For all those basics of photography, exposure is the most important. If you don't have this down, composition and framing become a moot point in beginner. Read, ask, trial and error, get a mentor. ® Make a plan! ® Work through the basic skills – then the not so basic. ® Keep a record of useful material. ® Don't know. In this unit, you will learn basic knowledge and fundamental techniques of photography with digital cameras. Seven skills in the second part are prerequisite to.
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Digital cameras employ an electronic sensor consisting of a large number of square cells or “pixels”. Photons hitting a cell create an electrical charge. TIPS AND TECHNIQUES THERE ARE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF. PHYSICS FIRST PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN BY JOSEPH NICÉPHORE NIÉPCE IN FRANCE. DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY BASICS FOR BEGINNERS by Robert Berdan rberdan @ronaldweinland.info ronaldweinland.info These notes are.
This book contains proven steps and strategies on how to take photos the right way with your digital camera. You'll learn about all sorts of amazing points that relate to these cameras. These are fascinating cameras in that they come with a variety of features. You can take a look at many points in this book including how photos are to be taken, how you can create nice looks and how to make your images stable as you take them. You will also learn about common mistakes that people make and whether or not you might be at risk of creating a photo that isn't as sharp as you want it to be.
Your camera is now your everyday companion; try to take it with you wherever you go. You never know when a great photography opportunity might come up. Remember that quote Cool things always happen when you dont have a camera. So make sure you dont miss out on anything. And taking care of your camera is also important; dont keep it in extreme hot and cold conditions. Keep it in a covered space.
Setting up the date and time in your camera will help you when you try to sort your photographs. It is a digital camera and since you have so much memory you would not think twice before clicking a picture; it is like getting a gun with unlimited ammo. But when you try to sort it later, it might a pain. Setting up the date and time accurately will help you with details like when was the picture taken and what the time was. It is a very minor detail but it can add value to your photographs.
These are some basic tips to use to make sure you get a good photograph. Cleaning: The lens and sensor always have to stay clean for the camera to work right. Cleaning them will prevent unwanted dots and dust particles from appearing in your beauty shot. Get a lens cloth and use it only to clean the lens. Always clean the lens in a circular motion.
While changing the lens, make sure you are in a safe environment; it helps in keeping the sensor clean or else dirt can easily attack the sensor as it is exposed. Keep the camera off while doing the transition. Most DSLRs have auto sensor cleaning options. Lock the target: Always lock your target before clicking a picture. It is about good composition and perfect order. You target can be your friends, a tourist group or maybe just some fruits on the table. Frame your shots: Framing is what makes photographs appear rich and high in quality.
To become a good photographer, you must have an eye to frame your shots. Place your target properly and make sure you leave some headroom. It is not necessary to keep your target directly in the center of the frame.
Do some experiments and study some photographs in magazines. You will get an idea of what works best. Lighting makes a difference: Proper lighting helps in defining the mood of the photograph.
Play around with internal flash settings and check out how it works in various environments. Soon you will get an idea of what settings are best for each type of shot. You can also attach external flash units for advanced photography.
A good lighting set up can change from night to day.
Controlled Exposure: You need to learn how to manually control the exposure level on your camera. Auto exposure is good in some photographs but if you want to take professional photographs then you will need to master this art. Controlled exposure will help you take pictures with more focus on your subjects. Exposure is directly related to the shutter.
Manual controls will give you the best results. For example, if you try to take a picture of a cloudy sky then the auto exposure feature will focus on all the white clouds in the sky while you might just want to focus on one beautiful cloud.
The iris will be closed to focus on all the white clouds and it can lead to an underexposed photo or a dark photo. Depth of Field: Ever seen those photographs where you see an object in focus in front and the background is blurred? That is the depth of field. Once you learn the basics of this, your creativity will expand beyond limits.
This can really add professionalism to your photographs. This works best with a Macro lens for close up photography. You can set the focus on the exact target.
ISO and shutter speed are the other two. Needless to mention, aperture is as vital to photography as ISO and shutter speed are hence popular to talk about.
