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Articles and Tutorials
ARTICLES and TUTORIALS

by WWPS members and former speakers



TABLE OF CONTENTS: (Scroll down to the article)
9. "Forward Thinking" by Clem Wehner
8. "Beauty and Facial Portraits" by Carol Ann Dwyer
7. "Why We Do It" by Clem Wehner
6. "How to Brighten a Scene by Using Less Light" by Clem Wehner
5. "The Butterfly Effect" by Clem Wehner
4. "Everyday Creativity" (program excerpts)
3. "How Not to Build a House" by Clem Wehner
2. “How To Become a Great Photographer" by Clem Wehner
1. "How I Got Started in photography" by Lee Alexander


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9. “Forward Thinking” by Clem Wehner

“How can I repay you for all you have taught me?” she said, after I had answered yet another question in her quest to understand lighting. I told her to repay me by “paying it forward”--teaching someone else the things she had learned. As a photographer and teacher, I find many opportunities to help others learn what I have learned from others.

There are many ways to do this. Help a friend understand how to take better pictures, help a club member master a technique, give a presentation to your fellow photographers, teach at your club or organization, volunteer to be a mentor, write an article for a magazine or web site, or just become someone that other photographers know they can turn to when they need help.

As all teachers know, when you teach something you learn it better than you ever could as a student. The process of explaining something organizes your thoughts, clarifies things, and solidifies them in your memory. Try this--attempt to explain something that you just barely understand yourself. You’ll stumble a little, search for words, and try to find examples to illustrate your points. All of a sudden, a light will click on in your head, and it will all become clear to you. What’s more, it will be fixed in your mind forever. It really works! I use this technique all the time when I’m a little confused by something I’m trying to learn.

This phenomenon is one of the joys of teaching, not to mention the great feeling of helping others, and the appreciation you get in return. In the bigger picture (pun intended), helping other photographers will serve us all and will keep our organization viable and a great resource.

Teach someone something- you owe it to those who taught you, and it feels so good!


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8. "Thoughts on Beauty and Facial Portraits"by Carol Ann Dwyer

If you have two sisters side by side, and one is ugly and one is beautiful, you notice it, but you would never talk about it out loud. That is taboo. You would never say to one, “You are so pretty,” and to the other, “Boy, are you ugly”.

Why is that? Because we value beauty, and we fear the opposite. We value brains, we fear stupidity. We value mental health, we fear mental breakdowns. We value physical health, we fear disease. We value youth, we fear death. We value heterosexual coupling, we fear homosexual. We live with these things, but we don’t want them for ourselves. And when we get too close to them, or talk about them, we may snicker or make jokes. The source of this snickering is fear. So if we talk about beauty or lack of it, we must be as professional as plastic surgeons at a conference on how to reshape faces. There is no euphemism in the entire language that conveys that meaning of “ugly” without having an edge of pain or insult to it.

So how do we know one sister is beautiful and the other not? We have a guideline inside our minds of the ideal. We have learned these rules from society:

--symmetry-two halves balanced.
--proportion and moderation, not extremes
--ears moderate, not big
--ears flat to head, not stuck out
--eyes big, not small
--eyes same size, not different
--eyes set in center, not too close together or too far apart
--eyes not bulbous
--forehead moderate, not to high to much, or too low
--want nose straight not crooked
--nose without a bump
--nose not to big or too small
--nose width, not too wide, not too narrow
--tip not too pointy, not too round
--nose not too turned up
--teeth white not yellow
--teeth straight not crooked.
--lips not too huge, not too thin
--skin smooth—avoid scars or pock marks
--skin clear not blemished
--skin smooth, not too many moles
--cheek bones visible, not too round
--chin nicely defined, not to pointy or “chinless,” recessed
--neck not to short, not too long
--neck tight, not loose flesh, neck firm not double or excess weight
--hair not too fine or too coarse
--hair not too thick or too thin,
--hair not too curly or too straight
--youth, not old, don’t want wrinkles.
--hair, not bald.

People are very sensitive and defensive about this. You must know how to help people relax. Beauty is not a line drawn in the sand. Beauty is on a continuum of more or less, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We often see subjects who are gorgeous but have no clue they are pretty. All humans want to be beautiful and attractive.

What’s in that word? ATTRACT the opposite sex. As long as there is procreation in this world, done the natural way and not in a petri dish, then professional photographers will have a job. Beauty gives us so much joy in life. But also causes us a lot of pain, because none of us feel we have enough of it. It makes me jealous when I see beautiful people having advantages in life, including financial!

What percent of the population thinks they are beautiful enough to jump in front of the camera and not worry about the outcome? Maybe 2%? Maybe Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie. I believe fear of not being handsome enough is what lies behind that dread of posing for a portrait. And men have it worse than women. Many portraits are made primarily for love, like family portraits. But that fear of not being handsome enough still trips us up.

The photographer has three main skills: lighting, posing and expression. The only reason customers call us is because we can make them a better, more flattering portrait than they can make themselves. We capture beauty, or create the illusion of beauty, for one brief moment that lasts a lifetime. It’s more profitable, and more satisfying, to make a flattering portrait of an average person than of a “beautiful” person. We want that normal customer to go out to the car and cry tears of joy . . . “you made me the best picture of my life!” If you get a pretty face you can “shoot the garbage out of them” and give 150 proofs. But, average faces have fewer options.
All little children are beautiful. You try for exact placement of the light on the child, but in reality get assorted light because kids don’t hold still. As long as you have delicate shadows with your high key shots, and a little darker shadow with low key, you are doing great with children. But by age 17, adult features come out. We start to deal with more weight, then drooping and wrinkles. Things are falling. By far our greatest challenge is the percentage of overweight subjects. 60%? Adult head shot subjects will hold still. You can have everything perfect. When you are good enough to get exactly the ratio and placement you want, and repeat it over and over, then you are truly a professional. Creativity is impossible without precise control. It goes without saying you need a good camera and lens. And for studio work, you need lights and a meter. Make friends with your meter and read the book.

The face is the essence of the human. The personality is captured in the eyes and expression. A waist up or closer with great light on face & eyes will beat a full length every time.

When you are out of your element and don’t know what is expected, you feel so stupid. Subjects feel that way in the camera room. Explain at the start: “I will tell you everything you need to do, where to look, where to put your hands. You won’t have to ask me any questions, like “where should I put my hands.” If we have silence, just chill and enjoy. When you are setting up or fixing camera, look and make sure they are not smiling at you in the ready position. Ask them to look down, look away. Once you are ready, get an expression and SHOOT IT FAST. Don’t make them wait. Eyes start watering in 5 to 10 seconds. Everything after that is torture. If you don’t get the expression you want, tell them to look down or close their eyes and rest. Don’t shoot more than 2 or 3 in a row. Give them a rest, time to blink. Have real conversations, not glib phrases, to get real expressions.

You can make great portraits of ordinary people, and flatter “challenged” subjects. It takes knowledge, thoughtfulness, patience, and practice.

Carol Ann Dwyer
Master Professional Photographer, Certified Professional Photographer, Craftsman Photographer


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7. "Why We Do It" by Clem Wehner

We photographers and artists see things differently than most people. We do things that make other people think we are obsessed. We imagine things that are not real. We have visions that we can't get out of our heads until they are somehow satisfied. We understand other people who do the same strange things that we do. In all of history, many other people have done them, just as we do today.

The ancient Greeks said that it is caused by the Muses. Muses were the goddesses of art, creativity, and inspiration in the arts. The Muses choose certain people to carry on their work. Once they visit a person, they leave behind a destiny that cannot be ignored. If a muse has touched you, you will never be the same. You'll harbor an inner passion for creating that does not go away, but gets stronger the more you ignore it. It will tug at you until you create something that satisfies the muse. You really have no choice in the matter. You must create and once you do, a muse will reward you with an addictive feeling of satisfaction. It's what drives artists, indeed it may be the definition of artist.

But remember, the Muses only want you to create. They don't care if you make money at it, or if people want to buy your creations. That is not important to them. Only creating is important.

So powerful were the ancient Muses, that words and concepts important to us such as music, amusement, mosaic, and museum resulted from their influence. The Muses, daughters of the God Zeus, are still at work today inspiring and guiding a select few of us mortals to be artists.

So, the next time you get a spark of an idea, a vision that won't go away, or that searching feeling that only artists understand, you'll know why. You are one of the chosen few and you must create. Tell all who question your behavior that you have no choice because a muse makes you do it. So, fulfill your destiny and go create something wonderful. Your muse will be pleased and you will be well rewarded.

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6. "How to Brighten a Scene by Using Less Light" by Clem Wehner

Suppose you are using a flash and shooting in manual mode to photograph a person standing in a room. You have set the camera to properly expose the subject for the light from your flash. After you shoot you check the image and find the subject is properly exposed, but the background of the room is too dark. What can you do? If you turn up the flash power you’ll throw more light onto the background, but you’ll also overexpose the subject. What’s the solution?

It may seem counter-intuitive, but the answer is to REDUCE the power of your flash and use LESS light! This will reduce the light on your subject, requiring you to lower the f/stop for proper exposure. But, this lower f/stop will also let in more ambient light from the background, making it brighter than it was before.

That’s how you brighten a background by using LESS light on the subject.

This technique is handy when photographing people at a wedding where the background of the church altar is too dark, dinner guests seated at a banquet, or even in a studio when the background light isn’t strong enough. It’s especially handy when shooting high key when the background light is maxed out, but not bright enough. Just lower the light on the subject, expose for the subject, and the background will appear brighter.


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5. The Butterfly Effect by Clem Wehner

The Butterfly Effect is a metaphor popularized 50 years ago to illustrate the Chaos Theory of physics. It refers to the phenomenon of small changes in one place that have profound effects later in another place. It purports that the mere flapping of a butterfly's wings could move the air just slightly, but enough to start an ever-increasing chain of atmospheric disturbances that eventually become a hurricane.

