I was working with a new sports shooter the other day who was getting discouraged. I explained that photography is tough because with every change we make to our setting we effect something else with the picture.

As photographers we can not get discouraged. We need to learn from our mistakes. Use these simple steps each time you go to shoot and you should have a good starting point to get over your aggravations.

1. As soon as you take you camera out of the bag. Turn it on and check your settings. The ISO, good starting points for inside is 800, if you are shooting outside start with 100.

2. This is when you select what setting to use. Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority or Manual? Once you choose one stick with it throughout your shoot. Just don’t put the camera on automatic!

3. Try not to chimp! To CHIMP is to look at the display after each shot. When I shoot I concentrate on the subjects I am shooting. When I get into post I can edit out any issues.  They only thing we can’t correct is blown out shots. There is no detail to correct.

4. After the shoot. Whip your camera down before placing it back into your bag. I also reset all of of my setting back to ISO 100 and Shutter Priority.

Picture Taking

Shooting Sports

This is my time of the year to shine with my camera. As my daughter is in track I get to stand on the side lines with my trusty camera in hand and eyeing up my every shot.

I wanted to give you some simple guide lines to help you shoot better outdoor sporting pictures of your kids.

Let’s begin with my favorite setting. I like to shoot sports in Aperture priority mode. This allow me to worry about what I want to focus on either a full focus shot or a soft focus background. And I allow the camera to decided on my shutter speed to capture the moment.

Next I use continues focus. This allow us to have the camera track our subject and lock focus on a moving subject. This is handy because when someone is throwing a javelin or running full speed the camera will track their focus. I have also used this at soccer games.

The main thing is to be ready. Have you camera up and always be looking for the action. Once I had a hot dog in my hand and missed my kid running right in front of me. Silly I know but it happens. And remember to learn is to shoot, shoot and yes shoot. Always try different settings and different angles.

Track Meet

Your Being Watched

Since I write about technology and a lot of times how it changes our lives I thought I would talk to you about what you most likely already knew.

In this world and at this time we are always being watched. Do I mean big brother with a satellite beaming down and watching us in our homes? No, what we are talking about is everywhere you go and almost every store you walk into you are on cameras. People watching our every move. Sort of, I’ll get to that in a moment.

Once my brother in-law was traveling on the turnpike and as he approached the toll booth he discovered with great horror that he had no cash for the toll. Not knowing what to do and since this is 2014 and the turnpikes still did not have a swipe and go with our credit cards, he drove through and keep going. Three to Four days later he received a ticket in the mail with a picture of his license plate. The camera caught him.

As you walk down the streets of most major cities in the USA you will find cameras hanging everywhere. This makes me feel safer because I know that the police can’t be everywhere. But for the bad guys this is like putting the law on every corner.

My thought of you really being watched all of the time. I used to work in retail theft prevention. We had cameras covering almost every corner of the store and they were all displayed on about forty monitors in the security office. We watched one at a time. So you have a 39/1 percent chance that I would miss what you might be doing.

The next time you walk around you city look above your head and see what you might see looking back at you. And when you walk into stores look around for dooms hanging from the ceilings.


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It’s In The Glass!

I have been making this statement for years. And every time I am asked what camera to buy, I respond with, “It depends on what you want to take pictures of”? Then the most important question would be, “Do you want a camera that you can change lenses on”?

The reason I ask this second question it will really answer the first one. And I always tell everyone that you want a camera that you can change lenses on. If not you are in a sense buying a point and shoot camera.

Most photographers me included will tell you that they have more money invested in the glass “lenses” then they do in their cameras. This is because it really matters what kind of glass you have for your camera. And there is no one lens that will work with every shoot.

The basic set of lenses that I recommend you have are: 50 mm fixed, Long Zoom 70 – 300 mm, and your kit lenses maybe 35 – 115. The last one I carry for landscapes is my 17-35 mm Wide Angle. If you get into shooting people and charging, like weddings or parties then you want even better lenses with Aperture of 2.8 or better. The main thing to remember is that it is in the glass. The better glass you can afford, the better pictures you will begin to make.


When Computers Join Cameras

I really see this movement into the new area of mirror less cameras as the computer is now being shoved into the cameras. With all the talk about how the digital processing is happening in the camera. And now we are removing the mirror and allow the camera to handle even more of the workload for what we are trying to capture.

