Dan Dooley Photography

Digital Photography
Lessons - Tips - Ideas
and Answers to Your Camera and Photography Questions

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Are you interested in learning how to take better pictures with your digital camera? Camera and photography advice for beginners. Tips on how to get the most from your camera and what to look for in your first digital camera. What defines "photography" and what is the difference between "photography" and "picture taking".

Whether you are using a modern Single Lens Reflex ( SLR ) digital camera or a simple, compact point and shoot camera, if you are interested in learning the basics of digital photography - or you are looking to improve your knowledge and skills, these pages provide a rich resource of information and are based on a common sense approach to your questions.
We bought the Canon G12 camera recently for my wife to use. She's not in favor of having to mess with a lot of complex camera controls, but at the same time we wanted a camera with a lot more capability than the little simply pocket cameras can offer. Additionally, we wanted something which has an available water proof housing which would allow the camera to be used for water sports activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, white water rafting and more. Canon offers a perfect housing for the G12 camera which allows full access to all of the camera controls. Canon G12 10 MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.8 Inch Vari-Angle LCD Canon WP-DC34 Underwater Housing for Canon PowerShot G11/G12 Digital Camera

If you have questions regarding the material presented on any of these photography pages send them to me. If you have a digital camera or photography related question, send it to me. This resource will continue to grow and expand. Your feedback is appreciated. Tell me what you like about it and also what is missing or could be done better. Contact Me

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Non Expert Photography for Non Expert Photographers

An Introduction to Photography from a common sense perspective. What is the difference between Photography and Picture Taking?

"What kind of camera should I buy?" Canon digital camera Don't know anything about cameras and cannot decide what is best for you? It's a daunting question for the novice or the newcomer to photography. Some cameras are simple, requiring you to simply point at the subject and press the button. Others look like they require an engineering degree to learn. They really don't, they just look that way. Which is the right one for you?

Canon digital camera "I want to upgrade to a digital SLR camera but I am not sure what to look for" This question is often accompanied by a statement such as, "I'm new to photography and I don't know much about SLR cameras." At some point in time, you will discover that the simple, easy to use camera you are now using is not allowing you to control your photography and what you now want to do photographically, you cannot do with your current camera. Chances are you will be looking at moving to a digital Single Lens Reflex camera.

Choosing the Right Lens The choice of lens will be determined by the kind of photography you like to do. The kind of pictures you want to make will determine the best type of lens to use. One type of lens will be useful for close-up photos of flowers. That will not be the same type of lens you would use for shooting at sporting events or wildlife. A lens suited for long distance wildlife shots may not be the best lens for photographing flowers close up. It certainly would not be the chosen lens to shoot landscape scenery. What lens should I use to take portraits of people?

What is The Best ONE Camera Lens For Travel? You can carry your entire bag of lenses and accessories or you can carry one lens which will cover it all. Is one lens enough?

Photo Techniques

Flower Photography

A Matter of Light and Dark Photography is a matter of light and dark. Sunlight gives light and night and shadow gives you dark. Your pictures turn out too dark or too light. What is this thing called "exposure"? We talk about exposure and what we need to do to insure that the camera sensor sees the proper amount of light for the subject. There is also that pesky problem of extremes of light and dark in a scene.

The Thrill of Speed "What do you mean when you say a lens is fast? It doesn't look fast. What about this thing called ISO?"

You Have Been Exposed You can let the camera make all the decisions for you, or you can have a say in how the picture turns out. All modern digital cameras have a fully automatic mode, but to really release the artistry in your camera, you have to become it's master.

Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera

Close-ups and Macro Macro photography is a broad term most often simply meaning close up photography. When we position the lens of a camera close to a subject so that a small part of that subject fills the frame of the viewfinder and thus the whole of the digital sensor, or else the subject itself is rather small, we are accomplishing in the broad sense, macro photography.


A Deep Subject Sometimes you want to see more and sometimes you want to see less. Depth of Field - How much to see and how much to blur. You mean some blur is ok? Yes.

Focus, Focus, Focus There is a time for blur but this is not it. Don't be a dullard.

Crops No, I don't mean rows of corn or wheat in the field. Sometimes we only want a part of the whole picture.

Don't Cut Off Your Subject's Head When you point your camera at your subject, be sure you know what you're pointing at. What's in the viewfinder? What's missing? For that matter, why are you "pointing" the camera rather than aiming it? There is a difference. Don't be a pointer.

Photograph preparating tips for those who intend to submit product photos of items listed on Dooley's Treasure Chest for consignment sales. If you have questions about how to make your pictures work best for your listed items, or you want to know what we need regarding those pictures, Go Here. The better your pictures are, the more your items will have appeal to potential buyers.

