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PAGE Introduction to the Professional Photography Course About the Author Cameras The Small Format SLR The Medium Format Camera The Large Format Camera Small & Medium Format DSLR Features Interchangeable Lenses Adjustable ISO Depth of Field Preview Integrated Light Meters Mirror Locking Self-Timer Interchangeable Focusing Screens Lenses Focal Length Lens Faults Spherical Aberration Chromatic Aberration Barrel & Pincushion Distortion Flare & Vignetting Lens Types The Normal Lens Wide-angle Lenses Telephoto Lenses Specialty Lenses & Attachments Macro Lenses Zoom Lenses 3 7 10 10 15 18 20 20 21 21 22 23 23 24 26 28 30 31 32 33 34 35 35 39 43 45 45 49



Reflex Lenses The Tilt-Shift Lens Filters Caring For Your Lenses Camera Care Practical Lens Choices Food Photography Fashion Photography Portrait & Beauty Photography Architecture & Interior Photography Travel Photography Sport & Wildlife Photography Assignment One Glossary

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It is my sincere hope that through this course I can reach a much wider group of keen individuals whose careers I can also help to kick-start. __________________________________________________________________________________ 3 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . I will be supplying you with the tools you need to forge a career as a professional photographer or to get the most out of your hobby and will not be waxing lyrical about this or that gizmo. which I will share with you. I greatly enjoyed passing on my knowledge to them and it was a rewarding experience watching them grow as photographers and as people. With most of the professionals I know. I have many friends who have been pros for years and like me. the majority of whom now have successful careers in photography. I hope that by the end you will have few questions and I will have no secrets. Over the course of my career I have trained upwards of a dozen assistants. While I realise it is impossible to completely cover the full extent of my knowledge in the space of this course. which will cover specific areas of photography in much greater detail. A word of warning! This is not a course for boffins or gadget freaks. I have been working as a professional photographer for over thirty-five years and have accumulated a great wealth of practical knowledge about photography and the photography business.__________________________________________________________________________________ INTRODUCTION TO THE PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE Thank you for joining me on this journey of discovery. it takes a major new leap in technology before they trade in their beloved cameras and lenses for the latest gear. they have arrived at a point where they have the gear that suits their style of shooting and they stick with it for years. It is my intention to run this course in a relaxed and informative manner that is light on the jargon and only as technical as it needs to be. In the future I hope to offer several advanced modules.

the first are those who fall in love with the process of photography and the equipment. For me it is the play of light over objects that I find magical and the challenge to see. I hope I can help to speed up your photographic development to a level of competency where you look at the world through an artist’s eyes. However. I will try to impart the wonder I have for light in all its flavours and to help you see “what’s really in front of you”. Like musicians learning and practicing scales. as I now have the sort of image control I could not have dreamed of twenty years ago. I will be going over some of the basics of the photographic process and the equipment that is essential to your development. the upside is that it has everyone experimenting and talking about photography again. retouching and printing. We will learn to see like __________________________________________________________________________________ 4 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . understand. The second are those with an artistic streak who are looking for a creative outlet. or painters learning colour theory and drafting. in other words the technical type and gadget lovers often develop artistic flare and the artistic type become aware of and come to appreciate the science behind the craft. The downside of this process is incurring the massive expense of retooling. We will look at sunlight and develop an understanding of it and an appreciation for its variety and myriad qualities.__________________________________________________________________________________ We have recently gone through a quantum leap in imaging technology and every photographer I know has now traded in their film gear for digital equipment. instead of what you think you see. but more about that later… In the beginning of this course. I have found that there seems to be two distinct types of people who take up photography. The middle of the course is where we get down to the fun part of making pictures and the related area of digital processing. recreate and record this miracle is the excitement that is photography. I will share with you the insights I have gained over the years about light and its capture. I have also found that over the years each type tends to migrate towards the other. Whichever type you may be. These are very exciting times! I firmly believe that digital capture is the best photographic technological advancement since the advent of colour film. I believe it is impossible to excel in photography without having a good working knowledge of the tools and the processes.

All you have to provide is a willingness to learn. and how to get your foot in the door you wish to access. In each of these areas I have been. food and architectural/interiors. If you are happy using PS Elements it will work for most of the course except for Module 9. These are yet to be written. Australia. agents.__________________________________________________________________________________ children all over again… a skill that is essential to achieving the highest level of the art. It will be as close to doing a workshop with me that you can get. an enquiring mind and some latent talent that can be developed. England and France) and have been successful in each. This is not to be confused with Adobe Photoshop Elements. I will share with you the skills to use the tools and equipment essential to success in this industry. Towards the end of the course I will advise you on setting up a studio. I will advise you on fees. if I may say so. magazines. Along with my views. As I mentioned earlier. Please note that for this course the Photoshop I use and reference is Adobe Photoshop CS5. after you have completed this course of study I will be offering in depth modules in the future. agencies. Just don’t download it now or your trial period will expire before you need it. portfolio construction. promoting your work. __________________________________________________________________________________ 5 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . We will explore Photoshop and the amazing arsenal of tools it gives us to take the captured image and transform it into the image we had in our mind when we opened the shutter. stripped down version of Photoshop CS5 and doesn’t contain many of the more powerful features of CS5. ad agencies. will personally review and comment upon. I am also one of the few photographers whose career has spanned such diverse disciplines as fashion. copyright issues and how to set up your business. libraries. I look forward to your company. Elements is the no-frills. as I have worked in four different countries (USA. where I suggest that you download a free 30 day trial version from the Adobe Website. or one of my fellow tutors. Throughout the course there will be eleven assignments that I. The last few modules concentrate on the business of photography and here I am uniquely positioned to help you get your careers rolling. without having to leave home. at the top of the profession. but I am working towards that goal.

__________________________________________________________________________________ George Seper __________________________________________________________________________________ 6 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED .

His advertising clients included the best fashion designers of the time. Patrick Russell. He lasted two years there and realised that his life was anything but magical. Cleo and Cosmopolitan. He studied electronic engineering at university and after graduation went to work at the mecca of scientific research at the time. from dew drops on spider webs to steam rising from manhole covers. George’s own photographic work was concentrated initially on fashion and beauty and he was a regular contributor to Vogue. During that time he also assisted the great Swiss photographer Hans Feurer. George was now on the path to having his magical life. as well as many magazine covers. At about the age of ten he began to notice the beauty that abounded in the early morning light. as well as freelance assisting with commercial photographers. which had been a hobby throughout his late teens into his university days. __________________________________________________________________________________ 7 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . photography. who was then both menswear editor and food editor of Vogue. Mode Magazine. Looking for other means of creative expression. George began shooting food photographs for Vogue in the early 1980’s with Carolyn Lockhart . Norman Parkinson.__________________________________________________________________________________ ABOUT THE AUTHOR George Seper was born in New York City in 1950 and as a child worked in the family business delivering newspapers to people’s houses in the early hours of the morning. He began his photographic career in New York City in the early 1970’s photographing theatrical productions and portraits of actors. George photographed both men’s and women’s wear. He decided to try to pursue a career based on his first love. He immigrated to Australia in 1974 and set up his first studio in Sydney in 1978 after having worked for three years as a photographer’s assistant for the Creative Director of Vogue. as well as the legendary English photographer. Bell Labs in New Jersey. It was about this time that he decided that he wanted to have a magical life. to ice forming in puddles in winter.

In 2000 he took some well-deserved time off and went sailing. Royal Doulton. George also began shooting interiors for Vogue Living magazine in the late 1980’s. George pioneered the short depth of field look that has become the worldwide standard of how food is still photographed. This was a huge departure from the convention in the early 1980’s. Gourmet. returning to work in 2005 refreshed and inspired. scanned using a Leaf Scanner and imported into an early version of Adobe’s Photoshop. George was a pioneer in the field of digital photography in the early 1990’s. Gentleman’s Quarterly. Gourmet Traveller. Vogue Entertaining and Travel and an array of other magazines from Russia to Brazil. Martha Stewart Living. McDonalds and Wild Turkey to name just a few. He tested many of the early digital cameras.__________________________________________________________________________________ His food photography revolutionised the way food was photographed. as he approached food with the eye of a fashion photographer and often worked with 35mm cameras hand held in natural light. Alongside a booming career in food photography. but found that the camera technology of the time wasn’t as good as film. His early digital work was shot on film. He achieved great success in this area and has also shot extensively for high end lifestyle magazines as well as for commercial clients like the Ritz Carlton and Hilton Hotels. He has photographed several cookbooks and his advertising clients include Wedgewood. Madame Figaro Paris. His food photographs have since appeared in over 30 countries in publications such as Vogue Italia. He works out of his studio in Newtown and contributes to several magazines such as Vogue Entertaining and Travel Magazine as well as doing regular advertising work producing several __________________________________________________________________________________ 8 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED .

George is currently represented by StockFood photo agency. http://international.__________________________________________________________________________________ cookbooks each year. He still has his boat and his cameras and life is __________________________________________________________________________________ 9 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED .

the __________________________________________________________________________________ 10 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . For experienced photographers some of this material will be a bit basic. I will also review each type of camera and discuss its strengths and weaknesses.__________________________________________________________________________________ CAMERAS It is important that we begin our professional photography course with a brief rundown on the types of professional cameras and their uses. a Nikon bridge and a Canon DSLR Single lens refers to the fact that there is only one lens. Figure 1 – A Sony point and shoot. (The digital versions are known as a DSLR). now sensor. I believe film has “had its day” for the professional photographer. THE SMALL FORMAT SLR In the days before digital cameras this camera was called the 35mm SLR. but I feel that it is fair to get everyone who is doing the course started on an equal footing. The reflex part refers to the fact that a mirror is used to allow this dual purpose to take place. With the exception of some fine art applications. The acronym SLR stands for single lens reflex. Unless mentioned specifically all cameras referred to will be digital devices. When the button is pressed to take the photo. Please note that there is significant difference between a point and shoot. a ‘hybrid/bridge’ camera and an actual SLR as pictured below. which should be of interest to everyone. which is used to view the subject. as well as to focus the image on the film.

Most often in small format cameras. Figure 2 . Only when I have arrived at the best combination do I set up the tripod if it is required.Small format DSLR . one tends to get locked into a position and a resistance seems to develop against changing the camera position. which makes lenses cheaper. The advantages are that your lenses don’t need individual shutters in each lens. the shutter is in the focal plane inside the camera body and this has advantages and disadvantages. and that focal plane shutters can be made to open and close much faster than in-lens shutters with speeds in excess of 1/8000 of a second. but SLR synch speeds have been steadily increasing over the years. __________________________________________________________________________________ 11 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . The end result is usually better than my original ideas. Most cameras overcome this issue by having a mirror release function. lenses and positions. When operating the camera on a tripod. This feature unfortunately means that you can see nothing through the viewfinder while the mirror is up.Canon 1DS MKIIl & Canon 50D The beauty of this format is that it is designed to be hand held and I strongly suggest that you do so whenever possible. I prefer to keep the camera off the tripod as long as possible while I explore a variety of different heights. which can raise the mirror prior to the shutter opening. Another disadvantage of the SLR’s focal plane shutter is that the action of the mirror’s movement can cause camera shake at low shutter speeds. which makes photographing anything except still subjects very difficult. One disadvantage of the SLR is that the speed that the camera synchronises with a flash unit is slower than an in-lens shutter.__________________________________________________________________________________ mirror jumps vertically out of the image path and allows light to pass through the shutter to the sensor at the rear of the camera.

