Project 365 #03: Experimenting with light

Experimenting with light - probably too much light but I love his outline on the whorly log

Over Christmas we got into the lush habit of lounging on the sofa on gloomy afternoons, watching films. Christmas presents mostly consisted on box sets, and now that we are old enough to manage more than just Disney animations, the sofa is a tempting alternative to blustery winds and soggy walks. However, as part of our one word resolution, Mummy is determined to get us outdoors, if only for an hour before the lazing begins.

This was just an hour, to our local play park, and the sky threatened intermittently to rain us off. But despite our initial reluctance, we pretty soon shook off the cobwebs and actually began to enjoy ourselves – even my brother almost cracked a smile, and if you’ve lived with a 6  year old boy, you’ll know how difficult that is to capture on camera.

As a birthday gift, we gave Mummy a Samsung NX1100. She has no idea how it works, but here’s her first efforts at experimenting with light:

Experimenting with light – kids

Experimenting with light - in the playground

The light was blinding, but watery, if that makes sense, bright, but low in the sky on a winter afternoon.

Experimenting with light - blinded!

Took at least 20 shots to get half a smile!

Experimenting with light - Always grinning

Whereas I’m always happy to conjure a smile for the camera.

Experimenting with light - love the shadow on this one.

Love the shadow on this one.

Experimenting with light - selfie. Like Mother like daughter

I took my own camera – like mother like daughter – and experimented with selfies. The Bug worked on perfecting his avoidance technique.

Experimenting with light - even Daddy was enjoying himself at the playground

Daddy, always an extra child, took his turn on the zip wire.


Experimenting with light – reflections

Experimenting with light - cloud reflections

The park was full of puddles – actually, ponds and lakes would be more accurate.

Experimenting with light - reflections in puddles

All of these images had just a basic amount of editing in Picmonkey – as per the advice on Love All Blogs Better Photo Project last week.

Experimenting with light - I was focused on the reflection of the fence, hadn't noticed the ripple from The Bug

Focusing on the reflection, we didn’t notice The Bug’s ripple effect until we came to edit, but loved it. Just wish we could have kept the colour and light on the water, without the harshness on his face. Anyone know how we do that?

Experimenting with light – plants in focus

Experimenting with light - plants in focus

When The Bug climbed down from his tree stump, he pointed out these funghi – the shot looked terrible on the camera viewer, but once we uploaded, the detail was just lovely. We see some amazing garden shots on Mammasaurus’s gardening linky (click the badge below), but have no idea how to maximise these:

Experimenting with light - where do I focus on plants?

So, what do you think? How do I make the most of light, where do I put my focus on plants, and how do we get The Bug to smile more often?

Experimenting with light and cloud

I’m linking this post up with Country Kids at Coombe Mill, the 365 Project at The Boy and Me, the Better Photo Project at Love All Blogs, How Does Your Garden Grow at Mammasaurus, and What’s the Story at Podcast.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky


50 thoughts on “Project 365 #03: Experimenting with light”

  1. What a great day to experiment with light. Winter is so good for that – low but blinding light! I love the shadow in Glib Girl’s photo too – it looks like a pair of tights with boots on! And the reflections look amazing.

    As for getting bug to smile more…only tickling works for us. Requires 2 adults at a minimum 😉 x

  2. Lovely, lovely photos. I love the one with your daughter’s shadow and the reflection of the sky in the pond -beautiful! #CountryKids.

  3. I think your photos are lovely as they capture the children’s moods so well. My eldest has never been fond of smiling for photos which is a trait inherited from his dad but my youngest can’t half put on a show in front of a lense. Their contrasting expressions can make for some truly amusing shots.

    I am delighted to have found your blog – it is a great read:)


  4. You’ve taken some lovely photos with your new camera. Everyone looks so happy enjoying their hour outside, even Dad can’t resist the zip wire. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

  5. Wow, I love the reflection shots! I know the feeling of not really wanting to go out when it’s so cold, I’m a summer sun kinda gal, but it does make a huge difference to how you feel once you get outside and have some fun.

