I was recently asked if I teach night photography classes and I answered “yes, the classes that I teach in the evening start at 6:30 pm and usually end at 9:30pm.”
I misunderstood the question. The question was about whether I taught a class that specialized in creating photographs at night.
Do you really need a special […]
The composition of your photograph should be filled with intent.
If you, or your camera, are picking exposure settings in a haphazard manner, or based solely on the amount of light that you are working with, the composition of your photograph is lacking the visual depth that can only come with intent.
Everything from the choice of your lens to the the exposure […]
Photography is probably the easiest medium in which anyone can be competent.
Anyone can be a marginally capable photographer and produce a decent photograph.
The hard part of photography is developing a personal vision that is idiosyncratic.
The hard part of photography is separating yourself visually from the rest of the photographers who are making decent photographs.
Your photography has to become more than decent and has […]
If I were to give you a prescription to improve your photography, and for you to improve as a photographer, here’s what it would be:
To make better pictures and to be a better photographer take at least one picture a day in fully manual exposure mode.
Take the recommended dose at varying times of the day, in different locations and […]
You: A thoughtful and creative being looking for a way to express itself.
A Camera: A tool that records light that can be used as a means of personal expression.
When you learn the craft of photography and learn to use the camera in manual exposure mode you have all you need to create expressive photographs.
Sure, you might need a flash […]
Photography is a thought process.
As a photographer you can think more or you can think less while creating your picture.
Put your camera in an automatic exposure mode and you think less.
Put your camera in a manual exposure mode and you think more.
You get out of your photography what you put into your photography. In this case more is more.
DC Photo Classes – Lighting With Portable Flash Starting March 4, 2015
How to get the “proper exposure” with your flash…
How to control the brightness of your flash…
How to mix flash with available light…
About the relationship between your aperture (f-stop), shutter speed, ISO and flash…
How to use flash to control contrast…
How to see your flash […]
At the core of of what you do as a photographer there are three things that need to be done to make a photograph.
Meter – Measure the brightness of light.
Make an exposure – Allow a specific amount of light to fall onto light sensitive material.
Focus – Focus light onto light sensitive material.
The first two you […]
I don’t think the importance of exposure could be overstated as an element of photographic composition
If you put all of your effort into framing and all of the other elements of composition and you miss the mark on your exposure, all of your other efforts are diminished because your picture is too bright or too dark.
Once you learn […]
My personal experience in learning photography has led me to believe that, before you venture into the darkroom, it makes more sense to learn the basics of photography first so you could produce properly exposed negatives. Without properly exposed negatives you’ve got nothing, to work with in the darkroom.
Believe it or not this scenario isn’t as far fetched as you may think.
Imagine that you and a bunch of other photographers were standing side by side and were photographing the same thing.
You all had DSLR cameras. You all had your cameras set to the same auto-exposure mode and you all pressed your shutter at the same […]
A student posted on Facebook that Amazon was picking up her book.
Me- Congratulations. Your work paid off.
Student- Thank you Sam…your class opened my eyes to what my camera was capable of!
Me- You’ve got it wrong. It’s what you are capable of doing through your camera.
Student – Your right…I forget I’m the one who tells the camera…what […]
In terms of metering and exposure:
Matrix, evaluative, and center weighted metering patterns get you into the ballpark in terms of your exposure.
Partial meterring pattern gets you into the section where your seat is located.
Spot metering gets you into the row where your seat is located.
Adjusting your spot meter reading based on your desired tonality gets […]
Matrix, evaluative, center weighted, partial, spot.
These are the names of some of the more common metering patterns that you’ll find on your camera.
Program, automatic, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual.
These are the names of some of the more common exposure modes that you’ll find on your camera.
Your camera meter measures brightness and each metering pattern measures brightness differently based on […]
Someone stated, during a recent class that I was teaching, that a teacher from another class wondered why anyone would want to work their camera in manual exposure mode rather than an automatic exposure mode.
In photography, you can choose the outcome of your composition by working your camera in fully manual exposure mode or […]
If you’re an average photographer, you’re making photographs in an average way.
The average way of making photographs consists of working in an automatic exposure mode.
An automatic exposure mode, since it picks your exposure settings for you, produces an average exposure and what follows is an average photograph.
An average photograph has been created because, beyond the […]
If your picture is too light, you’ve overexposed it. Overexposure means…
During my Introduction to photography classes, in Washington DC, one of the first things I ask students to do is, introduce themselves, talk about their background in photography talk about what they’d like to get out of the class.
Inevitably most, if not all, of the class wants to learn how to “make better pictures”. That’s […]
Today we make photographs with exposures in fractions of seconds.
The first photograph, created in 1826 by Joseph-Nicephore Niepce, required an 8 hour exposure.
Read more here.
See Sam’s Photographs
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A participant in the Introduction to Photography commented that the “M” on the mode dial on her DSLR no longer meant “mystery” to her.
Beyond what it really means, which is manual exposure mode, I hope it also means…
Thank you Alicia.
Take the mystery out of the using the “M” (manual exposure) mode […]
Until you press the shutter release to make an exposure you are a deciding photographer.
When you press the shutter release to make an exposure you are a decisive photographer.
If you are unsure of yourself and continue to make decisions, your pictures are produced from a place of uncertainty. Your work can become diluted if you spend too […]
Imagine that you’re looking through the viewfinder of your camera.
You’ve framed the content of your photograph perfectly, you’ve put a lot of effort and thought into this photograph.
Your subject is just where it should be, the light is perfect, this picture is going to be AMAZING!!
You press the shutter release to make your exposure when everything is […]
There’s photographing WHAT you see and then there’s photographing HOW you see .
It’s easy to create a photograph based on what you see.
Photographing what you see involves getting an average exposure for what you see and framing it.
Anyone could photograph of what they see with a point and shoot camera while working in an automatic […]
If you want to go beyond point and shoot photography you’ve got to start somewhere.
Getting to know your camera and learning a few basic things about photography will get you off to a good start.
Simply learning the following three things will get you on the path to working your camera in manual mode and will […]