Figure 3 – Nikon D3X The technology changes at a frightening pace and I know as soon as I write this a new camera will be released by someone. if you are buying a whole new camera system then you will not need to worry about this. If this sounds confusing just picture an image projected onto a movie screen. the best known and most highly supported professional SLR cameras are the Canon1Ds MKIII and the Nikon D3x.__________________________________________________________________________________ Another great feature of the SLR is that you look through the objective lens and see exactly what the digital sensor sees.7mm). At present Nikon has the largest small format DSLR pixel count at 24 mega pixels – the D3X – for my money it is one of the best systems in the small format area. If you replace that movie screen with a smaller one. generally known as the APS-C sensor. which means that your wideangle lenses are not so wide anymore and your telephoto lenses are even longer than before. However. is considerably smaller (roughly 15. Using the smaller APS-C sensor with older 35mm film lenses means that the old lenses have a longer effective focal length. Other manufacturers like Sony. so your 35mm lens is now effectively a 52mm lens (1.7mm x 23. The main difference between pro DSLRs and those marketed to the amateur market is that the pro DSLRs have a full 35mm size sensor (24mm x 36mm) while the amateur cameras sensor. but it is good to know anyway.5 x 35 = 52). Of course. Olympus. For example most APS-C sensor cameras have a lens factor of 1. but Canon and Nikon seem to have the small DSLR camera professional market pretty much to themselves. Pentax and others make excellent cameras. At the time of writing. __________________________________________________________________________________ 12 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . the projected image will be cropped losing its edges. as I believe that megapixels aren’t everything. I have been a Canon user for nearly 40 years and am sticking with the brand and their 21.5 times. which fills the screen edge to edge. your lenses would still have the same effective focal length when switching to the digital model using a full frame sensor. This is a simplification. What this means in practical terms is that if you had 35 mm Canon EOS film cameras like I did. but I hope it is one that illustrates the effect of the smaller sensor versus the full frame one.1 mega pixel DSLR. which will change everything. which will make the scene seem less wide.

Another disadvantage of rangefinders is the inability to view the subject at the aperture used to expose the image. A separate objective lens is used to make the photograph. __________________________________________________________________________________ 13 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . I have found that the small format SLR in both the 35mm film and digital format to be perfectly adequate for images to be reproduced in magazines and that the resolution of the CMOS or CCD sensor surpasses that of 35mm film. This anomaly is accounted for in the better rangefinders through a function whereby the outline of the image frame is shifted in the viewfinder. However. The Leica system is known and revered for the quality of its lenses and the M9 with an 18 mega pixel sensor. Parallax error is particularly obvious when photographing subjects close up. but rarely use it. this type of camera is very popular with photojournalists and travel photographers. So if you do a lot of wide-angle work I would test both the Nikon and Canon with your favourite focal length lens and look at edge sharpness in particular. compensating for the difference between the two different points of view. simple in design and lightweight with very small. There is a very strong second hand market for Leica equipment and they are very collectible. A disadvantage of the rangefinder is called parallax error.__________________________________________________________________________________ I have discovered one weakness with digital sensors and that is that the edge quality seems to fall off with wide-angle lenses below 24mm. silent in its operation. I currently own one of these cameras. The rangefinder has a viewfinder that is used to compose the shot. For my money this is a big drawback. The beauty of the rangefinder is that it is very compact. lightweight lenses. This error is the result of the focusing lens being offset from the objective lens so that what you see is not quite what you get. coupled with their amazing quality lenses seems to surpass all others in the field for image quality. Leica has joined the digital revolution with a rangefinder camera called the “M9” which superficially looks the same as their 35mm film models. the best known of these is the Leica. view exposure information and focus by way of a “ghost image” superimposed on top of the normal view. Another type of small format professional camera is called a rangefinder. as I have difficulty focusing the rangefinder and I also take better pictures when I look through the objective lens rather than a viewfinder.

1 mega pixels. one should really consider the camera dealer’s support. They should have the facilities in place to be able to lend you a replacement and also be able to repair your broken equipment quickly. __________________________________________________________________________________ 14 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . my advice is: if you are ready in all other respects. If things go wrong. It is also very expensive to own every lens in the range and also a bit disheartening to have to spend the entire fee for the job on a piece of specialised equipment that is probably required just for that particular assignment.__________________________________________________________________________________ Figure 4 . reputation. You need to have access to a wide range of hire stock that is well maintained and reliable. feel and the love factor.Leica M9 digital rangefinder small format camera I use a Canon 5D Mkll camera as a backup camera. it is important that you are fully supported by the dealer. don’t let the gear stop you. The bottom line here is that if your foray into magazine photography is being delayed until you can afford the top of the line camera. It has a full size CMOS chip like the 1Ds MKIIl and the identical pixel count of 21. waterproofing and many features of the much more expensive 1Ds Mklll. and they do. I have used both cameras on several assignments and by the time the images were printed in the magazine I couldn’t tell which image was shot with the 5D Mkll and which was shot with the 1Ds MKIII. but is still a great camera in its own right and I cannot tell the difference in quality in the final images. The 5D Mkll lacks the ruggedness. Buying a new camera system is a very emotional issue and over and above the technical specifications. service and hire facilities for the brand you are considering.

Figure 5 – Mamiya RZ33. Phase One. with a piece of broken gear. THE MEDIUM FORMAT CAMERA Medium format cameras come in a lot of different shapes and configurations. Hasselblad H3DII-22. it is a great comfort to be able to call the supplier and hear him say that he is sending a replacement over in a cab. This holds true for all professional equipment. have struck a deal with Mamiya and now release a complete system based around a Mamiya body and lens. not just cameras. Sinar and Leaf. much more so than the small format DSLR. Mamiya. I find that if I support them they are always there to support me and believe me. There also seems to be more brands available to the professional with good support and hire facilities. but rather negotiate a fair price with my main suppliers. The main players are Hassleblad. __________________________________________________________________________________ 15 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . Hasselblad H3DII-31 One of the top digital back manufacturers. when you are standing there on a job surrounded by clients with egg on your face.__________________________________________________________________________________ I prefer not to buy online.

due to the increased bit-depth. which gives much more tone and colour information.__________________________________________________________________________________ Leica has also recently joined the medium format club as has Pentax. In truth the same advantages and disadvantages for the different shutter systems that exist for the small format DSLR still hold true for the medium format DSLR. is that the lenses are much cheaper and lighter than the others and the camera has shutter speeds of 1/4000 of a second.5 AFD11 system. We will get into bit-depth in greater __________________________________________________________________________________ 16 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . rather than an array of focusing spots. Modern medium format DSLRs also now come with auto focus lenses. more features and lower prices. the latter of which had previously made an excellent medium format film camera beloved by fashion photographers in particular. but are 16 bit as opposed to 12 or 14 bit. There is also quite a range of digital camera backs available in this format from 16 megapixel up to 80 megapixel at the time of writing. So for example.1 mega pixel Canon small format in all areas except speed. The advantage of having a medium format DSLR is having the ability to switch between film and a digital back. some have in-lens shutters and some have focal plane shutters. These medium format digital sensors are basically the size of two joined small format sensors. The main advantage of the focal plane shutter. The Canon can shoot over five frames per second and the Phase One around one per second. Figure 6 – Pentax 645D These cameras are all DSLRs. which is used on the Mamiya 6x4. This can only be a good thing for photographers as it will lead to better quality. So far the focusing systems appear much simpler and less versatile than the small format DSLRs and focus on one spot only. a 22 mega pixel Phase One digital back will outperform the 21. However. This can be a critical consideration depending on what you are shooting. which were unheard of five years ago.

So much money has gone into the development of the small format DSLR that the lower cost. the better the image. the disadvantages of getting into a medium format system should make you pause at length to examine your reasoning. but suffice to say for now that the greater the bitdepth. They are all European lenses of the highest quality. I love this camera system and was delighted to find that I was able to upgrade this system to digital allowing me to use all of my original lenses. Shooting with a small format DSLR is a joy. I have the original manual focus lenses. which I find easy to focus. The point I am trying to make here is that unless you really need amazing quality and mega mega-pixels for large prints or billboards. The medium format system is now no longer the dividing line between the pro and amateur photographer. a 33 Mega pixel digital back __________________________________________________________________________________ 17 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . and frankly.Rollei 6008 with Sinar Emotion 75. smaller size/weight and abundance of features makes the argument for upgrading to a medium format system less compelling than it used to be in the days of film. For the last twenty-five years I have been using the Rollei 6008 medium format film based system pictured below.__________________________________________________________________________________ detail in a later module. Figure 7 . shooting with a medium format monster is slow and a bit primitive by comparison.

there are other digital devices that give a much higher quality image. In the days of film. THE LARGE FORMAT CAMERA This camera is usually known as a view camera and sometimes as a technical camera. the advantage of view cameras is that they are a very simple design that has been around for 150 years in its simplest form. It has saved me a small fortune to be able to continue using my Canon and Rollei equipment even after such a quantum leap in the new digital technology. They are also used extensively by galleries for copying artwork. but from what I understand a company called Better Light in the USA make some of the best. view cameras are primarily used where focus and perspective control are required. such as linear scanning backs for example. This larger size film gave a much higher quality image than the smaller formats. They have up to a 416 mega pixel resolution at latest Since the advent of high-resolution digital backs.__________________________________________________________________________________ The lesson to be learned here is. Their website is www. __________________________________________________________________________________ 18 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . These devices generally take many seconds to many minutes to complete the scan and seem to be used primarily by architectural and landscape photographers who often do very large prints of their images. The same digital backs that attach to the medium format cameras are attached to the view cameras. which allows total control of the plane of focus as well as perspective. and is therefore very reliable.betterlight. I don’t own one of these devices. and are only made for view cameras. this type of camera was often used because it allowed a film format from 9 x 12 cm up to 18 x 24 cm in size. As they have integral bellows. buy your camera system from a manufacturer that has a good track record for anticipating new technology and allows for retro fitting. As well as having the focusing and perspective advantage I spoke of earlier. no additional equipment is required for closeup photography. The view camera also has the ability to adjust the lens panel as well as the film panel in every direction. where fine detail and great tonal rendition is essential. These panels are known as front and back standards. Having said that. so image quality is identical and no longer a consideration.

Sinar P2 For me. where the bellows act like a sail in the wind. although it still remains left to right. Believe it or not. the image appears upside down and left to right. there are software packages that allow you to view the image and calculate focal planes on the screen. In the studio. which I liken to driving a bus compared to a DSLR Ferrari and because there is no prism to flip the image. the biggest disadvantage of using a view camera becomes apparent out of doors. adversely affecting image sharpness.__________________________________________________________________________________ On the other hand. for slow studied work.Large format camera . There are also mirror systems available that flip the image right side up. the disadvantages are many: They are large and cumbersome. after time you do get used to it and develop the ability to mentally flip the image in your head. Figure 8 . This makes life much easier if not more energy intensive and cumbersome. causing the whole camera and tripod to vibrate. the view camera and related computer gear give amazing image control that is unsurpassed. __________________________________________________________________________________ 19 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . When using a digital back connected to a computer in tethered mode. as in a DSLR.

