Sorry peeps. March and April are going to be quiet months here on my little blog. But I promise to be back to normal after my exam on the 21st April :-) Stay cool, stay happy and hope you are all improving your photography - capturing those memories!

I really haven't had enough time to get out as much as I would like this month as its all about the study these days. BOOO I know but it must be done! Today was sooo cold! I can't believe it but such clear blue skies - beautiful! Hopefully this weekend I will get a chance to get out there and shoot even if its just for a little while.

Untill I can really get back into the swing of things you can follow me on twitter :-) If you're interested haha. I will be posting random favourite shots and flashbacks. Let me know if you're on twitter and we can join forces. Its my new obsession :D

And the photos of the blog are below haha. It was Doug's birthday last week so I took him out to dinner at Vertigo. It was on a top 10 list for Valentines Day so I thought it might be somewhere nice and romantic to take him. He of course LOVED it :-) The food was pretty awesome too.

Duck breast - YUM. Love the way they drizzle that sause around not only is it yum, its artistic hehe.

Doug had the Salmon - also very delicious :-)

Tip of the week: If you are wanting to use your flash on your compact but don't like the effect of a strong flash, highlight blowouts or shiny foreheads. Try putting a tissue in front of the flash while you take the shot. It will diffuse the light slightly, making it a much softer burst of flash. Sometimes you can even save those photos with too much flash by post processing them in sepia or black and white. Black and white photos love big contrast.

Shoot early, shoot late, shoot often

Hey guys. This month I'm going to be sooo busy. I have my (accounting) professional exams coming up in a month (just received the material) and so I really have to study hard. This means either shorter blog posts or less frequent blog posts - so I hope that ya'll forgive me :-) Sorry been watching too much American YouTube videos and I am now adopting the slang haha.

This weeks blog is titled shoot early, shoot late, shoot often. Some simple, but wise words. I borrowed this from one of the blogs that I follow - Thephotoargus. On this blog they share a cheat sheet of tips for photographers which I will also share at the end.

Shooting early and/or late in the day gives you a much more even amount of light and can really make your photos that much more dramatic. Try it! You can see a huge difference from photos that are taken when the sun is high in the sky to when its very early in the morning or when the sun is setting. The colour in the sky can often add that something special.

Compare this to when you take photos during the middle of the day, shadows are much harsher which can sometimes ruin your shot. In this case most photographers look for some shade to filter out the sun's harsh light. Or if you are clever, you can use your camera's flash to balance out the sun's light - but getting a natural result is often quite difficult. Don't be afraid to use some fill light though during the day though, it can often improve your photos if you use it sparingly. But even if you're an amateur like me, you don't have to take a technically perfect shot for it to be appealing. Don't be shy to try things even if its a bit out there. In this digital age we can afford to take those millions of photos. WOOP. WOOP. LOL. You might surprise yourself.

And again, you don't have to have the most expensive camera in the world to take the best shots. I've seen people take better shots with a point and shoot who know what they are doing than with people who have a fancy SLR but don't really know how to use it. So use what you have to its full potential!

Last Saturday I went out to Pt Chev with Doug & Dryke. The sun was just setting and so as per usual I grab out my trusty P&S and shoot away. Excitement plus! I love point and shoot cameras sometimes, sure the picture quality isn't always up there compared to my SLR, but I just love how convenient it is. I have posted a few of my favs below:

I like to use sepia now and then, I think it adds a bit of interest and I like the effect when you have the warm sunshine as well. The sepia enhances the sun's glow in my opinion. Oh and my glow hahaha whatever. LOL@ Doug's expression.

Doug working the foliage hahaha

I love deep blue skies. If you're camera has a vibrant colour setting try using this to bring out the colours. My canon also has vibrant green and blue which I'm yet to experiment with.

OOOOOO sun flare...wooooo

Silhouettes are pretty! A side note - try using a wide angle setting on your camera (if you have it) for landscapes. If you dont' have one, try cropping to postcard like dimensions. I like the dimensions of this shot below. Try 4x6 or even 3x6 to mix it up! I use iPhoto to crop my photos to how I want them to look. If you don't have photo software, have a look online or maybe have a look into picasa and see if it works for you.

And finally last tip from the header - shoot often. Practise makes perfect, and its no different with photography so I've heard! I'm still learning and still trying to "perfect my passion".

