July 11th Photo Share and Discussion on Google Plus

Last night I held one of my "Photo Share and Discussions". I've been trying to do one of these each Thursday at 8PM Eastern. The objective is to get together and discuss recent images we've shot/processed as well as talk about all things photography related. I do these through the Hangout feature on my Google Plus Page. Here is last night's edition:

I would love it if more people would join in. I can have up to 9 additional people on the hangout besides myself. Right now there is a core group of two to three that participate each week depending on their schedules. If you are interested in participating live on future hangouts please let me know. An unlimited number of people can watch the hangout once I start the "on-air" broadcast portion. The broadcast is also recorded and posted at the Mark's Photography Spot YouTube channel.

Snapshots to Photographs: RAW vs JPEG

This episode of Mark's Photography Spot is the third in a series of videos I'm doing to help you get your camera out of "Auto" mode. I call the series "Snapshots to Photographs" This episode addresses the "big debate" in digital photography, RAW vs JPEG:

I have a definite opinion on this and that opinion is: "Shoot RAW when you want to get the most out of your image and shoot JPEG when you want to be able to quickly share an image or don't have the desire (or need) to actively post process the image".

In terms of my photography that equates to me shooting RAW about 90-95% of the time and JPEG the rest. In terms of your photography, only you know what those percentages will be.

Here is why I shoot RAW the majority of the time, and why I recommend that you do the same:

If you are new to photography and want to take the best images possible I would encourage you to shoot RAW as much as possible and use software (Lightroom, for example) to fine tune the image out of the camera.The reason is because RAW files are essentially a "digital negative" and have pretty much all the information that is available for any one particular image. You, as the photographer, will have a lot more latitude to adjust and refine the RAW file to create the final image that you can then save as a JPEG or other format. Shooting JPEG's, on the other hand, results in a file that is created using in-camera processing. This process often times sacrifices quality for speed, smaller file size and portability. Once the camera creates it's interpretation of the image and writes that to your memory card as a JPEG file, there is no going back. You won't be able to recapture the original image and make anything more than basic adjustments. That's the biggest downside of JPEG files.

Now that you know to shoot RAW whenever you want to get the most out of your photography, stay tuned for the next videos in this series as I dig a little deeper into Aperture and Shutter Speed.

You'll be able to find all the videos in this series in the playlist "Snapshots to Photographs".

If you like what you see here, Please Subscribe to the channel! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=marksphotographyspot

Don't forget to join the Mark's Photography Spot group on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/groups/marksphotographyspot/

In addition to this channel, you can also follow me here:

Mark's Photography Spot.com: http://www.marksphotographyspot.com My Google+ Page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/101061915862182396523/posts My Flickr Site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/marksinderson/

Thanks for watching and Happy Shooting!

Fitbit One Activity Tracker Review

Ok, this isn't really a photography related post. But, I'm a bit of a gadget as well as fitness geek so anytime I find something that fits in one of those categories I might review it. If you want to increase your activity, lose weight and monitor your sleep, the Fitbit One might just be for you. The Fitbit is one of the many "activity trackers" that have recently become available. It is a small, inconspicuous device that easily fits in your pocket or on your belt. You wear it wherever you go and it tracks your activity then syncs with your laptop, phone or tablet. Here's my review:

My wife, Pam, purchased the Fitbit One a few weeks ago and really likes it. She finds it easy to use and motivating. The syncing is painless and the software is intuitive and comprehensive. The sleep monitoring function has given her some valuable insight into just how well she is sleeping each night.

Based on her positive experience using the fitbit every day for the last three weeks I can definitely recommend it. I think it is a great tool to keep track of your activity and hold you accountable to any health or fitness goals you have set for yourself.

If you want to get one for yourself here's a link to their site Fitbit

Friday Photo Share For January 18, 2013

Welcome to the Friday Photo Share for January 18! This week we'll review the results of the photography poll question "Do You Own A DSLR", discuss a few images that were uploaded to the flickr group and reveal next week's poll question: Remember to join the flickr group and share your images. I'll discuss some of the images each week as well as every once in a while post one to the blog. I will link back to your flickr account which could get you more views. You can find the group at:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/marksphotographyspot/

Be sure to submit your answer to the current Photography Poll, "Do You Shoot RAW or JPEG" . I will change the poll question each week and discuss the results each week here on the "Friday Photo Share" video.

I am also still soliciting your feedback for a new design of the blog. Please leave your comments here or on the blog about how I can improve the look of the blog or any Wordpress themes that I might want to check out to improve the look and functionality of the blog as we build our community.

