An A-Z of Photography Tips

Mario Calvo Bartolomé

I decided to have a little fun and make an A-Z list of camera terms. I came up with most on the spot, but a couple (looking at you X and V) I had to google and see what even fit!

  1. A – Aperture Priority (Av) Mode! This is a great mode to shoot in if you’re starting out. Nothing will compare to full manual (I promise!), but this is still a great one. You set your aperture and your camera will figure out the rest.
  2. B – Back Button Focusing! This is a game changer if you’re focusing on moving subjects, especially. You use your thumb to focus and just continue holding it to continue focusing. It takes some getting used to, but once you get it, you won’t go back!
  3. C – Cropping! Always give yourself a little wiggle room for cropping. So DO NOT crop in camera or shoot too tightly. Shoot a little wider and adjust later. It’s always good to have some room than to be too close and next thing you know, someone’s head will be getting cropped off for that 8×10.
  4. D – Distortion! Different lens focal lengths cause different levels of distortion to your subject. Always run a corrector in your editing program of choice to counter act it.
  5. E – Extras! Always have an extra battery, memory card, light stand, etc. Murphy’s law, man.
  6. F – F-stop! Pay attention to your f-stop number and make sure you’re not too shallow for the amount of people in the photos. I cheat and try to match up with however many people there are. So 2 people = f/2.8, 4 people = f/4-5.6, etc. It’s not exact, but it’s a good start!
  7. G – Grain! Good news is grain is back in fashion. Bad news is, that too much can kill a photo. Be mindful of your ISO and try not to let it get too high. Better equipment will help significantly with ISO issues. If you’re running into this a lot, it might be time for a body upgrade.
  8. H – Hot Shoe! This is that mount on the top of your camera. Most times an external flash goes here, but they make all kinds of accessories, too!
  9. I – Inkjet Printers! Ew! Please stay away from inkjet printers. They do not look even half as good as a chemical printer. That means CVS, Walgreens, Target, Walmart, and pretty much any big-box store are out! Check out a local print shop or even mpix.com for insanely better looking photos.
  10. J – Jpeg! This is the final format that your digital image will take. If you’re sending files to friends, family, or a client – this is the format you’d deliver them in.
  11. K – Kelvin! This is the scale used to measure the colour temperature. 5000 K refer to normal daylight.
  12. L – Lenses! Have a well-rounded collection of lenses that you’ll actually use. Not everyone’s bag will contain the same thing.
  13. M – Memory Cards! Get good memory cards! My preference is high-speed 32GB cards. I shop at Peoria Camera for these, because they offer a lifetime warranty on their cards. Cards WILL go bad. At least this way, I can swap out the bad one for a brand new one.
  14. N – Neutral Density Filter! These are fantastic for landscapes (especially of water or clouds) and metal objects, like cars and motorcycles. It reduces the amount of light that passes through your lens, because if it’s super bright outside, you might not be able to set your settings to get the desired effect.
  15. O – Overexposure! This is when your photo is washed out. Too much light has reached the sensor for the shooting conditions. You can increase your shutterspeed and/or aperture to try to compensate for how bright it is. Or even get a Neutral Density filter.
  16. P –  Prints and Products! Print your photos! There’s nothing like holding a print your proud of or displaying it on your wall. Make prints and products of your favorites.
  17. Q – Quiet! Most cameras have a silent shooting mode that makes your shutter click softer. This can be useful for things like ceremonies where people are very quiet.
  18. R – Reflector! These are great when you’re shooting and need to bounce a little more light onto your subjects.
  19. S – Shutter Speed! Shutter speed is what captures or freezes motion. The lower your shutter speed, the more motion blur (and camera shake) you can get. Usually, I try not to go less than 1/100th if I’m holding my camera in my hand. If you’re on a tripod, you can go as low as you want to get the desired effect.
  20. T – Tripod! A tripod can come in very useful in many situations. It allows you to up the shutter speed (see above) and focus more on your overall photo rather than making sure it’s perfectly level and composed each shot. It’s completely necessary for video, if that’s something you enjoy doing, too.
  21. U – Used Equipment! Don’t be scared to buy used from reputable sources! Good camera equipment is made to last, so get yourself something for a better price.
  22. V – Vignetting! This occurs naturally with certain lenses. You don’t really pick up on it, but it’s there. This is great and I love when this happens. What I don’t love is people adding vignetting after the effect. It’s an outdated look, just skip it!
  23. W – Wide-Angle Lens! Anything less than 50mm is actually wide, but most people think of the ultra wide angles in this case, like 10mm. Under 10mm, and it starts going fish-eye. Wide-angles are great for landscapes and shooting in tight spaces.
  24. X – X-Sync Flash! I tried really hard to find something more exciting for “X,” but this is the best I’ve got! X-sync flash is when the flash fires at the instant the shutter is fully open.
  25. Y – You! You are the most important factor in your photography. A better lens or body might help a little, but you knowing more about your equipment and how to use it will help 100x more than the latest and greatest.
  26. Z – Zoom lens! A zoom lens is actually any lens that is not one focal length. A lot of people assume a zoom lens only refers to a telephoto lens. So that 18-55mm is, in fact, a zoom lens. And of course, that 70-200mm is, as well.

