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9/26/13

My Beauty Blogging Camera + Tips

I'm  doing this post purely as a blogger, just to show you how I click photos for this blog. It's been requested by some other beauty bloggers, but all you non-bloggers might find these tips handy too, you know, when clicking pics of your kid's birthday cake, or your new mani to show-off on Facebook. If you don't have a camera, and never click photos, you can just look at the MAC lippies. I put them in there just for you =)
Since I couldn't use my camera, I used my mobile - Samsung S3. Previously Mr.CZ's, coz I was using Nokia Lumia 820, which I no likey. We swapped, sadly not before he dropped it on a marble floor and cracked the screen. I wanted it anyways, coz that Windows phone was driving me crazy.
My Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-HX7V. When I'd gone shopping for a new camera (after my Panasonic Lumix got stolen along with my handbag), I picked this over 2 DSLR's - Canon EOS-something & Nikon-something. Reason: It's smaller & lighter than the 2. It's simply more convenient & fits in my small handbag too.
Main Features: 10x Optical Zoom, 16.2 megapixel sensor, 3D images, Full HD Movie. I really don't know the rest.
So, let me show you how I set it and everything. It gets easier when you get to know your camera, and play with different features. *Please excuse me if I use the wrong words to describe anything.
Step 1: Setting the shooting mode. I usually use the P (Auto Exposure With Adjustable Settings) and the person icon. Most of the time, the person icon, which is Shoot With Background Defocus.
 Step 2: I usually set Defocus Effect to Lo (Low)
Step 3: I go to EV button- brightness setting. This is the one thing I adjust every time I click photos. Most of the time, I set it to one point higher than the default. I'll go up to +1.0 if I'm clicking in the evening. If your photo is coming out too dark, make sure you check this setting.
That face icon below EV is Soft Skin. Just makes your skin look somewhat airbrushed. I used it once or twice, but I don't like how fake my skin looked.
Step 4: Zoom in! This will increase the lens and make objects look magnified. If you're zooming, and the objects look blurry, that means you're zooming in too much, so you need to Zoom Out till the point it looks normal again. Bring your camera closer to the objects if you think it looks too far, and can't zoom in anymore. I learnt how fantastic this feature is when I was taking pics of my Jewelry Holder.
 
Step 5: Now your finger is itching to press that final button, but NOT YET! This is an important step, especially for digital cameras (I don't know about DSLRs). Don't click immediately. First, lightly press the click button about half way down- you'll see those bracket things. Doing this will help the lens (?) focus on objects properly, and prevent blurry images. Press lightly once or multiple times, and when the objects look crystal clear, press down fully & CLICK! I set mine on Auto Focus/Face Detection- You'll find this in Menu, under Soft Skin setting. If your camera doesn't already have a background defocus mode, doing this will give almost the same effect.
In some cameras. like my Panasonic Lumix, there's Macro setting- a flower icon. It's best for extreme closeup photos and small objects, like small insects. For beauty bloggers, makeup swatches.
 Extra Settings:
  • Burst ~ Takes 3 or more photos at once. Quite useful when you're doing a look, or you want to make those GIF images (that move), and you want a pic where you're stuck in the air while jumping up. I used this for a few of my pics here
  • Self-timer ~ If you're taking photos of yourself, this is the way to go. I use it for all my LOTD's. 10 seconds.
  • Flash ~  I don't like to use it. Useful only at night, and when you want to show shimmer in makeup.
  • Menu: You click here to  view all the previous settings we talked about.

Now let's click a few pics with the camera:
These are most of my MAC Lipsticks in black packaging.


How I Do it:
  • I ALWAYS click in natural light, next to my big living room window, which is the brightest place in the whole house. No soft boxes, no flash.
  • I almost always edit my photos ~ I don't just transfer them to my computer and upload. The camera does about 50-70% of the job, and I do the rest. Mainly the brightness, especially if the photos come out too dark. I have a systematic way of editing, using different programs. I guess that's a little trick that should stay in my own blog ;) {You understand what I'm saying.}
  • I'm a little obsessive. I think I could click pics of 1 lipstick for hours- different angles, different backgrounds. For example..... 
In the pics above is MAC Style Surge Mineralize Lipstick. Clicked with different backgrounds. Pics and swatches taken in May, but I never posted them on here- mainly coz I did not like the lipstick. That's just 4 pics from a folder of over 30 pics.

