tips

Turn On Hightlight and Shadow Warnings

Turn On Hightlight and Shadow Warnings

Now that you know how to use your histogram, lets look at another quick tip that goes along with it. If you see that a portion of your image is clipped, you may wonder how to know exactly what part of the image is blow out completely (overexposed), or which part is far too dark (underexposed). Most cameras now have a way to let you know right upon the image review.

The highlight and shadow warnings, often called “blinkies”, are an awesome tool to go along with the histogram. When they are turned on, your image will blink on all of the pixels that are either completely blown out, or completely in shadow. Some cameras will blink red for overexposure, and blue for underexposure. My Sony a6300 blinks black on the highlights and white on the shadows, so each camera may be a little different.

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Envision the End Result Before Ever Getting Your Camera Out

Envision the End Result Before Ever Getting Your Camera Out

For far too long after getting my first camera (and probably into my second one…), I went out to shoot, but really only took what came to me. I wanted to shoot, but would just go somewhere pretty and snap what I saw without putting much thought into the image. I’d get home and pick a couple that looked good and I was happy. It was only after getting a flash system that I really started putting thought into a picture before I took it.

For example, I may know that the Dallas Skyline looks really cool from this one spot. Before, I would head to that spot, set up the camera and shoot. I didn’t put a lot of thought into the angle of the camera, the time of day or the overall composition.

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Listen to Photography Podcast to Keep Your Drive Alive

Listen to Photography Podcast to Keep Your Drive Alive

Podcasts have been a huge factor in keeping my photography drive alive. I can listen to them during a commute, or when I just get a quiet moment at home and want to relax. The good thing is that there are dozens of good quality photography podcasts on iTunes (or Google) for you to fill your brain with. Another good thing is that they cover such a wide range of topics, from purely technical “how-to” style shows, to news, to gear reviews.

Like I said, there are a ton of podcasts out there (including one coming very soon for this very website!) so listen to several of them and find two or three that really speak to you. The two major players are the TWiP (This Week In Photo) network of shows along with the Master Photography Podcast network. Both groups put out extremely high quality content, with multiple shows on each platform releasing weekly episodes.

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Set Your Picture Style In-Camera, Even if You Are Shooting RAW

Set Your Picture Style In-Camera, Even if You Are Shooting RAW

Alright, today’s tip is short and sweet. Your camera likely has different “picture styles” to choose from somewhere in the image menu. This is the style that is applied to your image when shooting JPEG files. They have preset image settings like contrast, saturation, and sharpness to enhance the image for what you are shooting. These styles are typically labeled Landscape, Natural, Portrait, Vivid, B&W, and so on. However, if you shoot RAW files these settings do not get applied to the image since you will be doing the editing at the computer. So there is really no need to set a picture style in the camera if you are shooting in RAW though, right? Wrong.

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Make the Camera YOURS by Using Custom Functions

Make the Camera YOURS by Using Custom Functions

I know what you’re thinking. We’ve all said it before. A camera is a camera is a camera. You change a couple of settings, press a circle and a picture shows up on the rear LCD (and hopefully a good one!). You could pick up any camera and after a minute or so be snapping away just like it was your own. If that is the case there is a good chance that you’ve never dived far enough into the pits of your camera menus to find the Custom Function settings!

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RAW vs JPEG. What's the Difference?

RAW vs JPEG. What's the Difference?

One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make regarding your images is choosing which file type for the camera to record. All DSLR/Mirrorless cameras will come with the option of recording the file as a RAW file or a JPEG. I’m not going to hit you with all of the technical details about what each file type is and how many bits and all that. I’m just going to explain it in layman’s terms and help you understand the difference and when it may be suitable to shoot in each type. There are advantages and disadvantages to each and we’ll cover those below.

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