Notes from 'behind the lens' workshop

October 25, 2015  •  Leave a Comment


 


 

Exposure triangle
 

  • Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO
     
  • Light meter reads the values and calculate the correct exposure.
     
  • Dynamic range –camera can see 6-8 stops of light, eyes can see 16
     
  • Auto mode
     
  • Aperture priority –story telling, subject isolation , low light, long exposure
     
  • Shutter priority –freeze motion, panning, imply motion
     


 

Light, exposure
 

  • At least six possible exposures in any situation
     
  • Light -soft light, golden light, day light, flash light
     
  • One F-stop at a time
     
  • F2.8, F4, F5.6, F8, F11, F16, F22
     
  • F2.8 at 1/1000 is same exposure as F4 at 1/500 sec
     
  • Learn manual exposure mode
     


 

Aperture
 

  • Find the one best aperture
     
  • Depth of field, shallow to wide
     
  • Wide aperture in low light
     
  • Wide aperture to isolate subject
     
  • Story telling apertures, to get front to back sharpness
     
  • F8 , F11 . . . . sharpest, leaves on the floor, portrait against a wall etc.
     
  • Exercise - photograph a face with different apertures, to show shallow background and depth field.
     


 

Shutter speed
 

  • Find the one best shutter speed
     
  • Sunny 16 rule
     
  • Moon 11 rule
     
  • Freeze motion, (People=1/200,sports = 1/500, wild life 1/1000 –1/2000, rain 1/50 for rain )
     
  • Long exposure ( Eg : traffic trails, moving light, waterfall, star trails, ND filter)
     
  • Panning ( freeze motion with panning @ 1/30 sec )
     
  • Exercise - Shoot water fall at different shutter speeds, same exposure, different result. Use shutter speeds of 1/200 second, 1/10 second and 1 second. You can photograph a waterfall, or any small stream of water, or even water  flowing from a tap to see the same experience.   
     
  • Exercise - Shoot ferry’s wheel at different shutter speeds, same exposure, different result (this one needs traveling to Seattle downtow2n waterfront, of course). If you can find any device with a rotating wheel in it, you can do similar experiment. A wall clock or a desk alarm clock with a seconds needle also will work as subject here.
     


 

ISO
 

  • Light sensitivity of the sensor
     
  • Keep at lowest ISO possible to avoid noise.
     
  • Long exposure noise reduction
     
  • Noise reduction using tools like Nik Define, Lightroom
     
  • Exercise - Photograph the front page of a magazine in different ISO modes, to show increase in noise as we increase the ISO. Use any magazine or cover page of a book.
     


 

White balance
 

  • Color balance
     
  • Color temperature
     


 

Un-Sharp images –common causes
 

  • Avoid camera shake
     
  • shutter speed1/mm , reciprocal rule
     
  • Image stabilization or hold camera steady
     
  • Use a tripod
     
  • Motion blur due to movement of subject
     
  • Use shutter priority mode ,
     
  • People = 1/200, sports = 1/500, wild life 1/1000 –1/2000
     
  • Shallow depth of field can cause blurry photo
     
  • Use shallow aperture , like F8 or shallower
     
  • Missed focus
     
  • Use single focus point
     
  • Use a shallow f-stop
     
  • Air quality
     
  • Long focal length means hazy and humid if subject is far away
     
  • Go closer to subject if possible
     


 

How to get sharp images
 

  • Use tripod
     
  • Use cable release or remote or timer
     
  • Lock mirror
     
  • Use fast enough shutter speed
     
  • Switch off Vibration reduction / Image stabilization while on tripod
     
  • Shoot at Lens’s sharpest aperture , 2 stops from widest
     
  • Avoid high ISO if possible
     
  • Shoot in burst mode, chance that one will be sharp
     
  • Zoom in to check sharpness
     
  • Use a fast memory card
     


 


 

Portraits / people / outside / Inside
 

Some technical stuff
 

  • Chose background . .. don’t want it to be busy
     
  • Position camera at eye level, lower or raise the camera
     
  • Avoid harsh sun light .. look for shade, or cloudy day
     
  • Use a diffuser, flash bender or Gary Fong
     
  • Built-in flash to fill shadows, make sure to ON flash (15 ft)
     
  • Use flash to darken or lighten the background of the subject
     
  • Use a flash to freeze motion in portraits
     
  • Flash not required always
     
  • Telephoto zoom for portraits ( 100mm or close )
     
  • F2.8 -> nice bokeh,f11-> more background visible
     
  • Shoot in portrait orientation if one person
     


 

How you get the shot
 

  • What lens to use, what aperture to use etc. are easy technical details to find
     
  • Connect with the subject, make a relation with the subject, and capture the moments
     
  • Watch the subject through the lens, slow down, stay calm and concentrate ( Eg: dancer, kid, runner )
     
  • Ask your subject to help you learn to become a better photographer
     
  • Don’t ask subject to smile, make them smile
     


 

Some composition rules
 

  • Obey the rule of thirds
     
  • No implanting of subject, no horns behind the head
     
  • Make sure to fix hair, ask model
     
  • Check where to cut hands, Eg : don’t show back of subjects hand
     
  • Don’t cut limbs
     
  • Don’t chop forehead
     
  • Focus in the dominant eye
     
  • Keep both eyes focused
     
  • Compose tight, more appealing
     
  • Chin down, always
     
  • Get couples really close
     
  • Make sure to focus the girl correctly, you can ignore the guy
     


 

Some special situations
 

  • How to shoot a sunset portrait
     
  • Better portraits with a reflector
     
  • For group shots, don’t use rows, use clutters, and leave no space between people
     

Photographing stage performance
 

  • No flash absolutely, there is enough light on the stage to give you good images
     
  • You want to capture the color and vibrance of the stage lights
     
  • You want to capture the moments as you see on the stage
     
  • Use a high ISO to give you 1/125 shutter speed at a moderate aperture
     
  • Lights constantly change, shooting a performance on stage is really challenging
     
  • Use the lens with the widest aperture you have, like an F2.8 lens
     
  • Use a noise reduction software, like Nik Define
     
  • If sitting close to stage, you will need both a wide angle lens and a telephoto
     
  • Use a monopod if sitting in the same place, so you can relax your hands
     
  • Watch the stage through the lens always, and click when the moment happens
     
  • Shoot in burst mode when important moments happen on stage, so u don’t miss a thing
     
  • Aperture priority, spot metering
     


 

Creating a Panorama image
 

  • Use a tripod
     
  • Shoot vertical
     
  • White balance –use one of the presets
     
  • Use manual exposure
     
  • Use manual focus –focus at one place in the center of the scene, then switch lens to manual focus
     
  • Overlap by 25-40 %
     
  • Shoot quickly, the scene may change due to moving clouds
     
  • Use cable release (eg. $6 Velo ) to avoid camera shake
     
  • Use Photoshop, Lightroom, or ICE to stich the panorama
     
  • If you use Photoshop, you can hand hold camera and shoot
     


 

Rules of composition
 

  • Rule of thirds
     
  • Leading lines
     
  • Diagonals
     
  • Framing –use natural frames like windows and doors
     
  • Find a contrast between subject and background
     
  • Fill the frame
     
  • Center the dominant eye
     
  • Patterns and repetition
     
  • Symmetrical balance
     

                                                 
 

                                                      ------end---------
 


 


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