Photography is a craft. Your camera is a product.
You use the product to work in the craft.
While it’s important to learn how to use your camera it’s more important to learn craft.
You can apply craft to any camera that you use once you learn how the camera does what you need it to do. This [...]
Exposure is subjective.
Overexposure is when your picture seems to bright to you.
Underexposure is when your picture seems to dark to you.
The right exposure is whatever you think the best exposure for your specific picture should be.
I think of overexposure and underexposure as negative terms when describing a picture. It means I missed the mark when [...]
Whether your photography business involves photographing weddings, portraits, news, products or whatever, you’re really in the business of…
When you work your camera in an automatic exposure mode you are taking pictures.
In an automatic exposure mode your camera picks an aperture, a shutter speed and an ISO for you, so you TAKE what you get as a photograph.
When you work your camera in fully manual exposure mode you are making pictures.
In fully manual [...]
There’s an old joke that goes like this:
An aspiring musician arrives in New York via Penn Station.
The musician walks out of the station carrying their instrument and asks someone, “How do you get to Carnegie hall?”
The person answers the musician, “Practice.”
How do you become a better photographer?
Take a photography class with Sam
You’ve got to start somewhere.
The place to start is to learn how to work your camera, preferably in manual exposure mode.
Learn to set your exposure by setting your aperture and shutter speed.
Learn to pick the right ISO based on the compositional outcome that you want.
Learn to focus by learning how to use the focusing modes [...]
During the Introduction Photography class we talk about three things that we often do as photographers with our cameras to create a photograph.
Metering: Using a light meter in our camera to measure the brightness of light.
Making An Exposure: Controlling the amount of light that we allow to fall onto light sensitive material.
Focusing: Using our lens [...]
Trying to find your style is like a dog chasing its tail. You’re trying to catch something that you already have.
I think a good analogy is verbal communication. We speak with each other to communicate. We effectively get our points across without thinking of ,or trying to find, a ‘style’ of speaking.
Photography is visual communication. [...]
I have made what I think are truly unique pictures and I’ve made pictures that are mundane and common.
When I examine the experience of making photographs that I consider unique,the best way I can describe that experience is in the following manner:
When I examine the experience of making photographs that I consider unique,the best way I can describe that experience is in the following manner: I seem to lose track of time, my mind is calm/there is no distracting self-questioning of my decisions and I seem to have a heightened/precise awareness. Some refer to this state as working in a “flow” or with “no-mind”.
When you make a picture in an auto exposure mode your camera will get you an average exposure based on whatever you are metering. Your picture may be good enough in terms of exposure but is probably lacking in the very thing that takes a picture beyond good enough; you, the photographer, are what’s lacking.
When you make [...]
Your exposure mode dial is usually found on top of your camera and is usually filled with letters and icons that allow you to pick how you want to make an exposure.
On a lot of cameras there are a lot of exposure modes to pick from.
Here are a few modes that I’m familiar with and [...]
It’s impossible for any of us to be the one and only best photographer in the world.
Lee Friedlander, Helen Levitt, Harry Callahan, Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier Bresson, Duane Michaels, Robert Frank, Amy Arbus; these are some of the best photographers in the world, but none of them are THE best.
What they are the best at is [...]
Cameras, lenses and equipment. These are tools to help you make photographs.
Photography is not f-stops shutter speeds and ISO or other technical matters. These things help you to refine your composition.
Photography is not about equipment or technical mastery.
There are plenty of mundane photographs created with expensive equipment and by photographers who excel technically but fail [...]
If you give your photography the thought process that involves working your camera in fully manual exposure mode you’ll get a photograph that is thoughtfully composed and reflects you, the photographer.
If you give your photography the thought process that involves an automatic exposure mode you’ll get a photograph that lacks thoughtful composition and reflects your camera, a [...]
Your camera primarily does three things to create a photograph
Your camera focuses light (This is really done with your lens).
Your camera measures light.
Your camera exposes light sensitive material to light.
If you’ve been working your camera in an automatic exposure mode your camera has been doing these things for you.
If you want to create photographs that are [...]
In order to become an effective and efficient photographer not only do you need to learn photography, you need to learn how your camera (the tool that you use to make photographs) works.
In order to learn how to work your camera, you’ll need to use the owners manual that came with your camera. [...]
The only way to be a better photographer is to identify and target your weaknesses.
If you only keep doing what you’re good at doing, that’s all you’ll ever be capable of doing.
No matter what level of photographer you are, you can always be a better photographer than you are now.
If you identify what you have difficulty [...]
While in the process of creating a photograph you may realize that you can’t get the picture that you visualize. After evaluating the light and considering the limitations of your equipment, you just can’t get the picture that you want.
You have a couple of choices. You can choose to not make a photograph or you can practice what I [...]
You and I use things to write with. Pens, pencils computers, etc.
Writers who write novels, poetry, etc. use things to write with too.
Great writers use things to write with in a way that makes them who they are in the literary field. They have taken a tool (pen , pencil, computer,) and use it in a way that [...]
It seems that there are more reasons not to make pictures than to make them.
I didn’t make pictures because: it was too dark, it was raining, it was cloudy, it was the wrong time of day, I couldn’t find anything to photograph, I was uninspired, I didn’t have time, etc.
If you want to be a better photographer make the photograph [...]