This page is to inform readers of the finer points of and to answer any questions clients or others may have about Why? Where? When? What? when applied to photography. 

Your shot 'looks good' but how can you tell if it really is without wasting time?


A good picture needs a mixture of - nice colours, no blur, good composition, clarity and focus and interesting subject matter. The subject matter is down to personal taste and composition is down to experience and the eye of the beholder - so how can we increase the chances of getting a suitable quality shot.

The problem with the eyepiece and even the larger rear screen is - they are still small. The eyepiece lets you set your composition and the camera sensors and your settings control how the camera manipulates internal elements to provide focus, shutter speed, stability.

All shots require stability for sharpness - so a tripod, monopod, resting point, leaning post, kneeling position and fast shutter speed all can ensure reduced blur/increased sharpness. Using 'live view' and magnification together can assist focusing your camera where you want it.

Once your shot is captured a separate magnification window/eyepiece will provide 2.8 X magnification and when held to the screen will block out reflective light and you will get a much better appreciation of the quality of your shot, brightness/colouration/sharpness can all be appreciated better and so you can quickly adjust camera settings. This useful magnification tool costs a few pounds and is a worthy addition to your kitbag.

Why do you need flash on a bright day when conditions are perfect ?

Perfect sunny cloudless conditions on the day are not the best from a Photography aspect. A bright cloudfilled sky is better because it may stop direct bright light entering a lens and generally stops harsh or sharp shadows. A speedlight/flash will send out a zap of light to lighten a feature in shadow, remove dark bags (from shadow) under eyes and generally enhance a shot with an otherwise sharp shadow line on it. A flexible relector or a large foil backed card can do the same by bouncing light back onto a subject - but an assistant may be needed in this case. So dont be surprised to see a flash mounted on a camera on a sunny perfect day.


How easy is it for family/friends/guests to view and order Event/Wedding photos?


This can be exceptionally difficult. Since The Photographer always owns the copyright (not to be misunderstood for the C logo across a print - the watermark). The majority of Photographers will purchase capacity within a High Capacity Storage facility - or Storage Cloud. This allows clients & guests to browse and order prints on line. Regretably the cost of these prints can be very high.

We possess our own personal Private Storage Facility - family, friends & guests still have passworded access to browse, view and purchase but at greatly reduced rates. A popular service to Clients.


How do I capture the scene I want to shoot?


You see beautiful scenery in front of you but are unsure which part to shoot and how to set your camera to capture what you want. This is a very common scenario.

First which part of the scene ? No single answer as we all have individual tastes - but if you place both thumbs and first fingers over each other and slide them in/out you can form a quick viewing eyepiece. Use this to quickly move around the scene and select a section that impresses you most. Look for pleasing composition 'keys' such as leading lines (a line of something that guides you into and across the shot)/intersecting triangular forms/texture/rule of third placement (a shot is more pleasing if the focus is a third of the way into and a third up/down a picture) and foreground/background mix/clarity.

So having chosen the shot/composition how best to capture it? What Aperture, what shutter speed, what about the light intensity?

If you have a tripod - use it. If not - can you place your camera on something to keep it steady or lean against a fence/boulder/tree/something to prevent body shake etc etc.

Placed in Auto the camera will generally do a pretty amazing job in choosing the best settings for your camera (the designers have spent months trialling your camera to ensure this - trust them)

Otherwise - Its a scene, so will not move so speed is a given, its stationary - now focus on Aperture and light levels. A large aperture (hole) lets in a lot of light quickly and this will be from closer objects. A small aperature lets in light slowly and so distant light has time to be recorded. So for scenery choose a smaller hole/aperture say f16 f22 f32 depending on the distance to the farthest point you wish to record. Now try a shot at 1/10 second and view it - if too light set at 1/20th - too dark set at 1/5th all the time viewing the bottom 'exposure slide' displayed in the eyepiece - when the slider pointer moves to the centre the shot is generally a good one. Once you have a nicely coloured/exposed shot review your composition and make corrections until you have the shot you really wanted. NEVER expect a perfect shot first time. ALWAYS expect to retake a scene several times. GOOD LUCK.

Camera Basic and Popular Modes (What are they) easily explained.


