Return of SM

After taking a winter of time to study the photos I had done from my first light test with SM, I returned the following year to redo that locality and do a better job. (two years ago as of the writing of this post)

The trip was worth it. The improvements was huge. I was able to apply a more studious approach to testing the light conditions. The results made me smile a bit more.

So, what did I learn and how did I manage to apply the lessons?


Control the light best you can. When dealing with bright mid day sunlight, control is key. Finding a surface to reflect or evenly block the light is key. I don’t have reflectors or the likes yet, but I did find an amphitheater that provided excellent light control near the original light test.

There, I played around with my settings a lot more carefully. Took a few notes. Sadly, didn’t keep the notes. I kept a close eye on my metering and white balance. Then, it was all about trial and error and fun.

The photos came out a lot better. Mind you, while this was a test and was for fun, the lessons pay off whenever I’m doing a paid gig. I don’t want to experiment during a paid shoot. I stick more to what works. But having a lot more tested options that do work make for better results for clients, when I take on clients.

I will let the photos speak for themselves below.


Thank you very much SM for the wonderful opportunity to showcase our light tests. This was the practice that I needed in the moment when I needed it a lot. Many other things I had played around with in the past paid dividends in helping me understand the details of this shoot.

One more thing

When I was a beginner, I was told that I won’t ever get to be good if I don’t have a mentor or I don’t apprentice with a great photographer. The option of going to school is out of reach too. I was not deterred by these roadblocks. I don’t have the time or money to properly learn photography. The little time I do have, I apply all the readings from blogs or overheard tips and just practice smartly.

The more “intelligent practice” I do, the more I grow my skills. I can now give a few tips here and there to help others become better at taking photos. Not because I’m this super awesome photographer… on the contrary, I keep thinking of myself as a rookie trying to learn all that he can. This allows me to try things and figure out and never get complacent about what I know

I might one day be great enough to have people call me a great professional photographer. Only time will tell. What I do know is this, I really enjoy this art and craft. I’m extremely blessed to have friends who let me practice on them. I’ve had the luxury of running a photography/fashion forum years back based on the content I tested with friends.

Now, the push is to share on my own platform what I’ve learned and also continue to grow my skills. The iPhone took away a lot of the market share. However, there is more to discover and enjoy.

As long as my friends don’t mind gracing my lens every now and again, I will continue to learn, innovate, and come up with better shoots. In time, my art will do what art does… move people in a good way and leave a smile on their face.

Until next time, happy snapping in clear focus

Editorial note: Originally posted December 17, 2017 in the project area. With the reshuffling of the blog content, bringing this post into the blog area… where it should have been all along. 

Below is the page that lists all the post with SM as the center. This includes galleries, blog posts, stories, and musings. Thanks for viewing, clicking like, and sharing.

Debut of SM

When your friends not only cheer but decide to participate in your photographic journey…

You’ve got a wonderful Debut set of photos

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