Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Well, well! Can you believe I'm finally posting another photo tip? This week's tip is just a simple one (well, simple to talk about... but can be hard to practice).

Tip: work hard to get your exposures correct IN CAMERA.

Here's how:

Bribe your kid or a neighbor kid to sit in front of the camera long enough to really play around with your exposures. REALLY, you've got to kick your camera out of auto and start to experiment with the other settings. Now, if you have no desire to go pro, you really don't HAVE to learn manual shooting, BUT it makes a huge difference in getting the results you're looking for. YOU become in charge of the results of your photos, instead of the camera determining what they will be. So, if you are shy to shoot in manual, you can start with the "A-mode" or "S-mode"... most likely use the "A-mode" if you are doing portraits. But once you get used to using that mode, then go all the way and start shooting in manual. Really, why did you buy that big expensive camera with all those buttons anyway? Start using them!

I know, it sounds sooo scary, but what have you got to loose? If you don't have a paying client in front of you, or you are not shooting a special family event, then let loose! Find a time to purely practice in manual. Trust me, I have had plenty of overexposed or underexposed photos while trying to learn my manual settings. You have to be okay with getting a ton of crapy photos before you can get the amazing ones.

There you go... have a try at this and come back and tell me how you did. Tell me what problems you encountered because trust me, you will have problems or questions. Those questions will help me know where to go with the next discussion. So don't be shy to ask! I need your feedback!

Post-note: Why is it so important to get great exposures in camera when photoshop can fix so much?

You will find that many newbie photographers may shoot awful pictures but can brighten and enhance them in photoshop. It is true that photoshop can help with a lot of "mistakes", BUT photoshop should be a tool to enhance the beauty that is already in a well exposed photo, instead of "fixing" a photo. This is where you will see a difference between amateur photos and professional ones.

Even if you don't want to go pro... work hard to get great exposures in camera and let photoshop be a fun tool for enhancement. Save yourself the time and energy of "fixing" your photos by learning how to really use your camera. It will make a huge difference.

And now for a little stud muffin:)



  1. ok. so I really want to be able to do this, but honestly really don't even know where to start. Could you briefly go over each button and control and say in which instance you would use it... maybe even give a brief list of photo set ups and what manual settings you would use? Like infant setting, indoor portrait, indoor activity, outdoor play, outdoor photo... i don't know. also should i shoot everything in raw? i've never used any software to correct photos and craig bought lightroom for me... but alas I don't even know where to start.

  2. Laurie! We need to just get together and have a look at your camera. That would be so much easier to physically show you all the buttons. Every camera is so different, so it's hard for me to say where I would start. Call me-K? As for standard settings for certain photo situations, it REALLY depends on the light. Doing an outdoor shoot on a bright sunny day will render completely different settings than an outdoor shoot on a cloudy day. It really is all about learning the numbers (exposures) and how they correspond with each other. When you come to visit, I'll show you where I typically start with my exposure settings. You'll catch on, you just need to give it a lot of trial and error:)

  3. ill have to find a minute, cause that'd be awesome! :>