For photographers the camera is a tool that is used to record light.
It’s what you use to visually communicate facts or opinions through a photograph.
In order to be an effective photographer and visual communicator It is important that you feel at ease with using whatever camera you choose to use.
You should be as comfortable communicating through your camera as you are [...]
Flowering cherry blossom tree branches during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the Tidal Basin, Washington DC. The photograph was created by sandwiching two frames of 35 mm color transparency film together in one slide mount. (Sam D'Amico)
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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 [...]
Did you know that there is a law that we should be aware of when we use our flash?
This law applies to ALL flashes; the pop up flash on your camera and the, usually more powerful, separate flash unit that works off of your hot-shoe.
If you don’t know about this law, it could seriously limit your ability to create a photograph.
A camera used to be something that you had to buy as a distinct item and was intended to be used by a photographer.
Now you get a camera when you buy a cell or smart phone.
Since most everyone has a cell-smart phone, everyone has a camera and if everyone uses the camera on their phone, then [...]
Make a photograph.
Does your photograph show HOW you see or WHAT you see?
If your photograph shows WHAT you see you’ve successfully made a photograph.
If your photograph shows HOW you see you’ve successfully made a photograph that no one else could have made.
Take a photography class with Sam D’Amico.
Is a tool, for recording light. Your camera is a machine.
Your mind is what you use to create your photograph. Your mind is used in the creative process.
If you use your camera in an automatic exposure mode you are relying on a machine instead of your mind for the creative process.
A machine is not creative.
Simplify your photography.
If you take the time to pay attention and visually simplify what you put in your viewfinder and simplify your process when creating photographs, your work will improve immensely.
The only things that belong in your photograph are what you consider to be the most important things, the only thing that you should include in your process [...]
This quote by Henri Cartier-Bresson resonates with me.
I hope that we don’t ever see the day when ready-made photo system, which guarantees good photographic compostions in advance, go on the market. -Henri Cartier-Bresson - ”American Photo”, September/October 1997, page: 76
Unfortunately, I think that’s what many cameras have attempted to become today.
Auto-exposure, auto-focus, face-detection the list of auto features [...]
The perfect photograph doesn’t exist because perfection doesn’t exist.
Your best photographs are your best photographs, but are they perfect?
Perfection is a perception and since your perception changes so does your idea of perfection.
Don’t waste your time chasing perfection.
Spend your time becoming a better photographer so you can do the best work that you possibly can.
Become a better photographer.
Light has color.
We describe the color of light in as having a specific color temperature. Color temperature is measured on the kelvin (K) scale and temperatures on this scale are called kelvins.
The white balance setting on your camera deals with the color of light and each of the icons that represent your white balance settings [...]
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.
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If you have a good understanding of photography and understand how to use your camera you can photograph almost anything you want.
Low light photography, sports, portraits, landscapes, whatever.
It’s all about understanding your subject as light and using you camera as a light recording tool.
If you can use your camera in manual exposure mode, all the better.
Upcoming photography [...]
If you want your pictures to be better you should examine the following:
Do you know enough?
Do you care enough?
Are you uncomfortable/afraid?
Knowing enough is easy to fix. Learn more.
Caring enough is easy to fix. Make sure that you photograph things that interest you.
Being uncomfortable and fear are the killers. Whatever you’re afraid of, or uncomfortable doing, is holding [...]
Do you know what your camera does and how it does it?
Your camera has many features and does a lot, but in my opinion there are three primary things that you should know how to do with your camera. You should know how to focus, meter and expose.
If you aren’t doing these things, your camera [...]
When you start to learn photography you also start to learn how to work your camera.
You get caught up in learning how to use your camera to create a photograph.
You pay attention to camera operation and equipment
At this point you are camera centric.
While it’s important be camera centric for a period of time, there comes a time when being camera centric [...]
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 [...]
The white balance settings on your camera represent the Kelvin temperatures of various illuminating light sources.
The Kelvin temperature of a light source describes the color of an illuminating light source.
The term color temperature and the term Kelvin temperature are interchangeable.
I imagine it’s called white balance because white should look white. If white looks blue, or red, [...]
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 what they see with a point and shoot camera while working in an automatic exposure [...]
You are ultimately responsible for your photography, but you can choose to be totally responsible for your photograph or partially responsible for your photograph.
If you work your camera in an automatic exposure mode you are responsible for working your camera in auto exposure mode.
In automatic exposure mode you have chosen to have your camera pick your [...]
Meditation means awareness. It could be an awareness of your breath or it could be an awareness of the sound of the train that you are riding on your way to work. As long as these activities are free from any other distraction to your mind, you are meditating effectively. Anything you do with awareness [...]
As a photographer you should be aware of how you feel about what you are photographing and a certainty in your vision.
A feeling comes from an emotional reaction. Certainty in your vision comes from your ability to apply craft to get the photograph that you want.
When you combine how you feel and certainty you produce [...]
There are always at least two people in a photograph.
The first person is the photographer who created the photograph.
The second person is the person viewing the photograph.
As the photographer creating the photograph, it’s up to you to effectively visually communicate whatever you were experiencing that made you want to make the photograph in the first place. That’s how [...]
A good question came up in a recent photography class. I’m paraphrasing here: “If you create photographs in a RAW file format, since a raw file holds no white balance or color space, why do you bother setting white balance or color space?”
I set color space just in case I decide to capture in a [...]