What Are Focus Points In Digital Photography

You pick up your camera with a primary objective of taking a picture of your subject. First of all, you’ll want to ensure that your subject is in focus before you take a picture. Conventionally, DSLR cameras a configured in such a way that when you press the shutter button halfway down, the camera locks focus on the subject and when you press the shutter button way down, the image is captured. This method of acquiring focus is a pretty standard method except the camera is otherwise configured.

Acquiring Focus

What Are Focus Points?

Let’s assume we’re using the conventional method I mentioned earlier whereby you pick up your camera and press the shutter button half-way down to acquire focus; the moment you look into the viewfinder you’ll see some black dots which become red when the focus is locked (depending on the camera model). These dots are called Focus Points. As photographers, we make use of focus points to draw the attention of the viewer to a part of the scene which we want them to look at. A typical example is the image of my Graphic Tablet sitting next to my laptop on my office desk. The focus was on the pen which threw every other aspect of the scene out of focus.

Graphic Tablet

Selecting Focus Points.

When it comes to selecting focus points, we could either let the camera do this for us automatically or we take control of what should be in focus and do it ourselves. Having a camera in Autofocus mode has an obvious disadvantage, which is; the camera may decide to lock focus on a different point within the scene which could be totally different from what we want… Here’s an example.

Phone Display


I had the camera set on autofocus and wanted the Vimeo thumbnail to be in focus but the camera selected the facebook thumbnail.

So this is a summary of what focus points are in Digital Photography. I tried to make it as simple as possible to understand. Let me know in the comments section if I missed out on any point or If you have thoughts to share.



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How Best To Move Your Images From Lightroom To Photoshop For Editing

In this episode, we’ll be looking at how best to move your images from Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to Adobe Photoshop for editing. This question came up from one of our members on the ForteSpy Online Community for creative professionals so we decided to do a detailed post on it.


Image Opened in Lightroom
Image Opened in Adobe Lightroom Classic 2018


Setting Up Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

First off, we import our RAW files into our preferred RAW processing software, which in this case is the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic 2018. After performing our preliminary tonal adjustments/edits in Lightroom, we are now set to take the files into Adobe Photoshop for editing. Before we do that, we need to set up/instruct Lightroom to seamlessly communicate with Photoshop. On the PC (Windows) platform, we’ll go to Edit > Preferences; On the Mac, we’ll go to Lightroom > Preferences and click. We’re greeted with a dialog box which pops up showing us various settings. Our concern now should be the External Editing Tab. Select that tab and it shows a list of parameters we need to pre-define. These parameters are then applied to our images as they leave Lightroom to Photoshop or any other external editor of our choice. In this case, Our external editor would be the Adobe Photoshop CC 2018.

External Editor Options

  1. File Format: You have either PSD or TIFF to select from depending on your workflow.
  2. Color Space: You have ProPhotoRGB, AdobeRGB (1998), Display P3 and sRGB.
    • ProPhoto RGB has the largest colour space and would be advisable to use this if your RAW image has this colour space.
    • AdobeRGB (1998) is a commonly used colour space especially for images destined for print.
    • Display P3 is a newly introduced colour space which is very close to the AdobeRGB (1998).
    • sRGB is also a commonly used colour space especially for images destined for screens or web purposes (online usage).
    • N.B Kindly ensure consistency with your chosen in-camera colour space.
  3. Bit Depth: You have either 8 bits/components or 16-bits/components to choose from depending on your workflow. 8bit files are usually smaller and more compatible with various programs and plugins, but will not preserve fine tonal detail and dynamic range as well as the 16bit data.
  4. Resolution: The default value is 240 but I usually keep mine at 300. You can set yours to your preferred value.
  5. Compression: With PSD files, there is no compression option; with TIFF files at 8bit, you have three compression options; None, LZW and ZIP while with TIFF files at 16bit you have two compression options. None and ZIP. If you decide not to choose any compression option, that would be fine but if you decide to choose a compression option, you’re okay with either of the options. They do basically the same thing, which is to reduce the size of the image without removing detail or colour information.
  6. Stack With Original: This option would enable you to stack the edited version from Photoshop next to the Original version when viewed in Lightroom afterwards.
  7. Edit Externally File Naming: In this column, you can specify a preferred naming nomenclature to be applied after an image leaves Lightroom to an external editor of your choice so that when it returns to Lightroom, it can easily be distinguished from the original image.

