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DSLR Guide News - The Most Important Photography Concept
January 05, 2013

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DSLR News - January 2013

In This Issue
Welcome to the new year!
As much as I tried to get this newsletter out before the end of last year, it just didn't happen. There's a lot of behind-the-scenes work going on at the Digital SLR Guide which takes up good deal of time.
For those not aware, I am converting the entire site over to a new layout to improve the overall speed of the site, make it easier to find what you're looking for and (most important) to prepare the site for a mobile-friendly version.
In addition to the conversion, I'm also working on several new camera reviews (coming soon!) as well as this newsletter.
With the status update complete, let's talk about the contents of this month's issue. In this issue you'll learn:
  • The Most Important Photography Concept for Beginning Photographers
  • How Contrast Can Ruin Your Landscape Photos
  • What Are the Latest Small-Sized Digital SLR Cameras?

Stay Updated!

The Digital SLR Guide is also on Facebook. If you're on Facebook, drop on by to get updates about new digital SLR cameras and photo tips.

The Most Important Photography Concept
purple flower

A fan of the Digital SLR Guide's Facebook page asked: "What is the most important photography concept for beginning photographers?"
I think that it's an interesting question because there is no wrong answer.
Every advanced and professional photographer will have some opinion about the most important skill for beginners to work on and every suggestion should have a positive impact on how a beginner thinks about photography with a DSLR.
My own opinion is this: you have to find a way to make your photos uniquely yours. Ideally, you want others to look at your pictures and say "that was taken by so-and-so."
While this may never happen for the majority of beginning/amateur photographers, it's a great goal if you really want your photos to stand out.
As I explain in the full article, I think that there is one control that you must master as a beginner, because this one setting helps to set the mood of each and every picture you take.

Beginner Digital SLR Lessons
  • Dramatically improve the photos you take
  • Take manual control of aperture, shutter speed and ISO
  • Get exposure right, even in challenging light
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Download lessons as PDF files
  • Ask me questions
Learn More >>

How Contrast Ruins Landscape Photos
landscape photo

I have lost count of the number of times I've gotten a question that goes something like this:
"I was on a hike taking pictures and I noticed that the blue sky looks more white than blue in all my shots. When I fiddled with my camera settings, the sky looked OK but the ground went all dark. What can I do to correct this?"
The unfortunate answer to this question is that there is little or nothing you can do at the time of exposure to correct this situation. Yes, it's something that you can correct later with software but no amount of jiggering with your camera settings will get both sky and land correctly exposed.
The good news - if you can call it that - is the fact that this is a limitation of every digital SLR, even the really expensive ones. Don't feel like you got stuck with a bad camera.
When there's too wide a range of contrast in the landscape, your camera makes decisions about what's bright and what's dark, and these may not be the same choices that you'd make with a little bit of manual control.
Once you come to terms with the fact that your digital SLR can't capture every type of light imaginable, you will discover creative ways to work around this limitation.
After all, it's what professional photographers have been doing for years.

Intermediate Digital SLR Lessons
  • Discover the best types of light
  • Learn to see and manipulate natural light
  • Find out what all the settings on your flash mean
  • Improve the quality of light from your flash
  • Blend natural light with flash
  • Use off-camera flash for professional-looking portraits
Learn More >>

From the Archives: Small-Sized DSLRs
small sized dslr

As I systematically work my way through all the pages of the site to update them to the new format, I've discovered that there are many that are in dire need of updates.
Since it doesn't make sense to me to add a shiny look to stale content, I'm also updating the content of these pages to make them current.
One page that recently got the upgrade treatment covers small-sized digital SLRs.
A "small" SLR is a bit of a stretch conceptually since the optical viewfinder design prevents them from being really compact. However, there are a handful of cameras that use different composite materials so they are not quite as large and bulky as some of their competitors.
If you're looking for a camera that's more discreet for travel photography, or have wrist issues that prevent you from holding heavy cameras for extended periods of time then a small-sized digital SLR (which also happen to weigh the least) is just what you need.

In Conclusion
Since there tends to be a lull in new camera releases at this time of year, I'm shifting the focus of these newsletters over to photography tips for awhile.
If any new cameras are announced I will report on them here, as well as on the Digital SLR Guide Facebook page (which had a lot of quiet time during the holiday season).
Thanks for reading, and best wishes for the new year!
--Chris Roberts, Your Digital SLR Guide

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