Photos by Sylvia: Blog en-us (c) Sylvia Labelle All Rights Reserved (Photos by Sylvia) Fri, 07 Jul 2017 20:54:00 GMT Fri, 07 Jul 2017 20:54:00 GMT Photos by Sylvia: Blog 98 120 Testimonial DSG_0087DSG_0087 A few weeks ago I had the honour of shooting a fund raising gala for the Free2BMe program at the Steadward Centre.  This is such a great program for children and youth with physical, sensory and developmental impairments. It was a fun evening with great food, entertainment and auction items.  Today I received  the following wonderful testimonial from Karen Slater the director of the Steadward Centre

"It was an absolute pleasure to work with Sylvia.  She captured our fundraising gala event with such dignity and grace.  The photos captured the essence of the evening beautifully. Sylvia is professional and the photos were available to us, less than a week following the event--amazing!"  Karen Slater, The Steadward Centre

Thank you so much for this testimonial and I look forward to working with you again next year.



]]> (Photos by Sylvia) Fri, 07 Jul 2017 20:53:39 GMT
Photoshoot special I can't believe how long it's been since I've added a blog post. Since my last blog post I have set up a facebook page and  yesterday it attained over 100 likes. I have decided that I need to celebrate this milestone by offering the first 10 people to book a photo shoot $100.00 off of my Ultimate Photo package.  Book soon, it's never to early to think of Christmas gifts and family photos are a wonderful gift to give and receive. 


]]> (Photos by Sylvia) milestone Sun, 21 Jul 2013 04:36:39 GMT
To teach or not to teach  

Today two members of the Wellness at Work team approached me and asked I would be interested in leading a Lunch and Learn session on photography and they admire the work I have done as a volunteer photographer at two of their events.  I immediately said I would love to do it but in the hours since I am wondering what I have gotten myself into as I was so taken by surprise.  The session would be a few weeks away so I would have time to prepare for it but now the decision needs to be made – what to teach, can I teach,  how much do I prepare, how many people will attend?  Will I be so nervous that all I will do is stammer by way through the session?    How much can I cram into an hour?  Do I concentrate on basics for all photographers?  Do I concentrate on DSLR uses? Point and shoot users? Composition? Lighting? –no not lighting since I’m still learning that one.  Oh my, what am I going to do?  When I told my daughter-in-law I had been approached her response was “That’s awesome”  and then went on to tell me not worry, that I would be fine as my passion for photography will shine through and the session will be fantastic because of it.  I hope she is right, now I must go and start doing some research and preparation for my first session whenever it will be.

]]> (Photos by Sylvia) Tue, 08 May 2012 02:25:22 GMT
When all else fails read the manual Last week I purchased a SB-700 flash brought it home and experimented with it and realized that I would definitely have to purchase a second flash to do what I want to do but that would be not be until sometime in the future.  Little did I know the future would be yesterday.  A friend and I attended an anniversary sale and trade show at a local camera store and as one of the first 63 in attendance we were each guaranteed a door prize.  The door prizes were gifts cards valued from $20 - $300.  I was the individual that won the $300.00 gift cards, my friend won $50.00.  I decided to use mine to purchase the second flash I knew I wanted.  The total price including tax was $356.29 – wow a flash for $56.29 what a great deal.  While checking out my friend gave me his gift card as well bringing my total cost for the flash down to $6.29 – now that is what I call a deal.

Well last night I decided there was no better time than the present to learn how to use them.  Turn them on, set all the settings on the flash and camera and click the shutter – nothing, go back change the settings to what I think they must be instead and click – again nothing, repeat, repeat, repeat.  Look at the manual and change to what it must be again nothing and repeat several more times.  Time to but it all away for the night and try again tomorrow.  Same thing all over again I am missing something and don’t know what so this time I go back and reread the manual still don’t know what I’m missing I’m doing what the flash manual says maybe it’s in the camera settings – out comes my “D90 for Dummies” book – don’t laugh I prefer it to the Nikon manual it’s easier to find what I’m looking for in it.  Sure enough it’s the camera settings that are causing the problem.

TIP TO MYSELF – write down the settings and keep with the flash to save time when I want to set up to flashes.

Well after all this time I can actually try them out, out comes the table top studio and the playing begins.  Below are the results of one of the collectibles that I shot today.

