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Personal Explorations in Photography

One of my avocations is photography. Although I am somewhat horrible at photography, I enjoy it nonetheless.

As I get back into this hobby after some time away from it, my intent is to "carry on a conversation with myself" here in the blog. As I come across key insights and basic instructables, I'll post replies to this blog post. My learning style lends itself to ten or twenty minute bursts of information which I can then go put into practice and explore. Therefore, my intent is to keep these limited to "short burst" articles rather than entire books or publications.

I'm not working in film (aka the "real raw"). This means my explorations will be limited exclusively to digital photography.  I am also not terribly interested in Photoshop and re-touch. My focus is on the craft and art of getting the shot right "in the moment" it is taken, whenever possible.

If you find similar articles which help develop the technical and artistic competency of novice-to-intermediate photographers -- I invite you to post them as replies here, as well!


  1. MASP Functions
    One of the best ultra-basic DSLR primers I remember from a few years ago is this one.
    Full credit to source:

    Camera functions - what do those M A S P letters mean? -
    Author = Tim Morgan (eBay username = morgansjcapo)

    Topics: Aperture, F-Stop, Shutter Speed, M A S P Functions, Field of Focus


    This guide is for new photographers, an explanation of what those M A S P letters on the control wheel mean and what they do, and what aperture and shutters do and how they work together. This guide is essentially for film camera users, but digital camera users will hopefully find it helpful also. Let's start with a few basic terms, what they mean and what they do.

    1. Some additional insight --- Some cameras have a selector labeled "MATP" instead of "MASP". In those selections, "T" and "S" stand for the same thing. They both put the camera in a mode where the "shutter speed" is chosen by you, and the camera's computer tries to sort out most of the rest.

      When searching the web for information, these MASP/MATP settings can be called "Exposure Modes", instead of "Functions".

  2. Memory Cards - Speed and Size

    example url:

    Lee's Summary (which goes well beyond the linked url's content):

    Memory cards are removable media where the DSLR camera stores the pictures it takes. The size of the card influences how many pictures the card can store. Note, however, that cameras shooting at higher picture resolutions (say 18 megabytes, instead of 10 megabytes) will require larger memory cards to store the same number of pictures.

    Perhaps more importantly, memory cards have a speed rating. The speed rating is different for how quickly the card can "write" pictures as they are taking, versus how quickly it can allow you to "read" pictures already stored on the card. If you are interested in action or multi-shot photography, you want a card that writes very quickly.

  3. Camera Usage and Limitations - practical considerations

    (This url is specific to the Canon T5I camera, but serves as a good sample)

    The technology behind DSLRs is still evolving and improving every year. As such, they are not created equal. Some older cameras simply will not perform as well as new ones. "Old" in DSLR terms, it seems, is currently anything more than about 3-4 years old.

    This review I linked is done in a good format which explains the practical limitations of a DSLR camera. You would need to find similar reviews for whichever camera you have, to understand the practical limits when you get into higher-end photography. (Again, if you eventually become a professional photographer, you may evolve into writing such reviews for those of us who are less expert). A few examples of limits you should look for in such an article include:

    * ISO sensitifity (and what is practically realistic, despite the # claimed on the camera)
    * Noise Ratio (often reliant upon the ISO sensitivity chosen)
    * White Balance limitations
    * Speed of shutter
    * Practicality of use for the in-camera photo editing filters and functions
    * Lens compatibility (can you use your old lenses with the camera? Limits?)
    * Auto-focus performance
    * Motion video light sensitivity, clarity, speed to record to memory
    * Sound (where used with Motion video)