Beyondtek New Looks Like Canon SLR Lens 24-105mm Travel Coffee Mug / Cup / Thermos with Drinking Lid Stainless Steel W/leak-proof Lid Free Bag Best Gift Want to freak out your friends, especially your photographer friends? Pop the cap off of that expensive Canon 24-105mm f/4 L lens and pour hot coffee into it. If that doesn't raise eyebrows, nothing will. I have this lens. The real thing, that is and this coffee mug/thermos looks just like it.

Brand New Camera Lens 24-105 mm 1:1 Coffee Cup Mug
Compact and inventive mini Camera Lens design.Made of food grade plastic, safe to use for drinking
The interior is stainless steel.The lid fully closes.Scale 1:1 Holds 10 oz of liquid.
98% similar to the Original Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens
The AF/MF button & Stabilizer On/Off.Comes with a cap as a Lens like Lid and bag.

  Photo Techniques

Don't Look Down on Your Pet Get down on their level for shots which will reveal their personality and put them in a better light.

For Instant Summer Fun, Just Add Water It is not necessary to leave the camera at home when you venture out on the water. Or even under the water. Good waterproof cameras are available and there are good waterproof housings made for non-waterproof cameras.

There are a number of compact cameras which are built with housings which are waterproof and allow for shooting in or out of water. For the most part, these cameras fall into the compact "pocket" camera class and though these cameras are handy and simple to use, for the more discriminating photographer, they will not produce the quality of photo images the more advanced photographer expects. For the casual shooter who otherwise prefers a more compact camera with ease of control usage which can make for truly automatic shooting, keep it simple.

For the shooter who demands more control of the camera and a higher level of picture quality a better option is to select a good camera which has an available optional waterproof housing. The camera by itself will serve well for general purpose photography and then when water proofing is needed for water sports such as snorkeling, diving, swimming and even just as protection while boating, canoeing or kayaking, slip it into the waterproof housing and feel secure that your camera is safe from water damage.
Canon G12 10 MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.8 Inch Vari-Angle LCD Canon WP-DC34 Underwater Housing for Canon PowerShot G11/G12 Digital Camera

Fuzzy Telephoto Shots "I just bought a new telephoto lens to shoot pictures of birds and other wildlife. A lot of the pictures turn out looking a little fuzzy. Could something be wrong with my lens or am I doing something wrong?"

"That's a Big Tilt There, Sir" Sometimes a straight line is not really straight. A common mistake made in photography is tilting the camera during the shot causing the horizon, or other surface horizontal lines to lean rather than be horizontal.

Super Moon Over Texas The news reported what is called a "Super Moon" last night. Thankfully the skies were clear here in the North Texas area allowing for a clear shot of the moon.

There are tricks to photographing the moon. Our cameras will not automatically see the light reflected from the moon in the right way to expose photos of the moon correctly. As amazing as modern cameras are, they are no match for the ability of the human eye to handle the extremes of light and dark in a scene. You can obtain good results shooting photographs of the moon if you will follow some simple rules.

Technical Stuff

Focal Length

Focal Length and Its Relation to Picture Size


Aperture and Lens Sharpness The sharpness of a lens is not equal at all aperture settings. There is an optimum aperture (f-stop) setting for any lens.

Diffraction Limited Aperture (DLA) Because of diffraction, all lens start to become less sharp as the aperture is closed down more and more. The aperture size where this affect starts to occur is dependent on the camera rather than the lens. That f-stop value is known as the Diffraction Limited Aperture or DLA. There is much debate as to whether it is a matter of concern or not.

ISO Numbers Originally the term was ASA. Over time it has changed from ASA to ISO. ISO refers to the sensitivity of the digital sensor. The more sensitive the sensor is, the "faster" it registers or "collects" light and thus the more the picture is exposed.

Books make great gifts. Keep that in mind as we approach the Christmas shopping season. Or for that matter, for any occasion during the year. Or for no reason at all. Sometimes that is the best of reasons and the most appreciated by the receiver.
For many aspiring pro photographers and even those who simply want to improve their techniques and results, education is the key. One can elect to take formal courses at a photography school, a university and even sources such as community centers. Many offer beginner courses in photography techniques. The "self-taught" method works well for many people and should never be overlooked as a means of increasing knowledge in the art of scenery, landscape, nature and wildlife photography. Though there is no good substitute for practice, good book reference material can give instruction and insight which even advanced photographers can benefit from.

Home | Photography Tips and Tutorials | Camera Lens Comments and Reviews | Photography and Travel

Dan W. Dooley