We Help Ordinary People Take Extraordinary Pictures
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We Help Ordinary People Take Extraordinary Pictures

Digital Photography Made Simple™
4.9 (6 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
240 students enrolled
Created by Digital 1 to 1
Last updated 7/2013
Current price: $10 Original price: $50 Discount: 80% off
5 hours left at this price!
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  • 5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • This course is designed so that you may start from the beginning, or choose any video-lecture in order to achieve your particular goal. However if you’re just starting out and have never taken photography seriously until now, we recommend starting at the beginning. Each lesson includes all camera types unless specified.
View Curriculum
  • Any type of digital camera, which would be a “Point and Shoot”, a “DSLR” or a “Camera Phone”. This course is about photography only, and not about using particular camera models or computer programs.

Do you take tons of photos on vacation, family events etc. and find that you're still unhappy with the photographs you've taken?

It's very simple to see why using a flash during the day can make for a much better photograph. It's also wonderful to understand what it means to create a great composition using the Rule of Thirds. Also, are you really using your Zoom lens correctly to keep objects or people in perspective?

There is so much more to your camera. Get off the Auto-Mode and free yourself to a more creative adventure in photography. This course was created from the ground up, for the beginner who wants to know the real fundamentals, of what it means to think like a photographer.

Digital 1 to 1 is for anyone wanting to create a better photograph. We offer easy to follow video-lectures, letting you take creative control of your camera, and to feel proud of your photographs. Our goal is to help you gain "confidence" with you camera and your photography; becoming more consistent with your creativity. We guarantee your next level to move forward, as a photographer.

- Digital 1 to 1 is Ken Pivak and Santino Zafarana, who are two seasoned veterans in both the commercial photographic industry and as educators. Their expert knowledge of over 30 years experience each, will help you expand your abilities in becoming a better, and more accomplished photographer.

Here's what a few are saying about Digital 1 to 1:

"Digital 1 to 1 - Putting an End to Bad Photos!"

- Mike McEnaney - CES/Editor TELL Magazine/TechnologyTell [dot com]

"First of all, these tutorials are terrific! Plus it is even MORE fun for me to see you both, "appearing as yourselves", in giving instructions and lessons. I have enjoyed photography as a simple hobby for 60 years beginning with a pinhole camera as a pre-teen and now using digital cameras. The only time that photography was not solely a hobby for me was during the two space missions I made in the early 1980's aboard Shuttle Spacecraft when I served the role of "ship's photographer". With luck, two of my photographs from these journeys appeared on the covers of national magazines. But all of my photos would have been far better, had I had access to your photo tutorials."

- Joe Allen - Apollo Mission Control Capcom-1970's and Space Shuttle Astronaut-1980's (NASA) / Ship Photographer

"Digital 1 to 1 simply GREAT!!!!! I have improved so much, that I am feeling like a professional photographer. Now, I am always using my Manual-Mode instead of Auto just as the "Photo Guys" suggested and this has helped me a lot. My husband and friends are always complementing my pictures, and they are so much clearer than before. THANK YOU!! MERCI!! GRACIAS!!!"

- Patricia Patron - Digital 1 to 1 member

"Digital 1 to 1 answers most - if not all - of the questions I get asked nearly every day. We all start somewhere, and I can't think of a better place to learn the basics. Even as a lecturer, I've found these tutorials to be informative and helpful. It's one thing to know the information; it's another thing altogether to teach it. There are lots of sites where pros can go to learn about the latest techniques or the latest gear, but Digital 1 to 1 is the only one I know that begins with basic concepts and takes you to the next level. Whether it's an iPhone, a point-and-shoot, or a more advanced digital camera, this is the go-to site that keeps it simple, so you don't have to look through a hundred page manual."

- Eric Meola / Photographer, Lecturer, Author and Canon Explorer of Light

"I'm thrilled to have discovered Digital 1 to 1! I've never been one to take pictures due to a lack of technical know-how. Each of their how-to videos demystifies and has built my confidence in the process. They've inspired me to carry my camera with me wherever I go, and I'm capturing more of life's moments. I'm really looking forward to applying what I've learned on an up coming trip on Safari!"