__________________________________________________________________________________ I personally try to use the smallest camera that I can use to get the job done. I generally dislike photos of people that look like they are nailed down. I often shoot at a slow shutter speed to get a bit of movement. The range of lenses available to today’s photographer is extensive. Some people would disagree with me and say that you should see every line and wrinkle. INTERCHANGEABLE LENSES The most versatile feature of modern DSLR cameras is having interchangeable lenses available to suit just about every situation. I will now discuss many of the mechanical features. but most of the ones I discuss below are available on both formats. but really. Please be aware that small format DSLRs generally have many more features than medium format DSLRs. I will include the most common features for small format DSLRs. I will discuss lenses and their uses in depth later in this module. Any professional camera must have the ability to change lenses. as features vary from brand to brand and model to model. Everyone is different. which are available on these cameras. __________________________________________________________________________________ 20 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . I try to impart dynamism to the photo with a bit of movement and the resulting blur helps give the photo a feeling of energy and immediacy. There are many software features and options available on these cameras as well. so this is something you have to work out yourself. When photographing people I always reach for the small format DSLR and hardly ever use a tripod. it takes all types! SMALL & MEDIUM FORMAT DSLR FEATURES For the most part. we have so far discussed how small and medium format DSLR cameras have a great size and weight advantage over large format cameras. The best camera to use is the one that you feel most comfortable with that will deliver the quality necessary to satisfy you and your client. I will be discussing these in greater detail in their relevant modules as a premature discussion will probably only confuse the issue at this stage.

Modern DSLRs allow the ISO to be changed from exposure to exposure. regardless of the aperture to which the lens is set. How lucky are we now? DEPTH OF FIELD PREVIEW All pro DSLR cameras have a depth of field preview button.__________________________________________________________________________________ Figure 9 . The best quality is usually obtained using the camera’s default setting. Film was actually made with different ISO ratings for different light conditions. this setting affects the sensitivity of the light meter as well as the sensor (more on this later). or 50 ISO on medium format digital backs.Medium format DSLR lens range ADJUSTABLE ISO With a range from 50 ISO to 3200 ISO. This feature allows the image in the viewfinder to remain bright at all times. This meant that photographers carried a bag of different ISO film with them. which in the case of small format DSLRs is usually 100 or 200 ISO. __________________________________________________________________________________ 21 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . I will discuss the quality implications of higher ISO settings in a later module. which keeps the lens wide open at the largest aperture until the image is exposed. This makes picture composition and focusing much easier than it was in the days of non-automatic lenses. Modern DSLR lenses have a wonderful feature. This type of lens is called an automatic lens. particularly on location shoots. Film photographers will remember having to carry several camera bodies with them with different film on board each one. This feature has been around since the early days of roll film when ISO was known as ASA.

Apart from being amazingly convenient. This feature comes at the cost of the image in the viewfinder being darkened temporarily. prior to exposure and would be lost without it. or when photographing at high magnifications. There is more about depth of field in the next module. tree branches obscuring the sun. as I do.__________________________________________________________________________________ Figure 10 . which we will discuss later. you will need to able to react quickly to changing light situations. reflections from buildings or even passing cars. which can be caused by clouds. INTEGRATED LIGHT METERS These have been a feature of SLR cameras almost since their invention. I use the depth of field preview all the time as a focus check. Under these circumstances.Depth of field preview button detail Depressing the depth of field preview button stops down the lens to the working aperture. This means that it compensates automatically for light lost when using filters. due to the smaller aperture. that will eventually expose the image. If you do most of your work using natural light. using a hand held light meter results in missed shots or __________________________________________________________________________________ 22 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . this allows the photographer to see the focus exactly as it will be exposed. For me the real benefit of having an integrated light meter is the speed that it allows the exposure to be adjusted in changing light. an integrated light meter reads the light.

This is very handy. Either way. MIRROR LOCKING Most DSLRs come with a feature to allow the mirror to be locked up prior to exposing the image. I will discuss the finer points of using various light meters in a later module.__________________________________________________________________________________ badly exposed ones. when making long exposures where the vibration caused by the mirror movement can cause loss of resolution in the final image. if not essential. at best.Mirror lock up feature on camera menu On some cameras this feature is accomplished by pressing a button and on others the option is available through the camera’s menu. it can make a big difference to the sharpness of your images especially in low light situations. Apart from allowing you to set a delay long enough to allow you to __________________________________________________________________________________ 23 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . Figure 11 . Be aware that you will need a tripod or steady surface to support the camera to use the mirror lock up feature effectively. also known as the self-timer. It is only suitable for still subjects as the viewfinder is blacked out with the mirror up. you should use this feature when needed. SELF-TIMER Another nifty DSLR feature is the shutter delay.

which had a fixed aperture of f/8. but great to have when needed. This lens was difficult for me to focus until I purchased the laser matt micro prism screen made for slow telephoto lenses. If you are without a cable or remote release. a brick wall. I once owned a 500mm reflex lens. on most cameras you can use the mirror lock and the shutter delay features simultaneously to get the sharpest image possible. it is very useful to use a screen with a fine grid superimposed upon it. Over the years I have used several of these for various reasons. you can improvise using the shutter delay. Some of the screens are: very bright laser matt screens with grid lines. a stationary bicycle and many other reasonably solid objects in conjunction with the shutter delay function to steady the camera. In desperation I have used the branch of a tree. plain matt screens without markings and a variety of focusing micro prism screens for different speed and focal length lenses. When you find yourself on location without a tripod or cable shutter release. __________________________________________________________________________________ 24 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . On some systems the range of different screens can be quite extensive. For general purposes I use the brightest laser matt screen available to help me see the shot as clearly as possible.__________________________________________________________________________________ photograph yourself. When shooting architectural and interior shots. enabling me to take a sharp photo instead of missing out. to help align vertical or horizontal planes. INTERCHANGEABLE FOCUSING SCREENS The final feature worth mentioning is one that is little used by many photographers. Having interchangeable focusing screens is an optional accessory for many small and medium format DSLRs. this feature has a more serious use.

Removable focusing screen with grid pattern __________________________________________________________________________________ 25 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED .__________________________________________________________________________________ Figure 12 .

zoom lenses have their place in most photographers’ kit. prime lenses are sharper. Although the improvement in the quality of zoom lenses has been enormous over the years. be aware that for general use. There are two basic types of lenses that concern us and several specialty lenses that we must be aware of and understand. These are called aberration and distortion. The selection of lenses is a critical issue for the professional photographer. __________________________________________________________________________________ 26 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . Having said that. The other thing to understand is that all lenses have some faults. more compact and contain less optical faults than zoom lenses. The differences are that a prime lens has a fixed focal length and zoom lenses have the capacity to operate over a continuous range of focal lengths. The two main categories are prime lenses and zoom lenses. faster. which most photographers do. The first thing you need to understand is that all lens design involves compromise on some level. I will endeavour to keep it as simple as I can as I have found that a moderate level of knowledge in relation to lens design has enabled me to make the correct choices when it comes to selecting lenses. then life is made easier by the fact that most lens companies produce their lenses for general use and are relatively fault free. If we are buying general-purpose lenses. Each lens has its optimum performance at a particular focusing distance and at a particular f/ stop.__________________________________________________________________________________ LENSES Lenses and the field of optical design can be an incredibly complex topic of study involving quite complex mathematics.

Comparison between prime and zoom lenses __________________________________________________________________________________ 27 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED .__________________________________________________________________________________ Figure 13 .

as these are optically complex with a lot of elements. In very rough terms you can think of the focal length of the lens as the distance from the centre of the lens to the point of focus behind the lens where the film or digital sensor is positioned.__________________________________________________________________________________ FOCAL LENGTH In simple terms. However. Figure 14 . knowledge of the exact location of the nodal points in the lens is generally irrelevant. lenses function by having a convex curved surface. Be advised that for zoom and telephoto lenses this is not necessarily true.Lens physics describing focal length __________________________________________________________________________________ 28 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . as a result of this difference in lens thickness. for most photographers. The distance in front of the lens is known as the object distance and the distance behind the lens is known as the image distance. This is a simplification. or refracted. The rays of light pass through the lens and are focused at a distance behind the lens. making them thicker in the middle than at the edges. Light from a distant object enters the lens and is bent. as the exact focal length is from the back nodal point in the lens to the back principle focal point. I know the calculations and I have never had to use them.

while a 100mm lens has an angle of view of around 23 degrees. Knowing these relationships will help you to visualise the effect that using different lenses will have on the final image. Figure 15 . In other words a one metre tall object may appear to be one centimetre tall in the viewfinder at a distance of five metres and at a distance of ten metres it will appear to be half a centimetre tall in the viewfinder. For example. This relationship holds true except in very close-up work where refocusing the lens for the closer distance throws the whole spatial relationship out the window. Another relationship to be aware of is that if you double the focal length of the lens you will double the size of the object in the viewfinder.A 100mm lens has an angle of view of 23 degrees __________________________________________________________________________________ 29 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED .A 50mm lens has an angle of view of 46 degrees Figure 16 . The final useful relationship to keep in mind is that if you double the focal length of the lens you half the angle of view.__________________________________________________________________________________ Something to keep in mind is that the distance of an object is directly proportional to its size in the viewfinder and on the sensor. a 50mm small format lens has an angle of view of 46 degrees.

Perspective changes are brought about by a change in the relative position of the objects within the frame. This is the ability of the lens to resolve fine lines on a test card. The higher the resolution the more lines per mm the lens can separate. LENS FAULTS Modern lenses are quite complicated designs and usually have a combination of several lens elements back to back and in groups. For example. This allows for selective focus of mid distance or closer objects on a longer lens. This is because the light rays at infinity are travelling in a parallel direction in both lenses. the resulting image will be identical except for the loss in quality due to cropping the wide-angle shot. if you photograph a distant scene with a telephoto lens at minimum aperture and then photograph the same scene from the same position with a wide-angle lens and then crop the wide-angle image to be the same size as the telephoto image. Modern digital lenses have enormous resolving power. Lens sharpness is also referred to as the lens resolution. Mid distance objects. The action of bending the rays of light through so many curved pieces of glass can introduce faults in the focused image. These faults affect four lens qualities: sharpness. but infinity is much further away for a telephoto lens. shape and luminance. The different effects that lenses give you are due primarily to perspective changes.Lens resolution test chart __________________________________________________________________________________ 30 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . Figure 17 .__________________________________________________________________________________ Another interesting lens characteristic is that at infinity distance all lenses that are free of flaws will yield the same image if cropping is allowed. colour. Lens resolution is negatively affected by diffraction and spherical aberration. when photographed with a wide-angle lens focus at infinity.

