Thursday, March 8, 2012

Taking Your Photography to Another Level with Kristen Duke

In blogging, one thing that is super important is good pictures. Some of my favorite blogs are my favorite because they have incredible photos.
This is one area I would really like to improve in.
Last year, I took steps to becoming a better photographer by using Kristen Duke’s book “Say NO to Auto”, you can read my review HERE.
I’ll admit that I’m one of those people, that I leave my camera
in Auto a lot. It’s fast and easy. However, my photos aren’t as good as they could be.

This book was a great beginner’s tool to help me get out of my comfort zone and try to photograph in manual mode.
While the book was very helpful, I found Kristen’s workshop even more beneficial, and I’ve been shooting in manual more often ever since.
This is still one of my favorite shots (which I couldn’t have done in AUTO mode).
Well Kristen has released a second book called “Get Focused”.
This book is for those who are comfortable shooting in manual mode. I would say it’s an intermediate level book. It offers “12 creative tops and techniques for taking your photography to a higher level.”

I’ll be honest. I’m not always comfortable in manual mode, so I was a little intimidated to try some of the techniques mentioned. However I really, really want great photos, so I gave a few of the tips a try.
Auto vs. Manual mode:
DSC_0570DSC_0569 copy
Definitely better!

For the most part, I’m pleased, but I still have a lot of room to improve.
One of the most important things that I’ve learned is how critical it is to have a good lens. I get the best pictures with my 50mm. I LOVE my 50mm, but sometimes (like when I’m photography a room or I’m in a tight space) I have to use my 18-55mm. It works okay, but the f-stop doesn’t go as low, so the quality isn’t there like it is with my 50mm. I definitely want to save up so I can get a better lens.

Now I want to master even more of the techniques in the book. How great would it be to ask the master herself, Kristen Duke?
Like I said before, I thought the workshop really helped me get the hands-on experience to better understand.
Kristen is teaching several workshops throughout the country this summer including Alaska, Utah, Texas, and Delaware.
If you can’t attend a workshop in person, she also offers them through Skype.
For dates and location details, click HERE.

I’m pretty excited because one of the Utah workshops is going to be on June 16th in the Provo area.
And for all you northern Utah peeps, on Friday, June 15th, she’ll be holding one in the Syracuse area.

For more details and to register, visit HERE and to get your own copy of one of Kristen’s fabulous photography books go HERE!

Have fun taking pictures!!!


  1. I am a victim of auto or easy mode too. I like your comparison shots, it really does make a huge difference to use your camera right. i might have to buy this book. Thanks for advice girl!

  2. Gosh...I switched from manual mode to auto!! Ha!! Actually I play with my settings all the time. It is great to experiment that is for sure.
    Also, using a tripod more often is my goal this year. Makes a huge difference.


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