Getting a Shallow Depth of Field (Video)

Very often, outdoor photography involves the pursuit of pictures that are sharp front to back.  Sometimes, however, you’ll want photos with blurred backgrounds.  This helps isolate your subject, and can look very cool in the right circumstances.  It is common practice (or at least it should be) when it comes to including people and wildlife… Continue reading Getting a Shallow Depth of Field (Video)

Getting Started With Long Exposure Photography

Crystal Palace, Retiro Park, Madrid, Spain. I used a 15 second exposure to blur the water and fountain, as well as to create some movement in the clouds.

Once you are in command of the cameras shutter, new worlds are opened up to you as a photographer. Things that are simply not possible for the average snap shooter become possible for you.  You control the action. You control what is blurred and what is sharp. You control the exposure. Shooting with a fast… Continue reading Getting Started With Long Exposure Photography

Exposure Compensation Explained

One of the questions I received recently asked me to explain exposure compensation. In this article, I will answer the 4 essential questions on that subject. What is Exposure Compensation? Exposure compensation is your ability to change the exposure values from something different than what the camera sets for you. Let’s back up to explain… Continue reading Exposure Compensation Explained

Using a Tilt-Shift Lens to Maximize Depth of Field

A Canon tilt-shift lens. Note the tilting controls.

You want to maximize the depth of field of your images. You understand, however, that shooting at very small apertures can negatively affect image quality because of diffraction. You also know that the “sweet spot” for most lenses is somewhere in the range of f/5.6 – 8.0. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could use… Continue reading Using a Tilt-Shift Lens to Maximize Depth of Field

Creating Background Blur in Your Photographs

Sometimes you are taking photos inside in low-light. Using a wide-open aperture will help your camera make a better exposure. The camera won't need to use as long of a shutter speed or as high of an ISO setting. So you kill two birds with one stone - you create the background blur you want and you get a better exposure too!

When you have a definite subject of your photograph, you usually want it to appear as sharp as possible while at the same time making the background blurry. That will make the subject pop and minimize distractions in the background. Plus it just looks like a pro move, doesn’t it? Virtually all portraits are shot this… Continue reading Creating Background Blur in Your Photographs

Exposure Scenarios

This article is going to get into some specifics on exposure and how you might set up your camera to get the best exposure in certain situations. I will do that by presenting some exposure scenarios you are likely to encounter and show you how I would handle them. My hope is that it ties… Continue reading Exposure Scenarios

F-Stops Made Simple

A confusing number that beginning photographers face right away is the “f-stop” number. It is important because it measures one of our three primary exposure controls: aperture size. However, the concept of “f’-stops” doesn’t make sense at first glace and many are confused by it. But understanding the figure is really pretty simple. In this article, I’m… Continue reading F-Stops Made Simple

5 Easy Steps for Curing Your “Auto Mode” Addiction

Most people getting started with photography begin with their camera in Auto mode.  In fact, everybody does. At some point, however, the thought begins to creep into your mind that you should be shooting in some other mode.  You begin to see others’ photography and their control over the camera and would like to do… Continue reading 5 Easy Steps for Curing Your “Auto Mode” Addiction