So, what does this have to do with us? We have all had experiences with seemingly minor events that result in unforeseen but significant changes to our lives. Years ago, when my wife, Fran, had just joined the Professional Photographers of Oklahoma (PPO), she hesitantly decided to enter print competition for the first time. She picked up her prints at a local lab, but really didn't know how to properly prepare them for competition. Two very experienced photographers happened to be at the lab that day and though they didn't know Fran, they offered their help and encouragement. Their simple act of kindness for a beginner impressed her and inspired her to become increasingly active in the organization. Thus began a chain of events that led to Fran becoming the State President of Professional Photographers in 2008. This may never have happened without the kindness of two strangers.

The concept of the Butterfly Effect reminds us of the importance of helping other fledgling photographers at the start of their journeys. Look for opportunities to help, teach, mentor, and contribute to others, even if only in small ways. You never know how profoundly you could affect someone's life and all the people that are touched by the chain of events that follow. Don't miss a chance to flap your wings.

A personal note: This is the reason that I feel so strongly that WWPS is important and can enrich lives.


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4. EVERYDAY CREATIVITY by Dewitt Jones- (program excerpts)

1. Creativity is the ability to look at the ordinary and see the extraordinary-
“What is creativity? Having spent my life in one creative endeavor after another, I can tell you it’s not something magical or mystical. It’s something very simple. To me, it’s just a moment—a moment where we look at the ordinary, but we see the extraordinary. It happens all the time in my photography. Look at the ordinary. See the extraordinary. We’ve all done it. We’ve all had those moments when the world was extraordinary. And we all know how good it feels when it happens.”

2. Every act can be a creative one-
“I think many of us were raised thinking that we couldn’t be creative. When I was growing up, creativity was always related to art, and art to painting and sculpture. If you weren’t an artist, forget it, you weren’t creative. But, if creativity is just falling in love with the world, then everything I do can be a creative act. My life can be my art — whether I’m taking a photograph, or working with a client, or raising a family, or volunteering in my community. In every act we have the potential to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.”

3. Creativity is a matter or perspective-
“Creativity is a matter of perspective. Let me explain. The first thing I have to decide as a photographer is: What lens do I have on my camera? In other words, what perspective am I going to view a problem from to find that extraordinary view? And if I don’t have the right perspective going in, I don’t have a chance of finding something truly extraordinary.... The lens we choose when we view a problem is critical. Our perspective is what holds the key to whether the solution is ordinary or extraordinary.”

4. There’s always more than one right answer-
“In fact, that’s probably the most important thing about creativity that I’ve learned from my photography. There’s more than one right answer....But it seems so simple, but it is the key to creativity. There are a thousand ways to come at a problem to find a creative solution. And I know that so clearly from my photography but sometimes it’s just so hard to bring over into the rest of my life.
You can’t stop with the first right answer. Hey, the first right answer is just doing your job. Anyone ought to be able to come up with one right answer. When we work from that perspective, then as we press out looking for the next right answer, we do so not in terror, but comfortably, knowing that it’s going to be there for you.”

5. Turn problems into opportunities-
“When you come at the world with a sense of abundance rather than scarcity, you get more and more comfortable reframing problems into opportunities, finding new angles, coming at the same elements from a totally different direction, and being confident that the next right answer will be there.”

6. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes-
“If I were afraid of mistakes, this is the kind of photograph [the first picture of his daughter] that would cause me to put my cameras in the closet and never take them out again. But I don’t even think about it. I’m just looking for the next right answer. Do you know that the average Geographic article is shot in 400 rolls of film? That’s over 14,000 images to get 30! I’m not worried about making a few mistakes.
“If I were afraid to make mistakes, if I never took the risk to think out of the box, to press the edge of my envelope, to search for that next right answer, I’d still be back here at the beginning wondering why my didn’t work.”

7. Break the pattern-
“When we’re not afraid to make mistakes and when we believe there’s more than one right answer, that’s when we begin to break the patterns in our lives.
Patterns, systems — they’re incredibly important. We can’t function without them. But, we all know that if we let those patterns go too long unquestioned, they become our prisons.
When we begin to break the patterns in our lives, then everything is always in question, even when it’s going well. That’s the very basis of creativity. You’re always saying, ‘Why do we do it this way? How could we do it better?’

8. Train your technique-
We have to train our technique. That’s critical, because vision without technique is blind. In photography, I want my technique honed to a razor’s edge, so that when there is a decisive moment, I’m not worrying about what film is in my camera. I’m there, ready to capture that extraordinary view.
So I have to train my technique, then I have to put myself in the place of most potential — the place where I have the most possibilities of finding multiple right answers.”

9. You have to really care-
“Creativity isn’t just about vision and passion. It’s about technique and perseverance as well; a balance of emotion and intellect that springs from really caring about what you do, really caring about the people you work with and the projects you work on.
When the people I photograph know that they are as important to me as my pictures, they open like flowers. And, I find that the light that really illuminates my pictures is not the light from the outside — it’s the light from within.”

10. Closing comments by Dewitt Jones-
I’ve shared with you some of the techniques that I use to access my creativity. And I
hope that you can take them and apply them in your own lives. Because by being
creative, we really do fall in love with the world and in that act, we transform the
ordinary into the extraordinary.

When I’m being creative, I see that life really is all around me, all the time,
presenting me with endless possibilities. Showing me a world full of light and beauty.
That perspective, that window, is always there if we’re open enough to see it. And when
we see it, the world truly is ... extraordinary!
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3. "HOW NOT TO BUILD A HOUSE" by Clem Wehner

You’ve become quite accomplished with your old hammer and saw and you’ve been thinking about building a house. You have started to think of yourself as a professional, because you’ve begun selling a few things you made and people praise your work. So, you must be ready for your own house. The first step is to buy some fancy new tools, borrowing money if you have to, or putting it on a credit card.

Next, you’ll need some materials, so start buying stuff for the house. You can figure out exactly what later, after you start building. It’s going to take a lot of time to build a house, so consider quitting your day job, especially since you hate your job anyway. Now, start hammering things together. You don’t need plans, you can figure it out as you go along. Because you are a hard worker, you are sure it will turn out great. Everyone will admire your house, and you can fulfill your dream of home ownership.

Oh, wait a minute, I misunderstood. You say you want to start a photography business, not build a house. Well, then just go back and substitute the word “photo business” every place I said “house”. That’s the way to do it—NOT! Unfortunately, that’s the way a lot of businesses get started, and that’s the reason a lot of businesses fail. In fact, 40% of businesses fail in the first year and 80% fail in the first five years, and people are left paying off debt for years for a business that doesn’t even exist anymore.

Starting a successful business requires a lot of thinking, planning, study, and help from mentors. If you think that your passion for photography and your camera skills are enough, you are wrong. Managing a business requires a different skill set than photography. You will have two different jobs--photographer and business manager. You must learn how to do both.

First, get educated in business management. Read books, take classes, watch videos, attend professional photography business classes. Don’t quit your day job! Don’t rent a studio. Don’t go into debt. Do photography part time until you can consistently make $60,000 a year in sales. Remember, you will only keep one-third, as the rest will go for expenses. If you can gross $60,000 part time, then you can probably make sales of $120,000 full time, and thereby keep $40,000 for yourself. If that’s enough money for you, only then are you ready to try it full time.

Most importantly, get help from other successful photographers in thinking through every little detail of your proposed business and evaluating your ideas. Learn about business plans and how they can help you anticipate costly mistakes and anticipate problems. Get help from those with long-established successful businesses. Don’t let your excitement make you jump in unprepared, whether you are starting a business or building a house.


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2. “HOW TO BECOME A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER” by Clem Wehner

How do you learn to take great photographs, not just snapshots?

First- you must learn what makes a photograph great. There are twelve elements, listed below, that are generally recognized as characteristic of great images. Study them until you commit them to memory.

Second- when you go out to shoot, but before you press the shutter, look through the viewfinder and ask if what you see has the elements of greatness. Don’t think in general terms, think specifically. Does the image you see have 1. Impact, 2. Creativity, 3. Good composition, and so on for each of the elements. If the image in the viewfinder is weak on any element, maybe there is something you can do to correct it. For example, if the shot is not well composed, you may be able to move around, zoom in, tilt the camera, etc. When you are satisfied that the image will be the best it can be, then press the shutter. This is a deliberate process and is not a fast one. But, the more you evaluate before you shoot, the faster it gets until it becomes second nature.

Third- critique your images after you get home. Look at each picture and ask yourself if it meets each of the 12 elements. For example. The first of the 12 elements is IMPACT, meaning does the image make you say WOW!, Does it captivate you? Is it hard to take your eyes off of it? That's impact. So look at your image and ask yourself “Does it have impact?” If yes, then ask, “How much impact does it have?” Give yourself a score from 1 to 10. Once you evaluate your photo for impact, do the same evaluation with each of the remaining elements.

When you are done, you’ll have a clear and realistic evaluation of your photographs. Most importantly, you will know what to improve next time you shoot something similar. If this were a late-night TV infomercial, it would be titled, “The Secret That Great Photographers Don’t Want You To Know”!

It’s all too easy to fall in love with your own pictures and convince yourself that they are the greatest ever taken. But, until you realistically critique them against criteria like the 12 elements of great photography, you will never really know. This process not only teaches you to critically evaluate your own work, but it instills in you a powerful and consistent thought process you can apply to all your photography.

That’s how you become a great photographer!


PHOTO SCORING SHEET

1. IMPACT: Does it make you say “WOW!”

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2. CREATIVITY – Is the subject and layout imaginative?

