Course onIn Embassy of Finland, Nairobi, June 2012 Seppo Toikka
This course consists of:7) Basic ideas and concepts in photography8) Digital photography technique9) Composition and subjects in photography10) Digital editing, workflow examples11) Other topics requested by you
Camera doesn’t matterYou can get amazing photos withany cameraYou just need to understand two things…Amazing photos are aboutcomposition and light, not aboutthe technical properties of the camera
Don’t capture, conveyYou can’t capture exactly whatyou see, so don’t even tryInstead, try to convey the feeling!Good pictures are all about conveyingemotions, making us feel somethingThe next time you feel the urge to takea picture, focus on that feeling
Knowing your cameraSpecific technical properties ofyour camera are not importantKnowing how to use them to getthe best possible pictures is!Every setting in your camera changesthe way it captures light and changesthe resulting photo
ExposureExposure = the amount of lightpassed throught the lens to thesensor surfaceChange in exposure is measuredin stops (EV). +/-1 stop = doubling/halvingthe amount of light passed throughthe lens
Exposure exampleWhen the camera’s dynamic rangecannot capture the whole tonalrange, you need to decide what tonesare most importantVirtually all cameras have thepossibility to adjust exposureby at least +/- 2 stops(EV)
Adjusting exposureIn auto mode camera tries to figureout the ”correct” exposureYou can adjust this exposure fromcamera menus, or……you can use the half-pressshutter trick (just rememberthat it fixes focusing too!)
Adjusting exposure (cont.)Exposure is the combination of 3 things:ApertureShutter speedLight sensitivity of the camera sensor (ISO)
FocusingIn auto mode camera tries to figureout the ”correct” point of focusFocus points are shown on thedisplay as rectangular boxes whenyou press the shutter half way
Focusing (cont.)Point of focus defines the depthof field, how much of the picturesdepth is in focusSize of depth of field depends onthe distance of the focus point, the typeof lens and aperture of the lens
Camera blurEven if the focusing is correct, photoscan be blurredIf the camera or the subject moveswhile exposing the photo, this willresult in blurred picture
Camera blur (cont.)Many cameras have built-in imagestabilizer (IS, OS, VR)Without a stabilizer shutter speedsslower than 1/30s will probably resultin a blurred photo
How to avoid blurred photosSteady the camera against a supportSqueeze the shutter release slowlyRemember, the longer focal length (zoom),the bigger risk of camera blur!
Motion blurEven if the camera is held still, thesubject can move during the exposure,resulting in motion blurLearn how to avoid unwanted blurring,but also how to use it to your advantage!
Shutter speed settingsShooting modes also affect shutterspeedsSports mode keeps the shutterspeed as fast as possibleLandscape mode tries to maximisethe depth of field with the expenseof slower shutter speeds
Shutter speed settings (cont.)Setting higher ISO will result in fastershutter speedsIf all else fails, you can decrease theexposure to increase shutter speed
Camera modesSpecifics of camera shooting modesare unfortunately company trade secretsModes affect shutter speeds, depth offield, color rendition and flash useNobody says that they need to be usedin situations described in the manuals!Experiment by taking photos of samesubject with many different settings
Focal lengthFocal length defines the angle of viewLonger lengths ”compress” targetsrelative to their distance from cameraKeeping the subject size unchanged,changing the focal length will changethe perspective and composition!Don’t forget the ”leg zoom”!
Camera flashIf camera tells you to use flash, don’t!Unless I say it’s ok…Flash in low light will flatten any details,especially in portraitsLearn how to use fill-flash, to combineflash with light from other sources
When to use fill-flash?Bright light, but subject is in shadeNight-time, when there are artificiallights to provide some lightWhen using flash, the distance fromyour subject makes all the difference:don’t be too close!
Onlinephotocoursenairobi.wikispaces.comSlides, example photos withexplanations, email@example.com
HomeworkFind out how to adjust exposurein your camera (+/- EV)Find out what shooting modes yourcamera has and take one photo fromthe same place with every modeWhen you see any photo, pay attentionto the light in that photo