The Digital Workshop blog has moved

8 Jun

Thanks for visiting the ship’s website!  We haven’t shut down our blog operations, but rather we have moved all of our efforts into one main blog.  This is to ensure that the experience for you, the guest, is one that is slightly easier because of more frequent posts, fresher content, and knowing that everything is in one great place.  The URL for the new website is:

At this site you’ll find new content, great feedback from all of our Techsperts, as well as useful links like Handout Downloads, and great information from Windows.

Thank you all for your support and for following along with the Digital Workshop.


Advanced Camera Function 1

21 Feb

Understand How Exposure Works –

Exposure is a combination of three factors



ISO – Which is the Cameras sensitivity to light

Aperture – Which controls the amount of light that enters the camera

Shutter Speed – Which controls how much light reaches the Image Sensor

Understanding – ISO

ISO indicates the camera’s sensitivity to light

The higher the number the more sensitive the sensor but also the more noise the image will contain.  Noise is similar to analog film grain and is caused by misfiring image sensor because of a lack of density of partials in the light entering the cameraimage

This illustration is a good example of the concept.  If the buckets are pixels and rain drops are particles of light, then in a heavy rain, bright light, all the buckets will get some quantity of water, or light.  But in a light rain, a dark or night scene, not enough droplets of water are falling to give fill the buckets evenly, some will receive a disproportionate quantity and others none.  Some of the droplets might even fall into the spaces in-between leading to a greater inequality.


Camera Controls – Shutter Priority



Mode Type – “TV” or “S”

You use this setting when you want to control the amount shutter drag contained in the image

Also useful when you want to use the slowest shutter possible given the focal length of the lens to avoid camera shake











This is an extreme example of Camera Shake. The objects in the scene are sharp by the definition in the point sources of light but the blur is caused by the camera movement



Camera Controls – Aperture Priority



Mode Type- “Av” of “A”

You use this setting when you want to control the Depth of Field in an image

Depth of field is defined by how much of the image is in focus.







You can use it to ensure a particular look to the image.  To help you define what is important to you and to emphasize the subject


Understanding Image Compression – Jpeg images



When files save as jpegs they are essentially folded up like a piece of paper to fit in a smaller package.  You don’t mail normally a flat piece of paper, the envelope is to large.  You fold it in 3rd’s correct?  It takes up less physical space.  Well a Jpeg file is just that, it is an image folded in upon itself to take up less space on a computer.  Now yes it does creased, but only a little like a standard sheet of paper in a standard envelope.  However it is still perfectly legible right?

What happens is that the more often a piece of paper is folded and unfolded the greater the damage to the creases becomes and the more apparent it is.  Well again that is like turning the quality down on your camera.  The lower you go the more digital “creases” your photo has.

The above example shows the quality difference between super-fine and normal/low.  The “creases” are most apparent in the clouds.

A Prinsendam Panoramic Story

31 Dec


Hello all.  Here are some images I did of the Prinsendam in Guadalupe the other day and thought I would share them, what I did to create them, and some tips on making your own.


The images below are the ones I used to create the above image.  First off, I always take lots of frames for a Panoramic.  Overlapping by at least 30% but as you can see from the individual frames below that I have overlapped by at least 50%.  I do this as center part of any cameras lens is sharper, the vignette is less apparent, and if there are horizontal shapes/lines near the foreground of the images, Windows Live Photo Gallery does not have to distort the image data as much to stitch the frames together.  Since there is no reasonable limit to the number of frames you can stich together, and space on a memory card is essentially free, why not give the software more to work with.  I also always shoot vertical, it gives me a wider perspective and again I can take as many frames on the horizontal as I need or want. 



Carib-0028Carib-0029 Carib-0030Carib-0031Carib-0032

Now a scene with such as this with such a variance in brightness from one side to another is always tricky to shoot.  That said many cameras will “lock in” an exposure if you keep the shutter button depressed halfway.  Some SLR (the big ones with interchangeable lens) have an exposure lock button.  The point is is that you are going to want to maintain the same exposure across the image.  To maintain the natural gradation of tone and value.  Take the exposure reading from the center of your proposed scene, or at least what is the median brightness.  Depends on the arrangement of lights and darks.  The third image in the second row is where I took the exposure for this above panoramic.




For this image I took the exposure from about 2/3’s of the way from the left.  I wanted to have what I thought was an even distribution of the lights and darks in the frame.

Best Face Forward 3 – Composition

28 Dec

Elements of Composition In Relation to Photography

•Visual Flow
•Positive  and Negative Space


 Shapes are the result of closed lines. However shapes can be implied when an artist establishes a color area or an arrangement of objects


These shapes can include circles, squares, triangles and hexagons all of which appear in nature in some form or another


Positive and Negative Space

Space is defined and determined by shapes and forms. Positive space is where shapes and forms exist; negative space is the empty space around shapes and forms. For images to have a sense of balance positive and negative space can be used to counter balance each other.




