Archive for June 2010
Visual Poetry by Chris Orwig, is a “creative guide for making engaging digital photography”
What’s it about?
Orwig begins the book talking about inspiration and creativity, then goes on to talk about indivisual subjects such asportraits, children, weddings, outdoors and travel photography. Each chapter discusses creativity, inspiration, practical tips, gear at a glance and a work shop section with further reading materiel and also some great photography challenges to better your photos. Each chapter ends with some inspirational and practical tips from guest speakers such as Joyce Tenneson, Steve McCurry and Ralph Clevenger.
Although this book does cover some techniques and suggested camera gear, you will not find step by step photo recipes. This book will discuss what is meaningful in each field of photography and what is needed to achieve creative photos.
Who’s it for?
I would suggest this book to photographers of any level, although beginners should know that you will not learn much on camera techniques, but learn how the professional photographers think, and how they achieve creativity in there fields.
You get more inspiration from this book then anything else. I strongly suggest that people take it upon them selves to do the workshop sections.
Otherwise its a good read, with some good advise to let you learn to put more thought and creativity into your photography.
What is Shutter Speed?
To put it as straight forward as possible, shutter speed is the length of time that light is exposed to the film (or sensor) in your camera.
A camera works by having light exposed to its film/sensor. In order for a photo to be properly exposed (not to bright, not to dark) the cameras film/sensor needs to be exposed to light for a certain period of time. If its a bright sunny day with lots of available light, you will only need a very short or “fast” shutter speed to properly expose your photo. However if your in an environment were there is not as much available light, such as indoors or at dusk, you will need to use a longer shutter speed to allow enough time for your film/sensor to be exposed to light.
How Shutter Speed is Measured.
Shutter speed is measured in seconds, usually in fractions of a second 1/60th of a second is at about the speed that we can hand hold a camera without getting hand shake (blurriness from your movement) some people can hand hold a camera as low as 1/30th of a second (assuming there subject is not moving).
You’re generally going to want to use a shutter speed above 1/60th anything lower and you’re going to want to use a tripod to reduce camera shake. Some cameras will let you use a shutter speed as low as 30 seconds, this is great if your trying to take photos at night. Some cameras also have a bulb setting which allows you to press the shutter button to open the cameras shutter, then press it again when you want to close the shutter, this is great for shooting star trails (check out my posting on star trails) witch can require the shutter to be open for hours at a time.
Shutter speed techniques.
By controlling your cameras shutter speed you can chose to freeze any movement with a fast shutter speed, or show movement by using a slightly slower shutter speed.
Lets take a look at the two photos below. Both consist of a similar subject, but have been taking using different shutter speeds. The first photo show a water fall taken at a fast shutter speed and its freezing the motion of the water falling. The second photo uses a slower shutter speed to blur the water as its falling to achieve a feeling of movement. Both are great photos but depict a different feel.
By controlling what our cameras shutter speed is we can effect what our images will look like, we can choose to use a fast shutter speed to freeze a moving object, or slow the shutter speed down to portray some movement or compensate for a dark environment.
Some things to try.
Try taking photos of moving cars or children playing, start at a shutter speed of around 1/300th of a second, then move your shutter speed down gradually until you reach around 1/30th of a second. Notice how your photos come out, at 1/30th you’re not going to be able to get a sharp photo of a moving subject, but at around 1/100 try panning your camera and follow your subject as you shoot, see if you can get your subject sharp by moving the camera with them and make the background blur from your movement.
Feel free to post a photo demonstrating a slow shutter speed in our forum, or leave a link to your image!
If your an novice, amateur or pro photographer you have got to check out D-Town TV hosted by Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski.
Each week they release a video with great digital camera tips and hands on demonstrations. The information you get out of watching this series is absolutely priceless, each week you will learn a new trick or two when it comes to digital photography.
AND ITS FREE!
Check it out at.. http://kelbytv.com/dtowntv/
Also check out Scott Kelby’s third annual World Wide Photo Walk
Check to see if there’s a photo walk in your area, if not then why not register one yourself!
How Aperture Works
aperture works by adjusting the size of a lenses aperture ring and the amount of light that enters your camera, if the aperture is wide open lots of light gets in, likewise if the aperture is small less light will get in.
How is Aperture Measured
Aperture is measured in “f stops” and as you can see in the chart below. At f/1.4 the aperture is wide open and as the numbers advance to f/8 the aperture gets smaller. Its confusing but remember the larger the F stop the smaller the aperture.
Whats the point?
Lets say its a bright sunny day and your taking a photo of a single flower, you take the shot and notice that the flower is in sharp focus but so is the background. Having the background in focus looks noisy and detracts from your main subject (the flower). Ideally what you want is for the flower to be in focus and for the background to be out of focus or blurry, thus making the flower stand out.
This is achieved buy adjusting your cameras aperture. If your in auto mode or “P” Priority mode the camera will automatically chose your aperture for you and if it a bright day the camera will chouse a large aperture such as f/16. A large aperture will give you a wide depth of field (both the background and foreground will be in focus) we need to tell the camera that we want a smaller aperture such as f/2 which will give us a “shallow depth of field” (your subject will be in focus wile the background will be blurry). We do this by switching the camera to “aperture priority mode” (“A” on a Nikon, “Av” on Cannon) once in aperture priority we can scroll through the F stops and choose whether you want a large or small aperture. Remember a large F stop such as f/22 will make a small opening thus making everything in focus, wile a small F stop such as f/1.8 will make only your subject in focus.
So if we want to take a photo of a flower where the flower is in focus and the background is out of focus, we tell the camera to shoot at a low F stop, around f/2.
If we were taking a photo of a landscape where we want everything to be in focus, we tell the camera to shoot at a large f/stop such as f/22.
Aperture to increase speed.
Lets say your shooting a sporting event and you need a fast shutter speed to capture your moving subject, or your indoors and you need your shutter speed to be fast enough so you don’t get blurry hand held shots. By having your aperture wide open (small F stop) you are allowing more light to enter your camera, which means you can get a faster exposure/shutter speed. This is when a good “fast” lens can be handy (fast refers to how wide the aperture can get)
This is a brief description of how aperture effects the images you take. I advise you all to go out there and have a go at shooting in aperture priority mode, that way you can control and decide on the depth of field as you need it. My camera is almost always set to aperture priority, that way I can quickly choose to include the background to some degree or keep the detail in the background if I want to. I can also quickly set the aperture to wide open if im in a tricky low light situation.
Give it a try and feel free to leave a comment with any questions or post some of your photos on our forum!