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Pho-Tog-Raphy 101

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by TBONE3336, Jul 19, 2016.

  1. TBONE3336

    TBONE3336
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    Edit: For complete clarity, what I am conveying I have or will be learning and experimenting with from my reading of various books/magazines/websites, and adapting what I learned in my own verbiage to formalize what I understand. Some of those sources are Books (Understanding Exposure -

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    Websites such as
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    as well as various magazines such as Digital Photographer, Landscape Photographer.
    _______________________________

    I am not sure if there is a need or a want for something like this, but since I have been unable to get a Vegas Trip recently with work and family life I have been using the little spare time I have getting into using my cameras a bit more, or actually trying to learn how to use them more than on automatic mode, and even using some of the functions on my Iphone's camera to get better pictures.

    So I began looking around the internet for beginner lessons and there are tons of things out there, so much that I quickly got confused, so I figured I would start a thread similar to some I have seen on other non-photography boards to document my learning as it progresses so that, 1) others may learn a few things with me, 2) anyone who is further advanced in this hobby might want to chime in and offer advice/suggestions.

    Even if it is just me in here, I still will look to this as my repository for what I learn to keep in one place and hopefully be help to others as well.

    Pictures always bring back memories to me as they do for all of us, they can make us cry, smile, laugh, along with lots of other emotions, so that is why I take so many pictures when I am anywhere out of the ordinary, so much so, my family gets annoyed :)

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    This sunset in late February was awesome and reflected off of our covered pool even made it better. The sky seemed like it was on fire and while the picture from my Iphone is not the best it still, to me is a really cool picture.

    The one below evokes a different emotion and I love looking at this every once in a while. I took this on the overpass between MGM and NY NY after seeing David Copperfield at MGM, which I thought was a great show.

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    So, I hope to start with the next posts with some low level beginner stuff that I am learning to try and take better pictures and learn all about the confusing terminology and settings, so until then, post any pictures you want and let's learn together!
     
    #1 Jul 19, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2016
  2. TBONE3336

    TBONE3336
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    Edit: Here is how I understand and interpret the following basics as I have read and attended online class at Understanding Exposure and Lynda.com respectively.
    ---------------------------------------

    Lesson 1 - The Iron Triangle of Photography. (1)Aperture - (2) Shutter Speed - (3) ISO (International Organization for Standardization))

    All Photography revolves around capturing light and how you manipulate light to achieve an image. The above Iron Triangle of Photography all affect how much and which way your camera captures said light giving you the most control over your camera. We will see, once we understand each setting how changing one affects the other and the combination of all three result in certain pictures.

    This Post will cover the basic of Aperture-

    1) The Aperture of a camera relates to the opening on the lens that open and closes to allow light into the camera body and onto the photosensitive film or digital receptor of the camera. Think of your eye and the Aperture relates to how wide open or narrow closed your eyelids are at any given time. They can be wide open, or really narrow. So if you are looking directly at the sun and your eyes are wide open, lots of light will flow into your eye, and if you squint your eyelids, less light will enter your eye. The same applies for the Aperture of your camera. You can see the Aperture of the camera in the below video open and closes as you take pictures.

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    There is a term for how wide open or narrowly shut the Aperture is which is called the F-Stop, that depending on your camera can range from values labeled as F-1.8 up to F-22. Funny enough, an F stop of F-1.8 represents a larger opening than F stop F-22, the larger the F Stop Number the smaller the opening.

    This video shows changing the F Stop from F-1.8 to F-22 and then how that affects the opening of the Aperture on the lens.

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    So to summarize -

    Aperture relates to the size of the opening on your lens that lets light into the camera. Each incremental change in this size is notated and called an F-Stop which range from F-1.8 to F-22 in our example. Other camera's may have higher and lower F-Stop ratings.

    Opening the Aperture to F-1.8 will give a relative large opening allowing more light to enter giving you a brighter picture. Conversely opening the Aperture to F-22 will give a relatively small opening allowing less light to enter giving you a darker picture. Random internet photo depicting differing f stop setting and how they affect the light of a picture-

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    In the next post we will look at Shutter Speed and how it relates and affects Aperture and then in future the same for ISO and then examples of how all three affect each other and how we can use those three setting to capture any type of picture and get away from the automatic setting on our camera's.
     
    #2 Jul 19, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2016
  3. Imperial_Palace_King

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    Nice posts. I've been meaning to get back into photography. My camera's been sitting still for too long.
     
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  4. ken2v

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    I'm with you. I go through these cycles and have since I was a kid, shoot a bunch of stuff then forget it about it, get the bug, lose the bug. My wife reminds me about that at times.

    This could turn into a great thread.
     
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  5. dirtyshirley

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    I bought a nice camera a few years ago, learned some of the terms and used them rarely, now can't remember which direction which setting goes for what (i.e. how is it that I make the background blurry again). Hope your memory is better than mine and you put it to good use! I remember spending (LITERALLY) hours playing with a million settings (mostly setting white balance) trying to get hot pink to show up as actually hot pink. Of course, I did figure it out but 3 years later I've forgotten how to get there. I even bought a graycard thing to set it right, haha. I'm sure I wrote down the key points somewhere....

