Learning to Use Your Digital Camera

Many beginners rely on the fully automated features of their camera. These automated features often don’t provide satisfactory or the desired results.  By learning how to select the right camera control settings, beginning photographers can achieve better photographs, but it takes time to master the controls.  Beginning with the right instruction helps. Student comments: “Tom’s approach is to deep dive into the basics of photography … Continue reading Learning to Use Your Digital Camera

Basic Camera Controls You Should Know – Update

  This is an update of a blog I posted in November 2016.  As I continue to teach the Introduction to Digital Photography, students questions got me to realize that I hadn’t included a few camera settings that are useful to know. Shooting Modes Automatic (Auto) – Camera sets speed and aperture to what it determines to be the optimum exposure for the selected ISO. Program … Continue reading Basic Camera Controls You Should Know – Update

Build-in Flash

There are two camera adjustments that many beginners don’t know about:  Exposure Compensation  and Flash Compensation . I’ve covered the use of Exposure Compensation in a previous blog.  Here I’ll discuss the use of Exposure Compensation and Flash Compensation, when using your built-in flash to get photos correctly exposed. The photos used in this blog were taken by two of my private lesson students, Michele and Nicole.  … Continue reading Build-in Flash


In the “Introduction to Digital Photography” lessons I teach there is an emphasis on learning the basic camera controls all photographers need to know, along with how the controls effect/influence the photograph taken.  The end results, hopefully with practice, are that the student will no longer rely on the camera’s Auto Mode and will be able to better control the outcome of the photographs taken. In … Continue reading Composition

Sharper Photos

Recently, over beers with some photographer friends, we got into a discussion of the proper use of a tripod and image stabilization. This got me thinking about how to get the sharpest photographs under different circumstances. Today’s digital cameras come with image stabilization. It’s a great feature when used properly. For DSLR cameras there are basically  two forms of stabilization: lens stabilization as used by … Continue reading Sharper Photos

Getting the Exposure Right in the Camera

I apologize for not keeping up with my blog over the past three months. We have been very busy with road trips to Chicago and Pennsylvania; along taking a museum class at the local college and raking leaves –  it was a banner year for leaves. My New Year’s Resolution is to be more diligent and post at least one blog per month. There are … Continue reading Getting the Exposure Right in the Camera

Eclipse Photography

On August 21st, a total eclipse will be passing over the entire United States.  This hasn’t happened for almost 100 years.  The total eclipse will pass over many states: Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky Tennessee, Georgia, North and South Carolina.  It will take several hours to pass across the U.S. with it only being visible  as a total eclipse for as short as … Continue reading Eclipse Photography

Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO The Mystery Decoded

Recently, it become apparent that some students have trouble understanding the relationship between Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO and how they effect exposure for a given photograph.  First let’s define each: Aperture or f Stop – is the size of the opening in the lens that allows light to hit the camera’s sensor. f stop is expressed as a fraction. An  f/3.5  lets in a … Continue reading Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO The Mystery Decoded