Learning to take great pictures can be much easier if you follow the lessons in this free training.
I have answered a lot of your photography questions over the last six years. That's how I got many of my topics. You ask a question, and I use a blog post, podcast or video to answer it.
I was scanning all these posts and realized, we have a virtual workshop here. I picked out 23 posts that walk you through the principles and topics you need to master as a photographer.
I would challenge you to work your way through the list, or just pick out the episodes that you need to learn.
The best part is this learning is that it is all completely free.
Exposure and lighting
If you are still clinging to the safety of Auto mode but long to try something more creative, here is a quick tutorial for you. I've found that by asking two to three questions, you can choose the correct shooting mode and create great images.
Many internet photography "gurus" proclaim that you should only shoot in manual mode, and their disciples cling to that advice. Should you? The unsatisfying answer will be ... it depends.
It's an awful feeling when you press your shutter and the photo that shows up on your LCD screen is too dark or too light. How do you keep that from happening? This screencast will discuss all the principles that go into capturing accurate exposure and how you fix it when you can't.
In this episode, we look at 5 ways to evaluate light. Getting correct exposure is only part of the scenario when mastering light. You want to determine the best combination of shutter speed and aperture to capture the correct exposure value and create your desired effect.
If you visit the Lunar Module exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum, you might notice the Apollo space suits look white. Try to take a photo, however, and your camera could render the moon landing scene any variation of yellow to blue. What on earth?! You just experienced the frustrations of white balance.
"Lyn, I know that is just a bench, but can you make it look interesting?" That wasn't an idle question from my client, it was a challenge — at least that's the way I took it. So I went back after the photo tour and tried to make the bench look interesting. Here is a photo composition video inspired by my photo tour.
“I can’t decide the right composition. When I focus on an object, I feel confused. How to do I find the right position? That’s my big problem. What should I do?” Listen to me answer this question.
Correcting common shooting problems
Whether you travel to an exotic location or scoot around the corner in your neighborhood, here is a simple formula for creating your next great photo. Answer these eight questions. In fact, use them as a checklist to create great images consistently.
The question is the same, but the answer has changed over the years. When Darren asked me this question on our last photo tour, the answer I gave was very different than my standard answer when I started leading photo tours in 2009 - 2010. It's not so much that times have changed but that technology has evolved significantly.
Have you ever tried to take a photo of a beautiful scene only to find that the image looked nothing like you saw or expected? In photography, what you see isn't always what you get. Why is that? Your camera sees differently than you do.
I had a lens once that just wouldn't take sharp photos. In photos, my subject always looked a little soft, especially around the eyes. I was so frustrated, I bought a new lens -- and the new one had the same problem. This was weird because online everyone was saying that this was such a sharp lens. I made some adjustments to the way I was shooting and was astounded to see how much the lens improved. Who knew?
In this episode of Ask Lyn, Jess struggles with a common problem — how do I get the correct exposure when I'm indoors in a relatively dark space. To answer Jess' question, I take him through my indoor, low-light photography checklist, along with some other considerations.
Exploring photography genres
Scott Kelby shared a rare moment of honesty you don’t normally hear from professional photographers.
“Do you know how you can take better pictures? Go somewhere interesting!” he joked during a presentation at PhotoPlus Expo. “Do you see this photo?” he said of a spectacular sunset image. “I just showed up and pressed the button.”
Of course, Scott is simplifying his role quite a bit. He’s right that travel photography is a great way to create photographs, but it requires more than showing up and pushing a button. Follow these 5 Ps for great travel photographs and travel photography experiences.
You can't go anywhere these days without seeing someone posing, arm extended, taking a selfie. First time at the Lincoln Memorial? Pose for a selfie. Why does it work? A travel photography tip provides insights.
Ruth's question provides a great opportunity to discuss all the things you will need to know for successful macro photography. It's also great timing for me, as I've been playing around with macro lately.
You can take spectacular fireworks photos with the right tools and settings. In this special podcast episode, I show you how to photograph fireworks. We'll talk about the settings, composition, and tools you will need for success.
How many of you have found yourself agreeing to photograph an event only to wonder later, 'what have I gotten myself into?' I understand Geysah's question as well as her dilemma. In this Ask Lyn, I run through the planning questions I ask before photographing an event.
I have been answering street photography questions in my Shutterbug Life podcast and blog for several years. Now I have assembled my bests posts into one free resource. On this Learning Street Photography page, you can work through street photography advice, inspiration, and training.
You've had your DSLR and kit lens for a fair amount of time now and are growing restless with the images you are creating.
"Is it a rut or can I do better with a different lens?" you might wonder. "And if I do need a different lens, which one should I buy next?"
If you want to make the evolution from snapping pictures to creating art, one of the things you must do is master your camera. I’m talking the kind of mastery where you can pick up your camera in most situations and begin firing quickly without too much fiddling around.
How do you do that? Practice when there’s nothing at stake. Assuming you have some down time, here are 9 things you should learn about your camera this year.
I have some photography advice for you. It has nothing to do with f-stops or apertures, composition or storytelling. Sure those principles are important, but they aren't my focus today.
This advice will not only help you improve your photographs but your life as a photographer. Use the tips today. Use them years from now. They'll still work.
In Ms. Van Horn's kindergarten class, we were all creative.
I was part of a circle of 4 and 5-year-olds who differed in many ways — not all of us could read or identify colors or numbers. But when it was time to color, draw or build something cool, we all rushed to the play area at full speed. We were all creative.
These days, I'm sure if I could arrange a reunion of my kindergarten classmates, we might all feel different about our natural creativity.
We've all been there before.
Someone asks the direct question, "are you a photographer?" and we hesitate.
How should I answer that question? Am I an amateur photographer? Am I an aspiring photographer? What kind of photographer am I?
I'm going to make the case that you don't need the qualifiers. You already have everything you need to answer that question.
"Yes. I am a photographer."
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Learn with a structured video lesson
You can also learn with my structured video series, 10 Steps to Great Pictures.
10 Steps to great pictures is a video series based on the popular photo tours in Washington, DC. Thousands of photographers have taken the learning path to improve their photography. The entire workshop is now delivered in a series of video lessons. Take the steps to improve your pictures now.