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August 2018

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My Online Photography Workshop

This is how I learned to edit my photos

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Since I'm a stalker and I love you to pieces, here is the link for the etsy label gal...

and her user name is twogirlzstuff I believe...

And as always, thanks for the lovely post filled with info! :)


For the love of Karen Russell, I should send SHARON some chocolate since Westbrook is a totally manageable 2.5 hour drive from my home in Vermont!

I went with the Canon lens hood (for the 50mm 1.4) this time around (vs. filter) and knew I'd have to figure something out when I got the lens because it was a bit awkward to remove/replace the lens cap. So I went with a OPTech Hood Hat (in a size small). LOVE IT! It's on and off quickly... I'm ready to shoot in just a second or two. It was a bit stiff at first, but loosened up considerably in just a couple of days.

I think I will love the 40D (vs. the XTI I gave up last fall), but I've not had much opportunity to shoot outside of the home (weather) and that is where I typically prefer to do my shooting. I really haven't taken a single shot that I'm proud of, which is a bit discouraging... I'm looking forward to the challenge of getting to know my new camera though!


YAY! Westbrook is only about 2 hours from me and I would travel to the end of the earth to take a class with you again. (ok, well maybe 2 hours, LOL!) I am going to start buttering up DH today...


Hi, I recently discovered your blog and I really enjoy your photos!

I have a Canon rebel digital (older model) and I use a Tamron for zoom, but now I'm interested in a wide angle. Any reasonably priced recommendations? I'm a mom and total amateur. I don't need all the bells and whistles. : ) Thanks!


Karen -- I am so excited that you are coming to CT. I might be able to drive up and take another class with you and see you again. Go girl on the East Coast trips -- we are always glad to see you!

Becky (aka: beckywed) :)

Aleida Franklin

Karen: I just now about 5 minutes ago purchased my Canon xTi and 1.4 lense because of your recommendations and others. I have been lurking your site and digesting all the information about photography. I am a beginner and I find your site extremely informative. I also enjoy the photographs and the infrequent layouts. I love your work and this blog. Thank you for doing this. I really appreciate it.




Hey now... I'm a camera store sales person and I *don't* try to sell kit lenses!! Especially not Canon's which is the optical equivilent of shooting through a Kleenex. :P We do, though, try to discourage people from taking the cheap 28-80 kit lens from their film body and only using that, because of the crop factor, which would make shooting indoors difficult at best. Problem is, most people who are just moving into their first dSLR are overwhelmed at the expense of it (never mind that 4 years ago it would be close to $2k to get in the game...), so the idea of spending $599 for the next best Canon wide zoom (the 17-85 IS) is, for most, a deal breaker. And as good (heck, FANTASTIC) as the Nifty-Fifty is, most people want and need a zoom for versitility. For instance, my home is small, and were I to only use the 50mm on my D300 (whose sensor is the same size as, say, the XTi/XSi) I would never be able to get more than two kids in the shot, and I wouldn't be able to get wide enough to really tell the story.

Anyway, I totally agree with what you say, and I love that you preach good glass above bodies -- you can always upgrade your body and take your good glass with you... I think that putting that down as a base line of good photography is as important as mastering the basics, learning the rules, breaking the rules, etc.



The other reason I haven't played with my camera much since its purchase is because I am a bit limited with the 50mm... as Caroline said, I just can't back up enough in certain rooms to get the photo I need to get. I never really felt limited by space in our old New England home, but I guess it is a bit on the small side (not the lens' fault lol). I still do not regret this purchase, since I spend so much time outside of our home in the spring, summer and fall (we have a seasonal spot at a campground and spend huge amounts of time outside). My original plan was to purchase another XTI, the Canon 50mm and the Tamron 28 75mm (which I have previously owned and liked). But then I decided to go with the 40D which only allowed me the purchase of one lens. I wanted something that allowed me greater flexibility in low light situations. So again, no regrets here!

fran heupel

Hi Karen,
Just wanted to post about the photo of Annie and Coley it is just precious I love the look on Annie's face while she is looking at Coley. Thanks for posting all the wonderful reccommendations.


