UNmanual2

The original UNmanual was released three and a half years ago and has sold close to 1000 copies.  It was more wildly successful than I could have ever imagined and hearing that it has helped so many of you capture the memories of your family so easily and effortlessly makes me so happy.  Because that’s how it should be.

It’s been quiet here on the blog not because I have nothing to share with you, but because I have been pouring myself into creating the UNmanual2.

 

The UNmanual2 is something I’ve been dreaming up for quite some time.  I wanted Mom*togs to be able to see how I interact with my own kids when I shoot, what the environment I shoot in looks like, and how I use light.  My kids, my house.  Nothing special or fancy, but just how I photograph my kids living their lives and doing their thing.

The UNmanual2 consists of 13 video guides and reviews all of the basics from the original UNmanual, so if you did not purchase the original UNmanual don’t worry.  The UNmanual2′s lesson based structure will ensure that you too become a master of DSLR manual shooting.  If you did purchase the original UNmanual, the basics of DSLR manual shooting will be a nice review, but I’ve also added a lot of content for those of you who have mastered the basics and are looking to take your photography to the next level.

To compliment the UNmanual2 I will be releasing the UNmanual Editing Guide next week.  It will consist of video tutorials on how I use Photoshop to enhance my images and get them to look like a better version of everyday life.

For those of you who purchase the UNmanual2 on Black Friday you will receive the UNmanual Editing Guide (priced at $149) for free the second it’s released! No code needed.  It will be added to your course page automatically!  You can register for the UNmanual2 here.

Also, I released a course on how to improve your Phonetography.  It’s completely free.  Just my little gift to you.  You can register for that course here.  

I hope you enjoy the new UNmanual as much as I enjoyed creating it!

A Million Questions

I love that Brayden loves to read.  It’s like the neurons in his brain have started firing rapidly since he really started reading this year.  He reads everything.  Street sign, store names, my cars navigation system, brochures, my text messages.  Anything he sees he reads.  The problem is, the kid won’t stop asking questions about whatever he is reading.  I thought we were past that stage.  Nope.  It’s come back with a vengeance.  And the questions are harder.  So much harder.  Like, I have to Google the answer hard.  What did parents do before Google?  How did they survive???

*** Canon 5D Mark II, 50 1.2

F 1.8, 1/125, ISO 1600 (both pictures)

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Canon 5D Mark II, 28mm 1.8

F 1.8, 1/125, ISO 1600 (both pictures)

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Mom*tog UNediting Guide

I’ve spent over 8 years and thousands of hours working in Photoshop and perfecting my editing my technique.  And now I’m proud to introduce Mom*tog’s UNediting Guide.

Much like the UNmanual simplifies the complex and technical language of shooting in Manual with your DSLR camera, the UNediting Guide breaks down the endless capabilities of Photoshop into what Mom*togs really need to know.  Through a series of video tutorials accompanied by written descriptions, Mom*tog’s UNediting Guide takes you through my editing process from start to finish.  I begin with the basics of how I organize my photos, and then move onto other aspects of editing such as retouching images, conversion to black and white, sharpening, and much more.  By guiding you through the parts of Photoshop that are most applicable to photographers, Mom*tog’s UNediting Guide will give you the confidence you need to turn those great images you captured after reading the UNmanual into amazing, canvas-worthy pictures on your wall.

Mom*tog’s UNediting Guide can be purchased a la carte for only $149 but because I believe that you need a good out of camera image to create a great picture with editing, I am offering the UNmanual2 and the UNediting Guide as a bundle for only $249.  If you have not studied the original UNmanual or UNmanual2, or if you do not have a strong foundation for shooting with your DSLR, I do not recommend purchasing the UNediting Guide a la carte.

The UNediting Guide will guide you through any version of Photoshop.  I currently use Photoshop CS6 to process my images and Adobe Bridge to view and organize my images.

To purchase the UNediting Guide for $149 please click here!

For a limited time purchase the UNmanual and UNediting bundle for $249.  Click here!

If you purchased the UNmanual between 11/29 – 12/4 and are interested in purchasing the UNediting Guide, I will honor the bundle price.  Please email me at drew@drewbphotography.com and I will send you an invoice.

*** Due to the instant access of this product there will be no refunds issued.  The UNediting Guide is not for professional photographers who have their own workshops, online courses, or photography guides.  None of the information in the UNediting Guide may be used or replicated without written consent from Drew Bittel.  The UNediting Guide is for the exclusive use of the purchaser and is not to be shared or used by multiple users.  All materials in the UNediting Guide is copyrighted under DrewB Photography, LLC.  

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From Retouching course.