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

3. COMPOSITION- Are the elements of the photo arranged well?

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

4. CENTER OF INTEREST- Is the subject apparent? Viewer knows where to look?

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

5. SUBJECT MATTER- Is the subject interesting to the viewer?

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

6. STORYTELLING- Does the image tell a story?

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

7. COLOR HARMONY- Are the colors harmonious?

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

8. LIGHTING- Direction of light and exposure right for the subject?

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

9. TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE- Focus, exposure, and color what was intended?

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

10. IMAGE PRESENTATION- Is it cropped well?

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


TOTAL SCORE _____________

__________________Additional elements to consider__________________

11. STYLE - Image representative of your personal photographic style?

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

12. PRINT QUALITY- (If printed) Exposure and color of the print correct?

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


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1. “ How I Got Started in Photography” by Lee Alexander

This is a story of how I started dabbling in photography. As a child I had my share of box cameras and old projectors. My father had an old Bell and Howell projector that didn’t work quite well. I tore it apart and put it back together so my brothers and sister could watch our black and white Mickey Mouse movies. But my father asked me if the parts he found on the table should be in the projector. My response was that it seem to be extras pieces that did not help or impede the projectors ability to show the movie, so I left them out. He just laughed and went his way. We enjoyed the rest of the movie on our back porch with a white sheet fasten to the ceiling. When I had money I would buy film for the Brownie box camera I had and got it developed. To say the least, at my age of 9, I did not understand anything about the then normal terms of composition, visualization, and many more terms that I know today. I just pointed and shot what was in front of me.

As I got older I moved away from picking up a camera until late in my military career. While stationed in Germany I started buying camera equipment. I had acquired a Canon AE1, yes film, and got hooked on shooting slide film and the various standard B&W films. I enjoyed getting into the darkroom. The smells of all the different chemicals sort of fascinated me. Learning how to load film on reels for development and subsequently bulk loading and processing all of my B&W films. During this period in Germany I also fell on some luck in getting to do medium format work. The local ‘Sight and Sound’ outlet for the military had cameras for sale. I walked in one day, just to browse, and a Mamiya, complete with lens, 120-film insert and non-metering view finder, caught my eye. I could not believe the price on the tag. Back then we didn’t have personal pagers or cell phones. I left to talk to my wife, and hoped that it would still be there and no one else saw what I saw. The price was beyond belief and as I explained it to my wife I was able to convince her that we should take the money out of the bank and get it.

I was shaking as I withdrew the money from my account and made my way back to the store. Hoping that the camera was still in the case and no one had corrected the price. As I stood over the display case staring down at the camera a salesperson approached and asked me if I needed assistance. I then responded with a nervous yes and asked if I could hold the camera and check it out. As the camera was placed in my hand I then asked if the displayed price was correct. The salesperson checked the tag and said yes. But I told her I believe someone made a mistake. She called for the manager and the manager confirmed that the price, as shown, was correct. I reached into my pocket, pulled out, believe it or not, $360.00 and paid for the complete system. Even at 1978 prices the lens cost was over two hundred dollars, and I got it all for just under four. This blew my mind, but I had no intentions to push the issue of the camera’s low price. I just paid for it and smiled as I walked out the store. The pricing was eventually corrected later that week, and each remaining display was corrected with each part of the camera tagged with the correct price. If anyone wanted to purchase this system it would cost them well over $900 dollars.

My next acquisition was a Canon F1N with a motor drive (12 batteries), and it was a beast. Weighing in around 3 to 4 pounds loaded. The weight didn’t bother me then as I shot sports, landscapes or portraits with any of the cameras that I had. I made a make-shift darkroom using my bathroom when I processed my film. The military installation also had a complete studio and darkroom facilities for all patrons. The instructors were well adapted to help me get my skills up to par. They assisted me in my darkroom workflow, and making it more proficient.

The two instructors had a deep background in photography, and between them I would say well over 45 or 50 years apiece. Both of them photographed professionally and ran their own studios and in-house processing labs. I remember one telling me of spending in excess of 3 hours developing the 8 x10 glass plate from a furniture store session. He had to set the camera, lights and ready the product for shooting. The only thing the photographer that he worked for did , was remove the lens cap, press the cable release for the shutter, and wait for the exposure to complete. He then packed all of the equipment up and went back to the studio to process the film. Yes, one plate of glass.
One of my instructor’s most memorable narratives came from his tour in the German army. He became the assistant to Leni Riefenstahl while in 1934-1935. She filmed and edited “Triumph of Will”, in Nuremberg , Germany. The final editing took place in Berlin in a small bunker. All of the basic amenities for a prolonged stay was made available to them until the editing was completed. It took the both of them 72 hours around the clock to make the final cuts that were presented to the authorities. So I would conclude that his, somewhat forced induction into lab work, makes his experience and training, good enough to guide and direct my photographic development. During my training I had the privilege to impress both of them, not by just taking pictures, but creating images that have substance.

Upon my return to the states in 1980 and finally settling down in Oklahoma I built my own darkroom before even visiting the local military setup. I found myself engulfed in the formidable smells of D-76, Dektol, Beers formula and fixer. Setting up enlargers that would accommodate 35mm to 4x5 inch negatives. Utilizing various timers, dodging tools, densitometer, print washer, and local retouching kits for prints that was available to me, it was a blast.

The technology changes and for the most part, it is for the best. Just as my instructors went through their progressive photographic training I had to evolve and take the next jump. My wife will attest that the digital revolution for her was great. No more rotten egg smell coming from the darkroom. This room changed from a dark environment to a light-room. I was maintaining a database of my film images before I purchased my first digital camera in 1991. I had two point and shoot, Panasonic and Sony -- very limited in functionality, but they worked until I could afford better equipment. Now film scanners, printers and digital cameras with megapixels have taken over this room. The lights are on and the smells in most cases are very pleasant. Old medium is scanned in from my film days and digitized and I can download from disks or cards to a system that has 8TBs of storage. The computer with the various image software packages have since replaced the development tanks and chemicals. The monitors have assumed the position of the enlarger to display the image for dodging, burning and all the other elements of image creativity and enhancement. But as a photographer, the beginner, amateur or professional, we must all not forget, it is not about the equipment or tools we own, expensive or otherwise, but how it is used, and about our creative imagination.

We can all argue whether photography is an art. That is a good topic of debate for days of reflection. But I personally know that photography is an expression, and it can be good, bad or indifferent. I have come to the conclusion that photography helps to establish a purposed intent that is only defined by the person behind the camera. What they are attempting to convey, why and to whom. We must use the skills we have learned over the years to express our visualization of moment, space and spirit of the images we create.

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ARTICLES and TUTORIALS
(about photography)


by WWPS members and former speakers



1. "The Butterfly Effect" by Clem Wehner
1a. "Making Great Portraits of Ordinary People" by Carol Dwyer
1b. "How I Got Started in photography" by Lee Alexander
1c. "How to Become a Great Photographer" by Clem Wehner
2. "How to Make Nice People" by Clem Wehner
2a. "Thoughts on Beauty and Facial Portraits" by Carol Dwyer
3. "How to Build a House" by Clem Wehner
3a. The Sin of Laziness" by Larry Foster
4. "Why We Do It" by Clem Wehner
4a. "Brightening a Scene by Using Less Light" by Clem Wehner
5. "What a Waste!" by Clem Wehner
5a. How to Take Great Christmas Tree Photos" by Clem Wehner
6. "Read the Fine Print" by Clem Wehner
6a "Photographing the School Play in Low light" by Clem Wehner
7. "It’s Just Different" by Clem Wehner
8. “Forward Thinking” by Clem Wehner
9. "WWPS Fundamentals of Photography Quiz" (with answers)


SCROLL DOWN TO FIND THE ARTICLE



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1. The Butterfly Effect by Clem Wehner

The Butterfly Effect is a metaphor popularized 50 years ago to illustrate the Chaos Theory of physics. It refers to the phenomenon of small changes in one place that have profound effects later in another place. It purports that the mere flapping of a butterfly's wings could move the air just slightly, but enough to start an ever-increasing chain of atmospheric disturbances that eventually become a hurricane.

So, what does this have to do with us? We have all had experiences with seemingly minor events that result in unforeseen but significant changes to our lives. Years ago, when my wife, Fran, had just joined the Professional Photographers of Oklahoma (PPO), she hesitantly decided to enter print competition for the first time. She picked up her prints at a local lab, but really didn't know how to properly prepare them for competition. Two very experienced photographers happened to be at the lab that day and though they didn't know Fran, they offered their help and encouragement. Their simple act of kindness for a beginner impressed her and inspired her to become increasingly active in the organization. Thus began a chain of events that led to Fran becoming the State President of Professional Photographers in 2008. This may never have happened without the kindness of two strangers.

The concept of the Butterfly Effect reminds us of the importance of helping other fledgling photographers at the start of their journeys. Look for opportunities to help, teach, mentor, and contribute to others, even if only in small ways. You never know how profoundly you could affect someone's life and all the people that are touched by the chain of events that follow. Don't miss a chance to flap your wings.

A personal note: This is the reason that I feel so strongly that WWPS is important and can enrich lives.


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1a. MAKING GREAT PORTRAITS OF ORDINARY PEOPLE by Carol Ann Dwyer

These are notes from a class given to WWPS by Carol Ann Dwyer (Certified Master Professional Photographer)

Lighting setup for portraits:

1. main light: set to f/11 brightness

2. fill light: set to f/8 brightness
(they combine to make f/11.5)

3. Camera: Set aperture to f/11.5 or f/13

4. Camera height: Shoot down slightly so you barely see nostrils.

5. Invite subject to look down or around room while you are prepping, not at camera.

6. Look for the part in hair. If subject has a hair part, always shoot into the part first.

7. posing stool height: short people need stool down, tall people stool up. Check and adjust so heels are on the ground and knees are flat or sloping down slightly.

