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There are as many ways to capture an image as there are photographers. While there is no right or wrong way to convey meaning and evoke emotions through photography, there are methods and tips I feel will enhance the photographic experience, and I wish to share several of them with you here.
This 15-page eBook, Yearn to Learn: Becoming a Better Photographer is a short guide to taking better photos. I am selling it for $5.95, a nominal price, so you will value the tips here more than if this was just another free eBook.
My goal with these tips in this book is to help everyone take better images, regardless of the camera or method used. To that end I offer dozens of ideas and tips that I feel will help you create better photos and become a better photographer. Some of the ideas here in this book are meant for those just learning the art of photography; however I am assuming you have a basic knowledge of cameras so some of this information may seem complicated or complex in nature. If I keep the book very basic the advanced photographer becomes bored and does not even finish the book!
I will include some photographs I have taken over the years to make a point and to show examples of what I include in the text. I strive to keep the photo on the same page as the text, but with a variety of devices this book is available on, that may not always be the case.
For these ideas, the camera could be digital, film, video or movie; it does not matter, the rules to some extent all apply in most cases. Here I am looking at a photo I had just taken with the Zeiss manual focus lens as it fed on flower at the Butterfly Garden in Victoria, BC, Canada on a recent visit.
Without light, there are no photos, movies, videos, or images of any kind. You would simply have total darkness; the complete absence of light! HOW light is captured determines the image. Too much light floods the scene in a washed and overexposed desert-like wasteland that cannot be salvaged. Photographers often refer to this as “information”.
A photograph that is underexposed like the one above photo flower was when I first took it, still has all of the information there; it is just hidden in deep shadows and can be brought in out Photoshop, Lightroom or any other photograph or video editing software.
I did not title this “Understanding Exposure” because the relationship that exists with the variables of exposure forms the whole, and understanding the role they all play is crucial. Exposure is a collaboration of four or more factors; aperture, shutter speed, shutter angle and ISO (or ASA). For cameras other than movie and video cameras shutter angle is not crucial but for those two, especially movie cameras it is paramount, so I have included it in this discussion.
For most cameras, you have three main variables to consider: aperture, shutter speed and ISO (or ASA). Anytime you change one, you affect the other two!
Most photographers have never bothered to read the manual that came with their camera OR studied all of the dials, menus and options on their camera. I know some photographers that ONLY use the Program and Auto modes in their camera. When asked to answer what the “S”, “A” and “M” stood for on their dial, they replied with a blank stare and shrug! They had NO clue what those buttons were for! There is nothing wrong with using Auto, Program or Auto Focus exclusively for that matter, BUT if you truly want to become a better photographer, get off the “freeway of convenience” and explore the “back roads of discovery” with your camera. I promise you will be glad you did!