♥ 

That's all for today. Hope you found this post helpful & I would really really love to know which camera you use.

Do I want a big fancy camera with 0.967043 lens and all that jazz? YES. I'm doing my research at the moment, and will probably get one when I return to India after January. Most electronics are cheaper in India than UK. I'll probably get something Canon. With a remote control. And that thing that sticks up like a flashlight on top. And a strap. I will hang it on my neck. I'll go where there's water and many birds flying and hopping about. At sunset. I'll pose with camera covering my right eye, like a professional photographer. I'll be wearing palazzo pants and.....






48 comments:

  1. Great post! Love to read all the Tips for bloggers.

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  2. Good tips, will be helpful thanx <3

    Xoxo
    http://cherryhues4u.blogspot.com/

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  3. THank you so much for sharing these tips. Super helpful <3

    Preeti Kaur recently posted.. Outfit of the day: Blue Jeans with mustard top

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  4. Loved it! I have the Canon EOS Rebel t5i. It's the latest one form Canon and I LOVE it! I don't know if it's available in India though because up until last month the latest they had was 60D.

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    1. It is available I think, and called 600D if I'm not mistaken

      ♥xx♥

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  5. Great post! I love reading tips on blogging equipment and other technology people use. :)

    I use Nikon Coolpix S5100 camera. You can check my blog to see how the pix turn out. I'm pretty pleased with it. I wish it had that background blur option, but it only works in macro mode. If only I could get my hands on DSLR camera... :) If you're interested in some more photography equipment do check Joby tripods. I got one last year - a magnetic one and it is very handy. They have different sizes and the one that I have is so small that can fit in my bag (but it can only carry light weight cameras). Check their website for all the info since they explain it better than me. :)

    nena. http://nevenadot.blogspot.com/

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    1. Ooh thanks for the Joby tip Nena! I'd never seen them before and they look so useful and creepy at the same time :)

      ♥xx♥

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  6. Thank you so much for sharing your tips with us I'll treasure them!

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  7. perfect tutorial , will come in handy for pics :)

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  8. I love ur camera and how u take a picture <3

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  9. Very helpful post Cynthia.. I will use these tips.. thnk u so muuch for sharing!! :)
    Me too not likey the Windows phone it s*cks!! :P

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  10. Very helpful tips! I use a Canon Rebel T3i and I love it!

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  11. We are same. I'm pretty obsessive too >o<, always take more than 50shots over 1 single object. This post really helping me, hope you would share more photography tips to us. XOXO

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  12. Thank you, thank you, thank you sooooo much for doing this post. I have a Sony DSC-W570 but all iv done in the years iv had it is use it as a point n shoot, set in auto. I havent even bothered to do thru d manual n chk all d features (no time...busy mom...lol) . And u'll be shocked, but 95% of the pics kn my blog are taken on my iPad....time saving, no need to upload pics etc :p . Gonna take my cam out and see all these features that ur talkin about. Better pics, here I come :D

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    1. Hehe...all the best! :) iPad must be very handy then, since many use it as a cam too

      ♥xx♥

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  13. Great post Cynthia! I use Canon 1100D camera and have been loving it. Canon is known for capturing colors much more better then the other brands and that's seems more important when considering we play with colors all the time in the beauty blogging world ^_^.

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    1. Good to know that! I'm bent towards Canon only

      ♥xx♥

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  14. I was really looking for this post for a couple of days! How did you know that Cynthia? Now I know, I really need to reset my cam. Very useful tips :D

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    1. I just knew! :D Happy you found it useful Sayantini :)

      ♥xx♥

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  15. Thanks sooo much for this post CZ! We love you for these kinda posts, that's what differs you from the rest of the bloggers. *BIG HUGS*

    P.S: I recently bought Nikon Coolpix P520. Its a 18.1 mega pixel camera with 40x zoom! I mainly bought it cause I started with beauty blogging recently and my old coolpix never captured swatches properly. But I am still learning how to use this one, it seems to capture EVERY bloody tinniest spot on my face and I have to spend a LOT of time editing it out! Ugh. Well, I loved the adjust brightness idea you shared! I have never tried those, I usually only play with scenes.

