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What is a Kit Lens?

In Photo Basics by Improve Photography

You may have heard the term “kit lens” before and wondered what, exactly, a kit lens is. Technically, any lens that is bundled with a camera is called a kit lens. However, it is common to hear people say “kit lens” when they actually mean the 18-55mm lens that comes bundled with a camera. The …

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Expandable ISO: What it is, and why it stinks!

In Photo Basics by Dustin Olsen

Newer DSLR cameras are starting to advertise that they have expandable ISO ranges. What does that even mean? Your camera sensor (the part that captures the image) has a specific range in which it will reasonably be able to react to light before you lose quality in the image.  This is often referred to as …

How to Make Macro Photos Sharper

In Photo Basics by Jim Harmer

Macro, or close-up, photography is a favorite amongst photographers.  It is amazing to see all of the tiny little details of the world magnified to beyond life size for the human eye to enjoy.  However, photographers commonly run into one issue when shooting macro shots–the photos aren’t sharp!  In this post I’ll explain why that …

How to Make Great Photos in Boring Locations

In Photo Basics by Jim Harmer

As a photographer, I am often called to shoot “interesting” events, locations, and clients. I’ve come to expect the unexpected when I’m hired for a shoot, but none of my experiences could match the call I got a couple months ago. I picked up the phone and a woman asked me how much I would …

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22 Things You Can Do Today to Change Your Photography Forever

In Photo Basics by Jim Harmer

Photographers these days spend so much time on the Internet learning good things about photography that they never make the time to do the things that would be really great for their photography.  I’ve compiled a list of 21 things in this article that you can do today that would completely change your photography forever.  THIS is …

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How to Properly Hold a DSLR Camera

In Photo Basics by Jim Harmer

Introduction My inbox is filled each morning with questions from students in my online photography classes asking various photography questions.  I’m glad to get the questions because it helps me to think of what I should write about here on Improve Photography.  You would be shocked to see how many of the questions are about …

How to Take Pictures of Water Drops

In Photo Basics by Jim Harmer

Learn how to take great photos of water drops without any special equipment other than your DSLR in this guest post by Jeff Cable (follow him on Facebook for lots of photography tips).  Jeff was kind enough to offer to step in and send this guest post while I am trying to put things back …

15 Creative Photography Project Ideas to Get You Shooting

In Photo Basics by Jim Harmer

You have all undoubtedly heard of the 365 project.  The project encourages photographers to get out and take one picture every single day, and then to post that photo online.  It is a fantastic way to improve your shooting skills; HOWEVER, I have seen so many 365 projects lately that I am beginning to wonder …

Photo Basics Lesson: How to Check the Exposure

In Photo Basics by Jim Harmer

One of the most significant benefits to digital cameras is the LCD screen, which shows you your picture immediately after it was taken.  Unfortunately, the LCD also causes severe problems for photographers.  In this post, I’ll explain a few methods for determining if your exposure is correct by looking at the LCD of the camera. …

The 5 Elements of Captivating Photography

In Photo Basics by Jim Harmer

In my local photography class last night, I had the students shoot a photo of fruit and a knife on a nice wooden bread board to practice macro photography.  I let them shoot for a minute and then asked them why the photos on their LCD screens did not look professional.  We spent some time …

About shutter priority…

In Photo Basics by Jim Harmer

When I teach my weekly beginning photography class, I usually teach them something that I don’t believe in.  I teach it anyway since it makes things simpler for learning the fundamentals and I figure they will learn to improve their technique when they have more experience. The mistake that I teach is this:   “If …

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More info on depth of field

In Photo Basics by Dustin Olsen

by Dustin Olsen   Need more blur? Go to: Filter > Blur > BINGO! Same with sharpening! But before we “Go to:” anywhere in Photoshop – we need to nail it the camera, first! Simple things such as adding blur or increasing the sharpness are things we can do before making it to Photoshop. We …