Thank you! You have been a valuable source of info for me and my camera!

Jeannine Douglas

I just have to say Thank You for all your information that you share with everyone. My son has really become interested in photography and was wanting a lens for portrait taking. He kept telling me he needed a zoom lens, I kept telling him he needed the Canon 50mm f1.8 and we argued for quite awhile about it. Well I bought both the zoom and the 50mm f1.8 lens and wouldn't you know it - he loves the 50mm f1.8. He said he was so glad I didn't listen to him. So again, thank you very much for sharing your knowledge!


Hi Karen. Thanks for pointing out the Tamron lens - I work with a couple of guys who are L series snobs so the other points of view are refreshing. I shoot mostly with my 50mm f1.4, but now would like something that would be good for shooting tball, soccer, etc. Would you recommend the Tamron 28-75 for this sports kind of shooting?


thanks for all the info!


Thanks for sharing your opinions! I just took your advice from your Sept. 10th post and bought the XTi with the 50mm 1.4 and Tamron 28 75mm. Its only been a few days of playing, but I absolutely LOVE the 50mm indoors with the low light! It is tough to get the entire shot sometimes, but still worth every penny! Thanks again!


alll of that info you post and i am just in love with the picture *sigh*....SUCH a sweet sweet picture :)


seriously the sweetest picture ever!


I am such a stalker - I can't wait for your class (Please Dear God, let me have the money to take Karen's class) but if I can't take it this time I know I will next time, there will be 2 class right? If I can arrange it I am so taking a ROAD TRIP to CT to take your class.

Scrap Evangel

Great photo. Is there an action that you use to make it dark around the edges? I have PSE 5.0

Scrap Evangel

Great photo. Is there an action that you use to make it dark around the edges? I have PSE 5.0


Hi Karen! I'm soooo glad you are coming back to CT because I missed your class last time. Its a good 1.5 hour drive for me & my friends but we'll be there! I can't wait for June!!!!


you should look at jill-e bags.

they are the best and stylish. and they hold a ton!


I had the shootsac and sold it for that same reason. I really love the look of it but it really is for weddings and someone who changes their lenses. I just got the small jill-e bag and LOVE IT. It fits my 5D with a lens and my 24-70.


Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge! What would be a good (reasonably priced) lens for shooting kids sports such as soccer, baseball - looking to capture some close-up shots from across the field. I am just a mom who loves to capture her little guys in action. I am relatively new at photography but want something that I can grow with. (I just purchased the xti body.)


Forgot to ask, can you please share some information about filters. Are there specific types and/or brands you recommend? I read that you keep one on your camera at all times. I since went to look into purchasing a filter, but saw there were many types such as UV, polarizing, etc. in addition to many different brands. Can you help me make sense of what is necessary for the average camera mom? Thanks Karen!!

Carol Adams

Where do you get your photos printed? Do you photoshop them before putting them on your blog? Love your beautiful pictures.
Thanks for inspiring me!


Hi Karen:

I love your blog and have picked up so many helpful tips from you on using my digital SLR (Canon Digital Rebel). I had the same question for you as one of the above posters -- what filters do you recommend purchasing? My sweet husband is buying me a Tamaron 28 -70mm f2.8 lens and I am super excited -- but a question came up about what kind of filter he should buy to go with this lens. I've always purchased inexpensive to moderately priced filters, but the sales folks are pushing the idea of "why would you buy a lens of this quality and not buy a high-quality filter?". What is your opinion?

Thanks for your help!
Lawren in Colorado

Rachel Tucker

Oh thank you so much for posting these camera tips. I have been wanting to email you and ask if you recommend a certain camera BUT I kinda figured that you were one busy lady and that you might get that email alot. So here I am searching your blog... click on photography tip and what do you know there it is ! MAGIC I say. You rock and I love reading your blog, sometimes even laugh out loud at it. Congtats on making 795 posts. Don't you ever stop. Also hope to do your photography course next year (if i can ever get in to it) Have a great weekend.

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