Mike Stensvold

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Mike Stensvold Posted: Jul 01, 2005 43 comments

Photography is all about light. But wherever there's light, there are shadows lurking nearby. And therein lie some great photo ops.

Exposing Shadows
Contrasty shadow scenes can fool reflected light meters, such as those built into cameras. A spot meter enables you to meter the most important highlight area, and determine an exposure that will give...

Mike Stensvold Posted: Mar 01, 2005 1 comments

Autofocusing is one of the best things that's ever happened to the SLR camera. I didn't think so while testing early examples when the AF SLR era began back in 1985, but a lot of progress has happened in the ensuing two decades. Today's AF SLR cameras, film and digital, will focus more quickly and accurately than most photographers can. Naturally, the higher-end...

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Mike Stensvold Posted: May 01, 2004 0 comments

You don't need a lot of fancy equipment to get good bird photos. Professional bird photographers do use some serious items (the 600mm f/4 supertelephoto lens favored by many costs more than my whole "bird" outfit, which includes both 35mm and digital AF SLR bodies), and you probably need similar gear and...
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Mike Stensvold Posted: Jun 01, 2002 0 comments

A great tool for creative photographers

You can't beat the 35mm SLR for its combination of features, price and performance. And one its best features is its ability to accept a wide range of interchangeable lenses. From superwide fisheye to supertelephoto, macro...

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Mike Stensvold Posted: Feb 01, 2004 1 comments

Next to your camera body, the lenses you use with it are your most important photographic purchases. While physically, a lens is just a collection of glass or plastic elements held precisely in position in a light-tight tube, with a camera mount on one end and some means of focusing, creatively it's your...
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Mike Stensvold Posted: Nov 01, 2005 2 comments

Close-up photography--taking pictures at very close range--can provide a different outlook on everyday things, reveal details unseen by the naked eye, and turn common objects into intriguing abstract images.

The traditional ways to do close-up photography involves special gear: Simple close-up diopter lenses are inexpensive but reduce sharpness noticeably...

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Mike Stensvold Posted: Jun 01, 2004 0 comments

Photographs of beautiful landscapes made in the right conditions can be absolutely stunning. The keys are to be there in those conditions, and to be ready to record them when you find them.

You can greatly enhance your chances of being there at the right time by doing your research. It's frustrating to travel to a stunning scenic site, only to be socked in by a blizzard—or to find...

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Mike Stensvold Posted: Aug 01, 2004 0 comments

Shooting good photos in dim light is challenging, but can also be quite rewarding, because capturing the feel of the existing light generally produces a more pleasant picture than using on-camera flash.

The basic problems facing the low-light photographer are being able to use a fast enough shutter speed to permit hand-held shooting, and being able to use a small enough lens aperture to...

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Mike Stensvold Posted: Feb 01, 2005 8 comments

When you focus your camera's lens on a subject, the point focused upon is sharp. Objects in the scene closer or farther than that point appear progressively less sharp as their distance from the focused point increases.

Depth of field refers to the area in front of and beyond the point focused upon in which things appear acceptably sharp in a photograph. Depth of...

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Mike Stensvold Posted: Feb 01, 2003 0 comments

All photos by Mike Stensvold unless otherwise stated.

It's probably true that real artists are born, not made. But there is a lot anyone can do to make his or her photographs more interesting, and the tips on these pages should help you improve yours.

Seeing is the fun part of...

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