Digital Photo Academy

Learn How To Use Your Digital Camera

DPA Magazine

Understanding light

  From Josh Anon/DPA instructor in San Francisco, this shot is a great example of why understanding light is fundamental to photography. To find out more information on Josh please check out: "It’s from a desert in China, and we paid the farmer to walk his camels through the dunes.  Except we had to pick where he was going to walk for an afternoon shoot in the morning!  By thinking about how the sun would move and what shadows we would see, we gave him a rough path, and the light exceeded our guess by having the bright area between the two dunes.  When we saw the scene, we had him walk between the two dunes so that the shadows framed the camels.  The backlight created a great shadow for the camels along with a rim light around each animal, separating it from the background.  I made sure my exposure captured the detail in the shadows, though, so the camels weren’t too dark.  A long lens (35mm equivalent around 180mm) let me limit my field of view so that there’s nothing extraneous in the shot.  Canon EOS 1D MkIV with Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L on a tripod at 120mm.  f/8, 1/200 sec, ISO 400"  

– Social Coupon Registration –

Our new site is currently experiencing problems with our social coupon sign-up.  While we fix the registration we ask if you are enrolling with a Groupon, LivingSocial, Amazon Local, Crowd Cut and CourseHorse or any other coupon voucher, please e-mail us at: or call us at 917 597 7053. (Richard in NYC will answer the phone since it is his cell phone.) The information we would like via e-mail or phone call includes: -Your first and last name -Your cell number -If your purchase is for 2 signups, we will also need the e-mail address and cell phone for the guest -Voucher #, (For example, on Groupon Vouchers look for the number just under the bar code, on the upper left section of the voucher.) -The city and date of specific Comp in the Field class you would like to take

Which Gear is Right for You?

DONALD PETERS PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR TIPS I look at “Gear” in terms of a) how important is to achieving the quality of images I want, b) how much will I really use it, c) will it be difficult to carry around and d) what does it cost? Here are some things that I’ve found helpful over the years: 1. ESSENTIALS TO BRING ON MOST EVERY SHOOT       a. An extra, charged battery – especially in the cold, when batteries discharge quickly       b. An extra, formatted camera memory card – like hard drives, they “die” unexpectedly       c. Small, micro fiber cloth for cleaning camera glass and couple of foil packets of             eyeglass wet wipes       d. “UV” lens filter.  Does nothing for images, but protects lens from scratches, etc. ($15)       e. Circular, polarizing filter.  Makes side lit, blue skies and outdoor colors “pop” ($35)       f.  Lens hood (usually comes with the lens).  Protects lens from damage if your camera             contacts a doorway, etc. as you’re moving about.   ($20)       g. “Hoodman” a loupe (about the size of a salt shaker) on a cord that you can wear             around your neck or put in your pocket.  You hold it up to your LCD screen             when reviewing a shot you’ve just taken.  The Hoodman blocks out all glare             (essential on a sunny day) and give you a magnified view of your image             (adjustable to your eyesight).  Use to insure that the shot(s) you’ve just taken             is in focus and otherwise the quality you’re seeking. Very, very useful. Its my “best friend” in my bag. ($70) 2. HELPFUL EXTRAS       a. A one gallon “baggie” to protect the camera in the rain.  Op Tec USA makes             specialized version (2 for $6) b. “Gorillapod” (, an “emergency” tripod with flexible legs that can wrap             a railing, pole, car door frame etc.      ($15 for version for pocket cameras; $40 version for DLSR’s)       c. A decent pocket camera.  Especially when going to some location or event that you’ll             never see again, it’s insurance that if your “main camera” fails, you won’t be left             empty handed. (over) (Continued from Other Side) 3. SPECIALTY GEAR TO CONSIDER BRINGING ALONG       a. For LANDSCAPE shooting             (1) A sturdy tripod and head  ($175-$400+)             (2) A “split density” filter for darkening an overly bright sky while properly                   exposing the landscape ($30)             (3) Neutral density filter(s) for shots of blurred moving water ($30)             (4) Magenta filter for shots of sunrises and sunsets ($30)       b. For STREET shooting or HIKING             A replacement camera shoulder strap, for walking/hiking, designed                   to hang on a sling by your hip, with the camera attached to a “slider” that allows you to instantly snatch the camera up to your eye for a shot, and then return the camera to your hip after the shot(s).  “Black Rapid” and “Joby” have these for $35-$65.   Some have a concealed steel mesh in the strap to foil bad guys who might try to use a razor-knife in a crowd to slash your camera strap and run off with your camera.   This really does happen!       b. For NIGHT shooting              A cable release, for ease in tripping the shutter and reducing camera shake in long exposures ($25)       c. For CLOSE UP (“macro”) shots             (1) Do NOT consider a cheap, screw in close up filter             (2) Canon makes a high quality close up lens (known as the “500D”) that simply screws to the filter threads of any brand lens.  An excellent alternative than to carrying an expensive and bulky macro lens.  ($90-$155, depending upon the diameter of the filter holder on the lens you’ll be using it with).   4. BEYOND!       a. Love landscapes???--consider adding a wide angle lens (e.g. 11-16mm or 12-24 mm.)       b. Love extremely close, “macro” photography? (1) consider a (“1 to 1”) ratio macro lens (several hundred $) (2) or extension tubes with your current lens (3, of varying sizes, for about $90) (3) A Canon 500D screw in close up lens c. Love dreamy, funky shots of flowers, or whatever, where one part of the shot is in             focus and other parts not?  Consider a “Lensbaby” (several models) ($150-$350) d. Love to save money? ---consider another hobby Great Sources to Get Gear:;;  B&

Camera Setting Charts

Camera Setting Charts Need to know what all those little buttons on your camera do? Well here are some charts for each brand that will help guide you.  They are in PDF format so you can print them, bring them to class, or just have them for your own reference.   CAMERA SETTINGS CHARTS (must have ADOBE FREE ACROBAT READER): > Download PANASONIC Camera Settings Chart (.pdf format) > Download SONY Camera Settings Chart (.pdf format) > Download SAMSUNG Camera Settings Chart (.pdf format) > Download PENTAX Camera Settings Chart (.pdf format) > Download OLYMPUS Camera Settings Chart (.pdf format) > Download NIKON Camera Settings Chart (.pdf format) > Download KODAK Camera Settings Chart (.pdf format) > Download HP Camera Settings Chart (.pdf format) > Download GE Camera Settings Chart (.pdf format) > Download FUJIFILM Camera Settings Chart (.pdf format) > Download CASIO Camera Settings Chart (.pdf format) > Download CANON Camera Settings Chart (.pdf format)

Family Photography-1

Draping a white blanket over a sofa, makes a simple and clean backdrop symbolizing the purity of a newborn baby.

Family Photography-2

Family Photography Tip

Using a wide open aperture (f/2.8 – f4), and making sure the background is far enough away from your subject, you can create a shallow depth of field, so the background is soft and not distracting

Family Photography-3

You want to be ready to capture the moment, so think about your framing and exposure settings ahead of time. Be sure to focus on the eyes and don’t be afraid to come in close. Patience will be rewarded with priceless expressions.

Family Photography-4

Backlighting with fill light is a great way to add a dramatic edge lighting and keep your subjects from squinting into the sun.

Family Photography-5

Touching moments between children and adults are sometimes better when they are not aware of being photographed.

Family Photography-6

Family pets can often generate big smiles. Changing the image to black and white instills a timeless quality.

©2007-2018 Digital Photo Academy | How To Use Your Digital Camera
facebookdpa-80 black3