When you’re done setting up Lightroom, click OK.

Setting Up Adobe Photoshop CC

Launch Adobe Photoshop and go to Edit  > Color Settings on the PC; same on the Mac. Most of the parameters are okay at default settings. Make sure you have the following boxes clicked. Profile Mismatches and Missing profiles (3 boxes). Click Okay

color settings
colour settings

Importing To Photoshop

At this point, we can now go back to our Lightroom application which is already open. Go to the Develop Module and select the image(s) you want to edit in photoshop; Right-click >Edit > Edit in Adobe Photoshop 2018 and the RAW file moves over seamlessly to Photoshop with all the edits applied to it in Lightroom for you to continue editing. After editing in Photoshop, you go to File > Save, and then open Lightroom, You’ll see the edited copy of the image stacked next to the original image with the pre-defined file naming you set up initially. If you want the images to appear individually in Lightroom you can go to the Library Module and select Photo > Stacking > Unstack. This separates them and they are now two individual images.


  • If there are two or more photos you wish to composite in Photoshop, right-click and select “Edit in” and “Open as Layers in Photoshop.” The images open as one layered file in Photoshop.
  • If you are exporting a TIFF, PSD or JPEG file. Right-Click on the image and a dialog box will pop up with three options as follows; Choose from “Edit a Copy with Lightroom Adjustments,” “Edit a Copy” or “Edit Original” and the image would open in Photoshop.
  • DNG or camera raw files open directly in Photoshop.
  • If you have a conflict of colour spaces between Lightroom and Photoshop you’ll get a notification prompting you to either go ahead with the embedded colour space that is coming from Lightroom, or you change it to the assigned colour space in Photoshop or you ignore colour management entirely.
color profile
colour settings


With these simple steps, it’s that easy to take your images from Lightroom to Photoshop and back to Lightroom. You can go ahead and practice this tip so you get a grip of it. Just in case you have a similar or totally different method of achieving the same results you can do well to share your thoughts in the comments section below.



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The Exposure Triangle: Understanding The Basics

What is The Exposure Triangle?

Before now, we discussed the three primary factors that determine the exposure of a photograph; which are the Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. (These factors as stated here have clickable links that would take us to the previous posts where we discussed them in detail just in case we need to refresh our memory).

Now Exposure Triangle is the act of striking a balance between these three variables so as to produce a perfectly exposed image.


The Aperture can be defined as the diameter of the channel through which light passes to get into the image sensor. The Aperture is measured in f-stops. So an Aperture value of f/1.8 has a wide opening while an Aperture value of f/22 has a small opening.

With Aperture comes Depth of Field. The depth of Field here refers to how much of your image is in focus. So shooting with a wider aperture makes less of the image be in sharp focus while shooting with a smaller aperture makes more of the image be in sharp focus.


Shutter speed refers to the length of time the shutter is open. So if you’re shooting with a fast shutter speed, for example, 1/1000th of a second, less light gets into the image sensor compared to when you’re shooting with a slow shutter speed of 1/10th of a second which allows more light into the image sensor.

When shooting with a wide aperture, your shutter speed will need to be fast to compensate for the amount of light entering the camera otherwise you’ll most likely end up with an over-exposed image. Same applies if you’re shooting with a small aperture, your shutter speed will need to move slower to enable more light into the camera otherwise you’ll most likely end up with a grossly under-exposed image.

Your shutter speed can also be used to freeze motion. So if you’re taking a photograph of a moving car or a waterfall, using a fast shutter speed freezes the movement. A slower shutter speed will produce a blurry image of the car and a creamy look of the waterfall. These outcomes are not necessarily bad if done creatively.