If you like what you see here, Please Subscribe to the channel! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=marksphotographyspot

In addition to this channel, you can also follow me here:

Mark's Photography Spot.com: http://www.marksphotographyspot.com My Google+ Page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/101061915862182396523/posts The Mark'sPhotographySpot flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/marksphotographyspot/ My Flickr Site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/marksinderson/

As always, thanks for your support and feedback. Happy Shooting!

Snapshots To Photographs-The Components Of Proper Exposure

This episode of Mark’s Photography Spot is the first in a series of videos I’ll be doing to help you get your camera out of “Auto” mode. I call the series “Snapshots to Photographs” This episode is about the components of proper exposure-ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed. These three things work together to create the image on your camera’s sensor or film. Here’s a brief description of each:

ISO-This determines your camera’s sensitivity to light. The lower the ISO, the less sensitive. ISO is expressed in numbers, usually something like 100,200,400,800,1600,3200. Each larger number indicates a doubling in sensitivity. So, going from an ISO of 100 to 400 means that the camera is going to be four times as sensitive to light at ISO 400 then ISO 100. Higher ISO can help you get an image you might not be able to get, especially in lower light but it comes at the price of increased noise in the image.

Aperture- This is the size of the opening in the lens/camera that light passes through when the image is taken. Apertures can vary from as big as f/1.4 to as small as f/32. The smaller the f/number the larger the opening. Aperture allows you to manipulate the depth of field in an image. Using a small aperture like f/16 will give you image a large depth of field with everything in focus while using a large aperture like f/2.0 will give you a shallow depth of field allowing the background to be blurred.

Shutter Speed- If you want to control how long light hits your film or digital sensor, you do it by changing the shutter speed. Shutter speed is often expressed as fractions of a second (1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30...) A shutter speed of 1/500 is faster than 1/250, which is faster than 1/60, etc. Varying the shutter speed gives you the ability to emphasise motion or stop action. A fast shutter speed will stop a race car in your image while a slower shutter speed will introduce interesting motion effects.

The important thing to remember is that every single image you take with any camera is the result of manipulating ISO, Aperture and Shutter speed. They are all interrelated and changing one component forces you to change the others. This gives you a lot of creative freedom but also forces you to pay attention to what you are doing to get the image that you want.

A great resource for understanding exposure is the book “Understanding Exposure”, written by Bryan Peterson. It is well worth reading and explains how ISO, Aperture and Shutter interact to create a final image. Here is a link to the book on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0817439390?ie=UTF8&tag=photographyblog-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=0817439390

Stay tuned for the next videos in this series as I dig a little deeper into ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed.

You’ll be able to find all the videos in this series in the playlist “Snapshots to Photographs”.

If you like what you see here, Please Subscribe to the channel! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=marksphotographyspot

Don’t forget to join the Mark’s Photography Spot group on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/groups/marksphotographyspot/

In addition to this channel, you can also follow me here:

Mark's Photography Spot.com: http://www.marksphotographyspot.com My Google+ Page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/101061915862182396523/posts My Flickr Site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/marksinderson/

Thanks for watching and Happy Shooting!

New Feature: Friday Photo Share And Photo Poll

I am debuting two new features on Mark's Photography Spot, a weekly Photo Share and Photography Poll over here on the Mark's Photography Spot blog:

I thought it would be a good idea to have a place where we could share photographs. I set up a group over on flickr called "Marks Photography Spot" where you can upload images to share. I plan on highlighting images each week as well as posting images from time to time over on the blog. I will link back to your flickr account if I discuss or highlight your image. You can find the group at:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/marksphotographyspot/

Over here on the blog I have set up a weekly Photography Poll that you can answer. It's in the right sidebar I will change the poll question each week and discuss the results each week her on the "Friday Photo Share" video.

I am also soliciting your feedback for a new design of the blog. Please leave your comments here or on the blog about how I can improve the look of the blog or any Wordpress themes that I might want to check out to improve the look and functionality of the blog as we build our community.

In addition to this blog, you can also follow me here:

My Google+ Page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/101061915862182396523/posts The Mark'sPhotographySpot flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/marksphotographyspot/ My Flickr Site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/marksinderson/

As always, thanks for your support and feedback. Happy Shooting!

How Completing A Project 365 Will Improve Your Photography

In the last video I spoke about the Project 365 that I was just about to complete. Well, I finished it up yesterday, December 31st. It was actually a project 366 for me since I started the project on January 1st, 2012 This video is about how you can improve your photography by completing your own project 365:

I have become a better photographer over this last year and I owe a lot of it to the Project 365. Here's a couple of benefits I've realized as a result of completing the Project 365:

1. I have improved my ability to see things as a photographer-Over the course of the year I noticed that I was starting to see the world through the eyes of a photographer more and more. This allowed me to focus on the important parts of what I was seeing and take better photographs.

