Category Archives: Techniques

Hold it!

I always advocate to new camera purchasers to read the owners’ manual. It has all kinds of useful information especially for first time users. But here are some things that aren’t covered in a manual or even some classes. It could be something that the writers of the manuals didn’t think about or perhaps thought [...]

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A tip on tips

I once heard a feature story on the radio about holiday cooking traditions. A woman said that she cut the end off of a roast before cooking it because that’s the way her mother did. Her mother said she did it that way because that’s how her mother did it. Finally she asked her grandmother [...]

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A matter of balance

“Got to learn balance. Balance is key.” Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid One compositional goal that you can strive for in your photographs is that of balance. You may think that achieving balance in your pictures is an easy thing to do. All you have to do is to center your subject in the [...]

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Relative motion

Capturing motion is different depending on where subject is and how it’s moving relative to the camera. If a runner is moving from one side of the frame to the other (left to right or right to left), he/she will look like they’re going faster than if they’re coming towards or away from the camera [...]

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A matter of style

So you’ve mastered the fundamentals of photography. The principles of shutter speed, aperture and ISO are ingrained in your brain. You’ve developed an eye for composition and understand the essentials of light and lighting. You’re comfortable and skilled with using your equipment and got your timing down. Perhaps you want to step up your skills [...]

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Back-button focusing

In action/motion photos sometimes it can be difficult to maintain focus on a moving subject. Things such as other people, cars or animals moving through the frame may throw off the focus. If you’re panning, then stationary objects such as trees or poles may also cause the lens to “hunt and peck.” Sure, if you’re [...]

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Readers Photo Challenge: Putting things in motion

  The latest Readers Photo Challenge assignment is: Motion. I have a friend who’s always complaining that he can’t get a good action shot of his daughter playing on her high school volleyball and basketball teams. Conveying movement in a photo can be problematic for those not practiced in shooting it. There are two main [...]

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Street view

Street photography is a branch of photography that has similar roots to documentary photography, photojournalism and even travel photography. But whereas photojournalism seeks to capture photos with news value, documentary records history, and travel photography transports the viewer to other places, the aim of street photography is to capture the mundane and elevate it to [...]

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The art of cropping

“Fill the frame” and “get in close” is a mantra for photographers. Another saying is: “If your pictures aren’t good enough, then you’re not getting close enough.” Most photographers will tell you that you should crop “in camera.” That is to say you should compose your pictures, whether by zooming in with your lens or [...]

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Learn by doing

Most people when using their DSLR cameras never venture further than using the “program” mode of the exposure systems. In “program” the camera sets both the shutter speed and aperture. Some more adventuresome picture takers may use “shutter priority” (you set the shutter speed/the camera sets the aperture) or “aperture priority” (vice versa). Very few [...]

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    Clifford Oto

    Clifford Oto, an award-winning photographer, has been with The Record since 1984. Through the changes from black and white to digital photography, he’s kept his focus on covering the events, people and life of San Joaquin county. This blog deals ... Read Full
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