Hypnotic Peacock Photo by Cary McDonald — National Geographic Your Shot

I wanted a certain smooth background for a peacock photo, and needed to get as close a possible with the smallest DOF I could at 300mm and f 2.8, so I knew I had to get between 18 and 20 feet to have about a 1 inch sharp DOF. I needed the shade to get the tail the way I wanted and I had to … Continue reading Hypnotic Peacock Photo by Cary McDonald — National Geographic Your Shot

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2016 – Photography goals

Since 2011, and getting back seriously into my hobby, I’ve been focusing on taking lots of images and attempting to master capturing the image that I envision of the subject in the camera.  After over 200,000 images and many hours taking photos of various subjects in various light conditions, my goals have started to change.  My goals are becoming more refined to achieve the envisioned … Continue reading 2016 – Photography goals

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Q&A: How does DOF impacts image overall sharpness relative to the focus points used?

My favorite website for DOF is DOFmaster.com.  When looking at DOF it is all about the math.  at 420 mm, F/8, and 30 feet the DOF is about 6 inches from the focus point the camera used at the time of the shot. A great blue heron (GBH) is almost 6 feet tall and about 12 inches wide when its wings are folded.  Look at … Continue reading Q&A: How does DOF impacts image overall sharpness relative to the focus points used?

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Q&A: How does shutter speed impact photo sharpness?

The photo above was shot at 1/125 of a second, F/5 and ISO 100 at 200mm non image stabilization lens.  (70-200 f2.8 L non IS canon lens) First, what is shutter speed? In photography, shutter speed or exposure time is the length of time when the film or digital sensor inside the camera is exposed to light, also when a camera’s shutter is open when taking … Continue reading Q&A: How does shutter speed impact photo sharpness?

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Q&A: Why are my images sharper with a lens with a larger aperture?

Lenses with a larger aperture are called faster lenses.  Look at the image below and think about it.  When a camera focuses, it uses the light coming through the lens to focus.  The more light that comes through the lens the more information the camera sensor has to use to focus the lens.  The aperture shutter opening is as large as possible until you push … Continue reading Q&A: Why are my images sharper with a lens with a larger aperture?

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Q&A: Why is “knowing where to stand” so important to getting a sharp image?

“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”– Ansel Adams This is one of my favorite photography quotes by Ansel Adams, but you have to take into account that he was a master landscape photographer. One of my favorite images of him is the iconic image of him on top of his car to capture an image.   So when he said knowing where to … Continue reading Q&A: Why is “knowing where to stand” so important to getting a sharp image?

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Q&A: How can you use Long exposures to make people disappear in a pinch.

Sometimes you cannot control when you have access to a location, or if you are the only people that are there at the same time.  This happened to me this weekend.  My wife and I visited Angel Oak on John’s Island, SC.  It is a very popular tourist site with a very old oak tree and definitely worth a visit.  The resurrection fern is really cool … Continue reading Q&A: How can you use Long exposures to make people disappear in a pinch.

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Q&A: How does practice improve your photography and take you to the next level?

What to do the guys that came before us have to say about photography?  Each of these quotes can be related back to practice and the need for learning the basic principles of photography and proper shooting technique.  Think about these a minute.  It is interesting how these quotes mean different things to those at different levels of of experience. “Your first 10,000 photographs are … Continue reading Q&A: How does practice improve your photography and take you to the next level?

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