Photos By Meta - The Best Digital Photography Tips and Training

Meta’s Digital Photography Tips – The Best Digital Photography Tips and Training

The Best Digital Photography Tips and Training for Beginners

In Meta’s Digital Photography Tips and Training Section, you’ll learn her Best Digital Photography Tips and Training for Beginners!

The Complete Guide to Sony’s Alpha 77 II – Meta keeps Legendary Minolta and Sony Digital Camera Expert, Gary Friedman’s Complete Guide to Sony’s Alpha 77 II book on her iPhone and MacBook, so she can reference it in the field. This is a Must Have Book!

Sony Digital Camera Manuals – Read your Sony Digital Camera Manual – Then read it again! Get familiar with your Sony Digital Camera. Know where all the Buttons and Knobs are located – Practice finding them in the dark!

Download Your Sony Camera Manual:

Sony a65 Digital Camera Manual
Sony a68 Digital Camera Manual
Sony a77 Digital Camera Manual
Sony a77 II Digital Camera Manual
Sony a99 Digital Camera Manual
Sony a99 II Digital Camera Manual

Golden Hour – Shoot at the Golden Hour, the 1/2 Hour Period Before Sunset and After Sunset. This is considered the Best Time to shoot outdoor photography, when the sunlight is redder, softer, and parallel to the horizon.

Blue Hour – Shoot at the Blue Hour, the 1/2 Hour Period Before Sunrise and After Sunrise. This is considered the Best Time to shoot outdoor photography, when the sunlight is blueish, evenly diffused, and parallel to the horizon.

Plan Your Photo Shoots – “Always Bring the Right Gear!” Plan on what Digital Camera Gear you’ll need when you arrive on site, including which Lenses and Filters you’ll need. If you are shooting at dusk or dawn, remember to bright a Flashlight!

Clean Your Camera Often – Get into a routine of cleaning your Digital Camera and Digital Camera Accessories before and after every photo shoot, especially if you are shooting outdoors. Microscopic sand, dust and dirt gets into everything, and slowly builds up over time! Meta uses an Alcohol Swab to remove any dirt, grease and oils, then wipes it with a MicroFiber Cleaning Cloth. Meta keeps one MicroFiber Cleaning Cloth in her Photographer’s Vest, Filter Pouch and Camera Bag. Blow out your Camera Sensor whenever changing lenses, then use the Camera’s Vibratiing Sensor Cleaner. Avoid changing lenses outdoors! Store your Camera Gear in Camera Bags and Camera Pouches.

Better Digital Photography Composition – Why do some photos look better than others? The Best Digital Photography often involves Great Composition. Most Professional Photographers use The Rule of 3rds, but you might want to try the Fibonacci Spiral, (Diagram: Below) the next time you are composing your photographs (Ratio of 62 : 38). The Fibonacci Sequence is often found in Nature, such as in Sea Shells, and is a series of numbers where a number is found by adding up the two numbers before it: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34...

Use the Fibonacci Spiral for Better Composition

Walk Everywhere – “Walk Softly and Carry a Big Monopod!” When Hiking out in Nature, walk around slowly and take in a wide variety of shots. On Remote Hiking Trails, many Hikers rush past many great Macro Photography Subjects, without ever noticing them.

Prime Lenses – Prime Lenses are often sharper and lighter – They just don’t zoom. If you need to get closer – Use your feet! Prime Lenses are light enough if you’re walking around all day. Meta uses her sharp Minolta AF 24mm f/2.8 Lens and super sharp Minolta AF 50mm f/1.4 Lens (Photo: Left) for shooting Landscapes, Sunrises and Sunsets.

Minimum Hand Held Shutter Speed – Know the Minimum Hand Held Shutter Speed for your lens. The Lens Reciprocal Rule – For a 100mm Lens: 1/100 (x 1.5 if for cropped sensor) = 1/150th of a second. Never shoot Hand Held below 1/60th of a second!

Airplane Mode – If you’re not using your Digital Camera’s WiFi, put it in Airplane Mode –> On (WiFi Off) to Save Battery Power.
MENU –> WiFi 1 –> Airplane Mode–> On

Program Modes – If your Digital Camera supports Program Modes (Top Dial), these 3 Memory Locations record all of the camera’s settings for quick mode changing. Remember ABC. Meta uses her 3 Program Modes in Auto ISO for:
1) Action Photography – Manual Mode, 1/1600th, f/4, Continuous Shooting Hi, Wide Focus, Auto Focus
2) Bracketed for HDR Photography – Aperture Priority, f/8, 1.0EV 5 Images, Spot Focus, Manual Focus, Steadyshot Off, 3 Stop ND Filter
3) Close-Up / Macro Photography – Manual Mode, 1/160th, f/14, Continuous Shooting Hi, Center Focus, Manual Focus

Vintage Minolta AF Lenses for Sony Digital Cameras – Getting started in Digital Photography doesn’t have to cost a small fortune when it comes to purchasing multiple Camera Lenses! Many Beginner Digital Photographers don’t know that you can purchase and use many inexpensive Vintage Minolta AF Lenses for all Sony Digital Cameras – At about 10% of the cost of a brand new Sony Lens! This is a huge cost savings!

Minolta AF Zoom 70–210mm f/4.0 Lens – The Famous “Beer Can Lens” (Photo: Left), has a Constant Aperture of f/4.0, with a Macro Mode at 210mm. In 1985, this popular Zoom Lens sold for $285. Today you can still find these in Excellent Condition for around $65. Minolta made over 16 Million Vintage Minolta AF Lenses in Japan between 1985 and 2006. Vintage Minolta AF Lenses will Auto Focus on today’s Sony Digital Cameras!

Faster SD Cards – Sony RAW File Sizes are about 25 Megs each. If you‘re shooting 5 Bracketed RAW Shots for HDR Photography, that’s 125 Megs per Photo! Meta’s Sony a77 II Digital Camera supports SDXC SD Cards (UHS-I) requiring a minimum transfer speed of 60 MB/s (Don’t use slower 45 MB/s SD Cards). Faster 170 MB/s SD Cards won’t speed up the Sony a77 II Digital Camera, but they will speed up your File Transfers to your Computer.
64 GB Cards – Holds about 2493 Sony RAW Images
128 GB SD Cards – Holds about 4998 Sony RAW Images
256 GB SD Cards – Holds about 9953 Sony RAW Images
512 GB SD Cards – Holds about 19894 Sony RAW Images

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PO Box 1571
Blowing Rock, NC 28605
1-828-265-2730
Monday – Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM (Eastern)

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Meta Gätschenberger is an Award Winning Photographer from Blowing Rock, NC. Visit Meta’s Photo Gallery at Photos by Meta.


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Meta is trying to replace her original Sony a77 II Digital Camera which
blew over on a Blue Ridge Parkway overlook and was totally destroyed
in the fall. A used replacement Sony a77 II Digital Camera costs $848.
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