Say Yes!

The first step in any journey is the most challenging one, fear sets in — you pull your foot back and stand there motionless. From my own experience it is the fear of things that have not or may even never happen. The fear created by our minds ability to con jour up imagined future events.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

~Mark Twain

Five years ago I started my journey into photography which has interested me since childhood but I never did fully say yes to the urge.

My back ground in photography was as a dabbler a snapshot here and there.

The turning point came at work when I was asked to do product images for a website. This was a challenging, exciting and a rewarding experience. What was the first step– that’s right, to simply say YES and dive in.

My first digital camera was an Olympus C-2500L 2.5MP “yes 2.5MP and it got the job done”.Oly C-2500LThe photos were processed with Adobe Photoshop 4 which was challenging and fun to learn. This really stoked my interest to go deeper into photography but it wasn’t until years later I said Yes to photography outside of work.

Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today because if you enjoy it today, you can do it again tomorrow.

~James A. Michener

 The next phase in my exploration of photography was in late in 2010. I used the Olympus, which up to this point I had only been shooting in Auto Mode. Now I wanted to get more control over the images I created. This meant a trip to my local library which had numerous photography books. Growing in knowledge of how the settings effect the image was exciting.

Then in early 2011 I decided to invest in a DSLR camera and purchased a Canon T2i. I read the manual front to back”yawn”. Still I felt like learning to use this new camera was frustrating!

Here is what I did to overcome the frustration.

I simply took one feature that interested me and used that one feature for a couple days. Once I could do that button press combination without thinking about it I moved on to the next feature.

By all means try to avoid Auto Mode, Scene Mode or Program Mode because they are a hard habit to break. Staying in those modes in my experience can stunt creative growth as a photographer.

The best modes for a beginner: Part 1

Shutter Priority 


On Canon it is indicated by ( Tv ) on Nikon ( S ) on others ( Sv )

When the camera is set to Shutter Priority ( Tv, S, Sv ) you control the shutter speed and the camera will automaticaly select the Aperture for proper exposure.

TIP: The suggested safe shutter speed for hand held shooting is 1/60 at 50mm focal length when you change lens focal length the general suggested guideline is to simply place a 1 over the focal length.

Example: 250mm lens – safe Handheld minimum shutter speed is 1/250 


In certain lighting situations I cannot get a high enough shutter speed to safely hand hold the camera, what can I do to raise the shutter speed?


When shooting in shutter priority you can raise the shutter speed by Increasing ↑ ISO from say ISO100 to ISO800


Doesn’t increasing ISO effect the image quality?


In Short yes, as ISO increases so does digital image noise. With todays post processing software much if not all the noise can be reduced or eliminated. Also, you should experiment with you camera and determine what is the highest ISO that is acceptable to you when hand holding your camera.

The ultimate remedy for this situation is to use a nearby stable surface or tripod at low shutter speeds.

In my next post I will talk about Aperture Priority

Feel free to leave comments and questions.


One response to “Say Yes!

  1. Pingback: Aperture Priority | Photography by Steve daPonte·

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