I would say there are three parts to photography: learning about photography, photography tools, and actually taking (or perhaps making) photographs. There is, of course, no end to all of this. A Google search, even one limited to just YouTube, will yield more content than one could consume in a lifetime. If you were to expand that search to include text articles as well as videos from other sources, you would quickly move into a multiple lifetimes zone. So, I thought I would offer up some of the photography resources I use the most, which hopefully you’ll find more helpful than a blind Google search.
Do you like taking pictures? Do you enjoy driving? Do you have
about four weeks free this summer? Then, with the lowest fuel prices in years, you would love driving to Alaska. My wife and I drove it and it was the trip of a lifetime.
Everyone loves pictures of their pets. Flip through any phone, click on any computer, or look through any photo album and you’ll see pictures of dogs, cats, hamsters, horses, and pot-bellied pigs. We display many of our pet photos in our home right next to our beloved family members. Pets are family too! And just like human portraits, great photographs of your pets start with a little preparation.
What is the difference between a “snapshot” and a “photograph”? They are both pictures taken by a camera, but how do they differ and why is the difference important?
A snapshot is represented by variety of different types of pictures: those found on your driver’s license and passport; pictures taken at a birthday party, of a cool location being visited to show you were there, or perhaps of your pet being cute. Now, the most famous of all types of snapshots is the ubiquitous “selfie”. Snapshots are worthwhile; they document people, places, things, and events. Virtually anyone with a camera takes snapshots, and it is fun.
Everywhere you go you see iPhones galore. It seems everyone over the age of 10 has one and they are all taking pictures with them. It is a great way to share experiences with friends and family as well as the world.
This is a new phase of photography that is fast becoming the source of the majority of images taken. It’s easy and everyone can do it, so why not capture the moment.
Night Photography, by definition, takes place outdoors and occurs between sunset and sunrise. It is usually characterized by “long” shutter speeds to capture dim lighting, therefore requiring a tripod for most exposures. I suppose shooting in a well-lit outdoor stadium qualifies as night photography, but that would be an exception to the notes covered here.
Night photography is also usually associated with taking pictures of the heavens – the moon and stars, but there are a lot of other possibilities, too, including cityscapes lit by streetlights, neon signs, and car lights. An interesting fact about long exposures is that moving objects that reflect little if any light become invisible in the resulting image. We will use that to our advantage in many of the following situations.
Photography is as much about evoking emotion and telling a story as it is about the technical aspects of camera settings. A photograph can be technically perfect in every way; however, if it doesn’t move the viewer it is of very little interest to the audience.
As a photographer I want to connect the relationship between photography, emotion and my favorite subject….animals. I’ve loved animals since my first childhood memories. Photographing them has been a long time interest of mine. In recent years I have become more serious about capturing emotion and revealing stories in my images. We’ve all heard the old saying, “The eyes are the windows to the soul”. In photography capturing the eyes of any animal in sharp focus is a key technical aspect; however, it is much more as well. The eyes tell the story of an individual showing us sadness, happiness, fear, and a wide range of emotions. Think of some of the really great photos of wildlife you’ve seen. The story can usually be seen in the eyes. A lioness stalking her prey, a newborn foal with his mother, or a zoo animal seeing its keeper approaching with today’s meal all bring to light part of the life of an individual. Continue reading →
Novice as well as professional photographers can have a lot of fun with changing the shutter speed of their camera. Playing with length of time the shutter is open when taking a photograph can lead to very interesting photographs. Most people are familiar with the “slow water” shots where streams and rivers take on a silky look and provide an almost ethereal feeling. But slow water is just the beginning. There is a lot more that slow shutter speeds can do to help a photographer create that unique piece of art and here’s how to do it. Continue reading →