Absolute Beginner's Guide to Digital Photography. Pages·· The Portrait Landscapes Photography Book and Landscapes Photography Book. Digital cameras employ an electronic sensor consisting of a large number of square cells or “pixels”. Photons hitting a cell create an electrical charge. Go ahead, download all of these 23 photography e-Books and PDFs for free.
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FOR BETTER. PHOTOGRAPHY. • PHOTOGRAPHY IS A SCIENCE, BECAUSE. THERE ARE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF. PHYSICS THAT GOVERN SUCCESS. For camera guides and other digital photography books, visit the Short. Courses bookstore at Extension buttons link you to PDF files or Excel spread sheets that expand on the Always check camera settings at the beginning of a session. This complete guide to photography for beginners will walk you though everything A conceptual portrait of a girl in her bedroom surrounded by flying books -.
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.
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: 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.
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. 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 logic behind this recommendation is that lenses with IS and VR look for movement or motion and when there is none. 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: 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. The settings with regard to white balance could be used to fix the issue. Depending on the scenario, the white balance setting should be chosen. An indoor picture may look orange due to the emission of orange light from the lamp caused by the lamps incandescence. By adding blue, which is the recommended tungsten setting for such a scenario; it would essentially be in balance.
Less Is Actually More While the photograph is being framed and composed, the objective and the focus should indeed be on aesthetics and relevance.
Usually just a single point of focus is sufficient. An image editing software program can do this type of editing work as well. The goal and objective of this exercise is to ensure that the human eye gravitates to the attractiveness of the image. What If the Subject is Far Off? The purpose of every photograph that is shot is to ensure that the frame has something engaging within in.
If for example the subject is at a distance then the desired impact may not be there at all. A telephoto zoom lens would accomplish the task of moving closer to the subject or the image could be cropped later with an image editing software. The image ought to be shot at the highest possible resolution as cropping the image would adversely affect its quality. Low Resolution One advantage of low resolution images is that more images can be stored on a memory card although its neither advisable nor recommended.
The quality of the image would deteriorate if the image is shot in low resolution. Moreover, large photographs would have noticeable pixels and hence cannot be printed. In addition, every time a jpeg file is saved, the quality of the file will suffer.
If the file isnt big to begin with then there wont be too many options for editing. Taking high resolution photographs with memory cards that have huge storage capacities may be better to consider than taking photographs on low resolution to save on memory storage. Excess Noise Noise in digital photography and grain on a film are similar to one another. An image could have these specks of what may appear as dust particles to an untrained eye.
If the ISO is high there will be more noise. As the image is enlarged, more noise will appear. Images at night are susceptible to noise as its a struggle for the camera to capture detail. Noise can be reduced by selecting the highest setting for image quality. By using the lowest ISO setting, the image would not be blurred as the camera would be mounted on a tripod.
Underexposed Photographs An image that is extremely dark is underexposed as the sensor did not receive sufficient light while the shot was taken. If the LCD display shows the image as being dark, which means the. Overexposed Photographs If the photograph happens to be extremely bright and lacks detail then the photograph is overexposed. What this essentially means is that the sensor is exposed to light more than is required.
When the day is bright, overexposure could be detrimental. Overexposure could also be detrimental when the subject is light colored. Spot metering works best to ensure that the results are accurate. An area which has plenty of gray mid-tones needs to be picked on the image as a guideline. Owners Manual Granted, reading the owner s manual is not like reading a novel. Owner s manuals are normally written in a way that is cut and dry and there is no beating around the bush.
Hence they arent userfriendly by any stretch of the imagination. Not that its surprising that there are many authors who actually write these manuals on how these cameras ought to be used.
Some authors might not have even used the cameras that they are actually writing about. Gear One tool should be right for the job. If pictures of all of the products that need to be used with your camera are be uploaded on a retail site like site then the product would be too high-end unless and complicated for use. Normally a point and shoot camera would suffice. If you see too many parts on a product then it may not be the right option for you to use because it would not be all that easy to use and may even be far more expensive than what you might be willing to spend on such a camera.
Reliance on the LCD or Preview Screen Everything appears sharp on a little LCD monitor on the back of a camera but that doesn't mean they will be just as sharp when you are done taking a picture. Editing Image on Camera By all means the temptation to edit images on a camera should be resisted. More often than not, a shot could have been taken unintentionally but instead of deleting the image it should be saved on a memory card and downloaded on a computer.
Backing Up Images This may sound too obvious but nonetheless it is essential to back up images prior to erasing or. There are file recovery programs though that may be able to recover or salvage pictures that may have been erased or deleted but they cant be relied upon every single time.
Lack of Memory Cards There was a time when memory cards were expensive but those days are far gone. They are much more affordable now more than ever before and can hold more data for less money. Therefore, downloading as many cards as possible is advisable and recommended. With sufficient memory cards, high resolution pictures can be taken and the best results would be guaranteed even if the pictures were to be cropped.
