New Lynda Course: Lens-Reversal Macro Photography

April 15, 2013 by · 9 Comments
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In my Lynda.com Macro and Close-up course, I cover the simple basics of reversing the lens you already have to turn it into a macro lens. This gives you an extremely easy way to start shooting macro, without having to invest in any special gear. If you give this technique a try, and find it useful, then you’ll want to watch my Lens-Reversal Macro Photography course which goes into more detail of how to get good macro results when shooting with a reversed lens. You’ll see how to re-gain aperture control, how to mount your lens to your camera backward, and how to stack multiple lenses to get even more macro power. Check it out now!Foundations of Photography: Macro and Close-up.

New Lynda.com Course: Foundations of Photography – Macro and Close-up

April 15, 2013 by · 11 Comments
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There are a lot of small things in the world, and many of them make great photographic subjects, provided you know how to shoot at a macro scale with your camera. In this course, you’ll see all the basics of macro shooting. If you don’t have a macro lens, don’t worry, because the course starts with instructions on how to shoot macro shots with gear you already have. From there, we work up through extension tubes, add-on lenses, and finally to full-on macro lenses. Focus, metering, composition, and basic lighting are all covered. If you’re interested in macro or close-up photography, you’ll want to check out Foundations of Photography: Macro and Close-up.

New Lynda.com Course: Foundations of Photography – Specialty Lenses

January 9, 2013 by · 12 Comments
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Mostly, good photography is about the skill of the photographer. That said, a lot of photographs are only possible with the right type of lens, and there are a lot of lenses out there tailored to very specific types of shooting. In this new course, I go into detail on how to shoot with ultra-wide-angle lenses, super telephotos, fisheyes, Tilt/Shift, and more. If you’ve been wondering if any of these types of lenses are right for you, or you’ve already got one and want to know more about what it can do, then you’ll want to check out my Lynda.com course Foundations of Photography: Specialty Lenses.

Shooting Macro Photos With Deep Depth-of-Field

January 9, 2013 by · 14 Comments
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I’m currently deep in the process of preparing a macro shooting course for Lynda.com As anyone who’s ever dabbled in macro knows, as you get closer, your depth of field gets more shallow. Sometimes unusably shallow. However, there are things you can do to get much deeper depth of field.

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Some Notes on Canon’s Evaluative Metering

September 20, 2012 by · 17 Comments
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I’ve been shooting with Canon SLRs for a long time, and for the most part, I’ve always been pleased with the camera’s metering. Granted, I can never remember which icon corresponds to which metering mode, but now that I keep the PDF of the manual on my phone, I can always look it up. During a recent shoot, though, I came across a curious detail about Evaluative metering that I never knew – one that can dramatically alter metering behavior in certain situations.

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Shooting on the Road, from Gear to Workflow

July 17, 2012 by · 12 Comments
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Better gear won’t necessarily make you a better photographer, but having the wrong gear can certainly make it more difficult to get the shots you want. In this 3-hour Lynda.com course you’ll see my entire thought process as I equip and prepare for three different kinds of shoots. Through examples of heavyweight, mid weight, and lightweight shoots, you’ll see how I tackle the problems of choosing shooting gear, power, storage, and post-production equipment. You’ll also see how I strategize methods for carrying all this stuff. Discussing everything from tripods to bags and batteries, this course is ideal for anyone who shoots while traveling, and wants a better plan for selecting the right gear. Click here to get started watching now.

Now Shipping: Complete Digital Photography, 7th Edition

July 16, 2012 by · 26 Comments
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The seventh, and latest, edition of this site’s namesake book is now available. The newest version of Complete Digital Photography features full updating for Photoshop CS6, the latest version of Camera Raw, and new sections on composition, low light shooting, printing, and workflow. For the most part, the book maintains the organization of the last edition, with a few new sections and a few others eliminated. In addition to the included step-by-step post-production tutorials included in the book, many additional tutorials are included on the companion web pages. Order your copy now!

