Since starting photography as a hobby turned career, I have been obsessed with learning trade-secrets of how photographers actually make their work look so amazing. I have an eye for composition (thanks to my 9th grade art teacher, Ms. Packard), but I didn't exactly know how important these items were to making great photographs:
1) Camera with a great sensor is #1 (My camera isn't full frame, but it is a nice beginner camera with a pretty big CMOS sensor). You want a big sensor to capture more detail and information (light, contrast, sharpness, depth of field) to create awesome images.
2) Lenses are also #1 (Its like the chicken and the egg. A good sensor is useless without the right lenses, but you need a good sensor to capture all of the information your lenses bring into the camera). Dang! I recommend prime lenses. Talk to your local photography store about why. ;)
3) Photoshop / Lightroom. They are both important because you typically can use both to achieve things that the other cannot. The unfortunate part is that it takes lots of time how to learn how to use photoshop (not so much lightroom once you get photoshop down).
With all that said, I have been moving my way slowly through getting the right lenses, body, and software. Now I need to learn how to use the software in a way that will get me the results I want. I want the results that the lady at Paint The Moon gets. She is also from Oregon, and her stuff is amazing. Like, unrealistic, realistic. Beautiful. Gorgeous. I'm drooling thinking about her work. Not sold? Look below:
Unbelievable, right? Amazing.
Welp... I am a new photographer, on a limited teachers salary, and as much as I would LOVE buying all of her products, I can only do one at a time. But that got me thinking... couldn't I learn how to make the photoshop actions? After all, I do teach graphic design (mostly basic tools for those of you out there thinking, "wow, she really can't do this?"). So I took matters into my own hands and went to YOUTUBE! I learned how to use color overlays, color replacements, gradients, etc. It has been fun and I want to share what I recently worked on:
Want to know how I did it? Watch the video: