Compose Don’t just take !

A student expressed to me once that he didn’t pay that much attention to the composition when taking a picture. He said he could always photoshop later.  I replied “when you build a house with no plans and later realize you forgot to add a bathroom…”  Let’s face it! Post Production editing of a photograph is creative  but in my eyes it only allows you to enhance what is already a good picture .  So take a good composition to begin with . Think about how you are going to arrange your subject elements by using eye level, angle, and vantage point. Think about negative and positive space to best convey your idea. Does it look best in front, back, side or muted light.  Are you taking it in a vertical or horizontal format?  Do you want to compress the image by using a telephoto lens or show depth with a wide angle lens?  All the above mentioned  ideas really can’t be manipulated in photoshop,  so take your time and take it right!  Let’s put the JOY back in Photography!

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Understanding Modes

DSLR and most Point and Shoot cameras offer several creative modes including Aperture and Shutter Priority.  These two modes offer the photographer control over either motion or selective focus. The problem is the manual’s explanation of both modes is often confusing, leaving the photographer frustrated, resulting in leaving the Camera on Auto.  Auto modes like Sports, Portrait, or Landscape offer creativity but often fall short of their promise because there is a second step to these modes that confuses the photographer.  The answer is to workshop your craft. The Arts Warehouse offers one on one tutoring and small class size workshops that guarantee to take the confusion out of your cameras manual . family-portrait-04family-portrait-14Arts-Warehouse-Jennifer-O'reilly-weddings-02image

Using Depth of Field to Improve Your Shots

Depth of field is a measure of how much of a picture is in focus. The amount of depth of field varies from picture to picture, depending on a number of different factors. DOF is one of the most important creative controls available to the photographer. By learning how to control it, you can ensure that everything from your feet to the horizon appears sharp. Alternatively, you can make sure that only the subject is sharp and the foreground and/or background is out of focus, for an artistic effect.

The Arts Warehouse is holding an Advanced Digital Camera Workshop Saturday, January 30th from 9 to 12 that explains and explores using depth of field to create award winning photographs.

Small class size, register early!

Click here to sign up online!


One of the Magical Things About Autumn

One of the magical things about autumn is that the sun is lower in the sky allowing you to direct it for more dramatic images. Front lit fall scenes really punch out colour. Back lit scenes cast a dramatic warm, halo effect. Side lit scenes look more 3D, producing lovely, long shadows. Even overcast days are ideal for photographing autumn colours because there is no contrast.

Muted light produce colours/scenes that are beautifully saturated. It is recommended to experiment with your white balance on your camera setting to warm the scene up even more.

The Arts Warehouse offers workshops in Scenic/Landscape photography to help you capture Ontario’s spectacular autumn scenery…before it’s too late!

Click here to sign up online!

Smart Phone Photography Tips!

With thousands of smart phone instant editing/posting apps like Instagram, it’s no wonder people are hooked on smart phone photography.

  • Did you know just by adding a droplet of water to your cell phone camera’s lens and poof!, you have a macro lens?
  • Cool effects can be made by placing your smart phone in a small glass and placing the glass in water for an amazing snail’s eye level picture of something in water!
  • Panorama shots with multiple images of someone are easy and instant.
  • Did you know you can instantly turn your images black and white, give them a antique look, turn them into a fish eye effect?

The possibilities are endless!

Filters are just one of thousands of instant editing options available on your smart phone.

Smart Phone Photography

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The Arts Warehouse now offers Smart Phone Photography workshops for only $40.

Learn to take dynamic shots with your camera and edit them like a pro in this easy to understand 2 hr workshop.

Click here to sign up online!

Tips for Shooting Holiday Lights

Just like that, the holiday season is upon us! If you like lights this season is a photographer’s dream come true! The gift of Digital has made taking time exposures easier and more rewarding than ever!

Here are some tips for shooting holiday lights.

  1. Turn off your flash (unless you are taking a night portrait)
  2. If your camera has TV/S mode set your shutter speed to 1 second or slower.  If your camera doesn’t have a shutter mode, set it to ‘Night’ or ‘Fireworks’ mode. (These modes use a shutter of 1 to 4 seconds)
  3. Use a Tripod or secure your camera to a steady surface by using a bean bag.
  4. Set your self timer
  5. Outdoor pictures are best shot at dusk when it’s not too dark.

The Arts Warehouse is offering ‘How to take Time Exposures’ workshops in November and December. December workshops take place at ‘The Festival of Northern Lights’ in Owen Sound.


Capture Fall Colours at Their Best!

When asked why Autumn is some people’s favourite time of year, they replied “because of the colour”. When colours are peaking in Ontario it’s like a canvas of beauty! Problem is, it seems that it is often too short lived! One gust of wind and it’s over!

Understanding light and exposure in photography helps capture fall colours at their best. A good tip is too photogragh in early morning or late afternoon when you can direct the sun.

  • Side light makes the scene more 3D
  • Front light give the colour of the scene more punch and detail
  • Back light adds drama and makes leave translucent
  • Muted light saturates colour

Photography Workshops

Learn all about colour and light at Digital Camera Techniques Tuesday, Sept 23rd from 6 to 9 pm.

Click here to learn more and register online!

Family Portrait Special

The Arts Warehouse is offering $99 Family Portraits over the Pumpkinfest Weekend. (October 4th and 5th)

  • Included is sitting fee and a DVD of fully edited pictures. (up to 6 people)

Book yours now. Call Jen at (519) 389-4944 or email

$99 Family Portrait Special

Jennifer O’Reilly Photography is offering a $99 Family Portrait Special this Port Elgin Pumpkinfest weekend.

  • Edited DVD, several combinations of poses
  • maximum 6 people

Book early for your time Autumn Family Portrait.

Spring Photography Tips!

arts warehouse photographyThe warm weather is just around the corner fingers crossed! When it happens we will want to be outdoors as much as possible! Did you know when using outdoor (ambient) light complimented with fill flash makes for an award winning portrait.  People tend to believe flash is reserved for indoors where it’s dark.  Fill flash, used correctly with proper exposure on camera results in flattering portraits.  Key things to consider are ISO, shutter speed and flash output range.

Learn all about taking beautiful outdoor portraits in Jen’s Wedding and Portraiture Techniques workshop offered this spring. Click here to find out more!

  • Times/Dates don’t suit your schedule? Build your own custom workshop for groups of two or more.
  • Register online or call Jennifer O’Reilly at 519-389-4944
  • The Arts Warehouse is located at 11 Cutter Rd, Port Elgin
  • Click here for a map and directions!

Winter Photography Tips!

Many photographers consider winter the most desirable time of year to take pictures because the sun is always at an ideal location/direction i.e. not high in the sky producing high contrast and unflattering shadows.

When the sun is low, it can be directed. Direct so the subject is front lit and the image will even evenly lit with great colour. Light from the side produces a three dimensional look to your photographs. The shadows are long and flattering. Back light creates a dramatic halo or rim effect to your pictures.

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As far as subject matter goes, snow can be your theme. Why not capture ‘snow’ on mailboxes, buried signs, or a snow faced dog! Most of the world never gets to see snow so go out and capture it!

The Arts Warehouse has a full line up of winter workshops including a Nature/Close up Landscape photography. In this workshop participants learn pro tips in light direction, quality and colour and the art of using shape, line or texture for dramatic winter landscapes.

CLICK HERE to learn more!

  •  Times/Dates don’t suit your schedule? Build your own custom workshop for groups of two or more.
  • Register online or call Jennifer O’Reilly at 519-389-4944