Photo Tip #1: Embracing the Enemy – Know Your Camera Settings!

1. Aperture Priority for controlling depth of field

The aperture is the opening in the lens, formed by a set of diaphragm blades. By changing the aperture setting, these blades can be made to open and close and consequently allow more or less light to hit the camera sensor.

As well as its role in exposure, the choice of aperture also has an effect on the depth of field. There are many situations where you’ll want precise control over the depth of field: when photographing landscapes, for instance, you’re likely to want as much depth of field as possible to give the picture plenty of foreground-to-background sharpness.

But when you’re photographing a portrait you’ll want to reduce the depth of field, in order to make the person you’re photographing stand out from the background.

To give you this flexibility, switch the camera to Aperture Priority mode. This is indicated by Av or A on the camera’s shooting mode dial. Aperture Priority is a semi-automatic mode: you control the aperture and the camera can do the rest.

Choose small apertures (represented by high f-numbers like f/11 and f/16) to increase the depth of field and select large apertures (represented by low f-numbers like f/2.8 and f/4) to reduce the depth of field.

Picture Takers to Memory Makers – 3 Tips

If you’re like me, you’ve taken lots of pictures with lots of devices!  Some good, some not so much?  I always get serious about improving my photography skills about the time I want to take pictures of a special event such as at family gatherings for holidays, birthdays, weddings, when the children are in special occasion events, etc.  There is never a shortage of excitement for photo opportunities coming when we are going on a vacation to somewhere special, or if going on a trip we have planned and looked forward to for a long time.  When the event is over, though, the camera goes back to its storage place not to be thought of again, not seriously, until the next “big event.”

If I really wanted to improve my skills in photography, it would seem to me I would have to examine my own perspective / motives of just why I want to take pictures of anything in the first place.  It starts with the evolution of my attitude about it, the change in my thinking that has occurred over the years.  I’ve gone from an attitude of taking pictures without a focus on the meaning, or objective in doing so, almost mindlessly creating a stockpile “to do something with someday” to wanting to capture the moment, to capture the joy, the heartache, the emotion, to find a way to capture the present so that moment could last forever.  The moment, the memory, to last forever so that everyone who comes later in future generations can share in a loving legacy of which we all are a part.  An evolution of attitude to be a creator of a visual story of everyday life and the beauty that surrounds us that so often we just can’t see because it is taken for granted.

So what’s been in the way of becoming a better photographer of life before?  I have had 3 excuses and I wonder if they will sound familiar to you:

  1. Time – I don’t have time to find something “worthy” of capturing in picture.  To orchestrate would take more of my most precious resource, time, and I just can’t afford to give more of it up.  Just not important to do now.  Later.

  2. Money – I don’t have the right equipment.  Can’t afford to go somewhere exotic, or somewhere cool on vacation to find worthy picture taking opportunities.  Someday, when the children are grown,
    I’ll buy a “good camera,” go to amazing places, and I’ll be set.

  3. Skills – I surely don’t have any, it’s nothing I’ve ever had the luxury of even thinking about much less having a focus.  Someday, I’ll take lessons.

We all know that deferred gratification in not capturing memories through photos in the moment never comes because life has past by; all so many things truly are only once, and in that moment never to be experienced again.

Here are the realizations I have come to and I wonder if you will agree:

  1. It’s never going to be convenient or we will have extra time available, but really?  How long does it take to snap a picture that will become the memory of a fleeting lifetime?  Not much at all, the blink of an eye and it’s just a snap.  We have to be watching for the moments that surround us in our everyday lives. There is nothing more precious, nothing more special than the here and now with those we love.

  2. We don’t have to have money because we all have photo devices with us at all times with the existing cell phone technologies.  While I love full frame camera, any camera will do just fine if you’ve got it with you ready to use to capture the moment.  The special places, those special photos, are all around us filled with our loved ones, with the beauty throughout the streets in our lives.  It is with those we engage with from the moment we get up in the morning until we go to bed that night where beauty is found and those memories we truly want to capture.

  3. We’re not going to get any better by doing nothing.  In the meantime, life, the moments of memories to be captured in the present, are fleeting and will never come again.  The more we practice, the more we can share with others, and the more we can learn by doing, the better our skills will be; the richer our memory making will be.  Life is truly an art.

I will look forward to your comments and sharing memories “from your community!”

broadway baptist CHURCH :: Special guest photographer David Hares iII

The Broadway Baptist Church “Insider’s View” Photo Safari is part of our Capture Through The Lens Series. In addition to Sandra Reid who will lead the safari, we will be joined by a special guest photographer from inside our very own community, David Hares II!


