Introduction to Exposure, the Camera and 1st Assignment: 100 Images
(The assignment is at the bottom of the page)
Let’s Jump Right in -
Exposure is the combination of aperture, shutter speed and ISO, all working together to make a good exposure. Understanding these three elements will give you control over what your images look like, what you want to say with the frame, how you direct your viewer to experience the image.
Aperture - Depth of Field in the image.
The Aperture controls the size of the lens opening, the amount of light hitting the sensor.
A whole stop represents the doubling or halving of the light through the lens.
- f1.4 lets in twice as much light as f2.0.
- f2.0 lets in twice as much light as f2.8.
- f2.8 lets in half as much light as f2.0.
•Below are standard f/stops. Learn these.
The aperture, distance from the subject, and the focal length of your lens control the depth of field in your image.
Depth of field is what is in focus from the foreground to the background.
- F2.8 is a wide-open aperture, letting in lots of light, giving you shallow depth of field.
- F22 is a tiny opening, letting in less light, giving you greater depth of field.
Shutter Speed - Controls motion in the image.
The Shutter Speed controls the amount of time the shutter stays open letting light expose the image sensor.
- With a fast shutter speed you can stop action.
- With a slow shutter speed you can show motion.
- If hand holding your camera, you want the shutter to be at least 1/60th of a second if using a 50mm lens. Look at what the maximum focal length of your lens is, then do not hand hold below that number. If you have a 200mm lens you should not hand hold below 1/250th of a second. If below 1/250th of a second, use a tripod or another way of bracing the camera. You do not want an image that is out of focus or blurred.
- For low light (indoors, city lights at night), 5-30 seconds (use a tripod).
- To stop action (a race car, pro athlete) 1/2000-1/4000 second.
Explore and see what happens with different shutter speeds.
ISO - Controls the sensitivity of the image sensor to light.
ISO controls the sensitivity of the image sensor to light. With a low ISO you will have little or no noise in the image. With a high ISO you will have greater noise in the image. (Noise looks like colored specks in the image.) For best image quality try to use the lowest ISO possible. As the scene gets darker you need to raise your ISO.
Daytime - ISO 100-400
Dusk - ISO 400 - up
Well lit 400 - up
Dark - 1600 - up
•How high does your ISO go?
•Do not shoot outdoors or in well lit spaces with a high ISO This will limit how you expose the image. You will likely overexpose your image making it too bright with loss of highlight information.
Explore and see how your camera handles ISO. Newer cameras you can push the ISO up quite high without seeing problems. You will see problems if you make a poor exposure and try to fix the image in post production.
ISO stands for the International Organization for Standardization — an organization that sets international standards for all different kinds of measurements. But, when in reference to your camera, the ISO is your camera's sensitivity to light. ISO is displayed in a number like this: 100, 200, or 400 - This may also be a test question.
5 extra credit points:
•Photograph one scene changing your ISO - 100 - 200 - 400 - 800 - 1600 - 3200 - 6400 - 12,800 - Do you have a higher ISO? Shoot that as well.
•Make a good exposure for each ISO.
•Name each file with the ISO used.
•Submit the Image files in the extra credit portal within Canvas - ISO Exploration
•In the comments tell me what you learned about ISO.
•These must be submitted when the project is due - No Late extra credit will be accepted.
•Images must be submitted in the extra credit portal.
When you change one setting - Aperture or Shutter - you need to change the other to zero out the exposure. ISO may not need to change. As one facet increases, the other decreases. A stop is a doubling or halving of the amount of light let in when making a photograph.
1/30 @ f8 the equivalent would be 1/500 @ f2
1/250 @ f8 the equivalent would be 1/1000 @ __________
1/60 @ F16 the equivalent would be 1/2000 @ __________
1/250 @ f5.6 the equivalent would be _______@ f16
1/500@ f/8 the equivalent would be ________@ f2.8
Have fun, explore the concept. Make up some equivalents of your own below. This will be a final exam concept!