8. Tush position: They plop in center of stool. You must slide subject forward until bottom of thigh clears stool. Now knees can slope down and spine can lean forward.

9. Body Position:
Man or woman: Knees, feet and body at 8 o’clock. Face at 7 o’clock.
(Now shoulders are at a 45 degree angle to the camera.)
Option for woman: knees, feet, shoulders at 5 o’clock. Face at 7 o’clock.

10. Place main light At 8:00 o’clock and high enough to throw a shadow down off subject’s nose. As subject’s nose moves, main light moves too, staying behind subject’s nose. Also feather this light by turning the head slightly back toward camera (away from subject). The edge of the light illuminates the subject, not the center. Shield camera lens from this light.I think feathering was essential with parabolic metal light reflectors but not as important with umbrellas. Soft boxes are at least recessed so you can feather and still protect the camera.

11. Place fill light behind camera and slightly to left. Level with subject’s face so it doesn’t throw any shadows up or down. As subject’s nose moves, fill light moves too so it always stays straight ahead of subject’s nose. For a profile, move the fill light to 9 o’clock and main light to 10 o’clock. For the vast majority of shots, fill light stays at 6:30 or 7 o’clock because that’s where the nose is.


12. Try a reflector at 3 o’clock, optional.

13. Direct subject with “Front Side, Back side,” not “left and right”. Once a subject turns, they have a front side and a back side. Front side is the one closer to camera. Point this out to them. Now you can talk “front foot” instead of “left foot” and this will be easier on both of you!

14. Feet. Slide your front foot back slightly. Slide your back foot out forward. This back foot will support you when you lean forward. You can also elevate back foot and let subject lean elbow on knee.

15. Spine Erect Everyone must have good posture, straight spine. But wait until everything is ready, then ask for vertical posture. You may need to press into their back. After shooting a few shots, allow them to slouch and rest their back.

16. Spine Lean: Vertical spine makes good formal portraits, but causes excess weight to show. A spine that leans forward over knees hides double chin and creates a diagonal line that feels more dynamic. Always lean by tilting forward from the hips! Pretend you have a broom in your back. Don’t let your waist collapse. See more about leaning at

The heavier the subject, the stronger you lean forward. Hide everything you can. Don’t shoot into side of chin. Shoot into corner of face or into dead center of face. Lean forward, stretch face out and down slightly, not up. Use a slightly higher camera angle. Use shadows as a weapon. Keep the main light high to keep everything below the chin in shadow, but don’t let eyes fall into shadow. Keep main light behind nose to keep front of face in shadow. Try a deeper shadow.

Pose A. Lean straight toward camera. Put elbow on knee to support the lean. Front shoulder will drop. This is aggressive so use mostly for men.

Pose B. Drop shoulder and lean elbow on a table:
Set table low and stool high so your shoulder can actually drop 2-4 inches. Extend tip of elbow out a little ways or keep it in. Don’t let shoulder pop out. Keep shoulder tucked in line with the diagonal we are creating. Push in gently on shoulder if necessary. Even though you are leaning on one elbow, keep good straight posture with both shoulders pulled back, Front of body at 5 o’clock. Dropped shoulder points to 7 o’clock. This is your 45 degree angle of body to camera. Shoot into front of body. For flirtatious, roll shoulder forward and bring chin close to shoulder. Hide big arms in long sleeves.

For young subjects, turn pose backwards. Have them look over their shoulder, back toward camera. Stop when you see the profile or the mask of face. Anything more is too much head turning. Keep eyes centered in sockets. Avoid cutting eyes too sharply back to camera.

17. Arms. Pull front elbow back slightly, hand still on lap. Slide back arm forward slightly with hand resting near or on knee. This creates a wider base for the head.

18. Turn of head:

MAN (and woman): Feet at 8 o’clock. Turn face to 7 o’clock. It’s just a slight turn toward camera, still shooting into side of nose. If you see center of face, it’s too far. Try to hide his entire back ear. Show all of his back eye. This is the oval of the face and it’s usually more flattering than the flat front “driver’s license” view.

WOMAN optional: Her feet are at 5 o’clock. Turn head all the way across body to 7 o’clock, until you see into the side of her nose. Show all of her back eye. Don’t let tip of her nose protrude beyond perimeter of face. Don’t use this neck turn if subject looks awkward.

19. What the camera sees: Shooting into side of nose is usually more flattering than flat front view of face. When shooting “the corner,” camera sees front of face (the mask) plus one whole side. It feels three dimensional, just like shooting into the corner of a car or building. The mask or front of face is the brightest thing, lit by main and fill light both. The side of the face lies in shadow, lit by fill light only. It’s a nice soft 3 to 1 ratio shadow.

20. Tilt of head. It’s actually a “break of the neck.” Never tilt a man’s head. Make sure it follows straight out of spine as spine leans. Woman has choice: head straight for assertive and business, or head tilted for feminine. Short necks don’t tilt well. Long neck becomes awkward goose neck if tilted too far.

21. Hair part Start by shooting into the woman’s part. Flip the lights and pose if necessary. Men are not parting their hair these days, so shoot both sides of man.

22. Clothing and hair. Arrange these until perfect. Split long hair in middle of back and bring it all forward. Fill the woman’s “wide side” with hair. On the back or shorter side, try putting hair up on shoulder. Show mom what you are doing and let her help.

23. Chin out like a turtle and down slightly! Fear sucks face back into neck, giving double chins to thin subjects and triple chins to others. Some subjects stretch the chin skyward to “tighten up.” All this does is show things you don’t want to see. The underside of a chin is like the sole of a foot, the palm of a hand. Your goal is to get the whole face jutted out slightly, and tilted level or slightly down. Say “chin out like a turtle and down slightly.” Show them how. Walk over. In rare cases you need to pull the chin out. Ask permission to touch first. Shake their shoulders gently to relax them.

24. Nod your head “yes” to relax muscles. This unlocks tense muscles & brings chin down. Also kills glare. It’s impossible to be tense when you’re nodding.

25. Eyeglass glare. Should be gone after chin is level or down slightly. If still showing, ask permission to touch. Lift up slightly on side of frames. Tilt front of glasses downward slightly. “It feels weird but I promise it will look fine.” Raise your lights if necessary. Or shoot a couple shots with the glasses off to get some “eyeballs.”

26. Dead eyes vs. sparkle eyes. The subject’s eyes are pretty much dead the whole time they are waiting on you to guide them. Sparkle eyes happen only when the subject thinks about something of interest to them. Speak gently about their favorite topics. Avoid empty buzz words. Push the button immediately. Don’t hesitate. The moment is gone in an instant.

Good luck, have fun! Nothing matters more than a relaxed looking subject with genuine warmth in their expression.

Carol Ann Dwyer
PPA Master Photographer, Certified Professional Photographer, Photographic Craftsman

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1b. “ How I Got Started in Photography” by Lee Alexander

This is a story of how I started dabbling in photography. As a child I had my share of box cameras and old projectors. My father had an old Bell and Howell projector that didn’t work quite well. I tore it apart and put it back together so my brothers and sister could watch our black and white Mickey Mouse movies. But my father asked me if the parts he found on the table should be in the projector. My response was that it seem to be extras pieces that did not help or impede the projectors ability to show the movie, so I left them out. He just laughed and went his way. We enjoyed the rest of the movie on our back porch with a white sheet fasten to the ceiling. When I had money I would buy film for the Brownie box camera I had and got it developed. To say the least, at my age of 9, I did not understand anything about the then normal terms of composition, visualization, and many more terms that I know today. I just pointed and shot what was in front of me.

As I got older I moved away from picking up a camera until late in my military career. While stationed in Germany I started buying camera equipment. I had acquired a Canon AE1, yes film, and got hooked on shooting slide film and the various standard B&W films. I enjoyed getting into the darkroom. The smells of all the different chemicals sort of fascinated me. Learning how to load film on reels for development and subsequently bulk loading and processing all of my B&W films. During this period in Germany I also fell on some luck in getting to do medium format work. The local ‘Sight and Sound’ outlet for the military had cameras for sale. I walked in one day, just to browse, and a Mamiya, complete with lens, 120-film insert and non-metering view finder, caught my eye. I could not believe the price on the tag. Back then we didn’t have personal pagers or cell phones. I left to talk to my wife, and hoped that it would still be there and no one else saw what I saw. The price was beyond belief and as I explained it to my wife I was able to convince her that we should take the money out of the bank and get it.

I was shaking as I withdrew the money from my account and made my way back to the store. Hoping that the camera was still in the case and no one had corrected the price. As I stood over the display case staring down at the camera a salesperson approached and asked me if I needed assistance. I then responded with a nervous yes and asked if I could hold the camera and check it out. As the camera was placed in my hand I then asked if the displayed price was correct. The salesperson checked the tag and said yes. But I told her I believe someone made a mistake. She called for the manager and the manager confirmed that the price, as shown, was correct. I reached into my pocket, pulled out, believe it or not, $360.00 and paid for the complete system. Even at 1978 prices the lens cost was over two hundred dollars, and I got it all for just under four. This blew my mind, but I had no intentions to push the issue of the camera’s low price. I just paid for it and smiled as I walked out the store. The pricing was eventually corrected later that week, and each remaining display was corrected with each part of the camera tagged with the correct price. If anyone wanted to purchase this system it would cost them well over $900 dollars.