About David:

David’s gallery "Exploring America: A Photographic Journey" at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History opened on December 19, 2015 and will be opened to the public through January 30, 2016.

This exhibit is a journey to explore our great country’s National Parks and the places in between. So far, he has driven over 40,000 miles in an attempt to capture the beauty and uniqueness of our country's treasures. These photographs are meant to trigger memories of times you may have spent in these wonderful places, to inspire you to see them again or experience them for the first time.



David Hares II - Full Biography

Growing up I was fortunate because my dad had time off in the summer allowing us to travel and camp our way across the United States.  My family (all 7 of us) would load up the van and our tent camper ready to take off for 6 weeks.  We really couldn’t afford a camera for me at that time, so I collected post cards from all the places we explored.
Upon graduating from college, I wanted one more adventure before heading off to the corporate world.  With camera and job offer in hand, I explored the Western United States and Canada for 6 weeks.  The trip covered 8400 miles, 12 states, 2 provinces in Canada, and 14 National Parks.  While in the corporate world my travel adventures continued, but this travel was a lot different because it was only for 1 to 2 weeks at a time - most of it by plane.  Being a road warrior, I got to know my travel agent so well that she became my wife.  Between the travel agency and over 1 million Aadvantage miles we continued to explore the world.
In 2007 our lives suddenly changed; I lost my wife to a stroke.  Unexpectedly, my two teenage children and I had to survive as a family. The answer was travel.  We took many, many trips together and were able to remain strong as a family.  My perspective on life changed drastically; I started to prepare for a life-long dream outside the corporate world... to explore and photograph the National Parks.
Rejuvenated, I bought a truck camper and was ready to travel, explore and photograph.  My plan was to take a three-month sabbatical as soon as my youngest left for college.  Just before my daughter graduated, my company was going through layoffs.  The path to recreate my post-college trip was clear - I volunteered and established 
The first trip from May through November of 2012 covered many of the places from my college trip and added a few more including over 13,000 miles, 12 states, 2 provinces, and 19 National Parks.  The exploration has continued and over the past few years I have been able to share portions of my trips with both my son and daughter for weeks at a time.  Through my travels, I was fortunate enough to meet a wonderful woman that has now joined me as my wife.  The adventure continues…
For your enjoyment, there are many pictures on my website: 
David Hares II


About Sandra:


Sandra Reid has always had a great passion for photography.  The art form and the creativity of expression it provides in all aspects of life’s journey have been a tremendous outlet for growth and development for many years.  She believes in the importance of spending time practicing good photography, studying with the guidance of experts (local and across the country) and in asking lots of good questions.  From a photographer’s perspective, she is drawn to images of people being humans in their natural settings.  An ultimate goal is “getting really good at street photography” no matter where the street may lead.  I strongly believe in creating and capturing lifelong memories through photography, inspiring expanding knowledge, and celebrating our community.



2016 :: A New Year!

Welcoming a New Year is a special time to reflect…

and a wonderful time to look ahead with a whole new lens!


Reflecting...As we reflect on 2015, we all have so many accomplishments to celebrate and of which we all can be incredibly proud!  Accomplishments to celebrate with the team who surrounds us each and every day for no accomplishment albeit big or small can ever be done alone.  It’s a time to say THANK YOU to all those who invest in us in what are often subtle, silent ways!  Take a moment to write down some of your successes and enjoy / share the moment, celebrate the present, with those in your unique sphere of influence.  Picture how far you have all come together!  Capture this great momentum going into the New Year for the best is ahead!


Looking ahead….it is so exciting to think about 2016!  Safaris are already planned that will help you build on photography techniques such as composition, exposure, and lighting; F-stops, using a tripod, slow shutter speeds, setting the best white balance to grow on your own creativity and choosing what lens to use when.  Incredible “insider’s view” opportunities are coming to The Kimbell, Broadway Baptist Church, Botanic Garden, the Stockyard’s, and many more!  Want to learn street photography?  How about night photography?  WOW!  We have so much to look forward to as we learn by doing!  I call this field-based photography!


Thought for Every Day 2016:  Never leave your “playing field” saying I could have done more to get ready; every day, leave it all on the “field.”  Memories of a lifetime are created every day where we “live.”  Our values include:  Collaboration – striving together to reach maximum potential while connecting our community, Service – delivering WOW through service; Integrity – building honest and open relationships with our customers, Excellence – pursuing growth and learning; driving change, and Commitment to be always - adventurous, creative, and open-minded.  We recommit to our customers, and to all those within the community we love and support, that everything we do is based on this foundation of quality.  We partner with you to share in a successful 2016 as we Live.Enrich.Capture. amazing memories made every day!

Let’s make a new beginning together!  Hello 2016!  Here We Come!