INEXPENSIVE PHOTOGRAPHY RESOURCES

great photography resources

I love photography, I really do, but it can become a very expensive hobby–fast. I am thankful for the internet so I can easily look-up questions I may have or collect endless amounts of information for the small price of my time, (which is the best price for someone like me on a tight budget). I have a couple of resources that I have found that I have been meaning to share, the links are in The Directory (along with many others) but they are so good that I think they warrant a little more attention and today seemed as good a day as any to do just that.  The first one is Craft & Vision, created by author & photographer David duChemin, it’s a series of downloadable ebooks that are very well put together + very affordable. In their words, ‘Exceptional photography education at irresistible prices’.  Most of the books are $5 and in my humble opinion worth 10 times that amount.  You can download to your computer, but if you have an Ipad or Kindle type device it’s a bit more comfortable to crawl up on the sofa with.  I own the entire series of The Magic of Black & White, which has been an invaluable resource for me. Craft & Vision 11 ways to improve your photography is free and a great way to get familiar with their offerings and get an idea of what to expect in your future purchases. They have added so many titles since they first launched, subjects run the gamut from composition, to digital darkroom and even off camera flash. I think I am going to download a Lightroom one soon as I am still so new to using the program and could use a little help.

The second resource is a little more light-hearted, it’s a great resource for beginners, but for those that are more advanced don’t fret you too can find great information there as well. The company is called Photography Concentrate, their tagline is learn photography-faster (and funner, too). For an nominal investment they load you with video tutorials, in-depth guide books and tons of examples.  They also offer a 60 day 100% guarantee, which is pretty impressive!  They have a ton of freebies and a great blog with free tutorials + advice. It’s just a good site to bookmark if you are feeling like you want to learn more, but are overwhelmed by what is available or wish you had access to affordable photography lessons.

I hope that either of these sites inspires you to learn more or get out and try something new. I know it can be difficult to unearth all the treasures readily available to us today on the interwebs, but these two are definitely gems that are worth adding to your growing collection of photography resources!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future. Will it be the Bay area or Seattle? She’s open to your suggestions!

GREETINGS FROM NOLA

Nola Dog Besotted BlogI am just popping in really quick to let you know I am still away and didn’t have the foresight to come up with anything, charming or creative for this Monday (and Tuesday).  That’s what happens when you are in New Orleans, the real world no longer feels real, it’s as if you have slipped back in time, where the pace of life is a whole lot slower and my get up and go has got up and went. I have been wildly inspired by pretty much everything you can think of–the architecture, the history, the food (oh, goodness if I eat another Beignet..), the flora, the fauna (as seen above), just everything.  I leave on Tuesday, but Nola is high on my list of places to return to one day. I am thinking this would be a perfect spot for a future live Souvenir Foto workshop, the light here is amazing, lots of drama and moodiness, but you can also find beautiful + bright. There is also no shortage of photo-op’s!  I have been actively documenting my trip via Instagram if you are curious.  I will have more shots to share soon.

I shall see you back here on Wednesday per usual, can’t wait!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future. Will it be the Bay area or Seattle? She’s open to your suggestions!

JEN HUANG WORKSHOP PHOTOS + PRESET REVIEW

Jen Huang Workshop Photos i

Jen Huang Workshop Photos iiiI have a major confession, well not that major.  At my Jen Huang Workshop I didn’t shoot film.  I had good reason, I felt like I so rarely have the opportunity to shoot people (other than my husband) that I knew I was going be a wreck and then add film on top of that equation it could have been a disaster. I also really wanted to take advantage of all the beauty Jen had masterfully set-up for us, from the styled florals and vignettes (like that beautiful dress above) to the models, I didn’t want to miss a thing.  I must say that all the models were amazing and I do want to show you some other images soon, but I was just crazy for Laura Murray.  If you read my blog you know I have an obsession with beautiful skin and lashes and what you may not know is I also love me a good set of teethe, Laura was flawless. Besides the preset I used to make her photo black & white and a tiny mole that I removed (that she may have wanted to keep), I didn’t have to do any other edits to her (nada, rien, zip–no teethe whitening, no eye sharpening, no skin smoothing, nothing). Her eyes sparkled, her skin glowed, her hair was soft and in beautiful waves, she was the perfect subject. And get this, Laura isn’t even a model, that beautiful girl is a talented photographer!  I hope she doesn’t mind that I am plastering her face all over the blog this morning.

