Learning to See Creatively Book Review


I often credit Bryan Peterson’s book Understanding Exposure with helping me understand how to use my first D-SLR camera and eventually take the leap into our wedding and portrait photography business.

In Learning to See Creatively Peterson teaches you to “see” the image and improve your photography skills. He compares and shows what techniques will help to create a dynamic image.

The book has 5 sections. The first, Expanding Your Vision covers how we see, human vision vs. camera vision, and lens choice. Next, Elements of Design covers what makes a striking image, and explanations of line, shape, form, texture, pattern, and color. The third section covers Composition (such as the rule of thirds, breaking the rules, horizontal vs. vertical), while the next section explores the Magic of Light. Finally, the last section covers some Photoshop how-tos.

The photos in the book are large and I appreciate the long captions explaining how and why he took a particular image. I also like how he doesn’t just show the final photo, but also the “behind the scenes photo” as well. I find the book very approachable and helpful in techniques and design concepts.

I’ve owned the previous edition of Learning to See Creatively, and I think this edition would be helpful to those who are just venturing into photography or looking for some inspiration or different ideas. It makes a good companion piece to Understanding Exposure.

More info on the book found here. More info on the author here.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own.

Summers are for…

Summers are for:

Hosting and having game nights:
IMG_5987Working on craft projects

Scheduling evening time to go running because it’s so hot


Getting a new “toy”:IMG_6035

Wondering if it’s ever going to rain

Ice cream for dessert almost every day

Coming up with activities to play:

Swimming lessons

Story time at the library

Getting ready for family visits

Playing in the water:


It’s been a good summer so far. With that in mind, and maintaining balance around here, I’m going to take a break from blogging for the month of August. I will probably pop in a few times with a book review or something of interest, but will resume regularly scheduled blogging on September 1st! I’m still available via email, or if you comment. Thanks and enjoy the rest of your summer!

The Realism Challenge Book Review


I’ve seen hyperrealism art but I didn’t realize there was a specific name to the genre until I picked up The Realism Challenge. In the book, Mark Crilley walks you through 30 art challenges. Each challenge has a step-by-step images of each phase of the art. He begins with an image of torn paper and then it builds up with the techniques to the last challenge which is a hodgepodge of items in varying textures.

I’m a bit torn about this book. It’s not a book for complete beginners because he covers his supplies in the very brief introduction but it’s not very specific as far as brands, which I guess isn’t a big deal. (You know, it’s like the joke when someone says, “wow your camera takes really nice pictures,” and the response is, “wow, your mouth makes really nice compliments.”)

But, I think a little bit more on the “basics” would help newer artists. Tips on how to shade, how to measure, or proportions and techniques would be helpful. It seems like there was a lot of “do this and this” but not enough “how” or I think the book would have benefited if it could have zoomed in a bit more on the photos and parts he talks about focusing in on. Basically you’re seeing the whole image from start to finish without getting closer to any part of the item. The photos are small and that makes it tough to follow along.

Ultimately, the work is amazing and creating hyperrealism art takes a lot of time and patience. I think I’d enjoy coming back to this book, but I think I’d need a beginner art book as a companion to this one.

More info on the book found here. More info on the author here.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own.

Joining Week in The Life 2015


I got my Week in the Life package yesterday (missing the transparencies, which I guess they are sending separately).

I’m looking forward to documenting another week in our family life. It’ll actually be sort of an “off week” in that we’ll have family visiting and a little gathering/party, which makes it the third year it would have been an “off week.”

But, after skipping 2013 because I thought it was too strange, I think it’s worth it to either documenting a “real” week, but I think it’s also fun to document that off week as well. I love my 2014 album even though it was an “off” week.

And honestly, who cares if it doesn’t 100% reflect your daily life? It’s a special album any way you look at it. I think any glimpse into your life is cool.  :-)

Like last year, I hope to incorporate photos, especially more photos from our dearly neglected D-SLR.

Are you participating in Week in the Life?