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Intermediate Principles

Composition: The Basics

An essential part of composition is having depth in your images. Cameras take two-dimensional images, but our eyes and brains work together to show us life in three dimensions. Your pictures will look more appealing to the eye if you include foreground, mid-ground and background elements. This can be done by composing the shot, providing truly separate elements, the depth of field you use, and how the different parts of the image are focused.

Washington monument at night, with cherry blossoms in the foreground

What Is Focus Stacking?

Spider on a web, focus stacked image available for purchase at https://www.WaltPayne.Photography What is focus stacking? Focus stacking is a process that allows a photographer to achieve added sharpness/depth of field in a photograph by taking multiple images and combining… Read More »What Is Focus Stacking?

What Is Exposure Bracketing?

Exposure bracketing is when you take a series of pictures that have slightly different aperture settings. One reason to do this is if you are not certain what the best exposure is going to be. Another might be if you want to create a HDR photograph. Most cameras have a way to do this automatically, or you can do it using exposure compensation, or by manually adjusting the exposure between photos.

What Is ISO?

ISO represents the sensitivity of your camera sensor to light. ISO can vary from 100 to as high as 25,000 or more on some digital SLRs and mirrorless cameras. The bigger the number, the more light sensed.

Sunrise on the water - sailboat silhouetted in the glow

Taking Better Sunrise Pictures

There are several factors involved in getting better than average sunrise and sunset pics. Many of these will be obvious to any experienced photographers out there. But even the pros have their areas of specialization, and if this isn’t yours, then maybe I can give you a few pointers. You can bet that I read other people’s blogs and articles to learn as much as I can.

Sunrise at the Concord Point Lighthouse

HDR Photography Basics

High Dynamic Range photography is ideal for use in situations where you have a broad range of lighting conditions, and a static or mostly static scene. An example would be an indoor shot where you want to also show the outside scenery through a window. Or maybe a landscape photograph taken in the golden hour where you want the shadows to be less prominent. It has many uses, and is also used artistically to create very colorful pictures that, although not realistic looking, are beautiful nonetheless.

HDR image of the Concord Point Lighthouse on a stormy morning

What is HDR Photography?

The simple answer is that HDR is an acronym for high dynamic range. The eye can see a much broader range of light and shadows than the current technology for digital cameras allows in a single, standard photograph.

Many newer digital cameras can process an HDR photograph using multiple exposures and merging them together. There are also a number of software options available for merging images taken across a range of exposure settings.