My next acquisition was a Canon F1N with a motor drive (12 batteries), and it was a beast. Weighing in around 3 to 4 pounds loaded. The weight didn’t bother me then as I shot sports, landscapes or portraits with any of the cameras that I had. I made a make-shift darkroom using my bathroom when I processed my film. The military installation also had a complete studio and darkroom facilities for all patrons. The instructors were well adapted to help me get my skills up to par. They assisted me in my darkroom workflow, and making it more proficient.

The two instructors had a deep background in photography, and between them I would say well over 45 or 50 years apiece. Both of them photographed professionally and ran their own studios and in-house processing labs. I remember one telling me of spending in excess of 3 hours developing the 8 x10 glass plate from a furniture store session. He had to set the camera, lights and ready the product for shooting. The only thing the photographer that he worked for did , was remove the lens cap, press the cable release for the shutter, and wait for the exposure to complete. He then packed all of the equipment up and went back to the studio to process the film. Yes, one plate of glass.
One of my instructor’s most memorable narratives came from his tour in the German army. He became the assistant to Leni Riefenstahl while in 1934-1935. She filmed and edited “Triumph of Will”, in Nuremberg , Germany. The final editing took place in Berlin in a small bunker. All of the basic amenities for a prolonged stay was made available to them until the editing was completed. It took the both of them 72 hours around the clock to make the final cuts that were presented to the authorities. So I would conclude that his, somewhat forced induction into lab work, makes his experience and training, good enough to guide and direct my photographic development. During my training I had the privilege to impress both of them, not by just taking pictures, but creating images that have substance.

Upon my return to the states in 1980 and finally settling down in Oklahoma I built my own darkroom before even visiting the local military setup. I found myself engulfed in the formidable smells of D-76, Dektol, Beers formula and fixer. Setting up enlargers that would accommodate 35mm to 4x5 inch negatives. Utilizing various timers, dodging tools, densitometer, print washer, and local retouching kits for prints that was available to me, it was a blast.

The technology changes and for the most part, it is for the best. Just as my instructors went through their progressive photographic training I had to evolve and take the next jump. My wife will attest that the digital revolution for her was great. No more rotten egg smell coming from the darkroom. This room changed from a dark environment to a light-room. I was maintaining a database of my film images before I purchased my first digital camera in 1991. I had two point and shoot, Panasonic and Sony -- very limited in functionality, but they worked until I could afford better equipment. Now film scanners, printers and digital cameras with megapixels have taken over this room. The lights are on and the smells in most cases are very pleasant. Old medium is scanned in from my film days and digitized and I can download from disks or cards to a system that has 8TBs of storage. The computer with the various image software packages have since replaced the development tanks and chemicals. The monitors have assumed the position of the enlarger to display the image for dodging, burning and all the other elements of image creativity and enhancement. But as a photographer, the beginner, amateur or professional, we must all not forget, it is not about the equipment or tools we own, expensive or otherwise, but how it is used, and about our creative imagination.
We can all argue whether photography is an art. That is a good topic of debate for days of reflection. But I personally know that photography is an expression, and it can be good, bad or indifferent. I have come to the conclusion that photography helps to establish a purposed intent that is only defined by the person behind the camera. What they are attempting to convey, why and to whom. We must use the skills we have learned over the years to express our visualization of moment, space and spirit of the images we create.

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1c. “HOW TO BECOME A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER” by Clem Wehner

How do you learn to take great photographs, not just snapshots?

First- you must learn what makes a photograph great. There are twelve elements, listed below, that are generally recognized as characteristic of great images. Study them until you commit them to memory.

Second- when you go out to shoot, but before you press the shutter, look through the viewfinder and ask if what you see has the elements of greatness. Don’t think in general terms, think specifically. Does the image you see have 1. Impact, 2. Creativity, 3. Good composition, and so on for each of the elements. If the image in the viewfinder is weak on any element, maybe there is something you can do to correct it. For example, if the shot is not well composed, you may be able to move around, zoom in, tilt the camera, etc. When you are satisfied that the image will be the best it can be, then press the shutter. This is a deliberate process and is not a fast one. But, the more you evaluate before you shoot, the faster it gets until it becomes second nature.

Third- critique your images after you get home. Look at each picture and ask yourself if it meets each of the 12 elements. For example. The first of the 12 elements is IMPACT, meaning does the image make you say WOW!, Does it captivate you? Is it hard to take your eyes off of it? That's impact. So look at your image and ask yourself “Does it have impact?” If yes, then ask, “How much impact does it have?” Give yourself a score from 1 to 10. Once you evaluate your photo for impact, do the same evaluation with each of the remaining elements.

When you are done, you’ll have a clear and realistic evaluation of your photographs. Most importantly, you will know what to improve next time you shoot something similar. If this were a late-night TV infomercial, it would be titled, “The Secret That Great Photographers Don’t Want You To Know”!

It’s all too easy to fall in love with your own pictures and convince yourself that they are the greatest ever taken. But, until you realistically critique them against criteria like the 12 elements of great photography, you will never really know. This process not only teaches you to critically evaluate your own work, but it instills in you a powerful and consistent thought process you can apply to all your photography.

That’s how you become a great photographer!

PHOTO SCORING SHEET

1. IMPACT: Does it make you say “WOW!”

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2. CREATIVITY – Is the subject and layout imaginative?

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

3. COMPOSITION- Are the elements of the photo arranged well?

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

4. CENTER OF INTEREST- Is the subject apparent? Viewer knows where to look?

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

5. SUBJECT MATTER- Is the subject interesting to the viewer?

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

6. STORYTELLING- Does the image tell a story?

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

7. COLOR HARMONY- Are the colors harmonious?

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

8. LIGHTING- Direction of light and exposure right for the subject?

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

9. TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE- Focus, exposure, and color what was intended?

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

10. IMAGE PRESENTATION- Is it cropped well?

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


TOTAL SCORE _____________

__________________Additional elements to consider__________________

11. STYLE - Image representative of your personal photographic style?

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

12. PRINT QUALITY- (If printed) Exposure and color of the print correct?

(Score) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10



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2. “How to Make Nice People— Doing Your pART” by Clem Wehner

Reading, writing, arithmetic, and ART. Schools are finding that adding art to the core curriculum fosters children that are better students, better behaved, better citizens, and generally nicer people. Ultimately this can translate to communities with higher standards of living, lower crime rates, and better economic opportunities. We know from experience that the more children have opportunities to participate in art as part of their daily lives, not just in school, the nicer people they’ll become in life.

This is where we, as a professional photographers, can help. Photography is a wonderful art form, easy to participate in at any level from beginner to expert, from young child to the elderly. It is fun and easy to do at a beginning level, but challenging enough for a lifetime of learning and improving. Photography challenges the creative process and provides immediate feedback on success, so important for young learners. Everyone enjoys taking pictures and it can be done even with the simplest of cameras. As an experienced photographer you know that it is not the camera that determines the beauty of an image. It is the knowledge and skill of the photographer—something you are uniquely able to pass on to others.

WWPS members enjoy helping other people learn the art photography—it’s a major purpose of our organization. We can use our knowledge and love of the art to help young people, not just other photographers. It is a great way to help them develop a love for beauty and refinement. Do your pART to foster the arts, encourage youngsters to enjoy the finer things in life, and maybe spark the creation of future professional photographers. Most importantly, you’ll help develop a new generation of good citizens and nice people. The world needs them now, more than ever.

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2a. THOUGHTS ON BEAUTY AND FACIAL PORTRAITS by Carol Ann Dwyer

If you have two sisters side by side, and one is ugly and one is beautiful, you notice it, but you would never talk about it out loud. That is taboo. You would never say to one, “You are so pretty,” and to the other, “Boy, are you ugly”.

Why is that? Because we value beauty, and we fear the opposite. We value brains, we fear stupidity. We value mental health, we fear mental breakdowns. We value physical health, we fear disease. We value youth, we fear death. We value heterosexual coupling, we fear homosexual. We live with these things, but we don’t want them for ourselves. And when we get too close to them, or talk about them, we may snicker or make jokes. The source of this snickering is fear. So if we talk about beauty or lack of it, we must be as professional as plastic surgeons at a conference on how to reshape faces. There is no euphemism in the entire language that conveys that meaning of “ugly” without having an edge of pain or insult to it.

So how do we know one sister is beautiful and the other not? We have a guideline inside our minds of the ideal. We have learned these rules from society:

--symmetry-two halves balanced.
--proportion and moderation, not extremes
--ears moderate, not big
--ears flat to head, not stuck out
--eyes big, not small
--eyes same size, not different
--eyes set in center, not too close together or too far apart
--eyes not bulbous
--forehead moderate, not to high to much, or too low
--want nose straight not crooked
--nose without a bump
--nose not to big or too small
--nose width, not too wide, not too narrow
--tip not too pointy, not too round
--nose not too turned up
--teeth white not yellow
--teeth straight not crooked.
--lips not too huge, not too thin
--skin smooth—avoid scars or pock marks
--skin clear not blemished
--skin smooth, not too many moles
--cheek bones visible, not too round
--chin nicely defined, not to pointy or “chinless,” recessed
--neck not to short, not too long
--neck tight, not loose flesh, neck firm not double or excess weight
--hair not too fine or too coarse
--hair not too thick or too thin,
--hair not too curly or too straight
--youth, not old, don’t want wrinkles.
--hair, not bald.

People are very sensitive and defensive about this. You must know how to help people relax. Beauty is not a line drawn in the sand. Beauty is on a continuum of more or less, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We often see subjects who are gorgeous but have no clue they are pretty. All humans want to be beautiful and attractive.

What’s in that word? ATTRACT the opposite sex. As long as there is procreation in this world, done the natural way and not in a petri dish, then professional photographers will have a job. Beauty gives us so much joy in life. But also causes us a lot of pain, because none of us feel we have enough of it. It makes me jealous when I see beautiful people having advantages in life, including financial!

