PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG

I had been bitten by the photography bug a few years ago but took a leave of absense for a while to focus on something else. Although I did not practice enough photography during that time, photography was always in the back of my mind. When I had some time, I would read up on photography articles online or a few pages of photography books I borrowed from the library. Towards the end of 2011, I decided to renew my interest and actively pursue photography. This was the time that I decided I wanted to create a photography tutorial website as a way to force myself to focus and allot time towards the pursuit of learning more about photography.This blog page is another vessel to share my daily thoughts about this wonderful hobby and is a good way to quickly record my ideas on "paper", if you will.

Photography Blog

  • Today, I took a couple of panning shots while I was eating out with my family. I stepped outside and took photos of cars passing by the road. I put my camera on Shutter Priority Mode and set it at 1/60 sec.

    Panning is a technique where you can focus on a moving object and blur the background to give the effect of movement and speed. The technique is to pan your camara and follow your moving subject so that it will be relatively focused while the background is blurred. You need to set you shutter speed at slow speed to blur the background.


    F/16, 1/60 sec, ISO 100

    F/16, 1/60 sec, ISO 100

    Panning is a technique where you can focus on a moving object and blur the background to give the effect of movement and speed. The technique is to pan your camara and follow your moving subject so that it will be relatively focused while the background is blurred. You need to set you shutter speed at slow speed to blur the background.

    Try it out and have fun!

  • The new lesson is complete. Please read Lesson #3: Introduction to Basic Composition Rules

  • Basic Composition Rules

    I am working on my next lesson which is a continuation of Lesson #2: How to compose a Photograph. In this lesson, I will talk about some basic composition rules that serve to highlight the main subject of your photograph. This is in line with guideline #2 of Lesson #2.

    I will talk about about the following composition rules:

    Dominant Subject Rules
    Rule of Thirds
    Focus on your main subject, literally!
    Frame your subject
    Using Contrast to highlight your main subject

  • Kind words from a site visitor

    I received an email from a visitor a few days ago. It's good to know that people appreciate my work. This is why I build instructional website. I have another website that offer instructional articles about pool & billiards called www.easypooltutor.com. My goal for this photography instructional website is to have the same success as the other site. Anyway, here's the email I received:

    Title:

    What a great site!

    Message:

    Hi nobadfoto,

    What a great site! Your instructions and explanation is very clear and user-friendly.

    I'm currently teaching a Photography subject at my secondary school. I was wondering if you would give me permission
    to use the content of your site within a moodle course page I have set up? Or even better if you were happy to share this
    resource within a pdf format? (its the adds that may cause issue with student engagement). I would retain all ownership
    and acknowledgements to yourself of course.

    Thanks, and hope to hear from you soon.

    __________________________
    Daniel Jackson
  • Moon Photography - Part 2

    So this is my second night of taking photos of the moon. The first night, I experimented with different exposure settings and came up with an acceptable exposure at F/22, 1/80 sec and ISO 500. I used Spot Metering mode. After downloading the photos and seeing the image magnified to 100%, I began to see flaws in the pictures. It was still slightly overexposed and the sharpness was not to my satisfaction.

    My plan before the shoot

    May 5. I took notes of my previous exposure settings and I adjusted it to compensate for the overexposure. My notes are as follows:

    May 4, 2012
    My best shot: Spot, F/22, 1/80s, ISO 500
    ** photo is still a little bright
    ** need a bit more sharpness (try lower ISO)

    For next shoot (May 5, 2012), try the following:
    Spot, F/22, 1/125s, ISO 400
    Spot, F/22, 1/60s, ISO 400
    Spot, F/16, 1/60s, ISO 400
    Spot, F/16, 1/60s, ISO 200
    Spot, F/16, 1/30s, ISO 200
    ** experiment with exposure compensation also

    So, I patiently waited for nightfall and at around 8pm, I started my next experimental shoot using my notes as a my guide. I also experiment with changing the Exposure Compensation setting on my camera. I took around 20 different pictures and below are some photos from my session. After I downloaded the photos into my computer the next day, below are some of the pictures.

    Moon shot #1
    Photo #1: F/22, 1/125 sec, ISO 400
    Moon shot #2
    Photo #2: F/16, 1/125 sec, ISO 200
    Moon shot #3
    Photo #3: F/11, 1/100 sec, ISO 100

    Out of all the photos I took, I finally pick my best shot and with a little photo editing using photoshop - adding a warm filter and a little sharpening, I have this image below. Click on the photo to see it at 100%.

    Moon shot #4
    My Best Shot: F/22, 1/30 sec, ISO 100 (-0.3 Exposure Compensation)

    I hope you got something out of this blog post. Basically, don't be afraid to experiment. Be prepared as much as you can. Take lots of notes.

  • Moon Photography

    For the past two nights, I experimented with taking photographs of the moon for the first time.

    My first attempt

    May 4. I decided to go with the Manual Mode Setting on my camera. At first, I used the default metering on my camera which was Average Metering or Matrix Metering as Nikon would call it. I zoomed in at 300mm and with my ISO set at 500, I followed the aperture and shutter speed setting that the light meter suggested - F/11 and 1/20 sec. The result was the photo below.

    Moon shot #1
    Photo #1: F/11, 1/20 sec, ISO 500

    Photo #1 above was severely overexposed so I decided to manually set the expose to underexpose. I also changed the metering mode to Center Weighted Metering. The resulting photo below.

