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Digital Photography I


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Presentation on digital photography I gave in 2005 at the Saratoga Library.

Presentation on digital photography I gave in 2005 at the Saratoga Library.

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  • Inverse Square Law – When a surface is illuminated by a source of light, the intensity of the light at the surface is inversely proportional to the square of its distance from the light source. Fluorescent – Tubes radiate light after absorbing ultraviolet light from mercury vapor emission, resulting in a green cast not visible to the naked eye.
  • Inverse Square Law – When a surface is illuminated by a source of light, the intensity of the light a the surface is inversely proportional to the square of its distance from the light source. Fluorescent – Tubes radiate light after absorbing ultraviolet light from mercury vapor emission, resulting in a green cast not visible to the naked eye.
  • Transcript

    • 1.  
    • 2. Digital Photography I The Basics Peter Liu Photography kaiscapes .com
    • 3. Photography
      • From two Greek words meaning “drawing with light”:
        • φως phos ("light")
        • γραφις graphis ("stylus", "paintbrush")
      • Merriam-Webster:
      • “ The art or process of producing images on a sensitized surface (as a film) by the action of radiant energy and especially light.”
    • 4. Photography
      • “ The art of capturing light as it falls on a subject or scene, and rendering it so that your viewer is moved by the result.”
    • 5. Capturing Light
      • Hard Light – high contrast, well-defined shadows
    • 6. Capturing Light
      • Soft Light – diffused, rich colors
    • 7. Capturing Light
      • Overhead Light – harsh shadows
    • 8. Capturing Light
      • Front Light – flat, lacks dimension
    • 9. Capturing Light
      • Side Light – evokes mood, accentuates shapes
    • 10. Capturing Light
      • Back Light – may need to fill, makes silhouettes
    • 11. Capturing Light
      • Overcast Light – low contrast, muted shadows, good for detail
    • 12. Characteristics Of Light
      • Quality
        • The smaller the light source, the harder the light appears
        • The larger the light source, the softer the light appears
      • Direction
        • Determines where shadows fall
      • Contrast
        • Difference between the lightest and darkest tones of the subject or image
      • Source
      • Ambient – daylight, tungsten, flourescent, firelight
      • Artificial – flash, tungsten
      • Intensity
      • Reflectance
        • Reflectivity of the subject
        • Intensity of the light source
        • Angle of view
        • Distance of light source
      • Fall-off
        • Increase distance, decrease light level (Inverse Square Law)
    • 13. Characteristics Of Light
      • Color
      • Mixture of primary colors: Red, Green and Blue – varies according to source
      • “ Warm” – predominantly red
      • “ Cool” – predominantly blue
      • Expressed in Kelvin (K):
        • Incandescent ~ 3000K
        • Fluorescent ~ 4100K
        • Flash ~ 5400K
        • Daylight
          • Direct Sunlight ~ 5200K
          • Cloudy ~ 6000K
          • Shade ~ 8000K
      • Referred to as “White Balance” in digital photography.
    • 14. White Balance 4100K ( Fluorescent ) 3000K ( Incandescent ) 5200K ( Sunlight ) 8000K ( Shade ) 5400K ( Flash ) 6000K ( Cloudy )
    • 15. Why Are You Telling Us All This??
      • Because good photography depends on being able to execute two things well:
      • Exposure
      • Composition
    • 16. Exposure
      • A combination of three factors sometimes known as the “Photographic Triangle”:
      • Shutter Speed
      • Aperture
      • ISO
      • Or…
      • how quickly light is being captured through how big an opening onto how sensitive a surface
    • 17. Shutter
      • A camera’s shutter covers the hole through which light enters to expose the sensor or film.
      The shutter release button causes the shutter to open for a certain amount of time, then close again. Image source: www. howstuffworks .com Image source: VisibleDust
    • 18. Shutter Speed – Fast
      • 1/1600 sec., stops action
    • 19. Shutter Speed – Slow
      • Silky, cool, edgy effects
      1 sec. 3 sec. 1/3 sec.
    • 20. Shutter Speeds
      • Open too long, photos are washed out (overexposed)
      • Not long enough, photos are too dark (underexposed)
      • Expressed in seconds: 1/8000, 1/4000, 1/2000 1/1000, 1/500, 1/250, 1/60, 1/30, 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1 second, 2 seconds, etc.
      • Each setting is half or double the speed of its neighbor.
