Boy, this whole exposure business is a LOT more complicated than I expected it to be. No wonder people wimp out and use the point-and-shoot feature on the camera most of the time. At first I thought I wanted to learn how to use all the settings on my camera, but it turns out I have a pretty cool camera that gives me a "creative zone" allowing me to change the shutter speed or aperture value and the camera will figure out the rest of the settings.
|Shutter speed 1/30, ISO on auto|
In this picture taken last week of my friend Judy, I used the flash in order to light up her face, and the camera changed the f-stop to 2.8. Then I asked Judy to take a picture of me, using the same shutter speed but with light behind me.
With the light behind me and using the flash, the f-stop was changed to 4.5. Both of these pictures are perfectly acceptable to me (except for that goggle eyed guy over my shoulder). However, I will now try to figure out how to blur the background when taking these kind of portrait pictures. That is called "bokeh" (a very strange word, methinks) and it would have looked totally cool to have just a blur behind each of us instead of all the detail in the restaurant. But if I had just used the automatic setting, the flash would have washed out our faces, so I haven't used it much. The camera has a portrait setting, but I haven't gotten great results from it, either.
I have messed with the ISO, which is explained by remembering how film cameras used to require you to buy film with different ISOs -- I would always buy 100 ISO because I wasn't ever sure where I'd be taking the pictures. That would work for pictures in full sun (which Colorado has plenty of, when I was using film), but it wasn't great for pictures taken indoors. I would buy a film at 400 for low light pictures, but you couldn't change out the film once it was in the camera. Today's cameras allow me to make changes whenever I feel like it. However, it's not easy to understand the relationships between the elements in the Photographic Triangle. But I am just beginning
to get a teensy little bit of a hold on it.
When I am wanting to be sure I get a good picture, I revert back to the auto setting and then usually need to clean up the picture in iPhoto, usually having to lighten it, and sometimes fix the contrast. Although it's a lot of work to understand all this, I'm actually enjoying myself... at least sometimes. When something works and everything clicks, when it comes together to make a good shot, I am pretty pleased with myself. But I've got a LONG way to go. Good thing I'm retired!
i am an idiot when it comes to pics...i need a point and shoot...i can frame it ok, bot dont make me get too fancy with dials...lolReplyDelete
I played with my camera for such a long time, and then one day, it clicked in my mind and I got it. It will probably be the same way with you, and then you will start playing with other stuff like kelvin white balance. The nice thing is, there's always something new to learn!ReplyDelete
Worth the effort I think. A good photo says a lot more than the reputed 1000 words. So, some day, I too will have to learn, instead of relying a lot on luck.ReplyDelete
Oh hell...point and shot! I will have to take a look at how this all works though. Good information.ReplyDelete
Good on you for taking up a new challenge. You're right that today's cameras do an excellent job on automantic. However, there are things to be gained by using the camera features. The creative part of you can be exposed!ReplyDelete
Wow! I'm really impressed with how serious you are about this new learning. I'll look forward to seeing the photographic results.ReplyDelete
I've never seen this triangle, it would have been helpful back in the days before digital. I used to buy 200ISO and push process it to 400-800, I did a lot of action and low light back then.ReplyDelete
The bokeh (I really don't like that term) is achieved by manipulating the depth of field. When doing a macro get the object in the foreground in a very tight focus, you should achieve the blur with no problem after a bit of practice. With portrait shots it's a little harder.
One of these days I'm going to get a DSLR or maybe some film for my Pentax.
I need a point and shoot! Congrats on taking on something new, tho.ReplyDelete
I kind of like old google eyes back there--LOL! ;)
Yes, it's a good thing you are retired! Taking on this new project must keep the boring days away. lolReplyDelete
I feel the same way..especially when I am trying to take nature shots with critters which don't stay and wait for you to change settings. LOL I try to "preset" the camera for the lighting out there before we go "hunting" for wildlife,but it is sometimes still frustrating, and when I am too challenged I let the camera do it in preset and do post-revising instead.ReplyDelete
It sounds like you are learning a lot about cameras and taking photos. Good for you, really like your picture....:-)HugsReplyDelete
Some modern digital cameras have "A" for aperture and "T" for time. And then you can choose the aperture, say 22, and the camera automatically sets everything else. Or you do the time and the camera does the aperture.ReplyDelete
I too am learning how to use a camera, but I much prefer the idiot-safe settings.ReplyDelete
Isn't it wonderful that the digital camera allows you to experiment, there's always the eraser function.
