Module 1: 80/20 Camera Mastery

Comments on Module 1: 80/20 Camera Mastery

  1. DeniseErikson says:

    Brilliant explanations! I wish I had of seen these video clips when I first started taking photographs as it would have made my life a lot easier. Thanks Steve

  2. PhillipBriggs says:

    Hi Steve
    I have purchased the course outright, but I can’t download the videos? Can you help me?

    1. Steve A says:

      Hi Phillip,
      Looks like you used a different email address on the order form to the one you use for your PMC membership, so the downloads are tied to a separate login.
      All good though, I’ve added the tag to your membership account to activate the download links.
      If they don’t appear right away, please scroll to the bottom of the my courses page and click the link that says “click here to sync with the billing database”

  3. JosephDavid says:


    Thank you for this course. I am in module 1 and the “Module Downloads” appear blocked as access is denied. The error indicated is “This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below.” Below is a full copy of the error message!

    Request has expired


    Please help! Thank you



    1. Steve A says:

      Hi Joseph – the “Request has expired” message suggests the link has timed out, so you’ll just need to reload/refresh this page for those links to become active again.

  4. PaulHammesfahr says:

    Like your simple process for creating bracketing shots. Using your suggestion to begin with the “dark” image with no overexposed (not pushed too much to right)first, is a good suggestion, then backing off until no underexposed (not pushed too much to the left), appears to be a simple and easy way to accomplishing the bracket shots.

  5. DavidBolton says:

    Like some othrs, I have purchased the course but can’t see a method to download it.

    1. Steve A says:

      Ah yes, your purchase was made using your gmail address, whereas you’re currently logged in with your hotmail address. I’ll add the downloads to your current login so they should become active by the time you read this. (If not, please click here to sync your account with the billing database)

  6. ElliotPuritz says:

    Steve: For those of us who have mirrorless cameras or cameras with live view and use our cameras for landscape photography I might posit that using manual is not as important, or indeed might have little advantage. For example, one can simply use A priority mode and set the choices at f11 with given ISO…say ISO 200. The camera will then set the requisite shutter speed. However, in by far the majority of cases all one is interested in is an image without blurring from wind…I am not now alluding to purposely blurring the image when photographing water or indeed when one might use the blurring from wind as a compositional factor in landscape photographs. Consequently, if one is using a tripod or even a camera with integrated lens or body stabilization hand holding, the shutter speed will normally not be an issue. DOF and thus focus is the primary issue…but such will no doubt be a subject for another video. However, simply adjust the luminosity whilst looking at the image on the screen…adjust the ISO as needed for noise, and the f step for DOF and as needed adjust the EV values WHILE LOOKING AT The SCREEN. Let the image as such appears be the guide as to the exposure. Quick, intuitive and straight-forward…the image is the guide. Dealing with adjustments in the RAW developing stage will usually allow recovery of any shadow detail that might have been lost whilst being certain that highlights with detail are captured correctly…but if worried, bracket by several EVs and use the version that works the best in the RAW processor or blend the images. Snap the shutter and move the camera to another subject….!

    1. Steve A says:

      Hi Elliot,

      Thanks for your detailed thoughts. It would appear we are on the same page with regards to the general approach. The main difference being that mirrorless users have the advantage of seeing the exposure before the shot’s taken, DSLR users need to review an image after it is taken.

      Just to pull out a couple of things you mentioned regarding Manual vs Aperture priority:

      You said “For example, one can simply use A priority mode and set the choices at f11 with given ISO…say ISO 200. The camera will then set the requisite shutter speed….”

      Then “adjust the ISO as needed for noise, and the f step for DOF and as needed adjust the EV values WHILE LOOKING AT The SCREEN”

      I don’t think viewing the image live on screen changes anything with regards to my recommendation of using M over A priority.

      Both approaches require using the cameras meter to get the initial exposure (in A priority, the camera selects the shutter speed and takes the shot, in M mode we use the through-the-viewfinder meter and pick the shutter speed manually based off that).

      The only difference is that in A mode, I assume you’re adjusting the exposure compensation to make the scene brighter or darker causing the camera to pick another shutter speed, and in M mode I’m suggesting adjusting the shutter speed manually to make the same bright/dark adjustment.

      However, Manual is just my favoured and recommended approach. Personally I find it quicker and easier to dial the shutter speed up/down manually than to go into the menu to adjust the exposure compensation value up or down if the camera doesn’t select the correct exposure automatically. If your camera makes it just as quick to adjust exposure compensation as it is to adjust shutter speed manually then there’s not really any difference… That is as you say, assuming we’re trying to capture sharp images without intentional blur 🙂

  7. ElliotPuritz says:

    Excellent and an often forgotten point about turning autofocus OFF after focusing at the desired area into the scene Steve. I suspect that times that I have thought everything to have been correct but have noted unfortunate blur might well have been from my inattention to the very small detail you allude to. Unless you have a compositional reason not to do so( or have shift and tilt lens ), remember to level the camera before focusing!

  8. ElliotPuritz says:

    Thanks for the reply Steve.

    In the Canon Eos R it is extremely simple and very quick to change the EF value by simply turning the ring on the lens. Moreover, the ISO and F stop numbers/values are similarly easy to adjust while looking at the screen. I would imagine that other mirrorless cameras have similar controls within easy reach.

  9. Harry Dale says:

    Hi Steve
    Was pretty sure this first module was going to be a bit basic, and it is. I really purchased for the later modules. I really think a bit too basic for a ‘Mastery’ course, but nicely presented and well thought through. I know I likely to be in the minority here (I only use manually focusing prime lenses for goodness sake!), but wanted to give my view. Now off to module 2.
    Regards, Harry

  10. BrianRonan says:

    Excellent….you explained all so well and easy to understand..looking forward to next Modules

  11. MikeSuttill says:

    Like your other courses I appreciated the 80/20 approach to getting started! For the more experienced it is basic (as intended) but forms a solid foundation for moving into the more esoteric elements for taking sharp images in Module 2. Good presentation and a clear approach. Thanks.

  12. RonnieDavidson says:

    I found the clicks for exposure to be most useful.
    I have adjusted my aperture and shutter speed dials in line with the histogram.
    To darken dial to the left to lighten dial to the right.
    I take it back button focussing overcomes the auto focus issue.
    Ronnie D