Monday, January 31, 2011

New Flickr Group

I love Twitter and the fun things that can come from there.  The discussion started last night about the area artists getting together in a Co-Op / Tweetup kind of thing.  Well from that a new Flickr group was formed.  If you are in the Topeka, KS area I urge you to join and share it with all of your friends in the area.  Topeka Artists

Can't Live Without.....

No this isn't the start to a 90's rock song (Can't Live Without Your Love and Affection ..... Nelson..... Oh come on I know I wasn't the only one listening to it).  It's what I have in my camera bag that I love to pieces.  This isn't lenses or the camera body but the other stuff that makes taking photographs easier, better, etc.

First up Reynolds Oven Bag, Turkey size.  Please don't stop reading!  We like to take weather photography and this is the greatest thing for it.  You cut a hole just large enough for you lens to see out of it.  You can stick your head and camera in the big part and keep the rain away.

Next up is pony tail holders.  Not only is it great for keeping my hair out of my face when I'm shooting but, you can also use them to attach your turkey bag to the camera lens.  This will insure that the bag stays in place.

18% Gray Card.  This is a must if you are shooting indoors, in my opinion.  Taking those few extra minutes to set your white balance with one of these saves hours later adjusting your white balance.

Microfiber Cloths - They do a good job at keeping things clean and they are cheap enough that if you lose one it's not a big deal.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Giveaway Winner and Other Stuff

I know it's Sunday and I was supposed to announce on Friday.  I know, I know, I know bad me. :)  So here's the deal, the weather was finally nice and well I've been enjoying that before another round of the white stuff hits.  I've also been working behind the scenes to bring you guys a more enjoyable website.

Now the winner of the month long sponsorship............. I HEART NAP TIME    I'll be contacting you soon so we can get it set up for you.  Thanks to everyone who sent a ton of people my way this month!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Photo Workflow

I get asked a lot about my workflow.  My workflow is completely different from the other half's workflow, neither is right and neither is wrong.  It's just what works best for each of us.

First off I take my card and battery out of my camera.  The card goes into my computer and the battery goes into the charger.  Key thing to remember here is put both back into your camera when you finish.  I learned the hard way. lol

I use Adobe Lightroom to import my photos.  This does three things at once for me, it copies the photos from the card and puts them in my RAW folder, it organizes the files by date, and it puts them into Lightroom for me. I use Lightroom for my basic developing.  It works better for me than Photoshop.  I would have had a cool screen shot for you but I forgot to make one. :(

Now when I started with Lightroom, I was totally lost.  I didn't have a clue what I was doing.  So what did I do?  I took an online class with Nathan Holritz from Photographer's Edit.  It's called "HOW TO PROCESS A PORTRAIT SESSION IN AN HOUR OR LESS! "  It's worth the hour in front of the computer.  Then go find the podcasts for Killer Lightroom Tips from Scott Kelby.  Now it's time to get to work!

Today we are going to be working on a photo of a hot air balloon.  So what does it look like?

Not great is it?  Kind of flat, nothing special at all.  But this is what a RAW file looks like.  Now it's time to develop it.  That's even what this section of Lightroom is called.  So we are going to adjust the settings and get it looking fairly well.

So now the balloon is looking pretty good, the grass is nice and green, but the sky is totally without color.  Now I have a choice to make, do I dodge and burn in Lightroom or in Photoshop.  For this photo I'm going to move over to Photoshop.  I don't always do this but for this one I've got some other things I want to do.  Follow Scott Kelby's tips on how to do this, he, in my opinion, is the expert.

So here we are, one thing to double check before getting started is that you are in 8 bits not 16 bits mode.  Now I'm going to burn the sky.  

The sky looks better but this might be as good as it gets due to where the sun was when I took the photo.  At least there is some color in it now. I think I'll add a little blur to the sky.  I'm going to use the quick select tool, select the sky, do a layer mask, then add just a little gaussian blur.  Then I'll click save and it will send it back to Lightroom.  From there I'll export it to the folder that I want it to be in, and then I'll upload it here for you to see. 

Not a bad ending if I do say so myself.

