Posts Tagged 'Learn Digital Camera Photography'

Focal Point Part 1

How important Focal point is

What is the definition of a Focal Point?

The dictionary defines it as:

“focal point |?f?k?l ?point|


the point at which rays or waves meet after reflection or refraction, or the point from which diverging rays or waves appear to proceed.

  • the centre of interest or activity: almost every sizeable city can have a junior college that can act as a focal point for cultural activity.”

How is a Focal Point defined in photography? Why is it important? 

A focal point is the part of an image that draws the viewer’s eye to an essential part of the image or an area you want to highlight. How you do this will make or break the final image. If you’re going to create images that capture and hold the viewer’s interest (and who doesn’t want to do this?), the most transparent advice I can give you is to learn to create well-defined focal points in your photography.

In any discussion about using focal points, each of us has our interests and tastes. Therefore creating a fixed rule for focal points is next to impossible.  However, it is possible to use other photography rules and techniques to help you establish clear focal points, as defined by your unique point of view and vision.  In this series of articles, I will shed some light on popular practices that many pro photographers use to create a focal point in their images.

In the picture below, you will not find an obvious focal point. The lack of a focal point not only takes away from the beauty of the scene; it also makes the viewer wonder where to look.

Focal Point

There is no Focal Point in this image.

Alternatively, in the picture below, the subject’s brightness establishes a focal point of interest for viewers to notice right away.

Focal Point

The tree’s brightness attracts the eyes, and I used it as a focal point for this image.

That is all for now. Stay tuned for more articles in this series about focal points, as I will cover several different techniques for you. In our Fall Outdoor Photography Class, you can practice more with focal points and have the opportunity to discuss them with your instructor. The Fall Outdoor photography Class is scheduled for November 12th as a full-day workshop, and there are only a few spots are left.

Do you want to use the creativity of the focal point?

One of the many ways to create a strong focal point is using highlights and shadows. Chasing Shadows is a unique photography class that teaches you the power of the Ansel Adams Zone System. Learning the Zone System enables you to capture outstanding images and showcasing the main subjects using the light pattern.

Our next Chasing Shadows workshop starts on June 5, 2021. It is a five-part program and includes field trips and lots of hands-on.

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Ted and the Omnilargess Team


Event Venue Date
Beginners Photography Bootcamp High Street Office
  • February 9, 2023 6:00 pm
Sold Out
Vancouver Skyline at Night Totem Poles at Brockton Point
  • February 18, 2023 5:00 pm
Nitobe Garden Photo Walk Nitobe Garden
  • April 22, 2023 10:00 am
Digital Camera Crash Course 2023 High Street Office
  • April 29, 2023 9:30 am
Beginners Photography Class, Summer Bootcamp High Street Office
  • May 4, 2023 6:00 pm
LAC DU BOIS PHOTO TOUR Lac du Bois, British Columbia
  • May 5, 2023 4:00 pm
Landscape Photography Workshop Maple Ridge Dyke
  • May 13, 2023 8:00 am
  • June 15, 2023 6:00 pm
Chasing Shadows High Street Office
  • June 17, 2023 9:00 am
Youth Summer Photography Program High Street Office
  • July 12, 2023 2:00 pm
  • October 20, 2023 4:00 pm
Digital Camera Bootcamp for beginners

Beginners Digital Camera Bootcamp

8 weeks program $400.00.

A complete workshop for beginners to intermediate photographers

Beginners Digital Photography Bootcamp consists of eight, three-hour sessions on Wednesday nights each week. All sessions include a mix of theory in the classroom, as well as practical instruction. Participants have opportunities for shooting photographs on field trips, as well as reviewing and discussing their images with an instructor.

Omnilargess Night Time Photography Classes

Omnilargess Night Time Photography Classes Photo credit Margaret Bouwman

Session 1 (September 21 from 6-9 pm):

Introduction to photography, how digital cameras work, digital photography workflow basics, auto focus versus manual focus, digital image optimization

Session 2 (September 28  from 6-9 pm):

ISO, Understanding camera setting modes and exposure controls, intro to using the Histogram.

Session 3 (October 5 from 6-9 pm):

Metering methods, reading a Histogram, using manual mode, White Balance.

