Tag Archives: beginners

More Tips for Improving Your Photography

Keep an open mind

I have to remind myself to take my own advice on this on occasion.

Just because I don’t use a certain technique like HDR, it doesn’t mean I should’t learn how to use it.

I usually photograph people and HDR is mostly for subjects that don’t move since you’ll be bracketing.

That’s not to say the next time I’m on vacation, I won’t come across a scene that is so majestic that it begs to be shot with HDR.

Rent a new piece of equipment

lens rental
It’s always good to find new ways to capture our world.

That might mean renting an exotic lens like a super long telephoto or a super wide angle, or even a lighting kit like a battery operated flash.

Rental places like Borrow don’t even need you to leave the house, only when you return the equipment.

Read photo books even older ones

Just because a book is outdated, that doesn’t mean you can’t glean something useful.

In today’s world of fast changing versions of software and digital camera bodies we sometimes loose track of what makes a good picture.

I just bought a Photoshop CS2 book for $7.

It’s ancient in photoshop version years but the shooting tips from the photographer is still relevant because light and the very principles of how the camera record it have remained the same. Continue reading More Tips for Improving Your Photography

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

Studying Motion at Milestone Mx1


Edgar Lano used a zoom set at 100mm and an exposure of 1/60 sec @ f20, ISO 400 to pan this youngster

In the all-important basic lesson about studying motion and shutter speeds, we met at a Milestone Mx—a dirt bike riding track.

Stopping action is simply using a fast shutter speed, timing when to release the shutter and picking a peak action moment.


Peak action captured by Esmeralda at a place like Milestone Mx requires careful selection of camera angles to eliminate cluttered backgrounds and distractions like powerlines. ISO 100 1/500 sec @ f5.6.

Panning is a little trickier.

But Milestone Mx is excellent not just because the dirt bike riders love the attention, but there are varying levels of skills.

The more skillful ones will actually "hotdog it" or show off for folks with cameras

The riders  just go around and around the track in the same direction pretty much predictably along the same path.

That means my lots of chances great for practicing.

Continue reading Studying Motion at Milestone Mx1

End of fall semester student show

Every semester I try to end my photo class on a high note by having my students participate in a group show at the local coffeehouse Back to the Grind downtown.

As usual, I never make it mandatory because the 2 11″ x 14″ prints and frames can be a lot of money for college students.

I’ve been there. Being in college is almost synonymous with being broke unless you happen to be lucky enough to have parents who can help you out.

It’s their showcase and once in a while, they actually get to sell one of their pictures!

The show is intended to be a carrot-on-a-stick.

I don’t tell them what to show. I just check that their pictures look sharp and will hold up to be enlarged.

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