Basic principles of photography. David Capel. B IST Fast-forward years: the digital single lens reflex camera (DSLR). Digital SLR Cameras & Photography For Dummies®, 3rd Edition. Published by. Wiley Publishing, Inc. River Street. Hoboken, NJ homeranking.info photography exposure allows you to give correct instructions to your camera about: Photography is the Art of Recording Light. Light Metering. Shutter Speed.
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In this guide we share tips on how to use a DSLR. in this instance, you as the photographer set the shutter speed and the camera will take care of the aperture. Cameras are complicated. I was frustrated with my first DSLR. I just couldn't capture what I saw through my viewfinder. It took a ton of trial and error. When I. Canon DSLR: the ultimate photographer's guide. – (Digital gov/iad// docs/Public%20SP%%20November%pdf. I wrote earlier that.
For long shutter speeds, a bulb is ideal. ISO Once the light has passed through the aperture and been filtered by the shutter speed, it reaches the sensor, where we decide upon the ISO. In Aperture Priority or Aperture Value mode as its also known by, the required aperture is set by using the main dial and an appropriate shutter speed is selected automatically according to the light in the area. Another awesome thing about DSLR is the speed. To have this effect, the photographer needs to move closer, move the subject closer or use a focal length long enough for the desired effect of closeness. Keep the camera off while doing the transition. Josh, Great Blog.
As the image is enlarged, more noise will appear. Images at night are susceptible to noise as its a struggle for the camera to capture detail.
Noise can be reduced by selecting the highest setting for image quality. By using the lowest ISO setting, the image would not be blurred as the camera would be mounted on a tripod. Underexposed Photographs An image that is extremely dark is underexposed as the sensor did not receive sufficient light while the shot was taken. If the LCD display shows the image as being dark, which means the. Overexposed Photographs If the photograph happens to be extremely bright and lacks detail then the photograph is overexposed.
What this essentially means is that the sensor is exposed to light more than is required. When the day is bright, overexposure could be detrimental.
Overexposure could also be detrimental when the subject is light colored. Spot metering works best to ensure that the results are accurate. An area which has plenty of gray mid-tones needs to be picked on the image as a guideline. Owners Manual Granted, reading the owner s manual is not like reading a novel. Owner s manuals are normally written in a way that is cut and dry and there is no beating around the bush.
Hence they arent userfriendly by any stretch of the imagination. Not that its surprising that there are many authors who actually write these manuals on how these cameras ought to be used. Some authors might not have even used the cameras that they are actually writing about. Gear One tool should be right for the job. If pictures of all of the products that need to be used with your camera are be uploaded on a retail site like eBay then the product would be too high-end unless and complicated for use.
Normally a point and shoot camera would suffice. If you see too many parts on a product then it may not be the right option for you to use because it would not be all that easy to use and may even be far more expensive than what you might be willing to spend on such a camera. Reliance on the LCD or Preview Screen Everything appears sharp on a little LCD monitor on the back of a camera but that doesn't mean they will be just as sharp when you are done taking a picture.
Editing Image on Camera By all means the temptation to edit images on a camera should be resisted. More often than not, a shot could have been taken unintentionally but instead of deleting the image it should be saved on a memory card and downloaded on a computer. Backing Up Images This may sound too obvious but nonetheless it is essential to back up images prior to erasing or.
There are file recovery programs though that may be able to recover or salvage pictures that may have been erased or deleted but they cant be relied upon every single time. Lack of Memory Cards There was a time when memory cards were expensive but those days are far gone. They are much more affordable now more than ever before and can hold more data for less money.
Therefore, purchasing as many cards as possible is advisable and recommended. With sufficient memory cards, high resolution pictures can be taken and the best results would be guaranteed even if the pictures were to be cropped. Lack of Batteries If there is no power then the camera is nothing but a paper weight. There are some paper weights that are heavier and then there are some that are relatively lighter.
Only those cameras that are compatible with AA batteries are the ones that are recommended. Proprietary batteries are alright also but sufficient spare batteries should be available. A card reader rather than a computer to transfer images is advisable because by using this, the battery will have a longer life. Not Researching On Hardware Prior to purchasing a camera, what needs to be ensured is whether or not the photo editing software that you will be using is compatible with the computer you have.
Many cameras these days require high-end computers so they can read and process images. A computer that is outdated would not be able to cope and may even stall. It could very well get the job done but at a much slower pace. In short, you have to take a look at the hardware you need to get when using such a camera so you will know what you will be doing when getting an image taken the right way.
Afraid of Making Mistakes As they say, failures are the pillars of success. Its an apt analogy because through mistakes, one learns and progresses and grows as a photographer. To be afraid of failing is tantamount to restricting oneself to explore and thereby not being able to create extraordinary photographs. Picture perfect shots cannot be guaranteed every time and even expert and professional photographers havent been consistent with taking exceptional snapshots.
You should not be afraid of not doing well. Rule of Thirds Not following the rule of thirds is a problem in digital photography that people constantly get into.
The underlying premise of this rule is that the eye of a human being is by nature inclined to focus on points of intersection that can be seen due to the image being split into three different sections. The rule of thirds is in essence two imaginary lines vertically and horizontally making three columns and rows and nine sections on an image.
Vital elements of composition and leading lines are put in place on or in proximity from the imaginary lines and at intersection points. With the rule of thirds in mind the composition of the photograph is best done in the camera to avoid having to crop later and retain the image as much as possible and to avoid sacrificing quality of photographs as well. They are designed for viewing at an optimum distance between 8 and To compose images, the cameras eye level viewfinder ideally ought to be used and the LCD viewfinder to set parameters and view the image that has been captured.
