Basic Photography
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Basic Photography
Learning to be a better photographer, one webpage at a time.
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Great Color from Your Lab Prints – Every Time!

Free X-Rite Webinar on 12/18/14: Great Color from Your Lab Prints – Every Time!
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Not basics but super important!

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Once you have the basics(ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture, Focus/Zoom) and a bit beyond that (Framing, Long Exposure, Basic Flash Usage etc.) where do you go. What do you learn next, and what resources...

What is the next step? (#JosephSorbara Once you have the basics(ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture, Focus/Zoom) and a bit beyond that (Framing, ...
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Can't see the light? Don't lose your marbles! on Vimeo

This is "Can't see the light? Don't lose your marbles!" by Frank Donnino on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.
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Want the photography bug to bite you hard? This is easily the TEACHING-IST thing I've seen in a long time.

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Finding And Working With Available Light

Finding And Working With Available Light | Basic Photography | Scoop.it
Evaluate direct and indirect available light for better photography
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No matter how skilled you become with off camera flash you always need to be able to fall back gracefully to available light photography!

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Tips for Taking Street Portraits – Lessons Learned in India

Tips for Taking Street Portraits – Lessons Learned in India | Basic Photography | Scoop.it
Tips for Taking Street Portraits – Lessons Learned in India
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Most of these tips work for ambient light portrait photography as well.

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Are you Jumping on the Mirrorless Camera Bandwagon?

Are you Jumping on the Mirrorless Camera Bandwagon? | Basic Photography | Scoop.it
Are you Jumping on the Mirrorless Camera Bandwagon?
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Joe McNally Breaks Down Outdoor Portrait with 3 Speedlights and High F-stop

Joe McNally Breaks Down Outdoor Portrait with 3 Speedlights and High F-stop | Basic Photography | Scoop.it
This short video from Joe McNally breaks down how to use three speedlights for an outdoor portrait with a lot of depth of field. It's a little heavy on the ads for Adorama, but still a nice 3 minut...
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How to Simplify and Improve Composition with Normal or Long Lenses

How to Simplify and Improve Composition with Normal or Long Lenses | Basic Photography | Scoop.it
How to Simplify and Improve Composition with Normal or Long Lenses
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10 Things Beginners Want to Know How To Do in Photoshop CC

10 Things Beginners Want to Know How To Do in Photoshop CC | Basic Photography | Scoop.it
Check out this video where Terry White shows off 10 things beginners want to know how to do in Photoshop CC. It's a long video at 46 minutes, but novice users of Photoshop CC will find plenty of va...
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Tips for Stunning Daytime Long Exposure Waterfall Photos!

