Photography Basics

Welcome to the "Photography Basics" course. I'm thrilled you're here! If you've made it to this page, it means you are interested in learning about the dimensions of photography, what I call the "art and science" of it. Art is for the creative side and science to know how to manipulate your camera to achieve the desired results. I am confident that this class will allow you to explore both sides. Before you even let the thought complete itself, I don't believe in the words, "But I'm not a science person!" or "But I'm not artistic or creative!" No one person is ever a math/science person or an arts person. We each have a mixture of these me. Let's experiment together. Exercises will touch on a little bit of science and a little bit of art. More than anything, I LOVE questions! You can't learn without asking questions! No question is a silly me, I've heard quite a few! That's where this course can help. We will build a community where questions are welcome. (You never know how many people are thinking of the same question that you dared to ask.) Throughout this course, I'll present questions to find out why each of us photograph. What first inspired you to pick a camera? What are you using for equipment? Film and digital are both explored because the components of photography are the same. Thank you for joining me in this adventure. I'm looking forward to working with each of you.

Photography Basics
Lesson 1: History of Photography
Why Photograph? To understand great photography, we must know its coming of age story. We must also ask ourselves, "Where do we fit in this spectrum?" In this lesson, we will look at the birth, evolution, and future of photography, as well as why each of us photographs.

In this lesson, we will understand the first photographic process that was used to capture a truthful likeness. Seeing how photography was born, we will also trace its development through the centuries and speculate how it next evolves. Most importantly, where do we fit into this spectrum? The objectives are outlined as such: - Know who first invented photography and the process that is named after this person. - Name 2-3 major players in the evolution of photography, as well as what they contributed to the field. - Come up with an idea of how photography will be used in the future. - Answer in 2-3 sentences what inspired you to first pick up a camera and capture images and what you hope to "do" with photography (become a fine artist, capture family photos, make a business out of it).

The Birth of Photography
In 1839, when Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre announced to the public that he had invented the daguerreotype process, photography as a medium to capture a truthful likeness was born.

The process was an intensive one, and it's appropriate to say, "You've come a long way, baby!" First, a silver-plated copper plate had first to be cleaned and polished until the surface looked like a mirror. Next, the plate was sensitized in a closed box over iodine until it took on a yellow-pink appearance. The plate, held in a lightproof holder, was then transferred to the camera. After exposure to light, the plate was developed over hot mercury until an image appeared. (I'm not so sure the health department of any state would allow hot mercury in households today!) To fix the image, the plate was immersed in a solution of sodium thiosulfate or salt and then toned with gold chloride. Exposure times for the earliest daguerreotypes ranged from 3-15 minutes, making the process nearly impractical for portraiture. Modifications to the sensitization process plus the improvement of photographic lenses soon reduced the exposure time to less than a minute. How did Daguerre figure all of this out? He was the creator, proprietor, and promoter of a giant illusionistic theater called the Diorama. He sketched scenes for patrons to enjoy an epic story. The storytelling was controlled by way of lighting and sound effects, but Daguerre wanted to invent a way to capture likeness but without an artist drawing it all out. After experimenting for years and partnering with Joseph Niepce, the above process is what achieved the results he wanted. Being a commercial photographer by trade, this served his needs very well. Daguerre was also recognized by the French Academy of Sciences in Paris, thanking him for his contribution to the country. However, when the first public announcement was made regarding the invention of a successful photographic process, it generated much animosity. One German publication said it was "impossible" according to their own investigations and the desire to capture reflections, as Daguerre claimed, was blasphemous.

The Evolution of Photography - Part I
Photography had been brought out into the world with the announcement of Daguerre¶s work. However, others had been close. Three weeks after Daguerre¶s work came to light, William Henry Fox Talbot appeared before the Royal Institution of Great Britain to announce that he had also found a way to imprint an image permanently, this time on paper. In 1840 Talbot announced a technique that would become the basis of modern photography. The light-sensitive paper was exposed long enough to produce a dormant image, but nothing could be seen until the paper was chemically developed. He called his invention a calotype (Greek derivative: ³kalos´ meaning beautiful and ³typos´ meaning impression). The greatest asset of Talbot¶s invention was that it allowed reproducibility. (This procedure is the equivalent of today¶s contact print.) However, it never gained wide popularity due to the fact that it lacked the sharp detail of the daguerreotype. The wet-plate process combined the best of each process. It had the sharpness of the daguerreotype and the reproducibility of the calotype. Frederick Scott Archer, an English sculptor who had been making calotypes of his subjects to use as studies, discovered that nitrocellulose dissolved in ether and alcohol (known as collodion) was a great basis for an emulsion. Collodion, however, was not convenient. The glass plate had to be exposed and processed while still wet«never mind that coating the plate had to be done skillfully and with precision timing. Now, let¶s fast forward from the birth of photography in the 1830s to the 1880s when photography was still not in the hands of the general public. Due to the technical skill, the expense, and the amount of equipment needed, only professionals took photographs to be shared with the general public.

