"A" Stands for "Auto" (Not "Awesome")

Lots of folks have been asking me all kinds of questions about the book I'm writing, and while I'm over the moon with excitement, I haven't gone into a lot of public detail yet. BUT--I thought I'd share part of the overall concept with you. :) (The name of the book is NOT the same as the name of this post—in case you wondered!) [Editor's update: The book is out and it's called "Your Camera Loves You: Learn to Love it Back!"]

The book is based on one of my favorite classes that I teach on a regular basis (at least 4-8 times per year). It's a super basic, start at the beginning, sort it all out digital camera class embracing the premise that any and all cameras are capable of being pretty rad... if you know how to work them.

The problem is that most people don't.

They buy a camera, set it to "auto" and keep it there until they become frustrated. Eventually they hunt around for a newer model with hopes that the fancier camera will magically make their photos look better. Of course, it doesn't... and they don't... and the poor sap ends up back at square one, with only a bruised bank balance to show for it.

In an effort to break the cycle, I teach folks how to get the most they can from the camera they already have. You don't have to have a fancy-pants pro-level dSLR (or any dSLR) to get great shots--You just have to know how to work it. (As I tell people in class, "Don't be afraid to get bossy!")

To prove it, I thought I'd share with you a couple of sample photos I shot for the book while Emir and I were camping in Morocco's Sahara Desert. These were both captured (only moments apart) in the black of night with my Canon S95 (a super compact point & shoot camera retailing for less than $400).

This first image was captured with the camera (and flash) set to "auto." Needless to say... it looks awful. Where were we? The Black Hole?


This is literally the same scene, captured with the same camera only a few seconds later in a different shooting mode (in this case, manual mode). It is not a product of Photoshop, but rather... something much better. I like to call it... knowledge. I simply canceled the flash and increased the exposure time (by slowing the shutter waaaaay down). And... BAM!

undefined Now, you can not only see the camels and the twinkling stars, but you can feel the warm glow from the campfire that was roaring behind me the whole time!

The book is slated to hit the stores sometime this summer (I will definitely keep you posted!). In the mean time, the next class is on the calendar for Friday August 12, 1-5pm. Contact SCC at 402.437.2700 to get signed up!