Well, good luck, DJan! Learning new things does keep the brain in top shape, for people of our age. I'm going to copy and paste the triangle...might help me in my own pursuit of more camera knowledge.ReplyDelete
I'm with Brian in that I'm an idiot when it comes to switching the camera from automatic to manual. I read the instructions but my eyes cross and my brain goes blank. I'm a visual person so this triangle may help.ReplyDelete
I prefer the auto settings on my camera, which is a very humble one. However, sometimes 'it' decides on something different to focus on, other than what I had in mind. I recently took a picture of my rose bush against the brick wall, but the camera put the rose out of focus and I had a beautifully detailed view of the wall (chuckle). Now, I looked at it carefully and I decided I did like it because it was more artistic. It's all a learning curve, isn't it.ReplyDelete
Good for you for putting so much effort into. It will pay off more and more. I always adjust ISO first. If it's a reasonably bright day, it goes onto 100 and usually stays there. More often than not, I tend to stay in Shutter Speed Preferred mode and let the aperture adjust for itself. That's a handy little chart.ReplyDelete
I have a decent eye for framing a shot but am a total ignoramus. I let my point and shoot do the job and then upload to iPhoto.ReplyDelete
That may be cheating, but it's better than when I just had my husband do all the photo stuff.
boy that triangle sure brings back memories! I took a scientific photography class back in college (we did our own developing as well), learned a lot (most of which is now forgotten, oops!), got some great pictures around campus and had a lot of fun! :pReplyDelete
sure sounds like you're having fun!!!
Love this post (but, then you know how I am about photography so that shouldn't be a surprise). Fantastic photo of you. :)ReplyDelete
For me, I enjoy seeing the setting in the restaurant behind your sweet face. It looks like an older place, maybe used to be a warehouse or small store. The floor looks very old.ReplyDelete
I haven't gotten to the place of confidence yet to experiment with my camera as you are doing. Part of me wants to but I tell myself I am busy with so much right now and the camera is something to look forward to in the near future. By then you will be a pro and can tutor me.
Have fun playing around. To blur or not to blur. That's the question of the day.ReplyDelete
Both of my daughters took photography in college, and they are very interesting in all of this. Me? Point and shoot. The rest looks too much like math.ReplyDelete
Great info here! I like that picture of you, even with the big-eyed guy behind you!ReplyDelete
Funny timing on reading this as I was experimenting with the shutter speed and aperture on my camera earlier today. My neighbor mentioned to me that she'd like to learn more about lighting and such (several of her friends are professional photographers) because she'd like to create photos more like theirs. I have forgotten most of what I once knew about the technical aspects of photography but I do remember that lighting is just the tip of the iceberg. I applaud your interest and appreciate all the little tips and tricks you find!ReplyDelete
What an interesting post! I took lessons on exposure and light, during my one on one lessons. I was lucky enough to have a photographer who used the same camera I had, for his photographs for National Geographic. Most of what he said was over my head. He set my camera the way he thought for best results. He took me out into the mall and shot some photos and then had me label the pics with the settings. It all was pretty high tech to me, but I was fascinated. I am going to save this illustration to help me refresh some of the notes I took.ReplyDelete
After he set my camera, I used a night indoor setting, and took pictures of Billy Joel during a concert. We were quite far back, but I used the zoom and was shocked at the clear, clean shots I got.
I'd love to learn more about photography too. I think nature photography is an excellent passion of you.
I would like to learn more – I bought several books on digital photography but have not had the time to look at them. Instead of changing the setting I have been lazy and I change the cameras – I mean I have a camera that takes good picture, then another take the far away shots (has a great zoom) – another takes good pictures behind glass or in low light, then another takes good close ups and wide angle, but it gets heavy to always carry 4 cameras!ReplyDelete