My Photos — on display for the benefit of the world

Learn Photography

This is a series of photography lessons written for photography beginners.  All you need to participate is a digital camera with a mode selector dial or menu.  If you own a camera that allows you to shoot in aperture priority (Av), shutter priority (Tv), and Manual (M), then these lessons are for you.  The goal is to take a complete novice and give him/her the tools to create great photos in any situation.  Does that sound daunting?  I am sure you can make it through.  Believe it or not, learning the basics of photography is pretty easy.  Photography concepts are not complicated.  The most difficult aspect of learning photography is finding all the pieces of knowledge and putting them together in a coherent whole.  That’s what these lessons are all about.

With this series of lessons I will lay out my photographic philosophy and techniques in the most straight forward way possible.  After completion you will have a foundation for your creativity.  You will know the excitement that confidence brings.  Imagine having the ability to create great photos anywhere, anytime.  Stick with these lessons and we’ll get there.

Also, if this course doesn’t work for you, I’ve also included a list of my favorite photography books.  Check it out!

–  Introduction

– Lesson 1 – The Beginners Guide to Photography Misconceptions and Thought Holes –

Lesson 2 — Your Eyes are a Miracle, Your Camera is a Machine

Lesson 3 — Understand Exposure One Pixel at a Time

Lesson 4 — What is Aperture and Aperture Value

Lesson 5 — Depth of Field

Lesson 6 — It’s All About Focus

Lesson 7 — What is ISO and a Deeper Look at Your Image Sensor

Lesson 8 — Setting Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO, and Exposure Modes

Lesson 9 — Exposure Compensation

Lesson 10 — Shooting in Manual Mode

Lesson 11 — A Path Into the Woods

More Insights — Photographers Library – Must Reads for Every Photographer

Photography’s Unbreakable Core

We live in a time of massive technological and social change. I wish I could say life is like The Beatles “Getting Better” but sometimes it seems more like we’re feeling our way through the dark.  While the new toys are fun and useful, I sometimes worry that our good sense is not keeping pace with the technology.  Are we so enamored with the flow of fresh gadgetry that we’re making bad artistic choices?  Where do we look for guidance when the same bad ideas infect everyone?

To succeed during times of disruption you must focus on fundamental laws. Understanding fundamental forces establishes a foundation.   Start by identifying what’s not going to change.  Your logic needs a toehold before you can start to move.  So I ask myself what are the unchanging fundamentals of photography?  What is photography’s unbreakable core?  That’s the subject of these essays.  Let’s pick out the North Star, then we can set a course across these troubled waters.

The Frame

Think Big — The Argument for More Details in Your Photos

Time and Photography (Part 1):  Relics

Time in Thee Parts (Part 2):  Something for Nothing

Time in Three Parts (Part 3): Broadband Communication

Photographer at Work
Photography is a bottomless well. It’s impossible to teach all of photography in a systematic way. Sometimes the only way to learn and to teach is in bits and pieces. The following articles show how I make decisions while making my everyday photos.

Zen Photography Just Happens

To A Higher Place — Creativity and Logic in Photography

Make Your Photos Look Three Dimensional Without Using Photoshop Tricks

How to take Photos of Toddlers

Unlocking Photo Composition

Inertial Motivation

The Limits of Human Perception, Time and Photography

Nightfall in the Suburbs

Give it One More Minute

Feather Smooth Lens Fire

Precariously Perched High Above the Sea

Only In America — Photographing the Space Shuttle

Harveter of the Sea

Seeing Shapes in Photos

Return to the Big Sur Portal

Dreamland — My Love/Hate Relationship With Landscape Photography

Taking Photos at Disneyland

Santa Cruz Flea Market

How Not to Take a Photo

Breakdown in Potter Nebraska

At the Raw Edge of the Continent

Always Bring Your Tripod!

Hummingbird Canyon

Bolt of Inspiration

Turn That Dial All the Way Shoot Me Like a Rocket into Space

A Christmas Gift

Tricked Into Under Exposure in Bright Sun

Fill Flash in Grandma’s Backyard

Part Four — Photoshop for Photographers

I’ve basicly given up writing photoshop lessons. There are thousands of great, free tutorials available online. However, if you are struggling to understand basic layers and masks I recommend reading my lessons. I believe I’ve created the easiest to understand intro to layers and masks available on the web.


Lesson 1 — How to Set White Balance in Photoshop

Lesson 2 — Introduction to Photoshop Layers

Lesson 3 — Introduction to Photoshop Layer Masks

Lesson 4 — Using Adobe Camera RAW, Smart Objects and Layers — Not as Difficult as it Sounds

Lesson 5 — Photoshop Layers and Masks in Action

Lesson 6 — How to Combine Two Photos in Photoshop (video tutorial)

Lesson 7 — How to Edit Photos Taken Through an Airliner Window

Miscellaneous Instructional Articles

I wrote these articles before conceiving the “How It’s Done” series.  They don’t really fit the theme, but you might find them useful anyways.

When One White Balance Isn’t Enough

How to Remove Digital Artifacts in Photoshop

Average HDR and a Receding Shoreline

How to Photograph a Black Dog in Snow

How to Photograph a Black Dog in Snow, Again

Flying Over Lake Havasu and Thinking of Eliot Porter

How to Find a Photo Location

Photos That Pay the Bills

How to Take a Photo From an Airliner at Night

How to Take a Photo From an Airliner at Night, Again

Control Your Sharpening Halos






*All content created by David Raboin. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Order prints of the photos featured on this blog by clicking on the image or visit our website at Support this site by using one of my links to Thanks!

2 Responses

  1. Gabriel

    Thank you!

    January 17, 2014 at 12:53 pm

  2. aish

    Omg!!just what I needed .thankyou so much!

    February 20, 2015 at 10:28 pm

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