Category Archives: photo tips

Photography: Camera vs. Knowledge


My passion is photography. It is the reason I cannot be too far away from a camera.  My kids are growing up knowing how to pose for ‘mummy’ and are learning how to use a camera themselves.  My favourite thing about photography is how it is not limited to just one kind of person or even one kind of photographer. While I love to shoot travel photography, people, and self portraits you may like to photograph animals and pets. Perhaps you like to capture the little details around in life or maybe you are fascinated by black and white photos. When it comes to photography, the world is your oyster. Be inspired. Pick up your camera and shoot what you love to photograph.

Every week I get emails, comments on the blog, and messages across different social media platforms about camera equipment.  The most asked questions revolve around what camera I shoot with, what camera I suggest they get, or to give my opinion on which camera brand is better: Canon or Nikon.

I get it. Years ago when I was ready to get my first DSLR and I felt I had to get a Canon camera. Why? Due to the fact my favourite photographer used a Canon and since I was interested in fashion photography at the time I found most of the photographers I followed all shot with a Canon. My husband on the other hand was sold on getting a Nikon because he believes they have better quality glass (aka lenses) and we ended up getting a Nikon DSLR. I remember being sad at first that I lost the Canon vs. Nikon battle, but in the end that was ludicrous. Any bad photos I took when I first go that camera was not because it was a certain brand, it was because I was not an expert with using my camera yet.  I shot mostly in auto modes (this means aperture priority and shutter priority too) and was still getting photos that were blurry or with the incorrect exposure. Not to mention all the other facets of photography that I was not fully utilizing like composition, telling a story, and creating interest.

What Camera You Have vs. Lenses & Knowing How to Shoot in Manual 
Honestly it does not matter what camera you have or what camera brand family you use. Yes there will be differences between cameras. Comparing two different Nikon cameras that I have owned one could shoot with an ISO up to 1600 while another up to 3200, meaning the second shot better in low light situations. However, I have also taken photos with both cameras and have had people choose incorrectly which camera shot which photo. Take a look again at the photo I posted of my sons.


The blurred background behind them was not created in photoshop. This was shot in manual on a sunny day in open shade.  I wanted to create a shallow depth of field, meaning my subjects would be sharp in focus while the backdrop is blurry.  This is great for portraits because it draws your eyes to where your focus is in the frame.  I could have equally shot this with a different lens that does not have as wide an aperture at 1.4 and it would have come out differently. Or I could have used the same lens and on my camera changed the aperture so that everything in the frame was in focus.  I could have also had my kids step out of the shade and have the direct sunlight blind them in the eyes and cause harsh shadows on their face.  Take it a step further and I could have not got in close to them so that the sky would also be in the photo and rely on my camera to expose the photograph for their faces in the shade, making the sky overexposed, void of detail, and bright white. Of course in manual I could now compensate the exposure so that I have better exposed skies while still being able to have my boys nicely in the shot. You could basically have a line of photographers all shooting with the same camera but different lenses among them shooting at different settings (in regards to aperture, shutter speed, and iso) and have a different photo from each photographer. That is what inspires me as a photographer knowing how much control I have in manual as well as how much creative control I have to get to my end result.

With that said you do not need a fancy DSLR to take great photos. You can do it with a simple point and shoot with manual capabilities.  You own the technology and I encourage you all to push yourself this coming year to learn more about what you are capable of with your camera.

Need more help? Wondering why your photos are not exposed correctly?  Wondering how to get sharper clearer images?  Wondering what all the buttons on your camera do?  Then I suggest B. In Focus, which teaches to to shoot in manual while building you up as a photographer with your creative vision.


B. In Focus | An intro to photography course that teaches you to shoot in manual. Also great for intermediates who need a refresher on how to get their camera to do what they want it to. We cover white balance, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, lighting techniques, composition, and creative elements of creating a photograph.

B. Retouched | A post processing class in photoshop for retouching people and faces.  We cover different ways to retouch people of different ages, quick fixes, and even how to apply make-up in photoshop.  If you are a beginner with photoshop, do not fear as we cover everything you will need to know to complete this course.

B. Processed | Geared towards the beginners in photoshop for photographers and bloggers. Learn what to do with your photos out of the camera to make them web ready.  From saving, archiving, organizing, and protecting your images to cropping, resizing, layers, and other elements in photoshop to make it a fun and simple process!

B. In the Frame | Love photography but want to learn more about your camera and push yourself further?  Self portraits are a great way to gain experience and learn new techniques.  With this course we cover creative self portraits which begin before you even pick up your camera, during the shooting process, and afterwards in post processing. If you are ready to embrace the creative side of yourself and create art this is the class for you!

B. Illuminated | Photography is all about light! B.Lux got it’s name from the measurement of light and in this course we go in-depth in lighting approaches and techniques. From shooting in natural light, in low light, and with additional light sources. I show you what you can do for a lot of money and what you can do for little to no additional cost.  We work both inside and out on location and you can learn all from the comfort of an online class and working on your own time. Get ready to embrace light and take your photography to the next level.


