Browsing all posts in "photography 101".

Photography 101: Fixed Aperture Explained

A reader recently sent me an e-mail, asking me to explain how fixed aperture lenses work. She was suffering under the misconception that a fixed aperture on a lens means that’s the only aperture that lens is capable of shooting. Apertures tend to be a subject that can be confusing to a beginning photographer. Primarily, […]

Back to Basics: Exposure Explained

Exposure is one of the first, and one of the most confusing, concepts that a budding photographer learns. All of the numbers, abbreviations, settings and relationships can be overwhelming at first. Here is a simple guide to help clarify things. The Exposure Triangle: The three elements of exposure – commonly referred to as “The Exposure […]

Five SOOC Tips

Hello friends! I was just e-mailing with Steve Russell, our regularly featured guest writer, about his weekend photography shoot. He was lamenting the fact that he had over 500 shots to post-process after a photo-heavy day. I, too, find it sometimes wearying to conceive of hours of post-processing after a long day of shooting. I […]

Back to Basics: ISO Explained

The term “ISO”, when used in photography, refers to the speed rating of film. “ISO” stands for “International Organization for Standardization”, and this organization is responsible for defining standards for many, many industries and disciplines. With respect to photography, the film speed ISO rating system was created to standardize the quality of film throughout the […]

The Rules of Photography – Follow Them or Break Them

By Steve Russell Wait! Before you hit the back button, I’m not going to list all of the rules of photography – just a few of them. Many of the rules, especially those regarding composition have been around longer than photography. For example, the rule of thirds appears as early as 1797 as a rule […]

Photography 101 – How to Read a Histogram

I happened to be driving through the “fashionable” part of Arizona a while back (Scottsdale, for those of you familiar with the state), and saw a professional photographer arranging a wedding party in front of a fountain. The photographer was holding up an external, hand-held light meter to judge the exposure settings to be used. […]

Book Review – Photography by John Freeman

If you are a beginner photographer looking for a good book that covers the basics, or an intermediate photographer looking to further improve your knowledge base, then I recommend Photography: The New Complete Guide to Taking Photographs by John Freeman. This is actually one of the first books that I picked up when I was […]

Composition Tips – Balance

Balance is a key concept when composing a photograph. However, “balance” does not necessarily mean “centered” or “symmetrical”. A photograph can be balanced even when the subject of focus is to one side. A photograph can be off-balance even if the subjects are perfectly aligned. Let’s look at some examples. In the shot of the […]

Stops 101

When I was new to photography, I was very confused whenever someone said they needed to “stop down” or “stop up” a shot. Basically, all the term “stop” refers to is the change in the brightness of the light, or exposure, of the photograph. Doubling the light is one stop up (or brighter), reducing the […]

Three Things I Wish I Knew Then

Sherry (who writes for PhotoBlog) and I were talking a couple of weeks ago about the things that we wished we knew, or that someone had told us, about photography when we first got started. Those tips or pieces of advice that would have helped us to avoid confusion or mistakes when we were first […]