Even high-resolution LCD viewfinders that the digital cameras are equipped with use the image as a test sample therefore one to one resolution cannot be seen on the viewfinder. Hence they arent suitable for focusing in detail or for framing purposes. Whats even worse, LCDs consume a lot of power and moreover if used for protracted periods of time it could lead to dead batteries rather quickly.
The ubiquitous viewfinder is incorporated on most digital cameras and there are two types available. One is a clear glass frame; the other is the beam splitter, a swinging mirror in other words. This system has one advantage as the mirror is stationary to eliminate vibration. Its main disadvantage and indeed a flaw that could turn out to be fatal for indoor shots and for photography in poor light is that very little light reaches the eye of the photographer so much so that the photographer may find it difficult to compose and focus properly as the subject may appear dark.
Thereafter the mirror swings back in so that the photographer can continue viewing the subject. When shutter speeds are fast, the mirror will be invisible to the photographer. An inexpensive and less complicated viewing solution at eye level is the optical glass viewfinder which most digital cameras are equipped with.
Made of clear glass, it may see something but it does not show what the lens sees. Instead it gravitates to the lenss top or the side.
The biggest advantages are that no power is required, there arent any moving components and its brightness is unparalleled.
The system isn't impacted by inaccuracy as it usually shows quite a bit less than what actually has been captured. Still, this may lead to elements on the edges of the photograph. The cause of parallax is positioning the viewfinder 1 or 2 from the lens. Thus the angle from which the viewer sees the subject is a little different when compared with the lens.
This hardly matters while shooting distant shots but for relatively closer shots the difference between the viewer s angle and the angle from which the shot is actually taken increases. Macro shots are typically within 12 of the subject or closer; glass viewfinders are practically useless due to the parallax error being very high.
The optical viewfinder is replaced by a far more advanced viewfinder which is the electronic eye level viewfinder equipped with a small high resolution color monitor that consumes minimum power and can be viewed when the camera is held at eye level.
Over and above what most electronic viewfinders have to offer in terms of direct and viewing in detail which brings clarity as to whether or not a subject is in focus. Electronic viewfinders display vital statistics with regard to the settings of the camera including f-stop, shutter speed, flash status, so on and so forth.
An electronic eye level viewfinder undeniably is popular but its also unpopular in equal measure due to its disadvantage. The technology has not been tried and tested enough in still digital cameras as it has been in camcorders and therefore is in its incubation stage. Hence in terms of brightness, clarity and responsiveness, a traditional optical viewfinder is a far better option.
Chapter 7 - Post Processing and Image Editing An image editing software program is equipped with tools and features to enhance a photograph. Post processing is about adjusting pictures after they have been taken by opening photographs in an image editing software which is equipped with tools to enhance the pictures appropriately. An image editing software program sharpens the photographs automatically to add to its focus.
No matter how much the photographs are sharpened by software, if the pictures are blurred then there isnt much that software can do to remove the blur.
Focus and sharpness of a picture begins from the camera. All that a software program does is to further sharpen and improve the picture. Saturation is the process of moving the colors of a photograph either more towards gray which is known as desaturation or to saturate them to make them vibrant. Saturation if used effectively could make pictures lifelike but at the same time pictures may be lacking in their natural look.
Levels control the shadows, mid tones and highlights of a picture. Contrast or lightness or darkness are simple controls that simultaneously adjusts shadows, mid tones and highlights.
With levels, each of these features can be controlled separately. With the midtone control, an overall adjustment of an image in terms of the image being lighter or darker can be made.
The shadow control increases the depth and how shadows are accentuated. Highlights can create contrasts to be higher so the photograph can be aesthetically appealing. There arent any preset formulas or rules to use Levels. An image may have the wrong temperature which could be rectified with the hue control tool. There are categories of colors that are warm and then there are categories of colors that are cold.
Reds and yellows are warm colors while greens, blues and violets are cold colors. If a photograph of a group of people is taken and there is a blue cast due to lighting, the group would lack warmth; hence with hue control, the general color of the photograph would have to be moved towards red and yellow, thereby warming the image. Hue adjustment is more of a matter of perception as there arent any guidelines or rules to abide by or follow.
White balance of a camera effectively rectifies color issues as well. Chapter 8 - Memory Cards A memory card or a flash memory card is a small storage device where different types of data - text, pictures, audio, and video - can be stored and used on portable or remote computers. Other memory cards that are available include the secure digital card, the compact flash card, the smart media card, the memory stick, and the multimedia card.
These cards are available in various shapes and sizes and with a wide range of storage capacities that impact the price.
The CompactFlash card is approximately the size of a matchbox while the Multi Media Card and Secure Digital card each are as big or small as a postage stamp. This is important for any camera you use.
Most cards that are out there are reliable. There will be absolutely no loss of data due to power snags and there is no need to periodically refresh data either.
As memory cards are solid state media with immovable parts, they will not have technical issues. The cards that are available today are decidedly smaller and consume less power than older options and the storage capacity is much higher on average. Chapter 9 - Why Upgrade? Quality of image As the image sensors are comparatively larger on DSLRs, the sizes of the pixels on these cameras are larger as well.
DSLRs in comparison with point and shoot are far more flexible in terms of the range of premium quality lenses that are included from wide angle to super long focal lengths which can be used based on what the photographer is shooting. In addition to the lenses that are available, there is also an entire gamut of accessories, flashes, filters, etc. Hence DSLRs are adaptable to any situation or circumstance.
Point to be noted; with regard to your choice of lenses, DSLRs have an unparalleled reputation. The qualities of lenses that are used can directly influence the quality of the image.
