Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Review: Photography for Scrapbookers

Photography for Scrapbookers
Tracy White, Creating Keepsakes, Primedia, 2006

No, I didn’t purchase this book. I only borrowed it from friend and fellow scrapbooker, Nita. Not because I was too cheap (huh!) but because I seriously believed I didn’t need it. I have dabbled in photography since high school, and even took a photography course when I got my Nikon FM2, a fully-manual SLR. It’s safe to say I know about f-stops, apertures and ISOs. So no, I was not interested in another photography book.

Professional photographers will find the tips and techniques in the book common sense or purely intuitive. But for beginners, it is a good resource. It gives advice on taking every day pictures, portraits, places, nature and landscapes, holidays and special occasions and action. There is also a section of helpful hints for photographing babies, toddlers, children, teens and adults. I like how the book presents photos by different photographers and how it discusses their individual approaches. The approaches are practical and easy to follow. No f-stops and aperture settings to confuse you or make your eyes glaze over.

I am neither a professional nor a beginner but I still found some value in this book, particularly on lighting and composition. It guides you to take photos that tell all the details of the story. It’s not just taking photos, it’s taking photos that would look good in your layouts. In fact, just looking at the photographs inspires me to grab my camera and take photos. Something I have come to think of lately as a chore more than a fun activity.

These days, I use my point and shoot digital camera more often than my trusty FM2. It is easier to lug around and I love the convenience of being able to preview the shot immediately after it was taken. Not to mention, no film costs. I am frustrated, however, that my digital camera has no manual controls. The book reminds me to use the different scene modes in my camera. It tells me when to use these settings. So for now, I am quite happy with what I have (though I won’t stop wishing for a Nikon D80).

The best prcatical advise in this book? Read your camera manual. It is not as exciting to read (or look at) as this book but it tells you what your camera is capable of. Then practice, practice, and practice some more. Take more pictures than you will ever need. Then choose the best photos of the lot. And remember, you don’t have to scrap them all.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Why I Should Scrap...Now!

Conversation with my eight-year old sometime last December 2006:

Diego: Mama, you buy so much scrapbooking stuff but you don't scrapbook.
Me (a little hurt): Isn't it that I made a scrapbook for your swimming lessons last summer?
Diego: That's not a scrapbook. That's a scrap page.

Out of the mouth of the babes. But it wasn't just a scrap page. Two pages actually.

I have only done nine paper LOs so far. This #2 of 9. Made last June 2006. Inspired by a Becky Higgins sketch.

Why I Scrap

I prepared this 3x5 poster for Maria Grace Abuzman's class last January 13, 2007. Grace made me reflect on why I am really into scrapbooking. Nope, it's more than just the pretty paper and embellishments.

I used Adobe Photoshop CS using the trial and error method or kapa method. I'm starting to enjoy making digital LOs because while I am not really good at it, it's so easy to undo mistakes. But I love the feel of paper LOs still. Courage, Lee. Like other scrapbookers before you have realized, there are no mistakes in scrapbooking. Embrace the imperfection. - Ali Edwards

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

EB Means Eyeball

When I got started on this hobby, I stumbled upon a group in the web which turned out to be an important part of my growth as a scrapbooker. The Pinoy Scrapbookers turned out to be a great resource, not only for ideas, tips and techniques but for friendships and yes, shopping buddies. The e-group has been around for a long time, since 2001, but has only recently climbed to a record number of memberships.

The group held it's first eyeball or meeting or get-together, last October 2006. You can read co-moderator Sheryl's account here. For a while, there were no general meetings but the exchange of ideas and layouts continued through e-mail. But there was a continuing clamor for another EB and we finally had one last January 7, 2007.

What, exactly happens in these EBs? Is it some secret scrapbookers' society meeting that must be kept hidden from the prying eyes of "struggles" or non-scrapping people, otherwise known as those-who-struggle-to-make-LOs? (Inspired by the word "muggles" or non-magical folk from Harry Potter).

Well, it is a day full of camaraderie, creativity, food, sharing, and fun. So what exactly do we do at these EBs? Watch the video and be inspired. Then join us at www.pinoyscrapbookers@yahoogroups.com. This Pinoy society of scrapbookers is secret no more.

NOTE: Please click on the small square with arrow at the bottom (third icon from the left) to minimize the screen. The resolution will be better.