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Today's Photo Minute

How to lock the aperture/shutter speed on many cameras

In Today’s Photo Minute video, Brian Osborne discusses how some mid to high level cameras allow the user to lock the aperture or shutter speed or both. This can prevent the inadvertent change of the chosen aperture in Aperture Priority or Manual mode or the shutter speed in Shutter Priority or Manual mode. In addition, as demonstrated in the video, on many Nikon camera models, this ability to lock the aperture or shutter speed function does not have to be done underneath the menu each time but can be done with custom control setup.

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Today's Photo Minute

What’s in my camera bag and why?

In this video segment, Brian Osborne from The Photo Classroom describes what camera bodies he owns and uses for various photographic needs. More importantly he discusses how his choices of cameras might be different from what you would expect and why. As he points out clearly, the decisions we make about the “tools” we invest in can have huge ramifications, not on the quality of our photography, but on our options to build and enjoy using a complete system.

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Today's Photo Minute

Tips for photographing snow scenes

The Concept:

After a long hiatus, Brian Osborne from The Photo Classroom is back with a timely topic sharing a few tips for photographing snow scenes. In the video we share some camera settings that you might want to work with specifically for capturing great snow photos.

Below are some examples of how changing the exposure compensation and the white balance can affect the final result of your snow images.

(Slide the middle bar to the left and right to see the before and after versions of the same image)
The image on the left was done at 0 exposure compensation while the image on the right was brighter due to adding +.7 exposure comp. The amount will vary based on the scene, your metering system, etc. but the getting the correct exposure in the field is a common challenge in these situations.
(Slide the middle bar to the left and right to see the before and after versions of the same image)
While cameras may have varying results in Auto WB, the image on the left was shot in Direct Sunlight WB on my camera (to illustrate how a standard WB setting can be wrong) and you can see how blue it came out. The photo on the right is much warmer due to me not only trying Cloudy (or Overcast) WB but ultimately using Shade WB to get corrected warmth in the image

Conclusion:

While the exact amount of exposure compensation and white balance adjustment will vary on your particular situation, camera and lighting; working hard at getting well-exposed and accurately-colored images in the winter is important to produceing excellent photographs. Also, as was mentioned in the video, snow images in bright sunny conditions, may or may not need the same exposure and white balance adjustments. However remember that especially in the Charlotte area, any white stuff that does fall does not last long so being out when it is overcast and maybe even snowing is often the best opportunity. Here is hoping for snow in 2021!

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Today's Photo Minute

The Must-have equipment for travel and landscape photography

The Concept:

In Today’s Photo Minute, Brian Osborne details the main items of camera equipment that you should consider for any travel or landscape photography adventure. While this can vary greatly based of your itinerary of photo opportunities, the amount of gear you can physically carry and what you own; having the key components he will discuss gives you an excellent chance of capturing a wide variety of images.

The Assignment:

Before your next photography outing, make a list of the items of gear (camera, lenses, filters, tripod, flash, batteries, memory cards, etc.) that you will need for a successful experience. Figure out not only how you will transport this gear from point A to point B but also how you will carry it around when you are at your location. Thinking about this ahead of time will undoubtedly make you consider what is most important to bring and lessen the chance that something is left at home. If you are going on an extended trip and will be doing what we talk about in the Travel and Landscape Photography class which is carrying two bags on the airplane with you (one that would go in the overhead and one that goes under the seat), list which items should be stored in each bag. Remember that I want all of my must-have equipment in the bag that goes under the seat and then secondary equipment in the roller that goes into the overhead in case the larger bag has to be gate-checked.

Other Resources:

  • If you missed our Travel and Landscape Photography Virtual class, you can email me brian@thephotoclassroom.com and purchase a recording of the class as well as all the printable materials that came along with it
  • Many years ago I wrote a blog post called, “Reflections of a Pro Photographer turned Tourist Dad” where I described the equipment and challenges of traveling with family and yet capturing important images. You can download it by clicking here
  • All of the bags I use for my gear are made by Think Tank Photo. From their rollers to their unique modular system, they make excellent products that I will only trust my camera equipment in. On the Resources page of our website, you can check out helpful documents including our Equipment Recommendation List and Modular Belt System documents describing some of specific Think Tank Photo products we use and why.
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Today's Photo Minute

The second most important question of composition is Where

The Concept:

In Today’s Photo Minute, Brian discusses that almost as important to great compositions as making sure to have a main subject in your photos, is where you choose to position the subject in the frame. Check out the video for more about the rule of thirds and why it can be the single factor that makes your images more dynamic and interesting. The following examples are a simple illustration of moving the subject out of the center of the frame for impact.

Center of the Magnolia flower placed in the center of the composition
Center of the flower now placed in the bottom right, one-third area of the composition
Center of the flower now placed in the bottom left, one-third area of the composition

The Assignment:

Working on composition is so easy to practice but it requires us to slow down and not concentrate on getting the shot as much as how we design the image that we want to create. Find any subject and make sure that you are clear that there is one main focal point in the photo you plan to capture. Take one image with the subject in the center. Then move the camera around so that the same subject is located at one of the four intersection points if you were to imagine the rule of thirds in your frame. Take this photo and then keep moving the subject to the other three intersection points in the frame capturing a photo of each. Display all five images on the computer screen and see which one you think is the most interesting composition. Doing this intentionally a few more times with different subject matters will really start to instill this important compositional principle in your general photography.

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