Manual Controls There are many point and shoot cameras which are equipped with manual mode of shooting. However, a DSLRs design is such that the user would be inclined to control settings manually. DSLRs are equipped with auto modes as well but since the manual controls are at a photographer s fingertips, they are far more accessible than auto modes. Hence its far more convenient for a photographer to set the controls manually while shooting.
Arguably DSLRs in comparison with point and shoot cameras would be valuable for a long time to come. In all probability there is truth in this speculation.
In fact, the lenses that are bought along with the camera are compatible and universal in the sense that as long as one does not change brands, the lenses can be used on other cameras as well.
Hence the lenses can be used for a long time to come and the investment is not a waste after all. Depth of field in particular is really referring to extended manual control when you adjust the photos you shoot. DSLR has the flexibility of using varied lenses as well but what makes the camera special is its depth of field which has the ability of taking everything from the foreground and putting them in the background and in focus.
Blurred backgrounds may be created at this point to create an extra effect. There is more glass in these optics, thus making the lenses of high quality. A lot of man hours are spent to manufacture the lenses particularly when the lenses are high end lenses.
Nothing but the best quality lenses ought to be purchased. However, if the camera is a high-end model then the lens ought to be high-end as well. Chapter 10 How to Choose a Model Increasingly, DSLR cameras are becoming within reach of novice or average photographers due to a fall in prices caused by user friendly models that are being manufactured in increasing numbers.
The big question though is how one decides which DSLR camera would be suitable. One would easily be spoiled for choices as there are many varieties of DSLRs available today. The factors that are to be taken into consideration while deciding and choosing a DSLR camera are as follows:. Some models may be found for thousands of dollars each. Having a budget for a purchase is a wise decision but the budget should not be rigid as there are additional costs involved apart from the cost of the camera.
It's particularly best to go with upgrading lenses than lit lenses. All DSLRs come with a single battery but a spare battery is required for traveling purposes. The memory card that comes with most models does not have enough memory, hence the need for an upgrade of memory to at least a gigabyte on average.
A camera bag would be included with the camera but that to a great extent depends on the dealer. Some dealers give camera bags and some dont. The bag though is not of a high standard as its complimentary; to protect the DSLR camera, the best quality bag should be bought separately from the camera itself.
A UV filter is needed for each lens that is purchased. Other types of filters could be considered later on as well. Opinions vary on extended warranties whether they are good or bad but nonetheless they should be considered.
What Would It Work For It is the question that would be asked by most sales persons in a camera store. The other variant of the same question that would invariably be asked is what type of photography does the photographer intend to get into. Once the photographer in his or her mind knows the answers to these questions it. Some of the other questions to ask oneself are, will the camera be used as a general purpose camera to photograph life or will it be used for travel photography. Is sports photography the purpose of purchasing the camera or is macro or low light photography needed?
A realistic list should be made of the type of photography that the camera would be used for. Size DSLRs are sizable than one of those compact point and shoot cameras but there is a fair amount of size variants as well.
Carrying heavy gear for some photographers is not an issue at all but for photography on the go though, travels, bushwalking, etc. Previous Gear The best thing about DSLRs is that in most cases they can be used with the existing gear that one may already have. Hence they are compatible. A case in point is with the lenses. More often than not, the lens that is used on a film SLR could be used on a DSLR as well if both the lenses are made by the same manufacturer.
It would be wrong to be under the assumption that all lenses would be compatible, older gear in particular. Nonetheless the question should be asked just so that a considerable amount could be saved.
The memory card of a point and shoot camera can be compatible with a DSLR as well. This in all likelihood would probably not be a major issue as memory cards are quite a bit cheaper than what the price used to be but nonetheless it is a point worth considering. Resolution Photography enthusiasts and those who arent can be are curious about megapixel of a camera. The emphasis on megapixels is perhaps more than is required but nonetheless its a point to be taken into consideration as there are a wide array of megapixel ratings on DSLRs.
Megapixels have a role to play in deciding how images would be used. If enlargements need to be printed then the more pixels the better.
On the contrary, if the size of the image is going to be small then the number of pixels isn't going to be much of a concern. Sensor Size Another question in relation to resolution that needs to be considered is the size of the image sensor. More often than not, crop factor is a terminology that linked with image sensor size. Simply put, there are advantages of a lager sensor compared to a smaller one.
If future upgrades are not a possibility then entry level DSLRs can be affordable but they become obsolete quickly when compared with high end models. Moreover there is the possibility of venturing to purchase a professional camera to suit the needs of a professional photographer. Your level of expertise and your desire to keep moving on in this field are critical to your decision for what type of camera you need to use.
Burst Mode This is a feature worth exploring on many cameras. It is the ability to shoot images one after the other in quick succession by keeping the shutter release pressed. This works just fine for sports and action photography. Not all DSLRs can shoot the same number of frames but they can shoot on a per second mode and on burst mode as well. This is where the camera shoots multiple images in a single burst. For sports and action photography alike top speeds are required.
You need to think about the types of cameras you want to use. It hardly makes any difference though in the way photos are shot but it would be nice to be able to watch shots even on a slightly bigger screen.
Anti-Shake Anti-shake is a new and emerging technology that has been implemented in newer cameras. While lenses are equipped with image stabilization technology, the fact that cameras are being built with anti-shake technology is truly an advancement in leaps and bounds because it protects the camera from physical shakes.
Connectivity You have to think about what you are going to do to transmit photos from the camera into a computer or directly onto a printer. A USB port can be used in most cases. Firewire and wireless connectivity options are also options.
Semi-Auto Modes Just like point and shoot cameras, most DSLRs, the low end ones in particular, are equipped with multiple shooting modes like the portrait, sport and night choices. By using these modes on a point and shoot camera, one would know how to use them on a low end DSLR as the high end ones generally dont have these features except on a few may be. Flash Normally professional level DSLRs arent equipped with inbuilt but models for beginners will have it. You might want to think about your flash needs when finding a camera like this.
