Posts in Category: Tips and More

Tip: Nikon or Canon

I have seen a number of discussion asking which is a better camera, Nikon or Canon. This question in reality is similar to which computer is better a Mac or PC.

I have answered by saying, “Canon folks will lead you to Canon, Nikon folks to Nikon. Two factors I have discovered, the glass is more important than the camera and the most important is to learn your camera.”

There are a lot of factors involved in choosing a camera. Which is right for you only depends on you.

I’m the odd man out since I shoot Pentax. I also use a Mac as my computer

Tip: Common Photography Abbreviations

Here is a list of some of the common photography abbreviations used by photographers.

SOOC – Straight out of camera
SOOR – Straight out of RAW
OOF – Out of Focus
CC – Constructive Criticism
ACR – Adobe Camera Raw
BBF – Back-button focus
DNG – Adobe RAW format file
CR2 – Canon RAW format file
NEF – Nikon RAW format file
PEF – Pentax RAW Format
DOF – Depth of Field
HDR – High Dynamic Range
LR – Lightroom
PS – Photoshop
PP – Post Processing
PSE – Photoshop Elements
WB – White Balance
SS – Shutter Speed
EXIF – Image data that tells you your camera’s settings

Tip: Know your Camera

You need to “Know you Camera” before adding any gear to it. And for beginners that would also mean before you add any lens other than the Kit lens.

Too often beginner photographers, as well as those with some experience, will pull the camera out of the box, throw on a lens and go out to shot. That’s not the first thing to do.

The first thing is to read the manual. And not just parts of it. Read it from front to back.

Once you read it, then take the camera in hand and go to the parts you want to get to know first. It’s not all you need to do with the camera and manual, but it’s a start. Once you get familiar with the ones that seem important to you, get to know and understand the rest.

The best way to get the photo you want is to know what your camera can do and how to do it.

Once you get to know the ins and outs of your camera, then go out with your kit lens and take pictures. Learn about focusing, depth of field, and how the light reacts with your f-stops, aperture and ISO.

Only then can you do research on what lens you may want to add to your collection.

Tip: Be True to Yourself

Recently I was asked to offer a tip to other photographers. While others were giving technical tips or offering criticism on photos by others, the one thing that came to my mind was to ‘Be True to Yourself”

In my view there are three types of professional photography. I’m sure if you ask other photographers many would disagree and say that there are more. But I have taken it to what I think are the minimum and nearly all professional photographers will fit into one of these and many will fall into all three.

They are: Photojournalist, Commercial and Artistic.

Causal shots of human interest whether or not they are ever publish. This category would also include most amateur photographers and those with cameras in phones

In general commercial photography is when you are hired by someone. Some of those that fall under this heading would be Portraits, Wedding, advertising, etc. In general your photographs are commissioned by others and your goal is to please them.

When your photographs, whether out of the camera, lightly touched up or overly processed, are done with your vision without concern on how others may feel.

Coming back to my saying “Be True to Yourself”, while learning there is nothing wrong with listening to what others may say. But in my view photography in general is an imprecise science. You need to learn and understand the basics. But when taking and working with a photograph, you have to be happy with the outcome. So ‘Be True to Yourself”

This is the first in a weekly series of Photography Tips. While I am far from being an expert photographer, I am feeling that I have learned enough to pass on some of my thoughts and try to turn hard to understand concepts into words that I and others can understand.

Each Wednesday I will post a Photographic Tip I hope will help the beginner better understand photographic principles. See you next week.