Category Archives: Tips

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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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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The great outdoor (portrait)

Another assignment I remember from my old photo-student days was the outdoor portrait and it, like the front, side and back lighting assignment, was a lesson in light. You would think that shooting outside would be pretty easy. There is plenty of light, so worrying about having a fast enough shutter speed to eliminate camera [...]

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No fear

To be a good photographer you have to be fearless. A little bit of fear can be a good thing. It can keep us from missing a great shot by keeping us on our toes, keep our eyes looking for an great or unusual angle from which to take our photo. But there is another [...]

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Photographing the perfect silhouette

I particularly like to shoot silhouettes. In truth, I probably shoot them too often, but I can’t get enough of them. They provide a strong, graphic image. Whether in black and white or in color, they tend to be compositionally bold with strong visual impact. Photographing a silhouette isn’t hard, as long as you follow [...]

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Expose yourself

It’s easy to blame your equipment when it takes an improper exposure. But a camera is an unthinking, unfeeling machine. It doesn’t know if a scene is too dark or too light, nor does it care. It takes in information about what’s coming through the lens and then adjusts the camera’s settings to set algorithms. [...]

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The basic basics

In photography as you advance in skill level there are many things to consider in improving your photos: timing, equipment, lighting and composition among a myriad of others. But there are three basic things that every picture-taker needs to know to come away with better photographs. Notice I said “picture-taker” and not photographer. While every [...]

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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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