What aperture does is one of two things: the background of an image is either blurred or in what may appear as wizardry, the background and the foreground objects are brought to focus. A simplistic definition of an aperture would be a lens with a hole in it for light to travel into the body of the camera. A lens on a camera can be comparable to the human eye. The underlying concept behind all cameras of this day and age is the human eye.
The cornea of a human eye is comparable to the front portion of a lens through which external light passes to reach the iris. How much the iris would expand or contract is directly related to and indeed dependent on how much external light is available which in turn regulates the pupils size as well, thus letting light enter the eye even further.
In photography, parlance pupil is comparable to aperture. A look at how much light would pass through to the retina is comparable to the sensor of a camera depends on how large or small the pupil is.
Hence, an aperture of a camera resembles and is indeed similar to the pupil of a human eye. The iris is commonly referred to in the photography world as a diaphragm.
What the diaphragm does is prevent light from passing or entering; the exception being those lights that enter through the aperture. They arent blocked by the diaphragm. F-Numbers The expression of aperture in photography is in f-numbers or stops. This is an indication of how large or small the aperture is. If the f-stop is small, it indicates that the aperture is large. Conversely, a large f-stop would mean the aperture is small. The logic behind such a relationship is skewed. Generally large numbers are associated with large values and vice versa but this is indeed an exception.
With a small f-number, all objects in the foreground and background will be brought to focus. It is to make the objects in the foreground look relatively sharper than the objects in the background which would look blurred. There is a limit that every lens has in relation to the size of the aperture. The specifications of any lens would mention the maximum and minimum apertures, in other words the lowest and highest fnumbers. The maximum aperture of a lens is more relevant than the minimum as it shows how fast or slow the lens is.
Hence for photography in low light, a slow lens would be ideal. Lenses Lenses are of two types: fixed or prime and zoom. A zoom lens is flexible as it can be used to zoom in or out. Point and shoot cameras have zoom lenses and therefore it is not necessary to be physically near or far from the subject. Fixed or prime lenses on the other hand only have a single focal length. The optical design of zoom lenses is complex; hence most lenses for consumers are equipped with variable apertures.
What this means is that based on whether the user is zooming in or out, the f-number of the aperture would increase to a maximum or decrease to a minimum accordingly. Exposure Exposure in photography has to do with how light or dark an image is after it is captured. To a great extent, photography is about intuition and tinkering with the exposure triangle would gradually and eventually turn a rookie photographer into a pro.
Attaining just the right exposure has similarities with accumulating rain water in a bucket. Even though rainfall cannot be controlled, what can be controlled when you are taking a picture, for comparison's sake, is the size of the bucket, how long the bucket is left in the rain and how much rain water accumulates. Keep the exposure right so the picture looks its best. The underlying concept of combining width, time and quantity variables in as many different combinations as possible aims at achieving just the right exposure.
A bucket which is wide enough would be full in no time whereas a bucket that is not as wide would not be full even if it were to be left in the rain for the same length of time. Natural light for a photographer is just like rainfall: Both cannot be controlled. It relates to how well the camera can get a photo taken. This is a part of DSLR cameras that cannot be ignored. The sensor of a camera has a curtain in the front.
This is the camera shutter which remains closed until the camera shoots. The moment the camera shoots, the curtain or the shutter opens instantly and the sensor is exposed to enable light to pass through the aperture of the lens. As soon as the sensor captures the light, the shutter shuts down instantaneously, thereby preventing the light reaching the sensor.
The button that triggers the camera to shoot is known as the shutter button. Shutter speed, or exposure time, means the duration the shutter of a camera is open to expose the sensor to light.
A fast shutter speed would result in frozen action. A slow shutter speed would result in an effect known as motion blur where objects look blurred as they are in motion in a certain direction. Motion blur is widely used in car and motorbike advertisements to convey the notion of motion and speed by blurring the wheels that are in motion or the surroundings of that vehicle. Photographs of thunder and lightning or low light photography that are achieved through mounting the camera on a tripod are examples of shots where the shutter speed is slow.
