Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // macro shot of pink rose, natural light, curves, petals

Rule of Thirds // Rosey Tutorial {Photo Challenge}

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // macro shot of pink rose, natural light, curves, petalsAre you familiar with the “rule of thirds” in photography? How about adjusting your focal point manually? If not, get ready for a whole new world to open up in your photos!

My first daughter was born in the fall of 2006 and my push/Christmas gift was my first DSLR. Lucky girl, I know! Two new babies to love, lol!

I quickly realized the photos I envisioned capturing of my new baby with my brand new camera just were NOT happening. Total blur. Underexposed. Overexposed. Bleh. Nothing felt comfortable or natural those first few weeks of having that camera. I needed a class to learn how to use the camera if I was ever going to be happy using it.

So that’s exactly what I did all those wonderful years ago! And I can honestly say that learning to shoot manual made my colorful world such a happy, happy place! Two of the tips I learned in that first class were about the rule of thirds and adjusting my focal point. Now, I rarely compose a shot without using both of those – visually composing my shot with a tic tac toe grid and adjusting my focal point, almost always onto one of the thirds lines or the sweet spot of where those lines intersect.

Not sure how to do it? I use a Canon 60D, and it was relatively the same on my Rebel XTi. Hope it helps you!

1. Click on the zoom in button in the right hand corner

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // focal point selection, tutorial, manual focus

2. You’ll see the Automatic selection screen come up showing all the focal points colored blue:

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // focal point selection, tutorial, manual focus

3. Use either wheel to move the selection to just one of the points:

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // focal point selection, tutorial, manual focus Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // focal point selection, tutorial, manual focus

4. This is the focal point I used for the rose image above 🙂

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // focal point selection, tutorial, manual focus

5. Using the rule of thirds — the tic tac toe grid lines that break your image into three rows and three columns — visually on your image helps as well, giving a stronger composition to your photos. The point I selected above coordinates with the focal point I used for the rose. Do you see the faint grid lines below?

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // macro shot of pink rose, natural light, curves, petals, rule of thirds

6. Using any of these four focal points gets you on or near the intersection of the rule of thirds lines. That right there? That’s the sweet spot! Aim for THAT!  {Juicy tip, right?! Click to Tweet!}Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // focal point selection, tutorial, manual focus

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // how to adjust focal point, manually, tutorial, step-by-step,

Did you find this information helpful? I’d love to share more tips with you in the future, so be sure to subscribe to Clicky Chick Creates newsletter! You’ll get a great little freebie download as my thank you. What’s the freebie? My go-to shot list: 7-must get photos for kid birthdays!

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As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!
xoxo,
/c

PS. Do you love roses? Check out my collection and buy a print in my Society6 shop!

PPS. This post was inspired by the Daily Post weekly photo challenge: rule of thirds!

E Q U I P M E N T   U S E D  (Affiliate Links)
Canon 60D
Tamron 90mm Macro f/2.8
iPhone 5
Photo edits in Lightroom and Photoshop
Check out all my camera bag goodies here!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // breakfast with berries, yogurt, granola, honey

What’s for Breakfast? {Photo Tip}

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // breakfast with berries, yogurt, granola, honeyIt’s summertime, well really, it’s kind of a perpetual summer in San Diego, but I digress… It’s summertime and it’s a great time to enjoy the flavors of the season, but more importantly the time with my girls. No crazy rush-rush-get-out-the-door schedules to adhere to, so it’s a perfect time to linger in the kitchen prepping breakfast with a little extra love.

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // breakfast with berries, yogurt, granola, honey Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // breakfast with berries, yogurt, granola, honey

Our breakfast parfaits include layers of: Greek yogurt, honey, fresh cut berries, granola, and repeat the layers again!

Photo Tip: When photographing food, be sure to get nice and close (as close as your lens will focus), like you’re about to take a bite through your lens!

What changes about your meals or your schedule in general over summer? I’d love to hear, so let me know in the comments!

And I should point out the elephant in the room, right? The blog redesign? I’ve been wanting to change things up a bit on the blog and when I saw this new theme “Pictorico”, my heart skipped a beat and I knew I just had to give it a whirl! Whatcha think? Hopefully you like it! I’ll be making some tweaks along the way, so if you have some suggestions, I’d love to hear ’em!

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day! And if you haven’t signed-up for the Clicky Chick Creates email list yet, whatcha waiting for? You’ll get “7 Must-Have Kid Birthday Photos” printable photo tips as my thank you 🙂  {Password is sent to you via email when you sign up for the email list.}

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Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c

E Q U I P M E N T   U S E D  (Affiliate Links)
Canon 60D
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8
Photo edits in Lightroom and Photoshop
Check out all my camera bag goodies here!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // sitting outdoors on train track in rustic park!

What’s in my Bag? {Photo Fridays}

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // family of five, family photo, beach, cuddle, love, silhouette

Canon 60D | Tamron 18-270mm | 1/1000 sec at f/5.6 | ISO160

Photography makes me jump for joy! It has been passion of mine since I was a kid. Seriously, like 30+ years!! I’ve had many cameras over the years and really am loving the little collection of equipment I currently have to work with. I’ve been shooting with DSLRs since 2006 and absolutely love it! When looking at other photographers work, I often wonder, “what are they using?” or “I want to get shots like that” which often leads to “what equipment should I buy next?”  So I thought I’d share what’s in my bag in case any if you are curious what I shoot with and are interested in building up your bag of arsenal goodness : )

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // newborn photography, head full of hair, baby boy, sleeping, jewelry mama, angelic

Canon 60D | Tamron 28-75mm | 1/100 sec at f/2.8 | ISO400

But before I spill the beans, I just have to say that what’s in the bag doesn’t define a photographer. It’s your passion, your vision, your creativity, YOU that makes your photography amazing! There are fantastic photographers who take phenomenal photos in the iPhoneography world – something I seriously can’t do! Some photographers have tens of thousands of dollars invested in their bag – something I only wish I could afford to have! What I can do, is use what I have and push myself to keep learning. So, whatever you’re working with, whatever is in your pocket or in your bag, my advice to you is to learn to use it to it’s full extent and always keep learning : )

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // sitting outdoors on train track in rustic park!