2. My composition skills have improved-Compared to last year I am better at placing images in the viewfinder of the camera, resulting in better photographs. This is entirely due to taking more photographs.

3. I am becoming my own best critic-Over the last year my skill at critiquing the photographs I make has improved, This means that I spend less time staring at the computer wondering which photographs are best. I have developed a taste for what I like and what I don't like and that makes me a better photographer in the end.

Bottom line, if you are looking to become a better photographer I would heartily suggest that you embark on your own version of a Project 365. The benefits you will get are many and you will have fun doing it!

At the end of the video I have added about 35 images from my Project 365 showing some of the different pieces of life that I captured during the year. If you want to see the entire 366 images you can check out my Project 365 set on Flickr

http://www.flickr.com/photos/marksinderson/sets/72157629914272749/

If you like what you see here, Please Subscribe to the YouTube channel! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=marksphotographyspot

In addition to this channel and blog, you can also follow me here: My Google+ Page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/101061915862182396523/posts My Flickr Site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/marksinderson/

Thanks for watching/reading and Happy Shooting!

Happy New Year And Some Photography Resolutions For 2013

It’s resolution time again. As 2012 ends and 2013 is right around the corner many of us make resolutions for the new year. Well, in addition to the usual ones of “lose weight” or “get in shape” how about some photography related resolutions?

As for me, there are a few things I want to accomplish photography-wise:

  1. Take as many photographs as possible.
  2. Purchase some new equipment, a fast-prime lens (24-35mm) as well as a macro lens so I can try my hand at photographing little things.

For Mark’s Photography Spot:

  1. Focus the channel on helping the typical person take better photographs
  2. Do as many equipment reviews as possible with the reviews focusing on whether or not you’re getting your money’s worth when purchasing new equipment.
  3. Build some interactivity into the channel.

My suggestions for your own photography resolutions:

  1. Resolve to get your camera out of “Auto”-Take the time to learn about the other modes of your camera such as shutter-priority, aperture-priority and “Manual” so that you can learn how to “drive your camera” as much as possible.
  2. Resolve to shoot as much as possible-Get in the habit of taking a camera with you wherever you go and start looking for opportunities to make photographs
  3. Be critical of your work-Really look at your photographs and decide what you do and don’t like about them then try to improve the next time you go out.

That’s about it. I’m excited for 2013 and I hope y’all have a safe and Happy New Year!

 

Happy Shooting!

Photography Equipment Review: An Overview Of My Film Cameras

In this new episode of Mark’s Photography Spot I show you the various vintage film cameras that I use to make photographs with. I have a Rolleicord Va, Yashica GSN and Olympus Stylus. The cameras use 35mm and 120 (medium format) film. Film photography is alive and well and I think all photographers interested in improving should try their hand at shooting and developing film. Here’s some more info on the film cameras I currently have:

1. Rolleicord Va-This is a medium format TLR (twin lens reflex) camera that was produced sometime between 1959 and 1962. The camera uses 120 film which gives a negative of just over 2 inches by 2 inches. I purchased this camera from a seller on eBay and have been very happy with it so far.

2. Yashica Electro 35 GSN- My 2nd film camera purchase is this circa 1973 35mm rangefinder camera from Japan. it has a built in light meter and a super-fast f/1.7 lens. I plan on using this camera for street type photography as well as lower light imaging due to the fast lens. The camera takes great images and I’m looking forward to using it a lot in the upcoming year.

3. Olympus Stylus Zoom- This film camera is a fully automatic 35mm camera from Olympus. I purchased the camera in 1993 or so and last time I used it it worked great. I think it will make a great point and shoot film camera.

That’s about it for my film cameras, for now. I will do a more in-depth video on each of them at some point.

If you like what you see here, Please Subscribe to the YouTube channel!

In addition to this channel, you can also follow me here:

My Google+ Page My Flickr Site

Thanks for watching and Happy Shooting!

Film Photography: Overview of How To Develop Film At Home

I had a roll of 35mm film from my Yashica GSN camera (stay tuned for my film camera video!) that needed to be developed so I documented the process to give you an idea of how easy it is to develop film on your own. I included a few of the developed images at the end of the video so you can see the results of the development process:

This is just a basic overview of the steps in developing black and white film. I plan a much more in-depth video(s) to cover the specifics of film developing including the equipment, chemicals and technique required. I'll also cover the steps involved in getting your developed film onto the computer, including scanning and editing the images.Stay tuned for that in the next month or so.

In the meantime, maybe this video will get you thinking about film photography and maybe even developing your own film.

Happy Shooting!