Best books on writing AND photography/photo editing tips

I've been given (or have found all on my own) some great information since I spilled the beans the other day, letting ya'll know I'd like to write a book. So I said to myself, Sheesh Heather, you should share these resources, like in a post or something.

And then I agreed with myself that I should do just that. Right now. In this here post.

You're welcome.
  • Firstly, my blog friend Becca has done an excellent series on writing on her blog. If you're interested in writing fiction, this series will become a go-to place for information on all things plot and character growth. (Click on "series on writing" above to start at the beginning.)

Nextly, Jennifer of Conversion Diary sent me some must-read book titles. Because I adore Jennifer, her wisdom and talent, I share them with you now:

Some other books on writing that I recommend are:


I thought this would be a good time to answer some questions about my photos. I don't really know why it would be a good time, but not a lot of things I think make much sense. SO. I'm often asked how I get my pictures to look the way they do on my blog. I want you to know that I can take very little credit for that. I use a fancy Nikon that takes good pictures pretty much on its own. It's a Nikon D60 digital SLR. (No, Nikon has nothing to do with this post. I'm just telling you things of my own free will today.)

After my camera takes good pictures, I edit them on Picnik.com. I love me some picnik. It's free (unless you want to spend a little extra for more editing options, which I do) and so easy and fun to use. Most of the time I use only the 'exposure' and 'colors' features. Then I add the "watermark" (The EO) to my photos by clicking 'Create' and then 'text'. Sometimes I round the corners under 'create' and 'frames' and that's about it.

Here's an example of the difference:

(picnik is not sponsoring this post. Again, I spread the picnik love simply because I want to.)

Since I don't know what any of the tiny numbers and buttons and flidgets and woozers are on my fancy camera, I was happy to learn more about them recently while at the Casual Blogger Conference. I went to a session on Photography with Lolli from Better in Bulk. For the first time, photography lingo made sense to me. Lolli simplified the information in a way that was very informative without being overwhelming. Even if you weren't there, you can find the information she shared over on her blog, here.

Just so you know, I now understand what words like aperture and bokeh mean, thanks to Lolli. So when I'm around really good photographers from now on, I'm just going to randomly work this knowledge into conversation. The person'll be all like, "So what do you do?" and I'll be all, "BOKEH!" Because that means something about the aesthetic quality of the unfocused parts of a photo, and I think it sounds fancy.

The End.

You're welcome.


I found the video below a while back through a link on Twitter. Of course I can't remember who had it up on their site because social media will crowd a girl's brain if she's not careful. Apparently, I was not careful.

Anyway, I love this creative song and video and because photography and writing are ARTS, I share it with you today:

Get ready to shimmy your shoulders...

20 clicked right here to comment:

Kimberly said...

The book recommendations
Picnik - can't wait to play on there!
The video clip

The redhead said...

I've always wanted to write a book, but the task seems so daunting. At this point in my life I'd rather take a nap. Pa-the-tic.

And I love me some picnik. Are the extras worth the george washingtons?

Lori said...

use picnik all the time-love, love, love it....and love, love, love your writing too!!!!!

HT said...

I love me some picnik, too!

Casey Petersen said...

I like how you do your photos! What are some of your favorite effects/treatments in Picnik?

Heather of the EO said...

The redhead- I do think it's worth it. You can use everything under 'premium' and it's not very expensive at all.

And Casey- I mostly only deepen the colors and change the lighting a bit, but when there are pics of ME, I like that I can airbrush and remove wrinkles and blemishes. True confession. I also love using frames to give the photos more impact. And I use the collage feature quite often, too. Apparently I have many favorites :)

C (Kid Things) said...

I usually use Photoshop, so I've never tried Picnik. Until now. I think I might be in love.

Aging Mommy said...

Heather that was a wonderful idea sharing all this information with everyone, thank you. By the way you sound very up beat and happy with life right now which is wonderful to hear in your writing.

But best of all for me is the tip on Picnik. I tried another editing site and also use the photo editing package on our computer but neither are great but I am definitely going to try this one out as the difference between your unedited and edited photo versions is amazing. The picture was great to begin with but the colors and clarity are so much better after and I really want to be able to watermark my photos too on my blog, so thank you very much!

Christy said...

I've never been tempted to edit photos before - but seeing the before and after on that one in the pool is making me reconsider. Hope you're having a fab summer and can't wait to meet you in NYC!

Anonymous said...

Oooooh. Thanks. I have no desire to write beyond my own journal and blog. But still love finding new and interesting resources. And actually, I'm reading Bird by Bird as we speak (or ahem, write as it were) and am LOVING IT.

Casey Petersen said...

LOL! I have been Photoshopping the pics of myself on my Christmas cards since 2000!

I know a thing or two about Photoshop, but I like how Picnik is easier at doing some things that are a bit more complicated in Photoshop. Thanks for turning me on to Picnik!

jen@odbt said...

He's adorable - that smile could never be picniked :) I'm a huge fan of picnik too...just can't get into PS.

Jen said...

I too LOVE, LOVE, LOVE me some Picnik!

wendy said...

I for sure think you should write a book. You would have much to share and relatiing your experiences would be helpful to others I am sure.
I could never write a book. I can't even hardly write a couple of sentences and really make sense....not really explain in words what I feel in my heart.

I use picnic too....cool site.

Carrie said...

I just discovered picnik the other day and have done nothing useful since. :) I didn't think about using it for a watermark, though - GREAT idea!!! :)

From Tracie said...

I found picnik a few months ago...it is surprising to me that I am here commenting on your blog and not there playing with pictures. I love it that much!

I am going to check out that series on writing fiction, because I may or may not have a short story that i dream of turning into a book.

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

The video. I needed someone to sing that to me, to show that to me - so badly. Brilliance! Thank you for that.

Bird by bird. Embrace the (crappy) first draft. Changed my life.

alita said...

I've read Writing Down the Bones and I found it quite useful.

A fun book on writing is literally called On Writing by Stephen king. It is a easy read, but it also has easy tips as well.

I will have to look up the books you suggested. I'm reading Drinking: a Love story right now (along with some other literature) Summer really is the best time to get your read on.

deb said...

love picnik !
and writing, and the idea that I will hold a book of yours in hand someday. fiction?

will watch the video now, thx

and to your post above.... congratulations. hugs, and post whatever, I'll be here. You are seriously beautiful.

Motherboard said...

I loves me some picnik too. And Picassa.

I am going to work BOKEH!into every conversation today in honor of you.

Someday I will write my book. Someday.

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