Balance implies that the visual elements within the frame have a sense of weight. Large objects generally weigh more than small objects and dark objects weigh more than light colored objects. The position of the elements is also critical. We unconsciously assume the center of a picture corresponds to a fulcrum. A heavy weight on one side can be balanced by a lighter weight on the other side if the lighter weight is located at a greater distance from the fulcrum.



Visual Flow

Visual flow is the way your eye moves through the frame.  The movement it takes directed by an implied or literal line and shape and where the balance centers you into the frame.  In Western culture we read works of visual art the same as we do the written page, subconciensly, top left to bottom right.

Understanding visual flow and how we “read a photo” you can begin to direct your viewers eye through the frame.  Keep them where they should be, draw there attention to the subject,  tell the appropriate story that every photo should convey.


Texture refers to the surface quality or “feel” of an object – smooth, rough, soft, etc. Textures may be actual (felt with touch – tactile) or implied (suggested by the way an artist has created the work of art -visual). Texture is often emphasized in oblique lighting as it strikes the objects from one side.  It can be used as element of positive and negitive space.


Composition – The Rule of 3rd’s

The Rule of Thirds states that if you place the focal points of interest in the compositional elements in or along the  intersections or along the lines that your photo becomes more balanced.  There is a natural stability in 3’s.  Triangles, Tripods, pyramids are all stable and find a natural balance.


The Golden Ratio

The Golden Ratio (symbol is the Greek letter “phi“) is a special number approximately equal to 1:1.618

It Dictates the growth shells and the motion of the stars.  The growth of thorns and pedals on a rose.

Even the 35mm frame that we are all so used to using, invented by the German camera firm Leica in the early 1900’s, is based on this proportion.

Use it to direct you viewers attention to where there attention should be.  Put you subject within it’s proportions and there will be a natural balance.   The eye will find confort and want to stay within the frame.


Your Best Face Forward 3 – Color – Part 2

9 Dec


Higher color temperatures (6,000 K or more) are called cool colors (blueish white); lower color temperatures (2,700–3,000 K) are called warm colors (yellowish white through red).

1000-2000k: Candlelight

2500-3500k: Tungsten Light (Normal household bulb)

3000-4000k: Sunrise / Sunset (Clear skies)

4000-5000k: Fluorescent Light

5000-5500k: Electronic Flash

5000-6500k: Daylight (Clear skies with sun overhead)

6500-8000k: Overcast skies (Moderate)

9000-10000k: Heavily overcast skies or shade



Remember there is no perfect color balance, only what you perceive as being correct.  You can use the color in an image to influence your viewers perception and emotion.  Warm tones are seen and felt as being soft and inviting.  Cool tone are felt to be sharper or edgier, more “cool”. 

Your Best Face Forward 3 – Color – Part 1

30 Nov

Understanding Color

The Primary Colors of Emitted Light

Red     Green     Blue

In photography these three color combine to create white light.  So it can be said that white light is the sum of all colors and black is the absence.



Hue – A color or shade

of a color

Tone – A specific color Hue

and Value


Value – The quantity of grey

contained in a tone

Saturation – The quantity

of color contained in a value


Analogous colors – colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel, e.g. yellow and green

Analogous colors tend to “get along” and are referred to as being harmonious.


Complementary colors – colors opposite to each other on the color wheel

Complimentary colors exhibit more contrast when positioned adjacent to each other -for example yellow appears more intense when positioned on or beside blue


Color Temperature Sliders

Adjust the quantity of Yellow and Blue in the image

Tint Slider

Adjust the quantity of Magenta and Green

The two exist so as to correct for a 3 Primary color environment (RGB).  Each works on the a separate axis of the color wheel and represent complementary colors respectfully.




William Bossen Takes Over the MS Prinsendam

27 Nov

Hello everyone!  Three weeks ago I boarded the MS Prinsendam to launch the Digital Workshop with great fan fair and excitement, and I must say it has been a great success!  I feel very proud and happy to be chosen to be a part of this amazing project here on board.  It has been a rocky adventure (lots of storms) and amazing experience thus far.   Let me tell you a little about myself.  Sometimes I speak in third person….  No my lovely better half wrote this next part.

Will was born and raised in Seattle and did not speak until he was three, precluding a lifelong quest of finding alternative ways to express himself.  He has studied many different medians of art in formal and non-formal settings; from University and College classes to apprenticing with regionally significant indigenous artists in Mexico and Guatemala.  He has an extensive background in Photography and has worked professionally as a fine and commercial artist.  Working as a commercial artist gave him the chance to continue to hone his skills by working with top photographers in their field, a competitive market place, and the challenge a wide genre of clients and their unique needs present for the creative mind. 

I attempt to bring to my guests on board a sense of my passion for the work that I do and they do.  To help them get the most of their time in the DW, their camera, computers, and images they create.  All of us Techsperts in the DW Shops bring a little of our past to every class we do and I love that I can share what I can for my part and hopefully enrich the people who choose to spend their time here with me.

I thank you.