QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK A PRO PHOTOGRAPHER:

man taking a picture of the ocean on body of water during golden hour
Photo by Pok Rie on Pexels.com

If you had a chance to chat with a pro photographer, or one who you know is a “serious” photographer, what would you ask them? Most people are intrigued to see a real photographer in action. Watch them! Learn from them! And then ask if you can have a few minutes of their time and ask them some questions.

Here is a list of questions that has been put together that most photographers get asked:

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU WISH YOU KNEW WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED TAKING PHOTOS?

photo of man holding camera
Photo by Suliman Sallehi on Pexels.com

First: it’s important to know that a photographer, when they first started, didn’t know anything much about photography. They struggled to learn how their camera works, how composition works, and how to make things work for them.

Answers you might receive are:

  • Gear
  • Motivation
  • And much, much more!
  • Composition
  • Lighting
  • Scouting

These questions related to these answers should help a lot.

HOW DID YOU GET GOOD AT PHOTOGRAPHY THEN:

woman leaning back on tree trunk using black dslr camera during day
Photo by David Bartus on Pexels.com

Just remember that every photographer did not start as a photo genius. What would you think they would say? Would it be: photo courses, reading books and magazines, looking at pictures, or was it just practice, practice, practice?

(Bonus: Plenty of photographers love this question, because it’s clearly flattering! So you’re likely to get a good, long, helpful answer.)

WHAT CAMERA GEAR DO YOU USE?

I don’t recommend you start off with this question, because it comes off as a bit superficial; after all, it’s the photographer, not the gear, that makes great photos.

But there are things you can learn about cameras, and equipment that the photographer may help you with. And I hope they are honest with you and don’t say that one brand is better than another, because there is clearly a great camera you could choose in every brand. But, find out what they would recommend for the type of photography you want to do.

WHICH LENS IS YOUR FAVORITE TO USE?

This is another question that could test the honesty of the photographer. One lens is not a “fix all” lens for all types of photography. If they are a portrait photographer, then they would probably tell you that this particular lens is good for portraits. And maybe another lens would be different for landscapes, etc.

By the way, when it comes to choosing from among high-level lenses, it’s not so much about determining which lens is the sharpest. Instead, it’s about determining which lens fits your particular preferences and requirements, so that you can achieve the shots you’re after. Make sense?

WHEN YOU GO OUT TO SHOOT, WHAT OTHER EQUIPMENT DO YOU TAKE BESIDES THE CAMERA AND LENS?

So many different accessories to complete your photo experience

Most photographers have an interesting accessory or two they can’t live without, like a cleaning kit, a portable charger, or even certain hiking boots.

And these items vary from photographer to photographer, depending on their shooting genre and style.

It can be a lot of fun to ask a photographer about their essentials. Be sure to find out why they carry the items that they do. And pretty soon, you’ll have a handful of items to add to your own gear wish list!


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WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SETTINGS?

grayscale photography of person holding black dslr camera
Photo by Md Iftekhar Uddin Emon on Pexels.com

I recommend you leave this question open ended, because you don’t want to know the precise settings that a photographer uses every now and again; instead, you want to know the best settings for specific occasions, as well as the can’t-live-without settings a photographer always needs.

Some things that might be mentioned are:

  • Aperture
  • AF area modes
  • Image style (do they shoot in black and white or do they convert later?)
  • Button customization’s
  • Shutter speed
  • ISO
  • White balance
  • Focusing modes

DO YOU USE POST PRODUCTION PROGRAMS?

a woman using computer
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels.com

Does the photographer use Adobe or Lightroom? What are the reasons for using them? There is a few more minor questions to ask them here as you can see. Is it hard to use these programs?

Be sure to listen carefully; the key to a photographer’s style is sometimes hidden in the smallest of details!

IS THERE A PHOTOGRAPHER WHO HAS INFLUENCED YOU?

One of the worlds most famous photographers: Ansel Adams

Out of all the questions to ask photographers on this list, the “influence” question is the most difficult to answer – but if you have the time and the photographer is willing, it can lead to outstanding insights into their work.

See, all photographers have influences. And while most work is original to some extent, by understanding how a photographer developed, you can nail down certain aspects of their thought process, such as:

  • What they’re trying to say with their photography
  • How they approach composition
  • How they think about light

CONCLUSION:

One of the key steps to learning photography yourself, is to ask another photographer. Make sure the photographer is a good one, and not your brothers father-in-law. Get a hold of a good photographer. You usually can tell if they are really in to photography by the equipment they carry.

