Day 3 - Getting To Know Your Camera
Well, not so fast. When I started out, I was so busy snapping that I never had the thought that my camera could do better. What does that mean anyway? So why doesn’t it do better when you take a picture? It’s a camera for crying out loud! It should know what to do!
In the next 28 days together, we are going to learn how to shoot that camera of yours in manual mode. Do you see all the little cartoon icons on your camera? We are going to focus on that little “M” to ensure that we get the right exposure of your pictures straight out of the camera (SOOC). There are many terms you are going to hear and it’s much like learning a new language (it’s simple really). If you keep it simple and go step by step with me, it will all make sense. And, in short order, you will be taking great pictures.
First, let’s cover the basics of your camera so that over the next few days you can refer back to the definitions and camera presets as we cover these in greater detail.
Get to your local library or bookstore and pick up "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. You are going to want to read this and/or own this book. My friend Audrey introduced me to this book. It was an easy read and I ended up purchasing the book so I could refer back to it often. Trust me, it helped me understand these basics and now they are second nature to me.
Basic Camera Terms:
APERTURE: The size of the lens opening. Measured as an f-stop
DEPTH-OF-FIELD: Amount of the image that is in sharp focus
ISO: How quickly your camera can collect light. The more powerful your camera, the higher you can set your ISO to capture more light, particularly in low light situations. This allows for a faster shutter speed and/or smaller aperture, if desired
EXPOSURE TRIANGLE: This determines the proper exposure of your pictures. In order to make a proper exposure, the proper amount of light has to enter the camera through the lens and hit the film or chip sensor. By varying the settings in the exposure triangle, you can make a properly exposed image.
MEGAPIXEL: Pixels are little dots of information that create an image. This is also referred to as the resolution of your camera
LIGHT METERING: Determines where exposure is measured. Center-weighted takes a reading from the center of an image. Evaluative/Matrix takes a reading of the entire image and creates an exposure that is an average of the two extremes.
PRIORITY MODES: Aperture Priority (A or AV) and Shutter Speed Priority (T or TV). You choose one – the aperture or shutter speed – and the camera will set the other.
MANUAL: You manually select your ISO, shutter speed and aperture in the SLR’s (and some compact point and shoots). The camera will not select any of these for you.
SPORTS/ACTION: Uses a super-fast shutter speed to catch movement, and a higher f-stop to ensure the entire area of interest is in focus.
NIGHT: Uses a very high ISO and a larger aperture (more shallow depth of field), with a slower shutter, all working in harmony to allow more light into the image.
PORTRAIT: Uses a larger aperture (to keep your subject in focus and blur the background) and a relatively high shutter speed to eliminate motion blur.
MACRO: Extreme close-up (Flower icon). Uses a large aperture to focus on the close object and blur the background. Will not focus on objects beyond the range listed in manual.
LANDSCAPE: Uses a small aperture (deep depth of field), a low ISO to minimize noise, and a slightly lower shutter speed. Using a tripod would be most beneficial with this setting.
1. Get out your camera, look over the camera presets which are those little cartoon icons. Get familiar with them and what their basic functions are.
2. Read through the definitions, they may not make any sense right now but by reading through them, they will become familiar over the next few days.
See you tomorrow!