What are the elements of photography? How do we take a good photo?
1. F stop F-stops are the hole in the lens that lets the light in. The number is just the bottom (ok, the denominator) of a fraction. When the lens is set to f2, the hole in the lens is 1/2 as big as the lens is long. When the lens is set to f8, the hole in the lens is 1/8th as big as the lens is long. Which hole is bigger, 1/2 or 1/8? Which hose would let more water through, one that's a half inch in diameter or one that's one-eighth in diameter? Which f-stop lets in more light, f2 or f8? So the larger the f stop the more light being let in For Manuel Operations on a DSLR Camera
If you are outside and it is a bright sunny day around what f stop should you have it on? 8 or above, why? If you are inside with little light around what f stop should you be? 6 or lower, why? So what does that mean?
Example: Comparison of f/32 (top-left corner) and f/5 (bottom-right corner)
Shutter speeds control how long the lens lets the light in. The number is just the bottom (ok, the denominator) of a fraction. When the shutter speed is set to 125, light comes in for 1/125th of a second. When the shutter speed is set to 8, light comes in for 1/8th of a second. Which is longer, 1/125th or 1/8th? If you leave the water turned on for 1/8th of an hour (7.5 minutes), does more water flow than if you leave it turned on for 1/125th of an hour (less than 30 seconds)? Which shutter speed lets in more light, 1/8th or 1/125th? Shutter Speed
Other Camera Modes Automatic Mode I suspect no one will need any introduction to this mode (as it seems most digital camera owners use it). Auto mode tells your camera to use it’s best judgment to select shutter speed, aperture, ISO, white balance, focus and flash to take the best shot that it can.
Portrait Mode When you switch to portrait mode your camera will automatically select a large aperture (small number) which helps to keep your background out of focus (ie it sets a narrow depth of field – ensuring your subject is the only thing in focus and is therefore the centre of attention in the shot). Portrait mode works best when you’re photographing a single subject so get in close enough to your subject (either by zooming in or walking closer) so that your photographing the head and shoulders of them). Macro Mode Macro mode lets you move your closer into your subject to take a close up picture. It’s great for shooting flowers, insects or other small objects. Different digital cameras will have macro modes with different capabilities including different focusing distances. When you use macro mode you’ll notice that focusing is more difficult as at short distances the depth of field is very narrow (just millimeters at times). Keep your camera and the object you’re photographing parallel if possible or you’ll find a lot of it will be out of focus.
Landscape Mode This mode is almost the exact opposite of portrait mode in that it sets the camera up with a small aperture (large number) to make sure as much of the scene you’re photographing will be in focus as possible (ie it give you a large depth of field). It’s therefore ideal for capturing shots of wide scenes, particularly those with points of interest at different distances from the camera. Sports Mode Photographing moving objects is what sports mode (also called ‘action mode’ in some cameras) is designed for. It is ideal for photographing any moving objects including people playing sports, pets, cars, wildlife etc. Sports mode attempts to freeze the action by increasing the shutter speed. When photographing fast moving subjects you can also increase your chances of capturing them with panning of your camera along with the subject and/or by attempting to pre focus your camera on a spot where the subject will be when you want to photograph it (this takes practice). Night Mode This is a really fun mode to play around with and can create some wonderfully colorful and interesting shots. Night mode (a technique also called ‘slow shutter sync’) is for shooting in low light situations and sets your camera to use a longer shutter speed to help capture details of the background but it also fires off a flash to illuminate the foreground (and subject). If you use this mode for a ‘serious’ or well balanced shot you should use a tripod or your background will be blurred – however it’s also fun to take shots with this handheld to purposely blur your backgrounds – especially when there is a situation with lights behind your subject as it can give a fun and experimental look (great for parties and dance floors with colored lights).
What do I need to remember when composing a photo?
The basic principle behind the rule of thirds is to imagine breaking an image down into thirds (both horizontally and vertically) so that you have 9 parts. As follows. Rule of Thirds
With this grid in mind the ‘rule of thirds’ now identifies four important parts of the image that you should consider placing points of interest in as you frame your image. The theory is that if you place points of interest in the intersections or along the lines that your photo becomes more balanced and will enable a viewer of the image to interact with it more naturally. Studies have shown that when viewing images that people’s eyes usually go to one of the intersection points most naturally rather than the center of the shot – using the rule of thirds works with this natural way of viewing an image rather than working against it.
Lines can be powerful elements in an image. They have the power to draw the eye to key focal points in a shot and to impact the ‘”feel’” of an image greatly. Diagonal, Horizontal, Vertical and Converging lines all impact images differently and should be spotted while framing a shot and then utilized to strengthen it. Leading Lines
The depth of field that you select when taking an image will drastically impact the composition of an image. It can isolate a subject from its background and foreground (when using a shallow depth of field) or it can put the same subject in context by revealing it’s surrounds with a larger depth of field. Depth of Field
f/8.0 f/5.6 f/2.8 Although print size and viewing distance influence how large the circle of confusion appears to our eyes, aperture and focal distance are the two main factors that determine how big the circle of confusion will be on your camera's sensor. Larger apertures (smaller F-stop number) and closer focusing distances produce a shallower depth of field. The following test maintains the same focus distance, but changes the aperture setting:
clever use of ‘texture’ can make a 2-dimensional object come alive and become almost three dimensional. Texture particularly comes into play when light hits objects at interesting angles. Texture
Depending upon the scene – symmetry can be something to go for – or to avoid completely. A symmetrical shot with strong composition and a good point of interest can lead to a striking image – but without the strong point of interest it can be a little predictable. It is preferable to experiment with both symmetry and asymmetry in one shoot to see what works best. Symmetry
Bracketing Take a variety of shots Take a lot!!!!! Have a plan And DON’T rely on cropping later! How to get better
Clarity – Image is clear, not blurry (unless for effect of showing movement) Contrast & Light Brightness (the amount of light) Contrast (difference between lightest and darkest areas) Good use of the direction of the light (and subsequent shadows) Composition Frame is filled Balance (light, lines, shapes [and colors] are appealing to the eye) Significance Zing (capturing something uniquely interesting) Variety! What makes a good photo?