i am always intrigued by that beautiful sun that streams through the trees as it is setting.  it’s a beautiful display of light that often has me wanting to pick up my camera to photograph it’s beauty.  one of the funnest things to do with a ray of light is to create a sunburst.  a sunburst is when you capture the light in a way that creates ray or beams of light from it’s center point.  when done correctly, it is very beautiful and can really bring an image to life.  creating a sunburst with a dslr is super easy and here is how you can create one yourself.

photographing my everyday is one of my passions.  to inspire your everyday photography, be sure to read the everyday photograph.

this post contains affiliate links.  thank you in advance for supporting bethadilly photography.

the images within this post were achieved using : nikon d750 and sigma art 24mm f/1.4 lens.

Creating A Sunburst With A DSLR : A Step By Step Guide

Creating A Sunburst With A DSLR : A Step By Step Guide | Bethadilly Photography

nikon d750 | sigma art 24mm f/1.4 lens |  ISO 1000 | f/16 | 1/5ss

Pinpoint The Light Flare

once you see the sun shining, walk around and find a position where the light in shining towards you at it’s strongest or is most defined.  sometimes this means just taking the tiniest of steps left or right, positioning yourself where the light is streaming.

Raise Your F/Stop

raise the f/stop on your lens the highest that you can.  the higher your f/stop, the more defined your sunburst will be.  play around with your f/stop to get the desired look you are going for, whether that is creating a softer sunburst with a lower f/stop or a sharp defined sunburst with a higher f/stop.

Creating A Sunburst With A DSLR : A Step By Step Guide | Bethadilly Photography

nikon d750 | sigma art 24mm f/1.4 lens |  ISO 500 | f/14 | 1/100ss

Consider Extra Support

in order to create a sunburst, you are raising your f/stop very high.  when you raise your f/stop really high, you are allowing less light to your sensor and you will need to compensate for that.  you can do this by raising your ISO to let in more light or, when shooting in lower light situations, you can support your camera using a tripod.  using a tripod may allow you to create a sharp image, despite your high f/stop and slow shutter speed.

the next time you see an opportunity for creating a sunburst with a dslr, be sure to keep these simply steps in mind.  by using a higher f/stop, positioning yourself where the light burst is it’s strongest and considering extra camera support, you are bound to create a strong sunburst that will add visual interest to your image.

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Creating A Sunburst With A DSLR : A Step By Step Guide | Bethadilly Photography

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a couple of winters ago, we went on our babymoon to new york city.  when thinking of a place we should head to before having a little one, we thought new york city was a great option because it is someplace we might not venture to with young children, for awhile.  we decided to visit during the week of christmas, heading home right before the holidays.  i am convinced it is one of the best times to visit new york city, as everyone was gone for the holidays and the city was decorated so beautifully for christmas.  of the many things we wanted to do during our visit, we really wanted to visit the 911 memorial in new york city.  and if you decide to visit the city, the 911 memorial is definitely a place you want to stop and see.

need help seeing the beauty in your everyday?  be sure to read the everyday photograph.

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Our Visit To The 911 Memorial in New York City

Our Visit To The 911 Memorial in New York City | Bethadilly Photography

being that this trip was almost a year and a half ago, i had to think about what photography gear i took with us.  being around 20 weeks pregnant, i was intentional about keeping my gear light and not bringing much with us.  in fact, for most of the trip my camera stayed in my husband’s backpack and i photographed most of new york with my lensbaby mobile kit.  because carrying a camera and a pregnant belly was just too much.  i did pull out my camera during this visit though and used my portrait lens.

our visit to the 911 memorial in new york city will always be one of my favorite places we’ve visited.  the memorial is so beautifully done and it’s simplicity is strikingly beautiful.  my only regret is that i didn’t have my wide angle lens with me (i didn’t yet own it at the time of this trip), as it would have taken even better images.

Our Visit To The 911 Memorial in New York City | Bethadilly PhotographyOur Visit To The 911 Memorial in New York City | Bethadilly PhotographyOur Visit To The 911 Memorial in New York City | Bethadilly PhotographyOur Visit To The 911 Memorial in New York City | Bethadilly Photography

check out my latest ebook, the everyday photograph.  it’s a guide to seeing the beauty of your everyday!