Tip for the week: This week's tip is a link of all sorts of tips. I sourced this from a blog that I follow. Take what you will from it. Author: Jason Anderson. Click here to download the sheet. There's some good stuff there even if it serves only as a reminder.

Photowalk : North Head Tunnels

Hello my fellow blogger's and blog readers. I can't believe its March already!! I work in finance, so March for us here in NZ means financial year end; which means ALOT of work! But I think its ok because I have been through it once before, second time round I should be much better equipped!

Summer is sadly coming to an end. I can feel the nights getting shorter. NOOO
. But I still try to get out and about to make the most of the sunlight.

February was a great month. I got alot
of feedback on the photos I took while touring round the Whakatane region. Doug also mentioned to me that my photos are starting to get quite good. Now I suppose he has to say that being my partner haha., but I thought, gosh, its probably time I get onto improving my work flow and get a watermark.

really is a great source for learning all things photoshop. I have learnt so much from watching Youtube tutorials. I found a tutorial that shows you how to add a simple watermark to a batch of photos. Exactly what I was looking for! Now at least if people decide to save my photos for "whatever" I can have my name on them at least. So from now on, the photos I will be posting on Facebook and on this blog, will have my name: Kirsten Andersen Photography. Awwww what. lol. Its simple text but I actually like it. It does the job.

I got together again with my little photography club a couple of weeks ago. HAHA - still cracks me up so cute :-)
. The three of us. We had a great time at North head. It was my turn to choose the location and fortunately for us the weather was perfect. Not a cloud in the sky. Steph was so kind again to let us use some of her gear. I got my frills because she let us use her speedlites. I will definitely be getting one of those in the near future. The speedlites with the heads that swivel (like Steph's) allow you to point the light in almost any direction you desire. This is fantastic! This means that you can bounce the light off walls, basically anything! I was like a little kid with a new toy! Using these in the tunnels on North Head was so much fun. I got to see what it actually looks like under there. The speedlites reach much further than the on-camera flash.

Anyway here are some of the shots I took. You may now notice my watermark in the bottom left corner. I like this font, very casual yet elegant - just like me I suppose. HAHA.

The following photo (and also the photos above except for the first one I think) is using Steph's wide angle lens. I must say, I LOVE THIS lens. When I become rich (haha) I probably would love to buy one of these! But they aren't cheap that's why I say.."when" I'm rich.

And these two photos below were taken using Steph's macro rings. You can buy a set of these for around $100-$200 I've been told, which is extremely affordable! Once I get myself a 50mm prime I can get some macro rings and get some more practise at macro photography. I think macro shots are so so pretty. You have a ginormous depth of field - which confused me at first because I was like, why isn't it getting in focus haha (noob). If you see the photo below it is actually incredibly sharp its just focussing on such a tiny object that the rest of it will be blurred out. These remind me of the default desktop wallpapers you get.

Ok, I just looooove green.

I have a few photo's of the plants below now. Not sure what they are but the pattern they have is so cool.

And then the sunset came. We had met up around 5pm at North Head and because its summer here in NZ, we still had quite a few hours to kill. Which isn't hard, just give Kirsten a speedlite and she'll be entertained for hours HAHA. Eventually the sunset did come and it was beautiful. The photo's I think speak pretty good volumes. Imagine the real thing!

Tip of the week: This week's tip is a bit of a general tip about composition. Now composition I believe is and can be very subjective. One person may like one way of framing a shot and another person may not! But a problem I see alot of people making, is that they don't frame their shots very well. They tend to leave alot of empty space in a picture. Now sometimes photographer's do this intentionally but generally I think that cropping your pictures to better frame your subject really makes your shot that much better. Especially with portraits, its better to frame the picture with peoples faces in the upper third of the photo, not smack bang in the middle with alot of space above their heads. Also generally having people stand to the side when taking pictures with backgrounds is better than framing the shot with people directly in the middle. You might think this is common sense but I notice alot of people do not pay attention to this stuff! Try it out and see if you like the results. And if you don't always get the perfect composition first time, you can of course crop it once you are back at your computer.

But as they always say, rules are made to be broken, continue to experiment!

Till next post guys - have a fantastic week!

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Auckland, New Zealand, New Zealand