Session 4 (October 12 from 6-9 pm):

Creative uses for aperture and shutter, depth of field and motion. Selective focus/shallow depth of field workshop.

Session 5 (October 19 from 6-9 pm):

Composition guidelines – rule of thirds, texture, color, point of view and seeing in shapes and forms, and Macro Photography guide line.

Session 6 (October 22 from 10 am to 1 pm):

Photo Field Trip (three hours of outdoor photography with instructor). Practical exercises and refining composition and camera control. (Location to be announced)

Session 7 (October 26 from 6-9 pm):

Review field trip images, and Night Scene Photography guide lines.

Session 8 (October 28 from 6-9 pm):

Photo Field Trip for Night Scene Photography. Please bring your tripod. (Location to be announced)


Beginner. No previous photography experience required.

Class size:

Maximum 9 participants.


Omnilargess Office, Seven Oaks Shopping Centre Abbotsford


Capturing Amazing Pictures

Tips for capturing amazing pictures every time! 

The Great Camera Debate Part 7

In the previous article I discussed the importance of a camera lens over a camera body. In this article we are going to look at the importance of education and skills.

Look at these two photos and try to guess what kind of camera and lens were used to capture each of these photos:

Capturing amazing pictures

What kind of camera and lens were used to take this photo?

capturing amazing pictures

It is difficult to tell what camera and lens were used in this photo, is it not?

Please take a moment after you’ve studied the images and make a note of what type of camera you think took these shots. Most likely your guess will be an inexpensive camera or a smart phone. Let’s continue with two more examples for you to evaluate.  I will reveal the camera identities soon!

What type of camera took these images? As before, make a note of your verdict:

Capturing amazing pictures

An example of good pictures. What camera and lens were used here?

capturing amazing pictures

Another example of a well exposed and composed picture

Are you ready for the reveal? Then here we go:

Capturing amazing pictures

As you can see in this screenshot, shockingly this photo was taken by a pro camera and lens! If the exposure is not correct, the type of camera can not help the image quality

Capturing amazing pictures

Just because the exposure is correct, this photo from a smart phone looks amazing!

Great pictures are the result of good composition and correct exposure, regardless of what equipment you use. Our photography workshops are focused on teaching you important skills for getting good exposures and composition. No matter what kind of camera you use, you can make amazing photos when you learn these fundamentals of photography. Our Digital Camera Bootcamp is an 8 week program which covers all the major topics and prepares you for capturing amazing photos. It includes two field trips (one daytime and one night time photography) where you put all the learning to good use and use your camera in a variety of settings and conditions. Here are some photos and testimonies from our previous Digital Camera Bootcamp participants:

  • I took the outdoor photography course last weekend and it was a lot of fun. I learned new tricks I never knew before and how to take better pictures. Thank you for an excellent experience and looking forward to joining more classes.Caroline Cari

  • Manual Shooting

    In Manual shooting the background can not change the exposure

  • Great teaching by Ted and thanks Ed for helping outPat Barnum

  • Capturing amazing pictures

    Composition and exposure are the main keys for amazing photos

  • By the end of the Beginner’s Digital Photography I had a solid understanding of the basic functions of my SLR camera.  It was great to have a live instructor who was able to show me the distinct features of my specific camera and help me troubleshoot when things weren’t quite right.  Ted’s explanations were clear, and the overall experience was a lot of fun!


  • Capturing amazing pictures

    Controlling shutter speed allows you create different effects


    The camera is a tool and by itself is not responsible for making great photos. When you learn how to use the tool, in this case the camera, it is you who will make outstanding results. I don’t ignore the importance of proper tools, but I want to make it clear that as a photographer your results will become more consistent the more you learn about your camera and photography in general. Omnilargess Photography Workshop is a good place to expand your knowledge, with classes and private lessons for every level and interest.

    That is all for now. Just a quick reminder that we offer Gift Cards for the photographers on your list, so let Santa’s helper know how to find us!

    Ted and the Omnilargess Team

    Rules Of Thumbs For Shutter Speed

    Some rules of thumb for shutter speed

    Part 2

    Here are some rules of thumbs for Shutter speed shooting.