Figure 18 .__________________________________________________________________________________ SPHERICAL ABERRATION This occurs when the light rays passing through the central axis of the lens focus at a different spot than the rays from the lens edges. rather than focus it. __________________________________________________________________________________ 31 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . If you own a lens that has spherical aberration you can improve the sharpness of the image by simply stopping down the lens. This is done by selecting a smaller aperture.Examples of spherical aberrations It was once believed that the resolution of light passing through a pinhole would increase infinitely as the pinhole was reduced in size. This diffraction phenomenon limits the practical resolution of a theoretically perfect lens as well. This is usually corrected by employing better lens design. This was found not to be true as it was discovered there was an optimum size after which any further reduction in size would spread the light.

stopping down the lens makes this effect generally less noticeable. which are often called “Apo” lenses. Longitudinal chromatic aberration is a fault where a white point of light is broken into its primary. Lateral chromatic aberration occurs where the primary colours all focus on the same plane. two types of specialty lenses that correct for chromatic aberration.__________________________________________________________________________________ CHROMATIC ABERRATION There are two types of chromatic aberration: longitudinal and lateral. blue and green colours and focused at different distances behind the lens. In uncorrected lenses. Achromatic lenses are corrected for two colours and apochromatic lenses are corrected for three colours. however they have slightly different magnification.Examples of chromatic aberrations There are however. __________________________________________________________________________________ 32 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . Figure 19 . achromatic lenses and apochromatic lenses. Chromatic aberration can appear as a stray bit of colour around a highlight or an edge.

where it is pronounced. Figure 20 . Stopping down the lens doesn’t help cure either barrel or pincushion distortion I’m sorry to r eport.__________________________________________________________________________________ BARREL & PINCUSHION DISTORTION These are two of the most common faults that occur to the shape of the image.Pincushion and Barrel distortion __________________________________________________________________________________ 33 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . Pincushion distortion can affect both telephoto lenses and single element lenses as the distortion is increased as the thickness of the lens increases. If you think of the image as a rectangle with straight vertical and horizontal edges. Barrel distortion can affect wide-angle lenses with the greatest evidence of this occurring in fish-eye lenses. barrel distortion bows the straight edges outward and pincushion distortion bows the edges inward.

Diffraction streaks often appear in night photographs as streaks of light or star patterns around bright pointed light sources. Flare spots can occur as the result of light being reflected between the internal optical lens elements. vignetting. Flare generally occurs when photographing an object in the presence of a very bright background or where very bright light enters the lens directly. Modern multi-coatings on lenses have reduced flare dramatically and using a lens hood can also help enormously. diffraction streaks and ghost images or flare spots.An example of lens flare. Image 2009 © Joey Boylan __________________________________________________________________________________ 34 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . Flare spots often appear as an in focus reflection of the lens diaphragm. This fault is obvious in all lenses when including the sun in the photograph.__________________________________________________________________________________ FLARE & VIGNETTING The most important luminance faults are flare. Flare causes the image to have a washed out appearance with reduced colour saturation. Figure 21 .

It can also be caused by using a lens hood that is too long for the focal length of the lens. If you are considering purchasing a new lens. ask to be able to test it before you buy or better still ask to see the tests done by the supplier or a magazine review. but has to do with something called the “cosine to the fourth power law” which I won’t even try to explain. the dimensions of this format is 24mm tall and 36mm wide. The normal lens made for most 35mm film format cameras is standardised at roughly 50mm. Most modern lenses created by the top companies have eliminated many of these flaws from their lenses. Stopping down the lens will reduce the effects of vignetting. Be vigilant when attaching filters or lens hoods to very wide-angle lenses. That briefly covers most common lens faults. Lens test cards are available from some professional equipment suppliers. If we use the full frame 35mm sensor format as an example. Using our high school maths we can figure that the diagonal of a rectangle 24mm x 36mm would be 43mm. Be sure to test for flare. __________________________________________________________________________________ 35 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . Enlarge your test images on the computer screen until they become pixels and have a good look around as all lenses are not created equal. Software like Adobe Bridge and Adobe Photoshop also has filters for eliminating most lens faults very effectively.__________________________________________________________________________________ This is caused by the diffraction of light around the edges of the diaphragm blades. Vignetting occurs when the centre of the image is brighter than the edges. but not flare. If all of these flaws and faults are frightening you off. Shooting a dark object with a much brighter background easily does it. Its cause is difficult to explain. LENS TYPES THE NORMAL LENS The term ‘normal lens’ or ‘standard lens’ is used by photographers to describe a lens whose focal length is roughly equal to the diagonal measurement of the sensor format. take heart.

Sensor sizing chart Many medium format cameras use a digital sensor that is 48mm by 36mm and have a normal lens that is roughly 60mm. Figure 22 . However. __________________________________________________________________________________ 36 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . For small format DSLR cameras using the smaller APS-C sensor.__________________________________________________________________________________ It is also apparent that a normal lens most closely approximates the correct distance the object is from the camera. One advantage of normal lenses is that they are available with large apertures at a reasonable price. Therefore. It makes the image appear the most normal of all the lenses. where a 35mm would be classed as a wide-angle lens on a DSLR with the full frame 35mm sensor. It becomes apparent that a normal lens of 43mm for the 35mm format camera would in theory be a wide-angle lens on a medium format camera. a normal lens is roughly 35mm. a normal lens will vary depending on the size of the sensor. we must remember that the small format 50mm lens is designed to project its image on to a 24mm x 36mm sensor and as such wouldn’t have enough coverage to be able to be used on a 48mm x 36mm sensor.

This means that we cannot use lenses made for smaller format sensors on cameras with larger sensors.Lens angle of view for 35mm format __________________________________________________________________________________ 37 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . This is particularly relevant when upgrading from an amateur APS-C sensor camera to a full frame DSLR one.__________________________________________________________________________________ The image would simply look like a circular image in the middle of a larger black field. The old lenses will not be compatible! The good news is that we can go the other way and use lenses designed for full frame sensors on cameras with smaller sensors provided they use the same mounting system. Figure 23 .

At this distance a normal lens won’t distort features. small format cameras came with a normal lens as part of the original purchase. I do. Figure 24 . thus allowing for all-important human interaction.2L USM For years. I usually return it to the case unused. but I never use it. however.Canon EF 50mm f/1. I find it a bit boring and even though I dig it out of the case from time to time. own a normal lens for my medium format system. I must admit that I don’t own one for my small format system. but beware of getting too close. as distortion will start to creep in.__________________________________________________________________________________ Normal lenses are great for waist up portraiture as it enables the photographer to keep an intimate distance with the subject. Today. with a choice of maximum aperture. normal lenses seem to have fallen somewhat out of favour. __________________________________________________________________________________ 38 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . If you attempt a head shot with a normal lens you will find that the nose becomes abnormally large making the normal lens unsuitable for close up shots of people’s faces.

Figure 25 . They are also known as short lenses and for the 35mm size format range from about 14mm to around 40mm.Sony 20mm f2.__________________________________________________________________________________ WIDE-ANGLE LENSES Wide-angle lenses are lenses that have a shorter focal length and a field of view that is wider than a normal lens. therefore lenses with a focal length less than a normal lens are referred to as wide-angle lenses.8 wide-angle lens As we have previously discussed there is a direct relationship between focal length and angle of view. __________________________________________________________________________________ 39 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED .

They have an interesting characteristic whereby objects close to the lens appear much larger than distant objects. This feature can be exploited to get interesting effects. __________________________________________________________________________________ 40 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . albeit with a certain amount of perspective distortion.__________________________________________________________________________________ Figure 26 – Wide-angle interior shot © George Seper Wide-angle lenses are often used to capture landscapes. interior spaces and for architectural photography. This is known as foreshortening and is a type of distortion of the image.

I hope. I am very fond of using wideangle lenses as they create images that are close to how I visualise things. I never have to make that choice. Wide-angle lenses on the other hand can help create dramatic still life and architectural images. You have to get the distance just right for the shot to work properly. I don’t believe in giving hard and fast rules for lens use. but I do suggest you think carefully about using a wideangle lens to shoot portraits. when using a view camera. this distortion can be neutralised by adjusting the back standard of the camera. however. I find a small amount of perspective distortion a very nice thing indeed. which usually means giving the sitter a large nose. __________________________________________________________________________________ 41 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED .__________________________________________________________________________________ Figure 27 – Wide-angle architectural shot “Beach Lockers. it can go very wrong within a few millimetres. If I were allowed to have only one prime lens. however. I say this because you are likely to distort the subject’s features. Finale Ligure” © Matthew Evans If desired. Wide-angle lenses are tricky to use for close up work. it would probably be a 24 or 28mm lens for my small format system.

Wide-angle perspective used to dramatic effect © George Seper __________________________________________________________________________________ 42 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED .__________________________________________________________________________________ Figure 28 .

These lenses impart a particular look to the photo and should be used to achieve that purpose. Don’t use them because you are afraid of getting close to your subjects. It is a trap to use a telephoto lens to save you from getting closer to the subject. except of course for wild animals or football players! __________________________________________________________________________________ 43 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . This lens distorts perspective by “stacking” distant objects seemingly on top of each other. If a wide aperture is used with a telephoto lens and the subject is relatively close or at a middle distance. except for sport and wildlife photography where they are an ideal choice.__________________________________________________________________________________ TELEPHOTO LENSES Telephoto lenses have focal lengths that are longer than a normal lens and are also known as long lenses or simply tele lenses.Nikkor AF-S 400mm VR telephoto lens The distances between objects tend to disappear. shadow and colour. much like looking through binoculars or a telescope. With these types of lenses the angle of view is reduced and far objects appear nearer. Figure 29 . This effect can be very pleasing when used correctly. the background can be easily blurred to the point of being a smear of highlight. This characteristic makes the telephoto lens the main choice for portrait photographers.

Getty Images Ultra long telephoto lenses are prone to chromatic aberration. We will discuss the relationship between f/ stops and focal length in the next module. as you are almost guaranteed to take blurry photos through camera shake if you don’t. Conversely. What this means in practice is that if you are shooting with a 250 mm telephoto lens. Image © Scott Clarke . Something to keep in mind when using long lenses is that it is advisable to use a tripod or a fast shutter speed or both.__________________________________________________________________________________ Telephoto lenses start at around 70mm when using a small format camera and the range extends beyond 1000mm. Surfing photographers generally use extreme telephoto lenses to get up close to the action and to isolate the surfer visually in the shot. A really neat rule of thumb that I have used forever is: you can generally hand hold your small format camera and still get sharp photos if you match the lens focal length to the minimum shutter speed used. don’t hand hold at shutter speeds below 1/250 second.Telephoto lens used for surf photography. Wide aperture telephoto lenses can cost a huge amount of money. if you are using a 24mm wide-angle lens you __________________________________________________________________________________ 44 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . Figure 30 . Use a tripod or increase the shutter speed if possible. however the higher quality ones are usually apochromatic to correct this tendency. as it becomes difficult to supply such large pieces of glass without flaws or aberrations.

5 macro lens __________________________________________________________________________________ 45 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . They are most commonly short to medium telephoto lenses.__________________________________________________________________________________ can still hand hold at 1/25 second and expect to get a sharp image. Figure 31 – Olympus 35mm f3. but over the years I have found it to be true. except after a big night out where a tripod and wheelchair are de rigueur. Macro lenses are small and medium format lenses designed for close-up work. where the image distance is greater than the object distance. SPECIALTY LENSES & ATTACHMENTS MACRO LENSES General purpose lenses that display good optical characteristics for most situations often struggle when trying to photograph objects at scales larger than 1:1. as this is generally the best compromise between good image magnification and a wider field of view. I sadly find that as I get older I need a bit more leeway on this rule… I don’t know where I picked up this little gem.

