Capturing Paris (with Nikon D3200)

Recently I have been leaving the camera at home when it comes to personal trips as my camera has become a work tool and a bit of a burden when I’m travelling.

My main kit is heavy and awkward to carry all the time so I decided for my trip to Paris last week that it was time to get a lighter personal camera to carry with me.

I picked up the Nikon D3200 from Argos and 30gb card for under 300.00 which I considered a bargain as I remember buying a compact camera years ago for around the same price.

During the christmas period I had a lot of people asking me for advice on which camera to buy so I hope this blog may help you when choosing a new camera.

 

Which brand?

Nikon and Canon are the most popular camera brands, though there are many more. I would always say this is a personal choice. My first SLR was a Nikon brand and that is what I am used to. I would almost have to retrain now in order to use a different brand therefore I stick to Nikon because its what I know.

Even in new models the overall lay out of the buttons and settings don’t change much so I can upgrade without hassle. So just keep in mind whichever camera you start with is most likely your brand for life.

 

Room to progress.

The Nikon D3200 is perfect for beginners who would like to develop their photography skills, but still has the safety net of the automatic settings while you are getting the hang of the manual settings. I always use manual settings when taking photographs, but it is comforting to know that there is an automatic setting for this spontaneous moments when you may not have time to get the manual setting correct.

 

Easy to carry.Most people starting out in photography feel uncomfortable carrying a large camera. This camera is the perfect size to fit into a reasonably sized hand-bag. This is one of the main reasons I chose this camera model, so that I could take it with me on trips and not miss out on anything. I carried this with me on my travels around Paris without feeling weighed down by it.

 

Video.

The camera can easily switch to video mode to make great quality videos. Once you have mastered the manual settings you could get very creative with this video mode.

 

Quality.

It is hard to judge the quality of the camera until you have used it in a number of different situations and then view them on a good screen or print. I was really happy with the quality of the images from this camera, even in low light.  The colours were vibrant and real to life, even when using automatic mode I found the colours were correct.

 

Below are some of my favourite images from my recent Paris trip, using the Nikon D3200.

 

ps. I don’t work for Nikon!

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My 365 of 2015.

Jan 2 2014. Rossnowlagh Beach, Co.Donegal. Jan 2 2014. Rossnowlagh Beach, Co.Donegal. Jan 11th 2015. A Fresh Sunday morning run through the glens. Jan 11th 2015. A Fresh Sunday morning run through the glens. 5 Jan 2015. The last day of the holidays. Normality resumes tomorrow. 5 Jan 2015. The last day of the holidays. Normality resumes tomorrow. 4 Jan 2015. Chest infection. 4 Jan 2015. Chest infection. Foam beach party @ Bundoran Beach, Co.Donegal. 3 January 2015 Foam beach party @ Bundoran Beach, Co.Donegal. 5 Jan 2015 5 Jan 2015 January 6th 2015. Retreat in Co.Cavan. January 6th 2015. Retreat in Co.Cavan.


The Romance Stories of 2014

As 2014 draws nears an end, its time for me to pause and look back at my archive from the year.

Running my own business means that I feel like I am literally ‘running’ from pillar to post, keeping things ticking over with little time to stop and reflect.

So thats why the images in this archive may feel as new to me as they do to you. In every wedding day there are so many fleeting, special little moments that become even more important when captured in a photograph.

These little moments may be the little pageboys making their own entertainment as they wait for the bride, a proud dad fixing his son’s suit, a giggle between bridesmaids, a bride and groom hand in hand at the altar below a majestic stained glass window or the mayhem in the kitchen as the family gets ready to leave for the service.

These may be the little moments but to me they are the most important. These are the moments that are not rehearsed , not planned and these are the moments that make each wedding personal unique.

These are also the moments that a bride and groom may miss as they too are ‘running’ from pillar to post making sure their days goes to plan.Often a bride and groom will be surprised when they see their gallery and they see things that they missed on their own wedding day.

I want to say a big thank you to all the newlyweds of 2014 who trusted me to capture the little and the big moments of their big day, Ive loved each moment as much as you.

And I look forward to the moments that 2015 will bring!


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Make up for a photo-shoot; the photographer’s perspective.

Good make-up can transform a portrait.

A good make up artist for a photo-shoot will know what to emphasise,  how to use colour and how to give a flawless finish. I gave a talk to the South West College students recently who were preparing make-up for a photo-shoot for their final exam.They all had created mood boards and developed some very creative ideas.

Here are just a few tips that I gave them on what I think makes for a perfect portrait, from a photographers view-

1.It’s all about the eyes! I almost always put the focus of my camera on the eyes, in a portrait the eyes are my subject. The eyes are where I find the catchlight which brings a portrait to life. The eyes are best when they are well defined  by eye liner.I also am a big fan of eyelashes and catching the delicacy of them, which is best when not overloaded with mascara.

2.Tidy Lines. In a close up portrait there is nowhere to hide uneven or untidy hipline or eyeliner lines. Take care to have all lines perfect and smooth to give a more glamourous look.

3.Go easy on the tan. One of the biggest mistakes I see when doing portraits is overloaded tan. Your tan will look darker in photographs than it does to the eye. It does help to give a nice glow but only when done in moderation. Most photographers will use editing software to tweak and correct colours but dark fake tan is one thing that is impossible to work with, especially when placed beside a groom at a wedding shoot.

4. Have a good strong theme. Make-up has now become an art, people are becoming more creative with make up. Always start with a good strong theme for your photo-shoot and create your make up in response to that. Keep a scrap book  or Pinterest  with themes and ideas that you like, keep mood boards and colour boards.

5.Find the right model. It’s important that you find a model that you are able to work with and who has the look that suits your photo-shoot. A good model is patient and relaxed, they make have to wait around for a long time so please make sure this is something that we will enjoy! It makes such a difference when the model is as excited as you about you work.

I wish all the girls who took part in SWC make-up course all the best in their future projects!

 

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Good Friday procession in Malta →

I spent Easter on the beautiful island of Malta, where the religious holiday is a very big deal.

On Good Friday, all the main villages on the island hold a parade to commemorate the Crucifixion. We watched as they relived the story of the death of Jesus  through the tiny streets of Rabit. The parade moves very slowly and they stop regularly for the crowd to reflect on each stage. The crowd are very respectful of the religious parade and there is a silence through the streets as the parade moves through.

All ages of people took part in the parade and we later found out from the locals that taking part in the parade holds much prestige. You are not chosen to take part but instead the family will pay money to take part.

The parade commenced at 6pm and it takes over 2 hours for the parade to complete and although the parade is silent, it ends with a brass band to mark the Resurrection.

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