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Digital Photography 101

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Posted 18-03-09 at 09:37 PM by kennykodak
Updated 07-04-09 at 09:37 AM by Stephen

hi, my name is john. besides operating a studio (currently watching the wall paper peal in a recession) i teach at the university. i offer courses in photography, photoshop and have written a book on advance video production. earlier today i posted a handout from photo 101. it seems to be popular so there may be some interest in a discussion course starting with the basics. a little about me and then you decide whether this would be interesting or not. i have academic credentials at four colleges in photography. i have a masters of photography, masters of electronic imaging and photographic craftsman from the professional photographers of america. and in case you noticed by now, i don't use the caps key.
this would be a short lecture, a group discussion and possibly an assignment.

i'm going to start this next weekend if there is enough interest. i posted this earlier but i would like to keep everything together.


Creating a gadget bag
• Old shoulder bags such as army gas mask bags disguise its contents and do not advertise a bag full of expensive equipment.
• A spare camera battery should be accessory number one.
• A small beanbag makes good insulation in the bottom of the camera bag and can also be used for a low-level tripod. Bean bags can be laid on car hoods or anything else for lightweight easy to carry camera support. Also useful in "worm's eye view" photography in nature photography.
• Carry a large plastic trash bag that is rolled up. This bag can be used to lie on during low-level photography when the ground is wet. Holes can be cut out for head and arms to use as a poncho. In a downpour, the camera bag can be paced in the trash bag for added protection.
• Always use an UV or Skylight filter over the lens. This doesn’t really improve the image much but becomes cheap insurance against potential damage. Remember that you can not use use more than three filters at any given time, the thickness creates vignetting of the corners of the image.
• A lens hood should also be used for protection. These do increase the image quality of photographs by blocking extraneous light from striking the lens and causing flare.
• Carry a zip lock sandwich bag. Cameras can be placed in these during humid or cold weather. Going indoors or outdoors will cause condensation to form on the bag rather than the lens. While shooting in bad weather, a hole can be cut in the bottom for lens insertion. Place the camera lens through the hole and tape to around the lens hood. Place hands through zip lock opening and use in poor weather. Remember this is not waterproof, only an umbrella. Don’t forget to use a skylight or UV filter over the lens.
• A wrinkled piece of aluminum foil rolled up in a small ball can be smoothed for an instant light reflector.
• A kitchen tablespoon can be used with an electric flash. This will create a fill light while using the flash in bounce light. This is especially useful in creating catch lights in eyes, adding that sparkle of light that is devoid in bounce light.
• A gentleman’s handkerchief can be used with electric flash to reduce flash output.
• A black or a white piece of pantyhose with a small hole cut in the center can be used for a low key or a high key vignetter. Strong rubber bands for attaching to lens hood.
• Clean empty red web onion bags can be filled on location with rocks or other heavy objects to weight down tripods and reflectors against the wind.
• One or two empty 35 mm film cans, the opaque ones, may be used for changing film under emergency conditions or to keep small objects from getting lost. take a jacket and zip it up and then turn jacket zipper side down. place film can and camera inside jacket. place jacket in green trash bag. fold under bottom of jacket inside bag as well as the neck. insert hands through arms of jacket for instant darkroom. remove jammed film film and place in film canister. tape and make film can, "open in dark only."
• A small piece of window screen about 4x4 inches with the edges taped to prevent falling apart and scratching other items will make stars on highlights or diffusion on portrait photography.
• A round magnifying glass can be held in front of the camera lens for close up photography.
• A small piece of gray card, about 6 inches square, for metering.
• Several small pieces of colored gel material. This would be like old report covers and cut to about 6 inches square. Can be kept with gray card. These will be used with electric flash to create interesting colored light sources.
• Small pump spray bottles like the ones used for hair spray can be used to spray water droplets on plants for nature photography.

more tips and info will follow in separate headings starting 101.
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Total Comments 9


  1. Old Comment
    Well - I'm certainly up for learning more, so count me in!


    Posted 18-03-09 at 10:14 PM by Cogito Cogito is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Ian's Avatar
    Looking good - some interesting advice in there

    Posted 18-03-09 at 11:29 PM by Ian Ian is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Fabulous tips, I'm listening.
    Posted 19-03-09 at 02:28 AM by
  4. Old Comment
    Stephen's Avatar
    Great stuff John, I look forward to future blog posts
    Posted 19-03-09 at 10:21 AM by Stephen Stephen is offline
  5. Old Comment
    As above, looking forward to lots more. Thanks for posting.
    Posted 19-03-09 at 10:10 PM by ekkl ekkl is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Autumn's Avatar
    Just found this post. Very interesting and helpful tips. (I didn't know people still used film).

    I'll watch out for further lessons.
    Posted 23-03-09 at 09:42 PM by Autumn Autumn is offline
  7. Old Comment
    kennykodak's Avatar
    a word about film.
    as you all know, it has an expiration date. but did you know by refrigerating it, it will last much longer... and by freezing it and giving it a day to thaw, your grandchildren can shot with it.
    Posted 23-03-09 at 10:18 PM by kennykodak kennykodak is offline
  8. Old Comment
    webdragon's Avatar
    Great info look forward to more.

    Posted 27-03-09 at 05:24 PM by webdragon webdragon is offline
  9. Old Comment
    jojo's Avatar
    from me too. Thank you for your valuable time and effort in putting these together.

    Posted 12-04-09 at 04:03 PM by jojo jojo is offline

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