We all know the rule of thumb to shoot an outdoor portrait in the shade — to avoid harsh lighting and shadows. But a common problem occurs if you have any sunny areas in your frame: a properly exposed sunny background but an overexposed subject. I’m sure you’ve all seen it before: a subject under a shady tree that looks dark while the sky behind the subject is the right shade of blue (if only you were going for a portrait of the sky, but unfortunately, you weren’t). This problem is easily remedied with an understanding of your in-camera light meter. Continue reading “Metering: Which Setting Should I Use and When?”
First off, another name for a fixed-length lens is a prime lens, but don’t let that throw you off…. If you want a sharp picture you must use a fixed lens. End of story.
Just kidding. I probably got a few people in a huff there. But you will come across people who swear by fixed lenses and those who swear by zoom lenses. I own and use both. It really comes down to personal preference. My personal preference changes depending on what I’m photographing and what mood I’m in. Continue reading “Zoom Lenses vs. Fixed Lenses”
To put it simply, the ISO you set on your camera affects the sensor’s sensitivity to light. ISO really relates to film, and on our digital cameras we technically have ISO equivalents. If you want all the big words and math related to it, read about film speed on Wikipedia.
Okay, so it doesn’t have the same ring as “fast cars and freedom” but the two do go together. Fast lenses give you freedom to shoot in lower light while still maintaining a shutter speed fast enough for your purposes. Continue reading “Fast Lenses and Freedom”
Let’s say you’re taking pictures at your friend’s second cousin’s kid’s best friend’s baseball game (when people see you have a nice camera, things like that happen). This would be a great time to take advantage of your ability to control the shutter speed. Setting the shutter speed determines how long the shutter is open. The longer the shutter is open the more light comes through to reach the sensor. Continue reading “Shutter Speed: Take Control”
A reflector should be the star of a reality T.V. show: not only could it potentially be used reflect the sun onto a pile of sticks to start a fire, to signal for help, or to guide in a rescue plane, it could save a shot! I haven’t tried those first three things, but for saving a shot, it is my hero! Continue reading “The Reflector: My Hero”
Off-camera flash – love it. Having a flash-lit subject that’s looks unnatural and washed out – not loving it. But there is a solution! Gels. No, not hair gel. (But, just like hair gel, remember not to overdo it). Continue reading “Let’s Gel: Flash Photography”
The biggest way to tell the difference between a beginner and a pro is if the photo is “tack sharp” (the utmost level of sharpness). It’s not just one ultimate secret that will lead you to getting tack sharp photos, it’s the combination of many secrets. Here are 5 ways you can improve your photos, so you can look like you know what the heck you are doing: Continue reading “5 Ways to Get Tack Sharp Photos”
Want Drama? Want something that looks like it’s worth a million bucks?
The biggest thing that ruins a perfectly exposed photo is the presence of too much clutter. Look for simplicity. Walk around, recompose until you have eliminated as many distractions from the foreground or background as possible. Continue reading “Simplify for Maximum Impact”