Canon Photography Class

June 29, 2011

Hello friends!

How’s your week been going?  I haven’t been feeling too great these last couple days.  Fingers crossed I start feeling better.

I couldn’t wait to share my photography class with you!  My coworker just happened to stumble upon a free Canon photography class offered at B and C camera store.



We got some awesome swag!  A cute canon bag, pen, and book of the PowerPoint slides.



If you’re interested in learning more about photography (or are just starting out), here are two posts I previously wrote which cover the basics: Photo 101, Photo 201.

Like I have mentioned before, I have a Canon Rebel EOS with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR Lens.


Even as I continue to learn more, I can’t help but be a bit confused. Food photography, I have learned, is all about the lighting.  Which kind of stinks for me since I’m often taking pictures of food in the evening. The biggest recommendation I’ve heard is purchasing a tripod, which will yield a clearer picture.

These babies aren’t cheap.  A girl can dream, can’t she? Winking smile


Since I’ve previously taken a class, I thought I would share some new tips I learned about white balance from this class.

White Balance

White balance is the camera’s attempt at making any light source appear the same color as daylight.  On your camera settings, you are able to adjust the white balance accordingly to your light source.

Auto White Balance- Camera reads each scene and adjusts automatically to deliver good overall color.

Daylight- Camera expects white light equivalent to mid-day sun, and locks-in its color response to properly render this light.

Cloudy- Camera corrects for added “cool” tones of overcast skies by adding some amber to each scene.

Shade- Strong amber correction, to overcome the excessive blue tones seen in deep shade on a clear day.

Tungsten- Light from normal light bulb has a yellow-orange cast; camera puts more blue into images to compensate.

Fluorescent- Light from a fluorescent bulb has a greenish cast. Camera attempts to put more magenta or pink into images to balance.

Flash- Similar to daylight setting, but with a touch more amber to correct the cool look of flash

Custom- This is custom set to existing light. It is often the most accurate WB setting to use in critical situations, if you have time to set it up.



White balance is one of the settings I struggle with the most.  I often use tungsten light when shooting indoors.  I’d like to get more comfortable using custom settings to ensure a higher quality image.

Custom White Balance

This is the most precise method of white balance control. You first have to take a test shot, in the same light you want to take the actual pictures in. The test shot must have something might or neutral gray in the center of the shot.

  • Take a test shot of white or neutral colored object. Be sure it’s same lighting you want to photograph in.
  • Take test picture
  • Open the Shooting menu and navigate to Custom WB and press Set.
  • Depending on camera, set image you just shot.
  • Press WB button and select custom white balance.
  • Take pictures!

I have a gray card that I purchased at a camera store. For some reason, I’ve been struggling with being able to snap a picture of it.  My camera is stubborn and won’t cooperate.  Of course, it’s not me. Open-mouthed smile

Any tips you have for getting the right color to your photos?

Check out this great link of food photography tips.  Wouldn’t you know, using natural lighting is key. Winking smile

Other Swanky Scoop:

Check out my new facebook page I set up! 

What is your favorite piece of photography advice?

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather (Where's the Beach) June 29, 2011 at 12:27 am

Ugh, I want to know about photography, but I wan it to just be easy ;-)


Swanky Dietitian June 29, 2011 at 3:21 pm

I know!?! I get so darn confused!
I would love to find someone who I can shadow that does food photography.


Simply Life June 29, 2011 at 12:35 am

Ugh, I REALLY need to learn more! Best piece of advice I’ve picked-up with taking pics of food – using the macro setting! I ALWAYS use that when photographing food! I also don’t have a DSLR camera so I’m not sure if that changes….


sophia June 29, 2011 at 2:52 am

I usually just change the colors on Picasa. I wish I had Adobe Photoshop though, they really do a good job getting the colors right, and you get to pick out which sections of the picture you want to tune.