At this point, a dry plate had been invented with a new gelatin emulsion. This made the way for another modern invention, roll film. (hoorah!) Any idea who¶s responsible for that? If you guessed George Eastman, you¶re correct. Eastman was a bank clerk in Rochester, NY and had bought a wet-plate camera in 1877. Almost immediately, he began to search for a simpler way to take pictures. Many had experimented with roll film, but no one was able to produce it commercially until Eastman invented the equipment to mass-produce film. The result of his quest was Eastman¶s American Film, a roll of paper coated with a thin gelatin emulsion. This emulsion had to be stripped from the paper backing to provide a negative that light could shine through. Most photographers had trouble with the operation, often stretching the negative when it was removed from paper. Therefore, it was easier to send the film back to the Eastman Company for processing. This invention of film allowed everyone to be a potential photographer. Eastman introduced the Kodak camera in 1888, which was loaded with enough film for 100 shots. When all were used up, the owner returned it to the Eastman Company with the exposed film inside. What they got back was developed and printed photographs and the camera, reloaded with film. In 1888, a factory in Berlin that had been producing colour dyes began manufacturing material for the new rage of photography. That factory, Aktiengesellschaft für Anilinfabrikation, soon adopted the acronym Agfa as its official name. In 1891, an Agfa chemist invented Rodinal, which quickly became the world's most famous black & white developer concentrate, still in use today. In 1898, Hannibal Goodwin perfected roll film. He made it a transparent, flexible plastic, which was coated with a thin emulsion and sturdy enough to be used without a paper support. Whew! What an industrious coming of age photography had! Part II of the evolution of photography looks at what occurred in the 20th century and beyond.

The Evolution of Photography - Part II
Welcome back as we skate through more of history«. Did you notice anything about the 19th century of photography? Any mention of color film? Nope because daguerreotypes, calotypes, wet plates, and the earliest of roll film was truly ³writing with light´ that entered the camera. Everything was seen in shades of gray based on how much light was allowed to enter the camera. Bring on the color! In 1907, the first commercially successful color film was an additive process. Two French brothers, Antoine and Louis Lumiere, made public their Autochrome process. This was a glass plate covered in one layer with tiny bits of potato starch dyed orange, green, and violet. Then a light-sensitive emulsion was added. Light would hit the emulsion after passing through the colored starch. The emulsion behind each grain was exposed only by the light from the scene that was the same color as that grain. The result after the development was a full-color transparency. (There¶s a great photo of this on page 373 in the seventh edition of ³Photography.´) In 1934, The Fuji Photo Film Company was founded to take over the proposed motion picture film manufacturing of the Dainippon Celluloid Company. The factory was located approximately 31 miles west of Tokyo, at the foot of the mountains leading to Mount Fuji.

