Xavi’s Do’s and Don’ts

DO: Find new perspectives! Try not to look at things one way. Try shooting your subject while you’re high above them, or down below. Try rotating around your subject playing with different shadows and lighting. Trying different angles will help you learn find the most aesthetically pleasing shot.


DON’T: Get stuck on one genre! One big obstacle I had to get over was shooting one kind of photograph. I’d only shoot up close still life scenes and close up photos of my mothers garden. My girlfriend then pushed me to expand. So I started taking more landscape photos, I learned to find huge scenes instead of focusing down on the little details. Trying out different genres will expand your photographic abilities making you a more versatile photographer.


Do:Try and take a picture everyday, even if it’s on your phone. This will strengthen your photography skills and help you add to your never ending portfolio. This will also help you find more ways to see things as interesting photographs.


DON’T: Get stuck behind the lens! Don’t forget to take a step back from your camera and just take in your surroundings. Observe a little before you shoot or in between a couple shots. You’ll notice things that didn’t stand out during your first glance. You’ll see lots of interesting things and you’ll start to notice just how much is going on around us, even in the quietest places.


DON’T: Be afraid of Instagram and other quick photo-editing apps. They’re useful for when you need to snap a quick picture and the filters just add some flavor to your quick picture. Also useful for keeping up with taking a picture a day.


DON’T: Lose your lens cap!


DO: Try and have lens wipes or lens tissue when you take your camera out for a shoot. Don’t want any smudges or dusts potentially messing up your photo!


DO: Be careful when shooting around water. Nothing worse then dropping something important.


DON’T: Rush a photo shoot! Take your time so you can get quality photographs. Just like every other art form it takes time to produce well made work. Your photos will always tell if you rushed to make them.


DO: Show your friends and family! Showing off your work will get you feedback on your strengths and weak areas. Don’t be too shy to show off your work. All feedback is good feedback!


DON’T: Leave your camera lying around. No matter where you are it’s probably not the best idea to leave your camera or equip laying around, anything could happen to it. I’ve learned my lesson not to forget stuff,it threw me into a panic. But luckily there are a lot of good people at Earlham and I was reunited with my camera!


DO: Show your camera come love and care every now and then. Give your camera a good cleaning every now and then and inspect it making sure everything is how it should be. Don’t want something malfunctioning in the middle of a shoot!


DO: Read about famous photographers! See what kind of photographs the masters of photography were creating in their time. Find your favorites and try emulating them. This is will help you find your own unique style.


DON’T: Let vacations go to waste! Vacations or anytime you go someplace you usually don’t are a great way to expand your portfolio. There is always something new to photograph when you travel so don’t let those scenes pass you by.


DON’T: Stop flowin’!

Getting Started: Gotcha!

Welcome back Photo-Flow viewers! Today I am going to go over shutter speed. This tutorial is a lot easier to understand than the aperture tutorial. Last post we explored aperture and DoF where we saw the way different f-stops affect pictures.

The second basic way to manipulate your photos is by changing the shutter speed. Shutter speed is basically the speed in which the shutter opens and closes which regulates how much light is let in for that exposure. Shutter speeds range from 1/2000 of a second to 30 seconds, and most cameras have a ‘Bulb’ or ‘B’ setting which allows you to keep the shutter open as long as you please.

Say you’re at a sports game. You have your shot lined up and your light meter says you’re good to go, but will you capture what you hope to capture? When shooting sports or moving objects it is ideal to use the fastest shutter speed possible because with the fast opening and closing you can freeze your subject in the photograph but the longer the exposure the more ‘noise’ or blur you will see from your subject.

To capture action and have it still feel like the subject is moving a shorter shutter speed would be ideal such as 1/90 or 1/60. The slower shutter speed shows the movement blur of the subject.

If you wish to ‘freeze’ your subject in time then you would want to use a high shutter speed such as 1/1000 or 1/2000. Since the shutter is opening and closing so quickly there is no time for the subject to create movement blur and they are frozen in space. An example of shutter speed can be seen below with the ferris wheel.http://www.exposureguide.com/exposure.htm

Now that you know the first steps you can take to manipulate your photograph you should play around and experiment with these ideas. Testing out different apertures to see how it affects the focus of the photograph, or test out different shutter speeds on moving objects to see how they’re affected by it.


Keep on Flowin!

Getting Started: Focus Focus Focus

Hello Flow-ers! To get things started I’m going to start with the two basic ways to manipulate your photographs. By playing with your aperture and your shutter speed (we’ll learn what these mean in a second) you can make your photo look one way or make it look completely different!


For today we’re just going to be learning about aperture


Aperture controls the size of the opening in your camera lens which regulates how much light can pass through. Aperture ranges from f2.8 – f22 and can go even higher.  f2.8 being the largest opening and f22 being the smallest.



Aperture also controls ‘Depth of Field’ (DoF) which is the distance or depth from a certain point that a photograph will be sharp to where the rest of the background in the shot is blurry.


A shallow depth of field will isolate the subject that you focused on making everything else in the frame blurry. This will make your subject pop because it is so sharp against the blurry background. A shallow DoF is what you’ll want to use when doing portraits or macro shots or when you have one subject that you want to specifically isolate. The shallowest DoF can be achieved by using the biggest aperture setting (f2.8)


A deep depth of field will allow for more of the photograph to be clear in focus instead of just the subject you focused on. Deep DoFs are good for landscapes, or when you have multiple subjects you want to capture in one photo, or you  just want all of your picture to be in focus. The deepest DoF can be achieved by using the small aperture setting (f22)



Choosing to use a small aperture (f22) or big aperture (f2.8) can greatly affect your photo and can help you achieve the image that you see. I hope this taught you the basics of using aperture to your advantage or at least was a helpful reminder!


Keep on Flowin!