Since I’ve merged both of my old blogs (personal + photography) into one, these are a random smattering of Q&A’s I’ve gotten that apply to all the various topics that’ll be blogged about here …
Btw, some of the links below are affiliate links. Whether you buy that item or not, if you click them and buy something else on the site, I get a few pennies that go towards the cost of running Route Bliss at no additional cost to you 🙂
Q: Do you have any great resources for learning photography? Can you help me learn how to use my DSLR?
A: While I wish I had time to help everyone that asks for help learning to use their cameras, I just don’t … but I’ve complied a list of resources to help everyone interested get started. Just click the link in the previous sentence 🙂
Q: What gear do you use? What software do you use?
A: All but one of my camera bodies and all but one of my lenses are from the Canon lineup.
My primary digital cameras are the original Canon 5D and the Canon 6D, with the Canon 40D as backup. I also now own a Canon EOS M that I use when I want a smaller/lighter camera but still have full control over settings.
My go-to lens for pet sessions is the Canon 24-70 mm f/2.8 L; for my travel, landscape, and fine art work, I also pull out the Canon 17-40 mm f/4 L, Canon 40 mm f/2.8 (aka the ‘pancake’ lens), Canon 70-200 mm f/4L, and the Canon 100 mm f/2.8 Macro. I also added a Rokinon 14 mm wide angle lens for night photography to the lineup in 2013, so far I’ve been impressed with it. As for the EOS M, I use the EF-M 22 mm/f2 STM lens + I have the lens adaptor that allows me to use all the lenses above on it.
I’ve owned other Canon and Tamron lenses in the past and parted with them for various reasons — some I didn’t like or received a lousy copy of, others I used until I wore them out and decided to upgrade instead of repurchasing.
The smartphone I currently use for mobile photography is a Samsung Galaxy S4. Some days I like the camera, others I don’t. I also use an iPod touch (5th generation) for mobile photography. I do like it 95% of the time. Both have Otterbox covers on them as I also use them for fitness.
My go-to camera bag is currently an emerald green Jessica Simpson purse that has the perfect sized compartments for camera gear without being bulky or huge (I’ve used a Shootsac & a plum Epiphanie Lyric in the past); when I need everything or am traveling for more than a long weekend, I take my Kata camera backpack. I use a Manfrotto tripod and ballhead that will easily hold up my heavier lenses for night photography & self portraits, and on very very rare occasions, a Sigma flash.
Since I have two computers, depending on which one I’m using determines which software is in use. On my older laptop, all of my basic processing is done in Adobe Lightroom 4; full edits are done in Adobe Photoshop CS4. I purchased a subscription for Photoshop CC (& Lightroom) in late 2013 that I use on my newer laptop. I’ve also purchased Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 that’s on my newer laptop to play around with and be able to better write up photography editing how-to posts.
Right now, my go -to action sets (for Photoshop) are from: Red Leaf Boutique’s Film Action sets + Totally Rad Actions (I use both the original set and the Revenge set on occasion) + Alex Beadon (I have a few of her’s that I bought individually before she changed up her purchasing options). I also use The Pioneer Woman’s free action sets from time to time. I have many other sets that I use on a very occasional basis, but the above are my most used sets.
As for Lightroom, I primarily use the following preset collections (in addition to the ones that come with LR): Pretty Presets Fine Art Film Preset Collection + Dave Morrow’s Under the Stars Preset Collections.
Nichole Van also has some great action sets + LR presets that I’ve used in the past and still do on rare occasion … my current editing style just means I use these far less than in the past. I recently purchased PS Elements & Lightroom action/preset sets from A Beautiful Mess but haven’t used them enough to vouch for them yet.
For my smartphone and iPod images I share here on the blog + Instagram, here are the apps I use for editing.
Q: What happened to your personal blog that was on a different domain?
A: It was merged (along with my photography blog that was located at christinamccall.com) into this website in August 2013. Maintaining two blogs was far more work than I wanted to continue keeping up with after six and a half years of already doing so!
That said, in the spring of 2014, I was kicking myself for doing so … so I set up a new personal blog with stuff that just doesn’t fit here. Check it out.
Q: Where in East Texas are you located?
A: Approximately an hour and a half southeast of the DFW metroplex on the edge of the Piney Woods (driving-time via a couple different routes).
Q: Are you still a portrait photographer?
A: As of October 2014 I’m officially out of the portraiture/wedding/commercial photography business (see announcement here) and I’ve taken a bit of a break at Sit.Stay.Snap. I may revamp and relaunch Sit.Stay.Snap. sometime in 2016 with some ideas I’ve had for my pet photography business that I haven’t had time to put into place.
Q: Is photography, healthy living, and travel all you discuss?
A: Photography, travel, and living healthier (food + fitness) are my three main hobbies/interests, thus the three main topics of this site. Since the launch of this blog, budgeting has been added to the mix as an almost monthly feature as well. While I talk less about food and fitness now, I’ve moved those posts along with book reviews to my other blog.
I have other interests as well … check out the categories link in the menu for the rest. As I merged two blog feeds, you’ll find my blog archives going back to 2007. I’ve reorganized the categories (see the menu above) to make it a bit easier to find posts on certain topics.
Q: What is RB Budgeting?
A: Its a blog feature/topic I add to periodically about various topics within budgeting. RB isn’t a technique, its simply an abbreviation for the site name, Route Bliss. Same goes for my posts on roadtripping (RB Roadtripping), destinations (RB Destination Guides), microadventures (RB Microadventures), and photography & photo editing tutorials (Ask RB).
Q: Who designed your blog?
A: The base template is a ProPhoto Blog template + the layout currently in use was bought from a designer in their design shop. As of when I posted this page, the original design (before I made it a bit more *me*) has apparently sold out, but there are many others in a wide variety of styles to fit every personality. The fonts I currently use as of January 2016 for logos and image text are Faith & Glory and Syncopate. In 2015 I used Quickpen and Syncopate (or Novecento Wide); I used Anna Clara as the script font from 2013-2014. My watermark text is Century Gothic, which I’ve used since 2012.
Q: I saw an image on your blog I’d like to purchase a print of , is it possible to do so? Do you have an online storefront or can I buy a print directly from you?
A: Email me which image (send me the url to the post – and if there’s more than one image, the # the image is sequence-wise in the post) and what print size you’d like to purchase and I’ll let you know the cost to order & ship it to you. Please note, some personal images as well as past portrait client images in the archives are not available for general public purchase.
I also have a limited selection of prints available at Society 6. I’m adding to the image options as I have free time.
Have questions not answered here on the site? Contact me with them … maybe they’ll become an upcoming post or be answered here on the FAQ page!
Looking for the disclaimers & sidenotes for Route Bliss? They’re located here.