With some cameras and lenses you can almost make images in complete darkness. What camera or lens would be good for low light images?
The Exposure Triangle:
The first camera was the Camera Obscura, a room with a small hole in the wall revealing the outside world. The image was reversed and inverted (left to right and upside down) on a surface opposite to the opening. In the second half of the 16th century artists pushed the concept further creating a moveable tent or box as an aid for drawing and painting. This evolution brought us to the first half of the 19th century when Camera Obscura boxes were used to expose light-sensitive materials to the projected image. Still no lens was used, just a small hole. Today we make cameras without a lens out of oatmeal boxes, shoe boxes, anything we can make light tight. There is even a Worldwide Pinhole Day. Be sure to explore the pinhole possibilities on the internet. You can even make a pinhole cap for your digital camera.
George Eastman’s first camera, which he called the "Kodak," was first offered for sale in 1888. It had a low price point, was easy to use and came packaged with 100 exposures. After exposing the film you would send in the camera, you would get back your photographs, and your camera would be reloaded and ready to shoot the next 100 images. Trivia: explore the format of this camera.
Between 1905 and 1913 we saw the first use of 35mm film being used. Leica I (for Leitz camera) began production in 1925, becoming the first popular 35mm high end compact camera.
We are really here for the digital cameras and today’s technology but it is good to know where we started. Be sure to explore the history of cameras. You might get hooked on the film traditions.
Digital Cameras Today:
This playlist has links to additional more in-depth information about digital cameras.
Also includes info on good beginner cameras to purchase and more.
DSLR Cameras (digital single lens reflex)
Mirrorless Digital Cameras
What is a single lens reflex camera? How does it differ from mirrorless cameras?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different sensor formats?
Mobile Device: iPad, iPhone
With the same mobile device, the use of different apps can give you additional features for making images.
For this class I recommend the LightRoom Mobile App - Within the app is a camera that has many additional functions such as RAW file formats, selective focus and much more.
Compact Digital Cameras (point and shoot cameras)
These do not have interchangeable lenses.
Many do have manual exposure settings
Medium Format digital backs
Medium Format digital cameras
Medium Format digital backs and cameras have a larger sensor format. Allowing for much larger images to be produced, for the finest detail at a large print size.
Basics: Camera Set-Up and Knowledge
- The best place to start is by pulling out your camera manual and reading it. Go through the basic setup information found there. Learn about the buttons, dials and modes for your specific camera. It is also a good idea to google a video or two about your specific camera. Many of these videos are great for showing you how to set up shooting preferences.
But to start, here are some general ways to set up your camera and things to think about for the beginner and maybe even the advanced user.
- Set your camera to shoot RAW.
If you are a beginner, set the camera to shoot RAW and Fine .JPG.
(Fine .JPG will give you the highest quality .JPG file)
- Most of the time AUTO White Balance will work great. If you have a RAW file it is an easy fix if the color balance is off a bit.
- Set your color space to Adobe RGB - This is a Larger color gamut than sRGB, the default setting.
- I like to see a grid in my viewfinder. This helps align things. Go to the menu settings to change this, use your manual to find where this is for your camera.
- Clean Image Sensor: If using an interchangeable lens camera, turn this on - Set Clean Sensor every time you turn the camera on or off. For many cameras this is on by default, no need to look for this if you are making images with a point and shoot or a mobile device.
You might want to turn on ADR (NIKON - Active D-Lighting) or, as Ken Rockwell calls it (and it makes more sense), Adaptive Dynamic Range. It should capture highlights and shadows with more detail. With this on, set it to normal. Give it a test. Shoot the same scene with and without it on. Choose a scene with highlights and shadows. This is where you will notice the effect.
- Metering Mode: Set to Matrix for Nikon and Evaluative for Canon.
- Set your Date and Time - This is recorded to the metadata of your files. I will be looking at your metadata when you submit your work.
Manual (M) - In Manual mode you make all the aperture and shutter settings yourself. Use the camera’s built-in meter to get a good exposure. You have the most control over your images shooting in Manual.
