Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO

Ok students, before we can learn how to play music we have to go through theory.  So here comes the boring part.  Before I start however, I’m going to assume that you have (if you haven’t already) switched your camera from the little portrait, mountain, flower (dummy point-and-shoot) settings on the dial to the big scary “M” in order to control every setting your camera has to offer.  If you’re going to buy an expensive DSLR and shoot in those modes, you may as well buy one of those point-and-shoot $100.00 jobbies from one of the local big box outlets.  You’re wasting money in this case.  Anyway, ready?  Here we go! Continue reading

Once Upon a Time

New to the world of Photography?  So am I.  Let’s learn together shall we?  But first, a little history.

Even as a child I’ve never been one to plan ahead.  Never knew what was coming until it hit me square in the face.  Even now, I find myself in the middle of something I never even saw coming.  Sometimes good, sometimes bad.

Photography was one of those “somethings” that just fell into my lap.  In fact, initially video was my intended discipline.  I wanted desperately to capitalize on the “YouTube” craze and maybe…just maybe…make a few dollars on the side.

So I bought my first DSLR camera.  DSLR or Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras put professional video production results in the hands of the masses provided you spend some time and effort (and of course money) in production value.  Good audio, lighting, content, and talent.

Thus began my journey.  I watched video after video about good video production, how-to’s on lighting, sets, script writing.  Until one day I came across some tutorials on photography and was fascinated.

During my breaks from learning about video I began shooting stills.  Slowly but surely I became more and more engulfed with learning about getting that perfect shot, the right moment, the right lighting.  It amazed me how even in the worst of backgrounds you could create an amazing shot with proper color, composition, depth of field, and lighting.

During a lunch at Pizza Hut with my family, I was able to get this shot:

I shot this with the kit lens on my Canon t3i at a pizza hut buffet after I finished eating.

I shot this with the kit lens on my Canon t3i at a pizza hut buffet after I finished eating.

Ok, it’s not spectucular.  But put it into perspective.  I JUST bought my camera not more than a few weeks ago and I took THIS?  Of course I was speechless.

And then a friend of mine who knew that I was getting into photography said “Why don’t we shoot?”  “Sure, why not?”

I had no equipment other than an old flash from like 1980 that my mom gifted to me, a $10.00 tripod I bought at a local liquidation center, and a set of flash triggers I picked up on the cheap.  Worse yet, the flash didn’t have a “bounce” capability and only fired straight ahead.  So I affixed a piece of tin-foil onto the flash pointing upwards to the ceiling to simulate the effect.  The result?  Well, see for yourself:

I took this with an 18-55mm kit lens, an old flash with no bounce, and two cactus triggers.

When I saw this, I was hooked.  No two ways about it.  I started digging into ways to take better photos, reading equipment reviews, and thus ended my quest for cinema greatness and my journey into the world of photography.

This blog is the result.  I’m not a professional by any stretch.  They are millions of more talented, skilled photographers than I.  But if you’re with me, I’ll be glad to share what I learn, have learned, and what I WILL learn from the mistakes I make along the way.  Thanks for reading and I hope you stick with me because there’s way more to come!