The original intent of setting this factory up was to create a Japanese manufacturer of black and white motion picture film, as all products had been imported until this time. By 1939, black and white negatives for still cameras had been added to the company¶s range of products. In 1935, Kodachrome was born. Kodachrome is a subtractive process, and this is what made color photography practical. The process was perfected by Leopold Mannes and Leopold Godowsky, both musicians and amateur photographic researchers who joined their knowledge with Eastman Kodak research scientists. Kodachrome was a single sheet of film coated with 3 layers of emulsion, each sensitive to one of the primary colors. A single exposure produces a color image. (Another great photo to show the subtractive process is on the same page, same edition, same book, listed above.) Also in 1935, Agfa introduced its own color film to the market, which was the world's first single film/single exposure/single developing process. In 1964, the largest European photographic company was created by the merger of Agfa and Gevaert (a Belgian photographer named Lieven Gevaert started producing high-quality photographic products, forming his own company, L. Gevaert & Cie.). From this point onward, photography was in the hands of the general public. What came about as a result were heated debates and separate schools of thought. Photography was debated, ³Is it an art form?´ Some said yes, if it was not posed or manipulated. Others said, ³No way! Anyone can take a snapshot.´ Straight photography dominated as an art form from the 1930 to the 1950s and is best shown by Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Paul Caponigro, and Imogen Cummingham. Each believed in seeing something, capturing it, and not cropping any of the final image. In 1944, Edward Land's daughter asked why she had to wait to see the picture he had just taken of her. Being the inventor of polarized glass and the owner of the Polaroid Corporation, he conceives the idea of the one-step photographic system that popularized Polaroid with the general public. During the 1960s, an increasing number of colleges and art schools in the United States offered photography courses within their art departments. However, the first photography degree in the world was given by University of Westminster in London in 1841. Throughout the 1970's, camera color negative speed remained low. It was a great improvement on the early days but still insufficient when low light level filming was required. All film companies concentrated on increasing film speed and in the 1980's high speed negative film came into the foray. With the close of the 1980s came a whole new product for photography. One of the first digital cameras was the Sony ProMavica MVC-5000, appearing in 1989. The word "MAVICA" stands for Magnetic Video Camera. The camera recorded images as magnetic impulses on a compact 2-inch still-video floppy disk. The images were captured on the disk by using two CCD (charge-coupled device) chips. One chip stored luminance information and the other separately recorded the chrominance information. This camera provided a 720,000-pixel image. In 1990, the Dycam Model 1 was the world¶s first completely digital consumer camera. It had a fixed-focus 8 mm lens and stored 32 compressed images on internal 1MB RAM. It had 1/3-inch, 376 x 240 pixel CCD at 256 gray levels. The formats were TIFF or PICT 2. In 1994, the first mass-market color digital camera was offered. The APPLE QUICK TAKE 100 had a 640 x 480 pixel CCD and up to eight images could be stored in internal memory. The lens was a fixed-focus 50mm, and this even had a built in flash.

Improvements to digital cameras keep occurring. In the last 10 years, they¶ve gotten smaller, faster, and we¶ve even got them embedded in cellular phones. What I want to know is this: With all the development that¶s happened in the history of photography (100+ years), what¶s next? What do you foresee in the future of photography?

Why Do You Photograph?
Phew! Has everyone gotten all that info? Over 100 years of photography! So, where do each of us fit into all of this? Why do people photograph? What inspired each of you to pick up a camera over and over again? What inspires you to keep looking? To keep capturing? For me, having 3 brothers meant competing with them. When it was time for a family portrait in front of the new house we moved into, I demanded to be the one chosen to take the picture. From the moment I pushed the button on our Polaroid, the whirring fascinated me and the popping out of the picture while the image came into view was exhilarating. I mean, wow! I was 5 years old, and I felt like a grown up because I had just shot an amazing photograph of my family. The next question is what do you DO with your photographic skills? Is it a hobby? Does it pull in some extra cash? Is it your livelihood?

Adams, Robert. "Why People Photograph." 1994. Aperture Foundation, Inc. This is book by a professional photographer about the relationship of art and life. London, Barbara et al. "Photography." 7th Edition. 2002. Prentice Hall. This is the quintessential resource book for learning and understanding all components of photography. This book is also used by Professional Photographers of America for their certified photographer testing. -Agfa's website allows a glimpse into its history, focusing on its start and then major breakthroughs. -This alumni newsletter of Westminster University supports the findings that the world's first photography degree was given out by them. -This website details the invention of the daguerreotype, as well as the archiving of daguerreotypes still in existence. -Kodak's website is expansive and allows consumers, professionals, and everyone in between to have their own section of reading material. -This is a great page to see where Fujifilm started out with Japanese motion pictures and its evolution to being a part of today's photographic technology market. -Here's the web link where I discovered Hannibal Goodwin, as well as some juicy gossip between his company and Kodak Eastman. Guess who won this legal battle? -Polaroid's website has a great Company History area. It is broken down by decade and then by individual years.

Lesson 2: Toolbox
In this lesson, we will introduce camera types, capture types, and accessories. Have your mind thinking what kind of camera and setup is ideal for you. Books referenced include "Photography" by Barbara London et al.

