•  

Archive for May, 2015

The Five Values of Light

Filed in Light, Tips by 2 Comments
The Five Values of Light

Before you became a photographer, there was exactly one sort of light. It was either on, or it was off. Sure, there were varying degrees of brightness – there was dim light and there was bright light, but it was all pretty much the same thing.

Then, when you learned how to use a camera, you discovered something new. There’s not just one kind of light. Light has color and direction. It can be hard or soft. It’s no longer just about how bright it is – now light has quality. And what’s more, that quality can make or break your photographs.
Continue Reading »

How to Photograph Your Collections

How to Photograph Your Collections

So wait, you mean photography isn’t your only hobby? You do other things with your time besides take pictures? Shocking!

Okay, I confess. I have other hobbies too. Most people do. But have you ever considered that you might be able to combine your passion for photography with your passion for your other hobbies? It’s true! And here’s how to do it.
Continue Reading »

Metering 101: How To Use Your Camera’s Metering Modes

Metering 101: How To Use Your Camera’s Metering Modes

All modern consumer-level cameras come equipped with a light meter. And a good thing too, because without a meter photography would be at best, a game of educated guesses, and at worse, a festival of complete and utter frustration. But if I had to guess, I’d say that this most-important piece of photography equipment is probably the most taken-for-granted of anything that comes equipped on a camera. You change your shutter speed, aperture and ISO pretty regularly. You probably also change your white balance setting and your focusing mode. But you may not pay a whole lot of attention to your meter.
Continue Reading »

Ask David: Why Aren’t My Backgrounds Blurry?

Ask David: Why Aren’t My Backgrounds Blurry?

When I was a beginner photographer, I distinctly remember going out one weekend to shoot an outdoor event. I thought I had the whole aperture thing figured out. In order to get a sharp subject and a blurry background, all I needed to do was select the widest available aperture (smallest f-number), or use Portrait Mode. I selected Aperture Priority and I shot the whole event at f/4.

When I looked at my photographs after the event, I was really disappointed. Despite those large apertures, the images all featured backgrounds that were either just as sharp as the subject, or only very slightly blurred. I got the focus right, I got the exposure right, but for some reason I wasn’t able to get that background blur that I wanted. And it was actually sometime before I figured out why. Today I’m going to share that secret with you, so you don’t have to figure it out for yourself the way I did.
Continue Reading »

How To Fix Chromatic Aberration?

How To Fix Chromatic Aberration?

If you’ve been taking photographs for long enough, you’ve probably heard of chromatic aberration. It actually goes by a couple of different names. The first one, “chromatic aberration” is the technical term. It seems a bit overly-technical, really, as if it’s just meant to make beginners scratch their heads. The second name for chromatic aberration is quite the opposite. “Purple fringing” sounds like something you might find on the sleeves of a jacket from the 1960s, not like something that has anything to do with photography. So if you are confused about chromatic aberration or purple fringing, keep reading. A little explanation will go along way.
Continue Reading »

How to Photograph Martial Arts

How to Photograph Martial Arts

Some photos practically take themselves. What could be simpler than photographing a beautiful landscape or a laughing child?

However, other subjects can be difficult to master. Take indoor Martial Arts for example. At face value it should be pretty easy to shoot martial artists, right? I mean, martial arts tournaments are full of action, and action makes for great photos. Unfortunately, it’s not all that simple. There are many quirks and potential problems of photographing this fast, often low-light sport to learn before you can take great photos of it.
Continue Reading »

White Balance 101 – How to Get It Right

White Balance 101 – How to Get It Right

Until you started taking photos, you may not have even been aware of such a thing as white balance. That’s because in the real world, white balance is a function of your brain. Our brains are pretty good at white balance, actually, so good that many photographers have to train themselves to consciously understand what our brains just do for us behind the scenes, every single day.

However, your camera isn’t as smart. Fortunately, there is an easy way to make sure you don’t get a color ‘cast’ in your photos.
Continue Reading »

What is lossless JPEG?

Filed in RAW, Tips by 5 Comments
What is lossless JPEG?

You’ve probably heard a lot about JPG vs. Raw. These are two file formats that most modern DSLRs offer, but you may have also heard about another one – “lossless JPEG”.
Continue Reading »

Making People Comfortable When You Photograph Them

Making People Comfortable When You Photograph Them

Photography can be a sort of introvert’s hobby. It’s just so easy to hide behind that giant DSLR, isn’t it? And what could be more soul-searching than traveling the wilderness with your camera in hand, taking photos of wild places and enjoying the solitude?

How about taking photos of people? I know, it’s not the same thing. At all. There’s not really anything soul-searching about photographing a person who would clearly rather be doing just about anything except having his photo taken.

Portrait photography is often the domain of the extrovert – but would you believe me if I said that it doesn’t have to be? While there is definitely some skill involved in getting your subjects to relax in front of the camera, and while there are definitely some people who were born with a knack for it, it can be a learned skill. All it really takes is a couple of tried and true techniques, and some practice.
Continue Reading »