As seen on.... Pottery Barn

My photographs on Pottery Barn's website

My photographs on Pottery Barn's website

Imagine my surprise when I was contacted in January about my photograph being on Pottery Barn's website... Not just one photograph but two!  To say I was excited is a bit of an understatement! I had to wait a few months before I could let the world know - and, of course, wait till I actually saw them on the website. But there they are!

Waves Abstract I

Waves Abstract I

Originally titled Waves Abstract I and Sunrise on the Indian Ocean, Pottery Barn renamed them to Greeting Waves I and II, which I have to say I kinda like. I always have had a difficult time deciding on names for my photographs which is why you'll see a lot of them are just descriptive or you'll see a lot of 1, 2, 3, etc. 

Here's the link to Pottery Barn itself so you can see them there! Greeting Waves I and II

Pillows are back!!!

Those of you that have known me a while know that I used to sell pillows with my photography on it. I stopped a year or so ago. I've been asked several times if I still sold them, so I'm happy to announce that they are back in my Etsy store. I've got nine of my most popular designs available. 

Leopard Decorative Pillow

Leopard Decorative Pillow

See all the pillows in my Etsy Store!

Here's the pillow info:

Details

This soft pillow is an excellent addition that gives character to any space. It comes with a soft polyester insert that will retain its shape after many uses, and the pillow case can be easily machine washed. 

• 18”x18” 
• Machine washable cover
• Concealed zipper
• Printed on both sides
• Pillow case cover: 80% polyester, 20% fleece
• Pillow case insert: 100% polyester
• Precision-cut and hand-sewn after printing

PLEASE NOTE
This item is made on demand and will be ready to ship within 10 days of purchase. 

Giraffe Decorative Pillow

Giraffe Decorative Pillow


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Kid's Room and Nursery Art

Lion cub photograph, perfect for a kid's room!

Lion cub photograph, perfect for a kid's room!

Hello again! How are you doing on (what for me is) a beautiful sunshiny day?

I've loved animal art for as long as I can remember, but the first time someone told me they were buying one of my photographs for their nursery I was a little surprised - I simply just had never thought of it! I have several baby animal photographs so I really should not have been surprised as that does make perfect sense to have baby animals in a baby's room!

Giraffe photograph for kid's room.

Giraffe photograph for kid's room.

Several of my non-baby animal photographs have also been purchased for both nurseries and kid's rooms so you definitely don't have to stick to baby animals if you are considering an animal theme for your child's room. 

I remember being obsessed with all animal photographs when I was young and having my walls full of them(especially cheetahs!). So if you have a youngster obsessed with animals(like I was... who am I kidding.. I still am!) get them some animal photographs! ;)

To help you out, I've put together a collection that includes my baby animal photographs, as well as some of my grown-up animal photographs that have been popular for kid's rooms/nurseries. 

Now these photographs are not your average cutsie, cartoony images that are usually offered for kid's rooms. But if you are looking for something a little different check out below.

Click on any photograph to learn more:

If you've never been on Houzz to look for home decor, I highly recommend it. I did a couple quick searches for Animals in kid's rooms and in nurseries, and found many charming and sophisticated rooms. Here's a couple of links for inspiration if you're curious:

Animals in Kid's Rooms

Animals in nursery

Do you have animal art in your house? How about your kid's rooms or nursery? Does you child love animals? I would love for you to comment below!

3 ways to start improving your photography

3 ways to start improving your photography immediately.

3 ways to start improving your photography immediately.

A couple weeks ago, I was in the field scouting a site for more in depth photography at a later time. The lighting wasn't great - the sun was a bit harsh but I still took a few photographs. And I must say it felt real good. I've not had a lot of time in the field lately and getting back into the grove of things was nice... really nice!

While there, I spotted some barn swallows feeding their young fledglings. As they weren't overly concerned about my presence(as long as I kept a certain distance), I was able to "work the subject" and slowly improve the photos as I worked on getting back in the groove. While downloading and going through the photos I realized I had a great opportunity to blog about how to improve photos in a couple steps.

I'm guessing most people who picked up a camera(even if it's just a smart phone) probably want to improve their photographs. If you are an aspiring amateur or hoping-one-day-to-turn-pro then it should always be top of your mind. Obviously, there's way more than 3 ways to improve your photographs. But with my little "photo session" I came up with these 3. Enjoy!

Picture 1. This photograph has so many issues. Ugly background, not close enough, weird branches on the right drawing the eye out of the frame.

Picture 1. This photograph has so many issues. Ugly background, not close enough, weird branches on the right drawing the eye out of the frame.

1. Watch the edges of your frame.

In this early photograph of the session, all of these branches in the right side of the screen are in focus as well as the subject. The eye finds this kinda distracting and doesn't know where it should be looking... The bird? or the branches? I had a photography professor that used to say "don't press the shutter until you've checked all the edges and corners". So true! If you see branches jutting in on the side try to re-frame to remove the distractions in the field. 