By slower I mean that the maximum aperture of the lens may be one or even two f-stops less than that of similar focal length general purpose lenses. as I find it very frustrating to do a shoot where I am forever putting extension rings on and off.Example of macro photography __________________________________________________________________________________ 46 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . which allows the lens to focus quite closely without the use of extension rings. Figure 32 . Macro lenses often exhibit good shooting characteristics at normal distances as well. which makes correcting many of the faults inherent in close-up photography easier for the designer to overcome. This is fantastic.__________________________________________________________________________________ Macro lenses are often slower than general purpose lenses. Most macro lenses have an extended screw thread.

If you can’t move the lens far enough away from the sensor to get the magnification you want. you can take the lens off and insert gadgets that provide that extension for you. The front of the extension tube has a lens mount of its own and your lens is attached to that. __________________________________________________________________________________ 47 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . Extension tubes look a little like teleconverters (which increase the focal length of your lens). 12. and 27. it is important to be aware of bellows and extension tubes/rings.__________________________________________________________________________________ Figure 33 . with.5mm. These are nothing more than hollow tubes with a fitting on the rear similar to that on the back of a lens which connects to the lens mount of your camera. 8mm. They are available in multiple sizes.5mm tubes that can be used alone or in combination to produce the amount of extension needed. except they have no optics inside.Example of macro photography When considering macro photography. They do nothing but what their name says: extend. The simplest variety are known as extension tubes. say. often as a set.

Where extension tubes each provide a fixed amount of magnification. bellows let you produce different magnifications.__________________________________________________________________________________ Figure 34 . it __________________________________________________________________________________ 48 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . and a second that allows moving the whole thing — bellows. which allows you to vary the angle between the lens and the back of the camera (where the sensor is). If you are using a DSLR with an integrated camera and light meter. A bellows attachment.” Once you’ve moved the lens out far enough to achieve the magnification you want. frequently has a rotating mechanism that allows you to shift the camera from horizontal to vertical orientation. This shifting procedure can help you squeeze out a little more depth-of-field by tilting the sharpness “plane” in the same direction your subject matter “tilts” away from the camera. That allows it to function as a “focusing rail. and all — closer or farther away from the subject. A bellows is an accordion-like attachment that moves along a sliding rail to vary the distance between the lens and camera continuously over a particular range. like the one shown in the next figure. camera. Keep in mind that there is a tendency towards underexposure when using a bellows. Some bellows have two rails: one for adjusting the distance of the lens from the camera. as much as 20:1 or more. you can then lock the camera/bellows distance and slide the whole components back and forth to achieve sharpest focus.Sony Macro Extension Tube Another alternative is known as a bellows extension. It has a tilt and shift mechanism on the front column.

Note here that a “prime” lens is one which cannot zoom. A zoom lens is typically described like the following: 24–70mm f/ 2. It is capable of only one set focal length such as 50mm. This one lens can effectively replace possibly as many as three or four prime lenses in a photographer’s camera bag.8. Figure 35 .8 and a continuous range of focal lengths from 24 to 70mm. __________________________________________________________________________________ 49 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED .Nikon bellows extension ZOOM LENSES A zoom lens is a lens which covers a continuous range of focal lengths without the need for refocusing. Two zoom lenses can replace a whole bag of prime lenses. For those of you that are using large format cameras and hand held light meters I will go into bellows extension in greater detail in the next module.__________________________________________________________________________________ will automatically adjust for this and you will not need to do anything. This describes the specifications of a lens having a maximum aperture of f/2.

They are still not quite as sharp as prime lenses. When I bought my first serious pro 35mm cameras in 1969 no pro worth his salt would touch a zoom lens except for special zoom effects that looked a bit like they were inspired by Dr.Nikon-24-70mm-f2. I suggest that you don’t rush out and buy a zoom lens with a range of say 18250mm. but the first mass production of zoom lenses was not until 1932 and these were used for movie cameras. but the difference in quality is outweighed by the convenience that zooms provide.__________________________________________________________________________________ Figure 36 . although it wasn’t supposed to. Who. The performance of zoom lenses has now improved so spectacularly that most pros use them for convenience and travel photographers wouldn’t be caught without them.8 zoom lens The first true zoom lens was patented in 1902. as this lens will be such a design compromise that the quality will be poor. __________________________________________________________________________________ 50 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . I didn’t own my first zoom until 2005 because I probably had some innate prejudice and it was a known fact that they just weren’t as sharp as prime lenses. They were slower and the focus did shift as one zoomed. It was not until 1959 that the first zoom was put into regular production for still photography.

These lenses are most commonly of the ultra-long telephoto type from 500mm and above on a small format camera.8. which is usually quite slow. It is then returned to pass through a hole in the centre of the primary mirror on its way to the film plane. This is a __________________________________________________________________________________ 51 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . Figure 37 – Zoom lens used for travel photography. Image © Tony Burns – PI Graduate It only takes a few missed shots due to having the wrong lens on the camera to win you over to using a zoom especially when doing reportage or travel photography. It is fast. One of my favourite zooms is a 24-70mm f/2. They also usually come with a fixed aperture. nearly flawless and pin sharp.__________________________________________________________________________________ The best zooms have a short range of focal length and a constant aperture. They are designed like a Casse grain telescope where the light is reflected off a concave primary mirror at the base of the lens and reflected back to a small secondary mirror at the front of the lens. REFLEX LENSES Reflex lenses use a system of mirrors instead of lenses to increase the focal length of the lens.

they are much cheaper by comparison! Figure 38 .__________________________________________________________________________________ lot of back and forth. Unfortunately. When I shot a lot of fashion pictures. It had a very flat field and had the peculiar effect of turning out of focus. It was a definite look! The main disadvantage of the reflex lens is having a slow fixed aperture as well as having the doughnut highlights. They are quite fragile as well. they are not quite as sharp as high quality optical glass lenses of similar focal length and aperture . Being a simple design without optical glass elements or a diaphragm.but hey. compared to conventional optical glass lenses. they are also usually relatively inexpensive to buy. but for my money all lenses should be treated like gold.Fixed aperture reflex lens with filter draw __________________________________________________________________________________ 52 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . which is what gives it the long focal length for an apparently short lens length. I used a 500mm f/8 reflex lens extensively and really loved the look it imparted. specula highlights into little bright doughnuts of light. Reflex lenses have the advantage of being compact for their focal length and very light weight.

In Adobe Photoshop CS through CS5. which allow the shifting to take place. Is there anything that the folks at Adobe can’t fix? __________________________________________________________________________________ 53 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED .__________________________________________________________________________________ THE TILT-SHIFT LENS When photographing tall buildings or other structures from the ground. a control is included which corrects converging vertical distortion very effectively. Figure 39 . This movement greatly reduces or even removes the converging vertical effect. unless you are an architectural photographer. making a shift lens something to hire only when absolutely necessary. 42mm and 90mm. which has the effect similar to raising the front standard of a view camera. the verticals will converge making the sides of the building appear to lean backwards. They are usually a bit bulky and have protruding knobs. as the movement of the front standard accomplishes the same task.5 L Tilt-Shift Lens Shift lenses are unnecessary for large format cameras. Tilt-shift lenses are constructed to allow the lens to shift in the vertical plane. Tilt-shift lenses are available for both small and medium format and are generally of slight wide-angle design. Canon produces three TSL lenses at focal lengths of 24mm. only better.Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.

__________________________________________________________________________________ 54 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED .__________________________________________________________________________________ Figure 40 – Example of converging verticals. Image © Yusul Hashim.

the need for most filters has been superseded by computer software. They have many uses. I had a filter kit in its own camera bag that was scary. Polarisers are most commonly used to reduce or even eliminate unwanted reflections.Filters __________________________________________________________________________________ 55 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . Be advised that I don’t recommend using a polariser for people shots. The possible exceptions for me are neutral density and polarising filters. which I still use. indispensable and dramatic in their effect. from darkening the sky and water in travel photos to reducing nasty reflections in car photography or when copying artwork. Figure 41 . Now that we are in the digital era. Using a polarising filter can also cost you 2 stops worth of exposure. as it deepens shadows and makes skin look pasty. They are cheap. which can do anything filters can do and more. Every kit should have one to fit each lens.__________________________________________________________________________________ FILTERS Back in the days where film ruled the world.

Neutral density filters are neutral grey in colour and are used to reduce the amount of light entering the lens. The ND is solely used to allow one to shoot at a slower shutter speed or wider aperture and is like being able to lower the ISO below the camera’s minimum ISO setting.__________________________________________________________________________________ Figure 42 . This loss of light must then be compensated for by changing the exposure. It can also sometimes (but rarely) be helpful when mixing flash and daylight. graduated Neutral Density Filter. Please keep in mind that the Neutral Density (ND) filter is only a piece of grey glass or plastic. not picture quality. I have used them to allow shooting at wider apertures or slower shutter speeds when working outdoors or with flash. __________________________________________________________________________________ 56 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED .Before and after shot comparing the use of a basic. This they do evenly and affect overall exposure much the same as closing the lens aperture. It is only grey glass and affects exposure only. which has the sole effect of reducing the light entering the lens.

give a correct reading without having to worry about filter factors. Many long telephoto lenses come with a small filter draw at the base of the lens for this reason. With filters this is called a filter factor. if the shutter speed is 1/8 of a second and the filter factor is 2. filters generally encourage flare and are to be avoided unless there is a specific reason for using one. It doesn’t affect colours or tones or flare or anything else. for the most part. which can be used to shoot wide open in most lighting conditions if desired. as filters are usually not as good optically as the front element of the lens. If possible. not in front of it. Be warned though that you can damage the cameras internal mechanisms if you get this wrong. The ND filter is similar to wearing a pair of non-polarised sunglasses and contains no magical powers to make a badly lit shot look good. They will. Keep in mind that almost anything you place in front of or behind the lens will reduce the exposure. This is mostly a flare issue. __________________________________________________________________________________ 57 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . For example. To get the correct exposure multiply the filter factor by the exposure time. Once again. Filters are generally better placed between the rear element of the lens and the mirror.__________________________________________________________________________________ Figure 43 . simply multiply the shutter speed by the filter factor to arrive at the new shutter speed of ¼ second. I will go into colour filtration in greater detail in a later module. which is usually inscribed on the filter or on the box it came in. integrated light meters come to the rescue and make life easy by measuring the light coming through the lens. In fact. so beware.Graduated Neutral Density Filter The ND is rarely necessary for normal small format DSLR photography these days because modern DSLR cameras have shutter speeds up to 1/8000 sec. place the filter behind the lens.

airless. Cleaning the front and rear surfaces of the lens with lens cleaner or pure alcohol will help. Any delay could __________________________________________________________________________________ 58 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . At the first hint of mould. but will not prevent mould from forming on the internal lens elements which are impossible for most of us to get to. The best thing to do is to inspect your lenses regularly. The worst thing for them (apart from being dropped into the sea) is to be shut away in a dark.__________________________________________________________________________________ Figure 44 . Mould attacks the multi-coatings on modern lenses and if left unchecked can render the lens unusable. especially the ones you use less frequently. have it cleaned by a professional. damp place like a camera bag. either clean it yourself. The free flow of air and sunlight generally prevents the mould from gaining a foothold. Image © Steve Kelley CARING FOR YOUR LENSES The best thing you can do for your lenses is to use them often. Mould often appears first on the edge of the lens as a spider web like structure and it doesn’t take long before the rest of the lens surface is attacked.Use of ND Filter. or if on an internal element.

second to none. then putting the shaker with the THYMOL and the mouldy lens into an airtight container for a few weeks and voila. or at best. a lens that has to be returned to the manufacturer for recoating. There are special cabinets now available for storing lenses in a low humidity environment and I believe these to be a worthwhile investment depending on the climate where you live. so beware when handling it. David Kay.THYMOL crystals I regularly wipe the barrel of my lenses with a slightly damp cloth.__________________________________________________________________________________ result in a ruined lens. He also warned me that THYMOL is poisonous. Figure 45 . Use gloves and a breathing mask and anything else you feel is necessary for your safety. I also find that a cotton T-shirt that has had several trips through the washing machine to be the best lens cleaning cloth . as it prevents dust and scratches on the glass. A techno guru friend of mine. I don’t recommend using a __________________________________________________________________________________ 59 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . He suggests putting the THYMOL into a container with small holes in the lid. Over the past thirty years I have spent a small fortune having my lenses periodically cleaned by a professional. like a salt shaker. the wicked mould is dead. but David is rarely wrong. I haven’t tried this cure yet. has suggested that I can get a substance called THYMOL from the pharmacy which will kill mould. especially if I have been working near the sea or in a dusty environment. When not in immediate use I always replace the front and rear lens caps.

