Posts in Category: Tips

Taking HDR Bracketed Photos – Part 5

It has been a busy past few weeks, I haven’t been able to update my blog. Work has been very busy and my son got married last weekend.  I thought I would share some tips on taking bracketed photos for use with HDR.

HDR stands for “High Dynamic Range”, if you do a search for HDR or even look on my blog for “HDR”  you can see some amazing photos that use this Photo technique.  I’m not going to go into how you apply these techniques to create these photos.  I’m going to discuss how you take the photos to put in the software.

Flash photography – Guide to better photos – Part 3

So I almost forgot to write something today as I continue to write about my journey to taking better photo’s and sharing them with you.  So it is 11:55 at night, it was a long day at work, so I really didn’t want to write anything, but felt I needed to write something, since it is my goal to write something every day.

So the topic is Flash Photography.  I will probably write a future article about Flash Photography, as this can take volumes.  So there are  a couple of tips on flash photography.  I will update a future entry and give some examples of what I’m going to discuss today, but I really don’t have anything good in my portfolio that illustrates what I’m going to mention here, so you’ll have to take my word for it.

White Balance – Guide to better photos – Part 2

White Balance, what is that?

If you haven’t heard of White Balance, it means you probably haven’t read your Manual.  If you read in my last post, we discussed using Manual Mode to set the correct Exposure Level through the ISO, Aperture, and Shutter settings.  Well White Balance (WB) is something that is very important when you take a photo with a Digital Camera.

Manual Mode – Guide to better photos – Part 1b

In the previous post, we discussed ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed.  We had just taken a photo with a fast shutter speed and everything was perfect!

Well not so fast.  Remember when I mentioned that the key to a perfect photo was getting the correct Exposure Level or the correct amount of light into the camera Sensor?  Well just because you set the Shutter Speed to 1/150 sec, doesn’t mean you allowed enough light into the camera Sensor.  It is actually possible that the photo may be to dark, especially if the photo was taken late in the afternoon, when the sun wasn’t at it’s brightest.  So the real question is, “How do I allow enough light into the lens to the Camera Sensor to make that perfectly sharp photo?”.

Manual Mode – Guide to better photos – Part 1a

The most important thing I have learned when taking photos is learning how to use your camera.  By this I mean, learning to using the Manual Mode, usually there is a dial on the camera that has an M on it, this is manual Mode.  You will probably see additional letters and pictures on this, stuff like P – Program, A – Aperture Priority, Auto – Automatic, S – Shutter Priority (also known as speed – the shutter speed). There could be pictures of a Track star, Mountain Top, and a few other types of pictures.  This is a picture of my camera dial on my Nikon D90.  Let me begin by talking about the different modes from a high level and what they do.

How to take better photos with your DSLR Camera

I’ve been asked, “Dave, How did you learn photography?”  or “Dave, How did you learn to take such great pictures?”  It is such a difficult question to answer, because it isn’t something you learn over night or even in a few days.  To be honest with you, I learned photography by trial and error.  I tried a lot of things and made a lot of errors.  I even put the camera down and said “I quit!”  Then I came back and tried some more and made some more errors.  Then I started read books, watch YouTube Videos and read Blog posts from other photographers.

Fixing a WB mistake while replacing a background

A gallery: Round Rock – Background Blending

Roses – Controlled Lighting

These photo’s were taken in the evening, when I could turn off any external light and all outside light.  I setup a vase of White Roses on our Black Dining Table!  Then I setup a 24X36 Softbox Strobe light and put it up about 8 feet high angled down at a 45 degree angle to the Roses.  In these photo’s I took from many different angles and magnifications.  Additionally, I changed different exposure and Strobe intensity.  using the rear LCD screen on my Nikon D90, I was able to make immediate adjustments to get the effect I was going for.

Plant photography can always be challenging, yet very fun and rewarding.  Almost all the photo’s

had just the right amount of light and angle of light to get the shadow’s or highlights I was looking for.  Once I had my photo’s in Lightroom, I proceeded to look at the composition of the photo and determine how I would crop each photo, based on the background and presentation of the flowers.  For any photographer, these decisions are  your signature!  Many of these photo’s you’ll notice, I applied some Photo Software magic, to soften the photo and either decreases or increase the clarity.  I believe that every photo you take has a story to tell!  One day, I’ll take the best of my work and create a Coffee table book to present this work and then I’ll be ready to tell my story.

Enjoy the photo’s and provide me some feedback and let me know what you think and which one is your favorite.

  • Roses - 2011
  • Roses - 2011-10
  • Roses - 2011-11
  • Roses - 2011-12
  • Roses - 2011-13
  • Roses - 2011-2
  • Roses - 2011-3
  • Roses - 2011-4
  • Roses - 2011-5
  • Roses - 2011-6
  • Roses - 2011-7
  • Roses - 2011-8
  • Roses - 2011-9

Easter Roses

I took some pictures of Roses my wife purchased for Easter.  I decided to take most of my photos with no external lighting, just using long exposure times.  A little bit of Lightroom editing to resolve some White balance issues with a long exposure, brought out colors to the flowers that were close to the original White Rose!  Once of the photo’s uses an external Flash Light showing through a Blue Tequila Bottle I had in the Kitchen to give a blue tint to the light!  Playing with external light and using colored glass, gel’s, or anything else you have around can make for some amazing photography!  It is always fun to explore photography using different lighting.

I believe for this photo shoot, I took about 85 different photo’s with different lighting, exposure time’s, colors, etc. before I selected the best 5 photo’s!

  • Easter Roses
  • Easter Roses-2
  • Easter Roses-3
  • Easter Roses-4
  • Easter Roses-5

Impromptu Outdoor Spring Photos

The day in Austin, TX was beautiful today, so I thought I would grab the camera, gold light reflector, my daughter and her puppy Bella and take some quick photos.  Of course the trickiest thing when taking photo’s is getting your daughter to choose an outfit.  After about 10 minutes of helping her decide that the blue dress would look best, we proceeded to take some great photo’s.

It’s always a challenge to get both the a puppy and 5 y/o to look at the same time and get some good photos.  You will see I picked the best 12 out of about 50 photo’s that I took.  One downside of taking phto’s outdoors is the squinting, so you have to take a lot of photo’s to find a couple of good ones.  I use the premise, take a lot of quantity to get the one or two quality photo’s.  With DSLR camera’s there isn’t anything to worry about, when you take to many photo’s. They are easily deleted if they weren’t any good.

See the best 12 Photo’s below.

  • Jillian Portrait - Apr 2011-1
  • Jillian Portrait - Apr 2011-10
  • Jillian Portrait - Apr 2011-11
  • Jillian Portrait - Apr 2011-12
  • Jillian Portrait - Apr 2011-2
  • Jillian Portrait - Apr 2011-3
  • Jillian Portrait - Apr 2011-4
  • Jillian Portrait - Apr 2011-5
  • Jillian Portrait - Apr 2011-6
  • Jillian Portrait - Apr 2011-7
  • Jillian Portrait - Apr 2011-8
  • Jillian Portrait - Apr 2011-9