Learn Together (under construction)

I have seen writings by many that suggested that they taught themselves photography. I could also perhaps claim that because I did not attend any formal training or organized photo tours. However, I believe no one is truly a self-taught anything, let alone a photographer. The truth is I read many books, studied many photographs and talked with many people who have more experience or expertise than me. And of course, the tens of thousands of photos I took over the years taught me things here and there, mostly what not to do! The learning continues. In this section, I'll attempt to document both types of experiences - what I did right as well as what I did wrong. Being an engineer by trade in the earlier years, I also have the desire to learn how and why things work. I'll try to capture that technical aspect as well. This will not be comprehensive since there are many books teaching both the basics and advanced techniques already. I only capture what applied to me that I found valuable. This section is evergreen, and will take a while to capture all the mistakes I made... As others may have great tips of their own, I'd appreciate learning from you as well.

Dust on sensor - the most important thing I found beyond procedural instruction was to turn off the camera before switching lens. That will reduce static charge on the sensor, thus also reducing its attracting dust. Source: Canon.

Sync date and time before taking pictures, especially if you use multiple cameras - Sounds trivial? It would save a lot of headache and frustration afterward. On my trip to Alaska, I took both the Canon 5D and the 1Ds III. The 5D clock battery ran out and kept resetting to factory default. There were times when I forgot to set the clock to the correct time. Afterward, I had a hard time to correlate pictures taken by the two cameras (which was important since I had used both on a scene with different goals). Another important thing to remember is when you travel to different time zones, set the clock to its correct time zone. Otherwise, you can have a morning picture with the time of sunset! While it's possible to change date in bulk with software, it's a hassle.

Use center focusing point when shooting wildlife - Typically when I wanted closeups, centering on the subject is good enough. Minimal cropping would be needed subsequently. There were times when I shot wildlife with multi-point focusing, the focus would be on a tree instead of the subject.

Don't use too-wide angle when using polarizer - part of the sky would be darker than the rest, making it difficult to correct.