- Lisa Rogerson - Digital 1 to 1 member

"I love photography, and love to create images where I can make everyone look as beautiful as possible. I had given up traveling with my larger cameras, since I got my cool point and shoot Cannon 850SD. I love Digital 1 to 1's easy to understand and "user friendly" tips. These guys are especially fun to watch, and remind me of my cousin in New York. I love getting such useful information on quick segments."

- Caara Shayne / Actress - Los Angeles

Who is the target audience?
  • Beginners to Intermediate Photographers
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Curriculum For This Course
65 Lectures
Vision and Identifying the Elements of a Good Photograph
9 Lectures 30:46

Become aware of a photographic method and process called “Pre-Visualization”.  Previsualizing is a simple process used by experienced photographers on how one thinks about a photograph before taking the shot, in the same manner how an artist may think about a painting, before the brush hits the canvas.

Preview 03:21

If you ever found yourself, staring at a work of art or a photograph for any length of time, then you have discovered a sense of balance within that image and allowed yourself to feel anchored within that vision.  What we are experiencing is good composition.  Understanding good composition as photographers mean we need to know how to dissect our vision and to learn the basic rule, known as “The Rule of Thirds”.

Preview 03:33

"Perspective in a Photograph" is another step to consider when composing an image. Like how a railroad track may lead our vision to infinity, understanding how perspective operates in a photograph, allows us to see a 3 dimensional world to fit into a 2 dimensional surface, like a photograph.

Preview 03:21

When a director makes a movie and from time to time uses his hands to eye the scene, they are "Framing" the shot, to isolate what is important and to eliminate what is not. This segment shows how photographers use this same process through the viewfinder or the screen on the back of the camera.

Understanding How to Frame Your Photograph

"Depth of Field" is the distance that lies between the two points in our image that appear in focus. But a lens focal length and aperture allow these points to alter, depending on where in our photograph we are focusing upon.  This video-lecture explains how this works.

Knowing What is “Depth of Field”

This video-lecture on composition addresses the issue of “Proportion in Photographs”.  How is proportion something to consider when taking a picture? Learn how the size and shapes of elements can relate to each other, and how those arrangements of elements work together,  to create a pleasing image.

Playing with Different Proportions

Many times we tend to take a picture in haste and without thinking: “Can I make this a better shot.” In this video-lecture we show four great ways to getting a better composition by cleaning up or "Simplifying the Image" before we shoot.

Simplify the Photograph

Understand why the term "Red Eye" is associated with a photograph when using a camera’s flash.  See how the iris in our eyes makes all the difference.

How to Know and Avoid “Red Eye”
Knowing Our Tools and Accessories
17 Lectures 01:27:03

No we’re not recommending what to buy, but to ask yourself the right questions when you do.  Buying a camera is never easy; so don’t get bogged down with Megapixels and the “Next Best Thing”.  What you want to do with your photography, in the end, is your best guide when purchasing a new camera.

Tips on Buying a Camera

Ever wonder what to pack in your "Camera Bag" or what size bag to buy? Learn more about how to fill those bags with the essential items, so that you’re ready for your next vacation or photo outing. Know that the proper camera bag allows us to care well for our camera equipment.

Buying a Good Camera Bag

Yes, a clean lens and camera will make all the difference to our image.  Here we explain what the proper cleansers are and what not to use.  Cameras are sensitive little gadgets and expensive too, so don't let the dust, sand or make-up ruin it.  "Keeping Your Camera Clean" is no different then keeping our reading glasses clean.  We need to see our best!

Keeping Our Cameras Clean

Just because cameras today are small and easy to hold, doesn’t mean we only use one hand to shoot.  This segment discusses the many ways you can "Keep the Camera Steady" and few easy thoughts on being conscience of this idea.  Learn the correct ways to hold your camera and stabilize it, so your photographs always stay sharp.

Keeping Our Cameras Steady and Using Tripods

Ah... those pesky size whatchamicallits!  Learn how our images size up.  See what "Jpeg Sizes" are, and how each size is also enhanced by the "Resolution" we set for each.  Learn what it means to maximize our images and take advantage of our camera’s optimum Megapixels. 

What are Jpegs and Their Differences

We’ve all heard the term, SD card or CF card or Micro SD card etc.  This lesson shows what those differences are between "Media Cards" and how they work with our cameras.

