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 [...]
If cameras took good pictures, wouldn’t they be good pictures all of the time?
Whether you are photograph people, landscapes, still lifes, or whatever else, you are photographing light.
Everything you see is a source of light.
The source of light is either an illuminating light source or a reflecting light source.
It’s important to pay attention to an illuminating light source because a reflective light source can not be seen without [...]
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 [...]
There’s no doubt about it. When I learned to use my flash unit thoughtfully and effectively as a compositional element in my pictures, I became a more versatile photographer and was able to confidently produce a wider range of work.
Learning how to use my flash not only added another skill to my craft as a photographer it also [...]
You’re camera isn’t smart nor does it take good pictures.
You, on the other hand, have intelligence and you have the ability to make good pictures.
Your camera also doesn’t know anything.
Among some of the things things your camera doesn’t know…
What you want your picture to look like.
What you are making a picture of.
What you want to focus [...]
That’s something I hear often during my Introduction To Photography class.
Here’s the truth. I miss a lot of pictures for a lot of reasons and I think other photographers who are honest will say the same thing.
I’m not sure when this happened, but I’ve come to accept that missing pictures is a part of being a [...]
The words we choose are important and they can change your mind when it comes to your photography.
If you’ve got to “fix” your picture in photo-editing software, you’ve made a mistake.
Who you spend your time with influences your aspirations and struggles.
The aspirations and the struggles lead to change.
The changes are what you eventually become.
You should spend your time with people who demonstrate the standards to which you aspire and who will support your struggles.
Keep this in mind when spending time with photographers too.
Take a photography class
Do you think about how great would be to be a better photographer, work in photography as your career, to have your dreams come true?
Waiting for dreams and wishes to come true can’t be relied on. You can rely on your actions and your efforts.
You can spend time dreaming and wishing or you can spend time taking concrete actions and [...]
If you take a photography class, it’s not enough to simply put in your time during the class.
A good photography class will give you information related to the class topic, but to have what you learn in the class sink in you’ve got to apply what you learned to your work outside of class.
If the [...]
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 [...]
Do you spend your time making a photograph or editing files?
You make a photograph with your camera, you edit files with your computer.
Some photographers get the photograph completed in the camera.
Some photographers rely on photo editing software to complete their pictures.
Photographers that get the photograph completed in the camera rely on their understanding of photography to create their final [...]
Next time you’re viewing a photograph try to imagine how the photographer made the picture.
Do you think that they used a large aperture or a small aperture?
How about a fast or slow shutter speed?
What about the ISO?
And the focal length lens?
What do you think the the white balance setting was?
Of course no one knows the [...]
A new technique that becomes popular among photographers tends to become an overdone fad.
Just because you know how to use a technique doesn’t mean you have to use it all of the time. If you do, then the technique defines you as a photographer.You get to be known as the photographer who uses such and such technique.
If you [...]
The light meter on your camera measures the brightness of light.
Metering is an evaluation.
Exposure is how much light you allow to fall onto light sensitive material.
Exposure is a decision.
Metering and exposure are essential to getting the photograph that you want.
If your pictures are coming out to dark or too bright this indicates you should probably devote some time to [...]
Sell it or lease it.
If you want to go into business as a photographer, please understand that it requires patience and a mindset that is no different than getting up every day and going to a nine to five job.
First, you’ll need the skills to do the work that you want to do.
If you’ll be self employed, [...]
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.
It’s disappointing to look for something and not find it. On the other hand it’s exhilarating to see something that you weren’t expecting.
Looking for something means that you have an expectation to find something specific. If you don’t find what you’re looking for you may be disappointed.
Seeing means that you became aware of something from observation. The specifics and expectations of [...]
A recent e-mail exchange between a student who is thinking about getting a new camera and myself.
Me: Just out of curiosity, what type of camera are you using?
Student: Canon Rebel xti. Need to get a better camera. Any recommendations?
Me: Why do you think you need a better camera?
Student: To take better photographs? However, it’s on the bottom of the [...]
“Opportunities” for photographers abound.
The thing to consider is the cost of that opportunity.
If the opportunity offers you no money to cover your expenses or time, then the cost of your opportunity is the wear and tear on your equipment, the cost of your expenses to get the work done and your time.
The cost of your expenses to get the work [...]