What percent of the population thinks they are beautiful enough to jump in front of the camera and not worry about the outcome? Maybe 2%? Maybe Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie. I believe fear of not being handsome enough is what lies behind that dread of posing for a portrait. And men have it worse than women. Many portraits are made primarily for love, like family portraits. But that fear of not being handsome enough still trips us up.

The photographer has three main skills: lighting, posing and expression. The only reason customers call us is because we can make them a better, more flattering portrait than they can make themselves. We capture beauty, or create the illusion of beauty, for one brief moment that lasts a lifetime. It’s more profitable, and more satisfying, to make a flattering portrait of an average person than of a “beautiful” person. We want that normal customer to go out to the car and cry tears of joy . . . “you made me the best picture of my life!” If you get a pretty face you can “shoot the garbage out of them” and give 150 proofs. But, average faces have fewer options.
All little children are beautiful. You try for exact placement of the light on the child, but in reality get assorted light because kids don’t hold still. As long as you have delicate shadows with your high key shots, and a little darker shadow with low key, you are doing great with children. But by age 17, adult features come out. We start to deal with more weight, then drooping and wrinkles. Things are falling. By far our greatest challenge is the percentage of overweight subjects. 60%? Adult head shot subjects will hold still. You can have everything perfect. When you are good enough to get exactly the ratio and placement you want, and repeat it over and over, then you are truly a professional. Creativity is impossible without precise control. It goes without saying you need a good camera and lens. And for studio work, you need lights and a meter. Make friends with your meter and read the book.

The face is the essence of the human. The personality is captured in the eyes and expression. A waist up or closer with great light on face & eyes will beat a full length every time.

When you are out of your element and don’t know what is expected, you feel so stupid. Subjects feel that way in the camera room. Explain at the start: “I will tell you everything you need to do, where to look, where to put your hands. You won’t have to ask me any questions, like “where should I put my hands.” If we have silence, just chill and enjoy. When you are setting up or fixing camera, look and make sure they are not smiling at you in the ready position. Ask them to look down, look away. Once you are ready, get an expression and SHOOT IT FAST. Don’t make them wait. Eyes start watering in 5 to 10 seconds. Everything after that is torture. If you don’t get the expression you want, tell them to look down or close their eyes and rest. Don’t shoot more than 2 or 3 in a row. Give them a rest, time to blink. Have real conversations, not glib phrases, to get real expressions.

You can make great portraits of ordinary people, and flatter “challenged” subjects. It takes knowledge, thoughtfulness, patience, and practice.

Carol Ann Dwyer
Certified Master Professional Photographer
Meeker, Oklahoma



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3. How to Build a House by Clem Wehner

You’ve become quite accomplished with your old hammer and saw and you’ve been thinking about building a house. You have started to think of yourself as a professional, because you’ve begun selling a few things you made and people praise your work. So, you must be ready for your own house. The first step is to buy some fancy new tools, borrowing money if you have to, or putting it on a credit card.

Next, you’ll need some materials, so start buying stuff for the house. You can figure out exactly what later, after you start building. It’s going to take a lot of time to build a house, so consider quitting your day job, especially since you hate your job anyway. Now, start hammering things together. You don’t need plans, you can figure it out as you go along. Because you are a hard worker, you are sure it will turn out great. Everyone will admire your house, and you can fulfill your dream of home ownership.

Oh, wait a minute, I misunderstood. You say you want to start a photography business, not build a house. Well, then just go back and substitute the word “photo business” every place I said “house”. That’s the way to do it—NOT! Unfortunately, that’s the way a lot of businesses get started, and that’s the reason a lot of businesses fail. In fact, 40% of businesses fail in the first year and 80% fail in the first five years, and people are left paying off debt for years for a business that doesn’t even exist anymore.

Starting a successful business requires a lot of thinking, planning, study, and help from mentors. If you think that your passion for photography and your camera skills are enough, you are wrong. Managing a business requires a different skill set than photography. You will have two different jobs--photographer and business manager. You must learn how to do both.

First, get educated in business management. Read books, take classes, watch videos, attend professional photography business classes. Don’t quit your day job! Don’t rent a studio. Don’t go into debt. Do photography part time until you can consistently make $60,000 a year in sales. Remember, you will only keep one-third, as the rest will go for expenses. If you can gross $60,000 part time, then you can probably make sales of $120,000 full time, and thereby keep $40,000 for yourself. If that’s enough money for you, only then are you ready to try it full time.

Most importantly, get help from other successful photographers in thinking through every little detail of your proposed business and evaluating your ideas. Learn about business plans and how they can help you anticipate costly mistakes and anticipate problems. Get help from those with long-established successful businesses. Don’t let your excitement make you jump in unprepared, whether you are starting a business or building a house.

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3a."The Sin of Laziness" by Larry Foster


Several years ago I was attending a seminar on professional photography. During a break, I was talking with a fellow student. She mentioned she photographed all her weddings with one on-camera flash. She continued, "The bride doesn't know the difference anyway." Comments like that cause the hair to stand up on the back of my neck and I start making guttural noises similar to what my dog makes when the UPS truck pulls in the driveway. It's not her assessment of the bride's visual education that bothers me. Unfortunately that assessment is probably quite accurate. It is the underlying attitude she has toward her customer that I find disturbing.

Let's look at this from the other perspective. Sometime ago I hired an electrician to install a new circuit in my house. The night before he came, did I get the city code book out and study wire gauge and electrical load specifications? Did I buy a self-help book to learn the proper technique to run wire through a second story floor? Did I go on the Web to investigate the differences between copper and aluminum wiring? No. I did none of these things. I hired a professional and had complete confidence in his ability to the job.

When we hire a professional, we expect three things from them. We expect them to do the job correctly, we expect them to do the job the right, and we expect them to do the job to the best of their ability. Let's look at these one at a time.

We expect them to do the job correctly. We expect that they will do the job to the standards of the industry, using better equipment and greater skill than we posses. We expect our plumbers to use the right pipe, our electricians to use the right wire and our accountants to use the right procedures. Have you ever hired a professional and when evaluating their finished job said, “I could have done better myself?” We expect more
because they are a “professional”.

We expect them to do the job right - as in morally or honestly right. We expect them to fix the problem, to not "invent" new problems and to give us sound advice. I remember years ago I had one of those prepaid car care booklets at a national chain. Amazing that every time I took my car in for the “free” service, they would always find something else that needed repair. It’s no wonder they’re no longer in business. I have a much better mechanic now. I asked him to look at my daughter’s car one time. "I wouldn't fix it if it was my car", my mechanic replied. "Just keep an eye on it." He could have just as easily said it "had to be done" and charged me $1500.

We expect the professionals we hire to do their job to the best of their abilities. We expect our cars, our air conditioners and our medical ailments fixed the first time, every time. We appreciate the air conditioning service man who makes a service call at 7PM on a Saturday and spends 30 minutes thoroughly tracking down the problem or the doctor that actually remembers your previous visit and listens to what you say. We grow irritated at the house painter who takes frequent and lengthy breaks and leaves equipment strewn about.

The application is obvious: our customers believe they are hiring a professional - they believe we will provide these three things for them. This will mean different things to each of us. It may mean that you get more training in lighting or posing or color balance. It may mean that you bring another lens to a session or take your tripod out of trunk and
carry it with you. It may mean taking your flash off the camera (BTW: your flash should never be on the camera.) It may mean bringing some extra lights to a wedding or using an umbrella as a key light outdoors. It may mean spending that extra time with a shy child or taking the bride and groom outside to get the sunset when your feet and back hurt. We should always do our very best. And if these reasons are not motivation enough, just remember that some one who hates their day job is down at Best Buy purchasing a Canon Rebel Camera kit, and they will be more than happy to take your place.

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4. "Why We Do It" by Clem Wehner

We photographers and artists see things differently than most people. We do things that make other people think we are obsessed. We imagine things that are not real. We have visions that we can't get out of our heads until they are somehow satisfied. We understand other people who do the same strange things that we do. In all of history, many other people have done them, just as we do today.

The ancient Greeks said that it is caused by the Muses. Muses were the goddesses of art, creativity, and inspiration in the arts. The Muses choose certain people to carry on their work. Once they visit a person, they leave behind a destiny that cannot be ignored. If a muse has touched you, you will never be the same. You'll harbor an inner passion for creating that does not go away, but gets stronger the more you ignore it. It will tug at you until you create something that satisfies the muse. You really have no choice in the matter. You must create and once you do, a muse will reward you with an addictive feeling of satisfaction. It's what drives artists, indeed it may be the definition of artist.

But remember, the Muses only want you to create. They don't care if you make money at it, or if people want to buy your creations. That is not important to them. Only creating is important.

So powerful were the ancient Muses, that words and concepts important to us such as music, amusement, mosaic, and museum resulted from their influence. The Muses, daughters of the God Zeus, are still at work today inspiring and guiding a select few of us mortals to be artists.

So, the next time you get a spark of an idea, a vision that won't go away, or that searching feeling that only artists understand, you'll know why. You are one of the chosen few and you must create. Tell all who question your behavior that you have no choice because a muse makes you do it. So, fulfill your destiny and go create something wonderful. Your muse will be pleased and you will be well rewarded.



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4a. "How to Brighten a Scene by Using Less Light" by Clem Wehner

Suppose you are using a flash while shooting in manual to photograph a person standing in a room. You have set the camera to properly expose the subject for the light from your flash. After you shoot you check the image and find the subject is properly exposed, but the background of the room is too dark. What can you do? If you turn up the flash power you’ll throw more light onto the background, but you’ll also overexpose the subject. What’s the solution?

It may seem counter-intuitive, but the answer is to REDUCE the power of your flash and use LESS light! This will reduce the light on your subject, requiring you to lower the f/stop for proper exposure. But, this lower f/stop will also let in more ambient light from the background, making it brighter than it was before.