Shutter Priority (Tv) or (S) - You choose the shutter speed, and the camera chooses the aperture.
Aperture Priority (Av) or (A) - You choose the aperture, and the camera chooses the shutter speed.
Program (P) - DO NOT USE - YOU HAVE NO CONTROL
- I like to set my DSLR or Mirrorless camera to shoot in 1/2 stops not 1/3 stops. This can be found in the camera menu. Read the manual for your individual camera on how to change this.
- When changing lenses or media cards always have the camera off.
- When changing the lens do not do it in a windy, wet, sandy, dusty area. Point the camera down so things will not drop onto the sensor. Have the lens you want to put on the camera clean and ready to go.
- When cleaning dust on your camera and lens start with a rubber bulb blower. Get rid of the loose surface dust. Many times this is all you need if done regularly.
- When cleaning lenses, use non-abrasive, lint-free wipes or a microfiber cloth. Never put cleaning solution directly on the lens or camera. Always put it on the wipes or cloth and then clean the surface.
- If your sensor needs cleaning you can do it yourself with the proper tools or you can send it in to be cleaned. This is what I do, about once a year.
- When shooting replace the battery before it goes dead. If the battery dies while writing to the card this can cause problems for the card and then for you. (Bring an extra battery).
- When I am finished with my shoot for the day, I dial the camera setting back to my neutral. For Me: ISO 400, AUTO WB, Aperture Priority, F/8. Then the next time when I just grab the camera and go, I will not be shooting on some crazy setting.
-Always charge your batteries after a shoot and remember to put them back in your bag so you are ready to grab and go.
- Always download your memory card to your hard drive after the shoot. Then back it up to the cloud and a second hard drive. This is best practices advice. There is nothing worse than a corrupted card or hard drive and your images are lost forever.
- Put the card back in the camera or in your bag after downloading the images.
- Always format your cards in camera - Never erase the card. Format is found in the Menu of the camera.
All cameras have a Reset to Defaults, so if you cannot figure out what is wrong, this will help. If you make any additional custom settings write them down here so you can get back up, shooting quickly.
Assignment: 100 Images
This week will be one of the most difficult weeks! Go out and make 100 images. Photograph whatever interests you. Carry your camera with you everywhere you go. I want to see a variety of images. Make images of your dog, the landscape, your car. Make images of your family and friends. Make images at work. Make images of the city. Think about what is in the frame and what is not. Look at the edges of the frame. Not everything has to be centered- Don’t center your subject. Think about the depth in the photograph, what is close by you, what is far away. Depth is created by how you frame the scene. Make images that are horizontal, vertical, square, 16:9 explore the frame options. With this first assignment I want you to explore your camera. Photograph in the light, look for light, let light illuminate your subject. Photograph outdoors, in the daylight. Make images that are in focus and properly exposed. That is your number one priority this week.
If you make the images at night, in the dark, in an indoor space you will get a ZERO - Get out into the light!
Video for the Assignment: 100 Images: https://youtu.be/QkmHQ-dhIVo
In this video I say to set your ISO to 400 - Do that if you are making images with a DSLR/Mirrorless Camera.
If using a mobile device Leave the ISO to auto - Be sure to use the Lightroom Mobile Camera in Professional Mode and explore what you can do with this tool.
Video1: Are you using a DSLR/Mirrorless or your camera phone.
Below you will find info on:
A - Setting up a DSLR or Mirrorless camera
B - Scroll down further for - Setting up a cell phone
•You will be asked questions on the quizzes throughout the semester on both sets of info. Be sure to explore information for all image making devices. There are many cross over concepts and terminology.
A - Setting your DSLR/Mirrorless Camera:
Manual Mode (exposure).
Auto Focus on.
Auto White Balance.
Video 4: Camera Handling and where to look for your meter in the viewfinder: https://youtu.be/W2Xi34WLr10
•When making images you should always look through the viewfinder of your camera to frame your composition and set your exposure.
