April 22, 2021


Sony and Minolta SLR Weblog

Introducing Alphatracks Basics — for new digital photographers


Jan 1, 2009: Observant Alphatracks readers might have noticed a new Photography Basics section listed on the sidebar. The Basics area is still in development; in fact there is currently only a single article: a treatise on Depth of Field.

The idea behind Basics came about because I’ve noticed that Alphatracks readers are comprised of all experience and skill levels. Some have been shooting as long or longer than I have, while others have just acquired their first Sony Alpha. Some haven’t even bought that shiny new dSLR, but they frequent the site because they are looking for advise on which model will fit their needs.

I’m happy to have such as a diverse readership, but when I’m writing a technical post, I struggle with how much background information to include. I don’t want to turn off experienced photographers by spending too much time on introductory topics. At the same time, I worry that new Alpha shooters may find some posts too difficult, unless I delve into the fundamentals. So I am torn between offering too much or too little peripheral information.

For 2009, I have plans to look more deeply at Sony and Minolta lenses, flash units and accessories. For obvious reasons, some of these posts will be somewhat technical. It occurred to me that if I had a section on the site that was dedicated to photographic principals, I could eliminate the need to include much of the raw detail of a technical piece. If I think a particular post might require additional info, I can simply link to the relevant text in the Basics area. In that way, experienced photographers won’t feel bogged down by elementary material, but I can direct those requiring more clarification to a thorough explanation.

It seemed like a good idea, so I created Basics.

I think it might become a popular addition to Alphatracks. I added the Depth of Field piece just to get everything organized. I did none of the usual promotion I typically do to encourage readership of a new post. With only a single, small link on the sidebar, the depth of field article attracted dozens of viewers in the first hour. I seems that many readers were looking for that information.

I will be adding to the Basics section as time permits. Just simple, bite-size discussions of basic photographic theory. Of course the usual posts won’t change. I think I have lined-up material that will appeal to all levels of Sony Alpha users. If I can just find the time, I have ideas for product reviews, interviews, more “Alphatracks Visits” pieces and the technical lens and accessory discussions I alluded to earlier. I’m sure that Sony will have some interesting news in the coming year as well. And now that the holidays are over, I will resume posting weekly tips. So if you liked Alphatracks in the past, I think you’ll enjoy the 2009 edition.

Here’s wishing everyone a great 2009, filled with great images.