A Few of My Favorite Sites!

A Few of My Favorite Websites : I thought I’d take this month to share the links to a few of my favorite instructional websites – places where I learn a ton about cameras, techniques, and approaches to photography that help improve my craft.

They include shooting, editing, equipment, and business info. and have proved invaluable to my photography!  Hope you enjoy!

(In no particular order)

National Geographic Photo Tutorials (instruction, inspiration)

CreativeLive  (instruction, inspiration)

lynda.com (instruction)

bhphotovideo.com (equipment)

asmp.org (business and legal)

Pinterest (photo mania!!! Great for analysis of photos)

What are your favorite links??

Oh, and don’t forget the upcoming Landscape Photography Excursion!!

Shooting the World of the Little

The following is a great way to get great macro shots with your existing lenses!


Check out the gallery:  World of the Little by Silver Hill Images.

Buying macro equipped lenses or specialized macro gear can be very expensive.  But the World of the Little as I call it, is full of fascinating images!  In order to get up close and personal all you have to do is flip your lens of choice around backwards and put the front end over the camera mount.  I’ve done this successfully for many shots, and only once have I ever dropped (or rather, thrown) my lens.  Of course if you want, you can always buy what is called a lens reversal ring.


 This (relatively) inexpensive piece of equipment screws onto the filter threads on the front of your lens, and then mounts to your camera body.  This of course is the ideal as it frees both hands to then operate the camera normally.


Check out B & H Photo Video for some examples.  You purchase the reverse ring based on the thread size of the lens you have and the camera brand/type.

 If you are using a zoom lens, you can use the zoom ring as you normally would to bring the image closer or farther away.  You would then use the focusing ring in Manual Focus mode (switch on the side of your lens) to focus in on your subject.


 You may find it helpful to move towards and away from your subject until you find the sweet spot for focus.  You’ll have to play around, but that’s what’s fun about photography!


 Either way, using this technique allows you to utilize the lenses you already have to open up a whole new world of imagery.  Love it!


 Share your macro images using this technique at the Silver Hill Images Facebook page!


Locking In Your Exposure with AEL

AEL – Auto Exposure Lock. This is a great feature to use if you’re working in a priority mode and dealing with high-contrast lighting conditions like the backlit photo here,

shade vs. sun, dark colors vs. light colors, etc.

Using this feature will allow you to keep your exposure the same while re-composing your frame. In order to do this you will find and push the button labeled AEL/AFL or * while pointing the camera at the area you want the camera to take the exposure from.

AELockCanon  CANON       AELockNikon  NIKON       AELockSony  SONY       AELockPentaxPENTAX


Here are the steps:

1.  Point your camera at the area you want to take the exposure from while in Program, Aperture Priority, or Shutter Priority modes.

2.  Push your shutter release half way down to activate the meter and allow the camera to acquire an exposure.

3.  Push and hold the Auto Exposure Lock button while re-positioning the camera to get the frame you’d like.

4.  Take the shot.


You’ll notice that when you push the AEL button, the shutter and aperture numbers will freeze (if you can see them on your model).  This is because the exposure is locked in.  Depending on your camera model, you may have to designate the button as EITHER Auto Exposure OR Auto Focus Lock.

That’s it!  This helps tremendously when you have very different exposures in different parts of the frame, and you want the camera to expose for one part, not the other.  In the photo above of the woman with the horse, notice the sky behind her is totally blown out.  This is because it is so much brighter than she was.  In order to get this shot in a priority mode, you’d have to take the exposure from the ground to get the exposure, and then re-position the frame to include the sky while using your  AEL.  In situations like this, it’s either one or the other – you can’t get both areas properly exposed so you have to choose which is most important to you.  Unless, of course, you use HDR or compositing, which is another tip for another day!

Have fun shooting!