Tag Archives: beginners

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

What’s the best camera?

I play a sport which many in the US might consider “girly” called badminton with mostly Southeast Asians. Many of them are medical professionals like doctors.

Inevitably the post game conversation will always lead to the poor doctor being peppered with questions like, “I have a pain in this part, gesturing to show body part, do you think it’s serious?”

When my badminton buddies learn I’m a photographer, you can guess what they want to know, can’t you?

In my mind, the best camera is one that’s working and ready-to-go when I need it.
Continue reading What’s the best camera?

Looking around, but not seeing

I have my days when I see “stuff” to photograph everywhere or all the time.

Of course that always happens when I don’t have a camera with me.

“Stuff” in this case, is my very loose term for subjects. Don’t make the assumption it’s art.

It’s only art till some art critic calls it that. 😉

Then wouldn’t you know it, I’ll carry my camera with me for days and never see anything worthwhile to photograph.

It’s all about looking but not seeing and sometimes not recognizing the possibilities.
Continue reading Looking around, but not seeing

4 Reasons to shoot in the manual mode


Focused on the eyes–The eyes are what it’s all about when it comes to portraits. What happens when your focus can’t hold for both eyes when your depth-of-field is shallow? Canon 40D. ISO 100 1/60 sec @ f 1.4. Captured in available light from a north-facing window. There is a reflector just out of camera view below where  I’m standing over Lesly who is reclined on a sofa.

Automatic mode is so wonderful.

It frees you to concentrate wholly on what’s in the viewfinder.

In fact, if that’s how you do your best work, there shouldn’t  even be any display in the viewfinder to distract you from your subject in hand.

As long as you don’t make mistakes either in setting your exposure, shutter speeds, ISO, White Balance or even focusing, an uncluttered viewfinder can allow you can be one with your subject.

The reality is, everyone makes mistakes. Some photographers are just luckier than others. Those of you who are lucky, wouldn’t you want to be lucky all the time?

Here’s 4 reasons to shoot in manual mode:
Continue reading 4 Reasons to shoot in the manual mode