Focusing

March 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Here’s a quick tip for new shooters.

Use the middle focusing point (because for lower end cameras, thats usually the most accurate) to focus on your subject. Then recompose or frame your photo how you want it (i.e., rule of thirds etc.). Do NOT zoom in or out, just reframe your photo. Zooming will mess up your focus!

Try focusing on your subject and then frame the composition after your focus is locked.

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SAAF

February 21, 2011 Leave a comment

This little acronym is pretty useful for understanding the basics of flash photography.

Shutter Speed controls Ambient

Aperture controls Flash

Basically, the slower your shutter speed, the more ambient light you will have in your photograph. Ambient light is natural light from the scene. The smaller your aperture, the stronger the flash will be since there needs to be more light to get an accurate exposure. Aperture and shutter speed also control other things as well but for flash photography, these are how they behave. Try it!

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Upgrading

February 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Just like computers, smart phones, video game consoles and cars, digital cameras also become outdated very quickly. So don’t worry about having the latest and greatest camera body. Master what you have at the moment. Understand why the camera you have now is limiting your potential to take great photographs. Then research which cameras can both fit your budget and your needs as an aspiring photographer.

But first, invest in quality lenses. Even with an amateur, entry level camera body, a good piece of glass is like night and day. Having the newest technology is sometimes used as a crutch in lieu of actually practicing and learning photography. Take control of your hobby or passion, don’t let the technology control you.

One final note: it’s one thing to read reviews and scrutinize distortion and chromatic aberration charts all day, but if you never actually use your camera in real world conditions, what’s the point? You didn’t buy a camera to compile a spreadsheet of data.

Be wise with your upgrade. And if money is not an issue, your progression as a photographer should be.

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What really matters

February 18, 2011 Leave a comment

If you were to ask me what the single most important part of photography was, I would probably say light. It’s not about how expensive your gear is or how long you’ve been shooting or how well you know Photoshop. Photography in its simplest form requires a good understand of how light works.

Light temperature. Texture of light. Artificial and Natural light. Controlling light. Finding light. Using light. All of this comes with experience and practice.

Know your limitations. Yes, even if you buy a 3 thousand dollar camera, there are limitations. Don’t shoot directly into the sun and expect your subjects to be properly exposed (unless you have enough fill flash). Don’t pretend that your camera has night vision and shoot in pitch darkness. Know how much you light is available for you to use and then find a good angle to capture it from and you’ll be soon on your way to producing quality photos.

There are an infinite number of other things to learn along the way but if you can understand light, you’re already ahead of the game. I will break down the different aspects of light in a future post. Cheers!

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My Story

February 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Where did I start in photography and where am I today?

I started back in 2008 with a Canon Rebel XS and the kit 18-55mm lens. Even though I bought the camera on Amazon, I still paid a premium price for it since it was just released. A few months later, I bought the highly acclaimed Canon 50mm f1.8 as per multiple recommendations. That lens is really a gem for the beginner photographer. I can’t really remember the next few transactions in their exact order but basically, I acquired a Tokina 12-24mm f4, sold my Rebel XS and bought a Rebel t1i, bought a Sigma 30mm f1.4, bought a Canon 70-200mm f4L and sold it 6 months later. My next purchase is probably going to be a Canon flash so I can start experimenting with artificial light.

As for my workflow, I’ve transitioned from using Bridge/Photosohp to Lightroom 3. Editing is much more streamlined for me and batch editing has never been easier. Since I’ve started, I also started a website as you might have guessed, http://www.chowphoto.com. Lately, I’ve been lazy in updating it with new images so I figured I would start a blog share some of my newer images. Also since I started, I have experimented with DSLR HD video using my t1i and 30mm 1.4. I find that with the lenes I have, it is the most versatile combination for getting great video quality.

Well that’s basically where I started and where I am today. I hope to keep growing as a photographer in the years to come. Cheers!

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Welcome

February 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Welcome to the photoblog! Here, I will be posting a combination of photos, tutorials, rants, reviews and anything in between. Photography is something that complements my personality well. As an aspiring structural engineer, I really enjoy the technical challenge that comes with using a digital SLR camera. But of course, I also love pushing myself to see the world from a creative perspective. I don’t just use my camera to show people the world; a camera phone could do that. When I see things that are potentially picture worthy, I first see it in my head, and then I try to recreate that image. So feel free to join me as I attempt to blog something photograph related every few days. Cheers!

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