A camera and its accessories are really just tools. Some tools are high quality and some aren't, but they are all aides to help you translate your vision into a captured scene with photography as the medium. Vision comes from within you and it's yours alone. Here's the key to enhancing your vision: Don't use your tools without thinking. Here's a scenario: You think you've gotten this amazing shot, but when you look at your LCD display or printed photographs, it doesn't even resemble your original idea. What happened? And more importantly - how do you encourage yourself to keep shooting? Understanding some essential camera functions will give you the knowledge and confidence that you can get the shot translated from your vision.

Camera Types
Let¶s start right from the beginning with a photographer¶s toolbox. There are two most commonly used types of camera for the general public. Their formats are point and shoot and a single lens reflex or SLR, for short. A point and shoot camera does exactly what the name says. You point the camera and you shoot the picture. No focusing, therefore, what you see is not necessarily what you get. Lenses are not interchangeable. Point and shoots are also fully automatic so it doesn¶t allow for creative control. On the bright side, it's compact (packs well!), lightweight, and it¶s easy to learn and use. This type of camera is great for vacation when you don¶t want to carry a bulkier camera around. Versus A single lens reflex (SLR) camera can be bulky, heavy (depending on your lens), longer to learn to use effectively, but the automatic and manual exposure modes allow you more creative control, you can change lenses around, what you see through the viewfinder is what you get. Also, this format is best for fine art and portrait shots. Most important!!! While shopping for a camera, consider your budget, consider the functions and capabilities you want, and then « hold it. No, really hold the camera(s) you¶re interested in your hand, like you are about to photograph with it. Does it fit in your hand? If it doesn¶t fit or if it¶s not comfortable, you¶re not going to want to hold it. I used to work at this great camera shop in Savannah, GA, Worldwide Camera. Tom and Pam Coffer are the owners, and I attribute my camera factoids to the two of them. They¶re great people!

Anyway, it was through these two that I realized you couldn¶t keep a customer happy with a camera if it didn¶t fit comfortably in their hands. That¶s basic. Sure, we all need to learn how to use a camera, but if you¶re struggling to get a large camera gripped in your small hand or vice versa, you¶re never going to enjoy using it. Go on! When it comes to cameras, hold it before you buy one. Got your camera? part - what are you capturing them on?

Capture Types
Film versus Digital - need I say more? When I hear people speak of one or the other, they are very passionate about their beliefs in the capability of either one. Remember this, no photographer needs to be mutually exclusive. I know more wedding and event photographers that use both. Why restrict yourself to one or the other if you enjoy the benefits of both? Film Color negative films are made for color prints and enlargements whereas color positive films (slide film) are made for color transparencies. The advantage of color negative film is that they tolerate color correction in the printing stage and can be forgiving of exposure errors. Slide film is not forgiving of exposure error and cannot be color corrected as there is no printing stage to this. Films also vary according to their ISO number or film speed. This number denotes the film¶s sensitivity to light. The higher an ISO number, the ³faster´ or more responsive to light it is. For example, if you¶re shooting in bright sunlight then a film speed of 100 will suffice. However, if you¶re indoors or in a dimly lit situation, you¶ll need a faster film like 400 or 800. Also, if you¶re in a museum that says no to flash photography, a film speed of 1600 or 3200 could be used. Do the film speeds seem like random numbers to you? Each number is equal to one stop of light. Therefore, an ISO 400 film is twice as fast as an ISO of 200 film, or one stop more sensitive. Next light stop? 800. Next after that? 1600. Random factoids, I¶m full of them! Black and white films are all negative films, so the choice comes down to speed. Based on your experience, what types of film do you like and why? I use Kodak, Agfa, Fuji, and Ilford. Which one depends on what I¶m shooting, but this is a personal preference. If you shot a lush grassy hill, a person, and the ocean with each of these color films, you¶d find discrepancies with each. What works for you and your color preference can only be determined by shooting a roll of each of these and then determining what color combination works for you. Color film and its processing is basic chemistry. Find the chemistry that calls out to you. Digital A digital camera is a computer with a lens. It produces an image by converting the tones of a scene into numbers. The positive side is that you don¶t have to buy any more rolls of film. You can take pictures, transfer this to a computer, and then reuse the same media card. You see immediate results and get immediate gratification. The down side of this is that there¶s a learning curve for various software and its initial investment. As performance in technology improves, the prices come down.