All cameras have a dial at the top called the Mode Dial. This dial can be set in various positions in order to select the 'shooting mode you choose' for the photo you want. Each mode position instantly tells the camera what it has to control to give you a good picture.

Most Beginners/Instant shooters choose AUTO (Green Square mode Auto/Scenery/Portrait/Sport or Close-up etc etc) with a symbol to reflect that scenario and the camera monitors the light and where you are pointing and sets camera parameters for you - so that the shot is of reasonably good quality.

The Camera wil try its best to adjust 3vital inter-related criteria - Aperature {light entry hole size), Shutter speed (depending on the picture you tell it you are capturing), and Sensor sensitivity (in a dark scene the sensor will need to more sensitive to light than in a bright scene) called ISO.

Most Amateurs and Pros mainly use A and T modes, A = Aperture Priority and T = Time Priority. Time is critical if you are shooting a jogger (set at 200th), sprinter or football game (set at 1000th) and that should 'freeze' the action if you focus on the upper chest area and set the picture take rate to fast - not single. If time is unimportant but the stationary subject is, then set to A and focus on the subjects eyes if a portrait or 1/3 way down the scene if other. that should ensure the camera auto adjusts the Depth of Field correctly (the bits 'in focus' front to back - of the subject/s that matter) so that the photo is a good one. If you are shooting a personal portrait you will choose a low No say 1.8, 2.4, If a group shot then 3.2 to 5.6, if a mountain range and foreground 16 or 22. You always select the point of interest of focus.

What's the difference between a great Photographer and a great Wedding Photographer?

One has to think purely about the content of a picture - focus, clarity, colouration, the pose or surroundings, depth of field, white balance, still subject/s, camera settings, shade, lighting etc and time is usually not an important issue.
The other has to think of all of the above, but this time - precious time or lack of it, is a normal pressure throughout the duration of the entire hectic fast paced, subjects continually moving day - as is a gentle, confident, experienced guiding hand with an agreed detailed shots plan, to save time - without upsetting the B&G and guests from 90+ years to 3 days for probably around 6 to 12hours+ and still produce 500 to 1000 pinsharp images compared to 10 or 20.
What's the difference ? Think about it - it's absolutely immense !

Camera input data/storage setting/format when taking a photograph - Should it be - RAW or JPEG ??

This single subject alone creates so much argument amongst photographers.
Basically its to do with data storage and image compression or the space a particular image occupies inside your storage medium and your ability afterwards to play a tune with the data/shot (modify it) and the final overall size you are able to expand the picture too without losing sharpness and clarity.
JPEG stands ...for Joint Photographic Experts Group (scientists, engineers and programmers from Image Production Industries) who met to decide on a new standard way of transferring image data across a range of products with variable data storage capacities. What was agreed was the jpg. file that we all know and use without thinking today. To arrive at this file your software will compress the light data coming into the lens to suit what was agreed - as a file size large enough to give a very pleasing result for the vast majority of the worlds population. Because the data is compressed some of the detail is lost.
Can the average guy tell the difference - no.
Most modern DSLR cameras, if so programmed can change compression ability to greater or lesser file sizes and the Greater Ability option is known as - the RAW setting. This setting is used mainly by professional photograph sellers/publishers.
A jpg filesize 'may be-  lets say 6MB' but a RAW file 'may be say 24MB' and so contains 4X the data. So a 2GB memcard can store say 320 brilliant jpg quality photos - but only 80 brilliant RAW quality photos. So many Professionals will customise their camera to do both at the touch of a pre-programmed button - and when they see a Magic Shot (or agree a Special Portrait shot with a client) they will record the incoming light in a RAW file so that they can 'play later' to produce a brilliant large canvas or print of superior colour and quality to a jpeg file which has expandability limits since the system reduces the size of the incoming data for smaller storage reasons as already explained.
Many Photographers insist on using - only RAW files.
Many only use JPEG.
I use both and discuss client needs prior to a Wedding Shoot and if they are looking to do something special with a chosen pose then my camera has a custom button for immediate file type switching. However if I were to attend an event where I knew my photos were to be used for advertising/posters/large display then I would reprogram so that all shots were RAW and could also be adjusted later using home software if I feel the need.