These are features worth exploring when finding ways to get your DSLR camera to do more for you. If you've ever wanted to take a nice self-portrait, dive into time-lapse photography or just get a different perspective on your images, you can do all of it with a variety of wired and wireless options.
Here's how you can control your camera remotely to expand your photographic tool set without spending a bunch of money on accessories you don't need. The reasons for remote controls when taking photos are great to see. As the camera can be controlled remotely, the person taking the photograph could be included in the photograph as well.
Whether its a group photograph or a beautiful self-portrait, there is no substitute for a remote shutter. As the name suggests, the shutter of the camera is activated remotely without touching the camera.
Its not just that the shutter of the camera is triggered remotely but a person can see his or her self-portrait before the shot is taken. Over and above self-portraits, remote controls can also work for time-lapse photos. Traditionally, time-lapse photography is grueling and tedious as well as hard to accomplish without the assistance of a timer. As if this was not enough, there is the risk that the camera may be moved from its alignment because of the fact that the shutter that is on the camera is activated.
With a remote option and automation, the entire procedure is not as prone to errors as it is otherwise. Manual intervention is not required at all. Remotely-controlled and fully automated photography creates an opportunity to move away from the viewfinder and photo composition can be accomplished from an entirely new angle. A domestic photo studio could be set up without having to invest in anything except the camera. Today remote shutters can be used on almost all digital cameras but the specific options that you can use will vary by each model.
Using a Remote A camera could be controlled by the remote itself. If the camera has an inbuilt infrared receiver, a remote could either be built or bought so that the shutter could be clicked from a distance. Building a remote could be fun on a weekend but there isnt any cost advantage.
It could in fact be a hobby for someone who is a keen and avid electronics expert. A more functional remote could perhaps be made than bought. Most people though would prefer buying a no-frills remote. Clicking the shutter remotely with a twosecond delay is all that these remotes can do but thats all that is needed anyway. This is a cheap and simple option for self-portraits, group photography or to get the camera ready and the shutter is pressed from a distance. Remote photography is possible, but all facets of the camera cant be controlled remotely.
Smartphone Controllers Can Work Smartphones are awesome controllers. Their support is varied and therefore is compatible with all kinds of cameras. A DSLR equipped with an infrared receiver is more compatible with smartphones than with a remote that has been bought for a particular model. Infrared Controllers are Popular Just like an infrared controller can be built for the smartphone and an application could be used to control the camera, a controller could similarly be bought which would fit into the headphone jack of the smartphone.
The camera could be controlled with a sensible application. It could very well be that the smartphone is already equipped with an infrared controller.
Once the infrared is set up, an application will be required. All that needs to be done to begin remote shooting is to plug in the infrared transmitter to the smartphone. The camera should be on a remote shooting mode and the application that was downloaded will need to be opened. From that point onwards, the smartphone should be within 30 feet while pointing in the direction of the camera and the corresponding buttons ought to be pressed for a snapshot. It's simple to use like a hardware remote but the software has more features like high dynamic range, timed exposure and more.
Wi-Fi and Tethered Controllers When applications interact directly with the camera then things can really get exciting. If the camera supports live view mode then what the camera sees can be seen as well from an Android handset.
The camera needs to be hooked up and turned on as the application is launched. If the mobility of a smartphone or tablet is not required then tethering it to the computer is the next best option as the camera can be controlled a little better.
Chapter 12 - Modes While choosing a shooting mode, you have to carefully think about which creative aspect which depth of field or motion and which exposure mode would be selected. Decisions related to creativity are best left to the camera but everything could be handled personally as well. The advanced shooting modes are as follows:. Program Auto P Also known as Programmed Auto or Program AE, it is a combination of advanced auto mode and the relative ease of a point-and-shoot along with the flexible advanced shooting modes flexibility.
As the shutter button is pressed halfway, the aperture and shutter speeds of the camera are set automatically. In program auto mode, the advanced options of the camera can be set. In program auto mode the metering mode and drive mode can be changed.
The white balance settings could be tweaked as well. Program Auto is ideal for snapshots and flash photography. Aperture priority A In Aperture priority mode, the aperture is set and the shutter speed is ascertained by the camera. Aperture priority mode is used when the depth of field needs to be controlled. Aperture mode is appropriate for portraits, landscapes, and close-ups. In Aperture Priority or Aperture Value mode as its also known by, the required aperture is set by using the main dial and an appropriate shutter speed is selected automatically according to the light in the area.
The purpose and objective of using AV mode is to control the depth-of-field which is again controlled by the aperture that is selected. The depth of field could be a factor based on how far the subject of the camera is from it.
As the lens aperture is shrunken down, you will see larger f numbers. It affects the depth of field as does when the distance between the camera and the subject decreases. Shutter Priority S Also, known as shutter-priority auto or shutter-priority AE TV , this is where the shutter speed is set manually and the aperture is set by the camera. Shutter priority mode ought to be used when the shutter speed needs to be controlled to either freeze or to blur the action intentionally.
Shutter priority mode is appropriate for sports, action and kids photography and when one is in motion. Shutter priority is also known as Time Value; hence the abbreviation of TV mode is perfect for taking photographs of subjects that are in motion. Selecting TV on the mode dial of the camera signifies an automatic aperture selection has been made to be in sync with the user s chosen shutter speed.
Unlike program mode, on shutter priority mode it has to be ensured that the aperture range that. Most SLRs would provide some sort of indication or signal and if the shutter speed selected is one of the two extremes, either too fast or too slow for sufficient exposure, shutter speed should be different.
