A Summer Photo Round-up & Photography Tips

Chicheley Hall Milton Keynes

I’ve always loved photography ever since I completed my A level in Photography in sixth form. Even though I studied using a manual SLR camera and used darkroom techniques, I have always wanted to step up my camera game on the digital side. Ian and I are trying to save and search for our first “together” home at the moment, so all pennies are pretty much going towards that right now, but once that’s sorted I’d quite like to get a bit more of a professional camera we can both use and enjoy.

I must say, the Panasonic Lumix G compact system cameras do look pretty awesome and I’ve seen a few bloggers and Instagrammers using them. There’s a wide selection and a range of different priced ones to choose from, so you can choose what’s right for you. They have 4K video/photo, the top model has the most ah-mazing technology to ensure you achieve amazing video pieces with suppressed noise…and there’s even some available in different colours too, which look great. The team have even put a helpful guide together on how to change shutter speed too, which is super handy and can help you capture some great shots!

As the leaves begin to turn and the nights start to close in, it’s obvious a new season has arrived. As much as I’m super excited for all the fun of autumn… I thought I’d reminisce a little and do a little summer photo round-up, sharing my favourite shots from, let’s face it, a pretty nice summer right?round

In this post, I’ve also shared a couple of beginner tips to help you if you’re really new to the photography game and want to understand a few ways of how to utilise your camera and get a great shot. At the end of the day I’m by no means an expert, I’m forever learning myself. I just hope these are helpful and fun tips to try for some of you reading this.

Yogurt and fruit topped with ceral - Real Tapas Barcelona

The Swan Salford

Depth of Field

Ohh I love a bit of shallow depth of field. I think this is a pretty easy way of getting a great and visually interesting shot.

A shallow depth of field is where you can either make the object you’re photographing in the foreground really in focus with the background out of focus, or vice versa to get an intriguing shot.

I find this really useful for blogging when I put the foreground object in focus as it’s a great way to shine a light on what you’re talking about, but still give an essence of the background and where the object is placed.

When holding your camera, hold it relatively close to the object you’re focussing on and try to keep some of the background in the frame. If you have a touch screen, you can touch the screen on the point you wish to focus on. If not, point the camera directly at the object, half press down the shutter button and keep holding it halfway down whilst you position the camera for the perfect shot. Your camera should keep focus on the object, whilst blurring the background a little.

On my camera I have a setting which helps with this process. Sometimes it gets some great shots, other times I’m not so keen on the outcome. So if you have a similar setting, give it a go, but try both processes and see which you prefer.

The story behind the photos above? The beautiful bowl of yogurt, fruit and cereal, was a delicious breakfast I had when we were in Barcelona back in July. This was in a place on La Ramblas called Real Tapas…we were so impressed, that we went back there for breakfast the next day. Barcelona is such a beautiful city, with so many amazing things to see, such as the Sagrada Familia, amazing architecture and great beaches too. I’ll be finishing my blog post about our trip very soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

The second photo is actually from the spring, from the time we went to a local restaurant in a gorgeous nearby village to review their new spring menu. It was such a good meal! You can read the post *here* if you’re local to the Milton Keynes area and fancy finding somewhere new to eat.

Chicheley Hall Milton Keynes

Framing

When you’ve decided what you want to photograph, think outside the box when it comes to framing the object. Whether it’s trees when you’re out and about, props around an object on a flat lay…it’s all about trial and error. Try it, if it works, great! If not, not to worry…that’s the great thing about digital photography these days, we can take photo after photo and select the best.

Rule of Thirds

Another one to consider is the “rule of thirds” – another photography phrase here that you might have heard bounded around! Basically, the “rule of thirds” is where you imagine (or switch on the option on your camera screen) that the image your about to capture is divided up into nine equal parts by two horizontal lines and two vertical lines.

For example, if we look at the image above, the water is roughly where the bottom horizontal line would be, and the trees are where the vertical lines would be. The rule of thirds when applied, is said to give images a little more life and intrigue.

I took this photo of Chicheley Hall earlier this year when I was reviewing a stay there. Isn’t it stunning? It’s just the most beautiful and grand house, set in gorgeous grounds. The room we stayed in was so grand and had amazingly high ceilings. The windows of the room we stayed in are actually pictured in the above photograph… so you can imagine the view.

Fruit dessert in wine glass

The Brothers Supper at The View Milton Keynes

The Power of Editing

Ever freak out about your photos whilst taking them, thinking they’re not looking great? Don’t fret! You can always edit the images afterwards and you needn’t have fancy Photoshop style software to really change how the photo looks.

As you can see above, I’ve edited a photograph I took of a fruity dessert in a wine glass. The original image is a little washed out and weak looking, so I wanted it to look a little more punchy. How did I do it? A simple filter on my computer in a matter of seconds! Perfect when life is a little hectic. Have a little play around with the photographs on your computer. Right click on the image you wish to play around with (maybe make a copy of it first before you play around), and then click “open with”. Take a look at the options you have, you may find a software program that has filters like mine, or at least the option to brighten/darken, change colours slightly, etc. Definitely have a go at playing around with an image or two and see if you can create a style you love.

It could be really helpful if you’re a fellow blogger, want decent looking images in a timely fashion, but don’t have all the fancy equipment and software just yet!

This dessert was enjoyed at “The Brothers’ Supper” in Milton Keynes, a truly new and unique way to dine. I headed down there with fellow blogger friends of mine and we were treated to the most gorgeous 6 course dinner. I tried some foods I’d never tried before and enjoyed foods I loved, served in new and unusual ways too. The Brothers’ Supper is definitely one to watch!

 

So there you have it, my little round-up of some of my favourite summer photos and moments, along with a couple of helpful tips to boot. I hope you enjoyed it and find the tips useful!

 

*This post is sponsored by Panasonic, but all the lovely photos, thoughts and handy tips in this post are mine as always.

Join me on social… Twitter: @Amanda_Alston // Instagram: @Amanda_Alston // Facebook: facebook.com/amandaalstonblog

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2 Comments

  1. October 4, 2018 / 12:58 pm

    I never put much thought into my passion for photography so I don’t practice often but thanks for the tips! Great for a beginner like me 🤗

    • amandaalston
      October 5, 2018 / 7:31 pm

      You’re very welcome! I hope you find them useful 🙂

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