Thursday, June 13, 2013

France in Photos

I've shared some photos from France that help tell the story, but for this post, I want to focus on the pictures that I took and how I was able to capture them. I've said before that I need to give all the credit to Better Mom Shots. This is not an endorsement that I give lightly. I've read hundreds of photography tutorials and nothing has ever influenced the quality of the photos I've taken. More than that, nothing has ever influenced my happiness in taking pictures. If you're looking to take your photography to the next level, stop shooting in Automatic, or turn off your flash, check this out!

Here are some of my favorite photos and what I did to achieve the shot.
This is my absolutely favorite shot that I took. I knew I wanted the back to be blurry and the front to be completely in focus. This is called bokeh. I have a nifty fifty that could help achieve this but did not bring more than one lens with me to France. Because of what Monica taught, I got really close to the flower, set my aperture as low as possible, and balanced the light. This photo is hanging in our room because I adore it. It looks absolutely fantastic as an 8x10 in our bedroom.

This photo is not perfect, but I am pretty excited about it. I took it on the street very quickly after we left the bakery where I purchased it. I did it as quickly as possible because I was ready to eat it! I used the same technique as I did with the flowers. That's the bakery in the background. The lighting is a little dark because I adjusted the settings very quickly before finishing that delicious macaroon in 2 bites.
The Church of Reconciliation in Taize has gorgeous stained glass. They are about 12"x12" set about 2 feet back in a dark cavern. The church was dark when I took the pictures and it was an overcast day outside. I hoped it was sunny when I could take the photos, but it wasn't. I had to set the ISO really high to capture as much light as possible. I also set the shutter speed a little slower and steadied my arms on the shelf under the stained glass. This one is my favorite because it's Mary and Elizabeth both pregnant with Jesus and John. It's a beautiful reminder of such a precious story.
This is another one that took a high ISO and slow shutter. It was in a beautiful church and I loved this light. I steadied myself and tried to take in as much of the detail as possible.
This photo was taken from the top of a hill at a church in Taize. The sky was so white and gray, which made it difficult to get the details in the hills. I wish the sky was blue, but you get what you get. :-) To capture all of the details in the landscape I set the aperture very high. I wanted to get as much detail as I could and that's the best way to do it! Thankfully, the light was good because it was overcast.
This is another favorite. Like the photo above, I set the aperture as high as possible. I wanted to get every detail of Notre Dame from up there that I could. It was very bright and the day was gorgeous. Because of the light, the shutter speed was still very quick. This is an awesome shot, I think.
The Eiffel Tower sparkles at night. Thankfully, the sky stays light for a while after the Eiffel Tower starts with the twinkle lights. I had to set the shutter really fast to capture the twinkling so I set the ISO high so it was bright enough to do that. It's not a perfect, but I like it!

This photo was taken quite a bit later so the sky was very dark. I had to set the shutter much slower in order to get any light at all, even with ISO set high. It looks slightly fuzzy, but I was drinking wine on a boat, so that's about the best I could do. It's interesting to see how different the photo can be with just a few hours in between!

There you have it - some of my favorite shots from France!

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