Low Light

One of the photographic subjects/environments I like is low light. I am really fighting how to do this with my D300. If the ISO goes up, the image is grainy, soft, and usually out of focus. Wide aperture makes it even harder to focus. Aarrgh!

One of the big problems is the fact that shooting low light requires such low shutter speeds that there is no way for your eye to see what the camera is going to capture. I guess the programmer in me expects art to be programmatic, automatic, and predictable. *sigh*

I practiced shooting low light in my bathroom with the lights off. I set the focus manually with the lights on, turned off the lights, then adjusted the manual shutter speed and aperture until I got within -1 EV of ‘correct’. I could barely see anything, but the photo came out exposed like a normal room with lights on. Rock on, fast prime lens!

Edit: By turning on the High ISO Noise Reduction (low, norm, high), the photos look much better, but at what cost? Should I worry about in-camera changes in terms of altering the image in a way that I can’t recover from?


Online Resources

I’ve come across some good resources lately. I’m really trying to get my brain around all this new information. Which of the 15 or so ways to light up shadowy areas should I use here? That kind of stuff.

First is Joe McNally’s Blog. His writing is funny, his YouTube video taught me how get get a few more stops in low light or shakey situations. Since he is “Mr. Nikon”, I’m sure I’ll be referencing his blog a lot.

Second are the Flickr group discussions. It’s so great to be able to quickly find people with common interests!

I also like reading Ken Rockwell’s siteThom’s site , and DPReview. And, of course, http://www.twipphoto.com/.

Feel free to add suggestions in the comments. 


Wow, I really suck at composition.


I attended a photography class last night, hosted by Wolf Camera where I bought my gear. Ignorance is bliss, isn’t it? I learned what the “Rule of Thirds” means, and when to break that rule. I learned about compression and expansion techniques. Leading lines, framing, and silhouetting will come in handy. I learned to get closer (physically or by zoom) when shooting people.


Your eye should move through the story photo. This gives the photo movement and depth. This helps tell a story. This is my problem. I almost always center my subject.

Did I really learn these new techniques and tips? Stay tuned to find out as I post more and more pictures. And get ready for vacation photos, it’s about that time.



My name is Kevin. I’m learning digital photography. I decided to blog about it. I hope this blog will speak for itself through the images you see here.

Why am I doing this? I used to be into photography a little bit in high school, but then Real Life got in the way and I grew away from my creative side. Now, 20 years later (seriously? wow.), I want to reconnect with that wilting creative cortex before it is lost forever.

My aunt is a real shutterbug, but they are just snapshots from a simple old film camera. I might have picked up the inclination for wanting to capture moments from her, but I always had a desire to take really good photos that someone might pay for. I got a Minolta Maxxum 3xi as a Christmas present my senior year in high school. I took a lot of bad photos, but a few good ones. Someday I’ll scan them, but I haven’t yet.

So, this begins my journey into 21st century photography. I plan to post my learning experiences as I go, both in text and image format. Constructive criticism is welcome. Enjoy.