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    1. Aww.. thanks Sahana, that's very sweet! Your cam sounds awesome! You could just disable Macro if it's too truthful :D

      ♥xx♥

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  16. I've been usin Canon 1000D for years now until I finally realisedhow good my I-Pad retina photographs makeup!! Been a convert ever since >_<

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    1. Sounds great. I'm not into I-Pads, but wouldn't mind if someone gifted me one :P

      ♥xx♥

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  17. LOL! You Are So Funny!! :P

    The Post.. Extremely Helpful!! I Can Totally Identify With The Obsessive Part.. It's The Same With Me! :D

    I Use a Sony Cybershot But I Think The Model Is Now Extinct :-s

    And, The Lippies *__*

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    1. You think so? :D Glad there are more obsessive people here hehe

      ♥xx♥

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  18. Nyc post! Thanks for sharing love ur tips :)

    http://afsanablog.blogspot.com/

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  19. Haha even i do the "half button down, then focus and click" thing. great photography tips! thanks. love the mac lipsticks. :O :)

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  20. Great post! I love taking pics with my S3 now that I don't have any pocket camera :( Need to upgrade to a better camera ASAP

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  21. wow! I always thought you had some great DSLR. I use my Nokia N8 phone camera and the trick as you mentioned is to take pictures in natural light - i have managed quite a few photos where people thought it was from a high end DSLR :) - the only reason keeping from switching over to an android phone is the camera in my N8 - but yeah as you said - it looks more professional specially at events when you carry a nice big DSLR :P

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  22. I use Sony DSC-W530 from the start..want to change now..I do use macro and timer and click slightly before final click as u sd..but never used the EV..will try now..Thanks :)

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  23. hahaa.. loved ur post.. n was hoping to read more of d sunset photographer expert story of urs... y did u cut it... loved ur post as always.. loved ur mac lipsticks collection too :) :)

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    1. Hahaha...oh, you did?? Sorry, I thought I was drifting. Will continue story next time.... :D

      ♥xx♥

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  24. i love ur writing style !! so witty n funny!! these DSLR's n settings are too confusing for me!! f you buy one please give a tutorial like this ..basics are enough!!

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    1. Thank you so much Khushboo! Happy you enjoy reading. I will surely do a similar post about my new fancy camera :D

      ♥xx♥

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  25. Wow this article was for too technical but easy to understand. Way to go CZ! I usually just use my Phone for the pictures on my blog and they turn out pretty great without all the fussy camera settings you wold need in a proper camera.

    http://thesecretlifeofabeautylover.blogspot.com

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  26. hahaha at the last paragraph ...u r so sweet CZ
    Im a photographer by passion but you really take beafutiful pics and editing rocks Man :)

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  27. very informative post for us.. btw ur camera costs???

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    1. I think I got it for around Rs.15,000

      ♥xx♥

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  28. Ganz toller Artikel, bei dir schaue ich immer ganz gerne vorbei.

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  29. this is one fabulous post. I had read this before but I just bought my first DSLR and I thought I'll let u know my thoughts. I tried both canon and nikon and since they're not mirrorless cameras they take forever to click if you're clicking using the LCD screen. u HAVE to click through the viewfinder to click instantly which honestly is a pain especially if you're clicking products. I instead went for sony 3000k which cost me 26k. Its a mirroless dslr and totally kicks canon 1110d and nikon 5100's booty :D The lightest of them all and I'm loving it to the core. Just wish it came with the remote thingy :p So yeah when you do go for dslr shopping don't forget to check out sony :)

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  30. Very helpful tips for a newbie like me. Love.

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  31. This is really helpful, I'm looking for a new camera for my blog. Although my iPhone is doing pretty good job, I want something that I have a little more control over!

    Neelam // www.neelamjayna.blogspot.co.uk

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I ♥ finding little notes in my Vanity Case, so do drop one. I read all of them & I try my best to reply to each & every one of them [check back in 2-3 days =D] but most times it's physically impossible! Either way, I love to hear from you & really appreciate you taking the time out to share your thoughts <3

Thank you for reading! :)

♥xx♥