It’s been birthday mania around here for the last few days as our little girl broke the threshold and turned 4. I can’t believe it! Crazy stuff. Time literally flies like a crazy fool. 😎 For one of the birthday celebrations, we went on down to the holy city of Moose Jaw and had us a wee shindig. We took in the Western Development Museum as it was a great place to let the kids rip and tare without really damaging anything of bothering anyone. We had the whole place to ourselves which was great as Pa and I went to work with the cameras. I recently watched Scott Kelby’s Crush the Composition video via Kelby Training and it had some cool pointers about photo composition. It had the basic rule of 3rds stuff, leading lines, etc. But it also encouraged people to break the mould and do some creative stuff. Basically, in a nutshell, it’s move in, get close, take parts of the picture instead of the whole image. That’s it. There’s not much else revolutionary to share about it. The video was Mmkay. So so. 😐 The title was cool though and it stuck with me as I went around the WD Museum saying, “Reg, if you need me, I’ll just be over here, crushing the composition.” I don’t know if Dad crushed anything or not. He had the 16-35 2.8 on his Canon, whilst I employed my 50 f/1.4 for way cool depth of field. I loves my primes, but it can get repetitive compositionally because basically you’re locked into one mid-range focal length (read: boring). That’s why I don’t have a 24-70 and probably never will. Mid range focal lengths aren’t happening. They don’t stick out like wide angles or sweet telephoto shots. But they can be cool if you’re willing to crush the composition! CRUSH IT! Crush it good. Crush it like Kelby!
I discovered a way cool trick that helps out tremendously when shooting in Manual mode or even in Aperture mode. Basically it is using auto ISO to help you freeze action at a sports game or if you are shooting handheld in low-light conditions, it prevents the camera from dropping below a set shutter speed (AKA no more blurry images).
If you’re outside with lots of light, this doesn’t matter as much. But like I said, for inside/low light it’s the bomb. In the ISO sensitivity settings menu, you can control the maximum ISO you want, say 1600. And, you can control the minimum shutter speed you want too. So for sports with super fast action, lock this in at 1/1000 or if you’re shooting your 50mm prime on your DX body, lock it in at 1/100. That way you can adjust your aperture to whatever you want and the shutter speed never drops below your minimum amount. The camera automagically calculates the proper ISO to make your exposure work out.
What’s way cool is that the camera won’t just jump full stops of ISO (like 200 to 400) it will do crazy stuff like ISO 273 – a setting you couldn’t choose to do even if you wanted to!
It’s really cool because when you move to different shooting spots or the natural light levels change all around you, you’re still nailing your exposures every time. Slick hey?
Credit for this trick goes to Scott Kelby and his Digital Photography Book 3 p.146.
There is all kinds of information on the internet about photography. There are countless blogs, endless articles and an eternity of tutorials available. For the most part it’s a huge blessing! Free knowledge is a marvellous enterprise. However, there is a lot of crap out there too, and even more jibba jabba. 😉
One excellent resource I have found is Scott Kelby’s online training for Photographers, Graphic Designers, Illustrators, Multimedia Artists and Hobbyists. It simply rocks the set! There are high quality videos from leading photographers on nearly all aspects of photography. And not just technical f/stop this, light meter that stuff. There are really great videos that speak towards creativity and finding your own photo style in addition to more technical items like the finer points of lighting, etc.
Some of the best courses are simply photo walks with different renowned photographers. The Day with Jay Maisel comes to mind. He and Scott Kelby walk around the streets of New York taking pictures. It’s pure awesome, almost like being able to learn along with him in the same room. Other videos I have found helpful have been with Cliff Mautner a photo journalist turned wedding photographer. He has a wealth of experience and insight when it comes to “what makes the shot.” I’ve watched his videos time and time again. Joe McNally’s lighting stuff too. Also, Jim Schmelzer has some awesome videos on lighting for high school kid portraits. They are all excellent resources that I can’t recommend enough. Watching these dudes is like being in a room with giants! 😉 Very inspiring stuff! It truly is “education for creatives!”