That’s how you brighten a background by using LESS light on the subject.

This technique is handy when photographing people at a wedding where the background of the church altar is too dark, dinner guests seated at a banquet, or even in a studio when the background light isn’t strong enough. It’s especially handy when shooting high key when the background light is maxed out, but not bright enough. Just lower the light on the subject, expose for the subject, and the background will appear brighter.



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5. "What a Waste!" by Clem Wehner

If an efficiency expert came to your business to analyze how well it runs, what would he find? Is everything done the most efficient way? Is there wasted time, effort, and materials? Do you often have to do things over because they weren’t done right the first time?

If you want to be profitable in your business, you must control waste. If you are wasting time, you pay for it by having less free time at the end of the day. But, if you have employees who are wasting time it’s much worse, because you pay for it with real dollars out of your bank account. When people at work are texting, talking on the cell phone, taking long lunch breaks, sitting around chatting, checking Facebook, tweeting, or surfing the internet they are stealing money from you. Does everyone in your business clearly understand this?

A huge and insidious profit killer is rework. We’ve all had to re-do something because it wasn’t right the first time. Rework means the cost of producing that item goes way up. The cost of producing a product should ideally be no more than 25% of the sale price of the product. This leaves the remaining 75% of the sale income to pay the general expenses to keep the business open and to pay your salary. When the work has to be totally done over, it raises the cost of making that item to 50% of the sale price. This means the reworked product costs so much that it doesn’t pay for itself, nor generate its share of dollars needed to run the business. Do this enough times and there won’t be enough money left over after production to pay the bills. That is why manufacturing industries put so much effort into achieving “first-time quality”. While these are nice words for the customer to hear, it’s really about avoiding the huge cost of rework. We all need to take a lesson from this.

Be your own efficiency expert. Evaluate your business work flow and processes, your employee’s performance, and your own duties and functions. Look at how your work space is laid out and how much time and motion is being wasted. Time how long it takes to do things. Determine the real dollar cost in time and materials of each major step in your workflow and see which ones cost you the most. That should open your eyes. Document your processes so everyone knows exactly how to do the job the same way every time. Make checklists to make sure nothing is missed. Plan several quality control checks in your production cycle so mistakes are caught early before they become big rework efforts. Train employees well and get them to understand the importance of being efficient. Waste eats up profits that pay the bills and salaries. Remember, the most efficient way to make more money is not to make more sales—it’s to cut expenses.

So, get out a stopwatch and clipboard and start measuring. You’ll like what it does for your bank account and you’ll sleep better at night.

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5a. "How to Take Great Christmas Tree Photos" by Clem Wehner

Here's how to take photographs of people and have the Christmas lights show in the background.

THE PROBLEM: Normally the flash will overpower the lights from the Christmas tree and you won’t see the little lights glowing.

WHAT YOU NEED:
1. A flash unit that attaches to your hot shoe. This will not work with a pop-up flash on your camera, because you cannot control a pop-up flash’s brightness.
2. A camera that can be set to Manual Exposure mode.

HOW TO DO IT: Here’s how to do it with a technique called “dragging the shutter”.

1. Put the camera on manual exposure (not auto-exposure) and the flash on manual (not Auto or TTL). You must do this totally in manual exposure. Note: you can still use auto- focus.

2. Set the shutter speed to 1/60 and the f/stop to the lowest it’ll go, like f/4.

3. With the flash OFF, take a picture of the tree with its lights on. Check the image. If the lights are too bright, then raise the shutter speed to a higher setting. Take another test shot and adjust the shutter speed until the lights on the tree are just right. Note that everything else will be dark, maybe even the tree itself. This is OK, as long as the tree lights are glowing in the photo.

4. Now turn on the flash. Set your flash unit to the manual mode (See your instruction book for how to do this). Then adjust the flash’s power output to a low setting like 1/64. Without changing the f/stop and shutter speed setting on your camera take a picture of the people standing next to the tree. The flash will illuminate them. Check the image. If the people are too bright, then make the flash dimmer by adjusting it to 1/128. If the people are too dim, then adjust the flash’s power to brighter, like 1/30. Take test shots adjusting the flash's power output until the people are just right. Don’t change the camera’s settings.

5. Take your photo of the people next to the tree. Now both the tree lights will show just right and the people will show just right.

6. What you have done is set the flash’s brightness to properly expose the people, and set the camera’s shutter speed to properly expose the lights. This works because the flash is on for a very short time (like 1/10,000th of a second), much less than the shutter is open. Here’s the sequence: shutter opens, then flash fires for 1/10,000th of a second. Then the flash shuts off, but the shutter is still open until all of the 1/60th of a second is over. Even though the flash has turned off, the shutter is still open, gathering light from the tree bulbs. Keeping the shutter open after the flash has turned off is called “dragging the shutter”. Try this—it’s really simpler than it sounds.

This is also a useful technique for taking flash pictures of people in a large dark room. Typically, the people are lit brightly by the flash and the background is black or very dark. This especially happens if shooting in auto-exposure. The camera sets the shutter speed and f/stop for the bright flash. This gets a good exposure of the faces lit by the flash. But the settings are too high to get any light from the ambient light in the room of the background. By using the technique of dragging the shutter, you can bring in ambient light from the room’s background after the flash has lit the people. You will get properly exposed people and also will be able to see the room in the background. Perfect!



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6. "Read the Fine Print" by Clem Wehner

Ever notice that whenever you get interested in a new car, you start seeing them everywhere? A similar thing happened to me the other day. I had just read an article about the Business Software Alliance (BSA), and the very same day I heard a commercial on an Oklahoma City radio station about it. It invited the public to make some money by reporting businesses that were using pirated (illegally copied) software. It promised complete anonymity and rewards up to $1 million. It said you don’t even need to work for the business you suspect has illegal software, just report their name by phone or the internet. What an easy way to make a little extra money, just in time for Christmas! What great revenge if you left a company for unpleasant reasons.

The BSA was formed by the major software manufacturers to enforce copyright protection of their products. They target businesses, large and small, and have the right to audit your computers, levy big fines, and make you miserable. You could get a letter requiring you to audit your own computers and report the result to them. Worse, the knock on your door may be a BSA auditor, accompanied by a US marshal, ready to go through all your computers. They’ll want to see proof that you purchased all the software you are using. It’s not good enough just to have the original box and CDs, you must have the original receipt with your name on it. That’s because the fine print that you did not read when you clicked “I agree” during installation probably granted a license to use the software only to the original purchaser. Furthermore, you probably gave them permission to search your business, or home if that’s where your business is, all in some fine print gobble-de-gook that you didn’t bother to read.

While you might think that they are only after big business, the BSA is increasingly auditing small business, because that’s where a lot of violations are. Just a few months ago an eye doctor in Louisiana was fined over $100,000. If you have software on your computers that you don’t have the receipt for, that somebody gave you, that you copied illegally, that you have installed on more computers than allowed, that you are using after the expiration date of the license agreement, etc., then you need to read more about the BSA (www.BSA.org). It was created and funded by major companies like Microsoft, Corel, Adobe, and others that photographers rely upon. The BSA is becoming increasingly aggressive, especially with small business, and the fact that we are now hearing their commercials in Oklahoma means they are “interested” in us. They are serious about their task and reportedly not friendly. Some have likened them to the IRS in a very bad mood. So, inventory your software and make sure you can prove you bought it. Be sure to read the fine print of the license agreement before you click “I agree” next time you install software on your computer.

We really can’t fuss too much because they are just protecting their copyright. As photographers, we can sure understand that, can’t we?


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6a. “Photographing a School Play in Low Light" by Clem Wehner

Question: I want to photograph my child in a play in the school auditorium. The lights will be down except for the stage. I’ve tried this before and the pictures were terrible. What do I need to do to get good shots?

Answer: First, forget setting your camera to auto. This is a situation that auto wasn't made for. You'll have to shoot in manual exposure and use manual flash settings. You’re going to need an external flash unit on your camera to get enough light.

So, Here’s how to do it:

1. Get as close to the stage as possible, so you can zoom to as wide a shot as possible because it lets in more light when it is wide than when you are zoomed in tight.

2. Shoot in manual exposure. Auto exposure is worthless in the situation you describe. Set the lowest f/stop that your camera will allow.

3. Set the shutter speed to 1/60th of a second. You could try slower like 1/45th, but you'd need a tripod (hard to use in the audience) and the kids on stage would have to be still (not likely).

4. Set your flash on Manual and set it to the full power setting. Auto flash settings or TTL settings on the flash are worthless in this situation. Set your flash to full power, usually shown as the 1/1 power setting.

5. Use the highest ISO you can without getting noise in the image. Probably ISO 400 is the highest you'll be able to use, unless you have a full sensor camera which will allow much higher ISOs without much noise. You can generally tell if you have a full-sensor camera by its price—around $2000. Otherwise ISO 400 is about it. You can try ISO 800 for more light sensitivity, but it’ll start showing noise in the images.

These techniques will give you the best chance of getting a fairly well exposed image. You may be amazed how dim it can be and still get good shots at these settings. With a good external flash on your camera, you should be able to light up a gymnasium in total darkness with the flash on full power, the f/stop down to 3.5, the zoom on wide, and the shutter speed at 1/60th second, and the camera and flash in manual modes.

If you use a tripod, the images should be very well focused. If you are in the audience without much room, use a monopod to steady the camera, or even a tripod with the legs bunched together so it’s kind of like a monopod. You can use this in your seat without the tripod legs bothering other people.

Try some shots and see if it works out. You may find you actually have too much light. If so, then, then raise the f/stop or the shutter speed. But, leave the flash on full power. If it's still too dark, move closer until you have enough light on the subject, but stay on wide zoom.