I thought my days of retouching photos were over until I discovered dust on my sensor. get insurance. I have yet to discover what actually happens to the dust. only to discover my steel camera case revolving on the conveyor belt with the lid peeled open like a sardine tin and the lenses clearly visible to all and sundry. have your camera periodically cleaned by the people who make them. A final word regarding lens care . You will sleep better. This seems very effective at removing dust particles. as it will undoubtedly have some unwanted effect on your photos. to their credit. Most DSLR cameras these days have a glass filter in front of the sensor which can be vibrated at an ultrasonic speed. I have had success using air pressure from a rubber blower to clean the CMOS sensor on my Canons so far. Cleaning the digital sensor is a risky pursuit. If you can afford it. Try to be gentle with them and never use one as a weapon unless your life is at risk. I know Canon offer this service for a modest fee. especially while your cameras are at the mercy of airline baggage handlers.don’t drop them. I also don’t believe in putting a cheap UV filter in front of a very expensive lens unless it is absolutely necessary. CAMERA CARE Wipe them periodically with a slightly damp cloth and dry. as batteries can leak and wreak havoc on the electronics in the camera. but unfortunately one that needs to be done from time to time. but this story could have had a very unhappy ending as I was uninsured at the time. I once arrived at Heathrow. __________________________________________________________________________________ 60 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . Airport baggage handlers may not share our gentle touch when it comes to handling expensive camera gear. They really hate it. Read the camera manual for the manufacturer’s advice regarding cleaning the sensor. but I wish they could use it on the floors of my house! Never let a battery sit in an uncharged state for too long in the camera.__________________________________________________________________________________ protective filter on the lens. and I believe it is wise to be so. It was a sad realisation. Never touch the sensor with a brush or cloth as it is extremely likely to suffer damage. I was lucky that time and British Airways replaced my case. If in doubt.

PRACTICAL LENS CHOICES FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY When photographing food I generally.2 Canon L series.__________________________________________________________________________________ Figure 46 . though not always. use a large aperture medium telephoto lens. My favourite small format lens is my 85mm f/ 1. This lens has a wonderful optical quality and has the ability to blur the background to the extent that near distance objects can become unrecognisable. __________________________________________________________________________________ 61 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED .Pelican Cases are a great option if you have to check your precious gear.


For food work I rarely shoot longer than 135mm or wider than 40mm. I have recently begun to use a 24-105mm f/4 zoom lens, as my style now involves backgrounds that are not quite as soft as I once employed. I now find modern zoom lenses to be of a very high quality, compact and extremely convenient. When shooting on medium format I like to use my 180mm f/2.8 Schneider lens. This lens has amazing qualities that I love. Call me a snob, but I think that European lenses have a certain quality that is unsurpassed by the Japanese manufacturers.

Figure 47 - Figs. Image © George Seper It is hard to quantify, but I believe that European lenses, particularly those manufactured by Schneider, Leica, Rodenstock and Zeiss, make lenses that are extremely sharp, have great colour saturation, without being overly high in contrast.


Figure 48 - Food shot on small format 70mm (24-70mm zoom) lens f/5.6 Image © George Seper


When shooting fashion photos, anything goes really. I have used lenses from 24mm through to 500mm for different effects. Probably my all-time favourite lens was a 300mm f/ 2.8 Canon L series. This lens was pin sharp wide open at f/2.8 and blurred the background beautifully.

Figure 49 - Image © Iconogenic - iStockphoto For beauty shots and magazine covers I often use either an 85mm f/1.2 or a 135mm f/2 Canon L series lens. I find that for photographing women close up it is better to use a small format camera, as the last thing wanted is fine detail. I even soften the lens a bit sometimes, using a layer of fine black fishnet or tulle. I use a black net because it is less prone to flare and softens the image nicely, without looking too artificial. One would think that a black net over the lens would darken the image substantially, but it only causes a ½ stop loss for a single layer of coarse black tulle. This softening can easily be done later using Photoshop’s Surface Blur filter, but I have used this black net technique for years, before Photoshop existed

it is not such a good career move to be shooting fashion photos that are too different from the rest of the pack. Figure 50 . A fashion photographer has to be careful not to be pushing a look that is so far in that it is out… enough said. I know that this sounds like a bit of a cop out. A word of warning… I have found that unless you already have a string of fashion clients who trust you.iStockphoto __________________________________________________________________________________ 65 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED .__________________________________________________________________________________ and I like the effect.Image © Jasmina . The net technique works best for portraits. but not so well for full length subjects. but fashion seems to exist in a very narrow band of what is in and what is out.

Figure 51 . It is also usually better to have the sitter’s to flatter the sitter. glamour or shooting the chairman of the board . in focus. It is also better to use a moderate aperture. as a suggestion only.whether doing wedding portraits. rather than shooting wide open at the maximum aperture.Image © David Goldman __________________________________________________________________________________ 66 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . magazine covers. not the frames of their glasses. around f/8 or f/11 or so. I find that a short to medium telephoto lens (say between 80mm and 135mm on a small format camera) generally gives the most pleasing perspective.__________________________________________________________________________________ PORTRAIT & BEAUTY PHOTOGRAPHY The aim here . Again. They will hate you if you exaggerate their worst feature.

either done in camera or in post-production. done by great photographers using normal lenses at wide apertures.Image © Julia Savchenko . __________________________________________________________________________________ 67 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . or some other softening technique. Figure 52 . so none of this is sealed in cement.__________________________________________________________________________________ For most women and increasingly more men. please let me be clear about that. Where your individual style takes you is part of the great photographic journey.iStockphoto These are not rules. Some increasingly rare individuals like to see every line and wrinkle. is often recommended. I have seen wonderful portraits. flattery is the order of the day and the use of the black net described above. but I find these to be in the minority. I am just giving you guidelines as a starting point.

__________________________________________________________________________________ ARCHITECTURE & INTERIOR PHOTOGRAPHY Be wary of using a wide-angle lens for everything. Look for interesting details and drop the background out using a wide aperture with longer lenses. If you are in doubt about how adventurous the client __________________________________________________________________________________ 68 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . Look for interesting angles.Image © Matthew Evans Tilt-shift lenses are custom made for architectural photography to get the lines straight. Look for opportunities to use a moderate telephoto or normal lens. Look up and look down. Vary the height of the tripod. It is tempting to show rooms and spaces from wall to wall. but an entire interior shoot done exclusively with a wide-angle lens looks pretty monotonous. Be daring. You will be surprised what you find if you open your eyes and your mind to the huge range of possibilities that each location holds. Be different. Figure 53 .

shoot the scene a few different ways. Figure 54 .Image © Ken Hayden Figure 55 . If something is soft in a wide shot it often.__________________________________________________________________________________ is. They may surprise you! I have found that generally wide-angle shots look better if sharp throughout. though not always. Nothing will turn you into a boring photographer quicker than playing it safe and being as conservative as you think your client is. looks like a mistake.Image © George Seper __________________________________________________________________________________ 69 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED .

__________________________________________________________________________________ TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY The wide-angle zoom and medium telephoto zoom lenses are the travel photographer’s best friends. A set of close up rings completes the kit for photographing jewellery. Use the wide-angle zoom for scenic and architectural shots and the tele-zoom for photographing people. Perhaps have an extreme wide-angle prime lens for quality reasons. Throw a polarising filter in the bag for water shots and to give a great sky effect. Figure 56 . fine details or herbs and spices. markets and food etc.Image © Tony Burns __________________________________________________________________________________ 70 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . The zooms allow the photographer to travel light and there is nothing worse than missing a great shot because you are fumbling around in your bag for the right lens.

__________________________________________________________________________________ Figure 57 .Image © Tony Burns __________________________________________________________________________________ 71 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED .

I always insisted that my film was checked by hand and never x-rayed. especially if travelling in a poor country. I always put my exposed film in one clear zip lock bag and my unexposed film in another. as the effects are cumulative. Nothing destroys a latent image on film more completely than a good dose of x-rays. be very careful at airport security check-points where they x-ray everything. If you are shooting film. It is best to look like a tourist rather than a pro. It probably requires a letter from the Pope today. I would beg. If necessary.__________________________________________________________________________________ There is nothing more nerve wracking than travelling rough whilst carrying a year’s wage worth of camera gear. It makes border crossings easier as well. I have to admit that I haven’t shot film on travel assignments since 9/11. To assist security staff. unless of course it is two or three doses of x-rays. If travelling in today’s hyper paranoid travel environment. Figure 58 . but I never let them x-ray my film. I would definitely leave the film at home and go digital. but prior to that. It was hard enough before 9/11 to beat the x-rays. I would take the film out of its box or even remove it from the plastic container. plead and cajole.Image © Tony Burns __________________________________________________________________________________ 72 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED .

should be treated with utmost care. Figure 59 . Most animals are pretty wary of people sneaking up close to them and are much better at spotting us than we are at spotting them. I have found myself on the back of a Landrover in Africa with wild animals alleged to be just beyond view. Here the telephoto lens excels. you also have the ability to drop the background out of focus. Their supreme confidence should make us think twice about getting close.Image © Tony Burns The same advice goes for sports “stars” on the field… treat them warily and use the long telephoto lens for your own safety and security! __________________________________________________________________________________ 73 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . which aren’t afraid of us. making the perfectly camouflaged animals stand out against a field of similar colours. Please note that the animals.__________________________________________________________________________________ SPORT & WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY I must admit to not being an expert at either sport or wildlife photography. Apart from allowing you to fill the frame with their bulk without being torn apart and eaten. This is the domain of the ultra-long telephoto lens or the telephoto zoom. However.

as it is rich in sand and salt spray. __________________________________________________________________________________ 74 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED .Image © Pali Rao Surfing photography often requires the longest lenses. as the good surf breaks can happen some distance beyond the safety of the sand. Be forewarned that this is a deadly environment for camera gear. sworn enemies of mechanical devices and electronics.__________________________________________________________________________________ Figure 60 .

