Photography lesson

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  • Taking Pictures
    • The Compose and Expose rule
  • Compose
    • The creative or artistic bit where you arrange all of the elements of your picurture within the frame of the viewfinder o produce what should hopefully be an effective image.
  • Expose
    • The scientific and mechanical but where you expose your film to light through the lens of your camera.
    • The way you set up your camera will dictate the amount of light, how much and for how long the film is exposed for.
    • This will create different effects on your image.
  • Compose
    • Move objects or people if you have control over them.
    • Move yourself. Often pictures of everyday situations are most effective when taken from an unusual angle thus giving them a fresh resonance.
    • Close ups often work well. Consider the difference between holiday snaps and professional portraits.
    • An average snap, already been cropped to take out strangers in the background and to focus on the point of interest.
    • An extreme close up from the same image.
    • The picture quality has decreased somewhat but the slight blurring and use of black and white turns it into a much more interesting and evocative image.
    • This picture has been badly composed. The eye is drawn to the machinery, the shutter speed was too slow and as a result everything is blurred.
    • This picture has been more closely cropped. The photographer moved to follow the carriage while they were taking the picture to get a sharper shot. The background has been blurred in photoshop to focus on the subjects and give a shallower depth of field.
  • Quick Tips
    • Fill the frame, move in closer.
    • If you forget to do it at the time then crop pictures afterwards on the computer or when you manually expose and print them.
    • It makes such a difference.
  • Rule of thirds
    • One of the most popular 'rules' in photography is the Rule Of Thirds. It works like this: imaginary lines are drawn dividing the image into thirds both horizontally and vertically. You place important elements of your composition where these lines intersect.
    • Good places to put things; third of the way up, third of the way in from the left.
    • Duff places to put things; right in the middle, right at the top, right at the bottom, away in the corner.
    • Using the Rule of Thirds helps produce nicely balanced easy on the eye pictures. Also, as you have to position things relative to the edges of the frame it helps get rid of ' tiny subject surrounded by vast empty space' syndrome.
    • Once you have got the hang of the Rule of Thirds you will very quickly want to break it ! This is fine.
    • The Rule of Thirds is fairly structured but there are a great many methods you can employ which rely on your ability to 'see' things and incorporate them into your composition.
  • Using Your Camera
    • The degree of automation a camera offers you can vary from none at all, where you have to set all the controls manually, to fully automatic where the camera makes all the decisions and makes all the settings accordingly.
  • Focus
    • With focusing you have two choices, autofocus (AF) or manual focus.There are different types of autofocus systems but basically you either have it turned on or you don't. Although autofocus is pretty standard on new 35mm/APS cameras these days not having this feature isn't really a drawback. AF can be quick, convenient and fairly reliable but is by no means essential.The area where you will find most automation is in the control of exposure. More specifically the control of the aperture and shutter. These different types of automation are usually referred to as 'modes'. Most modern cameras are 'multi mode'
  • Exposure
    • The area where you will find most automation is in the control of exposure. More specifically the control of the aperture and shutter. These different types of automation are usually referred to as 'modes'. Most modern cameras are 'multi mode'
  • Modes
    • Basically there are four modes you can work in.
    • Manual.(M) You set the aperture and shutter yourself.
    • Aperture Priority.(A) You set the aperture and the camera will automatically select the corresponding shutter speed.
    • Shutter Priority.(S) You set the shutter speed and the camera will automatically select the corresponding aperture.
    • Program.(P) You point the camera and it will select a suitable aperture and shutter combination.
  • Program Mode
    • Within 'progam mode' you can have a another pile of 'modes' depending on what type of subject you are photographing. You could have;
    • Action mode.
    • Landscape mode.
    • Portrait mode.
    • Close-up mode.
    • Fill-in Flash mode.
    • Night mode.
  • Light Meters
    • Most, if not all, modern 35mm/APS SLR cameras come with some form of built in light metering system. The finer points of how specific lightmeters actually measure light may vary but the basic operation is the same for most built in systems. Once activated, usually by turning the camera on or by light pressure on the shutter release, the light meter measures the light reflected back through the camera lens from the scene in front of it. This type of lightmeter is known as a Reflected Light T hrough T he L ens meter. Commonly referred to as a TTL meter.
    • Using a TTL meter is a fairly straight forward operation. With the meter switched on simply compose your picture as normal and the meter will take a 'reading' from the scene. You will then be presented with information about the necessary aperture or shutter settings that may be required. These readings are based on the amount of light reflected back from the scene and on the sensitivity of the film you are using. You must inform the meter of the correct film speed either by setting it manually or using DX coded film( it has a bar code on it) if your camera supports this feature. Depending on the 'mode' you are operating your camera in you will be presented with some information about the shutter speed, aperture f-number or both.
  • Manual Mode
    • Manual Mode. What you see will vary according to the make and model of camera you are using but will probably be along the lines of the following.1.An illuminated plus sign (over exposure), minus sign (under exposure) or a zero (OK) symbol to the side of the focusing screen.(The bit where you look at your picture) in the viewfinder. You will not be able to tell how many stops over or under you are.2.An illuminated scale from plus to minus. Similar to the previous one.3.A range of shutter speeds with a symbol indicating the currently set shutter speed and a moving needle indicating the recommended shutter speed.4.As above but using LED's ( little red lights) instead of a needle. Steady LED for set speed and flashing LED for recommended speed.In manual mode you have control of both shutter and aperture and can adjust either or both to reach the correct exposure. You are aiming to 'zero' on a plus minus system or match the two indicators on the other.(Match-needle system)
  • Aperture Priority
    • The meter will indicate its chosen shutter speed, based on the aperture you have set. This may be shown on a scale or simply as an illuminated number in the viewfinder. If you change the aperture the shutter speed will change to compensate. Try it to see it working.
  • Shutter priority
    • The meter will indicate which f-number it will select, based on the shutter speed you have set. This will probably be shown as a number in the viewfinder. If you change the shutter speed the camera will change the aperture to compensate. Try it to see it working.
  • Program
    • The meter will indicate its choice of shutter speed and aperture. Or maybe it won't!
  • Exposure
    • Aperture and f-numbers. The aperture is just a hole whose size can be varied to allow more or less light to pass through it. The size of apertures are expressed in f-numbers. You can calculate an f-number, if you are keen or don't have much of a life, by dividing the lens focal length by the diameter of the aperture. The range of f-numbers follows a standard sequence with each f-number being half as bright, passing half as much light, as the previous one. A typical aperture range may look like this: f 1.4; f 2; f 2.8; f 4; f5.6; f 8; f 11; f 16; f 22; f 32
    • There are smaller and larger f-numbers but the actu