Don’t you just love your SONY camera? Wouldn’t you love to read about the newest from Sony so you can keep up with the newest products? Now you can! 123PhotoGo now has a subscription to keep you up to date for only $1.50 per month! Just go to: https://123photogo.com/subscriptions/

NEW PHOTOGRAPHY IDEAS FOR 2022:

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

KNOW YOUR CAMERA:

Your camera has lots of features that most photographers—including yourself—never use. You might not even know they exist or what they’re for. Aperture, shutter speed, and focus are fundamental and very important, but there are many more features that can help you be a better photographer and spend less time retouching and fixing your average photos. There are functions like multiple exposure, time-lapse, mirror lock-up, and metering, just to name a few. Take your time to learn about them and get creative. Creativity will change your photography. Do you know where your camera’s manual is? Time to take it out, go through it, experiment with each function, and learn what you can create. You’ll be amazed.

THE BEST WAY TO LEARN ABOUT YOUR CAMERA IS TO GET OUR NEW BASIC COURSE ON PHOTOGRAPHY! THIS WEBSITE WILL HAVE AN ALL NEW COURSE TO LEARN ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY, AND IT COMES OUT JANUARY 20TH. WE WILL COVER IDEAS LIKE: “UNDERSTANDING LIGHT”, “HOW TO BUY A CAMERA”, THINK ABOUT “WHAT KIND OF PHOTOS YOU WANT TO TAKE“! COME BACK TO THIS WEBSITE ON JANUARY 20TH TO GET YOUR NEW PHOTO COURSE!

JOIN A PHOTO CLUB, AND MINGLE WITH OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS:

Photo by Seth Doyle on Unsplash

Photography is lots of fun when you can share the experience with others. Look for local photographers or a local photo club and plan outings. Going out with several photographers allows you to experiment with other cameras and lenses, learn new techniques, and practice. It’s fun and a great way to learn.

LEARN NEW PHOTO TECHNIQUES

This website, this year, is going to have a lot of different ideas of how to take different types of photos. Different ways to take photos. And also learn about things you can do with your camera you may not realize you can do. Should be an exciting new year of learning here at 123photogo.

Try something here now by going to this search engine and just type in a subject you want to learn about. With over 1,000 different blogs on this website, I may already have something new to try out. Try it here now:

TRY SHOOTING SOME NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY:

Shooting at night is probably the best way to learn photography. Automatic does not work. You have to learn how to balance ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. You are forced to use a tripod, and by doing so, you learn how to use it properly and reinforce proper shooting techniques. Also learn how to focus on the light. In the end, you will be rewarded with amazing images.

Photo by Lanny Cottrell – 123PhotoGo

FIND A WAY TO SHOW OFF YOUR WORK MORE:

There is no better feeling than someone commenting on your image and liking it. There are many ways in which you can show off your work. Post it online. For example, on SmugMug you can have your own mini-website. Enlarge and print a couple of your images and hang them at home or at the office. Build a photo page of your work on Facebook. Instagram was originally set up for photographers to display their photos online. Plush, you can learn a lot from photographers there as wellThere are many options, and at the end you will feel proud of your photography and motivated to do better.

123PhotoGo has it’s own “photo group” in which you can share your photos. I find that the serious photographers are trying to post new photos almost every day. It makes you think that you need to take more photos, and as you do so, you become a better photographer. Details below:

THIS IS GOING TO BE AN EXCITING YEAR FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS AS WE CONTINUE TO MODIFY THIS WEBSITE SO WE CAN HELP YOU AND OTHERS BECOME BETTER PHOTOGRAPHERS. KEEP COMING BACK! IT WILL BE EXCITING!

CHANGING YOUR APERTURE, AND IT’S EFFECTS

petals plant flower macro
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

First of all, I hope you like our new format for this website. Now you have access to more information that is available on this site.

Also note the two new items in the menu: Shop, and Complete Photo Courses. These we are still working on, but, want you to be looking for those items to fill in soon.

The last blog we did was on shutter speeds and the effects you can do by changing the shutter speeds. Now we will talk about what you can do by changing the Aperture setting (commonly called F-Stops, or F-numbers).

When you change the aperture on your lens, you change the depth of field in your photos.

