Saturday, May 28, 2011

Flannel family part 2: the basics

Understanding how your camera works is critical in setting you apart from the masses of people with just a camera.  I can't count the number of times people ask me what certain functions are for on their cameras.

There are basically 4 options on your DSLR:
Shutter speed - the amount of time the sensor is exposed to what the lens sees.  This will appear as 1/the number you see per second.  Most cameras have a maximum speed of 1/8000s, and a slowest speed of "bulb" or 30 seconds
Aperture or f/stop number- the size of the hole in the lens that will allow light through.  This will be expanded upon on a later date.
ISO - A mentor of mine once described ISO as light gathering bees.  Select a higher ISO, and you will have more bees that gather more light, but there will also be noise.   A lower ISO will gather low light, but have less noise.  Therefore, there should be a balance between ISO and shutter speed.  If youre finding that your images are blurred because the shutter speed is too long (because the subject you are trying to capture is too dark) then turning up the ISO may help you in this situation.
Exposure - is how bright you want to your picture to be.

With the Auto (Green Box) function on your camera, all of these options are selected for you. 

I like to shoot on Av, or Aperture priority mode.  My method is as follows.
- Select Av
- Select the Aperture I would like to shoot at.  In the picture above, I wanted to get the 4 subjects' torsos in focus, but didnt need anything else to be.  I was using a Canon 85mm f1.8 lens.  
Since I was 1)pretty far away and 2) wanted to get a sun flare in the picture, I chose the aperture/fstop number 1.8, which I felt would be enough to get them all in focus.  This means that when the shutter clicks, the lens aperture will be as wide as it can be.  I probably should explain how aperture works as it is a more important fundamental, but will do it in my next post.
- With the Aperture selected, I chose a low enough ISO as to where my shutter speed remained high.  ISO 640 gave me a shutter speed of 1/2000s, which was fast enough so that no hand vibration would blur the image.

I then metered off this grass (super important, will cover a later day), and composed it so that the sun was out of the frame, but just by a bit to the top right. 

Snap the picture, but thats not all.  A bit of post processing work, and thats what I got.


1 comment:

  1. Excellent explanation and great to read your work flow. The photo looks very professional.