What will raising the ISO do for my pictures?

fb 2 800fb 1

First of all….don’t just raise it to be raising it! Second…if your camera is older that about 5 years old…don’t go above 800 ISO. Why…you’ll get lots of noise! The newer the camera the better…it’s know as the ratio called signal to noise or just in simple terms the higher the ISO the more noise. Some new cameras can really go way above 800 and still have a great image. Ask your professional what is your cameras top number for consistent images.

OK….the two images above are a simple example of what happens when you raise the ISO. The camera picks up more ambient light. Notice the skin tone and dress….not much different…however the background really lightens up! That’s why you raise the ISO! Especially at parties when shooting people with dark hair in a dark room…raise it then! They will magically be seperated from the background…try it now!!!


Taking great portraits outside…aka using dept of field.

A great portrait starts with a simple background. Don’t shoot too close to anything too complex that might draw away from the subject.

Many people even professional even make a simple mistake. They are too close to the background. Regardless, if your are using a simple point and shoot or even a complex DSLR here are ways to make your pictures look professional.

1. Get the subject away from the background. The more the better.
2. Use your lens of at least 85mm or longer.
3. Make sure the background is simple. Don’t have lots of distracting things behind the subject.
4. Try different settings on your DSLR.
5. On a point and shoot….set it to portrait mode!
6. Focus on one of the eyes!
7. An overcast day is better and turn on your flash.
8. If possible turn your flash down at least 2/3 of a stop!

The 2 images below are a great example of what to do and what not to do! Both are taken with the same camera and same lens (85mm). One is at f 2.5 and one is at f 10. The one at f2.5 has the blurred background.

sma f2.5 1 1600sm ff10 1 80


How do I shoot bubbles?

Shooting bubbles is really very simple. I suggest you get either a small glass or a small clear tray.
Making the bubbles can be done in a couple of ways or the combination of the following works. I generally just use dishwashing soap and mix it around on the surface of the water. Sometimes I add a very small drop of oil to the water for smoothness. Or just use oil and water…it’s a completely different kind of bubble!

Sometimes I use natural light and sometimes a flash. Regardless use a tripod and make sure you lens is completely perpendicular to the bubbles and a small aperture like f16 or greater. There is a balance between the ISO and natural light…but I stay usually at 100 ISO in order to be able to crop in on the image.
As far as a lens….if you have a macro…use it…if not almost any normal lens will work. Think about this…it’s not the whole image that makes the picture, it usually a cropped portion.

There are several ways to make the bubbles colored. Any of these can be done separately or in combination.
1. Use food coloring.
2. Place different colored towels or fabric below the glass or tray.
3. Use gels with your flash. A single one or split them on the face of the flash.
The following are some of my recent examples…ENJOY

Oil and water with gels on flash cropped in tight

Oil and water with gels on flash cropped in tight

Soap with water and food coloring

Soap with water and food coloring

Soap and water with gels on flash...see reflection on bubble!  Half red and half blue on flash with a little opening in the center for the white.

Soap and water with gels on flash…see reflection on bubble! Half red and half blue on flash with a little opening in the center for the white.

soap and water with red gels.

soap and water with red gels.

Oil and water with gels on flash

Oil and water with gels on flash

Notice the rim of the glass…it can be cropped out of the image.

Last one….how did I do it???



Table Top Photography

At Creve Coeur Camera we have the pleasure of teaching you lots of different photography related thing.

One of our favorites is table top. The past two recent classes included over 15 students who learned everything from how to light items, how to photography smoke and close-up photography of food. The following are some of our results from those classes. If you want to learn how to shoot these types of pictures…just contact us at 314-567-3456 or visit us at www.cccamera.com.


This shows our new reflectors for table top

This shows our new reflectors for table top






Fun with Photoshop! Not actually using a photo!

Just because Photoshop is designed for editing photos doesn’t mean it’s just for photos!

The following images are just the simple gradient shapes that have been warped.

All you have to do is start with a new image in Photoshop.


These instructions assume you know basic Photoshop.

ps fun 2

1. File/new make the image 1400×1200 pixels.

2. Add a rectangle the size of the image and fill with black

3. Duplicate the background and double click the background and select the style gradient layer.

4. Click on the gradient editor and choose your preset or make a new one. Change the type to noise

5. Change the angle to your own preference.

6. Flatten the Image and then select the whole thing

7. Go to Edit/Transform and then Warp.

8. Start warping – I usually shrink the view by hitting CTRL and Minus to see the canvas and so I can stretch the colors.

9. The select the entire image and cut it.

10. Open us a new file and make some type of “cool” background…a gradient b&w works great.

11. Paste your file on top and see what you get!

3ps fun 3


Understanding Depth of Field

I have found the greatest tool to understand depth of field and even shutter speed.

This company called CameraSim has a wonderful tool for showing you the differences between different apertures and different shutter speeds.

It works on not only your computer…but your iPad, iPhone and more.

Not only is it free to try….it really works.

http://camerasim.com/camera-simulator/ is the website or just click on the links below!



How do I print photo from my iPhone….

Read on…it’s simple.

Just get the Creve Coeur Camera Prints app at the App Store! Search either Creve Coeur or CCC Prints.

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We all have hundreds of images just sitting on our phone….remember those images can’t be replaced. They are a moment in time and when your phone brakes, gets lost or falls in the river…your photos are lost. Yes, many of us have them saved on the cloud, but that’s costly.

Our app is simple to use just upload your images with our app and then choose the images your want printed. Everything from a wallet to a poster size print and everything in-between! Plus our app saves your images for later usage.


ONE HOUR prints come in two sizes….4×6 inch and 8×10 inch. So when you need it fast…CCC DELIVERS!

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Take the best family photos this holiday season!

Here are several tips that will make your family photo the best it can be.

1. Plan, Plan, Plan – Let everyone know you are going to do this way in advance so your kids can get mentally prepared….or even your spouse!

2. Set up the room – sometimes moving the couch in front of the fire place or in the middle of the room will really add to the depth of the image. Many times you see interviews on 60 minutes where they put 2 chairs opposite each other, but notice they are in the middle of the room…no one will notice. It will help you produce a slightly out of focus background and probably no shadows too! And this means…don’t shoot against the wall.

3. Simple clothes – I generally suggest either everyone wears a different color solid shirt or have everyone wear the same color. Make sure it’s not the same as the walls!

4. Either use natural light, a couple of soft boxes or get a Gary Fong or Rogue flash attachment – these will all make your images look much better…don’t use direct flash!!! And if your camera is relatively new, for natural light, up the ISO.

5. Either get close so you show the faces or pose everyone so the photo is balanced. Look online for great family poses!

This is a good source: http://digital-photography-school.com/posing-guide-21-sample-poses-to-get-you-started-with-photographing-groups-of-people

6. Relax – I always suggest using the family pet…they can really liven up the photo.

7. Take lots of photos – So you get the very best one. Use a remote so you are not running back and forth.

8. Sometimes an imperfect image is the best. It may just be the one of everyone laughing at Dad!

9. Check your camera, batteries, and memory card before starting – Don’t run out in the middle!

10. If you’re still confused…ask the professionals at Creve Coeur Camera for help!