Canon 60D | 50mm | 1/1600 sec at f/1.4 | ISO100

Cameras:

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // outdoor portrait at rustic park!

Canon 60D | Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 | 1/320 sec at f/2.8 | ISO100

Lenses:

  • Canon 50mm f/1.4 – amazing, dreamy bokeh!
  • Canon 50mm f/1.8 (before I upgraded to f/1.4) – for ~$100, it’s a must! You’ll be totally turned on to prime lenses with this baby!
  • Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 – this is usually on my camera and I love it! Great for portraits, even on a crop sensor like the 60D.
  • Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 – I love this for outdoor photos, but not at all for indoor shots! Great when I’m working with lots of people, and need quick / easy versatility in focal lengths
Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // family photos at Old Poway Park

Canon 60D | Tamron 28-75mm | 1/125 sec at f/2.8 | ISO100

Books and classes I recommend:

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // outdoor maternity portraits at rustic park!

Canon 60D | Tamron 28-75mm | 1/250 sec at f/2.8 | ISO100

Other goodies that make my photography journey enjoyable:

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // San Diego beach, balance, rocks, beach pebbles, umbrella, waves, sand, relaxing

Canon 60D | Tamron 18-270mm | 1/640 sec at f/5.6 | ISO100

So there you have it, all my photo goodies that rock my world! There are still lots on my “wants” and “needs” lists, but I’m a happy camper and will keep snapping those shots, working and rocking what I have! Hope these links* are helpful to you on your photographic journey!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // 4th birthday, Hello Kitty cake, sweet smiley little girl, 6 point star cross filter

Canon Rebel XTi | 50mm f/1.8 | 1/100 sec at f/2.5 | ISO400

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // silhouette at the beach, twinkle star, sunset, play, girls, sisters

Canon 60D | Tamron 18-270mm | 1/30 sec at f/5.0 | ISO160

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!
Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c

*The links I create to products and classes may include an affiliate link which pays me a small percentage for purchases made. Please note that I purchase and use what I love and hope that by sharing these links with you, I am making learning various aspects of photography, recreating images and your photography journey simpler for you. I figure if I love it, then you might too!

PS. Sign up for my email list and you can download my “7 Must-Have Kid Birthday Photos!”

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Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // silhouette at the beach, twinkle star, sunset, play, girls, sisters

Unexpected // Twinkle Star {Photo Challenge}

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // silhouette at the beach, twinkle star, sunset, play, girls, sistersI’ve been loving silhouette shots lately, and couldn’t resist this shot of my daughters. We were enjoying sunset on the beach during a mini vacation and I loved their playfulness and spirit showing through their silhouettes! And the unexpected bonus? That amazing, beautiful twinkling star in the upper left corner. LOVE!

Are you playing along with the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected? There are always inspiring and lovely photos to enjoy, so link up and check out the other contributions, too!

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!
Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c

Guest Blogging…

I’m not really a digi-scrapper, I just play one on TV. Just kidding! I’m actually super honored to be guest blogging over at my friend Melissa’s site, Digital Scrapbooking HQ. Although I will occasionally dabble in creating word art or adding texture layers to my photos in Photoshop, I’m a tried and true paper crafter. So what do I have to offer digi-scrappers? Photography tips! I shared some of my favorite kid photography tips, so check it out here!

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!

Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c

It’s all about the Stuff {Photo Fridays}

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // back-to-school shoe shopping; two little girls, five pairs of shoes, all PINK!

Okay, clearly it’s not about the “stuff” but I do think photographing the stuff helps tell the tale of who we are, what we are about. And in this case, it’s particularly about the very girly daughters I’ve been blessed with!

Seeing it’s Friday, I’d like to share this photo tip with you: When photographing your loved ones, don’t forget to capture their favorite stuff, as well.

  • Stuff they DO
  • Stuff they WEAR
  • Stuff they EAT
  • Stuff they LOVE

This kind of stuff gets forgotten. Sometimes it’ll be in the background or foreground of other shots. But take the time to make them the star of your photos.

Whether it’s collections…

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // seashell collection in a jewelry box tower

or favorite games…

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Disney Minnie Mouse puzzle collection

or favorite foods…

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // French Toast, Greek yogurt, honey, strawberry breakfast

or favorite activities…

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // art supplies

Whatever they’re “into” – make sure to take the time to photograph it, because time flies, tastes change and next thing you know, they won’t even remember that being something so incredibly special! And of course as a dedicated memory keeper, I have to say… don’t just photograph the stuff… DOCUMENT it! Make sure you write down what your loved ones loved about it. What was special about it? Why was it important? This sort of stuff will be worth gold in the future!! And where should you put these tidbits? In a scrapbook or photo book of course! Okay, truth-be-told: did you roll your eyes or laugh when you read scrapbook? It makes me laugh that some people have a very specific view of scrapbookers: grandmas with lots of cats or clutter or doilies? So not the reality! The industry is full of hip, cool, fresh, artistic, creative people and products! Check it out!

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!
Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c

PS. The theme for the week at A Word in Your Ear is Pink, and considering the pinkness in my first few shots, I decided to play along in the challenge. Link up in the comments if you’re playing along too!