The elements of exposure and why ISO comes first, part 1 of 3.

Ansel Adams chose ISO first.

Your pictures suck compared to his.

iso camera lcd

If you are learning, or relearning, manual exposure I will tell you there is a progression of choosing the 3 elements of exposure that works every time.  The 3 elements are ISO, aperture and shutter speed, in that order, at least at first.

In the 1920s Ansel Adams began taking some pretty good pictures.  He knew all the rules about photography.  He knew all the numbers and formulas and even created some rules of his own that we still use.  Guess what?  Adams had to deal with ISO too and he didn’t have a camera that would do it for him.

We are spoiled and it complicates ISO.  When did Adams choose his ISO?  Before his trip, right?  Days, weeks or months before setting his camera up for a shot.

Our fancy schmancy digital cameras have auto ISO.  When we walk out into the sunlight the camera chooses 100, in dark settings it chooses 1600.  Why are we always crying about ISO and noise?

Learn aperture and shutter speed at this week’s photography class in Spartanburg!

This week’s class is all about learning to shoot in full manual. About an hour after arriving we will be hands-on shooting in manual mode on our SLRs, a mode that intimidates most new photographers.

This class is updated and is half classroom and half hands-on. Weather permitting, we will go outside and put to use what we have learned the first hour of class.

If you haven’t taken any of our classes I will encourage you to review what ISO means to digital photography before attending this 200 level class. Bring your camera and plan to have fun!

DSLR Photography Classes this week in Spartanburg!

I’m guessing most entry-level DSLR owners know the power of the Program Mode on their camera. This Tuesday at Spartan Photo Center we will have our 102 class, Basic DSLR Photography, from 6-8PM. This class is designed to show the power behind using the Program Mode of your SLR. We will cover flash control, menu control, white balance and more!

Information and registration at

PPSC Upstate Super Sunday Workshop 2013


workshop group

This was the first Super Sunday Workshop I taught for PPSC. One of the biggest groups of 2013, we had a great time shooting 3 models and learning from each other.

2014 Photography Classes in Greenville and Spartanburg!

We have officially begun our 2014 series, with our student favorites and 10 new photography classes. 

This year we will be offering 4-hour workshops that take you through the basics and advanced functions of a DSLR, including an hour of Photoshop Elements.  These classes are in both Greenville and Spartanburg. 

We have also added 10 new classes that are more specific to your favorite area of photography.  These are HDR, Macro, Children, Sports, Landscape, iPhone/smart phone and more!  Please visit our class schedule at for information and registration. 

Greenville classes will be held at Hilton Greenville and Spartanburg classes will be held at South Carolina’s biggest camera store, Spartan Photo Center.  We look forward to seeing you there! 

Basic Digital SLR Classes this week in Spartanburg.

We will begin our digital photography class series again this week in Spartanburg, at Spartan Photo Center.

Tuesdays Aug 23 & Aug 30 will be our Basic and Advanced DSLR Classes. The two classes together will take you from using your camera’s automatic and scene modes into using full manual exposure. We will learn all about lenses, ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speeds and Metering.

We suggest photographers of all skill levels start with our Basic DSLR class, however there is no prerequisite for any of our classes. If you are familiar with ISO, Program modes and Expansion/Compression, jump right into our Advanced class.

These classes will be followed by Canon and Nikon specific classes, Photoshop, Flash and more.

Please check our full class listing at Thanks!

Greenville SC Photography Classes at the Kroc Center, August 2013

Michael Lamb Photography is excited to announce a series of Digital SLR Photography Classes in Greenville. Just in time to get to know your camera better before the football season and autumn portraits, Michael is teaching 6 different classes.

Thursday Aug 22, 2013 – Basic DSLR. After a short review of the automatic “scene modes” of your camera, Michael will teach you how and why to get out of the green automatic modes and move towards manual. We will discuss lens choices and start taking control of our cameras through the use of Program modes and ISO.

Thursday Aug 29, 2013 – Sports Photography Workshop. School has just started and that means football season. This hands-on workshop will take place near sunset on the Kroc Center’s beautiful field. We will photograph athletes as the sun sets, learning to use manual controls, ISO and flash to stop motion, even in the dark. Though no indoor sports are taught during this workshops, the techniques learned can be used for indoor sports too!

Thursday Sept 5, 2013 – Advanced DSLR. This class is all about manual exposure. We will discuss aperture and shutter speeds and how, and when, to adjust them for proper exposure and creative effect. The last 30-45 minutes of the class will be hands on, putting to practice what was learned in the first hour.

Thursday Sept 12 and 19, 2013 – Canon & Nikon SLR In-Depth. Michael will help take the fear out of moving all those buttons, and dials, and even teach you navigate through your menus with ease. These classes are Canon & Nikon specific, and though there is no prerequisite, discussion of ISO, aperture and shutter speeds is very limited. The the Basic + Advanced SLR classes are recommended for those wanting to learn manual exposure.

Thursday Sept 26, 2013 – Digital Editing using Adobe Photoshop Elements. Michael will use Elements in a live demonstration. Working with layers is key to using Photoshop Elements well. We will start with layers and build upon it using the most commonly used tools. Learn to correct exposure and color, remove unwanted elements from a picture, merge two images and more. You are not required to own Photoshop Elements to take the class. Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 may be downloaded free, for 30 days, from Adobe before or after the class and is available locally for under $100.00.

Thursday Oct 3, 2013 – Portrait and Flash class. Michael will show you the tricks and tools he uses every day as a portrait photographer. Using a model, you will learn simple, effective shooting methods using flashes and reflectors. This is a very hands on class. Bring your cameras, lenses, flashes and other accessories.

If you have any questions about any classes, please contact Michael Lamb directly at 864-497-3093 or We look forward to seeing you in class!