  6. Wow some pretty great use of light from my point of view and love your reflection photos. Looks like you had a blast at the park. The only hint I have for smiley pictures is to take natural shots and don’t ask them to pose for the camera. My wee man is too used to seeing me with a camera now though so he is not bothered by me snapping away.

  7. ooo oo we have the same camera I think! Aces! I found mine really hard to get to grips with to start and used mainly the ‘Smart’ mode for everything. (Still do but don’t tell anyone !)

  8. You captured some really lovely shots with your new camera – I especially like the water reflections!

    I’m planning to try out some tips given to me recently on shooting in bright sunlight – use the fill flash and /or increase the shutter speed. Sounds odd but was told that can help when taking a portrait when there’s bright light.

    • I wish I even knew what that meant – I’m going to take a course so I can understand a bit more – it’s such trial and error at the moment

  9. Love all your experimenting, it’s a great way to actually look at what works! I tend to just take hundreds of photos on the basis that at least a few of them will be good 🙂 I’m trying to focus on technique a little more…

  10. I think you have done a really lovely job, I particularly like the reflections pictures and GG on the roundabout. Mich x

  11. Love the blues in the first few shots and love the first shot in particular, the focus is spot on #BetterPhotosProject

  12. So many wonderful photos Helen. Love all of them especially that one of GG – just beautiful. Best advice I can give you is practice, practice, practice!!! For nature close-ups, I like to get up close and personal. With the lovely berry bush, I’d pick fewer of them, zoom in and capture the detail – depends what you like though. Shall I link you up to Monday’s What’s The Story? for when it goes live at 6.30am?

    • Ooh if you don’t mind – I would have headed over anyway at some point. Good tip on the nature, I’ll try that this week 🙂

      • Hope you had a lovely weekend. So nice not to have to rain – we got out twice! You’re all linked up to What’s The Story? for tomorrow morning x

  13. Some cracking pictures here – well done!
    I got a new camera for Christmas too. I’m determined to master manual on it, but am failing miserable at the moment! x

  14. this is a great time of year to take good photos outdoors and you have managed to take so many good ones Helen! and those puddles are amazing – my two would be straight in them! your children are so happy and gorgeous and i love the photo of GG hanging off the swing thing – great shadow x

  15. I don’t know the answers to your questions, but I do know those are beautiful photos! I took some reflection pics this week, but they were nowhere near as good as yours. Believe me, trying to get boys to smile only gets harder as they get older!

  16. what a lovely set of photos honey and what a lovely afternoon out 🙂 we got into the lazy stage but we are now rectifying it too x

  17. Wow you have taken some fabulous photos there, really lovely. You need someone behind you pulling funny faces, that is how I get mine to smile anyway

  18. Some magical family moments captured here!
    Not sure how to make a 6 year old boy laugh though (all my best jokes are too blue)… 😉

  19. Fab photos – I think my fave is the one with him stepping into that giant puddle! Can’t believe how much GG looks like you in these too :)) x

  20. My biggest problem with taking a good picture, is I find the SLR (DSLR) camera’s just too heavy for me. I have a very small Nikon which does take good pictures as long as I don’t think about it and just click away. I do love your plant pictures, the reds are beautiful.

    • Thank you, this is why I resorted to my iPhone, but this new camera is actually pretty lightweight and small – now it’s just remembering to shove it in my bag!

  21. Lovely photos
    I wouldn’t worry too much about the smiling, he’ll manage it when he wants to, and it beats the weird faces my Ethan pulls every time the camera is pointed in his direction!

  22. how could you not have wonderful photos with such beautiful children your going to have to guard your daughter she is a stunner and i love her all stretched out on the swing frame

  23. Absolutely wonderful photographs of the precious two, the golden hour really does highlight their glorious colouring.

    Thanks for linking up to Project 365.


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