Friday, January 21, 2011

You Made It - Now Share It

Let's share our ideas with each other!  The only rule is you had to create what you are sharing.  Other than that go for it!  Since this is the first week there is nothing to spot light but, next week I'll be featuring some of my favorite ideas.  Show me your best! Be sure to grab the button on the right hand side.  Next week's Iron Craft challenge is coffee cup sleeves.  I've got a couple of ideas floating around in my head and I can't wait to try them out and share them with you next week.

I didn't forget about the giveaway either.  Here are the totals so far I'll announce the winner next Friday so we have time to get the sponsorship up and in place.

1. I Heart Naptime 15 referrals  NEW LEADER!!!
2. The Idea Room with 10 referrals
3. Crafty Life and Style with 8 referrals
4. For the Love of Blogs with 7 referrals
5. Someday Crafts with 7 referrals
6. Sew Much Ado with 5 referrals
7. Be Different Act Normal with 4 referrals
8. Strawberry Freckles with 3 referrals
9. Sew Dang Cute Crafts with 1 referral
10. Blue Cricket Design with 1 referral
11. Crafterminds with 1 referral
12. Iron Crafts  with 1 referral

Thursday, January 20, 2011

We Got Published

I'm so excited to share this news with you all.  Friends of The Topeka Zoo, FOTZ, recently published their yearly calendar.  We are thrilled to announce that we had 18 photographs in the calendar.

Front Cover:



Topeka Zoo-0135










Back Cover



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Iron Craft Week #3 - Photo Bunting

First off I'm sorry for slacking the last couple of days.  I haven't been able to sit in my chair long enough to write.  But I'm BBBBAAACCCKKKK!!  So now on to what this post is really about.

I spoke last week about joining Iron Craft.  It's like Iron Chef for crafters.  Which is right up my alley.  This week's challenge is bunting.  Not up my alley. :(  Not sure what bunting is?

It's cute but it's not my style.  So I was struggling with what to do.  I didn't want to miss out on the challenge so I had to come up with something that was my style. So this is what I made:


I think it's cute.  It was quick, easy, and best of all cheap!  So let's look at how I did it.

First up the supplies you need:

  • hammer (on hand)
  • crochet thread (on hand)
  • scissors (on hand)
  • nails (on hand)
  • photos (on hand)
  • clips ($1.00 for 5 at Dollar Tree, I used two packs)
  • Grand Total $2.00

Now let's get to crafting.  

First thing I did was hammer the nails into the wall.  Then I tied the thread between the two.  I tried to take a picture of this part but it wouldn't show up, the thread was too close to my wall color.  Tie it tight, no slack in the thread.  I tried it first with some slack and the photos just ran to the center.  Then start clipping your photos on to the thread.


Things I learned during this project:
  • Slack in the tread is a huge no-no
  • The lighting in the room that I did it in SUCKS!  It's going to be my crafts room so this has to be changed!
  • Bunting doesn't have to be kitchy-cute.
  • Use alligator clips and doll them up when hanging the photos.
What I like best about this project:
  • It was quick.  Seriously it took like five minutes to put up.
  • It was cheap!  I had the photos stuck in an album where no one saw them.  Even if I had printed some the photos would have been about a dollar.
  • I can change the photos out when ever I want to. 

What do you guys think?  Going to try it yourself?  If so be sure to share the link with us on Friday!!

Posted At:




Friday, January 14, 2011

Picture Collage - Topeka Zoo Giraffes

I was struggling with what to post today.  My brain wasn't engaging.  I mean after all Friday is supposed to be whatever I want hence, the name Whatever Friday.  It didn't matter no creativity was flowing from my fingers.  So I went to Twitter and one of my followers ReArting, wanted to see a collage of some of my favorite photos.  Well some of my favorites are of the giraffes at the local zoo.  I love those guys so much!  So here they are!

Giveaway Update:

Remember this runs until the end of the month and the ad space is for the month of February.  There's still time to sneak in here and grab it up.

1. The Idea Room with 9 referrals
2. Crafty Life and Style with 6 referrals
3. Be Different Act Normal with 4 referrals
4. Someday Crafts with 3 referrals
5. Strawberry Freckles with 3 referrals
6. For the Love of Blogs with 2 referral
7. Sew Dang Cute Crafts with 1 referral
8. Sew Much Ado with 1 referral

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Update on Project 365

I suck!!  I haven't been getting my camera out and snapping away.  I forget when I don't have a project, sometimes I forget when I do have a non-photo project going on, to get the camera out and push the button for the heck of it.  So I have just a few pictures to share with you.