Tips for Stunning Daytime Long Exposure Waterfall Photos! | Basic Photography | Scoop.it
Tips for Stunning Daytime Long Exposure Waterfall Photos! Capturing the motion of a beautiful waterfall requires the understanding of long exposure photography, one of the coolest techniques you can use as a photographer. With a good location, the right light, and a little luck, you can capture some extremely interesting images that will most likely leave others with a sense of wonder. LIGHT There are a lot of factors that need to be taken into consideration when setting up for a long exposure shot, but the most important…light. I wanted to use this tutorial to give a basic understanding of not only what long exposure photography is, but also how to do it. I will try to keep things simple and as basic as I can, but I’m also assuming that anyone reading this article has at least a general understanding of how to use their camera. Everything in photography has to do with light, and this technique is no different. To better understand why light is the most important factor with long exposure photography, you first need to have a basic understanding of how the shutter of a camera works…and what shutter speed is. SHUTTER SPEED The shutter of a camera opens and closes to take a single exposure…or image. That’s where the term shutter speed comes into play. The shutter speed is simply just as it sounds, the speed at which the camera opens and closes its shutter to take each image, and its usually measured in seconds. With digital photography, the image sensor begins recording data for the image when the shutter opens and then stops when the shutter closes. You can look at it like opening and closing your eyes. If you open and close your eyes real quick, the image you in front of you during that brief time your eyes were open would make one image. Now if you open your eyes, move your head from left to right, then close your eyes, try to picture what that would look like if you were to make a picture of what you seen in that time frame. Everything moved and most likely was a blur. The image sensor of your camera does pretty much the same thing. The longer your shutter is held open, the data is all being recorded by the image sensor and combined to make a single image. The faster the shutter can open and close, the more crisp an image is since there isn’t any time for there to be any movement, which is what you would want if you were shooting sports or any fast moving objects. So what is shutter speed again? Shutter speed is the amount of time the camera opens its shutter until it closes it to make a single image or photograph. LIGHT So what does this all have to do with light? To help answer that question, I want you to picture the image sensor of your camera as a vacuum. A strong vacuum that sucks in light, and sucks the entire time that the shutter is open. It so strong that it evens sucks in light that we can’t see or don’t even realize is there, which is how photos can be taken at night in the pitch dark. The image sensor is extremely sensitive to light, which is why the body of a camera is built like a fortress made to block out any light other than through the shutter. Even the viewfinder that you look through, on most cameras, has a sliding door that you can close during long exposure shots, so that you can prevent any unwanted light from sneaking in. APERTURE Shutter speed is obviously the big player in long exposure photography, and is the setting we are most concerned with, but what about the other settings? There are still two other settings that we need to always be concerned with, and those are Aperture and ISO. Without going too deep into what aperture is, or the F#, I will explain just what you need to know for long exposure photography and how it comes into play. Unlike shutter speed, aperture is a setting that has to do with the lens. Its the part of a lens that opens and closes to control the amount of light coming in, but more importantly for this technique, controls the focal plane, or depth. The lower the F# the less there is in focus, the higher the number the more there will be in focus. When using a long exposure, you are usually trying to get as much as you can of the image in focus, so you want to set this number higher than you would for a portrait. The only thing you don’t want to do it set the F# as high as it will go because of something called diffraction, where the image will lose some of its sharpness. The best thing to do is set the aperture to a high number, a few stops below its highest setting, I usually shoot for somewhere between f/8 and f/13 to play it safe. ISO With long exposure photography this is the one setting that you can relax and not worry too much about. Without explaining what ISO is, you can think of it as how sensitive the sensor is to light and also the amount of noise in your image, or grain with film. The lower the ISO the less noise, the higher the ISO, the more noise. With a digital camera, the ISO is a setting that you can raise to add light to a photograph by , but along with the extra light comes extra noise. This is easy because with long exposure photography you generally want a nice and sharp image, with as little noise in the image as possible, so you will set this at its lowest setting and leave it there. Most likely 100 or 200. WHAT IS LONG EXPOSURE PHOTOGRAPHY USED FOR? Now that hopefully you understand a …
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Stealing Light – Using Street Lights for Portraits

Stealing Light – Using Street Lights for Portraits | Basic Photography | Scoop.it
Stealing Light – Using Street Lights for Portraits
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You do this every time you take a picture without flash and you might not ever realize it.

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10 Most Common Mistakes in Landscape Photography

10 Most Common Mistakes in Landscape Photography | Basic Photography | Scoop.it
After your next photo shoot, examine your images for these common mistakes in landscape photography so you can avoid them next time.
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Techniques for the Hobbyist Photographer-Aperture - Techniques for the Hobbyist Photographer-The Exposure Triangle and Aperture

Techniques for the Hobbyist Photographer-Aperture - Techniques for the Hobbyist Photographer-The Exposure Triangle and Aperture | Basic Photography | Scoop.it
Through the Lens. Introduction to the Exposure Triangle and Aperture
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How to Make Stronger Photographs Through the Process of Visual Design - Digital Photography School

How to Make Stronger Photographs Through the Process of Visual Design - Digital Photography School | Basic Photography | Scoop.it
Photography is an art that relies on light. It also relies heavily on the visual message. You have no way of communicating anything to your viewer except through the visual language you use. If you use strong visual elements, your images will be effective and people will stop and look. If you want to convey …
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wonderful wonderful principles discussed

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Off Camera Flash for Your Travel Photography

Off Camera Flash for Your Travel Photography | Basic Photography | Scoop.it
The creative use of artificial light in travel photography is a powerful tool that can take your images to the next level. While there’s a myriad of information available on getting started with off camera flash, the tutorial here is tailored for you. It will give you a start using these techniques with relatively cheap …
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How to Avoid Blurry Photos by Choosing the Right Autofocus Mode

How to Avoid Blurry Photos by Choosing the Right Autofocus Mode | Basic Photography | Scoop.it
How to Avoid Blurry Photos by Choosing the Right Autofocus Mode
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Breaking the Rules of Exposure: I Do, Should You?