Photographers who take photographs of landscapes that have rivers and waterfalls maintain slow shutter speeds to accentuate and convey a sense of motion and speed and yet keep all else in focus. Action can be frozen with a high shutter speed. With a slow shutter speed, an artificial sense of motion can be created. A fraction of a second is all it takes to measure shutter speed.
The shutter speed on almost all DSLRs is typically 30 seconds which is the longest. A shutter speed of more than one second is considered a long shutter speed and a tripod is recommended for low-light photography at night or for motion photography.
Shutter speeds and aperture are set by most cameras automatically with the auto mode feature. If aperture priority mode is selected then the lens aperture can be selected and the shutter speed can also be automatically set by the camera.
Manually, the shutter speed can be set by selecting the shutter priority mode where the shutter speed can be set and the aperture is automatically selected by the camera.
Shutter speed can be found by looking on the viewfinder. There should be a number on the bottom left corner of the screen. On most DSLRs, the shutter speed would not be represented as a fraction of a second but rather as a number. If the shutter speed still cannot be ascertained, the camera should be set to aperture priority mode and by looking through the viewfinder; the camera should be positioned in the direction of an area that is dark.
The display will have numbers which should be noted. Manual Mode After practicing on aperture priority mode and shutter priority mode in terms of which mode is better, there isnt a unanimous opinion, good or bad, for either of the two modes. The fact is they are both available for a definite purpose and can be used according to the demands of a situation.
As they say, practice makes perfect. Playing around with different shooting modes would instill a style in photography to ascertain which mode is best to be used in a particular situation. For instance, if the background needs to be blurred or if everything should be in focus then aperture priority should be used. On the other hand, if the speed at which the image is captured is more important then shutter priority mode should be used. Anyone who's an expert in these particular modes will have a much easier time with the manual mode feature on the camera.
Shooting in manual mode is possible by turning the dial on the top part of the camera to M. You can check the manual with your camera for information on what shutter speed and aperture to use while you are on manual mode. Being familiar with what aperture priority and shutter priority to use can help you to quickly set your preferences in terms of shutter speeds and apertures.
Care should be taken on exposure while the shutter speed and aperture are reconfigured. An ideal setting for an exposure would be zero. For brighter pictures though, an exposure setting anywhere between 0 and 1 would be ideal. Inbuilt Flash Every camera has an inbuilt flash.
The computer of the camera ascertains whether or not flash is required in relation to exposure, focus and zoom level. The activation of the inbuilt flash in compact cameras is synchronized with the shutter speed. The difficult part though is controlling how intense the flash would be and at what exact time the flash would trigger. As a result, pictures could appear washed-out.
Pop-up flashes are also available on DSLRs and the pop-up flash and the shutter speed used at a given time can be synchronized. How intense the flash would be would depend on the general light of the shot and may be tweaked accordingly. The flash on DSLR cameras can be used in a manner that is artistic and soothing to the eye. Chapter 3 Getting a Photo Ready Now we can start talking about getting a photo ready the right way. Here are a few points to figure out.
Fast and Slow Speeds The name itself is suggestive of the speed at which the curtain of the shutter in front of the sensor opens and closes.
In other words, it is how fast or slow the curtain of the shutter opens and closes, thereby enabling an exposure as light passes through to the sensor. How much light would enter the camera depends on the apertures size which translates to a hole in the lens. Shutter speed commands the duration of the sensor s exposure to light. The shutter speed is visible at the bottom of the viewfinder and on the LCD screen as well.
Fast shutter speeds typically have high numbers. Low numbers are indicative of slow shutter speeds: 1. A certain level of exposure can be maintained consistently when the shutter speed and aperture are in sync. Shutter speed and aperture have an inverse relationship. With an increase in the shutter speed, there would be a decrease in aperture and vice versa. Apertures that are relatively smaller restrict light from entering the camera, necessitating the shutter speed to be slow.
The purpose of a slow shutter speed is to ensure that the sensor is exposed for a little longer than with a fast shutter speed. If the aperture is wide it means there is plenty of light coming into the image.
