On Becoming A Great Photographer

Interviews with 3 Professionals

By ccrookston in Articles and Tips on Jul 21, 2014

Like most amateur weekend shutterbugs, I spend a fair amount of time at websites like PentaxForums and flickr doing one of my favorite pastimes: looking at other people’s photographs.  And not surprisingly, what I see is a small percentage of pics that are true, honest, incredible works of art. They inspire me!  

But on the other hand, I also see vast oceans of photographs that are (at the risk of sounding rude) pretty much junk.

Noticing this disparity got me thinking. What is it, I wondered, that’s behind the great photographs and the great photographers?  What is the process that goes into making a truly awe-inspiring photograph? And what is the journey required to reach a level of talent where one can churn them out continually?

Not being a great photographer myself (I consider myself only slightly above average) I decided to satisfy my curiosity by finding and interviewing people who make their full time living as photographers. I wanted more than just technical info on lens, camera, aperture etc.  I wanted personal stories.  I wanted backgrounds.  After some hunting, I found three who were willing to share some of their (not so secret) secrets.

10 Tips for Capturing Memorable Candid Shots

Capturing the moment isn't always easy, but these tips will help!

By ccrookston in Articles and Tips on Jun 28, 2014

Every photographer wants to capture fun, quality and memorable candid photographs.  And doing so is a blend of technique, practice, work, and good old fashioned luck.  Here’s ten tips that may help.


1) Notice light
All good photographers are connoisseurs of light. Candid photography is no different. If a face is half in sunlight and half in shadows, it won't make a good shot. While direct sunlight in the middle of the day can cause funny shadows around noses and eyes, the light at sunrise and sunset (the golden hours) is soft, gentle, and flattering. Skies that are cloudy but not gloomy give an even, well diffused light, free of harsh shadows. And light bouncing off water or walls can help fill in the shadows from direct sunlight.  Pay attention to the overall lighting around you, recognize when you have favorable, beautiful light, then get to work.  

Regaring the photo above: Sunset is always a good time for candid photography.  If you don't want silhouettes then use a reflecor.  In this case, one wasn't availabe.

Exposure Bracketing 101

An introduction to a powerful feature of your DSLR

By ccrookston in Articles and Tips on Jun 15, 2014

Just about every DSLR camera on the market today comes with a handy, powerful and often overlooked feature: Auto-Bracketing.

What is auto-bracketing?  In its simplest terms, auto-bracketing is a camera function that allows you to take multiple, distinct photographs of the same scene (or subject) with one click of the shutter release button, all at different exposures.

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