Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Shot in the Dark....

Welcome to the first of hopefully many posts that will help you get better photos from your DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex).  First, a warning - READER BEWARE.  What qualifies me to hand out photography advice? Well, not much of anything to be honest.  There are MANY blogs from pro photographers out there to choose from (and I'll be referencing some of my favorites as we progress), many of whom have been doing this for decades.  So why would you want to read what I have to say rather than reading their blogs?  The good news is there's no reason not to read both.  My goal, however, is to provide the "Cliff's Notes" version from someone who's only been doing this for a little over a year. I've spent hundreds of hours reading through the pro blogs, books, article and even more hours behind the lens trying to figure it all out.  Hopefully I can save you some time by sharing my experiences as I myself continue to learn.  On with the show....

Lesson #1 - It's all about the light....

For your first exercise, grab your camera and find a REALLY dark closet.  Make sure your flash is turned off, get in the closet and shut the door.  Take a picture.  If your closet was completely void of light, you just took the most representative picture you're ever going to take.  If you forgot to turn off the flash, wait for the spots to clear from your vision before reading on.

So, what did you learn?  Photography is all about being able to capture the light illuminating the scene in front of you.  That's it.  Sometimes there is too much light, other times not enough light. Getting better photos means having an understanding of the tools your camera provides you for capturing light - otherwise known as "exposure".

Assuming you're not content taking pictures of the inside of dark closets, next week we'll start to review the first of the three most important components of exposure - aperture, shutter speed, and ISO - to learn what each of them does and how you can use them to impact your photographs.

Until next time, keep click'n.

- Ken


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