Native ISO and Noise

ISO Settings In Your Camera

ISO settings can drastically affect your photos and you should know where to set the ISO in every circumstance.

Your goal as a photographer is to both get the shot and to have an acceptably low-noise photo as a result. High ISO levels result in higher noise levels in your photos. The best ISO level for the least amount of noise is your camera’s “native ISO.” Native ISO (also known as “Base ISO”) refers to the ISO level that is where the camera sensor’s “fullest” light level corresponds to the same level of fully exposed film. The details are unimportant, but it is important to know the following: Continue reading

Choosing a Metering Mode

Matrix/Evaluative, Center-Weighted, Partial, Spot.

Confusing.

Which metering mode is the right one to use?

The answer is not simple. I’m primarily an outdoor photographer and that demands a lot of care in selecting the metering mode – more than for any other type of photography because the subject is changing all the time. I’ve used all of the metering modes at one time or another, but what would I recommend keeping your camera on all of the time? Continue reading

What Type of Photographer are You?

What type of photographer are you?

OnOne Perfect Photo Suite – Removing People from a Beach

Removing People from a Beach

This is a short video that shows some of the capabilities of OnOne Perfect Photo Suite. In this video, I show how to remove people (and a dog) from a beach photo very easily (and almost magically) using OnOne Perfect Photo.
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A Photo Critique

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A Photo Critique

Here is a photo (small version above) that I posted to Nature Photographer’s Network. Click the photo or the link [here] to visit the page. It will be up for about a month after this post. There you will see the helpful critiques you can get on your photos if you post them there. I would highly recommend it, but also remember to take the criticism with care – it is not all helpful. Here are some of the critiques so far… Continue reading

Easy Night Sky Photography

Milky Way

How to Take Great Night Photos

What a lot of people don’t know is that it is relatively inexpensive and easy to take great night photos. The Milky Way, stars, and Moon are all within your reach. You can get some extremely cool-looking photos of them without a lot of effort. Here’s how…
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B+H Photo Video

B&H Photo Video is my recommended vendor for any photography equipment. They are based in New York and have the best sales, selection, and customer service that I have experienced.

Photo Artifacts in Stock Photography Submissions

“Artifacts”

If you’ve ever submitted a photo to a stock photo site such as iStockphoto, Bigstockphoto, Fotolia, or any of the stock and microstock photo sites, then you may have heard from them that “your photo has artifacts.” But what are these “artifacts” they speak of? And, more importantly, how can you get rid of them?

Some Guidelines (from my experience)

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Expose to the Right? – NO! Go left!

Exposure

“Expose to the right” has been a popular saying and method of exposure for digital photographers for years, and it works in some cases. I’ll show you how to go the other way and make it work also. Maybe the time of “expose to the right” is almost over (in some cases). Here’s why… Continue reading

UV Filters

Does your camera have a lens on it?

Yes? You should protect it. Protect that lens by installing a UV filter (or a ‘skylight filter’ that has a slight pink cast to it).  They are not very expensive and will prevent your lens from getting scratched or, worse yet, broken. If you scratch or break the UV filter, you will be out a few dollars. But if you break your lens, it’s easily in the hundreds of dollars.

In addition to physical protection, the UV filter may help your photos by filtering UV light.  The UV filter filters – yes, you guessed it, UV light.  What is UV light?  It is the light from the sun at the upper part of the spectrum.  No, you can’t see it with your eyes.  But, yes, that camera of yours can see it just fine.  And what does nasty UV light do to your photos?  It makes them hazy if you are using a film-camera.  It increases “purple fringing” or chromatic aberration.  By using a UV filter, you will decrease haze (film cameras) and decrease “purple fringing” (chromatic aberration).

What type to use?

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Maximum Lens Sharpness – The “Sweet Spot”

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What is a lens’s “sweet spot?”

Everybody wants sharp and focused photos. You can get good sharpness near to far in a photo by hyperfocal focusing, but what are the limits of sharpness of your lens? At what aperture (f-stop value) will you get the sharpest photos? This is also known as the “sweet spot” of the lens. Here is a simple test you can do to find out where your lens is sharpest. But first, some basic rules…

General Rules for Lenses

The rules are about the same for every lens. Here are the general ones: Continue reading

How much camera do you need?

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How Much Camera Do I Really Need?

The question inevitably will come up: “How much camera do I really need?”

It’s not possible to know the answer to this unless you know what you will do with the camera.  But, here is a rough guide:

  • Pro: the most camera you can buy for the money, dSLR, of course.
  • Semi-pro: not more than a 15 Mp dSLR (Canon T1i/D500)
  • Amateur: a high-end point and shoot (Canon G-series)
  • Hobbyist: a compact point and shoot (Nikon L-series)
  • Novice: a low-end point and shoot (maybe even just a camera phone)

This is a proven list by the way.  I’ve lived it and I own those listed above.

What am I?

“But, what am I?”, you ask. Well here is another list for that: Continue reading

Copyright Your Photos

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Why Copyright? Why not?

With the software for image processing and the cameras available today, is there any reason why someone would not apply copyright information to their photos?  Why, yes, yes there is — it’s called “oversight” and “stupidity.”  For as easy as it is, there really is no excuse not to apply your copyright to your images.  Protect them.  They’re yours.

I use Lightroom software to import and touch up my photos, and there is a provision for applying copyright information to the metadata of your image right at the point of import.  I simply fill in the field that applies metadata and save it as my own preset.  When the photos are imported from my camera into Lightroom, the copyright notice is automatically applied.

In-Camera

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The Importance of Light in a Photo

moonlight

How Important is Light?

Light is everything. Everything. Light is everything to a photographer. Light is more important than the subject. A good subject but bad light = a bad photo. Good light wins every time. Continue reading

OnOne Perfect Photo Suite – Some Capabilities Shown in a Short Video

Improving a Photo

This is a short video that shows some of the capabilities of OnOne Perfect Photo Suite. In this video, I show how a photo of a pelican with a bunch of distracting stuff in the background can be improved.
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