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December 02, 2007



Yes I think it is a good idea to put up tips. I am seventeen years old and want to become a photographer but all I have is a point and shoot camera and I know that this camera isn't going to get me farther than a couple of fairs and prizes. I have talent, just not the kind to sell my portraits of a baby or that smile of a three year that you linger to capture. Your tips would help me out ALOT!


This is an awesome idea! I'm sure that many of us will benefit from your expertise. I would love to learn more about lighting- including indoor natural lighting and indoor studio lights. Also, I've noticed that a lot of photographers take great outdoor photos with the sun behind their subjects. I've always been taught to put the sun behind me and in front of the subjects. I'm not sure how to shoot into the sun and still get that nice glow that the pros get.

I can't wait to read your posts. I'm expecting a baby in 2 weeks, so I'll have a great little subject to practice on!

Heather Rivlin

I am glad this idea will be well received, and I look forward to getting started.

These tips will be geared more towards the amateur photographer, and parent, as opposed to professional photographers because we already know that info inside out! I don't want the blog tutorials to be too complicated either or above the heads of anyone just starting to learn about their camera and photography, so I was thinking:

1. composition
2. basic lighting - how to find great light
3. camera functions and what they do
4. how to shoot in the non-assisted modes (i.e. how to shoot OFF the AUTO function)

Melissa, I shoot in manual mode, meaning that I tell my camera which aperture setting and shutter speed setting I would like it to use, given my ISO and the amount of light I have, and what effects I would like to achieve. If you shoot in the PROGRAM or AUTO mode, the camera is doing the thinking for you, and you are exercising no control over how the camera is working.

Karen, your question is actually a little complicated to explain, but I will do my best, but I have a question:

Are your images grainy or out of focus? An image can be crisp AND grainy because they are not the opposite of one another, and refer to different things.

Crisp means that the areas that you focussed on were in focus, and grainy means that the image has noticeable speckling in the image that makes up the image, the way pixels make up the image on our TV.

Sometimes we WANT grain, when we are going for that effect, other times we don't want to see the little "dots" that make up the image, and we want the grains to be tight, so that the eye doesn't perceive them.

If the images are not crisp, it is because it is out of focus, which can happen for a few reasons:

1. You mis-focused
2. You had low light leading to subject movement that the camera could not freeze with a fast enough shutter speed. The camera needed to slow its shutter to let in more light since it had too little to work with.

Grain comes into an image when you use a high ISO. ISO refers to the sensitivity of your film to light, and if you use ISO 400 or more, you will notice the grain more than if you use ISO 100 speed film. You will want to check and see what film speed you were using.

Not only that - you will also want to check and see that your camera was set to match the ISO of the film it was carrying. If not, then your images may have been improperly exposed and the lab had to do something called pulling or pushing of your film to get it exposed properly. When they have to do that, it can cause grain to become more visible than if the image was properly exposed in the first place.

What conditions were you shooting in? i.e. indoors in a dark space, outside in bright sun etc...

Karen Laframboise

What an absolutely fabulous idea!
Can't wait!
P.S. I already have a question for you. I recently shot a roll of black and white film (I know, I know, go digital) and the photos came back grainy instead of crisp - what did I do wrong?


As a photographer wanting to learn all I can, I think it is a wonderful idea! I can't wait to see your entries. Or you can just email me. A question I would like to know, is there a basic mode that you leave your camera in? I have a site you can go and look at some of my photos. The only thing I have done to them is use Picasa and sharpen and "feelin lucky". (Auto color). I can't wait to start getting your posts! Comments please.


Great idea Heather! What a very kind thing to do, I can't wait to see more :-) thanks!

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