For each of the following hypothetical photographic assignments you have the following equipment at your disposal (note that you do not have any zoom lenses): Two small format DSLR cameras with full sized 35mm sensors 20mm lens 24mm tilt-shift lens 35mm lens 50mm lens 90mm tilt-shift lens 100mm macro lens 135mm lens 300mm lens Neutral Density Filter Polarising Filter Two quick cycle portable flash units made specifically for your cameras Transportable studio flash gear Tripod Monopod Nominate which of the abovementioned equipment you would use for each of the following 10 scenarios and give a brief explanation of why you made those choices: 1. If necessary. __________________________________________________________________________________ 75 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . They require colour accurate copies of the artwork for use in a catalogue. This assignment is reasonably straightforward and designed to alert your tutor to any weakness in your grasp of these fundamentals. 2. An advertising agency has hired you to photograph individual “pack shots” of a range of packet soups. The soups come in small rectangular boxes. A large art gallery has hired you to photograph every individual framed painting in the gallery for an upcoming exhibition. They want the pack to look heroic and important. your tutor will be able to supply material or advise particular areas for your improvement.__________________________________________________________________________________ ASSIGNMENT ONE It is important at the outset of the course to make certain that everyone has a firm understanding of lenses and basic photographic equipment. which have a glossy finish.

close-up images with vivid colour and texture. They want the entire book shot from above. looking down on the food with an “aerial” perspective. They want lots of movement in the images and are happy with some motion blur. but they would also like some of the atmosphere of the apartment to be evident. 7. A book publisher wants you to travel through France to photograph a book on wine. They want farm and regional images. The woman is to be the main focus.__________________________________________________________________________________ 3. so you will be travelling alone in a small rented car without an assistant. They want high contact physical shots with frozen action. The location is inside a dark Rococo (ornate) cinema and you have a press pass and are free to mingle with the “stars”. A lifestyle magazine wants you to shoot a cover shot of a woman in a large. You have been hired to photograph a wedding in a church. as well as shots inside the cellars and manufacturing areas. A book publisher has hired you to photograph Italian food in their studio for a new cookbook. modern city apartment. The editor requires a collection of posed and candid shots as the crowd parties through the night. which allows you access to the playing field. but the makeup is the star. __________________________________________________________________________________ 76 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . A fashion magazine wants you to photograph the latest trends in makeup. 8. You have been hired by a gossip magazine to shoot “social” shots at a gala movie premier one evening. You will be shooting female models in a studio and they may be accessorised with the latest earrings and other jewellery. bright. 9. 6. A sports magazine wants you to photograph an afternoon football game and they get you a press pass. 5. 4. You have only three weeks to cover all viticulture areas before the autumn harvest. The light is bright enough to avoid having to use a flash and the minister has allowed you access to all areas. They are looking for striking. They are on a tight schedule and have a limited budget. A men’s magazine has hired you to shoot an action outdoor fashion feature of a male model in the centre of a large city wearing various business suits. 10. The studio has large windows along one wall and lots of working space.

__________________________________________________________________________________ IMPORTANT NOTE To submit this assignment. please go to “Assignments” on your Student Page and click on Assignment One. __________________________________________________________________________________ 77 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED .

An opening in the lens that controls the amount of light that reaches the film plane. The preferred colour space for professional printbased photography with a gamut that closely approximates the CMYK printer’s gamut. A lens that is designed to correct for chromatic aberration. A modern SLR lens which remains at maximum aperture regardless of the selected aperture. selects the shutter speed. in conjunction with the metering system. The colours red.__________________________________________________________________________________ GLOSSARY Aberration: Achromatic lens: A lens defect. Apochromatic Lens: A lens designed to most accurately correct for chromatic aberration by focusing all wavelengths into the same plane of focus. A situation where the light source is mainly behind the subject. until the shutter is depressed. Acutance: Additive primaries: Adobe RGB (1998): Aperture: Aperture Priority Mode: The user manually selects the aperture and the camera. Automatic Lens: Backlight: Barrel Distortion: Bayer Pattern Array: The most common colour distribution pattern on CCD and CMOS digital sensors. green and blue which when added together produce white. which bows outward the parallel edges of the image frame. Used primarily with light sources. This array 78 __________________________________________________________________________________ COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . A lens fault. The ability of the system to quickly change one tonal value to another in the shortest space.

Bellows: A flexible. light tight rectangular tube. often with the assumed correct exposure as the middle exposure. Represents the amount of tonal information per colour channel. which produced the first reproducible negative image on paper. An ancient and room sized forerunner of the modern camera. A digital capture format which captures the raw information from the digital sensor without Bit Depth: Blooming: Bounced Light: Bracketed Exposures: Brief: Cable Release: Calotype: Camera Obscura: Camera RAW: __________________________________________________________________________________ 79 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . An attachment which allows the tripping of the shutter from a distance.536 tonal gradations per colour channel. To take a range of exposures. The practice of reflecting light off a usually white surface. 8 bit represents 2 to the power of 8 or 256 gradations and 16 bit represents 2 to the power of 16 or 65. William Henry Fox Talbot in 1835. They vary in length from several centimetres to many metres as well as remote controlled.__________________________________________________________________________________ employs twice as many green receptors as it does red or blue receptors. which is placed between the lens and the camera to facilitate close up photography. usually visual. An early photographic process invented by Englishman. used in advertising to convey ideas to the creative team. This can be common in CCD sensors. A set of instructions. Occurs when a sensor element receives too much light and the stray electrons spill over into adjacent sensor elements. They are often used to reduce camera shake when using slow shutter speeds.

It has a similar function to the CCD sensor and similarly uses the Bayer pattern array. fixed length bellows attachment. received from the digital sensor. Digital silicon sensor. Chromatic aberration is a common fault in telephoto lenses. CDR: Channel: Chip: Chromatic Aberration: CIE: Circle of Confusion: Close-up Rings: CMOS: CMYK: __________________________________________________________________________________ 80 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . green or blue (RGB) colours. A non-sharp circle of light on the film plane. which fits between the lens and camera to facilitate close–up photography. A type of inflexible. It is generally the preferred format for professional image capture. A colour system employing cyan. These are used to record digital information that is not editable. which originated as a single point of light. magenta. is each stored in segregated locations or channels. yellow and black used primarily as inks in the printing industry . French for Commission Internationale l’Eclairage which translates as the International Illumination Commission. which appears to the eye as a point is known as the largest circle of confusion. An extension ring.also known as the subtractive primaries. Colour information for each of the primary red. See also LAB colour.__________________________________________________________________________________ interpolation or compression. The largest circle. They usually come in sets of different length tubes. CCD: A charged coupled device. A Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor. This is one type of sensor used in digital photography. The CCD array uses the Bayer pattern. A lens fault whereby all colours do not focus at the same point. This is one type of sensor used in digital photography. Compact Disc Recordable.

Meter: Contrast: CRT: Copal Shutter: Daguerreotype: Depth of Field: Depth of Field Preview: A facility on most SLR cameras which enables the lens to be closed down to the shooting aperture. Extraneous colouration. which displays the colour temperature of a light source. which produced a positive image on a polished metal plate. The colour of a light source expressed in degrees Kelvin (K). The distance in a photograph between the nearest object which retains sharp focus and furthest object which retains sharp focus. These are old style computer monitors. Depth of field is controlled by setting the aperture. A shutter mechanism used primarily with large format cameras in which the front and rear lens elements can be removed by the operator. Is an edge effect whereby the edge between black and white is more defined than the edge between two greys. __________________________________________________________________________________ 81 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . An early photographic process developed in 1839 by Frenchman Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre. which employ an electron gun and a phosphorescent screen to produce an image. usually copper. green or blue. often along edges. Cathode Ray Tube. This is useful to evaluate the depth of field at a particular F/stop. An electronic meter. poor registration in multi-shot systems and interpolation artefacts in 1-shot systems. Colour Fringes: Colour Temperature: Colour Temp. Some lenses have a depth of field scale on the top of the lens barrel. exposing the diaphragm blades.__________________________________________________________________________________ Colour Bias: Colour Bias is a deviation from a neutral white balance towards red. which can be caused by poor quality lenses.

Fast lenses are more expensive than slow lenses and allow more light into the camera. Setting the aperture opens or closes the diaphragm. paper or digital sensor. A lens fault caused by the scattering of light within the lens causing a reduction in lens sharpness or resolution. inside the lens. Diaphragm: Diffraction: DOT GAIN: DPI: DSLR: DVD: Dynamic Range: Exposure: F/stop: Fast Lens: Fill: Film Density: __________________________________________________________________________________ 82 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . The combination of shutter speed and aperture. To lighten shadows. in which the light entering the camera is increased or decreased by a factor of two. which indicated the depth of field for a given aperture on a given lens.__________________________________________________________________________________ Depth of Field Scale: A delineated scale on a lens or camera body. This refers to the overall thickness of silver on the films surface. The range of light intensity in stops. Dots Per Inch is a measure of a printer’s resolution or the fineness of a halftone screen. which is admitted onto the sensor or film. Digital Single Lens Reflex camera. An aperture or shutter speed adjustment. i. A percentage measure of how much printing ink spreads on paper. A set of adjustable blades. which can be recorded in a particular film. It is the amount of light. A lens that has a wide maximum aperture. Digital Video Disc used to store images or digital files.e. doubled or halved. which vary the opening in the lens.

The amount of time it takes for a flashtube to fully fire.__________________________________________________________________________________ Film Plane: A term used to describe the location of the film within the camera. to magnifying. A piece of optical glass. or optically diffused glass that allows the image to be viewed in camera. in millimetres. Shot from the hip is another similar term. or nodal point. that sits in the focal plane. just in front of the film or sensor. A filter factor of 2 represents a loss of one f/stop. to the point of focus. A high intensity. from colour correcting. A measurement. which is often coloured and placed in front of. A factor used to describe the amount of light. which is lost in the filter. polarising and for special effects like starburst and soft focus. causing a reduction in contrast and a hazy effect. Filters can have many uses. Symbolised by the Greek letter  it is used to describe the characteristics of the translation by a Filter: Filter Factor: Flare: Flash Lighting: Flash Duration: Fly on the Wall: Focal Length: Focal Plane Shutter: Focusing Screen: Foreshorten: GAMMA: __________________________________________________________________________________ 83 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . Lenses are usually described by their focal length. Is a piece of ground glass. To visually make something appear shorter as an aid to perspective enhancement. Film plane is now also used to describe the location of the digital sensor. A condition whereby bright light enters directly into the lens. This means not posed and candid. A shutter common to many SLR cameras. or preferably behind the lens. of the distance from the optical centre of the lens. brief duration light source used to light subjects for photographic purposes.

