How to Use Your On-Camera Flash

my brand new camera…..flash

Originally uploaded by rougerouge.

I was stumbling around the web today and came upon PlanetNeil. Neil van Neikerk is a pro photographer in NJ. You should really check out his blog and photos. He’s got a creative vision that really shows in his work.

You’re wondering about the whole on-camera flash bit, right? This is where the stumbling comes in. I landed on his FAQ for flash techniques, specifically, the use of on-camera flash. Solid stuff. His FAQ is very well written with nice example photos of what he’s talking about. If your photos just look plain wrong when your shooting with your on-camera flash, head on over now to learn how to do it right. That said, if you think you know how to bounce your flash and you’re still reading this post then you need to read it too – go now.

Thanks for the great article Neil and thanks to rougerogue on flickr for opening blogs on the cool shot above.

Photo (Lesson) of the Day


Originally uploaded by joshuatargownik.

We get two in one today – a cool shot and a lesson on how it’s done. It looks like Joshua is a Strobist reader too (see the links in my sidebar under “Photography Resources”).

This was a recent topic for a Strobist assignment and this shot pretty much nailed it. If you want a more in depth lesson, first, take a look at the original Strobist post and then, see the explanation post.

This post was made possible by Strobist and Joshua‘s generous sharing via flickr.

What does “Crop Factor” mean?

. . . and why does it matter?  Crop factor is a term used loosely in the DSLR world when referring to lens focal length.  There’s often a lot of confusion and misunderstanding surrounding the term for folks that are new shoppers or users of DSLR cameras.

It’s not so scary folks.  If you want a no nonsense explanation of what it means and why it may be important to you, head on over to Rich Legg’s recent post on the topic.  He explains it for the average Joe and even gives us some photos to illustrate what crop factor does.  What are you waiting for?  GoNow.

Photo Mosaics

Cades Cove Mosaic

I learned something new today. I stumbled upon a mosaic maker. It was pretty simple to do. I upload my image file and the mosaic generator pulls images from flickr to create a mosaic of my original image. I imagine that there are some real copyright problems with this use of the photos from flickr even though the mosaic generator puts a copyright notice on the Image Mosaic Generator site.


That said, you may want to go about creating your mosaic from your own photos. There are several ways to do it. There’s online tools that you can use your own flickr photos with (or any other online photos). Also, take a look at the popular software, Mosaic Creator, at or ArcSoft Photo Montage. Want to learn more about photo mosaics? Start with the wealth of info on Wikipedia.

UPDATED 3/15/07:  See also, Rich Legg’s colored pencil mosaic post.


I’m going to address a debate that there is no clear answer to . . . actually, there is an answer: “It depends.”

Ask a handful of photographers which file format you should shoot with and you’ll get some strong opinions on both sides of the debate. Each side has some good points. The problem with the debate is that some folks with strong opinions believe there is only one way – JPEG or RAW. I tend to think that this depends on each photographer’s particular circumstances. [Read more...]

How to Take Better Photos

2006 WERA Grand National Finals

I see a lot of folks on photography forums or letters written in to photo magazines asking where they should start. It seems like I see roughly the same question every day. Lots of times folks know how to point and shoot with their digital camera but don’t necessarily understand what it takes to make a good photograph. [Read more...]

Old School Photography: A History Lesson

Pixel peeping driving you nuts?  Wondering whether you should splurge for the latest and great uber-megapixel camera?  What about dust spots?  Aaaahhhhhh!!!  It’s enough to drive you mad.

Let me invite you to take a trip back to the roots of photography – I’m talking really old school here.  So head on over to Neatorama for a journey back in time and check some ancient cameras, literally.

. . . That 8 megapixel camera in my bag doesn’t look so old anymore.

A Drop and a Splash

Canon Rebel XT w/ 50mm f/1.8

A few days ago I posted another splash picture and I mentioned that I might explain how this was done. Well, that’s not necessary now because fellow blogger/photographer Rich Legg recently provided a rather thorough how-to on his shoot. I’ll have to admit that I like his shots better, which is probably why I’ve put him in my Favorite Photographers links on the sidebar. In the mean time, here’s the same shot from above but with some invert effects applied in photoshop.

Also, since we’re talking about drops, I can’t help but passing along some coffee with a drop of milk.

Canon Rebel XT w/ 50mm f/1.8 (invert in photoshop)