This refers to the way your camera interprets light; This is also known as the Image sensor’s sensitivity to light. This sensitivity is measured in figures like 100,200,400,800 etc.

So a camera with a base ISO of 100 means that the best picture quality is to be taken at this setting and this requires enough light and excellent conditions for it to perform. A camera with an ISO setting of 4000 would require less light to take a bright image but this could be at the expense of the quality of the image as there could be the existence of image noise or grainy pixels in the picture.

If you’re taking a photograph in a dimly lit room, you can introduce an external light source like a Speedlite and still operate at a low ISO to ensure the digital noise is kept at it’s barest minimum.


In summary, this is an idea of what the exposure triangle is all about. Effective utilization of these three variables; Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO to produce a perfectly exposed image. So it’s time to pick up our cameras and get practising. You could share your images in the comments section below or on our community lets all learn.

If you have any questions or contributions to make, kindly share your thoughts in the comments section below.



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ISO : Understanding Exposure in Digital Photography

In today’s editorial, we’ll be looking at ISO as the third primary factor which plays a contributory role in capturing a perfectly exposed image. The first we discussed was Aperture, next we looked at Shutter Speed, and now we’ll be looking at ISO as it relates to Exposure in Digital Photography.

What is ISO?

DSLR Camera sensors have a way of interpreting/responding to light. Their response to light, however, determines how bright or dark the image captured is. This mode or response can be referred to as ISO. ISO is measured in values such as 100,200,400,800 etc and can be controlled automatically or manually via the camera settings.


Like we mentioned earlier, ISO can be used to control the brightness of an image. The higher ISO values you apply, the brighter your image is. But it gets to a certain value where you begin to notice grains on the image; otherwise known as noise. This noise is acceptable by some photographers while some don’t like it. Personally, I don’t like noise in my images. I love them clear and crisp.

ISO Understanding Exposure in Digital Photography
ISO Understanding Exposure in Digital Photography Aperture f/9 Exposure time 1/160 sec ISO 100, Focal length 50mm

To achieve the highest image quality from your DSLR camera, it’s advisable to stick to the Base ISO. The base ISO here is the lowest ISO value your DSLR camera has. Unfortunately, we can’t always stick to this value at all times due to the conditions in which we’re shooting especially in low-light conditions.

What ISO value is best for you?

Pick up your camera and start experimenting. Set your Aperture to around F4 and your shutter speed to about 1/160th sec and ISO set to your base ISO. Start taking pictures with varying ISO values until you get to a point where the noise/grains are unacceptable. That would then give you an idea of the best acceptable ISO value for you to shoot at using your DSLR camera.


This is just a basic knowledge of ISO as related to Exposure in Digital Photography. We’ll go deeper into how it can be controlled when we discuss the Exposure Triangle.



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SHUTTER SPEED : Understanding Exposure in Digital Photography

The next important factor to be considered while trying to achieve a perfect exposure in digital photography is shutter speed. Like I mentioned earlier, the other two are Aperture and ISO. Firstly, we’ll give a brief introduction to what the shutter is in a DSLR camera, what it comprises of, how it works before we finally go into discussing shutter speed and features associated with it.

What is a shutter in a DSLR camera?

In photography, a shutter is a device that allows light to pass for a pre-determined period, exposing photographic film or a light-sensitive electronic sensor to light in order to capture a permanent image of a scene. The shutter is constructed such that it automatically closes after a certain required time interval. Operation of the shutter is triggered by a button called the shutter button or shutter-release button.

What is a shutter button?

In photography, the shutter button or shutter-release button is a button located mostly on the right-hand side of the DSLR camera body. When the button is pushed, the shutter opens for a pre-defined length of time; allowing light into the image sensor. During this process, an image is captured and the shutter closes afterward.

How does the shutter work in a DSLR camera?

