The Digital Photo Guy

Monday Morning Tip – 08/10/09

by on Aug.10, 2009, under Monday Morning Tips, Schedule, Workshops

Palomar College – Fall Schedule

Like the rest of the world, Palomar College is feeling the effects of the economy. This fall, they are offering the Digital SLR for New dSLR Owners webinar at a reduced price of just US$69 (Sep 15 & 17) (Nov 3 & 5). This is a live class that takes place on your PC/Mac. All you need is high-speed Internet. You can even include your whole family for the cost of one registration (limited to 1 camera model per registration).

Students DO NOT need to be in San Diego to attend webinars. I have taught students from around the world using webcast. The only requirement is that you have high-speed Internet and understand English.

The next Photoshop Elements Step-by-Step for Digital Photographers class starts Sep 9 and runs through Oct 14. It is 1 hour per week for 6 weeks. In that time, you will learn to use the most useful tools and techniques to enhance and edit your digital photos. Click here for more details and special Economic Stimulus pricing.

The next Wild Animal Park “Hands On” Photoshoot is Sep 19 from 9AM to 1PM. In this very popular workshop, you put into practice the basics you learned in the Digital SLR for New dSLR Owners webinar. In this workshop, I guide you along every step of the way and show you how to apply all the controls and adjustments on your dSLR. Click here for more details and special Economic Stimulus pricing.

Monday Morning Tip

Today’s MMT is a companion to the Developing Good dSLR Habits that I published several weeks ago. I wrote this because many people just don’t seem to “get it” when it comes to the process of creating a photograph. While I’m glad that over 500 people have downloaded the dSLR Cheat Sheet, it’s not a step-by-step recipe. A large dollop of intelligent thought needs to be added to the Cheat Sheet to make it work.

Back in the ’60s, low cost 35mm cameras were everywhere. The death of photography was predicted by many well known and highly respected writers. Well, we managed to survive that onslaught but we’re now in the midst of a second, even more pernicious technological advance, the digital SLR. Anyone with $500 can now call themselves a photographer. I see people who can barely spell “dSLR” proclaiming themselves ready for NatGeo.

There’s nothing wrong with ambition but it has to be backed up with a modicum of talent and skills. The very first skill is knowing how to control your camera. Have you ever known a skilled contractor who didn’t know how to use his/her tools? How about a skilled cook who can’t control the oven? Photography is no different. You must know how to control your camera before anything else. A close second is learning how to use your PC/Mac including PS/PSE.

Use today’s MMT as a guideline to making better photos, use it in conjuction with the dSLR Cheat Sheet. Photography is a thinking person’s pastime, if you simply want to press a button and record an event, stick with a P&S camera. (End of Rant! LOL)

Quick Tip

Many of you are going to roll your eyes and mutter, “What dummy doesn’t know this!” but, trust me, there are many new dSLR owners (my target audience) who don’t know the viewfinder (VF) can be focused with the diopter adjustment. The diopter adjustment is usually a tiny dial or lever next to the VF.

Canon Diopter Adjustment

Canon Diopter Adjustment

Simply turn the dial while peering through the VF to adjust it to your eyesight. Most dSLRs have a wide range of diopter adjustment to accommodate most people but, if you’re blind as a bat, you can also find extra adjustment lenses for most dSLRs. 

San Diego Zoo Photoshoot

On Sunday, August 16, I’m going back to the San Diego Zoo to photograph things that I noticed this past week. I hadn’t been to the zoo in several years and saw many new exhibits that I’d like to photograph now that I have an idea of the conditions. This WILL NOT be a walk through the zoo. I plan to spend 2-3 hours making specific images that I have in mind.

If you’d like to join me, send me an e-mail or leave a comment here. This is not a class but simply an opportunity to practice photography at the zoo.

I Need Victims Models

If you are interested in modeling for my Portrait portfolio, please contact me. I am looking for male and female models of all shapes, sizes, color and age except infants (less than 5 years old). You will receive your choice of 1 each 13×19 poster or a package of 1 each 8×10 plus 2 each 5×7 plus 4 each 4×6 prints. You will be needed for about 2 hours.

I also need some old photos in need of restoration for a new class I’m developing on Photoshop/PSE Restoration techniques.

For both models and restoration, you will need to sign a model release. Thanks.


For the past 5 years, I’ve resisted the urge to advertise on my site because I didn’t want readers to think my recommendations were influenced by advertisers.

It’s come to the point where this site needs to pay for itself. In the near future, you will probably start seeing Google adsense words on this site. I know it’s an annoyance to many people but there’s simply no getting around it. Please click on the ads (you don’t have to buy anything) to help me keep this site running. To avoid advertisments, sign up for a class or two.

A special thanks to the hundreds of people who have taken classes with me in the past.

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