Why is exposure so important? Because taking control of the technical side of exposure is essential to empowering your creative vision. In the words of National Geographic photographer, Dewitt Jones, “Regardless of where you are in your photography; beginner, advanced amateur, or professional; vision without technique is blind. No matter how beautiful the conception, a good image will not manifest without good technique.”
Sometimes you head out with one photographic plan in mind and need to switch to another. As Dewitt Jones often puts it: ”If you go out to shoot waterfalls and Nature (God) is giving you clouds that day, shoot clouds!”
For landscape photographers, the “one sunrise per day” limit can be a real challenge, especially when you have several excellent locations to choose from. The same goes for the “one sunset per day” limit. Sunrise and sunset usually have the best light of the day. Photography would be so much easier if we had a couple of sunrises and sunsets per day.
Wedding photography mixes several of the challenges of portrait photography, street photography, news photography, and event photography, all in a fast moving, anything can happen, “no second chances to get it right” environment. It is one of the most challenging kinds of photography I know of.
I recently had the following online conversation with a friend who is an experienced photographer (which explains why I didn’t answer some of these questions in more detail).
Zion National Park is well know for its towering sandstone cliffs, but it has other treasures for the photographer willing to look, like these petrified dunes.
A photo trip log is a good way to refresh your memory. It comes in very handy when you want to find a photo location again if your photos aren’t GPS tagged, and a photo log is very useful when a photo editor wants the details on one of your photos. This photo is of two pages out of a total of four pages of notes I made on April 25, 2011.
When I left home headed for Northern California I had no intentions of being in Southern Utah. By the time I reached Denver, snow in the forecast for N. Utah, Nevada, and the mountain passes in N. California made a detour much more appealing than fighting snow on I-80, especially since I have never been to the spectacular parks and monuments in Southern Utah.
Jennifer Blakeley does beautiful newborn photography. Her celebrity client list includes Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green; Vanessa and Donald Trump Jr.; and Jocelyn Towne and Simon Helberg (Big Bang Theory). She is also the founder of Alphabet Photography. A highly respected and award winning Canadian photographer, she has also worked with the Canadian Olympics Gymnastic Team.
I admit it, I am hooked on big prints. You are looking at a 20×30 inch print (or technically, you are looking at a digital photograph of a 20×30 print). Big prints look great hanging on a wall (or held by one of your favorite models).
Don’t put your camera away after sunset. There are lots of photographic possibilities as the sky deepens into evening twilight.
Half the fun of photographing a wedding is capturing candid moments. This is the bride helping the ring bearer with his buttone . . . . his boutonai . . . . his flower!
This portrait is from a spontaneous photo shoot. I had three great subjects (sisters), perfect light, and a baby grand piano to work with, and I almost always have a camera and one or more lenses with me.
Update April 2: Yesterday was April Fool’s Day. I’m not selling my Canon gear (blame the idea on Art Morris, the world class bird photographer). My apologies to the people who wrote and wanted to buy my Canon gear. The Canon history in between the first and last paragraphs is accurate and I really did buy my first autofocus lens long before I bought my first autofocus body.
I have been so impressed with the latest Nikon cameras (which have edged out Canon in the technology race) that I’ve decided to switch to Nikon gear. It was a hard decision.
If you love photography. If creating images has crept into your heart and soul. And especially if you have been around long enough to work in the chemical darkroom. Watch this!
Mixed lighting (lighting with different color temperatures) can be a real color nightmare, especially if you are shooting JPEG files. Shooting RAW files and processing them with Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) is one of the best solutions to the problem. ACR comes with recent versions of Photoshop Elements and Photoshop.
There are very few moments on earth that match the birth of a baby. Such wonder, awe, and love. It was a privileged to be asked by the parents to be there and photograph the big event.
It won’t be long now. The baby is on the way.
I had the happy privilege of being asked to photograph the birth of a baby boy. The mother found some of my photos on the internet, she was impressed with my work, and sent me an email asking if I was interested in photographing the delivery of her son. Of course I was!
If I had submitted this photo to the 2012 National Geographic photo contest it would have been disqualified. Why? It hasn’t been digitally altered in any way. And the “sunstar” isn’t the problem.
When it comes to your digital camera, the better your metering skills, the better the colors in your photos will be. If you learn how to master exposure, you will get the best possible colors out of your camera. Why not put your camera on auto exposure and then correct the exposure on the computer? Because you won’t get the best colors your camera is capable of producing. If a poor exposure has messed up the colors in a photo, no amount of computer work is going to bring them back.
A business headshot requires pretty even lighting.This portrait was created with three studio lights against a black backdrop, a main light, a fill light, and a hair light.
Adobe has a new “process version” for Adobe Camera Raw (ACR). This means better image processing for your RAW camera files.
Question: “I’m looking at photography courses online. The courses are free but some require students to own or have access to various versions of Photoshop. Does anyone know if Photoshop 6 is the same as Photoshop CS6?”
One of the things I like about winter is the sunlight streaming through one of my studio windows at a low enough angle to create window blind shadows portraits. In the summer the sun is too high for me to do this and get the angles I want.