Know the Different Media and Memory Cards

Sunny days and dark shadows - how do we turn on our flash when photographing outdoors?  Hint: get yourself off the Auto mode, and come see how to fill in those dark shadows. "Using the Flash Outdoors"  the next time you're taking photos on a sunny day will make a huge difference!

How to Use our Flash Outdoors

This video-lecture discusses how "Using the Flash Indoors" will make our images appear better, and not letting the flash, be all the light we see in our shot.  Learn how to use the flash more creatively by combining it with other camera features.

How to Use our Flash Indoors

Discover the proper uses of an external flash, called an "ETTL". (Evaluate-Through-The-Lens). It allows us a lot more flexibility with images; when we want to use a flash with more power and directional control.

Using What is Known as an ETTL Flash [DSLR only]

Come see how a simple use of diffusion material can make all the difference when we use our flash!  Don’t let your flash blow out your image.  This simple idea of "Diffusing the Flash" will make us better photographers.

How to Diffuse our Flash

Ever find yourself walking along a wall that the sun is hitting and you discover how bright it feels?  That’s because the wall is now re-directing the light from the sun allowing the light to reflect onto us.  This video-lecture discusses "Using Light Reflectors", what photographic reflectors do, some samples of reflectors, and how they’re used when taking a picture.

How to Use a Light Reflector

In this lecture we explain what it means to move your bad images, to the trash.  Learn "How to Delete Images" from your camera's media card and then how to "Format the Media Card", so you can start fresh again.  Get ready to take out the trash!

Deleting our Images and Formatting the Media Card

This lecture explains differences between "Shooting with RAW"  versus "Shooting a Jpeg".  Are we the type of photographer who likes to customize every aspect of shooting, or are we the type of photographer who prefers that the camera automatically produce the custom shot for us? The difference lies on whether the camera does the processing for you or you do your own custom photographic processing afterwards.

Shooting Raw vs. Shooting a Jpeg [DSLR only]

Ever want to photograph something to sell online and need to get an exact size ratio?  Then "Using the Macro" feature on the camera is a good idea. This video-lecture shows how to photograph something small and to make it look big. The Macro feature in our camera allows us to see an object, at its exact size and what is referred to as, a “1 to 1 Ratio”.

Shooting with our Macro Setting or Using a Macro Lens

Discover the uses of the telephoto lens.  Understanding how "Using the Telephoto" lens and how it technically alters our focal length, lets us see how to use them creatively and can make a huge difference with our photographs.

Shooting with a Telephoto Lens

Understanding how a wide-angle lens sees wider than how our eyes see, is just the beginning to "Using the Wide Angle" creatively.  Learning what distortion is, and how to utilize the constructive and destructive aspects with a wide angle, helps us reach a new level in our photographic knowledge.

Shooting with a Wide Angle Lens

This lecture shows how  zoom lenses operate and how "Using the Zoom" correctly, can make our images look better. Also to understand the term “Focal Length” and why it’s important as we move between the "Wide" and "Telephoto" limits of our lens.

Shooting with a Zoom Lens
Exposing our Photographs
11 Lectures 45:37

This video-lecture lets us see how a camera lens and how our eyes operate in a similar fashion.  And like how the iris in our eye may widen or become narrow when a light is turned on or off, our aperture operates the same way.  See how this process also helps us understand our image Depth of Field and how F-Stops make up the numerical values of our “Aperture”… sound difficult, it’s not!

Understanding and Using our Aperture Correctly [DSLR only]

International Organization for Standardization  or "ISO" is the setting for measuring of image sensor’s sensitivity to light.  So when setting our ISO on our cameras ranging from 80 to 400 and up, we are telling the camera’s image sensor to see more when it’s darker or to hold back when it’s brighter.  Think of how we use sunglasses in the day, and how we need lights at night.  Setting the ISO is one way as photographers to be in the best range for getting the proper exposure.

The ISO and Reading Light

Come and discover how the electronic shutter in today’s cameras is composed of light sensitive photodiodes that capture the amount of light by how we set the timing or  the "Shutter Speed" on our cameras.  But not only to take control of the amount of time we allow light to enter the lens, but to also control the movement within the photograph.