Notice how the background changes as you change your F-Number on your lens.

The ideal times to change those to create the effect you want is on close-ups, like the main photo at the top of the page (the flower). Notice how the background is very blurry, and you can see how it makes the main subject stand out more than ever.

To go the other way, and use a higher F-stop number, such as F16, F22, you will primarily use that on photos you want almost everything to look sharp. The ideal time to use that aperture setting is usually for scenery photos:

photo of railway on mountain near houses
Photo by SenuScape on Pexels.com

Notice how the above photo seems to be so sharp from the foreground to the background.

NOTICE HOW THIS IS SOMETHING YOU CANNOT DO WITH YOUR CELL PHONE

Watch for our next blog coming on Monday.

CONTROLLING YOUR SHUTTER SPEED AND IT’S EFFECTS:

time lapse photography of vehicle tail lights
Photo by Nikolett Emmert on Pexels.com
Another article on: “Something you can’t do with a cell phone”

If you want to be a serious photographer, this is another series of why you should have a “real camera” instead of doing all your photography with your cell phone.

Controlling your shutter speed on your camera is there for you to seriously give you the control to create something beautiful and exciting. The photo above, for example, is just one great photo that was done by having control of your shutter speed. Simply done by putting your camera on a tripod, and then having your shutter speed set so that the lights on the road become a blur or a long string of color. Judging from how long the lights are streaking there, I would say that shutter speed was around 6 to 10 seconds long. Can your camera do that?

SETTING YOUR CAMERA’S SHUTTER SPEED TO “B”.

Photo by Tom Podmore on Unsplash

One of everyone’s favorite things to do when setting the shutter speed slow is to take a photo of a waterfall. When it is slow it just blurs the water and gives it a dream effect. If someone is in the photo, yes, they will be a blur as well. But, that kind of acts as an effect most people will like with this photo.

The “B” setting on your camera stands for “Bulb”. And back many years ago, the photographer would have his camera set on the tripod, and then use a “bulb-type” plunger that you would screw into the camera’s button. This is where the “B” came from. You can still use a remote trigger on your camera, but, it may not be a “bulb”, but, a “cable release” or even use your self timer, so you don’t touch the camera during a long exposure.

EFFECTS OF A FAST SHUTTER SPEED

Photo by Michael Constantin P. on Unsplash

Is there something wrong with this helicopter? No, this photographer used a very fast shutter speed, like 1/1000 or 1/2000 of a second to be able to stop the helicopter blades from showing any motion. Totally freezes anything that moves when you use a fast shutter speed.

Here is another photo showing fast shutter speeds:

Photo by Max Frajer on Unsplash

Of course, changing your shutter speeds, may involve you changing your ISO setting as we mentioned in the previous blog. And your aperture setting may change as well. All 3 of these settings have to work together. You will just need to know what type of effect you are after in order to use the right settings, or making the decision what setting is most important with the type of photo you want to take.

On the next blog, we will go over the results of changing your aperture setting on your camera. What will you create using different aperture settings? See ya then!

UNDERSTANDING ISO

photo of candles inside cages
Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com
ANOTHER ARTICLE ON: “SOMETHING YOU CAN’T DO WITH A CELL PHONE”

Too often in today’s world, it seems that people are thinking that cell phone photography is getting close to everything a regular SLR or DSLR, or even a mirrorless camera can do.

This article will dispel that myth so you can see that cell phone photography is still far away from doing what a good camera can do.

WHAT IS ISO?

ISO refers to your camera’s sensitivity to light. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive your camera sensor becomes, and the brighter your photos appear.

ISO is measured in numbers. Here are a few standard ISO values: 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200.

That said, pretty much every camera offers intermediate ISO values (for instance, ISO 125 and ISO 160 between ISO 100 and ISO 200). And most cameras these days include additional ISOs on the high end of the range, such as ISO 6400, ISO 12800, ISO 25600, and beyond.

WHAT DOES ISO STAND FOR?

ISO is the acronym used by the “International Standards Organization”. This is where the ISO came up with it’s standard across the world.

For the purposes of photography, the name isn’t important. Just think of ISO as your camera’s sensitivity to light, and you’ll do just fine!

ISO AND YOUR EXPOSURE SETTINGS:

By increasing the ISO in your camera, you are making the light meter more sensitive to light. It would allow you to shoot in different types of light, even when light is not good.

person standing beside waterfalls
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Pexels.com

The first number that you would use in your ISO setting is usually 100, and is the basis for shooting in good light, such as sun, and bright light. You would then be setting your shutter speed and aperture according to what your desired effect is.

