Today is a different and special day, because we have the chance of talking a bit with Amanda Carta, one of our newest contest moderators. She’s an expert in photography and will share with us some important things every photographer should think about.
Along the way, we get to admire her beautiful macro photography and understand how insects can be beautiful and fascinating, not just gross and scary.
Q: Hello Amanda! Congratulations for being a new moderator for PxlEyes. We are please to talk to you today. Please tell us a few things about yourself.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to be in my first blog. It really is an honor, especially from PXLEYES.com. Certainly gave me a big smile when I was asked.
I guess for starters my name is Amanda and I live in Florida. Been here pretty much my whole life.
I am married with my baby Rainy (German Shepherd) and hopefully someday 100 kids with each their very own German Shepherd.
“Insect Head – Macro”
Q: You are a great art lover and a talented artist yourself. When and how have you discovered your passion for photography?
Photography started for me when I was working at a major retailer in the photo lab. I LOVED what pictures I saw coming through there and wondered how to get some the way they did.
It really opened my eyes to trying new things and seeing how it came out. Of course at the time I used the canon something that was DSLR but completely on Auto.
I was only around the age of 18 so my focus was on composition but I called it placement of things in the shot at the time. LOL I worked a lot in Black and White then too and just had so much fun!
Shortly after I was with that job I left for a different career and got out of photography (sadly) but… the next job in the same industry had me working at the office for only a couple of hours so I was working from home after that.
With not much to do I just took the pocket sized camera I had and was walking the grounds to see what I could take pictures of so I wasn’t just sitting around doing nothing.
With a lot of encouragement from friends and family I slowly got back into it. This was several years after I left retail that this all happened so what little terminology and know-how I had back then was gone so I had to start all over.
My parents are the most encouraging and helpful parents in the world! They bought me my first digital DSLR and Macro lens which I still use to this day!
I joined sites to get to know people and had outings and was able to pick brains to learn more and of course google.
LOL With the next job there was boredom again so I searched for photo competitions and came across PXL… It was the best thing in photography that has happened to me!
I have made such great friends and learned so much! Everyone that I have emailed about “how did you do that” has not held back and has been there every step of the way until I feel I got it done to my satisfaction.
I owe so much to those here that have helped me to grow and encourage me to continue. If it weren’t for my family,friends (PXL included) I would not have such the joy of photography in my life as I do today. So for that I thank you all!
Q: Your portofolio covers, in great part, macro photography. Why does this attract you more than other types of shots?
Macro photography to me just seems to bring a new look on what is out there in life. A lot of people see a fly as a fly but with macro you see a whole new light on what it really looks like.
The human eye can’t focus the way a certain lens can and show you details that are so amazing that it even takes away what most would call “the ugly” from such small creatures.
Aside from bugs (which don’t get me wrong, I HATE it when they get close or get on me but they are so amazing up close) there are other things that you may see differently.
Such as a petal on a flower. The lines and colors that seem to just blend to a solid color such as a red rose or green leaf.
You see other shades and designs that just are mind-blowing. Take a snow flake for example… it was only this year that I saw some macros of them (being in Florida we don’t get them) and it was so WOW that they really do look like the crafts of them and such.
I would have never known if it wasn’t for someone working in macro to bring that vision to others. THAT is why I love macro photography. Getting closer to the world where most just take advantage of it.
Q: Do you use any software for post-editing? If so, what is that and which is your favourite feature?
Yes I do use some editing software. At the moment I only have PSE and I LOVE my noise reduction. Sometimes you need to use a higher ISO and it causes noise.
This program is a 1 click and takes care of everything. You can tweak it how you want but the auto is great. With PSE I just add sharpness sometimes and work with the blacks and mid-tones.
Mostly simple stuff. And of course some cropping. Some of these bugs and things I don’t really want to take a change of getting TOO close. I think my favorite is the sharpening and noise reduction. They seem to do just what I want.
Q: What do you like best in PXL’s photography section?
Wow… that’s hard because there are so many aspects of it that I just love. I guess the idea of having several new contests each week is so great because it opens my eyes to trying new things and learning new techniques.
Everyone here has such great talent and diversity that you can’t do anything but learn from them. Someday I would love to branch out to PS as I see such amazing things come from the talent there that maybe I can try it someday. We’ll see.
“Green Little Frog”
Q: Please give a little piece of advice for the newbies just starting out in this field of art.
If I had to give some advice for a newbie… it would be to find some work that you really like and want to learn and find who does it that you think could help you replicate or even find your way of getting the results you would like. ALWAYS ask questions.
Don’t think that any question is dumb because with my experience… everyone here at PXLEYES.com has been able to word things in a way that I could understand.
Everyone is at their own level of experience and people here just seem to know how to make it work for you and help you grow. Again… ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS.