Kim P from Lewis Creek Photography is here today with a post about…Photography and “A Few of Her Favorite Things!”

LewisCreek Water Mark

I love photography and have for a few years now. I am constantly reading articles and information about all things photography and have gathered quite a collection of tips, tricks, and ideas along the way. I am primarily a nature and still life photographer so most of my equipment is geared towards macro, or up close, photography. Today, I thought I would share with you a few of my favorite things that have definitely helped me achieve better images.

1.  White foam core board.

The inexpensive backing material typically used behind framed prints is actually even better out front when used to bounce light onto a subject. I picked up this little hint from food photographers and it has become one of my favorite pieces of equipment to date. Here is a comparison of two photos using the same settings (F/8, 50mm, 1/20 sec, ISO 400). The only difference is I set up the white foam core to the left of the pumpkin to bounce light back on it. This trick is perfect for filling in light more evenly without the harsh shadows from lamps or flash.

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Here is how the set up looked for this pumpkin photo:

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2.  Remote Shutter Release

My next favorite tool is a remote shutter release. There are many varieties available on the market but my favorite is this simple wireless remote for Canon. It is inexpensive and means that I do not have to worry about camera shake when I use my tripod.

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3.  White Diffuser

This handy little tool definitely makes my top 5 list. It is a compact 12-inch diffuser that collapses and can be tucked away in the zip pouch. When faced with lots of contrasting light, this diffuser evens out the light and minimizes harsh shadows. Because of its size, I can easily carry it with me whenever I go out shooting.

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4.  Paper Background

Next up on my favorites list would have to be fun colored paper or prints for backgrounds. Since I photograph mostly nature and the weather in the Midwest is not always cooperative, I sometimes bring the subjects indoors and set up in the studio. If I do not want the background to look like I am indoors, a little creativity is needed. I found that keeping colorful paper on hand, like what is pictured below, really helps me achieve this look. This particular roll of paper is Jolee’s Boutique Hand-dyed Artisan Paper. When shooting at larger apertures, the background is blurred and the result is that it looks like it was shot outside.

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This photo of a Goat’s Beard flower gone to seed was taken indoors using this paper as the background:

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5.  Favorite Photography Magazines

Another thing that helps me create great images is constantly learning and practicing. I have read many books and magazines about photography and two in particular have emerged as my favorites: Click and Photo Graphic. Both publish 4-6 times a year and provide tips, ideas, and inspiration. Click showcases products, vendors, photographers, and education. Photo Graphic has a unique focus of education with each issue and is 100% ad free.

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While I do have many more pieces of equipment and tools in my gear bags, these are definitely my top go-to items for helping me achieve my best possible images. Thanks and happy clicking!

What is your favorite photography tool or resource?