Some things to look for when going digital include image resolution, memory, and basic features. One of the topics that comes up constantly with digital capture is resolution. ³What¶s your res?´ digital photographers say when first meeting up and comparing notes. Lens sharpness aside, resolution in a digital camera depends on the number of pixels that the image contains. At the lower end of consumer cameras, the resolution provided is 640x480 pixels which works for posting to a website, sending via e-mail or small prints (4x6). In the mid-range are the megapixel cameras (1 million pixels) that are about 1152x864 pixels and can make good prints up to 5x7. At the upper end of the chain are the two-megapixel cameras. They store 2 million pixels. How much res you buy depends on how critical you are regarding image quality and what you can afford. Memory, not your own, but your camera¶s is significant when considering how many images can be stored before you have to have the images downloaded to a computer. Digital cameras became more flexible for people with the invention of removable storage cards. It doesn¶t matter which brand you buy as long as the memory cards are compatible with whatever camera you buy. Some of these cards can store a handful of images at a moderate resolution (~4 megabytes) or it could get you through a whole vacation (160 megs). More, bigger, and better are on the horizon, too. Features in digital cameras are varied as well. LCD display screen on the back and what size is to be considered. The bigger it is, the easier it is to view the photo you¶ve just shot. Capture time and download time are something to keep at the back of your mind. How long does it take the camera to capture and store the image? For working with children, unless it¶s a high-end digital camera, the capture time is not quick enough for me. I¶ve photographed children who¶ve just discovered the joys of walking«whew! What a workout that can be!

Accoutrements (aka Accessories)
Okay...we're moving...we're jamming... You now know what kind of camera and how you want to capture your vision. Simple enough, I know, but what about the accessories? There are additional tools to enhance your photo usage and your learning experience. For example, how are you going to carry everything around? A sturdy camera bag is the answer. Find one with sections that can be configured for your equipment, as well as one that¶s comfortable for you to carry. The styles are endless these days! Backpacks, shoulder bags, and the list goes on. How are you going to know what you did? A small notebook is great to jot notes regarding creative ideas, lighting or weather conditions, different techniques used, etc. This notebook can be a great resource and learning tool. What if you only want one multi-use lens in your arsenal? Go with a mid-range zoom lens, like a 35-135 mm. The human eye sees at ~50 mm. Less than 50 mm is considered wide angle and more than that is considered telephoto. The mid-range allows you to have the best of both worlds. Speaking of lenses, how do you insure yours against damage? A UV filter is pennies next to what you¶ve paid for a good lens. (A lens has more impact on your photographs than any other piece of equipment. Please invest wisely.) The filter will screw onto the end of the lens to protect it from scratches, the odd object flying through the air, and dust.

How to power it all? Sure, batteries, but what if your camera has a complete shutdown while shooting an amazing sunset? Backup batteries, film or memory cards are key because Murphy¶s Law will go into effect. If anything can go wrong, it will. What about low light or fast action? Faster speed film can help, but your greatest asset will be a flash unit and a tripod to hold the camera super still. What if you drop the camera? Here¶s a bit of insurance«a camera strap. Wrap it a couple of times around your wrist. Trust me, it works. These may seem basic, but they¶re the tools that will keep you and your passion for photography together.

Lesson 3: Camera Basics
In this lesson, we are going to start exploring and experimenting with our cameras. The introduction will break down components of getting started, as well as list reference books for the lesson. Thank you for joining me on this adventure!

In this lesson, we will explore the basics of "doing." This includes -getting started factors, -shutter speed -aperture control -what will you photograph? All you really need at hand is a minimum of one Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera, film or digital is your choice. The books being referenced include: "Photography" by Barbara London, et al; "Designing with Photos" by Allison Tyler Jones and Donna Smylie; "Kodak Guide to Shooting Great Travel Pictures" by Jeff Wignall.

When it comes to photography, don't ever forget to check the basics: Have I charged up my camera? or Do I have film and batteries that work in my camera? (Don't laugh. It's happened to us all.) A camera's main function is to help you capture a scene the way you see it. Focus to get the scene sharp where you want it to be. Expose the film so the picture is not too dark and not too light. Okay, knowing that is the easy part.