__________________________________________________________________________________ computer system from a linear tonal range to a human tonal range. Gamut: A range of colours contained boundaries of a colour space. A reflective light meter. Can be black and white or colour. The shortest distance at which a particular lens can be focused and still be sharp at infinity. within the Greyscale: For our purposes it is a black and white scale which progresses in one stop intervals from black to white. which measures the light falling or incident upon an object. An in lens shutter is positioned in the lens itself. These meters. The brightest area in the photograph. This symbol appears on the lens barrel and is usually the end stop of the focusing ring. A type of light meter. typically hand held. This acronym stands for the “International standards organization” and represents film or High Key Image: Highlight: Histogram: Hyperfocal Distance: In Camera Light Meter: Infinity Focus: In Lens Shutter: Incident Light Meter: ISO: __________________________________________________________________________________ 84 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . which is integral in the camera’s construction. can be very accurate in evaluating correct exposure. The advantage of an in lens shutter is less vibration when activated and the ability to flash synchronize at any speed. which lacks deep shadows and contains mostly mid-tones and highlights. A graphical representation of exposure values. Infinity is graphically illustrated by the  symbol. while a bit slow to use. A focused object so far from the lens that the rays of light entering the lens are parallel. usually close to pure white. A photograph of a scene.


digital sensor sensitivity to light. It has replaced the old ASA “American National Standards Institute” rating; however they are interchangeable. LAB Colour: Developed by the CIE (Commission Internationale l’Eclairage). This colour space represents each colour by its luminance and where it falls on an a (red/green) and b (yellow/blue) colour axis. A term used to describe a camera that uses sheet film in a larger size than roll film. Large format cameras usually have at least on adjustable standard. An exposed image, which is as yet undeveloped. A film, which has been exposed to light and has undergone a photochemical change, is described as having a latent image. Liquid crystal display. Currently the most popular form of computer monitor. It is also used for the digital readouts on modern cameras. A lens hood attaches to the front of the lens and acts as a shade preventing direct light from entering the lens. The use of a lens hood helps to prevent flare. Used to determine exposure. They can be handheld or integrated within the camera. In a straight line, also a straight line response. A telephoto lens with a focal length longer than a normal lens.

Large Format:

Latent Image:


Lens Hood:

Light Meter:

Linear: Long Lens:

Low Zone Shadow Detail: LPI:

Is another way of saying deep shadows. Lines Per Inch is the current terminology for determining the resolution of a half tone screen used for printing images on a printing press.




Refers to lenses or equipment enabling close-up photography. The user selects the aperture and shutter speed on the camera. The unit of measure of the resolution of a digital sensor. It literally measures the number of vertical silicone sensors multiplied by the number of horizontal silicone sensors. One megapixel is equal to one million pixels. A type of focusing screen that is partially composed of very small prisms, which appear to “dance” when the image is out of focus. Mired is an acronym for micro-reciprocal-degrees. It is a scale which is used to ease some of the difficulties involved in calculating colour filtration. A lens, which employs mirrors instead to lenses to focus the image, also known as a reflex lens. The mirror lock which is available on most SLR cameras enables the mirror to be taken out of the film plane and locked in the up position. It is used primarily to reduce camera shake during long exposures. A low to moderately powered tungsten light, which is used to represent the light generated by flash lighting. Pronounced (moi-ray) this is an interference pattern, which is caused by the conflict between a pattern on the image subject and the pattern configuration of the sensor elements. A type of film, which captures a black and white or colour negative or reversed image of the subject. Negative film is usually printed on paper to produce a positive print.

Manual Mode:



Mired Scale:

Mirror Lens:

Mirror Lock:

Modelling Light:


Negative Film:



Neutral Density Filter:

A grey filter that has a neutral effect on the image colour but evenly reduces the brightness of the image entering the lens. Unwanted and random interference. Noise often occurs in the low light areas of a digital image and is caused by low level background electronic emission within the digital sensor. A standard lens, which has a focal length, which is roughly equal to the diagonal measurement of the digital sensor. Open Shade is a large expanse of shade which is open to the sky. The light is usually quite even in intensity, although rather blue when the sky is blue. Capturing an image in such a way that there is no information in the highlight areas. Also refers to a shot that generally appears too bright. A film, which can be either black and white or colour, which is sensitive to all colours of the visible spectrum.


Normal Lens:

Open Shade:


Panchromatic Film:

Perspective Control Lens:

A shift lens, which allows the lens axis to be shifted. The act of telling a story usually published in newspapers or magazines, through the use of still images. The industry standard image retouching software developed by Adobe Systems Inc. A lens flaw whereby the parallel sides of the image are bent inwards. The most rudimentary form of camera where a pinhole and not a lens is used to form the image.



Pincushion distortion:



A filter. To reduce the amount of time the film is immersed in the developer thus reducing the film’s density. minute light sensitive silicone receptor on the digital sensor. which is physically. a single. fixed focal length. A shooting mode where the camera selects both the aperture and shutter speed. Pixels Per Inch is a method of quoting the resolution of a digital image. Pyrex: __________________________________________________________________________________ 88 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . Polariser: Polaroids: Portfolio: PPI: Previsualisation: Prime Lens: Program Mode: Pulled Development: Pushed Development: .__________________________________________________________________________________ Pixel: A term used to describe a picture element. Prime lenses have superior optical qualities to zoom lenses. which allows light to pass in one plane only. It has the effect of reducing stray light thereby reducing reflections. which contains the photographers work. available in either black and white or colour and sometimes with a usable negative. A lens with a single. I have used the term Polaroid throughout this course to refer to all instant print systems. To extend the time the film is immersed in the developer thus increasing the film’s density. The process of visualising the final print before the film is exposed. developed and pioneered by the Polaroid Land Corporation. although this is technically incorrect. An instant print system. A transparent and heat resistant glass used to protect electronic flash tubes. A collection of images usually printed and sometimes bound or boxed.

It is battery powered and has relatively low power output. Hand held versions are also available. This is also known as the additive primaries. which is reflected from the subject. Typically a white board used to reflect light. Commonly. Some cameras have an inbuilt flash that also qualifies as this type of flash unit. Red green and blue. A ghost image is superimposed on the primary image and focused by bringing into alignment. Rangefinder: RAM: RAW: Reciprocity: Reflector: RGB: Reflected Light Meter: Reflector: Reflex Lens: __________________________________________________________________________________ 89 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . A type of focusing system employing an objective lens and a separate focusing lens. which contains the raw information from the digital sensor. Typically a white board or mirror like surface used to reflect light towards the subject. The non-linear response of film at low light levels whereby an increase in exposure has a diminished effect upon film density. An image capture format without interpolation. which measures the light. It attaches to the camera's hot shoe or can be used in another location and triggered using a separate flash or an infrared trigger. An exposure meter of the type found integrated in SLR cameras.__________________________________________________________________________________ Quick Cycle Portable Flash: This type of flash unit can be held in the palm of the hand. Random Access Memory is fast and volatile temporary digital storage. The colours used to digitally record and display colour images in camera and on screen. a long focal length mirror lens. Some home printers also use RGB inks for printing although the printing industry and higher end printers use the CMYK colour system.

in conjunction with the metering system. It does not mean dappled light. Not sheet film. A type of film in various sizes. that comes in a roll wound around a spool. The intensity of a colour. selects the aperture. A method of attaching a lens or film back to a view camera.__________________________________________________________________________________ Resolution: Roll Film: The ability to record fine detail. This has the effect of straightening converging verticals or allowing one to shoot directly into a mirror without recording your reflection. A digital capture device that gathers digital information through the physical movement of a scanning head. A translucent material used to diffuse daylight. On large format cameras the front and rear standards are usually moveable in all directions. which has adjustment knobs. The user manually selects the shutter speed and the camera. They are commonly attached to the back of large format cameras. which shift the lens elements off axis. A device which allows light to expose the film or digital sensor for a specific amount of time. These can be very slow but of the highest resolution. which lacks illumination by direct sunlight. A removable lens. Represents the highlight values on a films density / exposure curve. Saturation: Scanning Digital Back: Scrim: Shadowy Scene with Subdued Highlights: This means a scene. Shift Lens: Shoulder: Shutter: Shutter Priority Mode: Standard: __________________________________________________________________________________ 90 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . usually of medium wide focal length. which allow for precise focus and perspective control. This is also known as a perspective control lens. This is a dark scene taken in the shade or on an overcast day.

magenta and yellow. Spot Meter: sRGB: Standard Lens: Stop: Stop Down: Subtractive Primaries: SWOP: Synch Speed: Tethered: Toe: __________________________________________________________________________________ 91 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . A type of reflective light meter. usually small. 150mm on 9x12 cm large format and 300mm on 18x24cm large format. where the reading is taken from a small area of the image. Can be camera integrated or hand held. The abbreviation (SWOP) refers to a special set of uniform standards in printing known as the “Specifications for Web Offset Publications”. scanners and the internet. Represents the shadow values on a films density / exposure curve. 75mm on medium format. Useful in contrasty lighting situations where a separate highlight and shadow reading is required. A colour space developed in 1995 by HP and Microsoft to approximate the gamut of LCD monitors. See F/stop. which is so bright that the sensor contains no colour information. which when added together produce black. The colours cyan. Connected via a cable as in a camera to computer connection.__________________________________________________________________________________ Specular Highlight: A highlight. Black is usually added making CMYK to give a richer black. Closing the aperture to a lesser amount (higher number). The maximum shutter speed at which the flash and shutter will enable a fully exposed image to occur without clipping. A normal lens. It appears as pure white. Used primarily as inks for colour printing. Roughly 50mm on small format SLR.

Also refers to a shot that generally appears too dark. A system. which is the main type of film used by magazines and the printing industry. to give an exposure value. The image is typically viewed upside down on a ground glass panel on the film standard. whose filament is constructed from tungsten material. They require cords. common on SLR and rangefinder cameras. This provides a reflective mode of metering and is very quick and responsive to changes in light levels. Sometimes referred to as a technical camera. Can be caused by faulty lens design or more commonly. It is capable of high power output and is extremely versatile in allocating power to the separate flash heads or for attaching softboxes and umbrellas. through Tripod: TTL Metering: Tungsten Lights: Underexposure: View Camera: Vignetting: __________________________________________________________________________________ 92 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . An incandescent light globe used as a constant light source. whereby the centre of the image is brighter than the edges. An acronym for through the lens metering.__________________________________________________________________________________ Transparencies: A colour film also known as slide film. An adjustable camera support with three legs. Is generally large and heavy equipment comprised of separate flash heads equipped with modeling lights. stands and mains power to operate. A large format camera. Capturing an image in such a way that there is no information in the shadow areas. which usually has adjustable film and lens standards. It is bulky and slow to setup or relocate. Transparency Film: Transportable Studio Flash Gear: See transparencies. A phenomenon. whereby the light passing through the objective lens is metered.

A previsualisation. exposure and film development system developed by American photographer Ansel Adams. Named after the English inventor of commercially available colour photographic filters. White Balance: Wratten Filters: Zoom Lens: Zone System: __________________________________________________________________________________ 93 COPYRIGHT © ONLINE EDUCATION ALL RIGHTS RESERVED . The ability to render white without introducing a colour shift. Visible Spectrum: White light broken up into its component colours. All visible colours. over a range of focal lengths. Most common in wide-angle lenses.__________________________________________________________________________________ using a filter assembly or lens hood that is too long for the lens. A lens with continuous. Filters of different colours and density are given unique Wratten numbers. variable focal lengths. Frederick Wratten.