Jan. 2, 2011


Dinner!!  I made fajitas this night.  Yummy and I sort of captured the smoke coming off of it.

Jan. 11, 2011


I know you've seen this before but it's the picture I took yesterday. :-)

Ok next week we'll have more pictures I promise!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Craft Time!

If you have been reading the blog this year you have seen the photo projects that I've been posting.  I am doing this because I'm a craft junky.  I love to make stuff!  I thought if I posted project ideas that would get me in the mood to get some stuff done.  It has, I'm almost moved into my sewing/craft room.  I made a scarf yesterday.  It's been snowy and cold here and figured I needed one.  To keep me on track and to keep my creative juices flowing I'm joining Iron Craft  52 challenges.  I've missed the first two because I didn't know about it in time.

Back to the scarf.  It was really easy.  I got it from Lion Brand but you do have to sign up for a free account to see the pattern.  I used the following:

and a bright yellow and a bright orange that has been discontinued.  I had bought the yarn several years ago when I made a bunch of these scarves for family members for Christmas.

So how did it turn out?  I think pretty good.

20110111-IMG_3508 20110111-IMG_3512

Posted At:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Flickr Streams

Did you know there are two flickr streams for Shields Photography?  Did you know if you find a picture on either one of them and just have to hang it on your wall we can do that for you?

Flickr stream #1 some samples from that stream are:

20101002-IMG_2402-Edit IMG_1488 Sparks May Fly Any Second

Flickr stream #2 some samples from that stream are:
Lr Hummingbird--2308 IMG_2616 IMG_9696

If you find something that you just can't live without you can contact us here on the blog or you can email us at

Monday, January 10, 2011

Camera Suggestions

I get asked a lot what kind of camera do I think someone should get.  Remember on Monday when I said my husband thought Raw vs Jpg need a flow chart?  That question needs a flow chart, an input and output chart, and a dose of psychic ability.  Unless you are my BFF I probably don't know enough about what you want to do with your camera to answer that question well.

So what camera do I tell people?  If they want something basic I usually point them towards Kodak Z981, Nikon L110 , or the Nikon P100.  Then I quickly follow that up with the following.  The best advice I can give you is to go to and use their camera finder. (The link is directly to that portion of the website.) Look at the photos taken from the cameras you are looking at.  If you want amazing macro shots off of your point and shoot that will help you find the camera that can do that.  Next, go to a camera shop and talk to them.  Yes they want to sell you a camera but they want you to walk out with the one you are happy with.  When you talk to them remember to listen to them too.  Sometimes we get so set about a certain brand that we don't listen to the fact that the camera can't do what we want it to.

Here is an example of the we want a certain type of camera because we want a certain type of photo.  People often look at one of my photos and say, "Oh I want to take pictures just like that and to do that I must have the exact same camera as you do."  No you don't.  While I love my DSLR to pieces it does not make the photographs better.
This is probably one of my favorite photos I have ever taken.
Pretty isn't it?  Ok I think it is pretty anyway.  It was taken on a Fujifilm Finepix S700 It's a great picture and can be blown up to at least 11x14.  I know this because my husband's Christmas present from a few years ago was of his dog and was taken with that camera.  The only reason I gave up that camera was because I had outgrown it.

What do I mean by I outgrew my camera?  Well first off it was only 7.1 megapixels and it was time to get something with a little more pixels going on.  Secondly, my dream has always been to develop my own photos, remember RAW vs Jpg, so I wanted something I could do that with.  That's why I have a Canon XSI but if I had the money I would be upgrading.  I have nothing but love for that camera.  It's taught me a ton.  It's given me the opportunity to do this little side business of selling some art shots and doing photography for people at affordable prices.   I never tell people I'm a professional.  I'm not but I like to think I'm better than average and I'm striving to be a professional.  Now I want Canon EOS 5D MarkII but that's a little ways down the road.  For now I'm hoping to make the step-up to the Canon EOS 60D by the end of the year.  It's a goal but to reach that goal I have a few others to reach first.

Happy camera shopping!!

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