Knowing How to Use our Shutter Speeds Part One

Learn how to control the "Shutter Speed" while using the flash at the same time!

Knowing How to Use our Shutter Speeds Part Two

When we find ourselves in unique lighting situations that require us to make our image lighter or darker, and yet we don’t want to change anything else, the "Exposure Control" feature on our camera allows us to do just that. 

How to Use the Exposure Compensation

This video-lecture shows how our cameras use a few ways to determine our exposures.  Understand the differences between "Evaluate”, "Center-Weight" and "Spot" metering when taking a picture, and how we can be more creative in how we capture the light when using our different "Metering" options.

Knowing the Differences of our Meter Choices

If we think of a photograph in terms of a scale from lights to darks, then in order to see how those tones are part of our images, our "Histogram" tool is what we use to make sure we are obtaining our best exposure for our photograph.  Using the screen on the back of our cameras is only to show us what we shot, but our Histogram shows us “how” the camera metered and exposed the image.  This is how we determine if our photograph has been exposed properly.
How to Read the Histogram

This video-lecture discusses a feature called the "AEL" or the "Auto Exposure Lock". By allowing us to pre-measure the amount of light or the “exposure” prior to clicking the shutter, we can then use this setting to shoot another. and more.  Pretty cool idea next time you want to make a quick adjustment to your exposure before taking a picture. Come see how this feature just may become your best tool on your camera.

AEL – Auto Exposure Lock

Did you know you could alter the color tones of your shot with just a few creative steps?  See why knowing the uses of the "AWB" or "Auto White Balance" settings can make our photographs appear more emotional or how we can set a mood within our photographs all by changing how the camera captures the color of light.

AWB – Auto White Balance

Discover how indirect light can improve our image, and apply what in known as "Open Shade".  Next time you and a friend move to get out of the sun, look at how your faces become more even toned when in the shade.  The idea of shooting in the open shade, helps us obtain a better and softer look to our portraits of family and friends, and objects.

Using the Open Shade

"Image Flare" is a ray of light that hits our lens from a wrong angle streaking across our image looking as if some kind of shooting star visited our photograph.  Sometimes it’s a geometric shape also, but no matter how it appears - Flare is light that cannot reach the camera’s sensor located on the inside back of the camera.  Our video-lecture about flare shows you how to protect your lens and how to also use flare creatively.

The Pros and Cons of Image Flare
Creating Better Photographs
14 Lectures 01:00:44

This video-lecture is about the function in our scene mode series called “Beach Scene Mode”.  This mode alters the exposure of our photograph and allows the camera to tone down the highlights, while bringing up the tones in the shadows at the same time. Thus giving us a more pleasing image when taking photographs at the beach.

Using the Basic Scene Mode: Beach Scene

This video-lecture teaches us how to obtain maximum sharpness in our images.  With a bit of understanding of our "Landscape Mode" function, we can even focus on something through a window or screen and not have our cameras focus on the windowpane itself!

Using the Basic Scene Mode: Landscape Scene

Ever wonder why at night our images always look so flashed?  Well that’s because most of us keep our cameras set on the Auto Mode.  Doing this will always make the camera shoot this way, but we can make it better… actually much better.  See how by using the "Night Scene" mode, we get to have more control over our camera and flash, and get to include all those background lights too.  This is fun stuff!

Using the Basic Scene Mode: Night Scene

Here in this video-lecture we discuss how the function called the "Portrait Scene" mode can make a difference when shooting a person as the main subject.  Also known as a portrait. This function helps secure the proper focus on them or what is closest to the camera.  And unlike our cameras set in Auto Mode, in the Portrait Scene mode we also get to take control of our cameras flash by being able to turn it on or off manually.

Using the Basic Scene Mode: Portrait Scene

OK we all love the shot, but did anyone see that branch sticking out of Dad’s head?!  "Paying Attention to Backgrounds" is just one of the many ways a photographer creates a great photograph.  Don’t let your shot fall short of becoming a great photograph.

Paying Attention to our Backgrounds

Learn what it means to position a subject in and around the surroundings of the photograph and how using the "Foreground and Background" properly can help better build your photograph's composition.