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Our Visit To The 911 Memorial in New York City | Bethadilly Photography

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while i love to focus on candid moments and often don’t have my subjects looking at my camera, i am also intentional about capturing portraits from time to time with my family and at least once during a client session.  when it comes to photographing portraits, there are several things you will want to keep in mind in order to be successful with portraiture.  the next time you pick up your camera with the goal of taking a portrait, be sure you consider the following 7 things.

this post contains affiliate links.  thank you in advance for supporting bethadilly photography.

to inspire your everyday photography, be sure to read the everyday photograph to get started.

Photographing Portraits : 7 Things You Must Know and Do

Photographing Portraits : 7 Things You Must Know and Do | Bethadilly Photography

1. Display Personality and Emotion

the main purpose of a portrait is to introduce a subject to a viewer and have that viewer understand more of who they are.  a good portrait shows off their personality and allows the viewer to get to know them a little better.  don’t shy away from allowing your subject to demonstrate who they are, whether that is through a serious expression or a belly laugh.  a portrait should express and capture some sort of expression, in one way or another.

2. Subject Should Be Looking At The Camera

when photographing portraits, your goal should be to have your subject looking at the camera.  while this is something that is not natural to me since i focus on candid/lifestyle photography, i am also intentional about getting a great portrait of my subject looking at me.  i try to do this at least once during a client session and from time to time with my family, such as during important age milestones for nostalgia keepsakes.

Photographing Portraits : 7 Things You Must Know and Do | Bethadilly Photography

3. Catchlights

catchlights are when light in reflected off of the eye and are created when you turn your subject just so towards the light.  when photographing portraits, catchlights are a small detail that can take your portrait from good to great.  catchlights add life to the eye and, therefore, add light to the subject.  be sure to consider how you place your subject in relation to the light in order to create beautiful catchlights in their eyes.

4. Be Mindful of Composition

when photographing portraits, it is important to keep your composition in mind.  things you may want to consider would be: should i include the background or it is distracting?  is a center composition appropriate or should i compose using the rule of thirds?  should i fill the frame with my subject or take a step back and include negative space?  by quickly asking yourself these questions before photographing portraits, you will ensure that you are mindful of what composition will create the strongest portrait.

Photographing Portraits : 7 Things You Must Know and Do | Bethadilly Photography

5. Typically From the Shoulder Area Up

while not always, portraits are usually composed to include the shoulder area and the face.  other times, more of the body is included in the portrait.  if you are considering a portrait that is more close up to your subject, consider photographing your subject from the shoulder up to create a portrait that is pleasing to the eye and looks to be cropped intentionally.

6. Watch Your Aperture

it’s important that you watch your aperture when photographing portraits to ensure that both of your subject’s eyes are in focus.  one of the most common and beginner mistakes is only achieving focus on one eye and it is important that portraits achieve focus in both eyes.  for portraits, i like to keep my aperture at least at f/2.8.

Photographing Portraits : 7 Things You Must Know and Do | Bethadilly Photography

7. It’s Okay To Get Creative

sometimes a good portrait is one that breaks the rules.  it’s okay to get creative from time to time with portraits and, when done correctly, it can be very powerful.  in the self portrait above, i did not include my face, included more of my body and chose a center composition.  i also allowed a slower shutter speed to blur my moving hair, in order to portray movement.

for help on creating self portraits, be sure to read how to take a self portrait with a DSLR.

photographing portraits is very easy, you just need to know the rules for creating a good portrait.  by being mindful of your composition, monitoring your aperture, allowing yourself some wiggle room for creativity, incorporating catchlights, and focusing on capturing personality, you have all the things you need to create a strong portrait.

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Photographing Portraits : 7 Things You Must Know and Do | Bethadilly Photography

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when it comes to photography projects, i am all aboard.  i love the push that a photography project gives me to be better at what i do and practice, practice, practice.  there also always seems to be a life lesson embedded in a photography project that is often humbling and leaves us thankful for doing one.  while most photography projects i’ve participated in (a 365 photography project, a 52 photography project, a self portrait photography project, etc), i found fun and nostalgia in creating a polaroid photography project for my family.

photographing my everyday is one of my passions.  to inspire your everyday photography, be sure to read the everyday photograph.

this post contains affiliate links.  thank you in advance for supporting bethadilly photography.

