(Almost) FREE dSLR Exposure Webinar
On Wednesday, April 6 from Noon until 1PM, I’ll conduct a $2.00 webinar for new dSLR users. This is the first (Almost) FREE webinar for members of the Photography Webinars and Photoshoot Meetup Group. The group was established to meet the needs of busy people who don’t have time to attend in-person Meetups but still want to learn about dSLR photography.
The registration page is HERE. The reason we charge $2 is to reduce no-shows. We think $2 will cause people to think whether they really want to attend.
Adobe Acrobat Reader Update Scam, Again
First, just the facts: Adobe NEVER sends e-mails asking people to update Adobe Acrobat Reader.
There are hundreds of millions of PCs and Macs loaded with Adobe Acrobat Reader. It would be totally impractical for Adobe to send an e-mail to every user. How would they even know who has Reader since it’s often preloaded on new computers or loaded when new software is installed.
Notice the Adobe logo is missing on the e-mail (right.) Adobe has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to establish their brand, why would they ever send out any communication without the logo?
I don’t know if this is simply a phishing scam (where you’re the phish) or a virus injection attack. Either way, I don’t care and I never click on such links. Don’t be a dork, don’t fall for this stuff! Even if this were legitimate, what’s the downside to waiting a few days before updating Adobe Acrobat Reader? In the case of a free software like Reader, just go to Adobe’s site and download from the source. Don’t trust any middlemen.
Back to Our Regularly Schedule Program
In looking over the registrants for Gloria Hopkins’ Composition Webinar, I noticed that, so far, they’re all women. Once again, women are the ones who have no problems asking for directions or assistance while men press on muttering, “Just because I don’t know where I am doesn’t mean I’m lost.”
Come on, guys! Composition is the weakest part of almost every photo I see. Just because your “friends” never say anything bad about your photos doesn’t mean your photos are well composed. Just because you learned how to slather on some weird effects using the plug-in du jour doesn’t mean your photos are well composed. In fact, just the fact that your photos need so much help says they’re poorly composed to start. If you already know all this and are ready to register, click this LINK.
You might remember the photo to the left. One of my students, Butch, has tried for months to make a photo that really worked and he got it in this image. It’s not perfect but much, much better than previous efforts. As he looked through the photos from this scene, he noticed that he had captured a 3-shot burst. In the shot immediately after this shot, a tourist walked into the frame. In the frame immediately before this shot, the Sax Man’s intensity was missing. The point is that composition happens both in-camera and in post-processig. We can’t all shoot like Ansel Adams but we can certainly learn how to make simple fixes in post to maximize the impact of our photos.
Monday Morning Tip – 01/11/10
Did anyone notice today is another palindrome? It’s not as rare as 01/02/2010 but 01/11/10 is, technically, a palindrome. What’s that got to do with digital photography? Not a whole lot except that observation is a large part of good photography. Below is a photo I made over Christmas.
We hadn’t made any plans for Christmas so, when we took off in our RV at the last minute, we didn’t have reservations. Readers who own RVs know that usually means boondocking, parking overnight wherever it’s permitted and moving on the next day in search of new adventures. So, Christmas eve found us parked at the San Manuel Indian Casino in Highland, CA. We had boondocked there in the past on our way north and liked the quiet, isolated parking lot with a million-dollar view.
Click to keep reading
Freezing Fred’s Beak
This week’s MMT (posted on Saturday, 1/2) had blurred images of Fred’s beak (shoebill stork) as he chatters (calls). I was curious to know how much of the blur was due to slow shutter speed versus hand-holding so I went back on Sunday. Now, granted, this wasn’t a rigorous scientific test but I was able to confirm that Fred’s beak can be frozen with a faster shutter speed. On the blurred images, I was using 1/1000 second and this time, I used 1/2000 second. I’d like to have taken some at slower speeds but Fred chattered 3 times in 3 hours. The first and third times, he chattered for about 5 seconds so I got a few shots. The second time, he chattered only for 2 seconds which wasn’t long enough for me to get shots. Overall, in 3 hours, I fired off 150+ frames and got 3 usable photos. Another issue is that Fred rapidly blinks his nictitating eyelid while chattering. I managed to capture many images of him with weird “Night of the Living Dead” eyes as in the first photo (below).
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Monday Morning Tip – 12/21/09
I bought a Canon G11 for my wife’s (mumblty-mumble) anniversary of her 29th birthday. I’d always heard the Canon G-series were great cameras but didn’t like the direction they took when they removed RAW from the G7. The G9 and G10 (there was no G8) just seemed to be entries in the megapixel race and I wasn’t convinced a 1/1.7″ sensor could support low noise at 12.1 and 14.7 megapixels.
With the G11, Canon seems to have addressed all the negatives of previous models and put back all the positives they had previously removed. This is the first time in the history of digital cameras that a company has actually reduced the number of megapixels (from 14.7 back to 10) on a new entry. Trust me, you’ll never miss those extra pixels and you really love the clean, noiseless images.
First, let me show you some things I really like about the G11. Canon has struck the perfect balance between usability and compactness with the G11. Click to read the full MMT
Today’s Monday Morning Tip
I have a Wild Animal Park Photoshoot this coming Saturday so I thought I would roll my MMT into the instructions I send the students beforehand. During “hands-on” photoshoots, I concentrate on three areas: Nailing Exposure, Sharp Focus and Compelling Composition. Today’s MMT is about nailing the exposure.
Exposure is a balancing act among three controls: aperture, shutter speed and ISO. These are covered in this previous MMT. After I wrote that MMT, some students didn’t understand the relationship among the three so I wrote this MMT. Then, students wanted step-by-step instructions for adjusting EC (exposure compensation to get the desired exposure. I also wrote this MMT this year as a refresher.
Bottom line, there are 3 variables (controls): aperture, shutter speed and ISO. To help you adjust these, there are 3 major tools: histogram, EC and “blinkies”. Use these tools to determine if your photo needs more or less light and adjust the appropriate control. Click to read more