Articles

In November of 2015 I was thrilled to be invited to join the team at the website Photography Life, where I am now a regular contributor. This experience has allowed me to expand my interest in teaching. I am now able to  reach a much larger audience than I could previously. My articles cover both technical and inspirational topics on many aspects of photography.

April 9, 2017

What is Auto ISO and How to Use It

Did you know that most modern digital cameras have the ability to set ISO automatically? Back in the film days, you would drop a roll of film into your camera and your ISO would be fixed for the entire roll. With digital, not only can you change your ISO on the fly, but you can also set your camera to adjust it automatically…

Feb 3, 2017

Bird Photography Tips and Tricks

In the past, bird photography was reserved for those with very deep pockets. With long prime lenses costing more than $8000, their high prices excluded those of us with more modest budgets from the party. However, with the advent of relatively inexpensive super-zoom lenses, it is much easier to get into bird photography these days…

Jan 16, 2017

Fujifilm X-T2 First Impressions

This Christmas I found a new toy under the tree. A Fuji X-T2! The X-T2 is one of Fuji’s new flagship mirrorless cameras. It has the same 24MP APS-C X-Trans sensor that the X-Pro2 has. It has a huge and bright electronic viewfinder, and a 3-inch tilt screen. It is weather-proof, has two SD card slots, and its autofocus speed has been significantly improved over the older X-T1…

Dec 15, 2016

Understanding Depth of Field – A Beginner’s Guide

Depth of field (DoF) is one of the most important concepts in photography. Understanding what DoF is, and knowing what factors affect it, are things all photographers should master. Many photographers know that you can control DoF by adjusting aperture. But did you know that DoF is influenced by other factors too? In this article, I want to explain in simple terms what depth of field is and talk about the ways you can control it…

Dec 8, 2016

Choosing a Creative Exposure – A Beginner’s Guide

There are many combinations of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO that will correctly expose an image. With all those combinations, which one is the right one? If you leave your camera in full program mode, your camera will pick a combination for you. However, letting your camera have complete control is not why you bought an expensive DSLR or mirrorless camera! Learning how to adjust the settings and modes on your camera before you click the shutter will give you the upper hand…

Nov 19, 2016

The Exposure Triangle – A Beginner’s Guide

For many starting out in photography, the relationship between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO can be confusing. To further muddy the water, the terms ‘stop’ and ‘f-stop’ are often used interchangeably but refer to different things. In this article, I would like to take some of the mystery out of these concepts…

Nov 12, 2016

Using Content-Aware Fill Non-Destructively in Photoshop

A strength of Photoshop is being able to perform edits non-destructively. Most edits can be performed on their own layer, preserving the original background layer. The Spot Healing Brush, Clone Stamp, and Patch tools all work this way and they can all be used to remove unwanted objects non-destructively. However, if you have ever tried to remove an object from an image using Content-Aware Fill, you will have noticed that you can’t do this on a new blank layer…

Nov 4, 2016

Platypod Pro and Max Review – A Tripod Alternative

I have been looking for a small portable alternative to carting my tripod around with me for quite some time now. There have been many occasions when I’ve been out photographing and could have used the support that a tripod provides, but could not be bothered to lug my tripod with me. I have tried using a variety of small tabletop tripods. None of them were strong enough to support a DSLR and heavy lens. Beanbags are cumbersome to carry around as well. This past summer I stumbled upon a Kickstarter campaign for Platypod Pro Max, and I was intrigued. Could this possibly be the answer to my search? …

Sept 3, 2016

An Interview with Street Photographer Valerie Jardin

Valerie Jardin is not only an accomplished street photographer, but also a podcaster, teacher, speaker and writer. Originally from France, Valerie currently lives in the United States. Valerie’s international workshops and speaking engagements often sell out over a year in advance. This is why I feel so lucky to have been able to attend one of her workshops this August in Vancouver, Canada …

June 27, 2016

My Self-Imposed 23mm Challenge with a Fuji X100T

The past few months I have fallen victim to a creative slump, a rut, a lack of enthusiasm around my photography. Call it what you want, I felt uninspired. Although I love nature and bird photography, I found myself struggling to make time to get out and shoot…

May 16, 2016

MIOPS Smart Camera Trigger Review

MIOPS Smart Camera Trigger is a camera and flash trigger in a single unit. It provides seven different triggering modes, including lightning, sound, and laser. It also functions as an intervalometer for timelapse photography. It has an HDR mode, a scenario mode, and a DIY mode. With the smartphone app, you can also use the trigger in four shutter release modes: cable release, press and hold, press and lock, and timed release. The past few days I have had a lot of fun playing with my MIOPS Trigger, and I would like to share my experiences with you …

April 9, 2016

What is Lens Compression and How to Use It In Your Photos

Have you ever heard someone say that a telephoto lens “compresses” the background or “flattens” an image? What exactly does this mean? The perceived distance between your subject and the rest of the scene is dependent on two things: where you stand relative to your subject to take the photo and the focal length of the lens you choose …

February 24, 2016

Four Simple Tips for Better Composition

Have you ever wondered why you are instantly drawn to some photographs, but not to others? Or why some of your images lack that wow factor that you see in other’s. It may be related to how you compose your pictures. How a photograph is composed has a huge impact on how long we look at it. The longer our brain is allowed to wander through an image, the more likely we are to like it …

January 14, 2016

How to Take Really Long Exposures with a DSLR

In my photography classes I often get asked, “What is a long exposure?” Many beginning photographers want me to give them a definitive shutter speed with my explanation. However, long exposures are not only subject driven, they are largely based on the artistic vision you have for your photograph. Panning, light painting and night photography all make use of long exposures. However, these techniques are subjects of a future article. Today I would like to discuss “really” long exposures, exposures in excess of several minutes …

December 15, 2015

Please Welcome Elizabeth Gray!

I grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada. As a west-coaster, I love nature and the outdoors. Wildlife, hiking, and camping are in my blood. Three years ago my husband’s job moved us to Houston, Texas! A big change from Vancouver! Our university aged daughters and two cats stayed in Vancouver …

December 11, 2015

Choosing and Preparing for a Photography Tour – Part II

You are excited about your upcoming photo tour and have narrowed down the equipment you want to take with you. But what should you do next? How can you load the odds in your favor so that you come home with winning images? …

November 21, 2015

Choosing and Preparing for a Photography Tour – Part I

If you’re like me, you’ve planned a trip, had visions of coming home with an SD card full of National Geographic images, but ended up with a hard drive full of vacation snapshots. What can you do to better prepare for a trip when you really want to spend some quality time behind your camera? …

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