Woo! All finished! That was harder than I anticipated. Do you have any that you’d do differently? I’d love to hear from you!

July Glam Bag from Ipsy


Another month, another glam bag! July was a good bag! Well the contents, at least. I wasn’t thrilled for the bag itself, but it could be worse! I’m considering doing unboxing videos for these, should I? It’d take a lot for me not to peak, I’m so bad at that!

Here’s what was in this months bag:

Trust Fund Beauty Nail Polish in No Filter – Love this color! It’s a very subtle pinky-grey color. I love bold looks, but I also love subtle manicures, too. They can make your fingers look extra long and elegant.
Mellow Cosmetics Baked Eyeshadow in Coco – First off, I’m SO sad I didn’t get the other color. It was this rusty color and just SO pretty! I feel like I have enough brown eyeshadows, ya know?
BeFine Food Skin Care Night Cream
Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer – This isn’t new to me, but I’m glad I got some more! This stuff is great! Sometimes I think my skin gets used to certain products, so it’s nice to have some options for face primers.
ML Cosmetics Felt Tip Eyeliner in Emerald Isle – I was excited to get this in my bag! Brown eyes really pop with dark colored liners and I totally didn’t have green, so this is perfect!

Want in on ipsy? Sign up here! Only $10 a month for 5 items in a cute, little makeup bag!

Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Creme VoxBox from Influenster [REVIEW]


I was ever so fortunate to receive the Kat Von D #LockItRevolution VoxBox from Influenster. This is definitely my favorite box yet. I was so excited to be picked for this box, especially because they were FULL-SIZED products. Thank you, Kat Von D and Influenster!

What Came In The Box:

 

First Impressions:

Concealers:

There are 21 concealer shades to choose from, including pure white to mix in with other highlighters and truly create custom shades. I recieved light 5 and 11. The light 5 shade is too light for me right now, but I love that I can mix the two together to customize my shade based on the time of year and what color my skin currently is. Light 11 was perfect for me right now. I’ve been wearing this every day and seeing how it holds up, especially in this heat we’ve had lately. It’s held up so well and goes on so smoothly. You can use a beauty blender or the brush. I mainly use it under my eyes to hide dark circles and just look more awake.

Concealer Brush:

This brush is so soft! It was sent at the perfect time, too, because I totally needed one. This has been great for getting up close to my under eye area and not tugging on the skin. It blends the concealer out effectively and allows me to easily build up coverage.

Setting Powder:

I have dry-combo skin, so I feel like setting powders can be tricky! This has been great so far at setting the makeup, but not making my skin look cakey or gross. There’s no scent or real texture after it’s applied.

Setting Powder Brush:

Holy moly, this thing is so SOFT! I love using this brush. It’s very fluffy and perfect for brushing on the setting powder.

Overall, I’m really impressed with these! They might be my new favorite… Gotta keep using them to be sure, but they’re giving my Clinique concealer a run for it’s money!

Save

Lime Crime’s Venus + Venus II Eyeshadow Palettes [REVIEW + SWATCHES]

r/MakeupAddiction has been such a blessing and a curse. I first heard about these eyeshadow palettes on that subreddit and constantly found myself drawn to looks posted with them. I didn’t have anything in my collection like the colors in the Venus palette, especially. Tyler has a show coming up this week and a bit ago, I decided that the Venus palette would create the perfect look that I had in mind for the night, so I finally got it! And while I was at it, I figured I should just get the bundle and get the Venus II, too! Separately, each palette is $32 and the bundle is $45. That’s roughly $2.80 per shadow if you’re getting the bundle.

DSC01754_1

DSC01755_1

Here are both palettes side-by-side. The Venus palette is a warm palette with lots of peach and red eyeshadows. The Venus II has a less cohesive collection, but still unique and versatile colors. Let’s look at each of them closer.

DSC01756_1

DSC01758_1

The colors included in the Venus palette are:

Venus – the color of bruised fruit aka marsala (matte)
Shell – opalescent shell-pink (shimer)
Aura – pearlescent ivory (shimmer)
Creation – rust brown (matte)
Icon – dark brown (matte)
Rebirth – the color of an over-ripe nectarine (matte)
Divine – dusty stone (matte)
Muse – deep burgundy red (matte)

I love all the colors, honestly. They’re all very smooth, pigmented, and easily blended. I think Venus and Muse are my favorites, though. I’ve seen a lot of amazing grungy looking creations with this palette, so I’m very excited. Here are the shadows swatched on my arm.

DSC01761_1

DSC01762_1

The Venus II palette is much darker and features 8 shades that complimented a lot of eyeshadows I already owned. Mustard, Jam, Fly, and Mud go very well with the original Venus palette, especially.

