Browsing all posts in photography 101.

Expose for the Sky

A reader recently asked, “I’ve read a lot of photography articles where they say to “expose for the background” or “meter for the subject”, then “recompose and shoot”. When I do that, it still doesn’t work! My camera just adjusts the exposure for whatever I’m focusing on. For instance, if I want to take a […]

Zone Focus Explained

Zone focus is a technique that allows the photographer to essentially “set and forget” the aperture and focus. When used correctly it adds speed and convenience to your shooting experience, especially in situations when fast-moving subjects outpace auto-focus capabilities. Zone focus is also known as “f/8 and be there,” a term that was coined by […]

Light Meter Basics

One of the most essential items of gear that a photographer must have in his or her arsenal is a light meter (even though Steve didn’t mention it in his last article, and yes I jump at the chance to tease him). Some would argue that the light meter is just as important as the […]

Bit Depth vs. Dynamic Range in Layman’s Terms

Hi friends! A reader recently sent me an e-mail asking me to explain the difference between bit depth and dynamic range, so I thought I would post the explanation here for everyone’s benefit. Bit Depth A bit is defined as the smallest unit of data. It’s binary – it can be either 1 or 0, […]

RAW vs. DNG

The debate on whether to import and post-process files as RAW or as DNG (Digital Negative) is almost as heated – and opinionated – as whether to shoot with Canon or Nikon. The long and short of it is, “it depends,” and “it’s up to you.” There is no “right” answer. RAW files are digitally […]

Noise Reduction in Lightroom

The technology contained within today’s DSLR cameras enable us to take startlingly clear photographs in near-darkness. Sensors are more sensitive, ISO’s go up to 12,000+, and lenses get faster and faster. However, that capability to take photos in low light costs us in the way of increased noise. Noise is that “grain” you see, which […]

Sharpening De-Mystified

We all want absolutely tack-sharp photos. We all know that sharpness begins with the shot itself – there is no saving a blurry photo in post-production. We are somewhat familiar with sharpening techniques in Lightroom or Photoshop, but what is the best way to apply sharpening for landscapes? Portraits? Cars? Street scenes? When is the […]

Understanding Light in Photography – Beginner Level

The word “photography” comes from the Greek, photos – light – and graphos – writing, delineation, or painting. In other words, photography is light painting. As humans, we don’t see color, we see light. The retina of our eyes contains two types of photoreceptors (light receptors) called rods and cones. The rods are more sensitive […]

Review: Studio Lighting 101 Workshop by SnapFactory

Last month I had the opportunity to attend the Studio Lighting 101 Workshop hosted by Mark Wallace and Snapfactory in Phoenix, Arizona. Mr. Wallace is a fixture in the photography world, well known for his approachable and engaging instructional videos on Adorama.tv’s Digital Photography One on One series, Pocket Wizard tutorials, and more. The one […]

Photography 101 – Exposure Bracketing

The term “exposure bracketing” refers to taking a photograph at a baseline exposure, then “bracketing” that shot with one that is slightly under-exposed, and one that is slightly over-exposed. This method is used to increase the odds that you have captured the shot with the best exposure, which is especially helpful in tricky lighting situations […]