Monday, July 31, 2006


Hi all! I'm super busy this week and won't be able to get a lesson up, and next week I will be in Dallas. So shoot a lot thenext two weeks and I'll be back Mid Aug!


Monday, July 24, 2006

Focal Length

The focal length of a lens is the distance from a point within the lens to the film plane when the lens is focused on infinity. Most of us us this just to say the length at what our lens "sees" its slightly incorrect...but you know what it works, and if it ain't broke dont fix it! The Focal Length of your lens effects the things it sees as well, one of them being your depth of field. The longer your lens the more shallow DOF you will get. cool trick, eh? Here are two pictures i took really quickly (yes i know one is really badly focused...but i said i did it quickly! lol)
See how the DOF is a littl more shallow on the one i took at 220mm?

HOMEWORK: play with your lenses. if you have one and it's a zoom lens shoot the same thing from the same play at diffent focal lengths. if you have more than one lens, do the same with them all. If you have a point and shoot i think you can do this with your zoom.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Q&A session

We have 1 question this week! one! Hope you guyes have a great weekend and happy shooting! I will be shooting for my portfolio.

Q: Why would one want a fixed lens? I have a 75-300 lens. I also have a kit lens, 18-55 ? How does a fixed lens compare to one of these? Thanks!

A: you know i wondered about that too until I got my 50mm 1.8 lens. I so understand now! Fixed lenses tend to have a lower f/stop. so they are faster lenses and you can get a larger aperture. Also I have founf putting my 50mm lens on my camera forces me to be creative with my shots...i have to move, or take a wider angle shotthat i would if I could zoom. Do I recoment a fixed lens.... you betcha!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Mary Ellen Mark

We all know Ansel Adams work, we know Anne Geddes...but how many of us know the other Masters and big names in the industry? In school one teacher was known for giving a test on the 1st day of class matching the names of the Masters and either thier work or what they are known for. YIKES! The thinking is you can't learn the art until you know the poeple who have really Mastered it.

Mary Ellen Marks is documentry photographer, but is usally called a "social documentarist". She has a B.F.A in painting and Art History and a M.A in photojournalisim both from the University of Pennislvaniya. ( Many photographers also love and dabble in another fine art (or craft such as scrapbooking?) )

Mark most frequently uses a wide-angles lense and moves in close the be more involved in the shot. She says she likes the sense of place that a 28mm lens provides. For her though it's about here subjects not her equiptment.

To see her work: *some of her work includes people who are not fully dressed*
Mary Ellen Mark
Her books at Amazon

HOMEWORK: look at Mark's work and "fell it" what kind of feelings dows it provoke? Is there something about her work you like? the color? the tones? the emotion? the lighting? Your home work is to imitate...because imitation if the best form of flattery. Create your own "Mary Ellen Mark" work this week by capturing what you like about her in some of your work. No i dont want an exact copy! I dont need you to hijack a circus! Have fun and "document" your life!

Monday, July 10, 2006

special addition Q&A

I've gotten some posts with questiosn that i cant replay to so i am doing a special edition Q&A:

Q: How do I set my d-reb XL focal length to infinity?
A: This isn't found on the camera...its on the lens. not all lenses have an infinity marker.

Q:I'm wondering how we should go about with our questions? Email them or leave them on the comment sections?
A: feel free t post them if you can wait for a week for an answer i usually do a Q&A post every week. if you need an answer with in 24-48 hours email me

Q: Does the camera not add any focal length
A: Well yes and no. technically no. But 98% of the digital SLRs out there are not full frame sensors so certian camera add a maginication to your focal length. it ranges depending on the camera but it will range betweem 1.5-2.0 maginification.

Vocab lesson #1 (Wk 6) (A-D)

(for all)

Some important words to know

Aperture:the size of the lens opening through which light passes

Bulb: A shutter setting marked B at which the shutter remains open as long as long as the shutter release is held. (works great for creative photos and fireworks)

Catchlight: A reflection of a light source in a subjects eye.

Color Management: A means of coordinating the color output of various devices so the colors you see in a digital image on your monitor will be the ones you see in print.

Contrast: The difference in darkness or density between one tone and another.

Contrasty: Describes a scene, negative or print with very great differences in brightness between light and dark. opposite of flat

Depth of Field: The area between the nearest and farthest points from the camera that are accepably sharp in an image.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Q&A week 5

I'm so glad to hear so many of you got great firework pictures!!! Me? We didnt threated to pour and there is only on way off the island so we passed this year.

we have one question this week:

Q: What is Focal Length?

A: the text book answer (from the text book we used in school) it is defined as the distance from the lens to the focal plane when the lens focused on infinity, the greater the magnification of the image. Even as i typed this all I could hear was Charlie Brown's parents ...wha wha wha wha...
It's basically what your lens sees. for my 50mm fixed lens (omg i love this baby) the focal length is 50mm.

I put a poll up on 2peas and got a much large response than i thought (didnt realize howmany people were y'all) next week we are going to do a vocab lesson!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


i feel rude doing this but talking it over witha few friends I decided maybe it wasn't as rude as I thought. I've added a donation button to the side bar. Please don't feel you HAVE to donate. I am offering this service for free, but if you would like to...fell free. I really hope I am helping you understand photography. I am teaching you what I learned in school ($1100 per class...ouch!) because I enjoy photography and hope to share the love!

Monday, July 03, 2006

a day walking in my shoes

(for all cameras)

don't worry I will not make you all come here and walk around in my shoes, in the hot FL sun. (unless you want to and then we can hit the beach and you cna wear a pair of my flip flops) . but this is another lesson is seeing. We can all see the object we want to shoot but can we see it at other angles, and heights.

How does you kids see the world? you dog? your shoes? the tree in your front yard.

HOMEWORK: pick one focal length (I would choose between 17-50mm) take shots through out the week not snading up...see how your kid sees the world through thier eyes at thier height. what if you your dogs height? how would you see things if you were your shoes? NO STANDING UP on this assignment!

my example: