Monday, 24 February 2014

Zooming Out

Sometimes I like a closely cropped, very controlled image. There are times when I want to share with you something pretty like a ball of yarn or a new dish and I just need that object to stand perfectly alone without distraction.  But today I am feeling mischievous and want to demonstrate that it's not all beautifully lit perfection round here, and I thought it would be fun to show you what it looks like when I zoom out, what is going on around the edges of these photos.

Zooming in: Two gorgeous round balls of alpaca yarn. I wanted to capture the texture of the strands as much as the colour.


Zooming out: Two balls of yarn on a plain white tea towel on the hall floor, because that's just where the light was best that day. The living room was too bright. Good thing no-one knocked at the door.


Zooming in: Three delightfully pretty fairy cakes, complete with girly wrappers and sprinkles. I'm not normally a fan of such feminine colours and patterns but think where fairy cakes are concerned it's acceptable.


Zooming out: That white tea towel is in use again, this time on the one square foot of kitchen worktop that gets any good natural light. Do you see how everything else was, quite literally, pushed out of shot? 


Zooming in: Ah, my utterly fabulous birthday pyrex dish. That coral pink! That repeated floral pattern! I wanted the background to be almost invisible so used an old white sheet.


Zooming out: Angus played around me while I borrowed the toy boxes to create a little area for my backdrop.


Zooming in: Birthday present heaven. Lovely colours and it was fun to play with the composition.


Zooming out: That white sheet again, but in the living room this time. Books and baskets pull the corners tight to stop it wrinkling too much and the bright sunlight meant I had to close the curtains - it's not often that's happened lately! The end of the coffee table is cleared as I stood on it to take the photo.


Zooming in: Four prints - some new, some I've had for a while - in four IKEA frames. I'll hang them soon. For now, I just wanted to group and admire them.


Zooming out: Me, in my pyjamas, standing on a chair so I could lean over them as much as possible (while trying not to fall off). And see the glasses on the edge of the table? I hadn't yet put my contacts in, but find my glasses really annoy me when I'm using the camera. It's like I can't get the viewfinder close enough to my eye. Does that happen to anyone else? 


So that is what it looks like when I zoom out. I am putting together a little post about photography tips (for what it's worth - I am not a professional, clearly!) as a few people have asked in the past. It's not technical, more tips and tricks. Things which are easy. I'm a bit nervous as I'm painfully aware of my lack of technical knowledge, but I'm enjoying writing it and I'll share more on that soon. 

Thank you so much for all your birthday wishes and your messages of good luck for John. Really, thank you. It means a very great deal and I think you are all wonderful. Have a great week. 

65 comments:

  1. This is a brilliant post .... keeping it real :-) ..... belated birthday wishes

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  2. This had me really chuckling - it's nice to know I'm not alone! Love the pyrex dish and the family portrait x x

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  3. This is so much like me, it's scary. Just another reason I love coming here, you're the real deal. :)

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  4. The colour of that Pyrex dish is truly beautiful. Are you going to use it, I wonder?

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  5. Brilliant, love the staged reality of your shots - thanks for sharing! Your birthday presents are utterly gorgeous, you lucky thing :-)

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  6. I love, love, love this! I think I'll do a mosaic one day of all the mouldy patches we have around the house!!! :) x

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  7. Love it! My photos tend to be in poor light (partly because I'm so impatient and partly because there aren't many areas of good light in my house) and often highlight the clutter in the background. I'm clearly not a naturally tidy person but I think my photography makes me look messier than I am! I look forward to reading and using your tips :-)

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  8. I do enjoy reading a real life blog! I take my spectacles off to use the camera too and then quite often kneel on them because I've put them down somewhere stupid.

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  9. Hey Gillian,

    I am very much looking forward to this hints and tips post. I think you take really gorgeous photographs,so some insider secrets will be great. It's far too easy to take a nice snap in Cornwall. The light here is fantastic. In my own home however, I am often at a loss.
    This is a great post init's own right. All that reality. Love it!!
    Leanne xx

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  10. Fab post Gillian, I'm often found crouched in the most peculiar areas of our house with my camera! Gorgeous pyrex, I am so in to that shade of pink at the moment. Love your blog, makes me smile! xo

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  11. Oh this is exactly what I was talking to a friend about the other day - what happens when you zoom out?! So reassuring that you have left some washing up in the bowl as well! Thanks for the smiles x Jane

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  12. Brilliant post! Oddly comforting to know I'm not the only one doing acrobatics to take a pic...or shoving all matter of household stuff out of the shot, though the dishes and toys teeter at the edge, nearly tumbling on my carefully arranged collection of craft...thank you for this! Chrissie x

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  13. I love this. It is a brill way of seeing what is around and how to make shots look better

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  14. This is so funny! There's knowing this is what blog-picture-taking looks like, and then there's seeing! I had torn up my whole dining half of my living room working on a new header, then didn't even use any of those pictures, just found some that I liked and threw one together that I'm happy with for now. Thanks for sharing!