B.LUX Alumni | What they are saying about their course:
“Having bought a new DSLR and knowing little about using manual, I decided to try Bonnie Rose’s B.Lux photography course, B. in Focus.  After seeing Bonnie’s photography on her blog and having conversations with her, I knew I wanted to learn more from her.  I now have the basic concepts of using my camera in manual and I no longer need to bring a back up point and shoot on my travels.  Bonnie is great and if you need a push to get yourself learning in manual then this course is for you!” – Brittany



 For more information and to register for classes: 

* Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reseved

Photography: Hard Drives & Online Sharing

I took this photograph almost three years ago during a stint of living in Tucson, Arizona.  I was on my son’s field trip to the Botanical Gardens and shot this while we were waiting with our group.  To be honest I forgot about this photograph until this week when I was browsing through my hard drive on a photo search.   
It solidified the following facts:

  • I take so many photographs.
  • I take photographs of so many things.
  • I clearly like to document our life.
  • A small percentage of my photographs actually make it online (via blog or social networking)
  • A very large percentage of my photographs are forgotten on hard drives
The Problem
I take more photographs (for myself) that I do anything with after uploading.
The Bigger Problem
Just because we can back up our photographs in so many ways it does not mean something could happen to them. I still do not know if we are going to be able to recover digital photographs from the first few years of my eldest son’s life.  We had them backed up on cds, which were lost in a move.  We had them saved on an external drive…which we think is somewhere in a box but has yet to be seen. I’ve been putting of the hunt hoping that they really are somewhere.  Luckily I have a few things printed out. But I did not print out or make it through more than a few pages in a scrapbook I began. 
The Sad Truth
How many of us take digital photographs and only really share them online.  When was the last time your printed off photographs? When was the last time you had a print bigger than a 4×6 and put up on your wall. If you have ever had your photographs printed out and have held them in your hands you know what it is like to be able to hold it in your hand. There is nothing compared to the lack of connection a photograph has on a computer screen.  The digital age is amazing but are we just taking tons of photographs, perhaps sharing select ones online, and not enjoying them at home?
The Solution
Photo books.  I want to start making yearbooks for my family.  I am trying to figure out how to execute this mission.  Perhaps I’ll see how far back I can go with my kids and begin there. Maybe I’ll start with 2013 and as I finish book work my way backwards.
The Rewards
I can have tangible books that my family can enjoy and relive memories.  They will also make great christmas gifts for the end of the year.  It kind of takes the next step over Christmas newsletters.  
So this is my plan to address the family photos of my family and hope will be able to show off some finish products as I complete this goal. 
Q: After reading this let me know what your thoughts are in regard to your personal experiences with digital photography. I would love to hear your story! 

*Photography belongs to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | 

Self Portrait: ‘Pedestal’ & Photography Tips

Today’s prompt for Blogtember states, “A Self Portrait’. 

This was my recommendation for Jenni when she announced another monthly change and I was so happy to see it included.  I love taking self portraits because it has really helped improve my skill and push myself further creatively.  When it comes to taking self portraits there are no excuses and that is why I continue to do them.  I cannot postpone it because my model was a no show and I have been able to do these where ever I have been in my travels, including in the middle of Pompeii in Italy.

My Self Portrait Tips:

1. It does not matter what camera you have.
Yes different cameras will give you different results. However give the most skilled photographer a crappy camera and they will still produce an image worthy of art. Focus on the image you want to create.

2. Be in the moment. 
To fully harness your best work and experience the process organically you need to be present.  If you are constantly critiquing your work between shots, running back to the camera only to get more frustrated then I say take a moment to refocus.  You are photographing an feeling, a mood, an idea, or a message. Not perfection.  I have been crying in front of the camera before because I was upset about something.  However, I was living this raw moment to be documented.

3. Give yourself time.
There have been some self portraits that I get a lot of feed back from where I took it in only one or two shots. There are others where I probably spent a good hour and a half from start to finish to get the one shot I needed.  The point is to make sure you are not rushed and that you can devote the time you need. Do not rush art.

4. Find the light.
Lighting can make a good photo and amazing photo. I take a lot of photos in front of the window for natural light. It is a great way for me to get what I want without my neighbors giving me quizzical looks if I were to do it outside.  My favourite lighting is overcast skies as the clouds act like a huge diffuser.  If you do use a flash on your camera try bouncing the light off a white card attached to your camera to avoid harsh light directly into your face.  Experiment and see what works best for the shot.

5. It is okay to ask for help.
I have had family members and friends help me out as assistants on my self portrait shoots. Sometimes its to stand in for me while I focus my camera, to spray me with water, or to make sure my tripod does not fall from where it is positioned.  If you yourself have any questions for me I am always a quick tweet away.

Self Portrait Saturday

Normally this would be a post to go up tomorrow and my link up would go live along with it. However for the #Blogtember post I have put it up today and the link up will be available through the next several days. Next week the SPS will continue on Saturdays.  I am also going to be reinstating my themes that I did for the Self Portrait Challenge in 2012.  This year however I will do just one set theme a month so that the rest of the month does not limit your creativity and vision.  Hope to see you around for the furture SPS and make sure to link up this week!

Join Jenni for her Blogtember Challenge! 

*Image original to A Compass Rose blog by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007-2013 All Rights Reserved |