Now for the presets I used. I have had this set for awhile, I bought them when I got my copy of Lightroom 4, they are the Film Art Presets from Clickin’ Moms. I always feel like I need to add a disclaimer of not letting the name dissuade you.  You do not need to be a mom to participate in their forum or partake of their presets. I personally love these presets, even though I am a novice to LR and don’t really know yet how to manipulate the presets as well as I would like to. They do work best on RAW files and I currently do not shoot RAW but I was still able to use them and I am happy with my results. The thing I love most about presets over actions is you can scroll through each preset very quickly and get a preview of the results, it’s so much faster than using a Photoshop action. If you apply the effect and hate it you can just press ‘reset’ and your file is back to the original in a blink of an eye. I also feel like the Film Art presets do a beautiful job of mimicking film, the ‘moonstone’  is one of my faves in the color options and the one I used for the edit ‘Pewter’ is always a good choice.  It’s a great buy if you have been wanting a film preset collection but feel like the VSCO or the Red Leaf versions are currently too much of an investment. And you? Have you tried any of these preset collections or think there is a set I should have mentioned?  I do know that the look is not a substitute for the beauty of film, I do love the look of film so, but it is a nice alternative for those that want to get creative in the digital darkroom and add a nostalgic quality to their photographs.

make-up by 1011 makeup | styling by borrowedblu

P.S. One of my favorite floral studio’s Studio Choo is offering a very affordable flowering arranging class in April. Check it out!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.

LETTERING WINNERS!

Santa Barbara Fog by Tristan BThis is one of my shots from the morning of the Jen Huang Workshop.  I never acclimated to West Coast time my entire trip so I woke up at un-Godly hours but was able to watch the sunrise on multiple occasions due to my jet lag.  I really loved the photo-ops I had throughout this trip and of course being a California girl I will always have an affinity for my home state. I promise I will write more about the workshop and the trip, but I think there is something I need to address stat.  In my haste I did not announce any winners for the Hand Lettering Bestowal.  I did have a lovely young lady email me and of course I have lost her email (so organized with the emails), but because she was kind enough to gently remind me I would like her to be one of the winners (if she hasn’t given up on me).  I would also like to bestow some lettering on the following lovelies that entered to win and who patiently sat by whilst I neglected to announce a winner:  Karolina, Lori, Rebecca, Mary Macleod and Kathy.

To all the winners, please email me what you would like and I will get right on it! By the way, I chose so many winners for selfish reasons, I haven’t practiced my lettering for at least 14 days and I am anxious to get back to my practice and it is so much more helpful if I have a specific directive.  I am happy to be home, albeit my temporary home, but really my home now is where my husband and girls are, that being said I would prefer my home be on the West Best Coast. Sorry, I read that on a billboard and think it’s quite cheeky, so sorry to boldly rip it off.

P.S. One of my very favorite blogs + photographers, Caitlin of Roost asked me to do some lettering for her amazing beauty giveaway (gasp!) you would be remiss if you don’t go check it out (pinky promise). To say I was honored for the invitation is a complete understatement. To have my lettering on one of my fave blogs? It’s like winning the Lotto!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.

A WEEK OF FILM PHOTOGRAPHY | DIGITAL DARKROOM

EleanorPetry_Fuji_FP-3000b-+++

I am well aware that many of you don’t have the time or inclination to try film out, but still would like to achieve the look in the digital darkroom.  There are many ways to do so, but I am going to just go over the ones that I feel are the most authentic looking and the easiest to use.

I have been shooting with the VSCO app on my Iphone pretty much since the day they released it to the public.  I had been following some photographers that were in beta testing with the app and It was killing me to not get my hands on the #VSCO that I kept seeing.  This is a nominal investment for such a simple app with stunning results. The more lofty investment is the Lightroom presets, which I do own.  I had waited until they had improved the .jpeg conversion as I don’t shoot in RAW.  It’s one click, filmy goodness.

I mentioned 9 Lives Photoshop actions last year, but it deserves another mention. The designer of the actions, photographer Kim Miller has introduced more sets and is working on Lightroom versions  Kim has made her actions very affordable and they truly emulate film.  My only complaint is that the layers are not grouped, but you can always record that into the action if you know what you are doing. If you work with actions often you’ll understand why a grouped set is ideal, it may not bother you.

One of the signs of film is grain.  In digital photography we are usually trying to avoid this at all costs, but for the sake of emulating the film look you could shoot in lower light raising your iso almost as high as it can get.  I feel this produces lots of fine grain and when the photo is converted to black & white you get a very film like effect. This would be the most cost effective route to play with film effects in the digital darkroom.  Or you could always start in film by picking up a disposable camera like the talented Amy Merrick has done and try your hand at getting beautiful shots like these.

Photo by Eleanor Petry

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.

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