Lack of Batteries If there is no power then the camera is nothing but a paper weight. There are some paper weights that are heavier and then there are some that are relatively lighter. Only those cameras that are compatible with AA batteries are the ones that are recommended. Proprietary batteries are alright also but sufficient spare batteries should be available. A card reader rather than a computer to transfer images is advisable because by using this, the battery will have a longer life.
Not Researching On Hardware Prior to downloading a camera, what needs to be ensured is whether or not the photo editing software that you will be using is compatible with the computer you have. Many cameras these days require high-end computers so they can read and process images.
A computer that is outdated would not be able to cope and may even stall. It could very well get the job done but at a much slower pace. In short, you have to take a look at the hardware you need to get when using such a camera so you will know what you will be doing when getting an image taken the right way. Afraid of Making Mistakes As they say, failures are the pillars of success.
Its an apt analogy because through mistakes, one learns and progresses and grows as a photographer. To be afraid of failing is tantamount to restricting oneself to explore and thereby not being able to create extraordinary photographs. Picture perfect shots cannot be guaranteed every time and even expert and professional photographers havent been consistent with taking exceptional snapshots.
You should not be afraid of not doing well. Rule of Thirds Not following the rule of thirds is a problem in digital photography that people constantly get into.
The underlying premise of this rule is that the eye of a human being is by nature inclined to focus on points of intersection that can be seen due to the image being split into three different sections. The rule of thirds is in essence two imaginary lines vertically and horizontally making three columns and rows and nine sections on an image.
Vital elements of composition and leading lines are put in place on or in proximity from the imaginary lines and at intersection points. With the rule of thirds in mind the composition of the photograph is best done in the camera to avoid having to crop later and retain the image as much as possible and to avoid sacrificing quality of photographs as well. They are designed for viewing at an optimum distance between 8 and To compose images, the cameras eye level viewfinder ideally ought to be used and the LCD viewfinder to set parameters and view the image that has been captured.
Even high-resolution LCD viewfinders that the digital cameras are equipped with use the image as a test sample therefore one to one resolution cannot be seen on the viewfinder. Hence they arent suitable for focusing in detail or for framing purposes.
Whats even worse, LCDs consume a lot of power and moreover if used for protracted periods of time it could lead to dead batteries rather quickly. The ubiquitous viewfinder is incorporated on most digital cameras and there are two types available. One is a clear glass frame; the other is the beam splitter, a swinging mirror in other words.
This system has one advantage as the mirror is stationary to eliminate vibration. Its main disadvantage and indeed a flaw that could turn out to be fatal for indoor shots and for photography in poor light is that very little light reaches the eye of the photographer so much so that the photographer may find it difficult to compose and focus properly as the subject may appear dark.
Thereafter the mirror swings back in so that the photographer can continue viewing the subject. When shutter speeds are fast, the mirror will be invisible to the photographer. An inexpensive and less complicated viewing solution at eye level is the optical glass viewfinder which most digital cameras are equipped with.
Made of clear glass, it may see something but it does not show what the lens sees. Instead it gravitates to the lenss top or the side. The biggest advantages are that no power is required, there arent any moving components and its brightness is unparalleled.
The system isn't impacted by inaccuracy as it usually shows quite a bit less than what actually has been captured. Still, this may lead to elements on the edges of the photograph. The cause of parallax is positioning the viewfinder 1 or 2 from the lens.
Thus the angle from which the viewer sees the subject is a little different when compared with the lens. This hardly matters while shooting distant shots but for relatively closer shots the difference between the viewer s angle and the angle from which the shot is actually taken increases. Macro shots are typically within 12 of the subject or closer; glass viewfinders are practically useless due to the parallax error being very high.
The optical viewfinder is replaced by a far more advanced viewfinder which is the electronic eye level viewfinder equipped with a small high resolution color monitor that consumes minimum power and can be viewed when the camera is held at eye level. Over and above what most electronic viewfinders have to offer in terms of direct and viewing in detail which brings clarity as to whether or not a subject is in focus. Electronic viewfinders display vital statistics with regard to the settings of the camera including f-stop, shutter speed, flash status, so on and so forth.
An electronic eye level viewfinder undeniably is popular but its also unpopular in equal measure due to its disadvantage. The technology has not been tried and tested enough in still digital cameras as it has been in camcorders and therefore is in its incubation stage. Hence in terms of brightness, clarity and responsiveness, a traditional optical viewfinder is a far better option.
Chapter 7 - Post Processing and Image Editing An image editing software program is equipped with tools and features to enhance a photograph.
Post processing is about adjusting pictures after they have been taken by opening photographs in an image editing software which is equipped with tools to enhance the pictures appropriately.
An image editing software program sharpens the photographs automatically to add to its focus. No matter how much the photographs are sharpened by software, if the pictures are blurred then there isnt much that software can do to remove the blur.
