Thursday, 20 February 2014

New Digital SLR Photography Book for 2014

"Digital SLR Photography Demystified" is my new venture in the world of photography instruction.

Originally conceived as a reference for students taking my Digital Photography for Beginners course, it also serves as a standalone guide for those who prefer self-instruction. Written in the same way as my easy-to-understand teaching style, it includes ten practice exercises to reinforce the concepts presented.

The content goes beyond the "Beginners" course by covering panoramic, high dynamic range (HDR) and night photography. Also included is a comprehensive Glossary of Terms and a Quick Solution Guide.

While no one book can explain the functions of all camera makes, a generic model is used to help the reader locate a button or menu item on their own camera, using industry-standard icons where applicable.
Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.
Currently, the book is available as a 96 page paperback from for $14.95 CDN + shipping (slightly less in $US). In the coming weeks, it will also become available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites under the ISBN 978-1-312-03258-3.

Use the QR code below to review the book on

Thursday, 6 February 2014


Have we had enough of cold and snow yet? Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon.

So – if you have the itch to get out and take some photos anyway but are disappointed with the results, the problem may be with exposure. The photographic kind, that is. The camera meters (measures) the light coming through the lens and tries to ‘average’ the exposure to a mid-grey (referred to as 18% grey).

With Evaluative (Canon-speak) or Matrix (Nikon-speak) metering, the camera reads the light over several zones in the viewfinder. If a bright scene covers most of these zones, the computer in the camera will calculate the exposure based mostly on these bright zones. In winter scenes – guess what – snow tends to dominate the scene and the camera tries to expose it to a mid-grey. So, if your winter shots are a little dark, that’s the reason.

There are two fixes for this: spot/partial metering and exposure compensation. I find the latter is the easiest solution so I’ll address it first.

Exposure compensation is a means of overriding the camera’s metering, by allowing you to over- or underexpose by an amount chosen by you. It’s normally controlled by pressing the +/- button and turning the command wheel on the camera. As you do, a bar graph (depends on the camera) will indicate by how many stops you are changing the exposure.

Since the snow caused your camera to underexpose, you need to dial in some overexposure or + exposure compensation. I typically use about one and two-thirds stops, but you may need to use something different depending upon how much of the scene is occupied by snow. Just don’t forget to dial it back to zero when finished, because it won’t go away when the camera is turned off.
Partial or Spot metering relies on something that has a mid-grey tone (although it can be a colour like facial skin) centred in the viewfinder. It effectively ignores all the white snow around it and exposes based on the face or mid-grey object.

I hope this helps, because there’s nothing I can do about the weather. If you need a little more help,  check out my photography courses at