If you're digital, you can correct images via computer and programs such as Adobe's Photoshop. If you're using film, gauge the light you have available. [If your film is sold in a box (package of 1 or 4) look for the expiration date on the box. Film that has expired can be damaged by excessive heat or an extra-long shelf life.] To create a dramatic composition, keep it simple and focus on the most important part of your scene to insure sharpness. When photographing an individual, focus on their eyes. Look through any major magazine and if you are drawn to a photograph of a person's face, look at their eyes. Usually, it's what is highlighted for attention. When photographing a thing, focus on the most interesting part. Is it the handle of a jug? The door of a house? The unique mailbox? Most of us photograph from too far away. Get in, get up, get closer! Whatever caught your eye first, focus on that. How is it framed by your viewfinder? Are you interested in a person's expression? Their shoes? Their hands? If you ask politely, most people will oblige you. I once photographed a girl's shoes at a subway station. They were so bright colored, and it was a great contrast against the dirty floor of the station. To get a photo that is exposed to light correctly, set the aperture (lens opening) and the shutter speed (how fast the lens opens and closes) based on your film speed and how well-lit the subject is. The aperture size determines how much light will pass through the lens; the shutter speed determines the length of time that the light hits the film. More detail (and exercises!) on this later. Camera shake is one of the deadliest things that can happen to a photo. Your subject is still and the aperture seems to open and close with no problem, but when you see the finished result it's more of a blur. What happened? Even the most minute shake of your hand or your arm, can jolt the entire picture. For horizontal photographs, keep your arms against your body to steady the camera. One hand is clicking the shutter release button and other one should be under your lens to steady that. For vertical photographs, support the camera in either hand, but keep your elbow against your body to steady the camera. A tripod is a guarantee that your camera will be steady (unless, of course, the ground is shaking). A tripod also allows you to use slow shutter speeds which is great for night shots or other dimly lit spots. Keeping a record of your exposures (this is where the small notebook is handy!) helps the learning curve immensely. Write down the frame number, the subject, the aperture, and shutter speed settings, and any other relevant information like location or weather condition. When you see your finished photo, you now have a record of the written components. (This is great when sending submissions into photo magazines...they always like to have that technical data.) Some things to keep an eye out for...(I'd recommend printing this out and going around your house, your yard, or your neighborhood with some of these things to look for.) When you see something you'd like to photograph, just put your camera up to your eye to check it out through the viewfinder. Having the scene before you framed allows you to see it more clearly. I'm constantly putting my own camera up this way to "see" better. People are always amazed because they think I've gone through so much film, but in fact I'm just testing my scenery. I think about what interests me in this scene, as well as why I want to photograph it. Is it the juxtaposition of color? The lines of light?

Another rule of thumb to make photos more interesting is the rule of thirds. Whatever has captured your eye, focus on that and then realign to put the subject in 1/3 of the frame. This allows the eye to travel to the subject of the photograph. Look at the edges of what is framed within your viewfinder. How do the edges work with your subject? Does it cut into your subject's head? Is the subject at one side of the frame with lots of empty space around it? Look at what you've got and keep re-framing in your viewfinder to find something you love. Look at the background and foreground of your potential photograph. How does your subject fit in with surroundings? One of the greatest issues on this is...does your subject have something coming out of his/her head due to improper positioning? Towers, trees, and signs are huge culprits...they just seem to show up without our realizing it. Check your lighting. Is it fairly even? When your subject is against a fairly light background like the sky, a wall, or a sign, they can get bleached out. Find a background that allows contrast. Hey! Don't forget to have fun and experiment! See what happens when you've got a subject and you shoot him/her/it from a high angle, a low angle, a dead-straight angle, include something bright in the picture. Embracing photography means having fun with what you are photographing! Woo-hoooo! Next lesson shutter speed and aperture. These two are the heart and soul of manipulating images, the left and right hands of the camera body.

The aperture is the opening that allows the light through your lens. Think of it as the eye of your camera, opening and closing. The numbers that measure the size of the opening are called f-stops. The larger the f-stop (or number) is, then the smaller the opening size is, and vice versa. It¶s a lot like fractions, when you stop to think about it. F-stop 4 sounds like a small number compared to F-stop 22 (or f/22), but think of it as a fraction. Would you rather have ¼ of the pizza when you¶re ravenous or 1/22 of the pizza when you¶re that hungry? Smaller number = more pizza for you (or more of an opening through the camera lens). The aperture mode controls the depth of field in a photograph. Depth of field is the amount of the picture that is in or out of focus. If most of your photo (the foreground, middle ground, and background) is all in focus, then it has a long depth of field. If just a little bit is in focus (the foreground OR the middle ground OR the background), then it has a short depth of field. Try pre-visualizing what you¶d like your end results to be. Many professional photographers do this and even sketch out a general scene of what they¶re trying to capture. All of these exercises help to focus your mind and your thinking. The rule of thumb is to simplify your photographs. You don¶t want a busy scene with many points clamoring for attention. If the background is distracting, throw it out of focus by using a short depth of field. It takes about a roll of film or about 20 shots to understand a photographic concept. Take some shots (and record the readings!) of a gorgeous landscape with every inch in focus (long depth of field). At what aperture were your best shots of the landscape? At what aperture were your best shots of a person? Try shooting the same subject with different depths of field. What are your results? The key to being successful is to experiment and record the results. Note-takers can learn from their experiments.