Looking at a typical DSLR camera, the shutter comprises of 3 primary mechanisms; namely the mirror box, the bottom door and the top door. When the shutter button is pressed, the reflex mirror is tilted backward allowing light further into the camera. When the mirror flips upwards/tilts backward, a small door slides open from top to bottom, exposing the image sensor beneath. After that, another door slides down, covering the entire sensor. This process usually varies in time depending on the length of your exposure (shutter speed). After the second door closes, your reflex mirror falls back into place. The doors would then assume their default positions and technically, this process is known as Actuation. A typical DSLR camera can withstand close to 100,000 actuations in its lifetime.

shutter speed-How the shutter operates
How the shutter operates courtesy premiumbeat.com

What is shutter speed?

In Photography, shutter speed or exposure time is defined as the length of time the shutter remains open allowing light to get to the image sensor; also allowing the camera to take a photograph.

Features associated with shutter speed.

  • Shutter speed controls exposure – It is used to control the brightness of an image. The longer the shutter speed, the brighter the image. This is possible because the shutter is open for a considerable length of time to allow the image sensor to gather more light.
  • Shutter speed is measured in seconds – This could be full seconds (i.e 1 second, 5 seconds, 10 seconds etc) or fractions of a second (i.e 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30, 1/15, 1/8 etc). The larger the denominator, the faster the shutter speed; the lower the denominator the slower the shutter speed. for example; 1/500 is faster than 1/30.
  • Shutter speed is used to freeze movement in an image – By using a very fast shutter speed, motion is frozen. For example, using the featured image above, the image taken at 1/1000 sec freezes motion.
  • Shutter speed is used to capture motion in an image – By using a very slow shutter speed, motion is captured. For example, using the featured image above, the image taken at 1/80 sec captures motion.
  • Shutter speed and focal length – As a rule of thumb, always use shutter speeds with a denominator greater than the focal length. This helps to prevent camera shake especially in situations where image stabilization is absent


So while making things as simple as possible, we’ve been able to analyze the shutter speed as regards to digital photography and how it plays a significant role to achieve a perfect exposure while capturing an image. We have looked at Aperture, Shutter speed, next would be ISO.

Kindly share your thoughts in the comment section below.



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APERTURE : Understanding Exposure in Digital Photography

On our series of demystifying photography, we’ll be looking at one of the three cardinal factors that determine exposure in photography; which is Aperture. The other two are ISO and Shutter speed. Before we go ahead, it’s advisable we have a good knowledge of the structure of a DSLR camera

What Is Aperture

Aperture can be defined as an opening in a lens through which information in form of light travels into the camera body/structure. This could vary in size. The larger it is, the more light that gets into the camera.

Aperture Size

The size of the aperture can be controlled by the Iris. In Digital Photography, the aperture is measured in f-numbers (for example f/8). The f-numbers or f-stops can be used to describe how wide or narrow the aperture is. A smaller f-stop means a larger aperture while a larger f-stop translates to a smaller aperture. This is another area photographers find confusing but once you understand the ideology, it sticks.

Below a graphic representation of Aperture.

Aperture Explained
Aperture Explained

Depth Of Field.

We can hardly discuss Aperture without making reference to Depth of Field. Depth of Field can be defined as the amount of your shot that is in focus. A large Depth of Field means that most of your image would be in focus. This can be produced using a small aperture (large f-number/f-stop) such as f/16.

Large Depth of Field
Large Depth of Field (Large F-number/Small Aperture) F-stop f/13 Exposure time 1/160secs ISO 160

A small or shallow Depth of Field can be seen as an image with only a portion of it in focus while the rest of it remains blurry or fuzzy.

