Ask a Photographer – Part 2

I asked some of my Facebook friends if they had any questions for a photographer, here’s the original Facebook thread.

      1. Andres Silva: Composition I think is really something anyone can be great at even if you think that your photography is not great. Composition puts you ahead in good pics.
        Absolutely! I just wrote a post on that very topic which will be published next week.
      2. Daren Hillhouse: How about lighting?
        Yes, light is required to create a photograph. 😉
        This photo was taken on my back porch using the exterior wall as a reflector, no special lighting or Photoshop work.girl portrait
        Most people don’t have access to a studio, strobes, softbox, lightbox or even a bounce flash. However, there are things you can do to get a great shot! As an example, if you are shooting a portrait, put the subject looking towards the window, with you between the window (perhaps a little to the side so you don’t cast a shadow) and the model. Another simple option is to turn the subject about 90 degrees or so. Then you move, so the person will be facing you with the window on your left/their right (either side works). A reflector can help with lighting issues. You can even use a piece of poster board or a blank wall instead of a reflector.
      3. Megan Johnson: Nathan! Do you have a photography blog?! I’d love to read it! My question, how to get the perfect white balance when shooting completely manual? Thanks!
        Yes, I have a blog and here it is! I’ve published a short post on white balance and color temperature but here’s how to set white balance manually. Let’s assume you have a Nikon DSLR, there will be a button labeled WB, for White Balance. When held, icons will appear on the screen as you toggle through. There will be various icons indicating preset temperature levels, for instance a cloud for cloudy conditions and will be able to set presets. However, this is still not what you’re looking for.
        Let’s continue to assume you have a Nikon (D7000 in this case) but it should be a similar process with any capable camera. You will need a white or grey card, tripod your camera. Let’s skip to where you have the camera on a tripod, lighting/exposure set and subject framed. Hold down the WB button, rotate the dial and toggle through until “PRE (Preset Manual)” appears. Then let go of the WB button, press and hold it again until “PRE” starts flashing. Now you take a picture of the white card and your white balance is set until you take a new white balance card reading.
        Here’s a couple links to some more detailed guides: Canon and Nikon

More questions will be answered in Part 3! Leave a comment or subscribe below!