A note on depth of field and pre-programmed modes: The face profile is the portrait mode and that has a short depth of field, so as to blur the background. The mountain is the landscape mode and that has a long depth of field for landscapes. The flower is the close-up mode and that has a short depth of field for extreme close-ups.

Shutter Speed
Shutter speed is the amount of time that the shutter remains open once you take your photo. With the manipulation of shutter speed, you can show fast action frozen or blurred to varying degrees. A fast shutter speed - like 1/500 freezes motion like a waterfall or a child swinging at the playground. A slow shutter speed - like 1/30 - shows water blurred on the waterfall and the child as a blur on the swing. Each full stop shutter setting is half (or double) the time of the next one, and is marked as the bottom part of the fraction of a second that the shutter stays open. 1 (or 1/1 stands for one second) 2 (1/2 second) 4 (1/4 second) 8 (1/8 second) and so on for 15, 30, 60,125, 250, 500 B (or bulb setting) keeps the shutter open for as long as the release button is held down. Again, use a roll of film to experiment with various shutter speeds. Using water coming out of the tap or a fountain, try various shutter speeds. Take note. Which ones did you enjoy? The blurred look of water or the frozen-in-time look? Sporting events are another great place to practice with your shutter speed. Take note, and see where you prefer the action«frozen or a blurred streak across the field? How about people on bikes or someone on a jump shot? All of these will work. You¶ve been introduced to the timing and lighting components within a camera. Use these to think about the structure of a photograph. In our next lesson, we¶ll address lighting a subject.

People and Places
You've got the basics and as you strive to define your vision, think about this: What do you prefer to photograph: People or Places? Some photographers are drawn to capturing emotion and expressions while some are held under the spell of landscapes. Look through magazines. What captures your eye? Here are some focal points to consider: Faces - With people you know, keep the mood relaxed; with people you don't use a telephoto lens; avoid direct sun so no one has to squint; gentle or subdued lighting is most flattering for people's faces. City Shots - Find high vantage points to reveal city views; shoot early or late in the day; use fast films at twilight.

Distinctive landmarks - Work from a distance to reveal the setting; move close to capture distinctive details; use weather and lighting to establish mood. Marketplace Photos - Get up early to catch the peak activity; search out colorful displays and colorful characters. What will your photos reveal?

Lesson 4: Lighting
In this section, we will address types of lighting, natural and otherwise. Students will understand ways to light a subject, as well as resources that can be consulted for further advice. This is another section where ~20 shots are needed to practice the exercises and see results for yourself. Remember the notebook? Might want to use it here for notes.

In this section, students will be introduced to various aspects of lighting like: -direction -diffusion -available light (outdoors and indoors) -artificial light -main light -fill light -lighting with flash Resources include "Photography" by Barbara London et al, but most importantly, go out and experiment with light. Changes in light will change the effect on your photograph. Pick a favorite spot of yours. Have you seen this spot at sunrise, at high noon, at sunset, and at midnight? Chances are if you captured this spot at those times, the mood of the photograph is different in each. Ralph Waldo Emerson said that light was the first of painters, and since the word "photograph" comes from Greek; "Photo" meaning light and "Graph" meaning to write, let us learn to manipulate light so that we may write with it.

The Importance of Light
Light is all around us. Everywhere we look, light allows us to see things in perspective. When capturing light via photography, make sure you are truly seeing the light.

Quantity of light is important, and this is what we're most concerned with while taking a snapshot. However, when it comes to photography, we should start to think more about the quality of light. Before you shoot, take a minute to think about alternatives. Is this the best way to light this shot? If I stand elsewhere, how is the shot enhanced? Experiment with the light. There are different ways to look at light: hard vs. soft light and natural vs. artificial light. In fact, before you even pick up your camera for this lesson, please take a moment to notice the light around your home. Where is it coming in from? How does it change throughout the day? How does this light fall upon you? Look closely at how light and shadow work together to create texure on the objects around you. Seeing with light and really seeing the light doesn't happen instantaneously. It happens over time. Sometimes, it'll stop you in your tracks, and you will be mesmerized by it. Mastering light is the journey of the photographer.