    Rule #1: Stay above 1/60

    If you are using a tripod, you can go below this speed, but when hand holding the camera, always stay above this speed. If you do not, you will tend to get blurring from camera movement. Image Stabilization (IS or VR in the lens or sensor shift in the camera body) can help, but only for 2 or 3 shutter steps lower. Just remember the rule, it’s easy.

    Rules of Shutter speed

    The shutter speed was fast enough to create a sharp image, but slow enough to blur the foot.


    Rule #2: Focal Length and Shutter Speed

    Another thing to consider when choosing shutter speed is the focal length of the lens you’re using. Longer focal lengths will accentuate the amount of camera shake you have and so you’ll need to choose a faster shutter speed (unless you have image stabilization in your lens or camera). The rule of thumb to use with focal length in non image stabilized situations is to choose a shutter speed with a denominator that is larger than the focal length of the lens. For example if you have a lens that is 50mm, 1/60th is probably okay but if you have a 200mm lens you will probably want to shoot at around 1/250.

    Rules of Shutter speed

    The minimum safe shutter speed varies for different focal length

    Rule #3: Shutter Speed and Flash

    Knowing how an electronic flash works with your camera can help you use the shutter speed setting creatively in conjunction with a flash. Newer cameras sometimes offer synchronized flash settings of 1/125 of a second or faster. Check the owner’s manual to determine your camera’s flash synch speed. Important note: if you exceed these shutter speeds you will start to see black bars on your frame. These black bars are shadows from the shutter curtains falling on the sensor and happens when the shutter takes part of the exposure before the flash fires.

    By using shutter speed settings creatively, you can do far more than minimize camera movement. You’ll be able to make your subjects stand out from the background, stop the action, show motion, blend flash and natural light and unleash the creative potential of your camera.

    Rules of Shutter speed

    Shutter speed synch in flash photography


    Rule #4: Recommended Shutter Speed for Sport

    Regardless of the subject you are shooting, if you intend to freeze the action in all types of sports photography you will need to use a fast shutter speed. Typically, DSLRs allow you to dictate the shutter speed, leaving your camera to automatically set the aperture to obtain an accurate exposure. So what shutter speed should you use? The shutter speed you need will depend on how fast the subject is moving. The faster the motion and the bigger it is in the frame, the faster the shutter speed will need to be. You will also need a faster shutter speed if the subject is moving across the frame, rather than simply heading straight towards you.

    A good starting place is a shutter speed of around 1/500 sec and work up (or down) from there.

    Rules of Shutter speed

    Slow shutter speed made me almost disappear!

    Rules of Shutter speed

    Fast shutter speed can freeze the action

    That wraps up this article. These are some rules of thumbs for shutter speed and how to use shutter priority in more creative way. Stay tuned for the next article in this series: Creative uses of shutter speed in photography.

    Slow shutter photography is very creative. We are going to have a Night Time Photography workshop on September 11. In this fun workshop we will take photos at night using slow shutter speeds and also play with light painting. Plan to join us for Night time Photography!

    Ted and the Omnilargess Team

    HDR – Putting it all together

    HDR – putting it all together

    Merging photos to create HDR images in Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC

    I love HDR pictures and when I found out I can do HDR in the new Lightroom CC, I was so excited. In this article I am going to show you how to use Lightroom CC to merge multiple photos into a single HDR image.

    After importing photos to Lightroom, in Library module select the pictures that you want to merge.

    Then right click on one of the images and go to PHOTO MERGE and select HDR

    Merge photos to HDR in Lightroom or Photoshop

    Merge photos to HDR in Lightroom or Photoshop

    In the new window select Auto Align, and De-ghost, then click OK.

    Merge photos to HDR in Lightroom or Photoshop

    Select Auto Align and medium Deghost for better result

    Depending on the quantity of images, file size, and speed of your computer, it may take few moments for Lightroom to finish the job and create an HDR image.

    Merge photos to HDR in Lightroom or Photoshop

    This HDR photo is created by Lightroom. You can adjust the highlights and shadows up to 8 steps!

    Lightroom creates a DNG file, which is pretty much like a RAW file and enables you to adjust the exposure, highlights, shadows, whites and blacks in the same way that you do for a RAW file. But now you can adjust them in a wider range without distorting the image quality. Here are some samples:

    Merge photos to HDR in Lightroom or Photoshop

    The Highlights and Shadows in this photo are very close to what human eye can see

    Merge photos to HDR in Lightroom or Photoshop

    By merging to HDR, you can restore even more details.


