Entries by Chris Gheen

Understanding Sensor Size

When shooting in our nation’s national parks, you can get all sorts of questions from inquisitive visitors. Often times these questions are something along the lines of, “Is that lens heavy?” “Is all that equipment expensive?” or “Can you see Pluto with that thing?” The answers to these questions are, yes, definitely yes, and no. […]

Understanding Autofocus

There are countless different variables that go into taking a photo and ensuring the desired outcome. Among them, sharpness is perhaps the most critical. By ensuring proper shutter speed and aperture the photographer can try to capture the moment sharply, but without a properly functioning autofocus, getting a crisp shot quickly is all but impossible. […]

Understanding White Balance

An essential component to ensuring quality nature images is monitoring your camera’s white balance. Since the majority of wildlife and landscape photographers are using natural light, it’s important to showcase that in your photography, or else risk your images appearing unnatural in their coloring. This can be managed with proper white balance, and, if done […]

Understanding The Histogram

One of my favorite tools for ensuring proper exposure and light in my photography is the use of the camera’s histogram. A tool that is often misunderstood and pegged as overly complex or confusing is really just a simple way for your camera to tell you if it got everything in the shot. So what […]

Understanding Exposure Compensation and Metering

A major challenge, it seems, for most photographers is ensuring proper exposure of their imagery. But what is “proper” and how can you be sure you’ve captured your subject in the best light given the circumstances? By utilizing your camera’s metering and exposure compensation you can be sure that your photos will be properly exposed, […]

Understanding ISO

Now that we have addressed shutter speed and aperture, it would be a disservice to not also briefly cover ISO, the third leg of the exposure triangle. As discussed in previous posts, ISO is the measure of your digital camera’s sensor sensitivity, but where did that term come from? How does it affect an image? […]

Understanding Aperture Part II

Utilizing aperture in your photography is a great way to add an artistic touch to your images. Through the use of adjustments in depth of field, lighting and lens flares, a photographer can create imagery that is both compelling and thoughtful, showing an advanced use of lens and camera tools that go beyond a basic […]

Understanding Aperture – Part 1

Aperture is an often overwhelming concept for the budding photographer. Numbers, ratios, and mathematics can often complicate a fairly simple concept. There’s an endless amount of conversation that can result in a lot of head scratching when trying to understand aperture, but hopefully I can shed some light on what it is that your aperture […]

Understanding Shutter Speed

As a photographer, one of the biggest components of nailing your shot is ensuring you have the correct shutter speed. This aspect of the exposure triangle is perhaps the most critical component of an image. Where ISO or aperture may influence the brightness or artistic nature of a photograph, a mistake when choosing a shutter […]

Understanding Composition

If you were to ask a hundred professional photographers what the key is to taking a good photograph, I’m sure at least ninety of them would say the same thing: “Composition.” I am a firm believer that without good composition, no matter how much money you do (or don’t) spend on camera gear, you simply […]

Understanding Shooting Modes

One question that seems to come up on nearly every Backcountry Journeys tour that I have led is what shooting mode to use. I’ll often have very experienced photographers still wondering whether to use Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority or Manual for a given scene. I’ve also seen newcomers to the photo world shooting on Auto […]