February 29, 2012

Lightscoop & Shoot in Manual Tips

First things first. I am NO expert on photography. I have soooo much to learn, but have tried to pick up tips and tricks along the way since I got my DSLR. I also attended a "momtographer" workshop one Saturday morning and it really helped me understand my camera better. Best $50 bucks I've spent in awhile. If you can find one in your area, I highly recommend it.

Needless to say, I am starting to get how all the settings on the camera interact, and for the most part know how to adjust them to fix things when I'm shooting in manual. That being said, the one area I always struggle with is lighting, and the need for a flash - particularly on indoor photography and at night. I don't like to use the pop-up flash if possible, as it seems to really wash things out a lot of the time. About a year ago I heard about the Lightscoop and decided to buy it. It is basically a piece you attach to the top of your camera, and it makes the flash bounce up instead of directly hitting the subject. For only $30, I definitely think it's a good investment and really softens up the flash. For optimal results, it says to use in a room that has ceilings that are 10-12 feet high. Our last house had higher ceilings and it really didn't work well. The house we're in now is perfect for it though and I think it makes all the difference in pictures because we have horrible natural light in most of this house.  
Here are a few examples. All of these pictures are straight out of the camera. Again, this is not the best piece of equipment and isn't fool-proof, but I definitely use it the majority of the time when shooting inside my house. For my purposes, it doesn't make sense to invest in a more-expensive external flash, so this is a good solution. If you're interested, you can read more reviews or purchase it on Amazon here.

The other thing I wanted to mention is a site I recently heard about called Shoot in Manual Tips. Basically you can sign up for free to receive emails with tips and step-by-step lessons that will be emailed out every few weeks. The goal is to help you take your camera off auto. You can sign up here. I haven't got to read it yet, but I got the first lesson via email yesterday. I'm excited to check it out!
I hope this information is helpful to some of you. I can't emphasize enough that I really don't know much about photography, so I hope that those of you who do aren't laughing your heads off at me. :) BUT if you do have any kind of photography links or tips to share, I'd love for you to do so in the comments! 
Manny is sick today so we'll be skipping gymnastics and cuddling on the couch instead...much more my speed anyway. :)


  1. I love this! I'm starting a "Momtog" online photography class this coming month! I'm super excited about it! Moms gotta have good photos of their kids. Your photos are always beautiful! =)

  2. I hope Manny is feeling better soon.

  3. thanks for the tips I may have to get a lightscoop, I hate using the flash too. I hope Manny feels better soon

  4. Love the photo site and just signed up. I take photos of my grandbabies and haven't been too successful in manual. Another blog I follow, the woman teaches online photography classes and I just took the basic DSLR in January and have signed upfor the advanced. Very hands on, great teaching style and I have to say I actually understood what she was teaching. Now to practice more and strive to know what to set my camera on quickly. By the time I figure it out, I've lost the moment.

  5. Got my stationery....lovelovelove!!!! You seriously rock!!!!!

  6. I still haven't gotten myself a lightscoop yet. I did a diy flash diffuser out of some embroidery stabilizer (what I had lying around. ha!) and it has worked pretty decently, but I know the lightscoop would be better. Don't sell yourself short...great post, girl!

  7. I just ordered a LightScoop about a month ago and I am in LOVE with it !:)

  8. I've been looking at the lightscoop, and you've convinced me I need it. Thanks for the IRL examples.

    I hope Manny is feeling much better by now!

  9. I just got a lightscoop and it doesnt seem to work nearly as well as yours but I think I still need to experiment some more. Of course it might have to do with our ceilings being so tall.

    Thanks for the link to the manual tips-Im definitely trying to learn and get better in this area.


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