The Differences Between the Foreground and Background

Ever wonder how to be consistent with your focus every time?  Well you can with your "Focus Lock".  It’s that little box that appears on your camera screen when you’re ready to click the shutter button.  Learn how to use this correctly and then how to re-position your shot while holding the focus in place and correct your composition.

How to Focus Lock

Think it’s hard to follow that action of your child playing? Think Again. This video-lecture shows us how to capture that movement with ease and know how to operate your camera correctly, while "Panning" your action.

Shooting Movement and Panning

OK, this one sounds easy and most of us know what it means, but do you really?  And why is there a 2 second timer setting?  Here we explain in this video-lecture how the feature called "Self-Timer" is both fun and a great tool to becoming a more creative photographer.

Using our Self-Timer

"Taking a Close Up" may seem like a simple task to do with our cameras. However if we give it a bit more thought and take advantage of our zoom lens, we can create more interesting and animated images of our family and friends. This video-lecture shows a few tips on keeping ourselves aware on the finer points when taking a close up of someone.
Photographing a Close-Up

This video-lecture is about shooting a panoramic image.  What is, a "Panorama" and how you can explore more creative ways to shooting panoramic images. And learn what “Stitch Assist” programs are and how they’re used to create the final panoramic photograph.
Note: Even though camera manufacturers are now letting us "auto-stitch" right when we take the photo, the ideals behind our video-lecture are still true regardless.
Shooting Panoramas

Yes we all want to take perfect photos of our pets, but how do we prepare for "Photographing Pets"?  With a bit of knowledge and forethought, this video-lecture shows how to getting the best from our pets doesn’t have to be difficult. 

Tips on Photographing Pets

Don’t miss another birthday photo of your loved one blowing out candles.  Learn that by seeing candles as another light source and setting up the camera ahead of time, does make a huge difference.  This video-lecture helps explain how by combining camera features at the same time will allow us to prepare better when "Photographing a Birthday Party"

Taking Better Birthday Party Photographs

Learn how there’s more to taking a self-portrait then just taking a photo in front of a mirror.  In this video-lecture "Taking a Self-Portrait" shows how having full control of your composition and be the main “subject” of the photograph, will produce a more creative sense of yourself to share with others.

Taking a Self-Portrait
Think More Like a Photographer
6 Lectures 31:11

This video-lecture shows what it means to see at different angles and why those views can make a huge difference when telling a story in images.  Just think about how your dog may see the world from their view and in turn why we see it completely different in ours.  What is your "POV" or "Point of View"?

Having a Point of View or POV

"Telling a Story with Pictures" helps us learn more about the relationship photographs can have with one another. Using various camera techniques can also offer us more “points-of-view” and allow us to convey a better narrative, when telling that photographic story.

Telling a Story with Photographs

Learn and understand how using "Shadows" in our images can help support our compositions and how they can help achieve a more fascinating and dynamic image.  And how shadows themselves can become the very subject of an image as well.

Using Shadows When Creating Photographs

Learn how to use a flashlight, like a paintbrush and create a “Light Painting”. This unique way to be creative with your photography is fun and thoughtful. We believe that every once in a while it’s good to do something outside the box, and why we created this video-lecture.  We also made this one with a bit of humor. Have fun with this idea!

Playing with Light and Creating “Light Paintings”

"Using a Window Light" has more to it than meets the eye.  This video-lecture teaches us how to have a creative awareness of this beautiful light source right in our homes. Then, see how a few adjustments to our cameras can emphasize this window light, giving us a more creative photograph. 

How to Use the Window Light to our Advantage: Part One

Part Two on “Using Window Light” teaches us some advanced techniques like our "Spot Meter" and utilizing a reflector to bounce back our window light. We created some nice graphics with this video-lecture, giving us a feeling like we’re behind the camera taking the shot.  We feel that Part Two of our window light set will leave you with a set of tools in mind so you’ll never look at a window the same again.

How to Use the Window Light to our Advantage: Part Two
Technical Extras and Knowledge
8 Lectures 42:16

Discover one of photography’s little talked about principles the "Aspect Ratio".  See how it affects our prints, yet find out how simple it really is to understand, and that it is nothing more than the relationship between the height and width of our image.

What is Aspect Ratio?

Learn how to "Copy Artwork" in the same manner a professional photogapher may achieve this task and see how a few simple rules can make all the difference, when copying artworks and paintings.