Foundations of Photography: Night and Low Light

April 27, 2012 by · 12 Comments
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Digital cameras offer tremendous convenience over their film counterparts, but one of the most dramatic changes opened up by digital imaging technology is the world that exists in low light. Whether you need to shoot an event in a dark auditorium, a landscape at night, or simply want to shoot in your house after the sun goes down, you need a particular skill set, and this Lynda.com course will give it to you. This four-hour course will walk you through all the details of preparation, shooting, and post-production for any kind of low-light or night shooting that you might be interested in. Watch it now right here!

The iPad, the HyperDrive, and the Traveling Photographer

July 28, 2011 by · 10 Comments
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Like a lot of photographers, I like gear. Lots of gear. Sometimes I think that I like gear because buying new gear is easier than trying to take a good picture. But still, I buy more. But when it comes time to actually travel somewhere, all that gear presents a bit of a quandary. The sad fact is: while I like gear, I don’t like carrying it. When traveling, I used to carry a rather full kit – lots of lenses, flashes, anything I might possibly need. But these days, even for extended travel, I tend to go pretty stripped down. Usually just two lenses, no flash, possibly a lightweight tripod. On a recent 3-week trip to Turkey, I decided to go even more bare, and travelled with only a small backpack as my only luggage – both for clothes, and camera gear. Needless to say, this presented a bit of an issue in terms of gear choice.

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Re-considering Good Light

July 27, 2011 by · 1 Comment
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No matter how good, or how experienced a photographer might be, there will be times when they hit a slump. If you’ve been shooting for any length of time, you’ve probably experienced this – that feeling that there’s simply nothing that catches your eye; that there’s nothing worth taking a picture of. Or maybe you feel like you’ve already shot every potential picture that you see, or that it’s a cliché. If this happens to you, one of the best ways to get out of it is to go back to basics, and there’s nothing more basic than light. In this article I take a detailed look at what makes some light good, and some light bad, and then offer some light-based exercises that will help get you back to seeing compelling scenes.

Foundations of Photography: Lenses

February 11, 2011 by · 8 Comments
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Many of the creative options available to a photographer hinge on an in-depth understanding of lenses. Foundations of Photography: Lenses, will give you that in-depth understanding, as you learn how to choose lenses and take full advantage of their creative options. This 2.5 hour course covers fundamental concepts that apply to any camera, such as focal length and camera position, and shows how to evaluate and shop for DSLR lenses. The second half of the course focuses on shooting techniques: controlling autofocus, working with different focal lengths, and managing distortion and flare. You’ll also learn about filters, cleaning, maintenance, and more. You can find it all right here on the Lynda.com web site.

Foundations of Photography: Exposure

January 3, 2011 by · 27 Comments
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If you’re new to photography, or have been shooting for a while but still don’t feel comfortable with the fundamental theories of exposure, then you’ll want to check out my new Lynda.com course Foundations of Photography: Exposure. This three-and-a-half hour video training course works you through every fundamental aspect of exposure theory. You’ll learn what the exposure controls on your camera are for, and how to use them. In addition to learning how exposure control can help you solve problems, you’ll learn how to use exposure control to expand your creative palette. Shot on location in Southern California, this all “live-action” course was a lot of fun to make, (especially when the horses and mules got involved) and should get you a deep understanding of some of the fundamental concepts that you have to know to move beyond the auto modes on your camera.

Photoshop CS5 Landscape Photography on DVD

August 16, 2010 by · 3 Comments
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Learn the ins and outs of landscape photography with this 6.75-hour course from Lynda.com. In it, I cover gear, shooting, aesthetics and lots and lots of post-production using Photoshop CS5. You’ll learn about landscape-specific exposure issues, tone and color correction, manipulating light and shadow, HDR, panoramic shooting, thinking like a painter, and much more. This is the full content of the online course, and you can learn all about it, and even order a copy (believe it or not) right here.

When Should You Shoot Raw?