Manual In manual mode the aperture, shutter speed and often the ISO are set manually. Normally auto ISO isnt available in manual mode. Even though the metered standard exposure is displayed on the exposure meter, the exposure could be set however one wants. Manual mode works best for those photographers who seek the freedom of diversion from the recommended exposure. Its also superb when the settings are unchanged for a series of shots.
Manual mode is used by most professional photographers. There are certain lighting situations that are confusing even to the most sophisticated automatic exposure metering system. This is where manual mode is suitable. This mode is meant for experienced photographers.
Manual exposure can be exceptional when the contrast in relation to the subject is high and the light in the background is strong. It is also effective to further enhance a certain mood.
Bulb Bulb is a variation of the manual mode with which shutter speed can be lengthened by exceeding the cameras setup. Bulb mode is a special type of Manual mode that lets you lengthen the shutter speed beyond your camera's built-in limit which normally is 30 seconds. As the shutter button is pressed, the shutter opens and closes when released. For long shutter speeds, a bulb is ideal. It also works during night time photography or in low light situations.
It's equally ideal for shooting storms, lightning, fireworks, etc. Without the B setting on the mode dial, the other alternative is to enter manual mode and lengthen the shutter speed until B or bulb appears. Mode Dial A mode dial, a setting which is also known as a camera dial, is nothing but a simple dial that is used on digital cameras to change the mode of the camera. On point-and-shoot cameras that support modes, a veritable range of scene types is available.
The point-and-shoot cameras which are comparatively more compact and cameras that offer a lot of modes often don't have these dials as they use menus instead. There are a few SLR lenses that can control aperture to reduce the need for support from modes in the body of the camera.
On point-and-shoot cameras, the mode dial does not have a standard location. The mode dial on most models can be found on top as it is found on DSLRs as well. On point-andshoots with thin bodies in particular, the dial can be found on the back of the camera often along with a menu-navigation button. A few thin cameras can also use a slide switch instead of a dial. Most DSLRs have only a few manual settings and a small sampling of automatic modes. Most SLR cameras also have manual modes and multiple automatic scene modes.
All manual controls on pointand-shoot cameras could be compressed into one mode known as aperture shutter priority or could be absent. Compact cameras show a wide array of scene modes. Point-and-shoot and SLR digital cameras normally have movie modes for capturing videos and modern DSLRs these days support movie modes as well. Automatic Scene Modes In automatic modes, all aspects of exposure can be determined by the camera by selecting exposure parameters based on the application within the limits of proper exposure through the camera's aperture, focusing, light metering, white balance, and equivalent sensitivity.
In portrait mode for example, the camera would be using a broader aperture so that the background is out of focus and would look for and focus on the face of a human rather than extraneous content on the image. In a similar light condition, a smaller aperture is required for landscape photography and focus would not be enabled to recognize faces. There are cameras that have innumerable modes and show only the majority in the menu instead of on the dial.
Its not documented as what the modes do but to understand how they work it is often best to experiment with them. Metering Modes in DSLR Photography There are various metering modes that can be set on the camera in order to facilitate the light meter of the camera to work at its optimum capacity and thereby ensure that the exposure is nearly perfect.
A light meter s main function is measuring the amount of light that enters the camera. Apart from that, more specifically what it measures is the light that reflects from various objects that are an integral part of a scene. The question though is how is it determined what would be the right exposure when there are different subjects in the scene with each reflecting unique shot and often times certain amounts of lights can compete with each other.
This is exactly the juncture where the metering modes of DSLRs can come into play. Each of the. What would be the best exposure can be found out by setting the digital SLR to a specific metering mode out of the 3 or 4 unique metering modes the actual number that you will have to use will depends on the manufacturer of the camera that you have.
With that in mind, let's take a look at a few of these critical metering models to get an idea of what you can expect out of your digital camera.
Evaluative Matrix Metering Mode Evaluative Metering or Matrix Metering is known by quite a few other names like segment metering, multi zone metering and multi pattern metering but their functions are all same.
What this metering mode does is it splits the entire scene into tiny zones or grids on a matrix and each zone or grid is individually measured. By averaging the matrix as a whole, the best exposure which is a combination of shutter speed and aperture is determined.
With the increasing sophistication of DSLR cameras, there are many that in addition to measuring the amount of light in this mode will take into account tone distribution, color, composition and even distance. This is normally the default setting in almost all digital SLR cameras and results in the exposure being good for most scenes.
The only difference is that the average that is ascertained would have the viewfinder with more weight placed on the center rather than on the rest of the scene. This metering mode presumes that the crucial portion of the scene is towards the center of the viewfinder with the exception being while composing a picture.
Due to its emphasis, specifically on the center of the viewfinder, this metering mode is extremely effective when the edges of the viewfinder or scene are considerably lighter or darker than the center to such an extent that the edges could exert an influence on the exposure of the main subject.
The downside of this metering mode is that it emphasizes the center of the viewfinder above all parts. With the spot metering mode, an emphasis will be placed on the control that you have to work with. This happens to be the smallest area among all metering modes. The biggest advantage of spot metering is that the spot could be rooted on any one of many autofocusing points within the viewfinder and therefore the flexibility is greater with regards to the point of the scene that is to be metered.
With spot metering, a specific area can be metered to highlight as much detail as possible. Hence it is ideal for portraits where reflection from the subjects face is directly metered. Its a dilemma in terms of selecting the metering mode to use out of so many. A bigger dilemma perhaps is to know when to use it. In the end, it actually boils down to a matter of personal preference. In the final analysis it hardly matters which metering mode one uses. It is far more important that consistency is gained for a better understanding of how metering is dealt with by a DSLR.