      • As the amount of available light decreases by half, the shutter speed needs to slow by double.
      • As the amount of available light increases, the shutter speed needs to increase
    • 21. Aperture
      • The opening through which light enters the camera.
      Sometimes called an iris because it imitates the opening in the human eye. Image source:
    • 22. Aperture
      • The size of the opening is expressed as an f-stop number : 1.4    2.0    2.8    4    5.6    8    11    16    22
      • Each number represents an opening size that is half or double its neighbor
      • The larger the number, the smaller the opening
      • For all the science types: the f-stop is actually a ratio between the diameter of the aperture in the lens and the focal length of the lens:
        • e.g. f/2 on a 50mm lens says the aperture is 25mm. 50/25 = 2.
        • (Source: “ A Tedious Explanation of the f/stop” by Matthew Cole)
      • For the rest of us: the size of the opening controls the depth of field in the photograph.
    • 23. Aperture And Depth Of Field
      • f/5.6
      • Shallow depth of field
      f/22 Deep depth of field
    • 24. Aperture And Depth Of Field
      • Caused by refraction of the light hitting the edge of the opening
      • Rays scatter and overlap instead of going straight on its way to the sensor or film
      • The camera “sees” multiple images, resulting in blur.
      • The smaller the opening, the less surface available to scatter the light, resulting in less blur.
      • Bottom line: the aperture is used to control how much of the scene is in focus.
    • 25. Aperture And Shutter Speed
      • The following reciprocals will yield the same exposure:
      • What changes is how much is sharp and in focus.
      1/8 sec. f/22 1/15 sec. f/16 1/30 sec. f/11 1/60 sec. f/8 1/125 sec. f/5.6 1/250 sec. f/4 1/500 sec. f/2.8
    • 26. The Light Meter
      • A device that assesses a scene and figures out the correct exposure
      • Modern cameras have them built-in
      • External handheld models also available
      • Engaged when shutter is pressed halfway
      • Matrix/Evaluative, Center-weighted, Spot metering
      • Looks for “18% Grey” or “Middle Grey”
      • Easily fooled!
    • 27. Tricky Metering Situations
    • 28. Exposure Compensation
      • Used when the light meter is unable to evaluate the exposure as desired, or when correcting by whole stops is too much
      • Usually +/- 2 EV (Exposure Value) in steps of 0.3 EV
      • Available on most cameras
    • 29. ISO
      • Sensitivity of the sensor or film to light
      • Represented by a number assigned by the International Standards Organization (hence, ISO) – 100, 200, 400, 800, etc.
      • Again, each number represents double or half the sensitivity of its neighbor (Ain’t it wonderful!)
      • The higher the number, the more sensitive to light
      • Digital photography is cool because you can change the ISO from shot to shot! 
    • 30. Higher ISO = More Noise! 
      • ISO 3200
    • 31. So…
      • Exposure depends on:
      • Shutter Speed – how fast
      • Aperture – how much
      • ISO – how sensitive
      • And color is a function of:
      • White Balance – how hot
    • 32. And…
      • Which camera you choose is a function of how much you want control those factors!
    • 33. Cameras
      • Two popular types of cameras on the market for the consumer
      Point-and-shoot SLR (Single-lens Reflex)
    • 34. Cameras
      • Point-and-shoot
      • Viewfinder separate from lens
      • Small and compact
      • Fixed lens
      • Shutter delay
      • Usually fully automatic (some exceptions, like Olympus C-series)
      • SLR (Single-lens Reflex)
      • Based on 35mm design
      • Actual image seen in viewfinder
      • Interchangeable lenses (more flexible composition)
      • Ability to use filters
      • More advanced metering and shutter system
      • Little to no shutter delay
      • Automatic, Program (“Scene”), Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority and Manual modes
      • Flash hot shoe
      • Pro models may not have pop-up flash or Program (“scene”) modes
    • 35. Point-and-shoot Anatomy
      • Viewfinder separate from lens (better to use LCD on digital)
      • Actual image (as exposed) is not quite the same as in the viewfinder
      • Much simpler design than SLRs.
      Light Path Lens Camera Body Viewfinder (front) Shutter Sensor or Film Viewfinder Focal Length LCD Screen (Digital)
    • 36. SLR Anatomy
      • Through-the-lens (TTL) viewing (works like a periscope)
      • Actual image (as exposed) is shown in the viewfinder
      • Mirror flips up when the shutter release is pressed, exposing the sensor (and blacking out the viewfinder)
      • “ Reflex” comes from the use of the mirrors in the viewfinder system.