With this, shutter speed needs to be fast and therefore there would be less time for the snapshot. In automatic and semi-automatic modes, the camera will automatically adjust to a proper speed. However, on manual mode the adjustment has to be done on your own. How fast or slow the shutter speed would be is limited by the aperture of the lens set to maximum.
How to Focus An image will be formed when light passes through a convex lens. What the image will look like depends on the path that light travels on to enter the lens. Which path light will take depends on two vital factors; one is the angle at which the beam of light enters the lens and the other being what the lens is made of.
The angle at which light enters the lens can vary with the proximity of the object in relation to the lens. The light beam regardless of how it enters is bent by the lens to a certain degree. Hence, light beams with a sharp angle of entry would have a blunt angle of exit and vice versa.
The bending angle on the lens remains constant at any specific point. Light beams within proximity of the lens can converge at a distance while light beams from a point that is far away from the lens converge at a nearer spot. The crux of the matter is that the actual image of an object that is closer is formed at a distance whereas the actual image from a distant object is formed nearer.
This phenomenon could be observed by lighting a candle in the dark with a magnifying glass held between the candle and the wall. The image of the candle can be seen upside down on the wall. If the candles image cannot be seen on the wall then it would appear a little blurred. Thats because the light beams emanating from a certain point are yet to converge.
To bring the image of the candle in focus, the magnifying glass should be moved nearer or kept at a distance from the candle. This is exactly what is done by turning the camera lens to focus it essentially what is done is the lens is nearer or at a distance from the surface of the film. As the lens moves, the actual focused image is aligned so that it rests on the surface of the film. Choosing AF Points Focusing has never been as simple and easy as it is to do these days.
All one has to do is use any of the basic zone shooting modes Full Auto, Portrait or Landscape and the DSLR camera is fully automated and programmed to work in the background. Its that simple and easy. The shutter button needs to be feather-touched and more often than not the camera would be in focus within a fraction of a second as the snapshot is ready to be taken.
Every now and then though, there might be photographs that just arent sharp enough. The solution lies in the autofocus system and how it actually works. If free rein were to be given, a typical DSLR would use its entire gamut of nine autofocus sensors that are strewn in and around the frame of the image. The AF points are scattered and spread out at different sections of the frame. Sophisticated cameras can have six AF Assist points in addition to the first nine but unlike the first nine, no one can actually select them on a manual basis.
Info from all AF points is used in the focusing process. The distance between each object from the camera is calculated and the nearest object is selected and in sync with an AF point and the AF is configured. This is how focusing on the nearest object is achieved but that isnt the case every time.
Close-up shots or a camera with a telephoto lens attached would reduce the depth of field. This would force the photographer to be as accurate as possible with no real room for error in the process of taking an image.
Chapter 4 Getting Objects Sharp You can get different objects to look clear with ease with such a fine camera.
There are many things that you can do to make your photos look more attractive. Getting Things Sharp Tack sharp is a part of photography jargon which means that an images clarity is as great as it can be. Focus and contrast are two elements that impact the sharpness of an image. An image is tack sharp when the focus of the image is crisp, has a suitable contrast and is from a pixel level where there isnt any noticeable blur. The notion that image clarity can be enhanced by a photo editing software program is ill conceived.
If the image itself is not tack sharp while the photograph is being taken, editing an image with software isnt going to rectify and enhance the quality of the image in terms of contrast. Also, software may not work all that well with regards to fine detailing or with trying to remove blur from the image to make it sharp.
Hence it is absolutely vital to master the art of capturing tack sharp images directly from the source the camera. Shutter Speed Shutter speed is a big point to see when you are trying to focus on sharpness. The reasons behind blurred images that aren't sharp come firstly from how the camera may shake as it may be held in hand.
The shutter speed may either be slow or not as fast as it should be to capture a subject that is moving. Knowing how to rectify the issues is crucial to capturing images that are tack sharp. What shutter speed should be used would depend on the subject that is being shot, whether the subject is in motion or is still and the effect that the person taking the photograph intends to attain. A salient point to be noted is that the proximity of an object in motion in relation to the person taking the photograph would determine the shutter speed.