Exposure compensation and bracketing is a much more important concept than metering, for instance. Regardless of which mode is used, ultimately adjustments through exposure compensation or bracketing could very well be made for any kind of subject you are targeting. This may work at least until you can get a foolproof understanding of how the camera deals with exposure in various environments and adjustments through exposure compensation and bracketing. Professional photographers were the proud owners of DSLR cameras for the most part.
Over the years the price of DSLRs has fallen gradually and is now within reach of the masses. As DSLRs have become more affordable the general public is purchasing digital SLRs without having any knowledge of its functions or what they are doing when they are using their cameras in particular.
If you want to use a DSLR then you need to be aware of what you are doing when getting photos taken the right way. Here's a look at what you can do in particular. Look for a Subject Photographs can be taken with a wide array of settings. Therefore it's vital that photographs of anything dark arent taken.
The human eye is able to perceive light intensities whose range is wider than the sensor of a digital camera referred to as the dynamic range. By looking through a window, what is inside can be seen even though the light conditions inside could be completely different from the light conditions outside. Cameras and digital cameras in particular cannot do the same. While viewing through a camera, only the outside can be seen unlike the human eye. This point ought to be considered when subjects are chosen.
Steady Your Camera A tripod to mount the camera would keep the camera steady. If a solid surface to rest the camera on can be found then by all means that is exactly what needs to be done. Tripods arguably are required. There is more hype around tripods but they may be useful.
To make a note of the effects of different camera settings it would be great to have multiple shots of exactly the same subject. For relatively slower shutter speeds, tripods can be quite useful. There are many pictures that worsen due to a camera's shakes. If the lens is equipped with an automatic stabilizer then you should significantly consider using it.
Use Automatic Mode On some cameras there is an auto-ISO sensitivity mode which needs to be set separately so that the camera can choose that automatically. There is a switch on some cameras or lenses with which manual focus and or one or more auto-focus modes can be chosen. Normally auto-focus mode along with single shot mode are required prior to taking a picture. Manual focus is ideal for low light and other conditions where the auto-focus is of no use. The shutter button is partially depressed to keep the delay from being prominent when taking a photo.
This has a great effect on sports photography and other fast-moving subjects. It can be set on the camera's main menu. On most cameras this can be changed with a few button presses as well. ISO measures the sensitivity to light within the sensor on the camera. The lower the number, the less sensitive the sensor is, and conversely the higher the ISO number the more sensitive the sensor is to light. ISO speed and shutter speed are directly related.
A slow ISO speed would cause the shutter speed to slow down as well. Conversely, a photo taken with the faster ISO speed would have used a faster shutter speed as well. Due to the noticeable difference between the two it could very well be heard. With a faster shutter speed though, motion or movement could be frozen and camera shake avoided in poor light than with a slower one.
Photographs taken with a slower ISO speed would have less noise as well represented by random discolored pixels. Digital SLRs with their large sensors have a significantly greater ISO performance than what the compact point-and-shoot digital cameras have. Hence, there is always a trade-off in terms of quality of the image and usability in low-light conditions. This more often than not will have quite a high ISO.
A few discolored pixels scattered here and there is far better than a defocus or motion blur that smears the image or chunks of it across innumerable pixels. If the ISO is reasonable then some cameras can automatically pick up. The camera could be set to aperture-priority mode momentarily. The lens aperture is also known as diaphragm.
This could be a dial on the lens with numbers one after the other anywhere between approximately 1. The diaphragm lets more or less allows light into the sensor through an opening towards the front of the lens.
The diaphragms size is best expressed as a ratio of focal length to aperture size. An aperture that is small will have less light that could potentially get onto the sensor; this is expressed by a greater number. By taking two photographs, one whose aperture is large and then by stopping down and taking the one with a smaller aperture, you can see just how much of an impact this can make.
The background of the subject isnt as sharp when the aperture is large as it is when the aperture is small. This is what is known as the depth of field through which a subject could be isolated. The background could be blurred by using a large aperture; even more elements of the scene could be brought to focus and last but not the least a smaller aperture could be used. There are pairs of lines on some lenses that would fit into different distances on the focusing scales of the lenses to reveal the range that would be sharp enough at a preset aperture.
The area that is not within that range would be blurry the more it is outside but comparatively less blurred when the aperture is small than when it is large. It is the angle that the defocus relies upon at which rays of light diverge in relation to the object to make an entry into the lens. The intensity increases rapidly as something is in close proximity to the lens. When the camera is in automatic mode, it will adjust one of two things: This is to let an adequate amount of light onto the sensor; What the AV mode does place an emphasis on the aperture so the shutter speed would only be adjusted by the camera.
What this in essence means is that the effect of the changed aperture on AV mode cant be seen on the exposure as the camera in all likelihood may have compensated. On full manual mode, the effect of the aperture in relation to light can be seen. Therefore, both the depth of field and low light performance cant be had. To have one, one has to let go of the other.
The choice is between a wide open aperture, which would give a negligible depth of field but a lot of light would be added onto the sensor. A smaller one would do exactly the opposite. Set to Manual Mode By setting the camera to fully manual mode, the camera knows to relinquish control of trying to expose the pictures properly.
Most of the time it wont be necessary to use this as the exposure control is there for a reason but there is a need to do this anyhow so that the effects of shutter speed can be demonstrated. Play With Your Shutter Speed Shutter speeds are nothing but numbers in a sequence that go up and doubles each time and are usually represented in fractions of a second; i.
By taking two pictures at shutter speeds a few stops apart, what has been observed is that the photo with the fast shutter speed is darker. Depending on lighting conditions this can either be a good or bad thing,.
