Monthly Archives: August 2012

Taking Pictures In Bright Sunlight

Why is taking pictures in bright sunlight such a bad idea?

Taking Pictures In Bright Sunlight
Too much sunlight made this a bad shot. The shirt is ok, but the face has too many shadows and the sky is too bright (it was a beautiful blue on this day).

Most photographers (yours truly included) recommend avoiding the bright sunlight of midday when taking pictures.

There are a couple of reasons that this is avoided as much as possible by pro photographers. Photos can have harsh shadows or blown out highlights (blown highlights are areas of the picture that are totally white and without detail). Bright sunlight can also cause lens flare, which is when there are little unwanted spots of light in the picture.

But what do you do when taking pictures in bright sunlight can’t be avoided?

Here are a few ways to help get better pictures in undesirable circumstances when sunlight is a problem. Continue reading Taking Pictures In Bright Sunlight

Megapixels – How Many Megapixels Do I Need?

Megapixel Truth

How Many Megapixels Do I Need
Got megapixel questions?

How many megapixels do I need? The question about megapixels does not come up as often as it used to, but there is still the belief that more megapixels means better quality.

In fact, this article is a direct response to a question I came across on the dpReview forum in the “Beginners Questions” category.

“I have a question about megapixels… I am in the market for my first DSLR and (the professional photographer who shot my wedding) told me that I wouldn’t need anything over 6mp and anything over that is gravy. Could this possibly be true? I want to do landscapes so I estimated something 14-18mp? Would a 6mp DSLR give that much better quality than my 14.1mp P&S?” Continue reading Megapixels – How Many Megapixels Do I Need?

5 Ways To Improve Your “Focus” In Photography

How to “Focus”?

How to improve your focus
Many of us really need to adjust our focus.. it is all wrong.

This is kind of a pun or play on words. Most who read the title will think it is about the technical skill to improve your focus. However, this article is actually about ways to focus on the right things and keep moving and improving as a photographer.

So here are some simple ways to stay focused on the important stuff and avoid the things that keep us from our favorite pastime. Continue reading 5 Ways To Improve Your “Focus” In Photography

Exposure Settings – ISO

ISO is the third component of exposure, the other two being aperture and shutter speed.

ISO can help in low light photos
In this picture of Lizzy, the light was not bright enough. Setting the ISO to 800 and the Aperture to f/2.8 allowed me to get a no-flash picture.

ISO is a term that has migrated over from the old film days. At that time, it was the speed at which the film could record the image. If you used film with a higher ISO number, the sensitivity of that film would enable a faster shot.

Digital Cameras and ISO

In digital terms, we have something similar to what happens with film. The advantage of digital is that you do not have to change the roll of film in your camera. You simply select an ISO number and the camera software makes the changes.

Each photograph you take with your digital camera is a combination of camera settings that adjust the amount of light getting into the camera’s image sensor. If there is lots of light, the photographer has a fairly easy time of getting a good sharp shot. As the light changes, settings on the camera must change as well. The challenge comes when there is not enough light to get a good shot while hand holding your camera. Continue reading Exposure Settings – ISO

Introduction To Shutter Speed

How To Use Shutter Speed To Control Your Digital Camera

The three components of exposure are aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

Choosing Shutter Priority
On a Canon, shutter speed priority is “Tv” (time value). Other cameras may show it as “S”.

The second component, shutter speed, works in conjunction with aperture and ISO to get the correct exposure for a picture. When you set your camera to Shutter Priority (A or Tv on the mode dial), you select the shutter speed, and your camera will adjust the aperture accordingly. You can also set the ISO independently, and the camera will make adjustments as well. Sounds kind of complicated, but with a bit of practice, it will all make sense.

Shutter Speed in simple terms: Continue reading Introduction To Shutter Speed