July 20, 2010 by · 5 Comments
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A lot of beginning shooters think that raw format photography is a high-end technology that only professionals need. They fear that it’s complicated, and a different way to shoot, and generally something that beginners should stay away from. But it’s not! In fact, the safety nets provided by raw format shooting are a boon to beginners! With raw format, you can correct overexposure and white balance problems that are impossible to tackle with non-raw formats. This article will walk you through a basic understanding of what raw is, and why you might want to consider giving it a try. (And if you want to know more, take a look at my Getting Started With Camera Raw- a complete discussion of all things raw.)

What Will You Shoot On Your Summer Vacation

July 16, 2010 by · 1 Comment
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We’re well into summer now, and as you head out on vacation, you’re probably packing your camera. Or, if you’re like me, you’re packing four or five camera. Whether you’re just getting started in photography, or you’ve been shooting for a long time and have a closet full of gear, planning what to take, and what to plan for can be complicated. In this article, I offer some tips and advice on how to plan your summer vacation shooting.

White Balance 101

June 4, 2010 by · 41 Comments
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Understanding white balance is an essential part of getting consistently good color. And while the auto white balance features on today’s cameras are very good, there will still be times when you need to take more control, and override your camera’s automatic white balance mechanism. This article walks you through the basics of white balance, to help you get better color in more situations.

Quantity Leads to Quality

February 22, 2010 by · 13 Comments
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One of the most common mistakes I see in photo classes is that students don’t shoot enough. I don’t mean that they don’t spend enough hours out taking pictures, I mean that when they see a potential subject they don’t shoot enough frames of it. Many people have the mistaken idea that a good photographer walks into a situation, sees their subject, determines how best to shoot it, takes the final shot, and then goes home to wait for that image to appear on the cover of a magazine. Alas, this isn’t true. To get good results, you have to shoot a lot of frames of your subject. This process of working your subject can be a difficult one for some people to learn, but here’s an example of what I’m talking about.

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Shooting People with Paul Mobley

February 1, 2010 by · 17 Comments
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Last October, I had the good fortune of assisting photographer Paul Mobley at a 4-day workshop in Oklahoma. Paul’s got a new website up, that is well worth checking out. He’ll also be teaching a workshop in Santa Fe in March. If you have any interest in portraits, shooting strangers, or any other types of people shooting, this is a great opportunity. You can check out more of Paul’s work here.

Learning Exposure the Old-Fashioned Way

December 15, 2009 by · 39 Comments
Filed under: General 

The automatic features on today’s digital cameras greatly improve your chances of getting a good exposure in just about any situation. However, because these features provide an ever-present crutch, they can preclude an in-depth learning of basic exposure theory. It used to be that, when you didn’t have a light meter and only had manual exposure, you had to know your exposure theory inside and out. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to extoll the virtues of a "simpler timer" but the sink-or-swim reality of a meterless, manual camera forced a photographer to learn a lot of technical concepts. While those concepts aren’t required to get good shots nowadays, understanding them can help out – even with a fully automatic camera – when you find yourself in a situation that confuses your camera, or if you’re finding situations where the auto features of your camera aren’t delivering the type of images you see in your head.

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Good Light

November 24, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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A lot of photographers think that if they buy some new gear, or learn to unlock the hidden power of some feature on their camera, they’ll move into a world of better shooting. But most of the time, the magic bullet for better images has nothing to do with gear, technique, or technical understanding. In most cases, the key to better shooting is simply to learn what separates good light from bad. On the one hand, this is great news, because light is free, and often plentiful. On the other hand, your study of light and lighting is something that will continue throughout your photo career. Check out this article for some tips on improving your understanding of what makes some light good, and other light not.

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    Foundations of Photography
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    Good photography is largely a process of making choices, and many of the critical choices you must make when taking a shot center around your lens. What focal length should you choose? How does that affect camera position? What about lens aperture, stabilization, and on and on. In this course, you'll explore all of the critical decisions that center around your camera's lens. An essential counterpart to Foundations of Photography: Exposure.




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