Tag Archives: beginner

Familiar walls



Looking upwards with my Powershot G11 is easy because of its articulating LCD monitor

I go by this wall 5 days a week.

Usually it’s around the same time too.

It’s the way the afternoon sun catches the imperfections on the surface that grabs my attention.

Naturally this wall looks very different in the morning.

I’m a big fan of “observing” and then challenging myself to come up with an image that others might find interesting as well.

I could be wrong and have to resort to smoking something stronger. 😉

My Powershot G11 is the perfect carry-along camera for this sort of activity. Continue reading Familiar walls

Simple photography goals for the new year

Artists in their own rights—Marvin and Maria were among my students who took part in a class show at the local coffeehouse Back to the Grind in downtown Riverside. Every 1st Thursday of the month, galleries downtown feature local artists’s work. See my other students who participated after the jump.

You’ve spent lots of money on equipment and probably invested lot more in time with your camera. Now, you have a body of work that is respectable.

If you don’t share it or somehow show it to the world, you’re not going to be motivated to do better.

Let’s face it, we all love to hear that our work is wonderful.

How about  ringing in the new year with 3 simple goals for your photography?

Thanks to computers and the internet, many of these suggestions are not that difficult anymore. Used to be you had to be a bit of a computer whiz but software has made things a lot easier. Continue reading Simple photography goals for the new year

Becoming your own teacher


Multiple exposure–Prior to layers in Photoshop, multiple exposures in camera required some doing. In this particular picture. I exposed the same frame of film 3 times by cocking the shutter and not advancing that frame between each exposures. I also adjusted the exposure this way. If the scene metered 1/125 sec @ f2.8. I first decided how many exposures I wanted to make. Since I elected to do 3, I under-exposed 3 stops. Remember, with every exposure the exposure builds up. If I didn’t account for that, by the time the 3 exposure is made, the final image will be over-exposed. That meant setting an exposure of 1/1000 sec @ f2.8 for all 3 instances I tripped the shutter. Tri-X BW ISO 400 speed film pushed to ISO 1600.

As with most art forms, once you’ve learned the basics of photography, like which dial or knob controls what, the rest is experimentation, being very disciplined, driven and analytical.

The problem is, understanding how the camera captures images isn’t necessarily very intuitive.

To further complicate matters, as prices on digital single lens reflex cameras drop, more and more folks are tempted into buying those Canon Rebel bodies or Nikon D40s with kit lenses as their very first cameras.

Without any previous photography knowledge or experience, these cameras have an extremely steep learning curve.

So for the total novice, there’s actually 3 stumbling blocks in their path to their digital mastery. Continue reading Becoming your own teacher

Beginners tip: black and white photos


New VrindabanBlack and white images on film have a grainy look unlike that of digital. It’s only a matter of time when old becomes new again. Video-editing software these days have effects that let you add grain to give it the film look. Film shooters who disliked the appearance of grain from high ISO, don’t fret. It’ll be in vogue again soon. This picture was originally photographed on Kodak Tri-x pushed to 1600. Processed with some strange cocktail which eludes me now.

Prior to digital photography, if you wanted black and white images, you had to shoot black and white film, learn how to develop it and then make prints in a wet darkroom.

With digital photography, anyone who wants to play “fine art photographer” can easily do so without all that hassle.

But before you change that setting on your camera to capture only in black and white, you need to know this:

Assuming you want the best quality, doing so will tell the camera to dump information from your files especially if you’re shooting JPEGs.

All color images are really 3 black and white images in red, blue and green channels.

When you tell the camera to capture in black & white, the camera dumps digital information because the resulting file you get is smaller.

Continue reading Beginners tip: black and white photos