Sunday, May 24, 2015

3 Basics in Photography


What is photography? Photography is the art and science of producing permanent image of a subject for artistic or functional use. Photography began as early as the 1920s, from copper plate, to film, and today the digital cameras.
Many people think that photography is a complicated thing, one of which was me; that was before I didn’t know how to properly use my camera. For beautiful and attractive photograph, you have to learn to properly expose your image, so that the picture will not be too dark or too bright. Getting the right exposure is very simple, just like one, two, and three. Yes, only three things you have to learn and understand for correct and balance exposure of a photograph. These three things are the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. These three things will determine the exposure for your photo no matter what camera you are using. Understanding these three things will help you balance your exposure.

What is aperture? Aperture is the opening size of the diaphragm of your lens. Aperture is determined by F Stop number, such as F1.4, F2.8, F3.5, up to F22; these are the F Stop numbers, they begin with the letter F. In aperture, the bigger the F Stop number (e.g. F16), means the opening of diaphragm of your lens is smaller, so less light is coming in to your camera sensor, giving you a darker image; the lower the F Stop number (e.g. F1.4), means the opening of diaphragm of your lens is bigger or wider, so more light is coming in to your camera sensor, giving you more exposed or brighter image.
Aperture also determines the depth of field of your photograph. If your F Stop number is smaller, you’ll have a shallow depth of field; it means areas that are not in focus will be blurred; perfect if you want to isolate your subject from background or other thing that will destruct your subject. If want everything in focus, use a high F Stop number aperture; everything in frame, foreground to background will be sharp, perfect if you’re taking a landscape photograph.
A shallow depth of field can also give bokeh effect in your subject’s background. Bokeh are those blurred small light circles in the background. A high F Stop number can also give star effect or spikes on light bulbs or small lights in the frame.

What is shutter speed? Shutter speed is the length it takes to open and close your shutter inside your camera, that small mirror your see if you detach your lens from your camera. Shutter speed is how fast or how slow your shutter opens and closes in seconds. Shutter speed is determined from 1/6000, fastest speed in less than a second, up to 30” or 30 seconds; or in Bulb mode, 1 minute to several hours. In shutter speed, the fastest the shutter speed the more your subject freezes or it freezes the motion; plus gives less light to your sensor, giving you darker image. A good example of fast shutter speed that freezes the subject is a jump shot; subject is frozen in the air. A slow shutter speed or long exposure can give a blur effect on motion of the subject; plus more lights coming in to your sensor, giving you brighter image. If you’re taking a long exposure picture of waterfalls, it will give the water a silky or dreamy effect.
A shutter speed has a thing called minimum shutter speed, if you are taking a picture hand-held or without a tripod/monopod. If you take a picture less than minimum shutter speed without tripod or monopod, subject can be blurred if you zoom in 100% at the subject in the photograph. To avoid blurred image, know your minimum shutter speed. Minimum shutter speed depends on focal length of lens you’re using and sensor size of your camera. If you are using a full frame size sensor camera, your shutter speed should be equal to focal length of your lens. For example, if your lens is 50mm, your shutter speed should be 1/50 sec or higher, on 60mm shutter should be 1/60 sec or higher, and so on. On APS-C or cropped sensor camera, for Canon brands, the formula for determining shutter speed is [Focal length] * 1.6 = 1/[minimum shutter speed]; for example on 50mm, 50 * 1.6 is 80, so, your minimum shutter speed should be 1/80 sec or higher. For Nikon brand, just multiply 1.5 instead of 1.6.

What is ISO? ISO is the sensitivity of your sensor to the light coming in the camera. ISO is determined from ISO 100, 200, 400, up to 6400 or higher on some high-end cameras. The higher the ISO number means it is more sensitive to light sensor, giving you brighter image, perfect for a low light condition shooting like indoor with artificial light or at night; the lower the ISO number means less sensitive to light sensor, perfect for outdoor shooting, sunny weather or bright morning light.
High ISO number also gives your photograph noise effect, like very small grain dots. But some high-end cameras have settings to remove that noise or grain from your photograph immediately after taking a picture.

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