Copying Art Works: Part One

This video-lecture explains how you can copy any artwork easily and accurately right in your home using the same techniques and rules that a professional would use. 

Copying Art Works: Part Two

Understand how our camera, at times, is an extension of our computer.  Getting our images off our camera is the next step when we want to make prints or to share our images with friends and family. Take the next step "Downloading Images to the Computer" and don’t let your kids grow up to become Jpegs!

Downloading our Photographs Properly to our Computers

This video-lecture shows us how to create various Jpeg sizes so we can send smaller image files through the Internet.  Learn the differences between what it means to create a "Jpeg Compression” for email, or for printing.  Then move onto our second video, Part Two, where we explain how to "Resize an Image" to  alter our pixel dimensions and crop an image.
Resizing an Image and Compressing a Jpeg: Part One

Now that "Compressing a Jpeg" makes a bit more sense, this next video-lecture, takes it a bit further by altering our pixel dimensions for websites and for setting a print for framing. See what really happens to the image’s pixels as we create new file sizes.

Note: We created a chart for you to download that will help guide you next time you feel the need to alter your photograph's compression or size.  Please click on chart below.

Resizing an Image and Compressing a Jpeg: Part Two

The biggest misconception that floats around "Using the iPhone Camera" is that it is not a real camera, but did you know that a 4x6 print doesn’t need more then 2 megapixels! The iPhone is very capable of making a great 4x6 image like many other stand alone cameras.

Note: Personally we own iPhone 5s and find them to be useful tools when "Image Capturing".  However don't feel that it can replace using a camera, especially when it comes to creativity.  Using a phone is convenient, and don't make the mistake that adding a cool effect to the shot makes anyone a better photographer... it only makes the image look cool.  If you are using your phone more and more, than we suggest you apply our lessons, as you continue to use it.  At some point, you will want a better "Camera"!

The iPhone as a Camera and it’s Operation

Part Two of "Using the iPhone Camera" shows how easy it is to download your images to your computer from the iPhone.

Downloading Images from the iPhone to our Computers
About the Instructor
Digital 1 to 1
4.9 Average rating
6 Reviews
240 Students
1 Course
Digital Photography Made Simple™ created by seasoned pros.

Digital 1 to 1 – is Ken Pivak and Santino Zafarana

Ken Pivak is an LA-based commercial photographer who has been creating images for national advertising, fashion designers, and celebrity portraiture in a career spanning more than 3 decades. His work has also graced many photo industry trade magazines, showcasing his talents both as a photographer and his ability to express his conceptual imagery using Photoshop. Ken has taught professionals and beginners alike through seminars and personal training. Born and raised in NYC, his roots began with a BFA in Photography (1985) from the School of Visual Arts, and many years assisting some of the photo industry's giants. His true passion culminated with the creation and launch of Digital 1 to 1 in 2007, with his partner Santino Zafarana.

His personal goal: “After years of getting others proud of the images they're in, my dream is to get everyone proud of the images they create".

See Ken's pro works can be seen on his site: [www.kenpivak.com]

Santino Zafarana has been in the photography business as a commercial, Fine Art photographer and an inspiring educator for over 35 years. Born in Italy and raised in New York City, earned a BFA from St. John University and MFA from Pratt Institute, owned and ran a successful photo studio New York in the 1970s and 1980s. After moving to California, he spent over a decade as Fuji Film's west coast product specialist, helping expand the company's product line while teaching thousands of photographers to identify and understand key picture-taking techniques. A long-time professional's professional and early digital camera pioneer, Santino developed hundreds of unique lesson plans to teach anyone at any level how to be more creative in taking better photographs. Going international as an educator with a special love for inspiring young photographers, he co-created the world's largest Internet video series on How To photography, called Digital 1 to 1. He continues to teach an intensive photography program at a private school called New Roads in Santa Monica, CA near his studio. His latest book; Dreams, Fantasies and Illusions, is a look into the human psyche through the art of photography. His photography work has been exhibited in many galleries both in New York and California. “To inspire and empower young minds to creatively tell stories through the art of photography. Capturing simple or complex moment in time, through the eyes, mind, heart and soul of a photographer".