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Basic Photography Tips

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

This evening, I decided to check out a Canon workshop about basic photography in order to basically refresh my memory on a regular camera. Although these workshops are for digital cameras, while I am still using film cameras and iPhone, I think it is still basically the same. I just need to note certain details before shooting. Photographer Christopher Kern talked about camera settings, shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.

It is important to shoot manually because you have more control. Make sure you have the right film and batteries, or you are using the right ISO. ISO ranges include 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, etc. Each number is a stop of light increment. The lower numbers are used for daylight or very lighted areas. The higher numbers are used for darker areas or shade.

White Balance removes colorcast. Use neutral gray card to neutralize white balance. If shooting during cloudy weather, then the photo will have sun and highlights. If shooting shaded area, then there will be no highlights.

The lightning bolt symbol signifies flash or speedlights.

ISO is the quality of pixels, based on the quantity of light.

Graininess and noise are the same thing. They affect the texture and color vibrancy in the photograph. To reduce grain or noise, you should photograph with more light. Use a higher ISO of 800+.

Higher ISO films are used by professional photographers, mostly photojournalists and wedding photographers.

ISO of 100, 200, and 400 are for daylight and very bright areas.

Very high ISOs of 12800 and 25600 do not have mega pixels.

Aperture involve the lens and the amount of light that enters the camera. It is about the depth of field and the depth of the photograph.

f/22 lets in the least amount of light. Then, f/16, f/11, f/8, f/5.6, f/4, f/2.8, and f/1.4; the f/1.4 lets in the most amount of light. The f/1.0 has very shallow depth of field.  Shallow depth of field in a photo is when subject in focused, but everything is blurry.

A good photograph has layers because it creates depth, making the scene look 3D; create layers in a photograph, which includes having a background, layers in the center, and a foreground.

f/5.6 uses fast shutter speed and ISO 3200.

Shutter speed is based on time. 1/8000, 1/4000, and 1/2000 tends to freeze photos; 1/8000 is great for photographing action shots and movement that is very fast.

The longer the lens, double the lens’ number to get the correct shutter speed number.

1/60 creates blurry photos.

1/30, 1/15, and 1/8 created focused foreground, but the background has blurry movement.

Meter balances shadow, mid-tones, and highlights. It is from -3 to +3, and 0 is the balance. +3 indicates too much light and -3 indicates not enough light.

For a cloudy day, consider 400, f/5.6, and 1/250 to start. If you need more focus, play around with the numbers, such as the aperture at f/8 and ISO at 800; if you still need more focus, change the aperture to f/11 and shutter speed to 1/125; for more focus, change it f/16 and 1/60. An f/22, ISO 1600, and 1/60 will be sharp, but there will be noise and it is too slow. So, it is better to try ISO 800, f/11, and 1/125; therefore, the best starting point is at 400, f/5.6, and 1/125, and adjust as necessary to get the right balance in your photograph.

What do you think?

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Written by Fifi Leigh

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