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  15. So funny, particularly love the shot of your feet when you're standing on the chair trying not to fall off - all too familiar ! Brilliant post.
    Kate x

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  16. ha ha - love this, I do it too. And Happy Birthday

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  17. Love it! I did the same today to photograph some biscuits - balancing the chopping board close to the window while trying to get a decently lit shot! (Can I please please ask where the top right print is from - it looks just the sort of thing that I want for our living room. It looks a bit like the love child of a Mark Hearld and an Angie Lewin... Ta v much!) x

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    1. Hello! Yes of course, it's by an artist called Jeremy Speck. You might like the work of Angela Harding too. X

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    2. Thank you. Perusing his site now... Angela Harding prints and cards are stocked in our local card shop - I love them, so good recommendation! x

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  18. I love your post! I thought it was just me that did this with photos! Too easy to forget that real life goes on out of shot for all bloggers! :-)

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  19. Love this post - lots of fun, and looking forward to the tips! Jen

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  20. Haha! Every blogger out theres reality! I loved this post it really made me chuckle. I am also a little in love with all your cute things in your kitchen x

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  21. You totally put my point and snap to shame! Well done with your very well composed shots and it is lovely to see the reality behind them.

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  22. Great post, there normally carnage in the background of my photos. I always worry there will be a pair of knicker/mans pants, in the background, on the floor, in the distance, lurking... Jo x

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  23. Must remember some of those tips and tricks. "Spectacles" are the bane of my life, as I have bi-focals and find it hard to look down with them on, so leave them all over the place whilst doing certain things. I've only been wearing some sort since I was 17 and that's a looooong time. Take care.

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  24. I so love this, so normal and yet so beautiful. Capturing the lovely amidst the everyday is what I love most about photography, blogging, family and pretty much life in general! X

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  25. This post has inspired me as I don't zoom in enough! Thanks!

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  26. And I thought the camera never lied! Oh - then I remembered how much I crop out of my photos, and I stand on tables too! :) x

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  27. I love this post! And I must get a white tea towel. I'd love to see a post on your photography tips, I'm sure it would be really helpful to me, I struggle with pictures and I'd love to improve.

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  28. Love it! It made me laugh I stand on chairs too, glad I am not the only one. I am starting to find the best places to take photos depending on the light, like you I am glad no one knocks on the door!

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  29. I would hate for anyone to see what I shove out of the way of my photos, and I cannot imagine what I look like sometimes trying to artfully arrange things to take photos of - my little crochet squares last week for example!! It is good to know that we are all the same and that we shove it all out of the way just the same! xx

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  30. Such a great post! I love that you are keeping it real. And I absolutely adore your kitchen!

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  31. What a clever post!!! I loved it, and thanks for the inspiration on getting those great close-up shots. Your birthday presents look lovely...I love all the colors and patterns, and you are right; the pyrex dish is "utterly fabulous"!!! Thanks for a great post...oh, and your house is lovely, by the way...so inviting! :)

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  32. i love seeing that your 'behind the scenes' settings look an awful lot like mine!!!!

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  33. A white teatowel, what a great idea! I'm always having trouble with my images. Thanks for the tips. Have a great week, Gillian x

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  34. Muchas gracias por explicar cómo hace las fotos. Me parece que eres muy buena fotógrafa. Me gusta mucho tu blog.
    Un saludo

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  35. Most of the time when I take my food pictures, I think, "Thank God, they can't see the rest of the house." Or "What do the neighbors think I'm doing standing on a chair in my pajamas leaning over one piece of cake?" Thanks for sharing your behind the scenes - the life being lived.

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  36. Well that's brought the first laughter of the day out of me. I'm just so pleased that I'm not the only one who walks around the house, looking for the right surface, the best back drop and the most light, in order to capture the perfect image.

