As the holiday season rushes towards us, the demand for family and children’s portraits for gifts and memories goes sky high.  Often times, you are the person with a “good camera”, and you are called upon to be the photographer making these images.  Let’s explore what you need to make nice looking portraits, without spending yourself into a hole. Background When you look at professional portraits, one thing is going to stick out if you take the time to see.  You’ll see that the background is simple, sometimes completely plain, […]

We can all agree that memories are an integral part of life. Retaining them should not be optional, or at the whim of hard drives and cloud storage that can and will go wrong at the most inopportune times. Nothing survives and activates memories like a photographic print. Whether kept in a wallet, placed on a mantle, saved in an album or hung on the wall, a print is tangible, it’s real, you can hold it, look at it, and it is a trigger to a time and place. Let’s […]

As image creators we have the luxury of choice. Different makers, different lenses and at the core, different sensors. A question asked often by new photographers and those upgrading from an older camera, is what the differences are when selecting a camera denoted by the phrase “Full Frame”. Where the Name Comes From Those who made photographs using film cameras will recall many formats. The most popular by far was what we call the 35mm format. In still cameras, this produced a negative, or slide, with dimensions 36mm x 24mm. […]

Shooting RAW

At some point in our photographic journey we hear the Saga of RAW vs JPEG. It’s a popular refrain, so let’s look at the benefits of each, starting with RAW in this article. RAW means not processed. When we look at the LCD on our camera, or at the pictures on our smartphone, we are seeing processed images.

Some Truths About Tripods

That a tripod is an asset is a given. Great tripods take away the challenge of camera shake. They provide a firm compositional platform so you can spend more time thinking about the story your image is going to tell and setting up the image just right. They remove a lot of concerns about shutter speed, aperture and ISO, affording you the flexibility to make the decisions in the exposure triangle and in lens choice by reducing the constraints created by dim light, long focal length, the need for massive depth of field and the need to allow for motion blur.

Have you ever felt that your landscape shot didn’t really capture the scope and breadth of the story you wanted to tell, but when you tried an ultra wide angle lens, everything looked really far away and seemed diminished? You aren’t alone. In the olden days (self jab there), we had dedicated cameras like the amazing Widelux that only shot panoramas. With our digital cameras, things got a whole lot easier. You may have already made some panoramas using your smartphone. Despite the micro sensors and the fact that they […]

Remember the day that you got your camera? Remember how excited you were? Maybe you were one of those folks who promised to read the manual front to back several times to ensure that you got the most from your new tool. Maybe you needed to get some shots right away and chose to put off learning what the camera delivers. No problem. We’re going to look at 10 common features that our cameras provide that we may not be using. Shooting Modes Very often we do what we’ve always […]