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From Salvaging an Image course

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From Let’s Edit + Making Grass Greener course

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From Black and White course

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Merry and Bright – Part II

Yesterday I did a guest post on Mpix with a tutorial on how to take photos by your Christmas tree.  I had a couple of naysayers that said the only reason I was able to get the images was because of my equipment.  Yes, I am a professional photographer and I am lucky to have great equipment.  But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get great images with other camera bodies and lenses.

I dug out my very first DSLR camera.  A Canon Rebel XT… from 2005!  I bought that bad boy from Circuit City for 0% APR and it took me a full year to pay off.  I shot with that camera professionally for almost a year before I could afford to upgrade to the 20d.  I loved that little camera.

So to put those naysayers to rest I retook a couple of images with the 9 year old Rebel XT and my 28 1.8 lens, which is a $500 lens versus a $1500 lens.  I would have used a 50 1.8 lens, but I don’t have one.

Clearly there are differences between the pictures I posted yesterday and these images.  For one, they do have a lot of noise.  A better camera body can handle a higher ISO without getting as much digital grain.  And they aren’t quite as bright because I wasn’t able to stop down to F 1.2.  But, I don’t think they are horrible.  Especially for a camera body that is 9 years old and has seen better days.  And I don’t think that if you can’t afford the Canon 5D Mark II and a 50 1.2 lens that it should stop you from taking good pictures.  The thing is, you should be able to take great pictures with any camera if you understand your camera and lighting.  Of course a better camera and better glass are going to make things easier for you, but you don’t need it as long as you have a good understanding of how to shoot on manual.

F 1.8 , 1/100, ISO 1600

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F 1.8 , 1/100, ISO 1600

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I saw that I was getting a lot of noise so I lowered my ISO to 800 for this picture.  The Rebel has much less choices for your ISO than more expensive camera bodies do.  That’s one thing you will want to think about when choosing your camera body.

F 1.8 , 1/50, ISO 800

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Need help learning how to shoot on manual?  Check out the UNmanual2.

Merry & Bright

I am guest blogging over on Mpix about how to get magical pictures by your Christmas tree.  Read an excerpt here and then head on over to Mpix’s blog to read the rest!

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Even though most of our days are still over 80 degrees and we definitely won’t be getting snow here in Southern California, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our house!  And with Christmas comes lots and lots of pictures to capture all of those memories.  And where better to take pictures then in front of your Christmas tree?

When you see the really blurry lights in pictures of Christmas trees that is called bokeh.  Bokeh, which means blur, refers to the area of a photograph which is intentionally blurred.  In this case that would be the Christmas lights.

A prime lens (a lens that does not zoom in or out) helps to get Bokeh as you can shoot with a wide aperture (small F-stop number).  If you are not comfortable shooting on Manual mode, you can shoot in Aperture Priority mode.  In Aperture Priority you will set the aperture and your camera will do the rest.

I took this images at a time of day where I had enough light that I didn’t have to use a flash, but also where the lights were able to shine bright.  These images were shot with my Canon 5D Mark II and my 50 1.2 lens.  I had my aperture set at 2.0, my shutter speed set at 1/125, and my ISO was at 1000.

In the first image you can see my daughter, Kennedy, is very close to the tree and the lights are in focus.

Christmas Tree Pictures | momtog.com

When she moved up a few feet the lights got a little blurrier.

Christmas Tree Pictures | momtog.com

And then when she moved up a few more feet the lights are totally out of focus.

Christmas Tree Pictures | momtog.com

I stayed in the same place the entire time.  It was only Kennedy that moved.  So, not only will your settings make a big difference, but also where your kids are placed in front of the tree makes a difference as well.

Don’t have a prime lens?  No problem.  You can use the longest focal length of your zoom lens.  This works best if you have a lens that zooms to at least 200mm.  Get as close to your subject as your lens will allow and try it out!

To get more tips on taking pictures by your Christmas tree please visit the post on the Mpix Blog.

Tree Hunting

Every year we go to the same Christmas tree lot.  On the same weekend.  The same guy cuts down our tree.  And has been doing so since before we got married.  Well, except for that one year he sliced his finger off.  It was right after we left this Christmas tree lot 4 years ago that we found out we were going to be a family of 4.  And this year Brayden finally helped cut down our tree.  Maybe next year we will actually measure how tall of a tree we can fit in our house.  Because we barely made it this year.  Just call us the Griswolds.

*** Canon 5D Mark II, 50 1.2

F 2.8, 1/800, ISO 125

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F 2.8, 1/1000, ISO 125

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F 2.8, 1/3200, ISO 125

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F 2.8, 1/250, ISO 125

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F 2.8, 1/3200, ISO 125

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F 2.8, 1/250, ISO 640

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F 2.8, 1/500, ISO 640

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F 2.8 ,1/2000, ISO 125

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