Showing category "improving your photography" (Show all posts)

There are news stories and then there are news stories...

Posted by Mike Voss on Saturday, February 11, 2017, In : improving your photography 
Some stories are fun to shoot because they're important to people, and some stories are fun to shoot because they're just fun - like spending a day at a brewery. The challenge in this instance is to make effective photographs with a camera in one hand and a beer in the other. I get paid to do this stuff!
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Hello out there...

Posted by Mike Voss on Saturday, May 28, 2016, In : improving your photography 
It seems that if you're not staring at, talking on, or taking a selfie with your phone you don't exist.
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Why do this?

Posted by Mike Voss on Saturday, February 27, 2016, In : improving your photography 

That's me atop a ladder on a roof in the rain on a very cold and windy day. You might wonder why I would do this, and the truth is I kind of wonder myself.

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ISO is the third element of exposure

Posted by Mike Voss on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, In : improving your photography 
A long time ago I talked about three things involved in manual exposure. They are your aperture, shutter
speed and ISO, which stands for International Organization for Standardization. Trust me, I am not making this up.
Once upon a time film was sold (actually it still is) in varying speeds. For example you could buy 100, 200
or 400 speed film.
In digital photography ISO is the measurement of the sensitivity of the image sensor in your
camera instead of the film. The higher the ISO the less li...
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Shutter speed with your aperture

Posted by Mike Voss on Friday, April 26, 2013, In : improving your photography 
Like your aperture, the shutter speed you set on your camera also controls the amount of light
reaching your digital media. Yes, a "faster shutter speed" will freeze the action in your photo, but
it will also allow less light to reach the digital media.
To continue with the metaphor of the room and the window, if you leave the curtains open for an hour you allow more light (cumulatively) into the room than if you leave them open for half an hour. That’s how your camera’s
shutter speed works ...

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What is my aperture?

Posted by Mike Voss on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, In : improving your photography 
Aperture refers to the opening, which is actually located in your lens,
that allows light to enter your camera. To understand how it works,
imagine that you are in a darkened room with a window covered by
curtains. If you open the curtains, light enters the room. The wider you
open the curtains the more light enters the room. If you close the curtains
the room becomes dark again. You are controlling the amount of light entering
the room the same way you adjust your aperture to control the light ...
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Explain how to set my manual exposure!

Posted by Mike Voss on Friday, March 8, 2013, In : improving your photography 
Books have been written on the subject. Big books. Heavy books with lots of pages. Some of the pages have 
great photos as illustrations. I'll try a very basic explanation over the next few, or maybe many entries. As always comments and suggestions are always welcome. feel free to contribute.
There are three elements to photographic exposure. They are often referred to as a triangle, and the the three points of
the triangle are aperture, shutter speed and ISO. These three elements are interconn...
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Help! Where to start...

Posted by Mike Voss on Wednesday, January 23, 2013, In : improving your photography 
I was killing time on an assignment when I was approached by a police officer
who said her husband had given her an "expensive camera" as a gift for
Christmas so she could photograph their children and she said she didn't
know where to start.
I told her there were plenty of classes she could look into and I suggested she try
calling the community college in her area to inquire about non-credit classes,
but in the meantime I suggested two things even though I have never seen her
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Oh Please! Not the mayor again!

Posted by Mike Voss on Wednesday, August 29, 2012, In : improving your photography 

I was talking to a college student studying photojournalism the other day and she was
complaining about a summer internship at a newspaper.


She was surprised that photojournalists aren’t racing from one dramatic news story
to the next at break neck speed and illustrating story after story of great significance.


The reality is the mayor’s press conference, which will start late followed by a
photo feature on a one armed beer can collector. It’s quite often, “Take these
lemons a...

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Ask permission before taking a photo. You bet.

Posted by Mike Voss on Wednesday, May 23, 2012, In : improving your photography 

Ask permission before taking someone’s photo.