Breaking the Rules of Exposure: I Do, Should You? | Basic Photography | Scoop.it
Breaking the Rules of Exposure: I Do, Should You? If you are like me at all, when first learning the fundamentals of photography, your main objective is to learn to take photos the “right way”.  Intriguing composition.  Perfect exposure.  The right amount of depth of field and I can go on and on and on….but those are just rules, and as artists, shouldn’t we not be afraid to break the rules sometimes? By the end of this post you will fully understand why sometimes I choose to purposely underexpose my photos in camera to help with the final output of the edited photo.  When & Why? Why exactly would I purposely aim for a less than perfect exposure?  In certain lighting situations where the background (mostly sky) is significantly brighter than your subject you only have two choices for a “correct” exposure. 1. Expose for the subjects – since the subjects are backlit by the brighter background, if you want to correctly expose for the subjects you ultimately will end up having increase your overall exposure resulting in a good exposure for your subjects skin tones but overexpose the background or sky. 2. Expose for the overall scene + fill flash – to preserve the sky & background detail but still have the backlit subjects exposed correctly, you have to use flash to fill in the shadows or darker tones of the foreground to better match the tones of the background. But sometimes, I want something in the middle.  I don’t want to completely overexpose the background and loose color tone detail in the sky, but I also don’t want to use flash because I want the softer natural light look… So the solution is to underexpose your subjects to retain color and detail in the sky and then in post processing (Lightroom) use tools to keep the background while fixing up the darker foreground…bingo!  Now – there is a fine balance between underexposing too much and not enough and also make sure to use your lowest base ISO setting and shoot RAW to make sure you have the best results during editing. Here is the final image edited with my wedding presets in Lightroom 5. Click here to get my 20 page eBook “The Fast Track to Creating Stunning Imagery” & also be sent my set of Lightroom Presets…all for FREE. To see exactly how I edited the image & some additional tips and camera settings for this photo watch the video below: Do you ever “break the rules”?  Let me know in the comments below thanks! Cole So What Do You Think?
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5 Easy Photoshop Tips for Beginners - Digital Photography School

5 Easy Photoshop Tips for Beginners - Digital Photography School | Basic Photography | Scoop.it
5 Easy Photoshop Tips for Beginners - Digital Photography School
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My Nikon to Canon Switch: A Tale of Slots and Worst Case Scenarios