A slow shutter speed could result in motion blur if the camera is hand held. Even if the camera were to be mounted on a tripod at slow shutter speeds of half a second or more, such as the one used at night, there might be some blur due to camera shake. Hence, in very dark conditions a slow shutter speed is recommended but slow shutter speeds could cause motion blur as well.
In brighter conditions, a faster shutter speed is required which will have the effect of freezing motion. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. For a longer exposure during the daytime, an ND filter could be used. In terms of light three settings can be adjusted and they are aperture, ISO speed or shutter speed as compensation for varying degrees of strengths of light. If either one of them is adjusted anyone of them would have a positive or negative effect on the image.
Fixed lenses of various sizes have different focal lengths; zoom lenses have a variable focal length. The focal length could be defined as the distance in mm between the elements of a lens and the film or sensor. The viewpoints are unique for each focal length. The standard 50mm lens is almost similar to the sharp central field of view of the human eye. This is especially if pairing is done with 35mm film or a full-frame sensor.
However, most digital SLR sensors are smaller than regular 35mm film. Therefore, the effective focal lengths are multiplied by about 1. Wide-angle lenses are 28mm lenses and can be useful as they will have a lot of room to help you fit a lot of the shot onto the sensor.
The view of a wide angle lens will have an impression that is created by a wide angle lens that the object is being looked at from a distance. It is therefore ideal for taking pictures of small rooms as they look bigger, landscapes, etc.
Substances on the edge of the frame would appear elongated. When subjects are very close to a wide angle lens they would look big but the background area still looks vast. When the background in general has a sweeping view then a wide angle lens is better.
A telephoto lens is normally 80mm or longer and can bring things closer. Hence, a telephoto lens is ideal for portraits as it compels the photographer to be farther away from the subject. However, for the same amount of light to pass through a telephoto lens as it passes through a smaller lens, the telephoto lens has to be a lot bigger.
In addition, most consumer rated telephoto lenses tend to be slow which means its aperture in relation to the focal length is relatively small in comparison with a smaller lens which leads to using longer shutter speeds if in a low-light situation.
This can be compensated with faster ISO speeds. Wide aperture lenses are expensive and are heavy. More often than not it's actually better to buy the cheaper variety which will be attached to the camera even if that means it is a little bit noisier and you will have to bear with a high ISO setting.
The cheap ones are equipped with apertures that are 5. If the depth of field is shallow, an expensive wide-aperture lens could be used, or simply a longer-focus moderate-aperture lens can be added provided that you move back. These choices could be used until the subject is the same size. Zoom lenses could have distortions of such proportions that it is capable of making straight lines look crooked or typically curved at the highest zoom level in particular.
Some cameras are capable of automatically altering the images to compensate. A flash can be used in many ways. SLRs generally automatically control the output of inbuilt flash, or an external flash with maximum power, to spread light evenly across a subject. A flash is at reduced power by applying negative flash exposure compensation in sunlight to soften but not remove shadows that define shape. Flash can be used in dim light to make the scene brighter.
A flash can be bounced off the ceiling with the help of an external unit that would softly light a big area. A slow shutter speed is the cause of loss of ambiance in the scene and it makes the ambient light conspicuous by its absence. As a result, the scene is blurred due to the camera shakes or the subject being in motion. In other words there is noticeable subject movement on a long exposure.
A Polarizing Filter A circular polarizer is compatible with autofocus lenses and is useful under the sun as it reduces glare and makes colors bright by reducing the effects of reflected sunlight to make the sky dark blue.
By rotating it in its mount, a maximum effect can be derived. Cheap ones are fine but it needs to be verified as to whether or not they are coated or even multi-coated to reduce the images reflection spots. The threads should be cut to a high standard as anything short of high quality could damage the threads in the lens more so if the filter threads in the lens are made of plastic. The camera may need to process JPEG images in addition to the semi-processed raw files. Part of the processing setup for the raw images requires the images to be adjusted for colors so that the brightest, fully reflective objects seem white instead whether they are being lit by an artificial light or if they are being taken under a clear and bright open sky.
Everything else may appear to have the proper mix of colors under sunlight or to a naked eye. The white balance setting does just that. Automatic white balance AWB more often than not isnt. It is a setting for the type of light that is dominant in the scene. Some cameras can automatically adjust to any color of light. This is the all-important question that is supposed to help a photographer to make as many photos as they want to make in terms of composition, framing, exposure, etc.
Essentially what is being asked is 'why is this shot being taken? Is it a way of recording a moment, is the emotion of the moment that the photographer is after, could it be that the shot would be given to someone or is it part of a bigger series of shots, or is the shot the only shot to honor the moment, etc.
What Competing Focal Points are There? Once it has been identified what is it that a photographer wants the viewer s eyes to gravitate towards and it has been placed in the frame, it should be ascertained as to whether or not competing focal points add to or take from the image.
The fact is that secondary focal points can indeed add depth to shots but at the same time can be distracting and therefore repositioning or adjusting focal length and or depth of field to keep or remove them from shots. Distractions mainly occur in the background of shots in digital photography. The space behind the subject if seen intently could include many unwanted elements in addition to the subject which is the focus of the image. For the foreground as well, the same observation can be made.
Based on the observation it has to be decided whether the background should be in focus or blurred. How Close Are You? Yet another mistake in digital photography involves shots being taken where the subject in the frame is too small.
When the subject is the main focus of the shot and the frame is filled with the subject, in other words the subject occupies all the space in the frame; those are dynamic shots with as much detail of the subject as possible. To have this effect, the photographer needs to move closer, move the subject closer or use a focal length long enough for the desired effect of closeness.
