What do we need to pay to create GOOD photographs and yet cost us nothing out of our pockets?
I was asked about why I don’t offer darkroom skills, and/or photo editing software, instruction as a part of my workshops. If the topic of photo-editing software or darkroom work comes up, we’ll discuss it, but it is not a main topic.
I think that you can consider photo-editing software a digital darkroom. Whatever I’ve written [...]
Shutter speed is a part of exposure.
You can set your shutter speed to vary the amount of light that falls onto your light sensitive material of choice.
Longer/slower shutter speed = more exposure = brighter picture
Shorter/faster shutter speed = less exposure = darker picture
Sometimes when I give a review during my photography classes, photographers get the shutter speeds [...]
When we begin to learn about the craft of photography we may begin to think that that we are no longer paying attention to composition.
Instead of simply framing what we want in our picture we’re now thinking about focusing, metering, exposure and more.
While attentively framing what we want in our photograph (content) is important, framing and the placement of content [...]
As a photographer I think that there are three things that you mainly do with your camera to create a photograph.
You focus light (focusing), you measure light (metering) and you let a specific amount of light fall onto light sensitive material (making an exposure).
If you’ve been working your camera in an automatic mode your camera has been doing all [...]
Your photograph should be all about what you want as a photographer, not about what you think someone else will like or not like and it is not about what your camera does in auto-mode.
If you’ve been making your pictures from the perspective of what someone will like or not like, then you probably haven’t been making pictures [...]
Your camera meter measures the intensity (brightness) of light. Nothing more, nothing less.
This measurement of light is expressed as…
Our meter allows us evaluate what we’re photographing, while our chosen exposure based on our metering allows us to get the visual information that we want in our picture.
All of these changes have a compositional outcome. If you are changing these things and not…
There are primarily two things to consider.
The light coming from your flash.
The light coming from whatever you are photographing(your subject).
The light coming from your flash is an illuminating or transmitting light source.
The light coming from your subject is a reflective light source and is being illuminated by by whatever transmitting light source is available at the [...]
If you’ve got to “fix” your picture in photo-editing software, you’ve made a mistake.
Have you ever photographed someone in front of a sunrise, sunset or window and the person you’re photographing comes out dark?
The issue is that the person you are photographing is much darker than the brighter area in back of them.
You should base your exposure on the bright area, this is best done working in manual exposure mode in [...]
Bracketing may be fine for static subjects, but if you are photographing things in flux, you’ve got one chance to get the right exposure.
If you own a camera that has a manual exposure mode option, but are using it in auto-exposure mode, you’re not realizing the full potential of your camera or the full potential of you as a photographer.
Getting to know how to use your camera in manual mode opens the door to your full potential as a photographer.
I pose that question a lot to the participants during week four of the Introduction To Photography class that I teach in Washington DC.
Since photography is a thought process that involves decisions of exposure, metering, focusing, framing, etc I want to know the thought process that went into creating the photograph.
It’s good to hear that [...]
You’ve taken an Introduction to Photography class to learn to use your camera and to learn the basics of photography.
You’ve learned to work your camera in manual exposure mode.
You understand how to control basic composition with your aperture, shutter speed and ISO.
You use your camera meter to evaluate your subject to get the exact exposure [...]
You use your camera meter to evaluate the intensity, or brightness, of light.
You meter is located in your camera and chances are good that you have few metering patterns, or modes, to choose from.
Your metering mode has an area of influence that drives your exposure.
You meter is an evaluation tool while your exposure is used [...]
On your exposure mode dial there is an aperture priority mode and a shutter priority mode.
In aperture priority mode, you pick the aperture (f-stop) and your camera picks the shutter speed.
In shutter priority mode, you pick the shutter speed and your camera picks the aperture.
The problem with these modes is that, in terms of exposure, you wind [...]
What if you were to borrow someone’s camera because you didn’t bring your camera to an event.
Could you work the camera to make the photographs that you wanted?
You could if you had a good foundation in the basics of photography.
You would dig into the camera settings and change the settings to suit your way of [...]
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 [...]
At night you may need a flash because you do not have enough available light to make a good exposure of your subject.
During the day you may need a flash to add light to the darker areas of your subject.
Night or day, your flash is a valuable tool that can add light whenever and wherever you need [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]