Thursday, September 27, 2007

Taking better photos for your blog

Several readers have asked me how to take better photos for blogs. I'm hardly qualified to answer, seeing as how I use Kodak's cheapest digital camera and edit my photos with a one-year-old in my lap.

For specific techniques, don't miss Scribbit's tips for blog photography. (Can I invent a new word? blog-tography?).

Here are my own cheap techniques for taking better blog photos:

  • Do not use the flash. Do not use the flash. Do not use the flash.
  • Take your photo where the light is coming into the room. Open a door if necessary. If you have a sunny kitchen in the morning, take your morning photos there. If the afternoon sun makes your living room glow, by all means, snap in there!
  • Don't shoot head-on. Try a variety of angles.
  • Take at least 10 shots to get one decent image. After all, it's FREE!
  • Enhance your photos using the handy-dandy enhance button to even out shadows and lighting. I can't justify the expense of Photoshop, but I've found the basic Kodak editing software is more than adequate. (And again, free.)
  • Crop till you drop.
  • When I'm ready to save an edited image, I do so at the "best for web" resolution. My photos won't be as crisp online, but they load a lot faster for readers.

21 comments:

connie said...

Great advice. Thanks so much.

Rita said...

Why are your photo's free? What am I missing?

I love your site and your photos are always terrific. Thanks for this advice about using natural light.

Michelle said...

It is so funny that you posted about this Meredith! I was just telling my husband the other day about your photos on your blog. I'm always amazed at the "glow" in your photos and it's from the natural light. We just bought a newer digital a few weeks back and I'm finally figuring out how to take a better picture. After deleting a gazillion of them, or course!

Shannon@Idylwild said...

The photos on your blog are gorgeous. They never fail to provide a little inspiration for those days when I just can't get going:)

Kelli said...

I have to agree with oyu on all points, but especially the Kodak software. I'm amazed at how well just the "enhance" button works. But then I use the other features just to mess with it more :)

Jenny's Vegcafe said...

My husband just told me about turning off the flash so I'm hoping that improves my pictures ten fold.
You do have nice pictures.

Sarah E. said...

www.picasa.google.com
It's free and super easy.

HopewellMomSchool said...

Timely advice...I'm hoping to add photos to my blog very soon.

Jaimie said...

You are so right about using no flash. But no matter what I do some just do not come out right. It takes alot of practice. Thanks for the advice!

Anonymous said...

what about "blography" even shorter

Amy said...

Great tips! I definitely agree! Your photos are always inspirational as is your writing- thanks for the tutorial!

CDMOM said...

I've often wondered how you get the little green frame around your pictures? I have secretly admired your pictures as well. I will give these tips a try. Thanks

Meredith said...

cdmom, the frame around the pictures is part of the design of this Blogger template, not anything I've added.

If you search around, I believe you can find the code you can insert which will give a thin black frame around any photos in your blog, though.

Meredith said...

Rita,
Once you have bought a digital camera, your digital photos are always free...the only cost is when you print them at home or have them developed.

That means you can take as many shots as you like and only keep the ones you want. No film = free!

I think that anyone can download the Kodak photo editing software without cost, too.

If you'd like to edit your photos online, another good site is Pixenate.com. You can resize images, whiten teeth, and use that magical "enhance" button on any photo you upload.

I believe that Flickr has a similar filter which improves photos that you upload without even doing anything. It's caused a bit of controversy, as purists argue it makes people think they are taking better photos than they actually are!

Laural said...

Ah! The flash! I never thought to turn it off. I can't wait to get home and take more pictures now!

Jo said...

Great tips, thanks! And today's photo is gorgeous.

Donna said...

Thank you so much for your tips. I do use the flash and now I see that is likely my biggest mistake! Really appreciate your tips!

Scribbit said...

Yup, right on all points.

Cyndi Lewis said...

Timely once again. I was just thinking of asking how you take such pretty pictures (loving the book bag on the red door) and then I scrolled down and saw the next post! I love my digital camera but I haven't been editing my photos just uploading them to my blog. I like blog-tography by the way... let's spread it around the internet! I can't wait to try out these tips! Thank you!

Marsha said...

In addition to your pointers, I also subscribed to the "extreme closeup" school. There are few photographic missteps that can't be disguised by getting a really, really tight shot - at least on inanimate objects (and, hey, even some animate ones!)

Rita said...

Thank you Meredith for taking the time to answer my question. For some reason I wasn't thinking digital. I had a V8 moment.