Types of Lighting
Hard Light This type of light comes directly from the source. Sunlight and on-camera flash are two types of hard light. They're strong types of light that create strong and distinctive shadows. Strong light can eliminate details, flatten a subject, and produce the harsh shadows. Soft Light This type of light is indirect. It can be sunlight coming through curtains or the hazy sunshine we often see on a cloudy day. Shadows are not as harsh with softer light. This type of lighting is ideal for portraits. Natural Light Pretty self-explanatory, I know, but worth mentioning. This type of light comes from a natural source. Sunshine is the prime example of natural light. Artificial Light Artificial lighting comes from photofloods, halogen, "local" light (the lamps in the room), candlelight, etc.

How to Manipulate Light
Light is everywhere, but how do we get it to do what we want it to do? There are a number of ways to manipulate light, based on the vision you have. Flat reflectors are great and now they come in various colors. Before you go out and get this as equipment, try it out first. A large piece of white poster board or foam board works well. If you¶ve got a live (and patient) subject, that helps to see skin tones. If not, an object works well, too. When you move the board, how does the reflection from the sun affect the subject? How does it change the look of light on a person¶s face? Go from side to side«any difference? Kneel down lower and prop the board on the floor. How does that change the light? What about if you stood on a chair and angled the board downward?

What if the light is too strong and gives off harsh shadows? Unlike tanning, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. are not good times for photographing with sunlight as your main source. While you can get a strong tan during these hours, the rays are too strong for portraits. The best thing to do is to diffuse the light. Softening strong light is a great way to soften shadows. Here are some examples: Umbrellas are a great way to produce a wide and diffused light. A diffusion screen (like translucent plastic) helps to soften the light. A softbox encloses one or more lamps and will produce the desired effect. The more diffused the source, the softer the light will be. Even a white curtain or sheet draped across a window can help to diffuse the light. Anything to soften the light coming in, natural or artificial, will work. When you envision what you¶d like to photograph, are there adjustments to lighting you will have to make? Waiting for early in the morning or late in the afternoon will naturally diffuse the light. What are you doing to diffuse and enhance the quality of your light?

Mood Lighting
The mood of a photograph can be enhanced by lighting and the position of light. Side lighting has been used for masculine portraits to show off rugged facial features. Front lighting has been used to flatter celebrities because it smoothes the shadows of skin texture, while sculpting facial contours. Find the light that fits your subject and your photographs will come to life with your vision. Front Lighting A light is placed near the lens and directly in front of the subject. This can be a flash unit attached to the camera or a prop light slightly to the left or right of the camera. This lighting seems to flatten out the volume of the subject and minimizes textures. Side Lighting A light is placed at a 90-degree angle to the subject. This can look like the face is split in two. One side is completely in shadow, and the other side is lit up. This type of lighting emphasizes facial features and can reveal textures of the skin. High Side Lighting A main light stands at a 45-degree angle to one side and 45-degree angle above the subject defines the ³high´ and ³side´ lighting. This is a classic lighting shot for portraits. It can be done outdoors with the sun on top and a side light. This is the most natural of light set-ups and is very flattering, as it allows the face to be sculpted into a 3-D form. Top Lighting

A light shines down directly on top of the subject. With people it creates deep shadows in the eye sockets and under the nose and chin, such as when trying to photograph someone outside at noon. For product lighting, the shadows are still present, but it can be quite flattering if detail at the top of the piece needs to be highlighted. Under Lighting Lit from below, this produces odd-looking shadows because natural light rarely comes from below a subject. Okay, maybe firelight. In fact, this lighting is now best used for a ghoulish look during ghost stories. Think of the ³Blair Witch Project´ with the flashlight under her nose when she was getting a bit frantic. Back Lighting This is a light coming from the back of a subject. The front of the subject can be left in complete darkness unless a fill-flash is used. This might be a flash shot at the front of the subject to light it up. Snow, sunny skies, or bright windows are all back lighting culprits. With fill-flash to compensate, you can make shadows less dark by adding light to them.

Now you have been introduced to the basics of the camera. All that's left is to go out there, photograph, and evaluate your own work. With each photograph you take, can you define the type of lighting used? The aperture? The shutter speed? This is your art and your vision. Go out and create!

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