Practical Suggestions to those wanting to improve their image taking.

  1. Learn the operations of your camera, know your manual. See the 13 most common camera features to know.
  2. Make sure your images are technically correct: exposure, white balance, focus point, etc.
  3. Shoot in RAW and learn to develop your images.
  4. Learn what light is from a photographic point and use it to your advantage. The histogram, including levels and curves, is your friend.
  5. Composition, or image making, rather than image taking, is a learning process that can be mastered.
  6. Shoot, shoot and shoot some more using all these steps.

 

Resources

Light

Intro readings to understanding light:

  1. http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/natural-light-photography.htm

  2. http://www.clarkvision.com/articles/lighting.composition.subject/

 

Camera vs. eye articles.

Which is the winner?  Mr. Clark states the eye is a sensor with 324 megapixels, best present cameras are limited to about 30 megapixels.  Mr. Hughes claims the eye can have a dynamic range of 24 F stops while cameras are limited to about 8.   Read the suggestions at end of Cambridge in Colour article on how to overcome these disparities.

1.     http://www.clarkvision.com/articles/human-eye/

2.     http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/cameras-vs-human-eye.htm

 

Histogram

What is a histogram and how do we use it?  During the film era we used the Zone System, today digital cameras and all our software relies on it. Histograms, the best friend a digital photographer can have.  Learn how to use it in camera and during image development to your advantage!  Levels and curves can improve your images, find why.

  1. http://www.trix.com/~stevehof47/techinfo/histograms/histograms.htm
  2. http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/histograms1.htm

 

Composition

A few articles to read, from Gloria Hopkin’s:

1.     Composition: Getting Beyond the Snapshot

http://photoinf.com/General/Gloria_Hopkins/Composition_Getting_Beyond_the_Snapshot.htm

2.     Composition II: Composition in Nature Photography and the Elements of a Photograph

http://photoinf.com/General/Gloria_Hopkins/Composition_in_Nature_Photography_and_the_Elements_of_a_Photograph.htm

3.     Composition III: Composition in Nature Photography and the Elements of a Photograph

http://photoinf.com/General/Gloria_Hopkins/Composition_in_Nature_Photography_and_the_Elements_of_a_Photograph_2.htm

4.     Breaking all the Rules!

http://photoinf.com/General/Gloria_Hopkins/Photographic_Composition_Articles_-_Breaking_all_the_Rules.htm

5.     More composition articles

http://photoinf.com/

 

Books on Composition

Photography and the Art of Seeing:  A Visual Perception Workshop for Film and Digital Photography, by Freeman Patterson

 

Software

Free RAW converter

http://rawtherapee.com/

 

Filters

 

1. Introductory article on Polarizer, Neutral density and Graduated Density filters.

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/camera-lens-filters.htm/

2. Neutral density

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/neutral-density-filters.htm

3. Graduated Density filters

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/graduated-neutral-density-filters.htm

 

Vocabulary

 

RAW image

Specular or Direct Light vs. Reflected or Diffused Light

Zone System

Histogram

Levels

Photographic Curve

Exposure Compensation

 

Web Resources

  1. DPreview Reviews for Digital Photography equipment.
  2. Cambridge in Colour A Learning Community For Photographers
  3. Naturescapes A Resource for Nature Photographers