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Welcome! I don't know about you guys, but I plan on having a good time. It's a lot of work putting together each episode, but photography has been in my life — work and play — since I was a strapping sapling simpleton. And that's saying something (especially if you try to say it through thrice).

Connect or comment, please. Each episode will have a conversation, and I'll be glad to strike one up with you, too!

- Mark

Feb 27, 2019

I am not sure why The Wizard of Oz crept into the episode, but it did and I refuse to extricate it. Whether that is for lack of courage or 'cuz I like the sparkly shoes, you're off to hear the Wizard!

There's a Button on the Back?

Back-button focusing seems to be in the news, or at least in the air, recently. It's a technique for initiating autofocus with the press of a button other than the shutter release. This feature is common on DSLR and mirrorless cameras, where I think, universally, this other button is located on the back of the camera.

The technique is simple enough to explain — with the camera set up (through its menus) to allow back-button focusing, depressing that button with your thumb initiates the autofocus. The exposure is made with the standard shutter release using your index finger.

D850 back-button

The back-button focus button on my Nikon D850.

Listen for more about the how and why.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

My home is in Arizona, where we experience something like 500 sunny days a year. (I'm not sure of that number — it might be more.) Which means I'm seldom in a position to need a rain cover for my camera, but I had the opportunity to try out a rain cover which, because one form of "precipitation" I run into when I'm shooting out in the desert is dust, whether it's kicked up by the wind or by a passing (inconsiderate) vehicle, something to shield a camera and lens might be useful anyway.

The product I was looking at was the Emergency Rain Cover by Think Tank.

So, I figured I'd be taking it out for some sunning testing, but then a photography assignment showed up and it was off to sunny Puerto Rico where, thankfully for testing, we had a little bit of rain on one of the days. How'd it do? Use your ears!


The Think Tank Emergency Rain Cover, it's pouch and packaging.


The medium-size cover installed on a Nikon D850 — note how it keeps the sunshine from accidentally falling onto the camera and lens.


Showers came and went one day of my jaunt to Puerto Rico to photograph these helicopters. Fortunately, I had the Think Tank Emergency Rain Cover.

Learn more about their entire line of rain covers at

A Photographer in the Mist, I mean, Midst

Photographer Kim Henry started as a mom volunteering to take photos of her kids in their kiddie sports and, well, one thing led to another and now the kids are mostly out of the house and her photography is a very successful business in San Diego. I sat down for a wide-ranging chat — you'll learn a lot not just about her, but about photographing people and how she has, sometimes, dealt with the competition. 

Kim Henry

Kim Henry, founder of Snapps Photography. See her work and more at or write her at

Here, There, and Everywhere

The photo tip this time is to compose a scene with something near, mid, and far — typically that's with the intended subject at the mid-distance, then using camera settings that yield a shallow depth of focus, photograph the scene three times, focusing on the near, mid, and far distances respectively. Then, compare the results to see how the out-of-focus elements effect the overall feel of the image.