Btw, I’m a Nikon fan through and through! ;-)


Swanky Dietitian June 29, 2011 at 3:12 pm

I need to play around more with Picasa.
Nikons are pretty amazing cameras, I’ll give you that! ;)


Lauren June 29, 2011 at 10:34 am

I think it’s awesome that you’re learning more about photography. I need to do more than point and shoot. Until then- stock photos.


Beth @ 990 Square June 29, 2011 at 1:41 pm

You should look for tripods on amazon…that’s where mine is from, and I think it was less than $25!


Swanky Dietitian June 29, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Really!?! I am going to check it out. Thanks!! :)


laural (bhealthy) June 29, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Omg, I love you for posting this! I think this is a great idea for a post -so helpful- so useful! I didn’t know about custom wb and how great is that free class. Maybe there is one out in my neck o the woods! Thanks!


Swanky Dietitian June 29, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I would try doing a google search. That’s how my friend came across our free class. :)


Lisa @ Healthful Sense June 29, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Why does it have to be so confusing?? Sometimes it’s nice to just point and shoot (which is what I have now) but then I go to blogs where people have lighting down and I want to be able to do that!! I am definitely leaning towards getting a canon rebel though as soon as I have the $$


Allison @ PickyEatingRD June 29, 2011 at 5:45 pm

I am weird with taking photos – sometimes they come out awesome, and sometimes they look blurry and out of sorts. I have never used a tripod before but someone once told me you will be amazed at the difference you see when using a tripod and not.


Roz June 29, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Oh fun. I bookmarked this post, because I’m planning on getting my first digital SLR (it’ll be a Canon Rebel too…I’ve done my research! :) ) later this year. Thanks for sharing the info!!


Mel du Jour June 30, 2011 at 11:39 am

Hi Kristen, I love your blog!
I just recently found it. Love the recipes and food ideas and LOVE hearing about your adventures in Las Vegas, my favourite place in the world, and very far away from me in rainy Britain!
Am definitely inspired to eat better and do more exercise, so thank you!


Swanky Dietitian June 30, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Thanks so much!! I’m so glad you stopped by!
Britain! Do you want to trade places?? :)


Tiff @ Love, Sweat, and Beers June 30, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Cool! I would love to learn more about photography, but I’d have to splurge for a real camera first. I don’t think classes will help this iPhone camera user.


Cait's Plate June 30, 2011 at 6:18 pm

This was awesome! I LOVED this post! I’m dying to take a photography class myself actually. Definitely going to check out your tips page!


Biz June 30, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Love all the tips Kristin! I shipped your salsa yesterday – its being shipped in a flat rate box, not sure how long it will take to get to you!

A couple things – be sure to mix it well before you try it; don’t freak out if you see a white film on the outside of the jars – I canned it in our well water (no city water for us) but its fine. And it will stay in your pantry until safe until you open it, and then you’ll need to eat it within a couple weeks after opening it.

Let me know when you get it!

Also, I use photoshop elements – the software is only around $60 and it helps in the “after” process of pics. :D


Swanky Dietitian June 30, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Yay! I can’t wait! :)


EA-The Spicy RD June 30, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Great post Kristen! Good lighting is one of the things I struggle with too. It helps that my kitchen has a lot of natural lighting in the early evening, especially during daylight savings time. I’ve been playing around with the exposure adjustment on my camera (also a Canon) which can help a lot. I’m also reading Helene Dujardins book “Plate to Pixel” Fabulous book which I highly recommend!


Swanky Dietitian June 30, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Thanks for the book recommendation! I’m going to have to pick that up! :)


Stephanie @ July 3, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Now that I have the time to put into it, I’m psyched to start really learning how to use my camera, too. Thanks for the posts!!


TheCookieBoss July 3, 2011 at 5:46 pm

This may be weird, but I love my 35 mm SLR film camera.


Jill Will Run July 5, 2011 at 8:43 pm

I’ll have to keep an eye on this place for a class to attend… I would love to learn more about my Canon DSLR!


Swanky Dietitian July 5, 2011 at 8:57 pm

The first class I attended was a groupon deal so keep your eyes peeled! :)


Jill Will Run July 5, 2011 at 9:10 pm

I will!


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