    As Lightroom is a non-destructive software you can keep the original HDR-DNG file and make as many copies as you wish with different adjustments.

    That is all for now. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. I will be more than happy to answer your questions regarding HDR.

    Are you a member of Facebook Rebel Photographer Group? Post your images and we can all enjoy the beauty of HDR images together.

    Happy HDR shooting! 

    Ted and the Omnilargess Team

    To learn more about controlling the exposure register for our digital Camera Workshop on July 15. This workshop is developed for beginners to learn how to set the exposure for better photographs.

    Beginners Digital Camera Workshop

    Beginners Digital Camera workshop 

    Our popular Digital Camera workshop for beginners is scheduled for July 15 and there are a few spots still available!  

    Do you know almost all digital cameras have some advanced controls to enable you to produce better photos? And yes we cover these controls in our beginners digital camera workshops! Does it sound odd that a beginner’s workshop would explore advanced controls? 

    As a matter of fact most of these “advanced settings” are fairly easy to understand and apply, and can make significant improvements in image quality.

    One example is the Metering Mode and how a quick change from Matrix/Evaluated metering to Centre Weighted or Spot metering can improve the exposure for your subject.

    Different Metering Modes

    Different Metering Modes

    You may ask “Where do I find the Metering mode in my camera?” and the answer to this (and more questions) can be found in our Beginners Digital Camera Workshop!

    Metering Modes for Nikon shooters and Canon shooters examples

    Nikon Metering system Menu

    Nikon Metering system Menu

    Canon Metering system Menu

    Canon Metering system Menu


    On the other hand you may say; “I just want to take nice photos of my family and friends.” We will also explore the special features in your camera which help you create better photos of a wide variety of subjects using controls such as shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.

    Or you may ask: “I want to go into photography very seriously and possibly as a business. Is this class a good starting point for me?” For serious students I suggest our 8 week program  (Digital Camera Bootcamp), but if you cannot make the eight week commitment, then Beginners Digital Camera workshop will give you some good solid basics to understanding your camera and exploring the wonderful world of digital photography.

    There are only few spots left for this popular digital photography workshop. This workshop is suitable for all digital cameras with some manual controls and is for all ages and levels in photography. It is a 3 hour classroom session with some practical exercises and a three hour hands on field trip We keep the class size small to allow enough time for interacting with your instructor.

    Please let us know if you have any questions.  We hope to see you there!

    Ted and the Omnilargess Team

    Why Custom White Balance

    Is White Balance very important in Digital Photography?

    How to Avoid Colour Cast in Digital images?


    Many photographers avoid using the White Balance (WB) setting in their camera simply because they think the camera can take care of it or, if necessary, they can make the color adjustment later in post processing. This can be true but there are certain variables which can cause an undesirable color cast in our images and sometimes post processing will not help us a lot (especially if you shoot in jpeg format or higher ISO).

    In this article I am going to explain a basic definition of White Balance and give you some tips on when you should consider using a custom White Balance.

    What is White Balance?

    You’ve probably noticed when checking and reviewing your digital photos that at times images can have an orange, blue, yellow etc cast to them, although to our eyes the scene looked quite normal. The reason for this is that different sources of light have a different ‘color’ (or temperature). These differences in color/ temperature range from the very cool light of a blue sky through to the very warm light of a candle.

    We don’t generally notice this difference because our eyes adjust automatically for it.  Unless the temperature of the light is very extreme a white sheet of paper will generally look white to us. However a digital camera doesn’t have the brain to make these adjustments automatically and will faithfully, accurately record for the predominant (and usually invisible to us) color temperature.


    What is Auto White Balance?

    Each digital camera has the data of thousands of images built into its processor. When you use any of the auto modes (Auto White Balance, Auto Exposure, Auto area auto focus, etc.) the camera compares the scene to the data of these images and selects the one that is closest. The result might be close or be quite far from accurate color and exposure.

    You may have noticed that the newer digital camera take better photos. It is not because these cameras are better made, but mainly because the manufacturers add more data to the newer camera to use as references.


