edition

 I decided upon my February Christmas project. I've had fabric to make the birds from this book (click on the first photo to see the birds) for a while now, but I didn't expect I'd get them done for this past Christmas.

If you've been following along, you'll know I made these birds for my two nieces (see them here). I loved how they turned out, so I thought having one for each of us would be nice. Plus, they aren't very Christmas-y, so working on them in February won't feel like absurdly drawing out the holidays. *smile*

So who's joining me? Come on, get Christmas crafting!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

book review: The Key to Taking Pictures Like A Professional Photographer

Have you seen this beautiful book yet? I have several photography books, but none are as simple, honest, and beautiful as this one. I've read so many that are better served as a coffee table book, offering not much more than pretty pictures. I've read others that are so complicated and lengthy that it's hard to remember what technique they were talking about by the time you've finished reading about it.

This book is so easy to read; Katie talks right to us as amateur/hobby photographers in a conversational manner. She shows two versions of the same image and explains why one is better. What I like about that is that she's showing us the most common mistakes (that I make, anyway) and how to correct them. Katie shows us what gear she uses and why and even included a whole chapter on editing.

I've read this book (I have the e-version) twice so far, and I keep going back to reread sections and to browse Katie's lovely photos. She has just released a handy guide on exposure that can be carried in your camera bag. Right now, she's having a 20% off sale on both the e-book and the hardcover. I might just have to cave and buy the hard copy... Katie also has workshops which are on the top of my list for when I move back to the US.

If you love taking photos, but are disappointed with what you're getting from your camera, I highly recommend this book. I definitely find myself reaching for my nice camera more often now that I can make better use of the settings and get better images. I just wish I had more time to go out and practice!