We have seen for years the computer being placed into cameras. Almost any camera you pick up now has some kind of editing feature built into the camera. I can do a lot of edits even changing color and adding small items with my Nikon D600. I have even found cameras that will create a perfect panoramic just by you moving slowly from left to right and allowing it to grab the shots.

So in the bottom line is mirror less cameras better in any way then what we are using now? I am not sure and until I pick one of these up I really can’t answer that question. There are some key points to be made. One they are lighter then the full DSLR. Two the lenses are built smaller then the DSLR. But do these points make you want to sell what you have and run out and buy a new mirror less camera? I have to say NO for me. But I am just one guy with one way of looking at things. Maybe I am an old dog not wanting and new tricks? But what I am really looking at is that I have a ton of money invested in glass for my D600 so I am not ready to sell all of that at a loss and move onto something new.

If there are any companies out there who read this and build mirror less cameras. Contact me I would love to get one in and run it through it’s full range of motions. Pictured below is the new Sony A7R, selling for about $2,300.00 with no lenses. YIKS!

Sony Mirror Less

Is Point and Shoot Dead?

I know we all have them; no not a point and shoot camera but a cell phone. Today’s cell phones have some great cameras built into them. It makes it hard to even find a reason as to why we would want to carry another camera with us when we already have one in our pocket or purse.

So is the point and shoot dead? I do think they are on a decline in sales but I don’t think they are dead. I for one would rather shoot with a point and shoot then my cell phone. It is nice to have a zoom lens if you need one which really doesn’t happen with the cell phone. Really the truth is I do shoot more with my cell phone and this is because it is alway’s with me. Just go to a concert or any large gatherings and you will see more people shooting pictures with their cell phones then you would ever see them shooting with a point and shoot camera.

I also have to believe that the point and shoot is dying off because of the lower cost DSLR cameras. If you are really concerned about your photography and want to get that best shot you will spend the money to have one of these DSLR cameras. So is the point and shoot camera dead? I don’t think so I think even if you have children and they want to learn about photography, pick them up a point and shoot and get them started today!

Point and Shoot

Truth About Nikon Pricing

I receive hundreds if not thousands of emails and phone calls from everyone in almost every walk of life. The question I keep getting over and over should I buy one of the cheaper Nikon cameras?

This is the simple facts and I just talked about this yesterday. You get what you pay for and this holds true with camera gear.

I have been shooting Nikons for well over a decade now and I understand how they make their cheaper cameras. If you buy one of the low cost models which would be like the D5200, D5300, D3000 or really any of the lower cost line you will pay more money later. As my partner at work always reminds me companies are not in business to loose money. The reason these cameras will cost you more money in the long run is that they all have one thing in common. They all have no internal focus motor. So what does that mean? The focus motor has to be in the lens, which in turn makes the lens cost twice as much as the prosumer camera models.

The D80. D90, D7000, D7100, D600 and D800 all have a focus motor built into the camera body. This allows you to select many brands of lens and for a lot less. We could go on and on about why these camera are cheaper but I really don’t have the time now and you may not want to read all of the facts?

Will these cameras take nice pictures? Of course they will but remember these are just a little yes just a little better then a point and shoot camera. These are cameras that are steeping stones to get to the pro based cameras or at the very least the prosumer grade of cameras. Also if you start with the prosumer camera line the second list; your lenses that you buy will stick with you as you grow into the pro camera line. If you have the cheaper models your lenses can go with the camera and you will have to buy all of your sizes once again. If you have any questions of comments I would like to hear from you. Use my voice mail line in the upper left.


New Canon Worlds Smallest DSLR

If I was in the market for a new camera and I was going to switch from my beloved Nikon D600 I would have to open my eyes and mind to this new small frame digital camera. The new Canon EOS Rebel SL1. The one thing I have noticed is that as we get better and better DSLR cameras we see them becoming smaller and smaller in their over all frame size.

FROM CANON DIRECTLY: The EOS Rebel SL1 features an 18 megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor that performs exceptionally well in both bright and dimly lit shooting environments with an ISO range of 100-12800 (expandable to H: 25600) for photos and ISO-6400 (expandable to H: 12800) for video. Canon’s DIGIC 5 Image Processor technology allows for exceptional image quality and shooting speed up to four frames per second (fps).

The price point I have found for this little gem is $699.00 with the kit lens of 18-55 mm f/3.5 – 5.6. If you don’t have a DSLR and you are thinking about picking one up for the holiday’s this could be the hot grab this season. If Nikon comes out with something before the holidays I am sure I will report to you also.