What’s the Correct Exposure?
Nov15

What’s the Correct Exposure?

In a recent post about digital infrared photography I talked about the importance of obtaining the proper exposure, but as significant as it is for IR—and it may be more noteworthy—it’s crucial for every photograph that you make. That’s because proper exposure is a perfect storm of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO that produces a pleasing result. Pleasing to whom, you might ask? You are the ultimate arbiter of what is...

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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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Available Light Tips for Travel Photography
May31

Available Light Tips for Travel Photography

It doesn’t matter what you call it—available light, unavailable light, available darkness, or low light photography—often the most rewarding photographs are produced when working under challenging lighting conditions. Why? First, there’s the thrill of overcoming the ever-present technical obstacles that prevent you from producing a well-exposed image under challenging lighting conditions. Second, photographs made under lighting...

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Using Manual or Custom White Balance
Mar07

Using Manual or Custom White Balance

There will come a time when none of your camera’s preset white balance settings will work and that’s when you need to use the Manual option. Sure, it’s a little more labor intensive but after you try it once, you’ll be amazed how well it works under difficult and mixed lighting conditions such as indoor exhibits, conventions centers, and museums. Start by photographing a sheet of white paper under the lighting conditions you...

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