DSC01757_1

DSC01759_1

The colors included in the Venus II palette are:

Pigeon – brown/green shift (shimmer)
Filter – cornflower blue (matte)
Marsh – mossy grey-green (matte)
Mustard – yellow corduroy (matte)
Fly – ivory/green shift (shimmer)
Jam – pumpkin (matte)
Mud – rich burgandy-brown (matte)
Boot – black with multi-color sparkle (shimmer)

Like I said, this palette doesn’t feel as cohesive in the way that the colors in this palette all go together for looks. Obviously, they can, but they don’t match as easily as Venus. I think of this palette as one to use with others, instead of by itself. Love the quality and unique colors, though. Pigeon, Marsh, and Mud are my favorites from this palette. Fly is a great highlighting shade for under the brow bone and inner corner. Filter is definitely a color that I don’t have anything similar and wouldn’t naturally gravitate towards, but it’s been fun finding ways to incorporate it. Here are the shadows swatched on my arm:

DSC01766_1

DSC01767_1

Overall, I’m super happy with the quality and colors of these palettes. They are unlike anything I previously had in my collection and I’m excited to continue experimenting with new looks.

ZzzQuil VoxBox from Influenster

IMG_8290

I was chosen to try out the new ZzzQuil sleep-aid courtesy of Influenster. It came with 2 capsules, which is one nights worth. It also came with a coupon to buy more ZzzQuil.

I did an unboxing video, which you can view below.

I ended up using this last night, the night of the 4th of July. I had the day off work, which was amazing, but I still had to get up sort of early the next day. I figured I’d be hyped from watching the fireworks until pretty late. My body was pretty tired, but my mind wasn’t quite there. I took the two small, purple capsules at 11:40pm and talked with my boyfriend in bed for a while. Then about 12:15, my eyes could barely stay open. I rolled over and fell asleep while he played on his tablet until he was ready for bed. I slept all night and did not wake up once. Normally, I wake up once or twice from the dogs or Tyler moving around. It was quite hard to get up at 7:15am this morning. That’s not atypical for me, though. What was a little unusual was still feeling like my eyelids were super heavy driving to work. Once I got some food, though, I didn’t feel tired. I’m thinking I needed another hour or so of sleep, so it was a full 8 hours.

Overall, I think they worked. It’s hard to tell from one night. I will probably use the coupon that came with it and get some more. I can see why these would be handy to have, but I’d make sure I was able to get 8 hours or more if I took them again.

How I Use Pinterest to Stay Organized

Ah, Pinterest – a favorite way to waste some time for many, many gals out there. You can scroll for hours and pin things to your boards – planning your wedding, saving recipes, future hairstyles, etc. I definitively do this and have a ton of boards to prove it. I use Pinterest for inspiration, wishlists, and organizing!

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 12.57.49 PM

It dawned on me that most people pin things they WISH they had instead of things they ALREADY have. I decided to try something out. I started organizing things that I own via Pinterest about a year and a half ago and it’s been so helpful. I can access my Pinterest right on my phone and double check my boards so I don’t accidentally buy something I already have OR make sure what I’m looking at buying goes with my previous items. I have a few boards strictly for makeup, but I also have Tyler’s and my whole vinyl collection on there, too. I love it and highly, highly recommend it! I’ve been trying to slowly add to my boards of things that I already have. I’d love to have my wardrobe on there, but that would be a huge task that I doubt I’ll ever actually get done.

It’s been great for keeping track of makeup items so far, but I can see where this would be useful for books, shoes, or anything else you collect and want to see what you’ve already got on the go. Do you have boards like this to stay organized? What kinds of things do you keep track of? Comment and let me know!

June Glam Bag from Ipsy


The June glam bag is here! I love the graffiti pattern on this bag, very cute! It seems that I’m finally starting to get bags that are more my taste. 

  1. ColourPop Cosmetics Crème Gel Liner in Get Paid or Swerve – I’ve never tried a ColourPop eyeliner before! This is a fun color, especially for summer! I was pleasantly surprised how creamy and easy to apply they were!
  2. theBalm Cosmetics Meet Matt(e) Trimony Eyeshadow in Matt Kumar or Matt Moskowitz – This is a great matte, plum shade! I love purple shadows and I love the fact that this one is matte. I’ve been using it to smoke up my look a bit by using it in the crease with browns and purples on the lid.
  3. oo-Boo Cover-Up Baby Boo-Boo Cover-Up
  4. A little goes a long way with this stuff! It’s a little too light for me right now with it being summer. It was easy to apply and remained smooth – no settling into fine lines, though.

  5. BioRepublic SkinCare Fiber Mask Set – I love masks, so I was very excited to receive these in my glam bag this month! These were fun! I love the smell and my skin felt refreshed after using them.
  6. Liptini Cream Lip Color in Pinktini – This was okay. The color is pretty, but I don’t like taking the time to use a brush to put on lip products, so I don’t like how this is packaged.