Shallow Depth Of Field
Shallow Depth of Field (Small F-number/Large Aperture) The image was taken at the LetstalkphotographyPH meeting f-stop f/1.8 Exposure Time 1/200 secs, ISO 1600 Focal Length 50mm Subject Distance 2.5m Metering Mode Centre Weighted Average No Flash

DSLR Lenses are manufactured to have specific values on how wide or narrow the aperture can get. The lens specifications usually state the largest f-stop and the smallest f-stop. A lens with a maximum f-stop of f/1.2 is considered to be a fast lens because it allows more light to pass through compared to a lens with a maximum aperture of f/4.0

Here's a brief video produced by Olufemii Tutorials that also explains Aperture

We tried to keep things as simple as possible while explaining Aperture as it relates to Exposure in Digital Photography. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.



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Understanding Exposure in Digital Photography

As simple as the title of this editorial sounds, many “Professional Photographers” are yet to have a grip on what Exposure in Digital Photography really means. Learning is a continuous process and so This is would be the first in a series of editorials where we’ll be taking an in-depth look at Exposure and how it can be demystified. Kindly attempt to read our introductory Editorials to this series which talks about what photography is and a detailed explanation of the DSLR Camera.

Definition of Exposure in Digital Photography

Exposure could be seen as how bright or dark your image would be. It’s imperative that we capture our images with the perfect exposure; meaning it shouldn’t be too dark or too bright.

For us to capture a perfect exposure, we must correctly and creatively combine the three cardinal factors which play a contributing role towards achieving a well-exposed image. They are Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO. A simple guide to achieving a perfect exposure is the use of the exposure meter. This could be seen when you look into the viewfinder of your camera.

Light meter scale as seen inside the viewfinder
Light meter scale as seen inside the viewfinder

If it tends towards the right, there’s a tendency for the image to be over-exposed; if it tends towards the left, there’s a tendency for the image to be under-exposed. Having the mark at the at the dead center tends to give a perfectly exposed image. The outcome may vary under certain situations but it’s good we have this as our guiding principle.

We’ll be looking at the three cardinal factors {Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO} and how they individually and collectively {Exposure Triangle} contribute towards producing a perfectly exposed Image.

Did you find this tutorial helpful, please share your thoughts in the comment section below?



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Ways To Improve Collaborations While Working With A Creative Team

The importance of teamwork cannot be overemphasized when it concerns success on any project.  From the established organizations to that small start-up firm, they all harness the power of team spirit to achieve spectacular results. That being said, we need to also know when to honor requests for collaborations and when not to get involved. Don’t get me wrong; The primary objective for any collaborative session is to create outstanding results that would create or add value to each Creative Professional involved. Results you know you can’t achieve on your own.

How to Improve collaborations while working with a Creative Team.

Have a clear objective.

This is part of the planning stage. Team members should discuss extensively on what they want to achieve, how they intend to achieve it, tasks are delegated and everyone executes theirs professionally.


Set Smart Goals.

The objectives must be realistic and time-bound. For further clarity, it’s always good to use a mood board, whiteboard or any form of visual representation of the possible end product to help serve as a reference point.

Establish An Atmosphere of Trust, Mutual Respect, and Safety.

Every member is prolific in his or her own field and so should be respected for that. No one is too small and no one is too big. The atmosphere should encourage diverse points of view, perspectives, and creativity. During my collaborative sessions, I usually generate healthy discussions among my team, we discuss their craft, I give them words of encouragement and make sure they’re relaxed throughout the session.

Provide Necessary Infrastructure.

For example, at ForteSpy Studios, we make sure there’s a conducive environment for every member of the team to work without any disturbance/interference. Every member also has a dedicated workstation. This also contributes to creating amazing results.

Keeping Healthy Relationships.

As Creative Professionals, there’s an associated amount of ego that comes with that status. Appreciating others, engaging in purposeful conversations and the ability to tame that ego is very important. We should find ways to communicate with each other, not just as professionals but as human beings. This would help build trust and the much-needed bonding among team members. This connection between team members is key.


Having mentioned these key tips, the question now is, how do you know when to say no to a collaboration. It’s simple.

We mentioned earlier that the primary objective of a collaboration should be to create outstanding results that would go a long way in adding value to your life/business; results you can’t really achieve on your own.

