First, I’d like to start this article off with a little bit of a warning. This post is primarily aimed at people just starting to get into photography or people just beginning to make the jump from hobbyist to professional. That said, hopefully there’s something below that can be appreciated by photographers of all levels.
Now, lets talk about style a little bit. Read more…
For beginners in the world of photography, getting a good grasp on the types of lenses available and when you might want to use them is an important step. So, given that there’s a lot of glass out there, we thought we’d share this basic lens intro from Pentax. Read more…
Here’s a humorous and lighthearted 5-minute video titled, “Fafa’s Photoshop Tutorial.” Created by the comedy series Glove and Boots, it’s a short and sweet introduction to using layers in Photoshop… taught by puppets. Think Sesame Street meets Scott Kelby. Read more…
When these three elements are combined, they represent a given exposure value (EV) for a given setting. Any change in any one of the three elements will have a measurable and specific impact on how the remaining two elements react to expose the film frame or image sensor and how the image ultimately looks. For example, if you increase the f-stop, you decrease the size of the lens’ diaphragm thus reducing the amount of light hitting the image sensor, but also increasing the DOF (depth of field) in the final image. Reducing the shutter speed affects how motion is captured, in that this can cause the background or subject to become blurry. However, reducing shutter speed (keeping the shutter open longer) also increases the amount of light hitting the image sensor, so everything is brighter. Increasing the ISO, allows for shooting in lower light situations, but you increase the amount of digital noise inherent in the photo. It is impossible to make an independent change in one of the elements and not obtain an opposite effect in how the other elements affect the image, and ultimately change the EV.
If you’re just starting out in photography, do yourself a favor and work through the Photography Basics page over on Exposure Guide. It’s a fantastic resource.
Looking for free lessons on how to get started with using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom to post-process your photographs? Look no further than the official YouTube channel of New York City camera shop B&H Photo Video. The store often invites well-known professional photographers to hold lectures on subjects they’re knowledgable in and passionate about. The collection of videos aren’t as shared as other shorter tutorial videos you’ll find online due to their great lengths — they run up to two hours each — but they’re fantastic resources for learning the ins and outs of photography.
In the video above, photographer Tim Grey offers an overview of using Photoshop CS6 for optimizing your photos. His topics include adjustment layers, image cleanup tools, cropping, rotating, correcting perspective, and applying local adjustments. Read more…
If you recently upgraded from a compact camera to a DSLR, one of the first things you probably noticed was that focusing is done completely differently. Instead of simply pointing your camera at a subject and letting the camera figure out what to do, you now need to think about autofocus points, which often don’t seem as “intelligent” as the focus systems in point-and-shoot cameras. The truth is, autofocus points are extremely powerful and give you a great deal more freedom — you just need to know how to use them.
To get you started, here’s a great primer video by photographer Phil Steele. Over the course of 9 minutes, Steele steps through five fundamental tips for achieving fine focus and tack-sharp photos: ditching full auto, focus and recomposing, looking for edge contrasts, using manual pre-focusing, and making use of live view to aid in manual focusing.
One tip that instructors often pass onto the beginning photographers is to use their dominant eye (i.e. the eye they prefer seeing with) to look through the viewfinder. If you want to find out which of your eyes is the dominant one, here’s a quick test you can do: extend your arms straight out and form a small triangle with your hands. Looking through the triangle with both eyes open, frame something nearby (e.g. a doorknob) and place it in the center of the triangle. Then close your eyes one at a time without moving the triangle — your dominant eye is the one that placed the object in the center.
Interestingly enough, many people (myself included) choose to use their right eye for their viewfinder even though the left one is dominant — likely because it’s the way they started shooting from the beginning.
Matthew Gore of Light & Matter created this beginner-friendly video tutorial on the three basic elements of exposure: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. It’s explained with easy to understand illustrations and examples, and features graphics and sounds that are reminiscent of old 8-bit video games. You can also find a text-based version of the tutorial here.
Vimeo has partnered up with Nikon for a new educational video series titled Do More With Your DSLR. The first video is about “working with available light”, and is geared towards beginners who are just starting to figure out how to use their DSLR camera. You can find a more in-depth discussion of the concepts in the video (e.g. exposure, white balance, ISO) in this article.