Category: Learning

Making lemonade

As a credentialed photographer, I’m lucky enough to be able to shoot races from locations inaccessible to average fans, but I certainly remember the challenge of building my portfolio from the “cheap seats”.  While it hardly seems fair to have to start from such a disadvantage, this was a period of pretty intense learning for […]

In defense of the kit lens

If you just bought (or received) a new DSLR camera, chances are, it came with a lens — something like an 18-55 or a 24-105, perhaps.  When these lenses are bundled with a camera body, they’re known as “kit” lenses, and they’re among the most poorly-understood and maligned bits of equipment in photography. Let’s talk […]

Seeing isn’t an eyeball thing

Petapixel linked a great article this morning from Marko Solic: Why saying “it’s photoshopped” actually means you don’t know what you’re talking about.  His article really struck a chord with me because I’ve had this conversation with any number of people over the years.  I’d encourage you to read Mako’s article, as it really does a pretty decent […]

Off-camera flash: Introduction to triggers

Q: Are you an “available light photographer?  A: You bet I am — I use every damned light that’s available to me. Next to mastering the exposure triangle, a photographer’s first nervous attempts at using a speedlite can be among the most difficult learning curves they can take on, but a little knowledge of artificial […]

Intro to High-Speed Sync

One of the most mysterious aspects of flash photography for new flash photographers is sync speed and the related concept of high speed sync.  One of the first places you’re likely to encounter this is when you start shopping for flashes, because HSS is typically one of the features you’ll give up on low-end or […]

Learning by playing

Among the most basic concepts in photography is exposure, yet it can be among the least intuitive concepts to grasp because of the way aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings combine to affect exposure.  Many different textual and graphical representations of these relationships already exist; among the most popular is the “exposure triangle”.  These days, […]

OMG – it’s a new Flickr!

Ok, everyone – don’t panic, but Flickr changed again.  If you’re used to the old Flickr, this is probably a big annoyance for you, but give it a couple days and see if it doesn’t grow on you. Personally, I think this new design is a really nice improvement for people who are learning photography […]

Basics of Composition: Rule of Thirds

Earlier, I started this “Basics of Composition” series with an introduction to the importance of your subject.  In this edition, I’m going to explore the “rule of thirds” — perhaps the best-known rule of photographic composition, as well as the Fibonacci spiral, which is widely considered to be a close relative.  If you didn’t see […]

Just keep swimming

I was at a swim meet for my son a couple weeks ago. Various teams often print up t-shirts with motivational sayings on them — usually about swimming, of course, but I saw one that I believe is equally applicable for us “wanna-be” photographers, too: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” I […]

Basics of Composition: Subject

I recently had the opportunity to talk to a meetup group about the basics of composition, albeit on short notice.  As long as my presentation is still (relatively) fresh in my mind, I thought I’d try to capture a bit of this material in a short series of posts.  This, then, is the first in […]