    Look forward to seeing more pics and you are setting your bar high for your next epic trip report! I'll stick to my phone camera ; )
     
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  6. TBONE3336

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    To expand on what I have gathered from the referenced books and websites,( see the original 2 post that disclose some of the more readily available education materials that I have used and learned from) and general use of my cameras, the second lesson follows:

    Lesson 2 -Shutter Speed.

    As we learned in the lesson one, Aperture is the size of the opening in the lens that dictates how much light enters through the lens into the camera body to hit the photo-sensitve film or digital receptor (CMOS) found in modern dslr cameras. However if that is all there was to it the light coming through the Aperture, no matter how restricted by the size of the Aperture, would hit the film or digital receptor constantly and you would end up with a completely white exposed shot. So right in front of the film or receptor is a Shutter that opens and closes at various speeds that allow the light to penetrate to the film or receptor.

    Depending on how fast or slow one sets the Shutter Speed which can range from 1/1000th of a second or faster up to some cameras letting you go for 30 seconds or hours, will dictate how long the light entering has to hit the film, so a quick 1/1000th setting would create a darker image as the light is hitting for a shorter period, and a long setting like 30 seconds will give a much lighter image as the light has longer to react with the receptor.

    Using my current camera, ( a mirror-less sony alpha 600, more on this and camera types in later lessons),

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    Yes I need to dust :snaphappy:

    and looking at its shutter speed setting you can see it has setting as long as 30 seconds to as quick as 4000th of a second

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    So we now have two variables, Aperture and Shutter Speed that work in tandem to help you get the proper exposure on your shot. The best way for me to understand this is for each picture situation there are optimal exposure settings, that will produce the best lit, sharpest image possible. So if you set your Aperture to F1.8, ( remember this will be a large opening letting in lots of light) the camera will recommend, for the next picture example below, (taken of my computer screen so not the best picture to use but good enough), a Shutter Speed of 200th of a second, you can see the Aperture of F1.8 and just to the left of it in the picture is the shutter speed of 1/200


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    This will give you, per the camera's calculation given I manually set the Aperture to F1.8 the proper lighting for the best picture possible using 1/200th a second Shutter Speed.

    If I changed the F Stop to F-5.6 ( A smaller Aperture opening than F-1.8, thus leaving less light in) the camera calculated a revised longer Shutter Speed of 1/30th of a second, since less light was allowed to come in through the Aperture, the Shutter had to stay open longer to allow enough light to hit the receptor to get the proper exposure, meaning to achieve a similar result between both pictures even with different Aperture setting.

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    So smaller Aperture, requires longer Shutter Speed and vice versa. Now it may have occurred to you as it did me that, if all these settings all achieve the same image why have all these settings in the first place. The answer I found out is this is just an example to show us the correlation between these settings and how one affects the other, basically explaining the basics. So presumably we will be able to adjust these setting later to achieve different outcomes from our shots by manipulating the values and settings to get desired results in differing light conditions.

    So to summarize, Shutter Speed controls how long the allowable light coming through the Aperture is allowed to hit the receptor. Using Shutter Speed and Aperture in conjunction allows you to control how long the picture takes to complete the shot and another avenue for controlling the amount of light hitting the receptor.

    In the next post probably not for a few days, we will look at the last point of the Triangle, ISO setting and see what and how that setting affects and modifies the other settings.
     
  7. rycelover

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    Great stuff so far TBone!

    I have an older edition of that book on exposure!

    My daughter hijacked my 5D and L prime lenses :( She's the only kid in her high school that carries around a 5D and 85mm L haha. I'm just happy that she has taken an interest in photography.

    Will you plan to do a discussion on bokeh?
     
  8. rycelover

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    Great stuff so far TBone!

    I have an older edition of that book on exposure!

    My daughter hijacked my 5D and L prime lenses :( She's the only kid in her high school that carries around a 5D and 85mm L haha. I'm just happy that she has taken an interest in photography.

    Will you plan to do a discussion on bokeh?
     
  9. TBONE3336

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    Thanks Ryce! It is a nice hobby, and possibly even a better profession if your daughter follows through? Sure bokeh will be on the agenda.........stops while googling bokeh........ ok, absolutely bokeh will be discussed, maybe not by me in the near future, but evenutally now that I know what it means LOL, but also, please add in anything you like along the way if you want. It all will be helpful.
     
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  10. TBONE3336

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    Hey Shirley! I was absolutely the same way, but now even with my absolutely beginner level understanding, I am seeing we can do better after just understanding the three above settings better and leaving some of the other million settings to be auto set by the camera. Eventually, if I do not burn out on it, we may even cover all the settings by some date in the future.

    Of course all of this is null and void after a night and day in vegas with alcohol, so non of this applies to pictures taken in Vegas :)
     
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