Monthly Archives: January 2015

Photography Tutorial for Beginners

Myanmar Pagoda

Myanmar Pagoda

One thing about traveling worldwide is this, it will sharpen your focus on yourself and the culture you are immersed in.

Yes this is about taking pictures but what no one tells you about photography is that it is a journey of your self through the eyes of the world we live in.

It’s all about your vision not your pixels. 

You can pick up any camera and capture an amazing photograph with it.


By getting to know yourself.

Don’t pay attention to what is HOT, or what is current and endlessly spoken about. It’s just fluffy gossip. Pay attention to your breath, your heart, and your body.

What is it telling you?

My gut speaks to me, and when I listen my life works magically.

It is the same with photography.

One of my dreams was to travel the world and take photographs of it. I wanted to learn how the world worked and what was my place in it. I felt the seeds of greatness in my soul and knew I had to water them myself. I discovered at a very young age that I had to do it.

I remember thinking in kindergarten, I wonder why the teacher doesn’t really get who I am. She was a good teacher in her saddle shoes worn with a pink suit that I thought was a poor fashion statement. But not everyone understands us. And I equate understanding with love.

So  back to photography.

The world emphasizes the equipment when it should be on the heart and soul. What do you like to photograph? Discover that!

How? By going on a photography walk.

I most often carry my iphone and use it daily to shoot but when I want to get something I know will be amazing I get my other cameras out. My heart led me to a Hero 3 Go Pro to shoot dolphins in the wild and a Canon DSLR to get the best photos of people and nature. But the most important thing is my enthusiasm.

That’s what led me to move from Oahu to Hawaii Island, I wanted to live down the street from the wild dolphins in Kealakekua Bay.

It is what led me over oceans to the Himalayas to visit my son in Nepal and volunteer teach photography to the staff of the Nepal Youth Foundation.

Enthusiasm is the fuel. When you listen to it, you see the path before you and then the universe brings the rest of it to you. So don’t start with the camera, start with your heart.

What does it say? what do you want to shoot?

So, back to the walk. Go out in the morning before the sun has risen or at sunset when the sun is about to disappear in the horizon. After it sinks into the cosmos the light in the sky will be deafening you with color and sparkles. Stick around for another 20 minutes for the real show. It’s magic!

Do you like to take portraits?

No it isn’t easy to get authentic photos of people in India and Nepal. Or anywhere for that matter. But when I am in a new culture, I shed the outer me and become someone new.

Mostly I’m a chameleon. Its like acting. You get into the costume and pretty soon you forget you’re playing. You start to be this person.

Drop your preconceived notions and connect with people. Maybe you will get a chance to photograph them but you might not. You might get an amazing photo tomorrow of the same person, so give your self time. Don’t be in a hurry.

Tip: wear the clothes that they wear. People love this. Usually.

Go out today and try a Photo Walk. Take pictures of what moves you.

Tell me what you got in the comment box.

And to get you started with practical advice find out all my photo secrets here.






How to Stop Action

Photo by Kresta Painter

Photo by Kresta Painter, Anahola, Kauai 2015

Yes you can freeze a second forever in your photography.

Last week, Kresta, my brilliant student shot this photo of me, she is a rising star in the surf photography world. She consulted with me to improve her chops.

Here is how to stop motion.

On your camera, switch off Auto and onto Manual.

Find your Shutter Speed Setting. Usually this corresponds with exactly where your right index finger will land on the body of the camera – on a well designed camera like a Canon this will be true.

But you might have to consult your Camera’s manual.  Just look for Shutter Speed.

Set the number of your shutter speed at 250 or higher.

Set your ISO at 800 or higher if it is less sunny.

Aperture, set it on how much you want to be in focus, the entire frame? High Aperture – 16 and above.

Take your shot. You can use the continuous shooting mode or motor drive option that we film users employed in the last century, it allows you to shoot many photos in a row.

Go For It!

Advice: You can speed ahead fast when you work with a mentor, when you have the basics in a nutshell you don’t have to struggle to learn your camera, you learn how to shoot expertly and can get amazing photos instantly. Guaranteed results.

I’m driving, you can relax and have fun! Call me. Learn More at the link below.


Photo by Kresta Painter, Anahola, Kauai