Category Archives: Techniques

Three simple rules

If you want to become a photographer the best way to improve skills is to take a class. From community colleges to online instruction, there are some great classes you can take. But not everyone wants to be a full-blown photographer. Maybe you just want to take better pictures, whether you use a fancy DSLR […]

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What if?

The question “what if?” is often used to refer to things or events that are hypothetical. It could be as simple as: “what if I turned right instead of left?” Or it could be more philosophical: “what if you could go back in time and keep your parents from ever meeting (then how could you […]

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Sideways thinking

We as human beings have evolved to see things horizontally. Our field of view spans about 200 degrees side to side, though much of that is peripheral vision, while our vertical sight range is around 150 degrees. Yet we insist on taking photos with our cellphones vertically. It’s not a problem with DSLR cameras because, […]

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How to get close without getting close

“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.” Robert Capa In this time of the coronavirus the best thing to avoid exposure is to stay inside and away from other people, but my job doesn’t afford me that luxury. I can’t take a picture over the phone or through a closed car door. […]

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A noun waiting for a verb

Last year my son Christopher took a photography class taught by Randy Allen at Sacramento City College. Allen’s not only a great teacher and photographer but also a good friend that goes way back to the days when we both were SCC photo students ourselves. Christopher told me something that Allen said during class that […]

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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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In defense of the center

In photography there’s very few things that fall under “always do this” or “never do that.” One of the things that seems to have become an absolute over time is “never put your subject at the center of the picture.” The goal of every composition should be to lead the viewer’s eye its subject in […]

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Learning from the ordinary

Jim Richardson is a renowned photographer of incredible talent. His credits include the Topeka (Kansas) Capital-Journal and freelancing for publications such as Time, Sports Illustrated and the New York Times. In the last last half of his career he’s been a photographer with National Geographic for which he’s produced 30 stories. He’s certainly accomplished and established in the […]

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Hold still, please

Using a good, sturdy tripod is the best way to ensure that your pictures are shake-free. However, not everyone likes to carry one around all the time. Depending on the model, they tend to be bulky, heavy and awkward to use. I’m one of those people. If I have a subject that I definitely know […]

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A la mode

I’m always encouraging budding photographers to learn how to use their cameras in manual exposure mode. With the exception of when I use my cellphone or a point-and-shoot camera, I always shoot manually. with my digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera. I know it can be daunting for someone starting out to figure how to […]

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