      Light Path Lens Camera Body Focusing Screen Mirror (Pentaprism) Mirror (flips up) Shutter Sensor or Film Viewfinder Focal Length LCD Screen (Digital)
    • 37. Advantages Of Digital
      • Instant gratification (big fun factor) – see your images right away
      • No film cost – shoot as many as you want, erase and shoot again (heck, it’s just pixels!)
      • Convenience – print, email, web, slide shows; no waiting around for the photos to come back from the store
      • Easier to make copies – no need to send (or lose) originals
      • Easier to manipulate – no scanning required (you did that when you pressed the shutter)
      • No need to spend hours in the darkroom
      • Black-and-white – just shades of grey colors
      • No worries about film fading over time; digital images last for as long as your storage media doesn’t die on you
      • Less storage space – no physical shelves to keep stacking
      • Metadata information available for indexing and cataloging.
    • 38. Disadvantages Of Digital
      • Image quality
        • As good or better than 35mm in the right hands , but cannot compete with medium or large format film (yet)
        • 1.5x “cropping factor” or “focal length multiplier” in SLRs due to smaller sensor
        • Exposure much more critical – 1/3 stop subtle in Velvia, but blatant in digital
        • Blown highlights – no information means no information; film is better at rendering overexposed areas more naturally
        • Great shadow detail, but clipped highlights -- traded highlight detail for lower noise; most likely need to underexpose and correct in post
        • Skilled user needed to extract the image quality equivalent to that of good film
      • Very different workflow – requires skill with computers and software, knowledge of color management and printing, web, email, etc.
      • You are the photo lab – you’ve traded darkroom chemicals for a digital darkroom
      • Easy to lose images – memory cards can become corrupted in-camera; photos are scattered all over your computer; hard drives die
      • Slow – camera is locked up once the buffer is filled until the images are completely written to the card
      • Shutter delay (point-and-shoot)
      • Digicams are much more expensive than film cameras and become obsolete sooner
      • Slide shows – projectors designed for business graphics render poor photographic quality and awful color.
      • More megapixels = bigger files = more storage + faster computers
    • 39. Which Is Better?
      • The apple or the orange?
      • Each has their respective strengths and weaknesses.
      • It all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.
      • Everything in photography is a trade-off.
    • 40. Choosing A Digital Camera
      • The number of megapixels isn’t everything!
      • More is not necessarily better,
      • But more can be an advantage when cropping or printing big.
    • 41. Megapixel Madness
    • 42. How Many Pixels Do You Need?
      • Assume 300 dpi (dots per inch) for a good quality print on a desktop printer
      • Break down megapixels to length and width, then divide by 300
        • e.g. 6MP ~ 3008 x 2000 pixels (Nikon D70)
        • 3008/300 = 10.027 in.
        • 2000/300 = 6.667 in.
      • BUT, different printers have different requirements
      • Software can help upsize or downsize with varying results
      • Large fudge factor, depending on chosen application and printer technology.
    • 43. Digital Camera Resolution Chart (Source: B&H Photo-Video-Pro Audio )
    • 44. So, How Do I Choose A Camera?
      • Ergonomics – how does it feel in your hands?
      • Size and weight of the camera
      • Size and quality of the LCD
      • Lens quality
        • Sharpness
        • Distortion
        • Zoom capability (optical vs. digital)
          • Digital zoom is evil! 
      • Metering capability
      • Built-in flash
        • Red-eye reduction
        • Can you control it?
      • Manual capability vs. automatic or program modes
      • Battery life
      • Media type
      • Decide what’s important to you based on how you’ll be using it!
    • 45. About The Cards
      • Pick One
      Compact Flash SD MiniSD xD MultiMediaCard RS-MMC (Reduced-Size MultiMediaCard) SmartMedia Memory Stick Image source: Lexar
    • 46. I Bought A Camera… Now What?
      • Charge the battery
      • Format the card
      • Set up the camera
        • Date and time
        • Bells and whistles (literally!)
        • Digital zoom – if you can turn it off, do it!
        • Mode: Auto, Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual
        • ISO
        • White balance
        • Color space (Never mind!)
