Seeing the Light, Another Take
Dec18

Seeing the Light, Another Take

“Learning ‘to see the light’ may be a tired photographic cliche but that doesn’t mean that it’s not true and important part of a photographer’s development.”—Joe Farace As I mentioned in my last post on this subject, light has four major qualities: quality, quantity, color and direction. No matter what exposure mode you select with your DSLR or mirrorless camera, seeing how light in a scene...

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Setting Exposure for Studio Lighting
Apr24

Setting Exposure for Studio Lighting

Metering studio lighting is done in the same way as it when shooting with natural light: By using a light meter. But you’re going to need a handheld light meter that also reads flash output. In most cases, the aperture that the flash meter provides will be close enough for your first test shots but you should take the time to look at the test image’s histogram and refine the exposure though repeated test shots until you have the...

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Shooting Available Light  Travel Photography
Jan31

Shooting Available Light Travel Photography

My favorite lenses for indoor available light photography are fast prime focus lenses but I still use zoom lenses  when traveling because you rarely have the kind of choices for camera locations and positions you have under more controlled conditions. If you care about image quality, forget the digital zoom feature found on some cameras. It simply crops and saves a small portion of the sensor’s data, then interpolates this new,...

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Tips for Photographing Fireworks
Jul01

Tips for Photographing Fireworks

“We’re going to live on; we’re going to survive. Today we celebrate our Independence day.”—“President Bradford” in the (original) film Independence Day Some photographic subjects, such as fireworks or lightening, can’t easily—at least for me—be captured using any of the standard exposure metering systems but some cameras, including some from Olympus, offer a Fireworks Mode that slows the shutter speed and sets the focusing point to...

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Hysterical Over Histograms
May10

Hysterical Over Histograms

“That which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves exponentially”— Karl Pearson A histogram is a graphic representation of the distribution of exposure data in an image file. Mathematicians will tell you its an estimate of the probability distribution of a continuous variable (like image exposure) and was first introduced by Karl Pearson (1857-1936,) an influential English mathematician. An...

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Shutter Speed and Movement
Dec05

Shutter Speed and Movement

Your camera’s Shutter Priority (Tv) mode gives you control over whether a subject motion is sharp or blurred. When using telephoto lenses the old school rule is to use shutter speeds that are the equivalent of the reciprocal of the lens’s focal length is one place to start. When using a 300mm lens, 1/250th of a second makes a good starting point but I typically use 1/500th of a second to ensure sharpness. Unlike Program mode (the “P”...

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The Shadows Know
Nov17

The Shadows Know

For many photographers it’s really the shadows that make or break a photograph but sometimes the results may be a bit more shadowy than we might prefer. Lamont Cranston used mind control taught to him by monks in Lhasa, but we have lots of options starting with the highlight and shadow that’s available in the Olympus E-M1 mirrorless cameras. If there is no shadow control in your SLR, as with the Canon EOS 5D shows, but you can use the...

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