Photography Tips

Photography Tips

If you would rather read than watch our above video then here is the summary transcript of this week’s video:

Jeff: Hello, and welcome to Webisode Wednesday. I’m Jeff Philips, and for those of you that are interested in photography, I have a real treat for you today. I have Kevin Seifert, who is my friend and colleague.

One of the cameras on the market are the DSLR cameras, and they seem to be everywhere. Can you just give a few tips and maybe some ideas on how the consumer can get the most out of this camera?

Kevin: Yeah, sure, absolutely. A couple things to look for very quickly when you’re purchasing one of the DSRL cameras, or even a DSRL-lite, or even a point-and-shoot. The first thing is ,I would just make sure you have the three basic settings on the top. You have a manual setting. A lot of these point-and-shoots don’t even have a manual setting on them. Definitely want that. Also an aperture setting. You also want to be able to control the shutter speed on them. Just a real basic thing to look for. All the other settings are just a kind of a bonus to have so you don’t have to think as much, but we’ll get into that a little bit as we go.

Jeff: For those of us that don’t really know anything about the shutter speed, why is that crucial? Why would you adjust the shutter speed?

Kevin: Excellent question. The shutter speed, a lot of times you’ll see it as TV, which is time value. The shutter speed kind of can control the ability to stop the action in a photograph. You want to make sure there’s no movement. You need a fast shutter speed to stop that action.

Jeff: So that would prevent any blur?

Kevin: Yeah. That’s correct, you need at least 1/500th of a second shutter speed or faster.

Jeff: Okay. Great. Now regarding these cameras, they come with these big LCD screens nowadays, and I see people, even myself, holding the camera out in front of me. Is that the best way to get the best shot with these cameras?

Kevin: Well, Jeff, originally, the cameras, the DSLR’s and even most of the other types of cameras are set up to hold in your hand and look through the viewfinder, so they’re still set up that way, mainly for the professional, where the consumer cameras are set up a lot like the prosumer cameras now. Just to give you an example, you really want to have a base. You want to keep your elbows tucked in. You want to create triangles. I have my camera here. I use a sling strap so it’s really easy for me to access. The first thing you want to do, I see this mistake a lot, you want to put your hand on the underneath. Cup your hand so it’s balanced against your wrist. You want to make sure your elbows aren’t flying. I have my left elbow tucked in. It’s just like a monopod or a tripod. It’s very stable. I’m going to show how to hold it properly. You’ll see I have my elbow tucked in. My right elbow’s also tucked in and I’m looking at the viewfinder. I can get a real stable picture that way.

Jeff: I know you do some work with greenscreen. Is that something that the consumer can do?

Kevin: The consumer can use greenscreen. It’s actually kind of fun. It’s pretty easy to do, but you’ll start noticing one of the things you’ll really want to have in greenscreen, you need lighting because you need to be able to use a large depth of field, so you’ll want to be shooting at F8, F11, something in that range. A lot of consumers just don’t have that, but they don’t need that great quality to do it. To answer the question, yes, you can do greenscreen. You’re going to invest a little more time on a computer, so if you just want to make pictures, and make some fun stuff, it’s easy to do.

Since this video was shot, Kevin has now joined the In Focus Studios team. He shoots our headshots, product photography and architectural photos.

About The Author

Jeff is the founder of In Focus Studios. The company has serviced Maryland, DC, Virginia and North Carolina since 1999. Jeff began his video career by videotaping weddings, but was quickly introduced to the world of corporate video production. Since then he has produced marketing videos, medical videos and webcasts. He also works with athletes from Baltimore, Washington DC and Raleigh, NC. He is a fan of 80’s music videos. He enjoys all aspects of video production, including lighting, directing and editing.