A Polaroid Photography Project : 6 Reasons You Should Start One

A Polaroid Photography Project : 6 Reasons You Should Start One | Bethadilly Photography

the polaroids in this post were taken with a fujifilm instamax mini polaroid camera.

when i was a little girl, my great grandparents had a polaroid camera and would take photos with it.  i will always remember a photo of my sisters and i sitting with our great grandparents in an orange chair in their front room.  i loved that polaroid picture and it inspired me to start a polaroid photography project with my family.  of course, nostalgia played a huge role in this project, as i really wanted to created polaroids for our daughter to have when she was older.  but there are several other reasons why i think everyone should start a polaroid photography project with their family.

A Polaroid Photography Project : 6 Reasons You Should Start One | Bethadilly Photography

Pictures Are Quick and Easy

when it comes to picture taking, it’s never been easier.  you literally point and shoot.  i love that i can keep this small polaroid camera out on our dining room table, allowing me to quickly grab it and take a quick picture, when the time arises.  of course, i use the same concepts of composition that i would use with my nikon, to still get great snapshots despite my camera choice.

No Editing Involved

need i say it again.  no editing.  you just take the picture and, dare i say, do a little dance as you shake the polaroid and watch it develop.  oh wait, is that just me?  one thing i love about a polaroid photography project is that it simply involves taking photos and that’s it!  once i snap the photo, it’s done and ready to be enjoyed.  because of this simple fact, a polaroid photography project is something that everybody has time for.

Waiting For Film To Develop

while your kids won’t find any fun in watching you edit your images on your computer, they will have a lot of fun watching these polaroids develop!  not only is the picture taking quick and easy, but waiting for the photo to appear is half the fun.  your whole family will enjoy it.

Classic Outcome

one of the biggest reasons why i wanted to do a polaroid photography project is because of the way the polaroids look.  i had polaroid photos of my own childhood and, for nostalgic purposes, i really wanted our daughter to have some polaroids of her childhood too.  i love how classic and old school they look, making them little tiny squares of art.

Anyone Can Take Pictures

one of the best things about a polaroid photography project is that it is a project for the entire family and anyone can do it.  if you are a mama, you understand how frustrating it can be to never be in any of your family photos because your family is intimidated by your dslr.  with a polaroid camera, anyone can pick it up and take a successful picture, meaning you can easily get in the candids too.

Makes For Fun Displays

because the little polaroids are so cute, they make for really fun displays.  whether you place them on a bulletin board or on your fridge, their unique style instantly offers a work of art.  listen, i hate things on my fridge.  i think it’s clutter.  but because these polaroids are so stylish and clean looking, i love placing them on our fridge to be appreciated.  i found some beautiful washi tape at hobby lobby to dress up the display and put my personal touch on them.  if you love washi tape like i do, here is some similar floral washi tape you can use too.

when it comes to photography projects, most people think of a huge time commitment and struggle.  but not all photography projects are like that.  a polaroid photography project is a project for the entire family that will have you passing around your polaroid camera, quickly taking snapshots of candid moments, and giving you classic and nostalgic results.  plus, need i mention again how fun it is to watch your polaroid develop.  with summer right around the corner, consider starting a polaroid photography project with your family.

be sure to join my exclusive email list to receive my latest photography tips and tutorials.  it’s free!

need some photography tips + inspiration?  check out what posts are trending below.

A Polaroid Photography Project : 6 Reasons You Should Start One | Bethadilly Photography

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i have to be honest with you all, i have been dreading week 21 of the bethadilly 52 because landscape photography just isn’t my thing.  while it can be beautiful, it just isn’t something that i am passionate about…making our weekly prompt of landscape photography something i was dragging my heels with.  however!  when it comes to photography, sometimes it is important to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.  you never know what you are going to learn.  i was waiting for a client over the weekend and stumbled upon a wonderful barn with the most amazing texture.  to put my own spin on a landscape photo, i decided to jump in the frame too.  i am teeny tiny in there, but i am there!  while all of my gear used to achieve this shot are listed below the photo, i simply placed my camera on my camera bag and set a self timer.  in the end, the landscape photo that i was dreading turned out to be one of my favorite images.  and while landscape photography still isn’t my thing, it is fun to play around with it every once in awhile.

need help jumping into the shot?  be sure to check out my post about how to use wireless remotes.

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The Bethadilly 52 Week 21 – Landscape

The Bethadilly 52 Week 21 - Landscape | Bethadilly Photography

this photo was achieved using : nikon d750 and sigma art 24mm f/1.4 lens and wireless remote.

my settings were : ISO 100 | f/2.8 | 1/1000ss

 . . .

to learn more about landscape photography, be sure to read 5 things to consider when photographing landscape photography.

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