Posted by: David Vernon | April 20, 2009

Some Monday Links

Wishing Well MorningI do seem to accumulate links. Lets get to it – and see what comes up along the way.

The folks over at Amateur Snapper – a site I’d not seen before, came up with this nice little article on ten – yes ten – rules of composition. We focus – if you will – on two rules on the Intro class. Ten might seem a little overwhelming. It’s nice to have a list of eight more to choose from and this list is nicely done so here you go – 10 Top Photography Composition Rules

The Peoria Flickr Group – whom we love – is hitting the road for a little adventure photography … in Chicago. On May 30. What an opportunity to visit the Windy City with a gang of adventerous photogs. Check out the details for the PFG in Chicago.

Ever get asked by your friends for advice on which camera they should buy? Here’s two resources you can point them to so they can start answering their own question (these things change so quickly I find it hard to keep up). The folks at Wired Magazine have a nice How-To Wiki article on the things you need to think about before your buy a digital camera. And the folks at bestinclass.com have an interactive guide to buying a camera based on what and how you shoot. You can also limit your choices by color (amongst many other things) so that list of pink cameras is there for the taking.

For my lighting friends today, Scott Kelby takes you through the debate on studio strobes vs. small flash. There’s a lot of pros and cons to each – but the important thing is to visualize what you can do with even just one off-camera light source.

A slightly more advanced topic – in name only – is hyperfocal distance. But once you realize what it is – and how it can be SO important to making landscape images – you’ll want to check out this short article on hyperfocal distance and link to a calculator on PopPhoto Flash. And before you go – for those don’t aren’t convinced,

“The hyperfocal distance is used to determine where to focus to maximize depth-of-field, it is the focus point where everything from half that distance to infinity is in the depth-of-field zone… If you focus at the hyperfocal distance, everything will be acceptably sharp from half the hyperfocal distance to infinity.” (from Jim Beecher at www.photokaboom.com)

And that is critical – from group shots to near-far relationship landscapes – to getting everything in focus you need to get in focus.

The excellent blog “The Luminous Landscape” published a nice article a few days ago on nightime landscapes. Worth a look as some of our favorite photos in Central Illinois are… yep – landscapes taken at night.

Speaking of my favorite topic – landscapes – here’s two shooters who knock it out of the park on a regular basis. Spend a few minutes checking out Bruce Percy and Kevin McNeal. Gorgeous stuff.

We mentioned a “Canon-centric” speedlight site here last week (just back up two posts to go see it). One comment/complaint was that the site was fairly technical – which I won’t disagree with. But I’ve come to the following conclusion. Do you want to shoot small flash in a non-Nikon system? Well guess what – just go buy Joe McNally’s “The Moment It Clicks” or “The Hot Shoe Diaries“.  It just doesn’t matter that Joe shoots Nikon CLS. That’s just a TTL system and 99% of the stuff he does in that book – you can do on a Canon, Pentax, or Sony system. All day long. And when the King of Numnutz explains it – you really believe you can do it and do it well. And it doesn’t matter when brand of gear you use – it WILL work. You can buy both amazing books for $58 at Amazon and get free super-savings shipping so in 5-9 days you too can start becoming a flash genius – on any camera that lets you get the ‘ol light source off cam. Everyone who reads this blog (yes – both of you) knows I have a serious man-crush on McNally – but look around that. These books are invaluable at making you believe. I love them combined at about 99.9% as much as I love my lovely spouse. And I’ve got a serious crush on her too.

That’s enough for one Monday. I’ve got more links (always do) – and will be trying to sling ’em your way most Monday mornings. The rain has stopped – the sun is gently out with nice clouds in the sky – it’s a great day to shoot.

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