Great Student Gallery Question

Great Question:
I was wondering, on your Week 1 Midweek: Just Checking In post, you said, “I also see many of you have your Student Gallery image in.  Well done!  This will be the only assignment that can be shot with a smartphone or in auto mode on your camera.  After this, we are going full manual!  Yay!

Does this mean that Student Gallery Image | Due Week 1 can be with our iphone? and we can upload that picture?


Thanks for your question.

Yes, this is what this means.  You may use your phone for the Student Gallery assignment.   We know there are a few of you still getting your camera in hand so we built this assignment so that you can use a automatic camera.  What this assignment is working on is being able to resize your photos correctly, adding exposure data, encouraging you to be creative in your images, and giving you an opportunity to learn how to correctly submit photos in Canvas.
Take care,

What Are the Basics When Buying/Renting a Camera?

Great Question:
I am working on preparing everything for the class now. I called Sammy’s and they were very helpful. I will go there tomorrow to check out cameras. Thank you so much for that. One last question about the camera. Is there any additional gear that is mandatory to rent with a camera? Or, if I wanted to purchase one, are there any special lenses I need to be aware of getting as well, or is everything usually included?


Yes, the guys/gals at Samy’s are great!  Be sure to let them know you are an SBCC student everytime you shop there for discounts.
With the camera rental/purchase you will need:
  • Camera
  • Lens – No special lens needed.  A basic zoom will work or if you are on a budget pick up a cheaper 50MM lens
  • Memory Card
  • Battery – If you can get two, that would be better
  • Battery Charger
  • Cable to connect the camera to your computer or a Memory Card Reader
  • Camera Strap – then be sure to use it  😉
  • Camera Bags are handy
  • Camera Manual – can usually be found online
  • Proper lens cleaning cloth is also good.  Don’t use your t-shirt if you use fabric softener.  The oils in the softener will eat up the lens coating that you paid for when renting/buying a lens
​I would imagine that the good people of Samy’s would have you set, but it’s good to double check.  We all have our off-days.
Thanks for asking,

I have a question about the Chair assignment and manual mode on my camera.


I have a question about the chair-assignment. I was trying to do it yesterday and tried to follow the instructions and use the right ISO, shutter speed and aperture. So I was able to do it. But when I changed the exposure, it automatically also changed the shutter speed to smaller number. I wasn’t able to keep the right settings. I’m wondering what I’m doing wrong.

And also another question. We need two sets of photos. The first one is just a portrait of the chair. But is that correct, that you want the other one be more creative and maybe just part of the chair. And does it have to be in a totally different setting?
Thank you.
You ask great questions, keep them coming to me.
For your challenge with your camera acting up, my guess is that your camera is set to aperture or shutter speed priority.  The dial on the top on the top should be set to “M” for full manual control.
 If you have it set to any other setting, you will not be in full control.
For your second question:  Yes, you need two sets of photos.   The first will be like a portrait of a chair.  I like to think of it as a photo you would see of the chair in a catalog.  It is going to be objective.
The second set will be your subjective group.  These will be where the image is not about the chair directly, but rather there is more of a narrative or emotional impact from the image using the chair.
You do not have to stay in the same spot for both images.  You can chose scenes that best flatter your chair for each set of images.
Hope this helps.  Let me know if you have more questions.

How do I set my camera to raw mode?

I have been researching online for about an hour now and can not figure out how to turn my camera to raw mode…this may be a very silly question but is there a button or something…do a turn the dial to a certain letter?

Thank you,



Not a silly question at all.

 It is usually in the camera’s Menu, then Quality.  You may be looking for Raw or if it is a Nikon NEF.
If you let me know which camera you are shooting, I might be able to give you more specific directions.
Take care,



I have a question about the “How Slow Can You Hold” assignment

I have a question about the “How Slow Can You Hold” assignment:
My lens is 18 – 55mm, so I should keep my shutter speed at 1/60 sec, right? What if I’m using my lens at 18mm, should I still keep my shutter speed at 1/60 or should it be 1/20?

The point of the assignment was to find out how slow you can hold that lens and still keep it sharp.

 The rule of thumb is this.  You want your shutter speed to match the length of your lens or quicker.  So when you have your lens zoomed in at 55 MM, the ‘rule’ suggests you shoot at 1/60th of a second.  You may be able to shoot at 1/30 or or 1/15 or even slower.  That is what we are testing out with you.
When you have your lens zoomed all the way in to 18 MM, the rule of thumb suggests that you shoot at 1/30th of a second or quicker.  (As 1/15 of a second is so close to 18 MM, you most likely will be fine here too.)  To know if you can handhold 1/8 or 1/4 or 1/2 of a second, you have to test it.  😉
Does this make sense?

What camera should I buy for the class?

I am one of your students in your Photo 109 online class. I was wondering if you can tell me specific cameras that would be perfect to use for your class. I am completely new to professional cameras and I am a bit confused on what I need exactly. Thank you for your time Mrs.Say.

Nice to meet you.  Cameras that would work for this class would be something along the lines of the Canon Rebels (xti, t3i, t4i…), or Nikon’s D5200, D90, D3200, D3100…, or Sony’s Alpha series.

I do recommend that  you go into a camera store if you can and “try on” the different camera bodies.  If you can go earlier in the morning, you have a greater chance of getting help from the people behind the counter.  Just let them know you need a camera that is capable of shooting in full manual mode and your price range.  They should bring you a small selection of cameras.  Have them show you how to adjust the aperture and shutter speed on each and then hold each camera in your hands and try adjusting these dials.  One will probably “fit” better for you than others.  We are all a little different in how we like to control our gear.  Choose the one that works the best for you.
If you want to email be before  you buy it and let me know which body you are considering to just confirm it will work for the class, you are welcome to do so.
Take care,