My Nikon to Canon Switch: A Tale of Slots and Worst Case Scenarios | Basic Photography | Scoop.it
My Nikon to Canon Switch: A Tale of Slots and Worst Case Scenarios My Story In mid November of 2012 I photographed a high school senior and had the first compact flash card go corrupt on me in years. Prior to that I once had lost a couple of files on a vacation in 2006. That experience had caused me to eventually change what is a horrible practice amongst digital photographers – in camera deletion. In camera deletion and removing cards during write cycles is a common factor in media card corruption. I really thought I had it figured out. I learned the hard way that even if you “do the right thing” when it comes to the care and use of your media cards it’s only a matter of time before one goes supernova on you. If you think it can’t happen to you I’m sad to say that I was in that boat as well. There I was sitting at the computer, sweating it out – trying different card readers, different laptops. The stupid thing would just not mount. The images were inaccessible. I spent the next three weeks or so in mental anguish over this shoot. I had sent the card off to a data recovery service. It was the one the media card company recommended. Their customer service was less than fantastic. Not only did it cost some bucks to have them work on it, there was a stress factor. I can’t even imagine if it had been a wedding. Eventually they were able to recover enough from the card that I could deliver the session to my client. I had dodged a bullet and learned a valuable lesson. Up until then I had been a Nikon user. I started with the D70, and except for a brief stint with the odd Nikon mount Fuji S5 Pro my DSLRs had always been Nikon. I had never given switching over any significant thought. I was using a D3 and D700. Like a total moron the D3’s second slot was set to overflow (meaning it didn’t back up the first), and of course the D700 is a single slot camera. I had been eager to upgrade, it had been 4 years since my last camera body purchase and while the D3 and D700 are both very capable cameras I had my eyes on a D3S. Now I promise I’m getting ready to explain why I switched from Nikon to Canon… This story is less about a brand switch than it is learning from a mistake. If you are doing paid photography work and are not using a dual slot camera where the second slot is set to record duplicate files I’m calling you out. You’re making a mistake. You’re doing disservice to yourself and your clients.  Photographers don’t like to think they are being irresponsible. I’ve had people argue with me about this topic. They use two cameras. They use smaller card sizes and change them a lot. The common argument is that for years there were only single slot cameras available. There are all sorts of excuses and rationalizations I’ve heard from photographers as to why they aren’t outfitted with dual slots yet. Whatever the reason if you do have a card failure I guarantee you that your client will not care about your reasoning – you will just have failed to protect their images. If you are doing paid photography work and are not using a dual slot camera where the second slot is set to record duplicate files I’m calling you out. You’re making a mistake. You’re doing disservice to yourself and your clients. Nikon Upgrade Options At the time this happened all of the Nikon event shooters were up in arms about Nikon’s lack of successor to the D700. Everyone wanted a D700 “S” that had two card slots and the D4 sensor. We would have even settled for that goofy XQD card that the D4 got. Unfortunately Nikon went a different route… Nikon released the D800, a camera featuring more megapixels then there are episodes of Cops, and the D600 which was a “prosumer” body. The D600 wanted to be the mythical D700s, but it lacked the rugged body, the weather sealing, and a number of other pro features that I had grown very used to shooting my D3/D700 combination. My upgrade choices were the $6000 D4, the D800 whose files needed to be on the Biggest Loser, the D600 whose known issue of sensor oil spots and lack of pro features had me wondering if that was the best choice, or the D3S – the perfect solution (only it had been discontinued)  I began to look at the Canon 5D Mark III compared to my current Nikon line-up and came up with this: My Nikon vs. Canon Face-off (D3/D700 vs. 5DMK III) Canon Advantages: The 5D3 has some big advantages over the D3/D700: * Better low light capabilities. * Much, much, much, quieter shutter. The silent mode stays on 100% of the time for us. * Higher resolution. Now I know earlier I complained about the ridiculous file sizes of the D800 but the difference with the 5D3 is that it has a small, medium, and a large raw file choice. So you can take whatever resolution you like. * Self cleaning sensor! The D3 didn’t have one, and the D700’s cleaning feature didn’t seem anywhere near as effective. * Obviously since it doesn’t have a vertical grip built in it’s smaller and lighter weight (unless you add the grip). * Canon’s 50mm f/1.2L and 135mm f/2L are two lenses I always wanted to use when I shot Nikon, and they are really awesome. Canon Disadvantages: * The 5d3 has one CF slot and one SD slot. This is annoying. It forces you to have a mix of media cards. The other thing about it is the SD card slot doesn’t support UHS cards, which are the fastest available. Some websites have …
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5 Reasons Why Having People in Your Photos is a Good Thing

5 Reasons Why Having People in Your Photos is a Good Thing | Basic Photography | Scoop.it
5 Reasons Why Having People in Your Photos is a Good Thing
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Create a Cast of Light in Your Image using Photoshop or Elements

Create a Cast of Light in Your Image using Photoshop or Elements | Basic Photography | Scoop.it
Create a Cast of Light in Your Image using Photoshop or Elements
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This is a super cool tip that looks easy enough in PS.

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Crop Guide Harmonies (part III)

Crop Guide Harmonies (part III) | Basic Photography | Scoop.it
In the previous articles I discussed the location of the various Power Points of the Lightroom™ Compositional Guides found in the Crop tool. The first dealt with a standard aspect ratio image, the ...
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I think cropping is the most powerful editing tool you have. This whole blog is my favorite resource for thinking more deeply about this tool.

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