Focus and sharpness of a picture begins from the camera. All that a software program does is to further sharpen and improve the picture. Saturation is the process of moving the colors of a photograph either more towards gray which is known as desaturation or to saturate them to make them vibrant. Saturation if used effectively could make pictures lifelike but at the same time pictures may be lacking in their natural look.
Levels control the shadows, mid tones and highlights of a picture. Contrast or lightness or darkness are simple controls that simultaneously adjusts shadows, mid tones and highlights. With levels, each of these features can be controlled separately. With the midtone control, an overall adjustment of an image in terms of the image being lighter or darker can be made. The shadow control increases the depth and how shadows are accentuated. Highlights can create contrasts to be higher so the photograph can be aesthetically appealing.
There arent any preset formulas or rules to use Levels. An image may have the wrong temperature which could be rectified with the hue control tool. There are categories of colors that are warm and then there are categories of colors that are cold. Reds and yellows are warm colors while greens, blues and violets are cold colors. If a photograph of a group of people is taken and there is a blue cast due to lighting, the group would lack warmth; hence with hue control, the general color of the photograph would have to be moved towards red and yellow, thereby warming the image.
Hue adjustment is more of a matter of perception as there arent any guidelines or rules to abide by or follow. White balance of a camera effectively rectifies color issues as well. Chapter 8 - Memory Cards A memory card or a flash memory card is a small storage device where different types of data - text, pictures, audio, and video - can be stored and used on portable or remote computers. Other memory cards that are available include the secure digital card, the compact flash card, the smart media card, the memory stick, and the multimedia card.
These cards are available in various shapes and sizes and with a wide range of storage capacities that impact the price. The CompactFlash card is approximately the size of a matchbox while the Multi Media Card and Secure Digital card each are as big or small as a postage stamp.
This is important for any camera you use. Most cards that are out there are reliable. There will be absolutely no loss of data due to power snags and there is no need to periodically refresh data either. As memory cards are solid state media with immovable parts, they will not have technical issues. The cards that are available today are decidedly smaller and consume less power than older options and the storage capacity is much higher on average. Chapter 9 - Why Upgrade?
Quality of image As the image sensors are comparatively larger on DSLRs, the sizes of the pixels on these cameras are larger as well. DSLRs in comparison with point and shoot are far more flexible in terms of the range of premium quality lenses that are included from wide angle to super long focal lengths which can be used based on what the photographer is shooting. In addition to the lenses that are available, there is also an entire gamut of accessories, flashes, filters, etc.
Hence DSLRs are adaptable to any situation or circumstance. Point to be noted; with regard to your choice of lenses, DSLRs have an unparalleled reputation. The qualities of lenses that are used can directly influence the quality of the image.
Manual Controls There are many point and shoot cameras which are equipped with manual mode of shooting. However, a DSLRs design is such that the user would be inclined to control settings manually. DSLRs are equipped with auto modes as well but since the manual controls are at a photographer s fingertips, they are far more accessible than auto modes.
Hence its far more convenient for a photographer to set the controls manually while shooting. Arguably DSLRs in comparison with point and shoot cameras would be valuable for a long time to come. In all probability there is truth in this speculation.
Lastly, the most important myth is about megapixels. Dont fall for it. Many salesmen mislead customers to download cameras with higher megapixels. The truth is that any camera over 4 megapixels is good enough to print an image as big as 2x3 feet in size. Its all about your photography skills.
Tips for Getting Started 1. So, make sure your name is properly adjusted if you dont want to accidentally overwrite old photographs. You are still far from learning everything about photography. There are way too many buttons and settings on your DSLR. Dont get confused with it, just play around with some default settings or switch to auto mode.
Get some hands on experience; feel comfortable before you start getting technical. 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. In this eBook, photographer Scott Bourne gives you tips to get sharper images and avoid blur.
You should check this out. Urban Exploration Photography, by Neil Ta Photographer Neil Ta has been involved in urban exploration photography for quite some time now and through this eBook, he shares everything he has learned over the years. If you are fascinated by urban exploration and looking to learn the ropes, this can be a valuable resource. So, grab your camera and start exploring your city for abandoned spaces! Street Photography for the Purist by Chris Weeks Street photographer Chris Weeks shares with you why street photography is easy and difficult at the same time.
Filled with lots of fantastic images and insights on the craft, this eBook will give you a lot to think about and offer you plenty of ways to improve your street photography.
If you like cycling and photography, you are going to love this one. Introduction to External Flash Photography This is a very concise guide on external flash photography. The book is barely 9 pages long and it gets straight to the point.
It has dedicated sections on explaining the use of flash outdoors and how to achieve great results, all in an easy to understand language. How to Take Stunning Food Photos If you like food photography, this eBook will prove to be a valuable resource for you. From lighting considerations to composition suggestions, a lot has been covered in this book to get you started.
According to the book, there are essentially two things that make a stunning food photo — appropriate exposure and a thoughtful composition. For more tips, download the eBook!