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Archive for July, 2015

How to create beautiful photos with no distractions

There are any number of things we can do with a good photo editing program.

And while that is always cool, isn’t it generally a good idea to try to do as much as you can to minimize the need for editing? For example, if you can properly adjust your exposure or white balance during the shooting there is no reason you will have to go back and mess around with it on your computer. The same concept applies to the use of depth of field.

If you’re not sure what I mean, think about the images you see of people, animals, plants…that provide a wonderful clear image of the focal point but sort of seem to blur everything else out.

Cameras are built to automatically allow the sensor to take a shot providing the most crisp and sharp clarity as possible to all elements of the image. Sounds good right? Well, not always. When either the background (or in rare occasions the foreground) can actually distract from the main focal point in the image, you may want to blur if you will, the parts of the image that are not the main subject. This is where depth of field comes in.

If you aim for a shallow depth of field, the foreground will be in focus with the background out of focus to some degree, see the second shot below. Conversely, if you use deep depth of field to blur the foreground and showcase the background.


Take a look at the image of the flowers above as opposed to the one below. The top image is one shot with a camera’s standard settings while the one below blurs the background to emphasize focus on the primary subject by making use of a shallow depth of field.



So, what’s the trick? Well, it’s all about your aperture settings. Basically, the lower the F# (or more widely the opening of the lens) the more you will be able to achieve an effect something like the one above with this stunning pink orchid. So naturally, the higher the F# (or more narrow the opening of the lens) the more you will produce the oppose effect.

For more tips, check out my e-books on digital photography on my official author website.


Nature’s Masterpiece (A Poem)

One of my newest poems, this one is dedicated to the female form. I hope you like it.

Nature’s Masterpiece

The masterpiece of nature
Molded for a canvas fair
With piercing eyes enthralling
And flowing locks of hair

Painted with lips to kiss so sweetly
And sing in gentleness
Along with breasts to nurture
As well as to caress

Sculpted with curves so eloquent
And legs so well defined
Leading to the secret garden
Of life and passion combined

Mixed Media Art by Amy Oestreicher

The works below are a start of a series here on Creative Dreamers that will feature the art of Amy Oestreicher. Check out her bio below for more information.

Dancing Girl

 Dancing Girl

I love being a scavenger, collecting bits of fabrics, scraps of materials, and v seeing what I can create.  My dancing girl was created from an eclectic mix of whatever I could find!

Tree Thoughts

Tree Thoughts

This was another hospital creation, and an exercise on resourcefulness.  I used toilet paper from the hospital bathroom for texture, some old magazines and fabrics, just to recreate my trees, which give me so much comfort even now.



I used many different fabrics here to create the polarities I felt when trying to figure out who I was after being suddenly displaced from my “former ” life.  Every surgery seemed to separate a piece of me, and I expressed this with odds and ends of fabric.

Artist bio:

Amy Oestreicher is a 28 year old actress, musician, teacher, composer, dancer, writer, artist, yogi, foodie, and general lover of life. Surviving and thriving through a coma, 27 surgeries and other trauma has inspired Amy to share her story with the world through her passionate desire to create and help others. Piecing her life together after her initial dreams of performing musical theatre took on a beautiful detour into broader horizons. Amy has written, directed and starred in a one woman musical about her life, Gutless & Grateful, has flourished as a mixed media and acrylic artist, with her art in multiple galleries and mounting dozens of solo art shows, and continues to share her story through her art, music, theatre and writings. More information on her unique story, as well as her creative ventures can be found at, and visit her blog for her newest art, music and inspirational musings.

Two Amazon apps for the creative minded

After making a recent music purchase on, I got an email from the site offering me a credit to use for the Amazon App Store. So, I figured, why not take a look.

I came across two apps that I ended up getting and would like to share with my creative readers.

Pencil Sketch Ad-free


While there are a lot of tools that are meant to allow for the user to convert his or her images into something that looks like a classic pencil sketch. But unlike like a lot of them, this one works easily with a good effect.

Easy Screen Recorder


This cool app allows you to do a video screen capture of your smart phone’s activity. It’s great for recording all sorts of things including info for art tutorials.

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