I know a photographer who took a photo of a woman and her daughter
walking under an umbrella in the rain. I’m told the images were nicely backlit.
Because it was raining he shot through an open window in his car and when
mom saw him he introduced himself and explained what he was doing.
 She went ballistic. She yelled and screamed and called the police.


Legally the mom had no basis to be upset, because she and her daughter
were in a pub...

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Here's more riveting info about ISO speeds

Posted by Mike Voss on Wednesday, February 8, 2012, In : improving your photography 

You need to start with a very fast ISO speed to stop sports
action in dark gymnasiums.
There is a quality difference connected to ISO speed, and there
are some creative factors to be considered, but generally the slower
the ISO speed the smoother the tonal quality of the finished photo.
With digital media the higher ISO speeds translate to more ‘’noise’’.
It’s usually advantageous to use the slowest ISO speed possible to
make a photograph.Outdoors in bright sunlight an ISO of 100 or 2...

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What is ISO speed and why should you care?

Posted by Mike Voss on Wednesday, February 8, 2012, In : improving your photography 

If you want to take your photography to the next level you’ll need to learn
what some of your camera’s manual settings mean, and how to make them
work for you. ISO is a good place to start.

ISO stands for International Standardization Organization and their film
speed ratings are used to indicate the amount of light necessary for a proper
photo exposure. A film, or digital media, rated at ISO 200 requires half as much
light as digital media rated at 100.

This means you can take a...

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Who thinks having the date on the front of your photos is a good idea?

Posted by Mike Voss on Wednesday, December 14, 2011, In : improving your photography 

Based on the number of otherwise good photos I see with the date in
bright orange numerals in the lower right hand corner I would guess lots
of people do. This may be the single dumbest innovation of  digital photography.


Turn it off. Do it for me. It makes me crazy. Write the date on the
backs of your prints with a cheap ball point pen if you need to, but
please turn it off before it’s too late.


A few years ago a friend went on, the trip of a lifetime to
‘’the old country’’...

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Let the kids be kids and take your time

Posted by Mike Voss on Wednesday, November 23, 2011, In : improving your photography 

As we plunge headlong into another holiday season
you may want to photograph your kids. Maybe you want
to use your new camera or your new phone and the kids
happen to be handy. Maybe you want to photograph them to
preserve the wonderful memories of the season. Maybe you want
to photograph them because they are the most beautiful children
ever to inhabit our universe, and you love them more than life itself.


Whatever your rationale there are two things most parents should do
when photograp...

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Remembering a friend with my camera

Posted by Mike voss on Saturday, October 15, 2011, In : improving your photography 
 I was recently reminded of the power of the snapshot.
I lost a good friend not long ago. He had been sick and I had watched him suffer.
Shortly after he died, his daughter asked if I could share some photos of him
with his family for a memorial service.

I started searching for digital files and prints, looking at photos,
and reliving some good times with a good friend. We spent a lot of time together
and I always had a camera with me. The photos are not great art, but they are great.
They m...

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To make better photos carry a camera

Posted by Mike voss on Saturday, October 8, 2011, In : improving your photography 

This photo was made along the lakefront in Chicago during
a winter family outing. I was driving on Lakeshore Drive
in Chicago when this caught my eye. My wife saw it at the
same time and knew we would be stopping to photograph it.
She knows we will always be stopping.

We pulled into a parking lot and I got as close as I
could before getting out of the car. It was brutally cold with a
stiff wind, and the ground was covered with a thick coating
of Lake Michigan ice which made walking diffic...

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The number one way hands down best way to improve your photography

Posted by Mike voss on Tuesday, September 27, 2011, In : improving your photography 
People ask me how they can take better photos. The answer is simple – get closer.  
To quote photojournalist Robert Capa , “If your pictures aren't good enough, then you're not close enough.” 
Capa knew something about photography. He was once called the Greatest War Photographer in the world. He covered World War II in Europe and  went ashore in France with the Allied troops during the D-Day Invasion. He knew something about getting closer too because he was killed when he stepped...

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