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Tips

Ask David: When do I use different shutter speeds?

Filed in Tips by on October 9, 2014 1 Comment
Ask David: When do I use different shutter speeds?

Your camera is an amazing creative tool. That’s not really intuitive to a lot of beginners, because cameras are so good at recording reality. But the fact is that you can use your camera to manipulate reality just as you can use it to recreate reality and the simplest creative tool your camera has is shutter speed. Shutter speed works in two directions–you can either slow it down or speed it up. Use a slow shutter speed to emphasize movement. Use a faster shutter speed to freeze movement. So how do you decide when to choose a slow shutter speed, and when to choose a faster one?
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A Primer on Lens Filters

Filed in Tips by on October 9, 2014 0 Comments
A Primer on Lens Filters

During the old days of film, the lens filter was an important piece of equipment. It was often used to balance colors or to add special effects to an image but today’s digital technology lets us set white balance manually, or make changes after-the-fact in post-processing. Is there still any use for those filters? If so, how can we use them? How can they help improve our photos? Now’s your chance to find out.
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Shooting Modes Explained: What M, AV, TV, P, and B Really Mean

Filed in Tips by on October 2, 2014 4 Comments
Shooting Modes Explained: What M, AV, TV, P, and B Really Mean

Good news, you’ve got a fancy new camera. Bad news, you have no idea how to use it or what any of the settings do or mean. Making the jump from a point and shoot to a DSLR requires you to embrace a massive learning curve. Below is some information to demystify the shooting modes and help you differentiate each mode from the others.
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15 Tips to Boost Your Zoo Photography

Filed in Tips by on October 2, 2014 2 Comments
15 Tips to Boost Your Zoo Photography

For many of us, the zoo is the closest thing we are going to get to going on safari. If you know what you’re doing, you might even be able to take photos that look like you are on safari without the price tag of a vacation in a foreign country. Likewise, photographing in a zoo will allow you to get shots of animals from all over the world in a single day instead of needing to take several trips. Photographing animals in the zoo also produces some interesting challenges. Here are some pointers to help you get the most out of your day at the zoo.
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Tips for Scouting Locations… and Actually Using Them

Filed in Tips by on October 2, 2014 0 Comments
Tips for Scouting Locations… and Actually Using Them

Are you getting bored with your ‘go to’ locations? Let me guess, you’ve explored every nook and cranny, found all the hidden spots and stellar backgrounds. If you aren’t there yet there will come a day when you flip through your portfolio and realize you’ve over-utilized those favorite locations. If you’re there already, you are due for some location scouting and if you haven’t, well, a little forethought never hurt anyone. Here are some things I’ve found help me find and remember stunning locations.
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Photography workshops – how to prepare for and get the most out of them

Filed in Tips by on September 22, 2014 0 Comments
Photography workshops – how to prepare for and get the most out of them

There will come a point in your life as a photographer where you find yourself fantasizing about attending a workshop. You feel like you’ve hit a talent plateau and now you’re stuck. No amount of reading or shooting will make you feel like you are moving forward. This is probably the time for a workshop. Continue Reading »

Lifestyle Photography: Newborns

Filed in Tips by on September 22, 2014 0 Comments
Lifestyle Photography: Newborns

There is nothing sweeter or more ephemeral than a newborn baby. Those sweet milk drunk smiles and three hour naps don’t last long. All parents will, at one point or another, find themselves astonished to look down at their child and realize that little baby has turned into a child.
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The raw vs JPEG showdown : Which file format is better?

Filed in Tips by on September 22, 2014 10 Comments
The raw vs JPEG showdown : Which file format is better?

Since the dawn of digital photography, photographers have been fighting it out, trying to ascertain which photo file format is best. Some will swear by RAW files with their seemingly limitless options, while others claim JPEGs are smaller, quicker, and better. I’m here to help break down the differences, similarities, pitfalls, and perks of both RAW and JPEG to maybe even settle this age-old (or decade old) battle.
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Beyond Snapshots (or, why do all those other photos look better than mine)

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Beyond Snapshots (or, why do all those other photos look better than mine)

There are two types of photos in this world. No, I don’t mean black and white vs. color. I don’t mean digital vs. film. I mean snapshots vs. works of art.

