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Apertures on a Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 lens
Aperture stops on my Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 lens.

As a beginner in photography, aperture is one of the first things you will learn. Photography is all about exposing your camera’s digital sensor (or film if you still use it) to the right amount of light. An aperture is simply a hole or opening through which light travels. You can adjust the aperture on your lens, to either let in more light with a large aperture (low f/number) or less light with a small aperture (high f/number). Continue reading ›

All the dials, buttons and displays on digital cameras – point and shoots, mirrorless and DSLRs – can be overwhelming, especially for someone just starting out with photography. In this post, you will learn about the programmed auto (P), shutter-priority (S or TV), aperture-priority (A on Nikon or Av on Canon) and manual (M) camera exposure modes, and when to use each of them. These modes offer varying degrees of control over both shutter speed and aperture, giving you flexibility for different types of photo situations.

Camera exposure mode dial on a Nikon D610.
The camera exposure mode dial on my Nikon D610 DSLR.
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Since the 4th of July is fast approaching, now is the perfect time to share some useful tips, tricks and camera/lens settings that will help you take better pictures of fireworks. Getting the proper exposure at night poses challenges as it is, and when you add moving subjects, it can make it even more complex. Use this article as a guide, and you will be taking stunning shots of fireworks in no time.

Green, blue & gold fireworks explode in the night sky.
Image Details: Camera: Nikon D90; Lens: Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 Micro; Tripod: Sunpak Pro 423PX; Remote Shutter Release: Yongnuo MC-36b; ISO: 100; Aperture: f/11; Mode: Manual; Shutter Speed: 3.7 seconds
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If you take pictures for a living or even just regularly as a hobby, chances are that you have been in a photography rut at some point. Are there times when you don’t feel inspired to create new images, and would rather do anything other than take photographs? If so, then you have experienced the dreaded “photography rut.” In this post, you will learn 7 techniques to help you break out of your funk and get back to doing what you love – creating new and exciting imagery.

Boat in the ocean near Atlantic City, New Jersey
Lone boat in the ocean, as seen from the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey. I took this shot while on a day trip with my Mom last spring. It felt good to get out of town for a day and be exposed to new surroundings. I strolled along the boardwalk and took quite a few pictures.
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2017 Maserati Quattroporte at the 2016 NY Int'l Auto Show in NYC
2017 Maserati Quattroporte

This past Friday, I went to the 2016 New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center with a couple friends. It was the first time I’d ever been to the event, and I had a great time. It’s kind of overwhelming seeing so many cars (and people) in one place. I brought my camera and took a few hundred photos, the best of which are posted below ordered alphabetically by manufacturer. I have done my best to name the models correctly, but gladly leave a comment if you have any corrections or additional details. Also, feel free to share or publish the images wherever you like, but please make sure to include a link back to my website.
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Over-processed HDR is awful
Composite HDR of three bracketed long exposures, which were then merged and put through a funky filter in Photomatix Pro. Photos taken a few years ago in SoHo, New York City.

With digital photography, there are so many ways one can alter his/her images in post-processing using Lightroom, Photoshop or any number of image editing programs or applications. I understand that everyone has a unique shooting and processing style, but many people simply overdo the latter part. When someone relies too heavily on the post-processing aspect, and doesn’t put enough thought or care into the image while they are shooting, it creates some pretty undesirable results. To me, a good image should be able to stand on its own, and not need to be over-processed in order to stand out or be considered “a keeper.” With my photos, I try to capture the perfect shot in-camera, and only slightly alter them in post-processing (e.g. add a little contrast, minor color correction or occasional conversion to black and white or sepia tone).

It is hard to define “over-processed,” but I will try. To me, it simply means 1 (or more) of the following:

a) the original has poor composition, is incorrectly exposed or just not a good picture. When someone takes a crappy photo and thinks that pumping up the colors, contrast and whatever else will “save the photo,” whatever that means. In doing this, he/she creates an over-processed mess. For a few examples, check out this shitty HDR on reddit (some shots are okay, but others are beyond awful). 🙁 Continue reading ›

Instagram is a great social media platform for photographers, artists and creative types to share their work and interact with like-minded individuals and communities. Many photographers have embraced it and are growing their following while reaching a large audience of potential fans and clients. I have been using it for nearly 4 months now, and must say I thoroughly enjoy sharing my images and discovering other artists and their work.

Posting non-square images on Instagram
By adding space to the top and bottom or sides of my photos, I create square uncropped images for my Instagram feed.

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Instagram is a great tool that photographers – and other creative types – can use to gain exposure. There are a number of methods to garner a relatively large following of people who genuinely appreciate your work. Using relevant #hashtags on Instagram is crucial as it allows people to easily find your artwork. In this post, I will list 10 awesome photography-related #hashtags you can use to get featured on popular curated Instagram profiles. If you manage to get featured by one or more of the following photo communities on Instagram, it can help boost your exposure and following on Instagram. Remember, only submit your very best work. The Instagram profiles below are in order of follower count, from low to high. Continue reading ›