    When should I use Auto White Balance?

    That being said, if you have a newer digital camera, and are taking pictures with only one source of light, the Auto White Balance will create a decent image for you. If there are more than one source of light (e.g. daylight from a window and tungsten light of an indoor lamp) the chances are higher that your camera can’t make the right decision, which will result in a heavy color cast in your image.


    How do digital cameras measure the White Balance?

    Generally speaking, digital camera searches for 18% grey in the scene, and whatever resembles closest to 18% grey will be used as a reference to grey and the colors adjusted accordingly. This is why photos in a forest with no white or grey present in the scene will often end up with a deep green cast over your images.


    Should I use auto or custom White Balance for every single photo?

    Here are three golden rules for when to use Auto White Balance:

    1- You have a newer digital camera

    2- You have something white or grey in your subject

    3- You have one dominant source of light, not a mixture of light sources.


    If none of these apply, then a custom white balance setting would be a good option, especially if you shoot primarily in jpeg format.


    What is a custom White Balance?

    In custom White Balance you tell your camera what is white or grey and the camera will set the other colors for you. Your camera will remember this custom setting until you change it again.


    Does this mean that I have to do custom White balance for each and every picture?

    As long as the light source and its brightness stay the same you don’t need to change the setting. When you change location (for instance from shade to sun, or from one room to other room) you will need to redo the Custom White Balance.

    Look at these photos and see how different White Balance settings can change the colours.

    Auto White Balance

    Auto White Balance


    Fluorescent Preset White Balance

    Fluorescent Preset White Balance


    Custom White Balance

    Custom White Balance



    To learn more about Digital Camera Photography visit our  Upcoming Classes page to find a workshop that covers your questions.

    Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

    Ted and the Omnilargess Team

    We scheduled Understanding Exposure Workshop for May 22. It is a two part workshop and we will cover Custom White Balance in detail in this workshop.

    Digital Photography Classes

    Digital Photography classes for Spring 2015

    A quick list of upcoming Omnilargess digital photography classes

    Hello everyone

    I just put together a list of our new upcoming Digital Photography classes for spring 2015. All of these workshops are redesigned. Please feel free to check them out and let us know if you have more questions.

    Ted and the Omnilargess Team



    Digital Photography Bootcamp

    It is an 8 week program which includes two field trips, one for day time and one for night time photography. Digital Photography Bootcamp start April 1 and only three more spots left.


    Layers and  Masks in Photoshop

    Layers and Masks in Photoshop

    Photoshop Layer and Masks Workshop

    Photoshop has many powerful tools. Layers and Masks are effective and important for retouching images non-destructively. Mastering Photoshop layers and mask is a 2 part workshop. All hands on with examples and exercises. It starts April 16. Please register quickly to secure your spot.

    Digital Camera Workshops and bootcamps help you unleash the power of your digital camera

    Digital Camera Workshops and bootcamps help you unleash the power of your digital camera

    Digital Camera workshop for Beginners

    This is a brand new two day workshop for beginners to learn about the settings in digital camera and fundamentals for creating better photos. Digital Camera for beginners starts April 24.

    Night Time Photography class. Photo credit to Bruce Warren

    Night Time Photography class. Photo credit to Bruce Warren

    Night Time Photography Techniques

    Nighttime Photography techniques workshop is developed for photographers with DSLR, Mirroeless, or point shoot cameras who want to capture amazing night shots. It is a 2 part class and starts in May.

    Learn how to set up a studio by using your flash in Flash Photography Workshop

    Learn how to set up a studio by using your flash in Flash Photography Workshop

    Flash Photography Techniques Workshop

    Do you hate flash photography?
    Did you know Flash Photography is very simple to learn?
    Do you know that you can control the power of a flash to create a different effect?
    Register for Flash Photography Techniques and learn more. This is a 2 day workshop and starts on May 13

    Use Shutter speed to create amazing effects

    Use Shutter speed to create amazing effects

    Understanding Exposure in Digital Cameras

    Exposure is the most important part in capturing an image. That is why we redesigned this workshop for you. Understanding Exposure workshop is a 2 day workshop with lots of hands on and practical exercises. It starts on May 22.


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