Category: Behind The Scenes

What are all those settings?

Canon 5DMKII

Hi everyone, and Happy Holidays!

This is the first of many blogs where I will be teaching many of my secrets on how I create my imagery. But first, we must learn the basics. I am sure we all have some sort of camera, whether film or digital, the good news is, they all work relatively the same. In fact, all cameras have three basic factors that produce a properly (or not so properly) exposed image; shutter speed, aperture and film sensitivity. Keep in mind, for starters, everything will apply to natural light photography, that means no flash.

This defines the length of time the light exposes the film.

This defines how much light exposes the film.

This defines how sensitive the film is to light.

All three of these factors work together every time you click the shutter. In my next blogs I will focus on each of these factors individually, detailing the pros and cons of each with sample images.

Lets look at shooting modes. For learning purposes, ignore all the modes on your camera dial except M, Av, Tv and P.

M – This is manual mode. Yep, you guessed it, in this mode, your camera should operate just like an old fashioned film camera. In this mode, you are required to manually set the shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings. Since all three factors are set by the user, it is the most challenging mode to shoot in, but once mastered, will become your best friend. People like control, and manual mode gives you full control.

Av or Ap – This stands for aperture value or aperture priority. In this mode, you set only two factors, the aperture value and ISO setting, and the camera will automatically determine the best shutter speed to get a properly exposed image.

Tv or Tp – This stands for time value or time priority. In this mode, you set the shutter speed and ISO settings, and the camera will take care of the aperture value.

P – This stands for program. All you do in this mode is set the ISO setting, and the camera will determine the best shutter speed and aperture setting.

That is all for now! Stay tuned and we will go in depth about each of the factors that make a properly exposed image. After that, we will get into advanced settings, features and functions of modern day digital SLRs.

More Than Just A Wedding Photographer – San Francisco City Hall – HDR

I went to the city today to meet Tysen & her fiance Russell. Tysen is a friend from highschool, and one of my future brides. I’m going to be doing more than their wedding photography… I will be assisting her in planning many details of the wedding. My whole theory is that your wedding photographer is with you the entire day, more than any other vendor. We know weddings, we have to. Having been to almost 400 weddings, I want to take my experience and skill even further. Someday I would like to be more than your ordinary wedding photographer, one that goes above and beyond to make sure your day goes as smoothly as possible and exactly the way you want it.

So we toured The Green Room @ The Veteran’s Building in San Francisco, where Tysen and Russell plan to have their wedding. The atmosphere is exactly what their intimate event needs, not to mention some amazing photo-ops that I am super stoked for!

After our meeting, while walking back to the car, I grabbed this shot at city hall. Actually I grabbed 3 shots, at different exposure levels, and processed them into this great HDR of city hall.

Pace Holiday Party Decor from Flowers By Edgar – Hayes Mansion, San Jose, CA

My good friend Edgar of ‘Flowers By Edgar’ asked me to shoot some photos of a holiday party he was hired to decorate. This guy does amazing work. If you are getting married, I highly recommend you talk to Edgar for all of your floral, drapery and decor needs. I made use of HDR and Pano Stitching techniques for a few of these shots. Enjoy!

Drew Sample Jersey