Photography Articles

Learning the DSLR – Part #1

New to the DSLR? Learn to use it – Part #1

How to know your new Digital Camera: Learning the important “stuff”

So, you are getting a DSLR, aka Digital Camera, for Christmas and now you find yourself confused with the manual?  Some find the manual to be an “okay” place to begin learning and then go from there with practice. From a technical perspective, that can work.

If you are not that person that reads a manual and walks away fully knowing how to use your camera, don’t worry, you are with the majority. Therefore, for starts, I am putting some “how to” blog posts up to help and this is the first.  Many of my references will be with images that reflect the use of the Canon EOS system.

The place this one will start is with shooting modes.  The shooting modes, on most DSLRs, can be located on a dial labelled with ‘Auto, Av, Tv, P, M’ and maybe more.  The “Av” or “A” stands for “Aperture Priority” – “Tv” or “S” are for “Shutter Priority”  “Auto” is the Automatic and “M” is for ‘Manual.”  However, before delving into these, it is important that one has some understanding of the three major factors that are effected when these options are used.

Three factors:

The three factors covered here, where are also referenced and explained in more detail on a previous post entitled “The Triangle of Exposure,” are the Aperture, the Shutter Speed, and the ISO.

The ISO:

For starts, the ISO is the sensitivity of your camera’s sensor to light.  In the triangle, notice that the higher the number, the darker the shade. This is because in a dark location, the higher number is needed (as the arrow indicates towards brightness). If you ever shot with film you may compare this to the ASA – later termed ISO of 200, 400 etc.  The higher this number is, the better it can see images in low-light settings.  When applying “Aperture Priority” or “Shutter Priority” or “Auto” the camera will then automatically (in all cases) adjust the ISO to give the proper photo.  When using “Manual” (which will be covered later) – the ISO is one of the settings you as the photographer decide on.


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August 14, 2017 by cmsturgeon Articles, Exposure, Instructional 0

Understanding the Exposure Triangle

The Exposure Triangle;  
What is it, and why should you understand it?

If you have not yet been introduced to this term “Exposure Triangle” or you are yet to master it and definitely desire to do so; I intend on at least making an effort in helping you do just that.

We will start by defining the Exposure Triangle and then go from there. Full Article here

Exposure Triangle:

This term comes from the use of three components / settings in a camera used in combination to accomplish proper exposure.  These three components / settings on your camera are the ISO, the Shutter Speed, and the f-stop.  The Exposure Triangle refers to these three settings used in a way that correspond with each other. In other words, when one changes, at least one other has to change to keep the same exposure.  We will come back to this with examples after giving a brief review of each of these settings within a camera. I have developed an image for a quick glance at what the written content is describing in more detail.  You may want to look at the image various times during your reading of the content. (more…)

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September 21, 2016 by cmsturgeon Instructional 0

Outside Portrait Tips

Portrait photography tips can run the gamut from simple tweaks to your camera settings to the seemingly impossible task of getting a large group in a wedding to look the same direction.

Although many photographers upgrade to a decent DSLR to give them more control when they take family portraits or pictures of friends, getting great shots of people is always a challenge. And one should ask, do I want a “snapshot” or do I want a professional looking photograph.


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December 29, 2014 by cmsturgeon Articles, History 0

Beginning of Photography

Photography has come a long way in considerably short period of time. In about 200 years, the camera developed from a plain box with a pinhole, that produced blurry images to the high resolution produced in our DSLRs and smartphones today.

The story of photography is fascinating and books are written that still only cover portions of its amazing historical route taken thus far. That being so, I want to just take a relatively brief look at the highlights and major developments of this impressive scientific form of art.

The First Cameras
Though I stated 200 years; the basic concept of photography has been with mankind since the 5th-century. An Iraqi scientist developed something called the camera obscura in the 11th-century and that is when the art of photography came alive.

Still the camera did not actually record images, it simply projected them onto another surface. However, it was truly the beginning of getting us to where we are today. The images were upside down so they would often be traced in order to obtain an accurate drawing of the subject, such as a building for instance.

The first camera obscura used a tent with a pinhole in order to project an image from outside of the tent into the darkened area. Now we fast-forward to the 17th-century – the camera obscura became small enough to be portable, relatively speaking (the portable version is in the drawing the the right of this paragraph. Basic lenses to focus the light were now being introduced as well.


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