    Moon shot #2
    Photo #2: F/11, 1/80 sec, ISO 500

    I got closer to the exposure I want but photo #2 was still extremely overexposed. I adjusted exposure once more keeping the metering mode still at Center Weighted Metering. I used F/22 and 1/50 sec, ISO 500. Photo is shown below.

    Moon shot #3
    Photo #3: F/22, 1/50 sec, ISO 500

    The photo is showing more detail of the moon now but I still feel that photo #3 is just slightly overexposed. I decided to use Spot Metering next, exposure setting at F5.6 and 1/800 sec, ISO 500. Photo #4 shown below.

    Moon shot #4
    Photo #4: F/5.6, 1/800 sec, ISO 500

    Photo #4 has the same exposure as photo #3 but I lowered the aperture to F/5.6 for photo #4 so it looks a little bit softer. So I adjusted the exposure setting a few more times until I was happy with the exposure and the sharpness of the image. Photo #5, #6 and #7 shown below.

    Moon shot #5
    Photo #5: F/8, 1/640 sec, ISO 500
    Moon shot #6
    Photo #6: F/11, 1/250 sec, ISO 500
    Moon shot #7
    Photo #7: F/22, 1/80 sec, ISO 500

    I was finally happy with the photo #7 - or at least I was happy seeing it through the viewfinder on my camera. Looking at it on the computer at 100% magnification was another story, however. I decided that I was going to take another photo shoot the next night. I took notes and wrote down what I plan to do next. I wrote down the exposure settings I wanted to use on my next photo shoot. I'll talk about the next shoot on my next blog post tomorrow.

    So what did I learn that night? I learned that experimentation is key. I learned that you don't always trust what your camera's light meter tells you. Keep shooting until you are happy with the exposure. Download it on the computer and view it at 100% magnification so you can see the detail of the photo.

  • Project 365

    While surfing the internet and reading up on photography, I came accross an article last year about "Project 365" and I thought, “What a great idea!” The idea is fairly simple, take a photo or several photos each day for 365 days. This allows you to learn something new each day! This process also allows you to look back and recall what you learned and how far you had progressed throughout the course of the year.

    Why would you want to try Project 365?

    Project 365 is a good way of learning photography and also learning and understanding your camera. It will force you to take a photo on a daily basis and it will allow you to practice good composition techniques. To maximize your learning experience, plan to take notes and comments on each photo that you take. Document it so you can learn from your mistakes as well as get satisfaction from your successes. It will be a challenge for sure but the rewards is well worth the effort.

    How to start a Project 365 and how to keep it going

    Here's a couple of tips I read about regarding how to accomplish this project:

    - Always have your camera with you. This may be a challenge if you work at an office and you're not sure if bringing a camera at the office would be appropriate.
    - Be aware of your surroundings at all times. You'll never know when an inspiration comes up for a good photo. Again, this will be a challenge because moments of inspiration may come up during inappropriate times like when you're at the office for example.
    - Don't be afraid to experiment. Experimentation is one of the best ways to discover and learn from mistakes.
    - Think about a weekly theme. It will provide you a much needed structure and order for this project. See our Weekly Theme Suggestions below.
    - Plan ahead and document ideas. Be prepared as much as possible. This cannot always be the case but it is always a good idea to have a plan and have it ahead of time rather than having it at the spur of the moment.
    - Take notes of everything. Adding a notebook and a pen inside your camera bag is a good idea.
    - Have fun! After all, if it's not fun then what's the point of all this? Right?

    So, if this idea inspires you to tackle "Project 365", then more power to you and good luck!

    52 Week Project

    If Project 365 is out of your reach because you are unable to commit to it there is another variation called 52 Week Project. Instead of taking a photo a day, you take photos on a weekly basis for 52 weeks. All other guidelines are the same as Project 365.

    Weekly Theme Suggestions

    If you are interested in taking on either the 52 Week Project or Project 365, I have the perfect weekly theme you can use which incidentally coincides with the free step by step photography courses that I provided on the website. I will add more weekly themes as I complete more free online courses.

    • Week #1: Depth of Field. Use Aperture Priority Mode setting on your camera and take photos that focuses on depth of field. For more information, see Aperture & Depth of Field lesson.
    • Week #2: Action Photography. Use Shutter Priority Mode setting on your camera and take photos that focuses on action or motion. Freeze your subject or convey motion in your photos. For more information, see Shutter Speed & Motion lesson.
    • Week #3: ISO Settings. Use Program Mode or Manual Mode setting on your camera, pay close attention to your lighting conditions and select the appropriate ISO setting. Take photos at dawn, mid morning, noon, mid afternoon, dusk and at night both indoors and out. For more information, see ISO & Digital Noise lesson.
    • Week #4: Manual Mode. Go Manual Mode on your camera setting and take photos that focuses on correct exposure. For more information, see Manual Mode to control Exposure lesson.
    • Week #5: Basic Photo Composition. Take photos by following the 3 Guidelines for Photo Composition lesson.
    • Week #6: Dominant Subject Rule of Composition. Take photos by following the Dominant Subject Rule of Compsition.
    • Week #7: Composition Rule of Thirds. Take photos by following the Rule of Thirds.
    • Week #8: Focus on your subject using shallow Depth of Field. Take photos by following the Focus on your main subject, literally! lesson.
    • Week #9: Composition Rule - Framing. Take photos by following the Frame your subject lesson.
    • Week #10: Use Contrast in your Composition. Take photos by following the Use Contrast to emphasize your Subject lesson.