Tips and Tricks

Learn photography with articles written by our instructors and guest writers on Phocus Academy.

Good luck If all your precious photos are stored on a single location

Good luck If all your precious photos are stored on a single location

The Pessimist’s Guide to Keeping Your Photos (and Other Files) Safe

By Lin Junjie

Where are your photos and videos stored now? If the device which holds your photos and videos fails tomorrow, will you be able to retrieve them back easily—and at no cost? If you can’t, is it even possible to reshoot your project?

Good Photography is Like Striking Jackpot

By Lin Junjie

Photography and Jackpot? Graphic: Nicholas Campbell/iStockphoto

My mentor loves analogies. He could compare teaching photography to teaching salsa, using studio lights to driving cars, shooting to fishing, farming and hunting, and the list goes on. My favourite analogy is one where he compared getting a good photograph to striking a jackpot on a slot machine.

Graphic: Nicholas Campbell/iStockphoto

Caring for your camera

By Nandakumar Narasimhan


Many of our students who have just purchased their DSLR camera have asked us to conduct a workshop on camera care and maintenance. As we don’t consider ourselves qualified camera technicians to be conducting a comprehensive workshop on camera maintenance, we decided to write an article with some tips on looking after your camera instead.

Photo: Don Hankins/Creative Commons

Choosing between a DSLR or a compact camera

By Lin Junjie

DSLR or Compacts?Even the most capable compact camera out there cannot do certain things that a DSLR can. For some people, these differences do not matter; for others, they are dealbreakers. Before you decide to get a DSLR, take a look to see if you really need to have these functions.

Photo: abbyladybug/Creative Commons

What to think about before you board the jet

By Nandakumar Narasimhan

Travelling? Here's what to think about before boarding the jet.Whatever the reason or camera, travel photography has become immensely popular due to the widespread access to cameras. Find out how to get started on this exciting new hobby with some pointers on the equipment and planning needed for a “photo-filled” trip.

Photo: Matt Hintsa/Creative Commons

Where to get your strobist gear?

By Lin Junjie

Where to buy your strobist kits?If you’re one of the 250,000 geeks who read David Hobby’s strobist blog, you might be looking for some lighting equipment and accessories to get you started. In this article, we go through some options you have, and hopefully you wouldn’t have to break the piggy bank for them.

Photo: Auzigog/Creative Commons

An Encounter with a Tengerrese Horseman at Mt. Bromo

By Nandakumar Narasimhan

I’ve been asked many times about how I go about shooting portraits. I normally remember an old quote by Abraham Lincoln which goes “If you are given 8 hours to chop down a tree, spend the first six sharpening the axe” or something along those lines.

Photo: Nandakumar Narasimhan

The When, Where and How of Shooting the Milky Way

By Nandakumar Narasimhan

On almost every basic photography workshop, we have one or two participants who ask how to take pictures of the Milky Way or the Northern Lights. If you are not in touch with the world of astronomy, then you might ask what is the Milky Way?

Photo: Jothykumar Selvakumar