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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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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Working with Backlighting for Outdoor Portraits

The ingredients for making great portraits are easy to find: You need a subject, a camera, and some light but like any good chef it’s how they’re prepared that goes into cooking up a delicious portrait. When talking about portraiture with amateur or aspiring pro photographers, they often tell me they want to do a better job but don’t have studios or expensive lighting equipment. Let’s not worry about where to make portraits because we...

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Looking For and Finding the Light
Jan10

Looking For and Finding the Light

Recently a reader wrote asking about “how I find the light.” The short answer is that you start by just looking but there’s more to it that that: Light has four major qualities: color, quality, quantity, and direction. As photographers seeking to master exposure, seeing that light is the key to mastering that art. Please notice that I said art because while there is the obvious technical or craft aspects of using camera controls...

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