On Camera flash difused - left and right flashes not difused


  Camera and left flash difused - right flash not difuse


All 3 flashes difused


Camera and left flash


Camera and right flash


Camera only no flash
























]]> (Photos by Sylvia) Flash practise read the manual Mon, 16 Apr 2012 03:08:26 GMT
Finally an external flash  Yesterday I purchased an external flash for my camera.  I have long wanted one and besides how hard could it be to use it.  Attached to camera, turn on and fire away not at all, you can use it this way, you can use it that way, you can bounce the flash, you can filter the flash, you can use it remotely off the camera,  you can set the power, you can use more than one if you have more than one. After reading the manual I’m now sure that when I get it mastered I should receive some kind of electronics/ technology degree.  I decided to give it a try and discovered that it will work remotely off the camera.  Okay now to take a photo of something other than my feet and the floor.  Oh Poe is sitting on his cat house looking out the window let’s see if we can get him. First shot Poe and nothing else, totally white out the window, after a few more tries I get detail inside the house and outside the window.  Now I know I can do that with the flash but how did I do it, I guess I’ll have a try a few more times because I’m not sure what I did.  Oh well later, I’m getting hungry and make a salad but wait I bought this chili peppers that looked so shiny and red and would make great photography subjects,  think I’ll add some to the salad and photograph it.  Ok I’ll try with the flash pointed right at it, pointed from each side, bounced from the wall behind, bounced from above, try different settings and shoot all over again, try the white balance filters and see what they do.   Now I have no idea which shot are which and many of them I don’t see a lot of difference.  Well I guess that just means I have to practise a whole lot more before I take any important photos with the flash, right now I’m feeling that electronics/ technology degree is a long way off

Thai Chili Pepper Salad

Test shot 1 - Flash mounted on camera and pointed directly at bowl


 Flash turned off for comparison


Flash angled up and bounced down on the bowl with the bounce card on the flash



]]> (Photos by Sylvia) External Flash Mon, 09 Apr 2012 02:40:15 GMT
Today’s tip – Straighten your shots I have to admit that I never used to straighten my photos and thought they were fine the way they were.  I was actually quite annoyed once when someone I didn’t know left me a comment on a photo on a photo sharing site saying that it would be improved if I just straightened the subject in it.   Actually at that point in time I didn’t even know about straightening tools (so maybe that was why I was annoyed).  I have since discovered at almost every photo editing program out there has a straightening tool in it and the majority of them come with grids so you can easily see if your subject is straight or not.  Crooked shots have now become one of my major pet peeves, that is unless it is intentionally crooked, just be careful with this as it can be overdone.  You do not want your viewers getting a kink in their necks trying to view your photos.  A slant tilt on some shots can enhance the right shot though. 

Please check your horizons and make sure they are straight in your landscapes.

]]> (Photos by Sylvia) Photos by Sylvia horizons straightening tool" Tue, 03 Apr 2012 02:30:14 GMT
Portrait Tips A few weeks back I went on a night shoot with a friend who couldn’t get her camera to work when we were set up.  My first question to her was “Did you take your lens cap off?”  I asked that because it is the reason my camera wouldn’t work on more than one occasion.  She had her lens cap off but she had her DSLR set on automatic with the flash turned off.  My first response to this was “you don’t use this camera in auto do you”.  She shoots with a Nikon D90.  We adjusted her settings and she shot in Aperture priority and well and in manual and was totally amazed with her results.  (To be honest I was amazed with mine as well. I hadn’t done any night shooting since my days of using film.)  After she saw her results she asked me to help her with her camera and photography and I agreed.  That in part is the reason for the theme behind this blog.

One of the areas that I still need to learn a lot more about is portraits.  I do not shoot a lot of people, and if I do they are usually candid shots.  I have on occasion shot portraits (head and shoulder shots when I have been asked) for friends and family and here a few things I have learned to far.

  1. Shoot on the same level as your subject.  If you are shorter than your subject stand on a stool or ladder so you are the same height.  You do not want your subject looking down on you or you looking down on them
  2. Have them stand far enough away from the background so you do not get a shadow, or use a fill flash.  Do not use your on camera flash for this unless you use a diffuser when you are shooting with existing light.  (On camera flash is just too harsh of a light for portraits).  If you are shooting with studio lighting you probably do not need to read my pointers.
  3. When taking photos of the entire person be sure to include the person's feet, shoes and enough room around them to look like they are able to walk away.  Tight crops are good with head and shoulder shots but not on full body portraits.

These are both mistakes that I made with the portraits that I have done and will remember for the next time I am asked to do a portrait.

]]> (Photos by Sylvia) Photos by Sylvia existing lighting portrait tips portraits tips Sun, 01 Apr 2012 13:38:11 GMT
Should I or shouldn't I Welcome  to the first entry of my blog.  I've been thinking about doing this for awhile now and I'm still not really certain about doing it.  First off I want to have a theme to my blog and not just random thoughts and ideas put down on paper.  I thought about doing one on all the awesome things in the world but it's been done, I thought about blogging on what I'm doing but most days would be blank as I really don't do a lot (well not exciting enough to write about), I thought about blogging about random things but that has also been done many, many times.  The theme I am leaning toward is on photography,  what I have learned and am learning.  I am constantly learning new things about my camera, my technique, my subjects, photoshop and anything else I can think of related to this theme.  I will try to add to this blog on a regular basis but spring and summer are coming along with (I hope) warmer weather which means I will be outside shooting more than inside on the computer.

]]> (Photos by Sylvia) Photos by Sylvia blog welcome first blog entry theme idea welcome Sat, 31 Mar 2012 04:42:29 GMT