Putting It All Together: How To Use Manual Mode

Putting It All Together: How To Use Manual Mode

If you have been following along over the past few weeks, then you will already understand how the individual exposure settings (ISO, aperture, and shutter speed) work. With these three settings there are an uncountable number of combinations that can be used to create an image. It can seem like a lot to take on, but with a little bit of direction you can learn how to control every aspect of your photograph…

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Dialing In Your Exposure with Shutter Speed

Dialing In Your Exposure with Shutter Speed

It's finally time for the last piece of the exposure puzzle. If you understand ISO and aperture, which I covered in the last two articles, then you are well on your way to making sense of exposure. All that's left is shutter speed, and thankfully it's the easiest of the three to grasp. It's straightforward, but it also allows for a wide range of interesting creative choices.

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Using Aperture To Build Your Exposure

Using Aperture To Build Your Exposure

There are three main controls for creating an exposure: ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Many put these settings in the context of a triangle as a way to show how they interact with each other, but as I stated previously, I like to think of them as forming a pyramid. I feel that the pyramid model is a better metaphor for how you build an exposure one piece at a time.
Last time we discussed ISO, the base of the pyramid. This post will go over the next level, aperture.

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An Introduction to ISO, The Foundation Of Exposure

An Introduction to ISO, The Foundation Of Exposure

When you practice photography as an art, you will begin to feel the need to take more control of what the camera is doing. Once you feel confident enough to do this, a good place to start is with ISO. It is a rating of how sensitive your sensor (or film) is to light. Not only does it have a major impact on your other settings, but it also changes the quality of the photo itself. 

At the heart of it, ISO is the basis of your exposure …

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How To Make An Ideal Exposure

How To Make An Ideal Exposure

Every choice you make while setting up your photograph impacts the exposure of your photograph. It's a little more complex than simply brightening or darkening a photograph though, because each distinct level of light is affected differently as the exposure is adjusted. If a photograph is overly bright or dark it is considered to be incorrectly exposed, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad photograph. There is much more to the pursuit of a great photograph than making a technically correct exposure.

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Building Mood Through Color

Building Mood Through Color

If you're like me, you have probably gone to take a photo of a beautiful sunset, but it just doesn't look as spectacular as it did in real life. While the sky is on fire, your photo looks dull and lifeless. 

Chances are you already know that color has a major affect on how an image looks, but color can also impact how your photographs are perceived. There are fields of study that look at the effect color has on our psychology; it is fascinating how different hues can elicit emotional…

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Illuminating Your Vision: Light, Shadow, and Your Photography

Illuminating Your Vision: Light, Shadow, and Your Photography

From it’s very conception photography has been all about light. When it was first invented, Joseph Niepce was looking for a way to create accurate copies of lithographs by "drawing with light". He accomplished this by creating a light sensitive compound that when properly processed created a perfect black and white duplicate.  

From the very beginning light was at the heart of photography. Today, despite all of the advances photography has made since Niepce's time, light still has the greatest impact on how a photograph turns out: not only in a physical sense, but in an artistic one as well. 

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The Truth About Composition

The Truth About Composition

At its most basic, composition is simply the arrangement of elements in an image. It may have a simple definition, but it is by no means a simple subject. Artist, critics, and scholars have argued about what constitutes a "good" composition for centuries. 

A successful composition not only communicates the artists intention, but it also draws the viewer in and encourages them to spend time exploring the image. In this post I will cover a few common misconceptions everyone (including myself) has made, and then I will share 5 basic elements I have found to make up all compositions. 

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Understanding Subject: The Heart Of Your Photograph

Understanding Subject: The Heart Of Your Photograph

How often do you find yourself excited to take a photograph of something amazing, only for the photo to turn out weak and not even close to what you expected? This happened to me countless times as I started out, and it still does occasionally.

More often than not, the problem with these photographs is a lack of a clear subject. the good news is that this is a fairly easy problem to fix by taking the time to consciously define your subject before making your photograph.

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What Makes A Photograph Good

What Makes A Photograph Good

As I alluded to in my previous post, in order to improve as a photographer it is important to understand what makes a photograph work. A photograph can be broken down into various components (composition, subject, lighting, etc), and how well these elements work together will dictate how good the final image is. In the best images this balance is directed by the photographers vision.

Implementing this simple step into your photography will help guide your decisions as a photographer, and will increase the success of your images.  

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What You Need To Create Great Photographs

What You Need To Create Great Photographs

Last week I shared my own winding journey to becoming a better photographer. The starting point is different for everybody, which is evident if you’ve ever Googled how to improve your photography. You’ll likely find numerous versions of “5 tips to take better photos now”. These posts can have good advice, but their suggestions typically only scratch the surface of what you really need to begin growing as a photographer. 

Regardless of what your journey looks like, in the end all photographers gain a similar set of knowledge and skills (not including specialties). In this post I will be outlining what I have found to be essential requirements for making great photographs. 

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