THE HIGHER THE ISO NUMBER, THE BETTER YOUR RESULTS WILL BE IN LOWER LIGHT:

Now if we go from 100 ISO to say 800 ISO, you will now have some control over what is normally not scene in the darker shadows of your photo. Like this:

an underexposed image of a room
A Picture shot at 100 ISO.
a well-exposed image of a room
Maybe shooting the same photo at 800ISO will give you a great exposure inside where it once was dark.

Both the above pictures have something to be aware of. If shooting at 100 ISO, the photo is usually perfect if shooting outside. Look at the exposure of the outside through the window, with the first picture.

Now, looking at the second exposure, for sure it seems like it’s a better picture. But, now the outside is so washed out, the picture really seems kind of useless, because it is now over exposed. Although it looks perfect inside, where the lighting isn’t so good. So, which one do you like? Either one will work, it just depends on what you want in your photo.

HOW DOES YOUR ISO WORK WITH YOUR SHUTTER SPEED AND APERTURE?

To get the perfect exposure, it is all a combination of ISO, the proper shutter speed, and the best aperture setting. All 3 of these are important. Let’s look at why you would change your ISO setting when you have the perfect light.

A QUICK LESSON ON SHUTTER SPEEDS:

I know this is a lesson on ISO settings, but, let’s look at the other settings it has to work with: The first being the shutter speed.

If you set your camera at ISO 100, the perfect exposure outside will probably be: 1/125 second, and the aperture or F Stop will be F16. Perfect exposure. If you will recall, the faster the shutter speed, you can now stop action:

timelapse photography of green and white racing vehicle on lane
Photo by Chris Peeters on Pexels.com

If you want to stop action, then your shutter speed will need to be close to 1/1000 second. To get the proper picture then, the easiest thing to do is to raise your ISO from 100 to 800 ISO to get the proper exposure. (That is as long as the aperture stays the same).

You see that changing your shutter speed, you will need to change your ISO to keep things in proper exposure.

CHANGING YOUR APERTURE WILL ALSO GIVE YOU THE NEED TO CHANGE YOUR ISO:

pink rose
Photo by Jonas Kakaroto on Pexels.com

Now let’s see what can happen if you want to change your aperture setting to get a shallow depth of field, like the above photo.

If you change your setting on your aperture to F2.8, there may be the need to change your ISO, but it can’t go lower than 100, right? (Most newer cameras will only go as low as ISO 100). So, the only thing you can do here again, is to change your shutter speed, to match the ISO of 100. Changing it to F2.8 would mean you would need to change your shutter speed to 1/2000 second. That will allow you to get the exposure you need.

DIFFERENT SCENARIOS YOU WOULD USE TO CHANGE YOUR ISO SETTINGS:

* WHEN TO RAISE YOUR ISO:
  • You’re shooting at an indoor sports event, especially if your subject is moving fast
  • You’re shooting a landscape without a tripod and you need a deep depth of field
  • You’re shooting a landscape at night (or doing astrophotography) and you need a reasonable shutter speed to freeze the stars
  • You’re photographing portraits in a dark room or in the evening/night
  • You’re shooting an event indoors with limited window light (such as a party)
  • You’re photographing a dark concert
  • You’re photographing an art gallery, a church, or a building interior (you might also consider using a tripod, but this is against the rules in a lot of spaces)
  • You’re photographing wildlife in the early morning or evening (especially if you need a fast shutter speed)
  • You’re photographing fast-moving subjects and you need an ultra-fast shutter speed
* WHEN TO LOWER YOUR ISO:
  • You’re shooting motionless landscapes and your camera is mounted on a tripod
  • You’re photographing portraits in good light
  • You’re photographing an event, and you have plenty of window light or you’re using flash
  • You’re photographing products with a powerful artificial lighting setup
portrait of a handsome man with muscular body
Photo by emre keshavarz on Pexels.com

CONCLUSION :

ISO and shutter speeds and aperture settings all work together. It just depends on what you want to achieve in your photo, that will be what you need to set for ISO, Shutter speed, and F Stops. We will go into why you would change your shutter speeds and the effects you can get with changing it. And then we will get into why you would change your aperture setting as well. Keep with me…….