These distractions not only make it hard on the eye to focus on the subject but they often lead the eye right out of the frame. I'm sure that you generally don't want to make people stop looking at your photographs... but that is essentially what happens when you have distracting stuff on the edge of the frame going out of the frame. Ways to fix this? Move, get closer, take the photo in portrait orientation, change your angle, etc. But the most important one is to look and think before you press the shutter.

Picture 2. We've fixed a few things here. The subject is closer, the background is a little better and the distracting branches are gone.

Picture 2. We've fixed a few things here. The subject is closer, the background is a little better and the distracting branches are gone.

2. Get closer to your subject

Robert Capa is credited with saying, "if you your pictures aren't good enough, you aren't close enough".  There is so much truth to this! You've all seen it, someone with a camera,  and they are standing way to far away and taking a photograph and wondering why they aren't getting any impact. Simple! You aren't close enough!

You can fix this in three ways.

A. You move your feet. This is the best way. You can reframe and remove distracting clutter, your subject will be larger, and sometimes you can get a more interesting angle. Compare this picture 2 with the first one and you'll see it's improved drastically by getting closer and more on eye level with the subject.

Now, in wildlife photography the subject won't always allow you to get closer. It might fly away, it might get agitated, or even aggressive if you invade it's personal space. As a wildlife photographer you should work on learning body language of animals so you can judge correctly when you are starting to upset your subject.

I've said before, and probably will many more times, no photograph is worth harming an animal. If you are endangering or upsetting the subject, back off and start over or move along and go elsewhere. If you don't care about the animal's welfare than your really shouldn't be a wildlife photographer. Your lack of empathy will show up in your photos.  If you want to set your photographs apart from everyone else's the first step is photographing what you love, and you're not doing that if you don't even care about the subject other than "getting the shot". Ok, back off my soapbox now... :)

B. You zoom in. This is part of working the subject. You zoom in, you zoom out, you find what works for the subject. Don't forget that you have this ability!

C. This might be controversial in some circles but if your camera has the spare megapixels, you can always crop the photograph to get "closer" to the subject. Keep in mind how many pixels you need for prints if you intend to print the photograph and don't crop below that, but otherwise cropping can solve problems such as the annoying branch you may not have seen in the field! It's always best to get it right in camera if at all possible, but sometimes... nature and wildlife just don't cooperate!

3. Watch your background

So looking at Picture 2, we've reframed to remove the distracting branches. We'd gotten closer to enhance the subject. But it's still not even a keeper. What's wrong? That background and horizon is really distracting! There's lots of things that be distracting about backgrounds. Clutter, reflections, crooked horizon lines, ugly boring skies, etc, etc.

Picture 3: This photograph is so much easier on the eyes than the previous ones. We've addressed the main issues, and I just love the beautiful background now. So gorgeous!

Picture 3: This photograph is so much easier on the eyes than the previous ones. We've addressed the main issues, and I just love the beautiful background now. So gorgeous!

The third tip is "watch your background" and it's probably one of the most important. How much more pleasing is this third picture than the second one? That horizon that included the ugly grey looking sky was extremely distracting as it cut across the middle of the photograph. It could've been even worse if the horizon had cut through the subject! The difference between the first picture and third is quite remarkable don't you think?

The easiest way to fix this problem is to be aware of it while you are in the field. As mentioned before check the whole frame for distractions, but also check your background. Is there a shiny water reflection competing with your subject for attention? Re-frame! Is that horizon line a problem? Move your feet and get rid of it. 

In conclusion

As you go out in the field try to keep these things in mind. Check your frame before you press the shutter. Anything distracting? What's the background look like? Can and should I get closer? Or a different angle? If you are worried about the bird flying away, than take the photograph first, and then work the different angles. See how much you can improve on the first photograph!

Changes!

Tons of changes happening around here! I've been missing from my website for a little while as life, the day job, and so many other things got my focus instead. Life has been crazy enough that I haven't even been able to dedicate my time to photography either (of course I have been painting though). Hopefully, things are settling down a little now and I can keep this going!

My new website! 

My new website! 

Here's a list of what's been going on website-wise.

  1. I am doing a complete overhaul of the design of my website! I'm pretty excited about this one. It just seems so pretty to me (hopefully you like it too!). This includes the colors, design, and layout. Hopefully, I'm done with the major changes, but if things still move around a little bit, please, be patient with me!
  2. I'm starting to add some of my paintings as a preview of what will be available soon. This will be getting fleshed out a lot more as I get the time. I originally thought about having a separate website for my painting but I just don't have the time to maintain two websites. So hopefully, you won't mind seeing both here. 
  3. My blog has moved from blog.bethwold.com to www.bethwold.com/blog I've been using Blogger forever but I'm so in love with my new website that I want my blog to match. 
  4. My photographs are now available to buy directly from my website! No more having to go to a third party to buy my photographs. 

That's the list so far. Hard to believe this much effort and time can be reduced to 4 bullet points!  Let me know what you think in the comments. Yea or Nay?