•Before making images in manual mode with your camera or cell phone, explore what the aperture, shutter speed and ISO control - See what happens when you change these 3 elements that combined make your exposure.
Video 2: The Exposure Triangle and a few Images with exposures to explore:
Video 3: Exposure Simulators to Explore:
Now Explore the DSLR/Mirrorless Camera Simulators:
Check out the noise on this one, if you crank up the ISO - Not very pretty.
Be sure to explore the interpretation.
B - Set up your phone:
-Use the LightRoom Mobile Camera. Found in the LRM app.
-The images will be saved into the Adobe Lightroom Mobile Cloud.
-For access to what you will need this semester, you will need to subscribe to the LRM app.
(Refer to the Camera and app guide page for more info)
-Use DNG to capture RAW Photos. Raw has more editable info than a JPG image.
- Shoot in Professional Mode
- EXP -over and underexposing the image to define a look you like. Too dark is too dark and too light is too light. This can be useful.
- Sec - this is your shutter speed - explore - you will see live updates if the image is overexposed or underexposed.
- ISO - Set this to Auto. You can explore in the LRM Professional camera mode, setting your ISO to 100 or 400. Give it a try.
- WB - Choose Auto White Balance - We have a project coming up where we explore WB but feel free to see what it does this week.
- [+] - Explore selective focus here.
Video 3: Lightroom Mobile - The Camera. https://youtu.be/ddvE2PVD9s8
•••Lightroom Mobile Guide•••
Info on all the basic to advanced features found in LRM
Download the guide here.
- Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO. Making a good exposure.
- White Balance
To learn the basic workings of your camera.
Shoot your images in daylight - outdoors.
Make sure your shutter is above 1/60th of a second. Meter to find out what your aperture should be set at.
I want to see at least 100 images.
There will be poor exposures and poor compositions - That is OK - We can make multiple shots to get one good one. Keep making!
In the Canvas comments: Tell me how many images you made. What Camera you used. Ask me any questions you have. Tell me about what you were thinking when making your images. What were you trying to accomplish. What might you try different next time? Do you have a favorite?
If you have any trouble with the submission, let me know. We will work on troubleshooting the problem. There is a help section in Canvas on the left hand side.
Next week we will use the 100 images, learning how to rank and select as well as make a web friendly Submittable album using LightRoom Mobile.
Exploration of a week in images:
54 images - Hiking with a friend and pups. Exploring this wash basin - looking for lines - Leading lines - playing with compositional rules. The contrast between the cool earth and blue sky is dynamic here.
16 images - Rosie and her big Personality - Playing with light and shadow out on my daily walk.
3 images. Look at those feet - far away - moving closer - edited image is the last.
6 images - Exploring some shadows.
9 images - Making some images out on the golf course. I was looking at the rhythm in the hilly course - And the puppy.
I really shot 41 images of Rosie and her turkey neck - I chose the one with the big eye to edit. I am always looking for the shot that shows personality.
•Not all images need to be made in one day. Take the entire week and make images each day. I do not want 100 images made in 10 minutes!
•You have your phone with you all the time, so make images as you live your life.
•Think about the stories held within the frame.
•Think about your viewer - Why would they want to explore your images?
Sometimes we make images for ourselves and that is ok, we do not need to share every image we make. With this class think about making images that are personal and universal. Like many of you I love my dog (kids, friends, family). I only share the images that show big doggie personality, images that are classic in some way so others can relate to the image. I keep a clean background without distractions from my home. No one wants to see my glass of water behind the dog’s head. I think about the composition to tell a bigger stronger story. I look at depth in the image, something in the foreground, middle ground and background, building info to support my subject. I am always looking at the edges of the frame. Should that element be there or is it a distraction? Can I move an inch to get the distraction out of the frame or add more into the frame? As you make images and more images all of this will become second nature - Make a lot of images.
Zhong Lin - Photo a Day
Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”
— Henri Cartier-Bresson
That’s it. Go make images!