You have probably taken your share of snapshots. We all have. Snapshots are what happen when we whip out our iPhones to grab a picture of Kid A or Kid B holding that preschool graduation diploma or smearing spaghetti sauce all over his face. And don’t get me wrong, a snapshot of something you want to remember is better than no photo at all. But why settle for a mere snapshot when you can have a work of art instead?
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Understanding Your Camera’s Settings

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Understanding Your Camera’s Settings

You finally did it. Goodbye point and shoot cameras with fixed lenses, bogus “digital zoom” and little idiot-proof icons in place of real settings. Goodbye sub-par images and limited functionality. You’ve finally entered the world of DSLR photography.

If you’re like a lot of people, the euphoria wore off as soon as you picked up your DSLR’s manual. That thing is like a brick with pages. Flipping through it is an exercise in uselessness and sitting down to read it is something you might have time to do after retirement.

So, maybe you put the manual away and sheepishly set your camera to “Auto.” And maybe that’s where it’s been ever since.

Today, I’ll show you what the most common settings on your camera do, and how to use them effectively.
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Ask David: What camera settings should I use on a sunny day?

Ask David: What camera settings should I use on a sunny day?

When you are photographing during the sunniest part of the day you are combating two major issues: The first is overexposure and the second is harsh shadows.

First, let’s tackle overexposure. Overexposure occurs when too much light gets into your camera and washes out your photo. To combat overexposure, it’s best to shoot in full manual mode because it will give you the most control. As you adjust each setting, keep an eye on your light meter. It’s going to give you a ballpark as you change your settings and will be your first indication if your shot is going be overexposed.
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Ask David: What’s the best way to change my camera lens?

Ask David: What’s the best way to change my camera lens?

What’s the best way to change lenses? What happens if I get dust on my lens? What about on my sensor?

The best way to change your lens is as fast as you can without damaging your gear. Minimizing the amount of time the camera and back element of the lenses are exposed to the elements minimizes the potential for dirt and other particulates to get into your camera body. Don’t change your lenses in a rainstorm, while cleaning out a dusty attic, or on the sand at the beach if at all avoidable. Those environments can wreak havoc on the internal workings of your camera.

Here is my typical lens change procedure, step by step:
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Ask David: What are the red and silver lines on Canon lenses?

Ask David: What are the red and silver lines on Canon lenses?

“Why do some Canon lenses have a red line and others have a silver line? What’s the difference? What about the gold line and the green line?”

Canon uses the different colored rings to denote a lens’s features and distinguish the different lenses from each other. It should be noted that while the colored rings always mean the same thing when used; Canon has been a little wishy-washy about always using them. Just because a lens is lacking the colored ring, doesn’t mean it doesn’t fall into one of the established lens divisions, it just means you will have to look harder to get the information you seek. Let’s discuss what each of the lines mean.
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Pointers for the Perfect Self-Portrait

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Pointers for the Perfect Self-Portrait

Are you guilty of an occasional selfie? Most of us are. It’s true, we are a selfie-obsessed culture but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Self-portraits have a long history as part of an artist’s journey of self-discovery. They give us a way to try out new techniques, fail in privacy, learn, grow and adapt as photographers. They are also a way to chart how we physically change over time. Here are some items and practices that help me achieve the self-portrait I set out to create.
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Intermediate Night Photography

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Intermediate Night Photography

If you have dabbled in night photography, you are probably familiar with the unique lighting scenarios and magical images you can capture once the lights are out. You may think of night as a black time, but streetlights, signs, and car headlights add colored light to photos that you do not encounter during the light of day. You can challenge yourself and create beautiful images capturing fluorescent, tungsten, yellow/orange streetlights, or even multi colored neon light sources. There are also natural sources of light in the moon and stars just begging to be photographed. If you have already gone to the dark side and delved into the exciting world of night photography, read on to discover some new tricks to try. Jaw dropping photos await!
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