Books ‘n Blogging: To blog or not to blog: Photography tips – part I

to blog or not to blog

One of the things I enjoy about blogging is taking all the pictures myself (apart from the outfit pictures that is). In today’s blogpost I will share with you a couple of photography tips which will make your pictures look better in an instant!

I have always enjoyed photography, but I am definitely no expert. I only had a couple of photography workshops years ago, but they were given by the most passionate photographer, and so it happened that I learned heaps during these lessons 🙂

Of course you will learn even more when following a full photography course. But you can uplift your photography skills bearing in mind just a few tips… here’s part I!


In these days of digital photography, most of us just click away ending up with hundreds of pictures. But did you actually look carefully through the lens? Or did you just keep on clicking, hoping to take thé shot?

During the first workshop I followed, our teacher emphasized the importance of looking before taking pictures. Of course, when you just want to take a snap, the composition, light,… isn’t all that important, but when you want a picture that is just slightly different and slightly better than any other picture, it sure makes a difference if you look carefully.

Bear in mind the composition, the position of your subject, the light, make sure nothing sticks out of ears/heads (nothing so annoying than a lamppost coming out of someone’s head!), bend your knees to get another perspective, look up, look behind you, step to the right or left,…

I took the picture below at my nephew’s wedding. I suddenly saw the reflection of his bride waving goodbye to the neighbours as they stepped into the car towards the town hall. I took the shot and it turned out to be a very spontaneous image. It was one of my favourite snaps from that day to be honest as it is so natural. The guy on the right is my nephew (the groom), the little girl is their cute daughter who was flowergirl.


Sitting on a beach in Malaga… with my best friend… eating tapas… oh how wonderful that was! And then my friend said ‘have you looked up’, so I did and what I saw made the experience even better! This picture has been my screensaver for a long time as I think it looks so relaxing and it takes me back to that beach in Malaga in an instant!


Don’t take full-automatic pictures

I must admit that my camera is often on full automatic (the non-flash full automatic that is). This is easy for when you want to take quick snaps as you don’t have to bother about the settings of the camera.

But if I have a bit more time, I switch off the full-automatic option and put my camera on ‘A’ mode. This enables me to choose the aperture and by chosing the aperture, I can control what I put into focus. The larger the aperture, the blurrier the background gets. This puts the main subject into focus. The smaller the aperture, the clearer the background will be.

In the picture below you see my sister and her husband on their wedding day. If I had taken this picture on full-automatic, the entire image would have been sharp. That wasn’t my intention though. So I used the ‘A’ mode on my camera and put the focus on my sister. You can see how the rest of the picture is blurry, which makes my sister the main object of this image (thanks Cindy for letting me use this pic… 5 more days until your first anniversary!!!).

DSC_0637 zw-w

The same goes with the picture below: I put the focus on the flowers in the foreground, blurring out the building in the background (the building happens to be Hampton Court Palace… stunning!!!).


Invest in a 35 or 50 mm lens

A fixed 35 or 50 mm lens just makes all the difference. They have a fixed aperture. The larger the aperture, the softer the result.

A disadvantage of such a lens is, that you can’t zoom with it… but hey… didn’t you get a pair of legs to use? Use them to get closer/further from the object you want to photograph 🙂

The picture below was taken with a 50 mm lens, aperature f1.8. The focus is on the hands of the newlyweds and everything else in the picture doesn’t matter!


The picture below was taken with a 35 mm lens, aperature f1,8. As the foreground of the picture is blurry, your eyes are automatically drawn towards the collar of the blouse and the sequins of the scarf.


The picture below is taken with a 50 mm lens (aperature f1,8). The focus is on the flowers, blurring out the wedding invitation in the back.


There are more tips I will share in a couple of weeks’ time. Don’t miss them! In the meanwhile, I hope these tips are helpful for you. More tips are always welcome!

Love, Kathleen

to blog or not to blog


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