If you’re contacted for a collaborative session or you initiate contact for a collaborative session and you sense any form of distrust, disrespect or any member acting unilaterally or in isolation, kindly flee. Those are clear signs of possible failure. Here’s an example of a collaboration that went bad.

Hope I’ve been able to shed some more light on this topic. If you have more ideas to share kindly share your thoughts in the comments section below, we’ll be glad to hear from you



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Collaborations And It’s Relevance Among Creative Professionals

As Creative Professionals, we have a moral obligation to constantly hone our skills if we want to remain relevant in the Industry. Before we go further, let’s start by defining some key terms in this Editorial.

Who is a Creative?

A Creative is an artist. This individual is someone who sees the world slightly differently from others. Examples of Creatives include but not limited to musicians, painters, stylists, make-up artists, and Photographers.

Who is a Professional?

A Professional can be seen as a member of a profession or any person who earns a living from a specified professional activity or craft.

So simply put, a Creative Professional could be seen as a creative specialist/person who is employed for the extraction of skills in creative endeavours


A Collaboration could be seen as the act of working together with someone or a group of persons to achieve something.

Let’s get down to our clime. As a Creative Professional, there is a burning desire to create your portfolio. This portfolio gives an insight into your craft and how proficient you are at it. In the recent past, there has been an increased number of collaborations among creatives; especially photographers, makeup artists, stylists and others to create images for the sole purpose of advertising online; especially on social media to help project one’s business.

Collaborations yield exceptional results when there’s a prolific combination of specialties from the departments involved. Like the saying goes, “A team is only as strong as the weakest member“. In summary, it’s expected that everyone is meant to contribute their best to ensure outstanding results are produced. Collaborations bring together Creatives who have fresh ideas and diverse concepts at the planning stage so a great deal of humility and mutual respect is required of all members to ensure the outcome is successful as everyone sure has a valid point to add.

Finally, collaborations involve working together as a team with a common goal/objective. Tasks are shared which every member executes and gets back with results. Working in isolation is only a sure path to disaster. Success also tastes better when shared.

Do you share same view or a different view concerning collaborations, Kindly share your thoughts in the comments section below

The DSLR Camera

The term DSLR is an acronym which stands for Digital Single-Lens Reflex. So a DSLR Camera is a digital camera that combines the mechanics of a single-lens reflex camera with a Digital Imaging sensor; as opposed to a photographic film.

The primary difference between the DSLR and the non-reflex single-lens digital camera is that the viewfinder of a DSLR presents an image that is almost equal to what’s captured by the camera’s sensor and not being captured by the camera’s image sensor and displayed on a digital screen.

  1. Lens
  2. Reflex Mirror
  3. Shutter
  4. Image Sensor
  5. Focusing Screen
  6. Condenser Lens
  7. Pentaprism
  8. Eyepiece/Viewfinder


The Eyepiece/Viewfinder <8> is situated at the back of the camera. When you look through it, what you see is a reflection of information that has passed through the lens <1>; which means there’s a 100% chance of capturing what you see.

Information in form of light passes through the lens <1> and hits the Reflex Mirror <2> which is positioned at a 45 degrees angle inside the camera structure. This light is then directed vertically to a chamber called the Pentaprism <7>. This light is again re-directed by two mirrors into the viewfinder <8>.

When you take a picture by pressing the shutter button, the Reflex Mirror <2> bends backward, allowing light into the camera. The Shutter <3> remains open for as long as it’s been programmed to. This enables information to get to the Image Sensor <4> which then records the image and then the Shutter <3> closes and reflex Mirror <2> returns to its original position of 45 degrees thereby re-directing light back to the viewfinder <8>.

Once the process ends, the camera then processes information from the Image Sensor (4) and converts it into a pre-defined image format and writes it onto the memory card. This process takes less than a second and in most cases, some DSLR Camera’s can replicate this process of writing images more than 10 times within a second.

This is at best a summary of how your DSLR Camera works.

For an expanded view of how it works, you could follow this link and read more on Wikipedia



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