How To

Photographing fireworks in the old U.S. of A.

Photographing fireworks in the old U.S. of A.

News alert: I wrote a post last year before the Fourth of July, one of our two big events for the purveyors of all things explosive, about how to photograph fireworks. Here’s the link back to that story, in case you didn’t see it and want to give this a try…

Smartphone Photography Tips

Smartphone Photography Tips

It’s the camera we have with us the most, isn’t it? So we might as well learn to use it as well as possible. That thing in your pocket can shoot an occasional decent photo, as long as you pay attention to a few details…

Why Manual Exposure is Critical to Your Photography

Why Manual Exposure is Critical to Your Photography

After a few days of fairly intensive shooting, I found myself thinking once again about how important mastery of manual exposure is to the photography that I do. While I love the auto features that come on my DSLRs, knowing when to use them and when to turn them off is at the top of my list of things that novice shooters need to learn…

A Photographer’s Notebook

A Photographer’s Notebook

The image was ok, but just ok. I was limited by the water around me, and the view afforded by the boardwalk: I couldn’t move 20 yards to the left or right to change the available perspective. But I knew something was missing…

Developing a Photographic Project

Developing a Photographic Project

Having a photographic project is a great way to improve your photography. Working on something long-term will teach you many things about your current strengths and weaknesses as a photographer. Why?

Quick Tip: For Night Photography, Carry a Flashlight!

Quick Tip: For Night Photography, Carry a Flashlight!

Remembering to bring this simple tool with you can make all the difference when shooting in the dark or near-dark…

The Importance of Cropping

The Importance of Cropping

Image cropping can become an important part of your creative decision-making process, if you’re willing to put in the time and do the work. Here’s a case study of one image and how I ended up cropping it, and why…

Photography by Moonlight

Photography by Moonlight

Who says you have to quit shooting when the sun goes down? Below are some tips for exciting photography AFTER the sun is long gone. Let’s call it ‘moonlit shooting.’…

Quick Tip: Why You Need to Photograph in the Rain

Quick Tip: Why You Need to Photograph in the Rain

I was out shooting in a stiff, cold sprinkle last night as a cold front blew in right at dusk and found myself thinking about what it takes to get the photographs we want when it’s raining…

You Can’t Shoot That!

You Can’t Shoot That!

Have you been hassled by police or security guards while trying to photograph? Have you been told not to shoot while standing on a public street or sidewalk?. Read on for my tips on dealing with cops while still getting the photos you wanted…

Do You Understand the Aperture-Shutter Speed Relationship?

Do You Understand the Aperture-Shutter Speed Relationship?

Aperture and shutter speed, along with to a lesser extent, their little brother, ISO, rule my world. Aperture and shutter speed have more to do with the decisions I make when shooting than virtually anything else…

How to Shoot Great Portraits

How to Shoot Great Portraits

Portrait photography is one of the main photographic genres, something that most of us work on, wrestle with, master or decide to walk away from in disgust! It can be tricky, demanding, difficult but oh-so-rewarding when it works….

Photographers’ Light: The Magic Ingredient

Photographers’ Light: The Magic Ingredient

Light: the magic ingredient that makes our photography possible. Without light, you don’t shoot pictures. So learning to really see light in all its nuances is a fundamental key to improving as a photographer. But what is it about light that you should learn to look at?

Black and White White Linen Night

Black and White White Linen Night

I’ve been thinking a lot about black and white photography lately.
It’s what I started with: watching prints come up in a darkroom tray of developer, the images emerging like ghosts at first, then slowly taking on their true forms…

How to Photograph Fireworks

How to Photograph Fireworks

If you’re thinking about going out and photographing some July 4th fireworks, there are a few simple tips you need to know to be successful. It’s not hard but following these suggestions can greatly improve your results….

Backing It All Up: Let Chase Jarvis Show You How

Backing It All Up: Let Chase Jarvis Show You How

Keeping your image data backed up and secure is one of the most critical aspects of being a serious shooter. Here’s how commercial shooter Chase Jarvis handles the workflow…

Cropping Decisions

Cropping Decisions

How do you make your cropping decisions when you’re back in the ‘digital darkroom’? Are you mindful of the rules of composition or working in a more intuitive way? Here’s how I handled this everyday task in one situation…

Another live stream of BP’s oil leak!!

Another live stream of BP’s oil leak!!

OK, yeah I know. You’ve seen the live streams of BP’s catastrophic oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. But hey, you know what? I live down here! So maybe another live stream is in order…with a few thoughts from a photographer (me) about what these live streams mean (or don’t)…

Shooting at 1000 Frames Per Second

Shooting at 1000 Frames Per Second

I have a couple of Canon EOS 1-D Mark IIn cameras that shoot about 8 frames a second. Great sports cameras. I have a Canon XH-A1 HDV video camera that I shoot at 30 frames a second. But what if you could shoot at a THOUSAND frames a second?…

Panos Pictures’ Profile Voices

Panos Pictures’ Profile Voices

The Panos Pictures photo agency, which specializes in global social issues, has a great new feature on their website called Profile Voices. It’s one of the ways you can check out the work of their very talented photographers…

A Belated ‘Happy Birthday’ for The Discerning Photographer!

A Belated ‘Happy Birthday’ for The Discerning Photographer!

The Discerning Photographer is just over a year old! Somehow, I missed the actual anniversary, so this is a ‘belated’ birthday card of sorts, looking over the last year and what I’ve learned publishing this thing…

Black and White or Color?

Black and White or Color?

I’ve been thinking about just how powerful an element color is in our photography.. Take color away, and you have an image that will immediately tend to emphasize form, composition and light; add color back in, and these elements recede before the big, bold brashness of the COLOR of your shot….is it any wonder that color becomes one of the defining aspects of what we do?

Quick Tip: Extra Batteries, Extra Cards!

Quick Tip: Extra Batteries, Extra Cards!

There is nothing worse in the world for a photographer than to witness a photograph you can’t shoot because either: 1. you’re out of CF/SD cards; or 2. your camera battery has gone dead. …

Birds in Flight: Making Pictures, Fast & Furious

Birds in Flight: Making Pictures, Fast & Furious

I went by the rookery in New Orleans’ Audubon Park this weekend, armed with a Canon 400, a monopod and a fast Canon motor drive…