In other words, if the person is near an object in motion then a fast shutter speed would cause the action to stop. A rule of thumb in photography is the reciprocal rule which is widely used.
What this rule aims at achieving is to find the slowest shutter speed that can be used while the camera is hand held and to also keep the camera from shaking.
The rule mentions that while the camera is held by hand, the shutter speed should be faster than the lenss reciprocal focal length. The rule is controversial and at the same time can be relied upon. It is only meant to be used as a guideline for setting shutter speeds. This is a big point for photos that need to be as sharp as possible. Effective Focal Length A good indicator of a lenss focal length would be the size of a 35mm film roll. If the camera has a full frame digital sensor which is similar in size as a 35mm frame then the effective focal length would be the lens markings.
A basic DSLR would have a relatively smaller sensor and the effective focal length has to be calculated manually. If there is a crop factor then the focal lengths reciprocal has to be multiplied to ascertain a minimum shutter speed. Multiple Bursts Your chances of capturing tack sharp images while the camera is hand held would increase exponentially if the camera is on a continuous shooting mode where multiple shots are taken back to back.
It can be expected that at least one shot out of so many would be tack sharp. Image Stabilization Shutter speed can be slow with an image stabilizer on the camera. You can try and shoot at speeds of stops if the lens permits. All lenses have their own factors for how they can take stable images so be certain that you will be using the right ideas when getting those images taken correctly.
Tripod A tripod is an essential accessory to keep with a camera still so you can actually get sharp pictures. However, care needs to be taken while downloading one as there are many different tripods out there to choose from.
If a camera with the largest lens attached can rest on a tripod then it will certainly be to your advantage. Also, different weather conditions are a good indicator of whether or not a tripod can support the weight of the camera and not cause the camera to shake or fall with the camera mounted on the tripod. Hence the necessity of a good quality tripod cannot be emphasized enough. There are limitations in terms of the weights of tripods and these weights can be compared with the weight of the camera with the largest lens attached to the camera.
If the cameras weight with the heaviest lens attached is almost equal to the maximum permissible weight limit on that tripod then it is almost certain that the camera would shake regardless of the weather conditions. It is recommended for lenses with image stabilizer and vibration reduction features that the image stabilizer be turned off while the camera is mounted on a tripod.
The fact is there are a handful of tripods that can actually keep the camera with the heaviest lens mounted in a stable pattern. Also, the camera might still shake a little bit due to the split second movement caused by pressing the shutter release. This is all it takes to not have a tack sharp image at slow shutter speeds.
A remote shutter release or a self-timer is the solution as that does not require a need for touching the camera. Hence if for example the day is bright and sunny and outdoor shots are being taken, an ideal ISO would be The higher the ISO, the more light the camera would need.
For indoor shots without a flash when its not well lit up, the ISO ought to be set typically to or higher so that the shutter speed is sufficiently high to allow you to hold your camera with your hand.
With a high ISO, pictures may appear grainy which does not look good if the color of the picture is either red or orange. Therefore, using the lowest ISO possible is advisable.
The shutter speed should have a denominator which is faster than the focal length. A slow shutter speed with the camera mounted on a tripod and a remote release or a self-timer would be an even better option to eliminate the possibility of the camera shaking.
If a tripod isnt an option then the ISO could be raised or an external flash could be used. For subjects that are moving or are in motion, doing away with blur isnt as easy. An action mode could be set on the camera or the shutter speed could be manually increased. Another way of reducing blur is to keep shutter lag to a minimum by keeping the trigger pressed halfway until the photographer is prepared to take the snapshot.
Mundane Photos Uniqueness in photography is what matters. A photograph ought to be attractive and a cut above the rest. A reasonably good photograph is expected of anyone but surely there is a difference between a lackluster photograph and one that is exceptional.
