Saturday, October 31, 2009

Picture of the Week


  • Shutter Speed: 1/60
  • Aperture: f4.8
  • ISO: 560
  • White Balance: AUTO
  • Focal Length: 38mm
  • Exposure Comp: -.3

Friday, October 30, 2009

RSS Feeds

This post isn't really about photography, but it is for you.  If you read this blog, or any other one on a regular basis, you should know about RSS feeds.  (Especially if you read a lot of blogs.)  If you don't know what RSS is, then watch this helpful video on youtube.

Then if you want to subscribe to Photomom101, click on the orange icon in the side bar with the label "Subscribe to Photomom101 via RSS."  Also if you are already subscribed to our RSS feed, please do us a favor by re-subscribing through the link in the sidebar (and deleting your old one.)  This will help us to know how many people are subscribed and what people are interested in.  (Don't worry, it won't put a virus on your computer or anything, it will just let us know statistics on how many people are reading our feed.)  Thanks.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Support Photomom101 for Free

All the instruction and advice on is free - and we plan to keep it that way. But there is a way you can help support us and keep this site going without costing yourself anything. Whenever you plan to place an order with, start here by clicking on the Amazon banner in our sidebar.  No matter what you buy, as long as you enter Amazon through our site, we receive a little bit of compensation (and it costs you nothing.)
Thanks for helping out!

Monday, October 26, 2009

DSLR Settings - Where to Start

Unfortunately there is no such thing as "the right settings" that will be perfect in every situation.  (Hopefully, if you've been following this blog for a while, you realize this by now.)  However, it is helpful for most people (including me) to at least have a standard starting point.  If you always start from the same point, then it's easier to know what you need to change when something is wrong.  Plus, if your starting point is good, then fewer adjustments will be required (theoretically.)
A few weeks ago I described how to use the info display on a Nikon D40.  So here is a list of my "starting point" settings for each of the options on this screen.  In brackets I will explain any variations for other camera makes or models:

  • Image Quality - Norm 
  • Image Size - Large 
  • White Balance - I always adjust WB to the situation, but if I had to name a starting point, it would be AUTO
  • ISO - 200 [use the base ISO for your camera (the lowest number)]
  • Shooting Mode - Continuous
  • Focus Mode - AF-S
  • AF-area mode - Single Area (the single set of brackets)
  • Metering - Matrix (the top choice)
  • Flash Compensation - 0
  • Exposure Compensation -    -.3 [0 on most cameras]
  • Flash Mode - standard (not red-eye-reduction, slow, or rear)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Picture of the Week

  • Shutter Speed: 1/400
  • Aperture: f4.2
  • ISO: 200
  • White Balance: Cloudy
  • Focal Length: 70mm
  • Exposure Comp: +.3

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Composition: Framing Your Subject

As we try to produce more compelling and attractive images, it is important to consider some design principles.  One technique that can make your pictures more pleasing is framing your subject.  Framing your subject helps to isolate and highlight the most important part of your image.  The result is the same as framing a painting or a printed picture - when you hang it on the wall the frame showcases what it's containing.
Sometimes frames within an image are obvious (like in the picture above,) but they don't necessarily have to be so straightforward.  Any lines that cut across you image and create a border for your subject can serve as a frame.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I'm back from Kenya.  Now that I'm over the jet lag, I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures.  So here they are:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Out of the Office

I'm headed to Kenya for a week and probably won't be posting.  Here's a tip to hold you over: the best way to get better at photography is to take pictures.  So get to it.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Practical Tip: File Number Sequence

Years ago, when I first started using a digital camera, I got so annoyed that I was ending up with dozens of pictures with the same file name (DSC0001 or something similar.)  I couldn't put my pictures into the same folder until I renamed them.  The problem was that every time I cleared off my card, the numbers started over.  Well it turns out that we live in a world where this doesn't have to be a problem.

By simply changing one setting on your camera, you pictures' file names can continue counting up even when you delete your pictures or reformat your card.  Look for a setting called something like "file number sequence," and change it to "on" - or whatever is opposite of the setting that produces the problem.  If you have a Nikon D40 you can find this control in the "Setup Menu" (wrench.)  You won't have to worry about having two files with the same name for the next 9999 pictures.