Category Archives: lighting

Twinkle, twinkle little Christmas lights

The beginning of December is the start of the holiday season and already many people have put up their Christmas lights. Some displays are pretty spectacular and you may want to take some photos of them. Here are a few tips to get the best pictures you can. Avoid using a flash. Either you will […]

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Silhouettes in profile

One of my favorite things to shoot or just to look at is a well done silhouette. A Nicely done one can be a strong compositional element and can make your subject really stand out. Some may think that shooting a silhouette is a tricky thing but it’s actually a relatively easy thing to do. […]

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Learning light

I recently visited my old alma mater Sacramento City Photo department. About a year ago they completed a new facility that’s completely different from what I knew when I took photo classes decades ago. Instructor Paul Estabrook (who himself is also a graduate of the program) gave me the 5-cent tour. There was a large […]

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Lighting design

There was a peculiarity to light shining on the exterior of the Lincoln Memorial. Overall it’s well lit except at the center where there is a falloff in illumination. There seems to be lights on either side of the monument to light up the ends but they don’t overlap much at the center leaving a […]

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A bokeh primer

Apple recently released it new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus smartphones. One of the features of the 7 Plus that the company touts is its ability to create bokeh, an effect that was previously only done by digital single lens reflex cameras (DSLR). The bokeh effect is known by most experienced photographers, but probably not […]

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Readers Photo Challenge: Filling the void

The current Readers Photo Challenge assignment, “fill-flash,” may proved too challenging for some. Only 2 people sent in all of 3 qualified photos. I can understand trying a new technique can be intimidating but this one is an important one to learn. I use it all the time. In the two weeks between the issuance […]

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Readers Photo Challenge assignment: Having your fill

The next Readers Photo Challenge assignment entails a technique that may seem complicated but actually can be accessible to even the novice photographer. Fill-flash (or flash fill as it is sometimes called) is method used by using the flash during the day, usually on portraits. It may sound a bit strange to use a flash […]

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Waste not, want not II

A few weeks ago I covered the announcement of an at-risk youth school run by the National Guard, called the Youth ChalleNGe program. The Guard plans to convert vacant buildings at the Sharp Army Depot in Lathrop. California Army National Guard Brigadier Gen. James Garbielli led a small group of dignitaries and media on a […]

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Flash in the hand

One of the last disciplines that photographers learn to master is how to use a flash properly. Many don’t like how the effects of a flash looks in their photos and quickly give it up for natural lighting. Much of it has to do with how a flash is mounted on the camera. Accessory flashes, […]

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Always watch your backgrounds

You can never talk too much about how important backgrounds are to a photo. A good one can enhance a picture’s readability. A bad one can obscure your subject and distract from the image’s overall appeal. Here are two examples of how a slight and simple change in the background can make a big difference. […]

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