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  37. Love this, I never woud have guessed where you'd taken those photos. The cakes have me feeling VERY hungry. A belated Happy Birthday too :)

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  38. How funny is that, I was just stood on my kitchen table taking photos ! Had to take some again as you could see my slippers !
    I do like seeing how other people take their photos, has come a big part of Blogging to get a good photo....

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  39. I love this post, because that is the reality of our lives. We try to make everything so picture perfect all the time, I think we all forget what is just outside of the picture, real life.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  40. Great post and comforting for so many of us who usually have to contort ourselves to get the right shot!! Xxx

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  41. Brilliant, and so true! Glad I'm not the old one balancing in peculiar places trying to take photos!!
    Caroline xx

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  42. Ha ha Gillian what a great post, I think most of us "model" our pictures x I love tacking clear close up photographs and often end up taking them on my washing machine in our little laundry and it gets the best light in the winter! xox thanks for this fun post x

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  43. What a great post Gillian!! It's made me laugh and has just shown the reality and the demystification of blogland....
    Glad to hear the news about your husband, it must be such a relief...
    By the way, I love your Orla Kiely pots.....
    Enjoy the rest of your week, Pati x

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  44. Loved this post Gillian ... my zoomed out photos are suspiciously similar ... Bee xx

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  45. I'm always shoving things aside when I'm taking close-up shots and assume most bloggers do the same. I do it because the mess surrounding the object is too distracting, not because I'm trying to hide the fact that my place is a total mess per se, although it is rather comforting actually seeing your zooming-out shots so maybe I'll take some zooming out shots next time too. I have a great lens that blurs all the mess in the background which I'm very fond of too :-)

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  46. Gillian, this post is such fun! I too have cropped out such an interesting assortment of everyday sights...including my feet :) Somehow in celebrating my birthday Feb. 17, I missed your last post about your birthday celebration, and your GREAT NEWS about John's new job! Along with others around you, I am celebrating with you! Belatedly, but enthusiastically, Happy Birthday!!! xx

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  47. The zoom function is great! What a lovely idea to show us the zoomed out versions with clutter, toys and toes. We have a wooden trains set like yours, it is so much fun. Cx

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  48. Hi Gillian, it would be great to have a post about camera tips, also maybe a bit about which camera you are using and how you find it. I would like another camera one day, but I don't know which one. I like your pansy picture in the kitchen! also the Brio was so great, still have a big chest of it. It's got to be keeper right. Heather X

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  49. This is such a brilliant post. A really good idea and so interesting to see what's going on outside the frame for once! I chimes very well with my thoughts today too, as I was taking pics of my blanket and thinking how the pictures seem to look better than the real life blanket. Photos can do that sometimes. I'd love a post from you about camera tips, I already picked up a couple from this post - like closing the curtains to block too much sun. Why didn't I think of that!

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  50. wonderful fun post! I'd love some camera tips too. I borrow my husbands digital SLR but not sure what I'm doing with it!

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  51. Well done John on the new job, it must be a huge relief. Love the cropping stormy..I always find a pile of washing or a stray pile of stuff in the way...love your Pyrex dish :-) x

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  52. Had great fun reading this post. It's amazing what we can hide and the illusion we can create by 'zooming in'. I go to different rooms in the house depending on the quality of the light and better still outside in natural light if the weather is decent. Look forward to more tips.

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  53. Loved this. Looking forward to more tips. Clearly the most important accessory is a white tea towel!

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  54. I enjoyed seeing what was going on outside of the shot that you wanted. Looking forward to the photography tips.

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  55. Anothe rgreat post Gillian. I love the behind the scenes stuff. And (I'd noot noticed before) I think we've painted our kitchen a similar shade to yours! Looking forward to hearing more tips...I'm only using my phone camera at the moment and they're badly lit and shaky!!:)

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  56. Love this! A great idea, and I have to say - that's an impressive train set! Ours looks pretty rubbish in comparison.
    Never thought I'd ever suffer from train set envy!
    Sarah x

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  57. ha… yes that is very familiar (though minus the children obviously)! all looks calm in shot, but my goodness sometimes it is chaos around it! x

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  58. Oh yes! The world of blog and the world of real life!
    Fabulous.
    Lisa x

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  59. Such a fun post, its great to see your zoomed out shots!
    Happy belated birthday, your presents look lovely. xx

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