Understand Your Camera - Before Photographing Your Travels

Croatia from above, shot in manual mode, at ISO 400, f13, 1/400sec at 18mm

Croatia from above, shot in manual mode, at ISO 400, f13, 1/400sec at 18mm

Enter: The Camera Crush. We’re here for you! Are you planning a trip to Europe? Want to photograph the Colosseum in Rome? Or the pyramids in Egypt? We host hands-on photography and camera workshops several times a year, in various locations throughout New York and Connecticut to help you understand how to operate your camera, and use it to it’s FULL potential! You don’t have to be an expert or a professional photographer to take great pictures. You don’t have to read that manual front to back to capture your travels in manual mode and end up with amazing pictures to show off to your family and friends! All you need is a short 3-4 hour class to see first hand how to operate your DSLR.

One of the top reasons people purchase a “real” camera? Traveling! You’ve reserved your spot to some exotic location across the world, and you want to be able to document it properly. Capture some of the beauty you know you’ll witness so you can reminisce with friends and family for generations to come. So you made the wise decision to purchase a camera that’s capable of reproducing the beauty of what you’ll see!

Except…you have no clue how to operate this foreign object. The product manual may as well be in Latin, for all you can decipher from it. YouTube is great, but sitting and searching for, and then watching hours of how-to videos inspires more yawning that excitement, and suddenly you’re dreading taking pictures before you’ve even gotten on the plane.

Taken with my entry-level Canon Rebel xti and kit lens (18mm-55mm), on MANUAL MODE (400 ISO, f14, ss 1/400sec at 55mm

Taken with my entry-level Canon Rebel xti and kit lens (18mm-55mm), on MANUAL MODE (400 ISO, f14, ss 1/400sec at 55mm

The mountains outside Pristina, Kosova

The mountains outside Pristina, Kosova

I was a beginner when I took every one of these images. I was 21 years old, traveling Europe, and was given the gift of an entry-level DSLR. Sure, I had taken a few photography classes in college at this point, but I was far from even an amateur. The only advantage I had was that I understood how to operate my camera in manual mode. I was a broke college kid, I had no funds for fancy gear, expensive lenses or full frame cameras. I proudly owned a crop-sensor Canon DSLR, and I did the very best I could with what I had. I had tried auto-mode, sure. It was a lot easier, I’m not gonna lie. But I HATED the way those images turned out. Because in reality, a camera is only as good as it’s operator. And relying on auto-mode, relying on a machine to do my brainwork for me, wasn’t going to yield the results I wanted. As fancy as cameras come now-a-days, even if I shot my full frame Nikon d850 (a $3500 piece of gear) in auto-mode - it doesn’t even have an auto-mode, but let’s pretend it does - I most likely wouldn’t be satisfied with the results. My point is, as advanced as our technology is, and as far as science has brought us, that human factor makes all the difference. Whether you’re trying to produce art, or simply document your travel adventures, manual mode is where it’s at folks.

~Ling

Real farm country in Kosova

Real farm country in Kosova

Rooftops in the center of Croatia: shot in manual mode at: ISO400, f16, 1/400sec (46mm)

Rooftops in the center of Croatia: shot in manual mode at: ISO400, f16, 1/400sec (46mm)

Sign up for our upcoming class near Syracuse, NY here, and finally learn how to operate YOUR camera, so you can take pictures just like these.

Camera Crush