Final Post: Photography Learning Project


Already time for the last part of my learning project for my EC & I 831 class.

Instead of writing a long blog, I am just going to send you to my final photo album. Please click here to see my album on Flickr.  You can also see the settings that I took every picture at at the bottom.



Learning How to Watermark


As I am starting to wrap up my photography project, one thing that I had not done yet was to find a site to add a watermark. I had found a few sites in previous weeks, but they had given me error messages. A few of my classmates including Genna had suggested that I add watermarks to my photos if I was worried about putting my children on my blog.

I also found quite a few apps on my iPhone so downloaded a couple to try. I tried the watermark app as well as the PhotoMarkr app. Here is a site describing those watermarking apps as well as some others.

IMG_5397 IMG_5395

As you can see, I still have to figure out the Watermark app more. The PhotoMarkr was slightly easier to use.

I also figured out that I could add text in my flickr account. You can click to see one of my snowy pictures from last week’s adventure.

I also learned how to watermark for free on-line on the site :

watermark 2

If I was taking photos professionally I would experiment a lot more with the watermark to make it look better.

Last, but not least here are some (non-watermarked!) photos that I took this week:



I am starting to think about how I want to display my photos for the final couple of weeks of this learning project. I know that there are a million photo album sites that I could probably link to or I could just link to my flickr account or make a gallery here. That is what I am going to focus on along with creativity and composition (i.e. the rule of thirds) now.

Do you think that watermarks take away from the look of great photos?

Update: I just found this video about how to add a watermark in Microsoft Paint:


White Balance, Exposure Compensation and Composition


This week I continue to learn from my online Craftsy class. Of course it was on sale this week for $19.99 and I paid $41.20 last week! It was good to watch the other modules of it because I had been focusing on ISO, aperture and shutter speed. However,  I learned about white balance and exposure compensation this week. I needed to learn some so many of my images have been either too dark or too light. One of the modules also talks about composition and creativity which I need to start thinking about too.

Screen shot 2016-03-15 at 9.42.10 AM

1. Get to Know Your Camera
2. Light & Exposure
3. Shutter Speed
4. Aperture
5. ISO
6. Shooting Modes
7. Lenses
8. Composition and Creativity
9. Putting It All Together

Here is a video about white balance:

I am also continuing to use my Canon app. to learn:



Last, but not least, here are some recent pictures I took:


I need to keep working on the Rule of Thirds. I also need to keep learning about how the exposure triangle all goes together, but slowly but surely my pictures are getting better.




To pay or not to pay? That is the question.


I took some pictures this week, but lots of them failed. And by failed, I mean that they were either completely black or completely white. On the plus side, I can google to find out what went wrong and find sites like 99 Common Photography Problems and How to Solve Them.

However, I decided to venture out and pay for a class. I am sure that I could find all of the same information for free on the Internet, however in last week’s EC & I class, our prof Dr. Alec Couros, mentioned that people are more invested if they pay a little bit.

I ended up paying a bit more than I wanted to for a Craftsy class: Basics of Digital Photography. The reason that I went with a Craftsy class is that I originally saw it on my Facebook feed and one of my friends had liked it and when I looked into their classes I saw that you could start anytime and that you had access to the videos from wherever whenever. I also read the reviews and though they might not be accurate, they seemed to be positive overall. I was a little annoyed because the cost of the class kept changing, I ended up paying $41.20, but I also saw it for $47 or $55 on the mobile app. I have watched the first three lessons so far out of nine.

Screen shot 2016-03-15 at 9.42.10 AM

One thing that I did accomplish this week was sharing my photos. Last week, I said that my goal was to share my photos to the Saskatchewan Scenery Facebook page and I did.

sask scenery dslr


I also shared one of the same pictures to Twitter:
tweet sunrise

Another thing that I realized is that I learn best when I have to teach so here are a couple of short videos on ISO, aperture and shutter speed:

ISO video:


Shutter Speed:

Have a great week!

Facebook and my Photography Learning Project


How does Facebook relate to my photography learning project?

Well, it does in a lot of ways.

The first way is that one of the groups that I am a member of, Saskatchewan Scenery, inspires me to admire other photographers’ work. I mostly sit back as an observer, but have uploaded two photos off of my iPhone to the site:

sask scenery kronau sask scenery sunrise

Though I have not officially made a rubric for how I will evaluate my learning in this project, I would be happy if I felt that one of my DSLR pictures was good enough to upload to the Saskatchewan Scenery Facebook group.

Despite having read websites and watched videos on photography, I had quite a few failed shots again this week. I tried to take pictures again at my children’s gymnastics classes. They turned out dark and blurry. I did not want to use the flash because I did not want to flash the athletes as they were practicing (I accidentally did a couple of times before realizing it!) On the plus side, when I took a flash photography class fourteen years ago I remember the instructor telling us that only one shot for every seven would be a good one. I think my ratio is actually better than that with my DSLR already. I do get some completely black shots though.

I posted some of my failures on Facebook for my friends to comment on. Many of them take pictures on the side or are quite proficient with their DSLR’s. I got feedback right away. My friend Carlie lives in England and she posted numerous on-line sites to my feed. I then FaceTimed her and she gave me some pointers and suggestions. It turns out that I was mixing up a couple of the functions of the camera (P and M).

facebook fail statuscarlie facetime

Here is Carlie’s photography Facebook page.

I also posted some of my shots that I thought were good to my Facebook page to see if I get any feedback. I am starting small with my Facebook circle of friends, family, former colleagues and former students (well there are 417 of them so maybe it’s not that small), but I am sure that there are many sites that I could seek out if I need to post my pictures for more feedback.

My friend Carlie who I FaceTimed with sent me lots of links and also suggested a couple of on line photography classes. I am going to check them out. Two on-line class websites that I have now looked into a bit are craftsy and Carlie recommended the Flying Photo School.

One of my close friends  Jen (aka Nabi 21 on flickr)is quite good with her DSLR and takes lots of pictures of my family for me when she is visiting. Here is one of her shots of her dog nephew Theo:


photocredit: (I do have permission to use this photo)

I love how Jen was able to focus on the dog and get such a cute expression on his face. It is not easy to focus on children or pets since they move so much so I will have to learn how to work with my shutter speed. I also love the clarity of this picture.

Another friend Nanc Price is a scientist by day, but takes pictures professionally by night. She works with the Edmonton opera. I am in awe of her talent.  Here is a picture of her and one of her photos:


(photo credit Damien Coroller, photo provided by Nanc)

nanc tea cup


I love this still by Nanc. I love the focus on the teacup and the blurred background. She tells me that she took this picture at a candlelight event. I do not know how to focus that sharply on an object and blur the background yet so it will be a goal.

And finally here are some of my pictures that I am happy with this week:

4memory card for class 117

4memory card for class 113memory card scenery pics 032 memory card scenery pics 037

I think I am going to write another post with more of my favourite photos, but for now I will sign off! Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any great tips for learning photography on-line!