Wednesday, September 1, 2010

4 Steps to Being a Better Photographer

1. Learn to use your camera. This one sounds obvious but you want to become so familiar with your equipment you could use it in your sleep. This will allow you to avoid fumbling with the camera when time is really critical.

2. Develop a critical eye. View lots of photographs both in print and on the internet. Decide whether you like each photo or not and be able to articulate the reasons for how you feel about each photo. Decide what you would have done to make it better. Practice this constantly. While studying photographs, learn as much as you can about color theory, composition and light.

3. Using what you have learned in Step 2, take LOTs of photographs. Study your own photos and decide how each could have been better. Apply what you learn each successive time you take photos.

4. Have fun with photography. Like any art, the more you love it and practice it, the better you will become.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Announcing our newest Senior Spokemodel

Callahan Photography Galleries is very happy to announce our newest Senior Spokemodel.

Rebecca will be recommending us to all her friends and aquaintances.

Everyone please offer Rebecca a warm welcome.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Improving the color

Recently, I have been asked how I am able to achieve such richness of color in my photos. I believe that comes from a combination of things.

First the technical stuff. I almost always use a polarizing filter. This has the effect of slowing down the shutter speed and thereby exposing the sensor for a longer period of time. I also always shoot using the "cloudy day" white balance too. I believe this has the effect of warming the colors. Not real sure how your specific camera can be set up this way. Read your manual if you are not sure how to do this.

I have disabled, or turned as low as I can, items like contrast and saturation in my camera. I have also biased it ever so slightly to the red spectrum. These setting then allow me to adjust color and contrast as part of post processing to my liking instead of the preference of some engineer or marketing guy. Again, check your camera manual for specifics on your equipment.

Be sure to watch the light. You know, the old "golden hours" thing. I know it is an old saw but the longer and more yellow light of sunrise and sunset really enriches the reds, the oranges and the yellows.

Lastly I like to shoot in or just after a storm. The precipitation really darkens the soils and brings out their colors. It also makes for more interesting skies than just a plain naked blue one.

Follow these tips and see if your photos don't come out richer and with better saturation of color. If your would like to see examples of what can be accomplished without expensive equipment, take a look at


The purpose of this blog will be to share tips, trick and techniques for improving your photography. I will post random thoughts here, at irregular intervals, as subjects occur to me or questions are asked. Why should you listen to me? Great question. Let me tell you a bit about my background.

I have been photographing nature, wildlife and landscapes for many more years than I care to admit. For as long as I can remember I have been intrigued by the interplay of light and shadow, color and contrast, the texture of a leaf or the ever changing forms contained in a flowing stream. In my teen years this interest lead me to photography. I believe that while most people look at the world, a photographer sees the world around him. And sometimes (when the planets align and you hold your tongue just right) the photographer will record a glimpse of real beauty that might have been otherwise hidden and lost forever.

Living in the American Southwest affords me opportunities most photographers only dream of. For most people, visiting here is a two week vacation. I have the privilege to live here year around, surrounded by some of the most awe inspiring scenery, magnificent wildlife, and colorful flora in all of creation. These are opportunities I am attempting to exploit and enjoy to the fullest.

For me, seeing the photograph is only the beginning of the creative process. A photograph should represent a moment in time, capturing it and containing it completely. I use traditional and alternative photographic techniques as well as digital treatment to create a complete image.

So does all of this mean you should listen to what I have to say? Well, I'll leave that up to your judgement. If you find them to be a bunch of tripe, then you may listen to which ever professor, teacher or guru you choose. However, if you read the tips written here and find some of them useful, then I am pleased. One of the great possibilities of the web is it's ability to connect kindred spirits.