Some considerations:

1. At a low f/stop your depth of field (DOF) will be shorter than usual, so be aware of kids at different distances from you. Some may be out of focus. Remember that the farther away your subject is, the greater the depth of field even at low f/stops. So DOF won’t be as big a problem if the subjects are far away on stage. Also the wider the zoom the greater the depth of field even at low f/stops. So get as far from the subject as you can with as wide a zoom as you can, but at a distance you can still get enough light on the subject. Experiment with this to find the point where you can get enough light and still keep a wide zoom with the subjects you want in the picture. I'd recommend going to the place before the program and experimenting to see what works. Take some extra flash batteries because on full power, the flash will eat the batteries.

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7. "It’s Just Different" by Clem Wehner

Recently at a print competition some of the prints were criticized as being art, not photography, even though they originated as photographs. The jury foreman reminded everyone that they were judging images, not just untouched photographs. He commented that several years ago the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) considered a special category for altered photographs, but realized that photographers have always altered images in some way.

To illustrate this point, let’s remember how it was in the “old days”, not really so long ago.

We’ve always manipulated images. Before the digital age we cropped photographs,
touched up flaws, and made changes with pen and brush. We selectively highlighted and de-highlighted by dodging and burning, and we underexposed, overexposed, and double exposed. We hand tinted to add color to black and white images, and we changed hue and saturation with film, chemicals, and filters. We adjusted brightness and contrast. We blurred before we ever heard of “Gaussian”. Just like today, we removed things from images, and added things that weren’t there. We changed texture and graininess using high speed film or special paper. We used masks to selectively work on parts of images. We used filters on the camera and in the darkroom to change color, contrast, and detail. We experimented with chemicals, pushed or retarded processing, cross-processed using color chemicals with black and white film to get special effects, and more. We used a myriad of agitation techniques in the processing baths trying to achieve something different. We were always experimenting to get more creative. We even scratched and scraped Polaroid prints to make art. The most artistically talented painted from photographs, back when the person was called “painter”, not the software. We even offered training and professional credentials, The Photographic Artist, for photographic manipulators.

So we’ve been there, doing that, for a long time. Image alteration is all part of the photographic art and always has been, except today we have new tools. We can now do more incredible work than ever before and everybody wins.

Just like so many other things in life, nothing is new, it’s just different and better.



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8. “Forward Thinking” by Clem Wehner

“How can I repay you for all you have taught me?” she said, after I had answered yet another question in her quest to understand lighting. I told her to repay me by “paying it forward”--teaching someone else the things she had learned. As a photographer and teacher, I find many opportunities to help others learn what I have learned from others.

There are many ways to do this. Help a friend understand how to take better pictures, help a guild member master a technique, give a presentation to your fellow photographers, teach at your club or organization, volunteer to be a mentor, write an article for a magazine or web site, or just become someone that other photographers know they can turn to when they need help.

As all teachers know, when you teach something you learn it better than you ever could as a student. The process of explaining something organizes your thoughts, clarifies things, and solidifies them in your memory. Try this--attempt to explain something that you just barely understand yourself. You’ll stumble a little, search for words, and try to find examples to illustrate your points. All of a sudden, a light will click on in your head, and it will all become clear to you. What’s more, it will be fixed in your mind forever. It really works! I use this technique all the time when I’m a little confused by something I’m trying to learn.

This phenomenon is one of the joys of teaching, not to mention the great feeling of helping others, and the appreciation you get in return. In the bigger picture (pun intended), helping other photographers will serve us all and will keep our professional organization viable and a great resource.

Teach someone something- you owe it to those who taught you, and it feels so good!

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9. "WWPS Fundamentals of Photography Quiz" (with answers)


1. Moving a light closer to a subject:
a. makes the light on the subject brighter.
b. makes the light on the subject dimmer.
c. does not change the brightness of the light on the subject.


2. Moving a light closer to a subject:
a. makes the shadows harsher (harder).
b. makes the shadows less harsh (softer).
c. makes no difference in the shadow.


3. To reduce the hardness of shadows:
a. reduce the brightness of the light.
b. make the light source larger.
c. make the light source smaller.
d. increase the brightness of the light.

4. A subject is being lighted by a source not on the camera (the sun, a street light, a photo light, etc). You move the camera closer to the subject to get a tighter shot. The camera's exposure settings:
a. will have to be changed because the subject will
appear brighter to the camera as you get closer.

b. will have to be changed because the subject will
appear dimmer to the camera as you get closer.

c. will not have to be changed, because it does not
matter if you get closer.


5. Which is the fastest (shorter time open) shutter speed?

a. 1/60 th of a second
b. 1/100 th of a second
c. 1/1000 th of a second

6. A subject is being lighted by the direct mid-day sun. If the camera is set to ISO 100, what is a shutter speed and aperture to get a correct exposure.

a. 1/200th and f/8
b. 1/100th and f/11
c. 1/100th and f/16
d. 1/200th and f/22

7. A subject is being lighted by the direct mid-day sun. If the camera is set to ISO 400, what is a shutter speed and aperture to get a correct exposure.
a. 1/100th and f/8
b. 1/400th and f/16
c. 1/200th and f/16
d. 1/400th and f/22


8. To stop some fast moving action, you increase the shutter speed. How will this affect light coming into the camera?

a. more light will be let in
b. less light will be let in
c. no change in the light let in.

9. To stop some fast moving action, you increase the shutter speed from 1/400th second to 1/800th second. How much will this affect light coming into the camera?

a. 1/2 the light will be let in
b. 1/4th the light will be let in
c. no change in the light let in

10. To stop some fast moving action, you increase the shutter speed from 1/400th second to 1/800th second. To compensate, what change must be made to the aperture?

a. select a higher f/stop number
b. select a lower f/stop number

11. To stop some fast moving action, you increase the shutter speed from 1/400th second to 1/800th second. To compensate, what will the f/stop have to be changed to?
a. 1 f/stop lower
b. 2 f/stops lower
c. 1 f/stop higher
d. 2 f/stops higher


12. A subject is being lighted by the direct mid-day sun. The camera is set to ISO 200 and shutter speed of 1/200. To stop some action, you increase the shutter speed to 1/400. What is the correct aperture for a good exposure.
a. f/8
b. f/16
c. f/11
d. f/22

13. You are photographing a motorcycle race outside on a bright sunny day. You are using ISO 100. You decide you need a high shutter speed to stop the moving motorcycles.
What is the fastest shutter speed you can use? (Note: your lens’ lowest setting is f/4.0)
a. 1/200th
b. 1/400th
c. 1/800th
d. 1/1600th

14. A subject is 4 feet from a light. If the subject moves to 8 feet from the light, the light on the subject will be:
a. brighter
b. dimmer
c. no change in brightness

15. A subject is 4 feet from a light. If the subject moves to 8 feet from the light.
How much dimmer will the light be on the subject?

a. 1/2 as bright
b. 1/4th as bright
c. no change in brightness

16. A subject is 4 feet from a light. If the subject moves to 6 feet away, the light on the subject will be:
a. 1/2 as bright
b. 1/4th as bright
c. no change in brightness

17. A light is 4 feet from a subject. If you move the light to 6 feet away from the subject, the light on the subject will be:
a. 1/2 as bright
b. 1/4th as bright
c. no change in brightness

18. You are photographing a person using flash. At 6 feet away you find that f/8 gives a good exposure. You back up to 9 feet away. What f/stop is needed for a correct exposure?
a. f/5.6
b. f/11
c. f/4.0
d. Don’t know- just put the camera in Auto

19. What does the "50mm" refer to in a 50mm lens?
a. the diameter of the lens.
b. the focal length of the lens.
c. the distance from the lens to the film (sensor)
d. the diameter of the threaded part of the lens that a filter screws onto.

20. Using a 100mm lens instead of a 50mm lens:
a. is the same as moving away to twice as far from the subject.
b. is the same as moving twice as close to the subject.

21. When using a 100mm lens instead of a 50mm lens:
a. the image that is formed inside the camera will be twice the size.
b. the image that is formed inside the camera will be one-half the size.
c. the image will be the same size, but the magnification will be double.

22. A 25mm lens compared to a 50mm lens:
a. results in a wider-angle shot.
b. results in a less wide-angle shot.

23. A lens is called a "zoom" lens when:

a. the lens has two focal lengths.
b. it is considered a "fast" lens.
c. the focal length can be changed.

24. A wide angle lens:
a. exaggerates the size of objects that are very close to the camera
b. Makes objects close to the camera seem taller and thinner.

25. A telephoto lens:
a. causes objects to seem closer together (scene compression)
b. causes straight objects to seem curved (scene aberration)
c. causes tall objects to seem to seem wider than normal (scene distortion)

26. A macro lens is used for:
a. photographing large areas
b. photographing extremely close to a subject.
c. getting a close-up shot when you are far away from the subject.

27. A macro lens usually results in:
a. an extremely short Depth of Field.
b. a distorted shape of the image.
c. a very small focusing range.


28. Why is it called "f/stop"?
a. Because it is easy to remember.
b. Because it means "film stop".
c. Because it is a math formula describing the lens system capability.
d. It refers to the ability to stop light fast depending on the setting.


29. Cameras with more megapixels have larger sensors.
a. True
b. False

30. Camera sensors cannot detect color.
a. True
b. False


Answers: 1a, 2b, 3b
Answers: 4c, 5c, 6c, 7b
Answers: 8b, 9a, 10b, 11a
Answers: 12c, 13d, 14b, 15b, 16a, 18a
Answers: 19b and c, 20b, 21a, 22a, 23c, 24a, 25a, 26b, 27a and c
AnswerS: 28c, 29b, 30a









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