…my pictures do not look like the images advertised.

How many of us purchase a camera because

“it takes good pictures.”

It makes sense right? The heavy hitters of camera makers throw out some great marketing campaigns along with some sample images and we go “Oh ya, I must have that camera. Look at the pictures it takes!”

I wish it would be this simple, but then there would be nothing to share, learn and teach.

So we buy these machines and NEVER take it off of Automatic mode. We become frustrated because our images continue to look so/so or ordinary. We really want to make our images look like the samples they showed us, but we just aren’t getting it.

We need to understand exposure and how the camera thinks and evaluates a scene within the frame. If we take the time to understand exposure and practice a bit, I guarantee that our images are going to start getting better and better…. Are you with me?

The most important factor of the camera is… YOU. The camera needs YOU to tell it what to do. Yes, automatic mode will give you an accurate exposure of the contents within the frame, but this exposure may not be Creatively Correct. This is where Manual Mode comes in to play. It is the M on your camera dial. M = More Control. Use it and Use it often… (I shoot in Manual Mode 90% of the time.) Once you become equipped with understanding the 4 basic ingredients of Digital Exposure:

  • ISO
  • Aperture
  • Shutter Speed
  • White Balance

you will have the ability to capture every shot confidently.

Once you are comfortable shooting in Manual Mode, there are Shutter Priority and Aperture Priority Modes that come in handy as well. I believe that it is vital to understand Manual exposure first and foremost if you want to take your photography to the next level. Once you know what the camera is doing, you can then use these other modes for certain situations.

First Topic, next post will be ISO.

Can’t leave without posting an image. This is one of my favorite images of our daughter, Bryleigh. She was going to town on a Cookie from Bethel Bakery. I couldn’t get over the way she would close her eyes as she bit into the icing on top. Her eyes tell a story of complete “blissfulness”. She was about 16 months old here. (Camera settings and post processing to follow image)
Bryleigh Cookie

Camera Info:
Nikon D3
105 2.8 lens
ISO 800
Aperture 3.3
Shutter 1/100
Manual Mode
No Flash

Post Processing:
Color Corrected
Grayscale Conversion in Lightroom
Adjusted Contrast in Lightroom
Added Film Grain in Photoshop
Resized and Sharpened for Web