What is the Main Source of Light? Light is of utmost importance in photography and therefore it has to be considered as to whether the subject is well lit or not. Detail and clarity of an image is often lost due to a lack of light. The camera compensates by increasing ISO and lengthening shutter speeds which could lead to noisy and blurred images.
The main source of light, whether or not there is there enough light, any artificial light. Chapter 15 - Accessories Out of the multitude of accessories that are out there, some are a necessity while others are simply occupying space in the camera bag. Neck Strap Neck straps that come with cameras typically do not have pads and are made of fabric that is irritating.
Hence an upgrade of the neck-strap is essential. Neoprene is the raw material that the strap can be made from and it works like a shock absorber while carrying a DSLR which would more than likely have a long lens. A fabric that does not slip can be kept on the underside which would keep the camera in place when slung around the shoulder. Whereas a shallow depth of field achieved by using a large aperture small f-number would produce an image where only the subject is in sharp focus, but the background is soft and out of focus.
This is often used when shooting portraiture or wildlife, such as the image below, to isolate the subject from the background:. So when using aperture priority, you can get complete control over your depth of field, whilst the camera takes care of the rest. Further Reading: Read more about Aperture Priority Mode. The shutter speed, measured in seconds or more often fractions of a second , is the amount of time the shutter stays open when taking a photograph. The longer the shutter stays open, the more light passes through to the sensor to be captured.
You would select a short shutter speed if you wanted to freeze a fast moving subject, such as shooting sports, action or wildlife, for example:. You would use a long shutter speed if you wanted to blur a moving subject, for example water rushing over a waterfall slower shutter speeds will require you to put the camera on a tripod to ensure the camera is held steady whilst the shutter is open:. To capture the motion of the waves, and render the water with a soft, milky texture, a shutter speed of 6 seconds was used here.
So whilst you worry about what shutter speed you need for a given photograph, the camera will determine the appropriate aperture required to give the correct exposure. In program mode, you are able to set either the aperture or shutter speed, and the camera will maintain the correct exposure by adjusting the other one accordingly, i. This gives you additional freedom that using either aperture priority or shutter priority cannot give without switching between shooting modes.
Manual M Manual mode is exactly what it sounds like, you are given full control over the exposure determination, setting both the aperture and shutter speed yourself. Practically Speaking: ISO is a measure of how sensitive the sensor of your camera is to light. The term originated in film photography, where film of different sensitivities could be used depending on the shooting conditions, and it is no different in digital photography.
The ISO sensitivity is represented numerically from ISO low sensitivity up to ISO high sensitivity and beyond, and controls the amount of light required by the sensor to achieve a given exposure. Low ISO numbers If shooting outside, on a bright sunny day there is a lot of available light that will hit the sensor during an exposure, meaning that the sensor does not need to be very sensitive in order to achieve a correct exposure. This will give you images of the highest quality, with very little grain or noise.
High ISO numbers If shooting in low light conditions, such as inside a dark cathedral or museum for example, there is not much light available for your camera sensor. A high ISO number, such as ISO , will increase the sensitivity of the sensor, effectively multiplying the small amount of available light to give you a correctly exposed image.
This multiplication effect comes with a side effect of increased noise on the image, which looks like a fine grain, reducing the overall image quality. This image was taken as the sun was going down, meaning there was not much ambient light.
Outside on a sunny day, select ISO and see how it goes. If it clouds over, maybe select an ISO between If you move indoors, consider an ISO of around or above these are approximate starting points. Auto-ISO is a very useful tool when starting out with your camera, as it is allows you to define an upper limit i.
Discover more about how to use ISO. They all control either the amount of light entering the camera aperture, shutter speed or the amount of light required by the camera ISO for a given exposure.
Therefore, they are all linked, and understanding the relationship between them is crucial to being able to take control of your camera. A change in one of the settings will impact the other two. Therefore, to balance the exposure, you could do the following:. Aperture, shutter speed and ISO are all facotrs that influence your exposure, and are all linked. They all have the net effect of reducing the amount of light by a factor of 4, countering the change in aperture.
Read more about the Exposure Triangle. Through out all of the above discussion, I have said that the camera calculates the exposure depending on the amount of available light, but what is it actually doing? When taking a photograph, using any form of automatic exposure calculation e. This is known as metering, and it is the reason that if you point your camera at a bright white scene, such as after it has snowed, and take a photograph the resulting image will always appear darker than you or I see it.
Similarly, if you point your camera at a really dark scene, such as a low-lit room, and take a photograph the resulting image will always be brighter than you or I see it.
The scene is always being averaged by the camera and most of the time that results in the image appearing to be correctly exposed.
However, you can control what areas of the scene are being assessed by the camera in order to influence the way in which the exposure is metered. Practically speaking: They will both provide a fairly consistent measure of the exposure required and, if you select one mode and stick with it, you will soon begin to understand when a scene will be under exposed i.
That is where exposure compensation comes in. A Beginners Guide to Metering Modes. It allows you to either increase or decrease the cameras default meter reading to account for the actual brightness of a scene.
A spring lamb leaping in front of a snowy hillside. Straight out of camera, with the snow caught as grey. The bright snowy background caused my camera to underexpose this scene by nearly two stops, which could have been corrected by exposure compensation in camera.
Regardless of what shooting mode you are using, or what ISO you define, the chances are there will be a subject of your image that you want to have in focus. If that focus is not achieved, the image will not be what you wanted. AF-S — autofocus-single. This is best used when taking photos of stationary subjects such as portraits of people, landscapes, buildings etc. When you half-press the shutter, the focus will be acquired and locked on that point for as long as you hold the button down.
If you want to change to focus, you need to release the button, recompose and then re-half-press. AF-C — autofocus-continuous. This is best used when taking photos of action or moving subjects such as sports and wildlife.