A photograph is exceptional when its taken skillfully. Every photography enthusiast should explore, discover and pursue their unique own styles. A photographer should not shun challenges so as to remain in one's comfort zone. Instead, one should rise up to the occasion and meet the challenge head on. Travel photography goes a long way in creating interesting and unique shots.
Inspiration in photography can be found everywhere, near and far and even in ones backyard. One has to have an eye for detail. Post Processing With post processing, complacency sets in as the inclination to be perfect would be to be less than inspired while taking a shot and to rely more on post processing to set things right.
Prior to taking a shot, appropriate and recommended camera settings should be adhered to. A test photo could be taken to make sure that lighting, composition, white balance and exposure are all perfect for the shot.
Lighting in particular needs to be proper as insufficient lighting cannot be fixed by post processing. To save time on post processing, photos need to be analyzed to rectify issues. Correcting mistakes that arent critical proactively is a far better option than relying on post processing. By doing so, the composition of photographs would be better and stronger which in turn would improve the skills of a photographer. Poor Lighting Decent lighting is vital to photography.
With proper lighting, a reasonably good photograph can become extraordinary. Outdoor photography turns out to be the best in the early morning or late evening as there is light for shots of scenes and portraits alike.
Portraits under an overcast sky make for a perfect shot as the light from an overcast sky would create subjects that are lit evenly, thereby having shadows that are negligible. Indoor shots should not be taken using flash.
Reliance on natural light is advisable. Contrast A photograph with a lot of contrast would have two extremes of light: the highlighted area and the shadowy spot. Photographs that are taken on a bright and sunny day are the ones where the contrast is quite apparent. The dark areas of the image could be filled in by using flash and the image could be underexposed as well to observe whether it makes any difference whatsoever.
Red Eye Even though an image editing software would rectify red eye effects, prevention is better than cure. Light-eyed people are generally prone to red eye due to the reflection of the flash on the retinas of their eyes.
Red eye could be prevented by not using the inbuilt flash of the camera as much as you might normally do. Some cameras do have an option of reducing red eye automatically; this is known as the automatic red-eye reduction mode. The alternative to avoiding red-eye is to have the subject not look into the camera so as that there isnt any reflection whatsoever.
Finally, if the room is bright then that would let light into the pupil of the subjects eye which would cause them to shrink. However, this may not be a practical solution as it is easier said than done. Off Colors Off-colors, or color casts as they are also known, are a common issue related to digital photography. No problem. If you are just reading it in your office, or a restaurant, or a coffee shop, then no matter what, you will never learn it.
Go back home, pick up your camera and then follow the next steps. Start the timer on your mobile phone now. Let us see how much time you will take to understand the manual mode. Some of the models may have the mode dial at the top left-hand side. Do not ignore this step. Consider picking up a decent subject in natural light.
Make sure to have good natural light. Try to avoid shooting in dimly lit rooms. So choose an inanimate object in the natural light and place your camera on a tripod.
Press the display button to see all the required Camera settings on the LCD screen. The image on the left shows the Aperture value f5. The Image on the right shows the ISO value which is circled in red. To set a lens to its maximum aperture just follow this. Which should select F-number as shown below. Then use the primary dial which usually behind the Shutter Button on the top and turn it in the anti-clockwise direction.
You should see F-number decreasing as you do it. You are turning the main dial in the wrong direction. You are turning the wrong dial. Just work around these four steps until you see F-number changing.
Once it starts to change, make sure to turn the dial until you see F-number cannot go any lower. Press on Quick mode button and use the right arrow to move to Aperture setting the F-number. Choose the minimum Aperture value for your lens. I know it all sounds confusing. But, just take it one step at a time. Choose the minimum ISO settings possible.
Again, turn the main dial in the anti-clockwise direction just as you did while setting Aperture until you get the ISO to show Whatever it is right now, just leave it at that as of now. Step 6: Press the Shutter button Press the shutter button. I mean it. This is an important aspect of learning. Just make them.
Make as many as you can. Take action, make mistakes, learn from mistakes. If you learn only the right way of doing things, as time passes, you will be scared to test anything else. Just play with it. Now let us talk about the picture you took.