        • Image quality and file type
          • JPEG (Joint Photo Experts Group) – in-camera processing, lossy (small, medium, large), 8-bits (256 shades of color) per channel (16.7 million colors)
          • TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) – in-camera processing, uncompressed, lossless, 8-bits per channel
          • RAW – direct output from the sensor, little to no in-camera processing, 12-bit (4096 shades of color) per channel (68.7 billion colors)
      • What are you waiting for?? Go shoot pictures!
    • 47. Recall…
      • Good photography depends on being able to execute two things well:
      • Exposure
      • Composition
    • 48. Composition
      • “ The art of including the essence of what moves you about the scene in your photograph, while excluding any non-essential, distracting elements.”
    • 49. Composition
      • There are established “guidelines”, but ultimately, it’s about your artistic vision
      • Very subjective
      • Not always a conscious thing – listen to your heart!
      • Simplify, Simplify, Simplify!
    • 50. Simplify
    • 51. Simplify
    • 52. Simplify
    • 53. Simplify
    • 54. Simplify
    • 55. Simplify
    • 56. Composition
      • “ You take the picture, but you make the photograph.”
      • It’s about seeing the photograph in front of you.
      • It’s about design – arranging all the elements of the scene in your viewfinder so they become something compelling to look at.
      • Hold the viewers’ attention as their eyes travel around the frame.
      • Check your corners! Move your eye around the frame in the viewfinder looking for anything that might distract attention away from your subject(s) – a stray branch, somebody’s toe, etc.
      • Our eyes are naturally drawn to brighter, “hotter” elements. If those aren’t your subject(s), exclude them!
    • 57. Composition
      • Do in in the viewfinder, not in Photoshop! It’s always best to start with a good image.
        • “ Photoshop doesn’t make a bad photograph good, it makes a bad photograph big.”
      • You’re rendering a 3-D scene as a 2-D print. Frame it carefully!
      • Try not to “bullseye” your subject in the frame. Dead center is deadly!
      • Use the “Rule Of Thirds” – the oldest trick in the book for composing a visually balanced and pleasing image.
    • 58. Rule Of Thirds
      • Divide your scene into an imaginary “tic-tac-toe” grid, then place your subject(s) near any of the four intersections
    • 59. Use Those Lines!
      • Diagonal lines are especially dynamic. Use them to lead the viewer to the subject, guide the viewer across the frame or create “vanishing points”.
    • 60. Find Grace
      • The S-curve is a classic compositional device to create a sense of grace.
      Give moving subjects space to go. Don’t place them so they are about to run off the frame.
    • 61. Tips For Better Composition
      • Try not to cut off any body parts.
      • Don’t have trees or telephone poles growing out of your subjects’ heads.
    • 62. Tips For Better Composition
      • Tell a story with your photographs
    • 63. Learn, Practice, Then Forget
      • Remember, these are just guidelines, not hard and fast rules.
      Don’t be afraid to experiment! Look for different viewpoints. Try tilting the camera. Try it blurry! You are only limited by your own creativity!
    • 64. Now That You Have Your Pictures
      • Time for the workflow
      • Why do you need a workflow?
        • Because your photos are trapped in your card and somebody has to liberate them
        • Because it’s too expensive not to get them out and print/email/put-them-on-the-web yourself
        • Because you want artistic control over how your photos are displayed
    • 65. Now That You Have Your Pictures
      • Typical Post-capture Workflow:
      Download And Store File naming Storage Metadata Edit Crop/Straighten Tone Contrast Color correction Sharpening Cataloging Output Printer Email Web Image source: Epson
    • 66. Download And Store
      • Downloading directly from the camera can be slow
        • usually USB 1.1 – maximum transfer rate of 12Mbits/sec.
      • Use a fast external card reader if possible
        • USB 2.0 capable of up to 480Mbits/sec.
        • Firewire (IEEE 1394) capable of up to 400Mbits/sec.
      • Software available to download, rename, add metadata
        • Downloader Pro (Breeze Systems)
        • Photo Mechanic (Camera Bits)
      • File naming is important.
      • Use the same file naming
      • scheme for your edits and originals.
      • Metadata is essential. Help
      • yourself find and figure out your photos later.
    • 67. Backups! Backups! Backups!
      • Copy your newly downloaded images first thing before you do anything else!
    • 68. The Browser
      • Allows you to look at all the photos on your computer
      • Thumbnails and previews
      • Sorting, ranking
      • Batch renaming
      • Manage metadata
        • EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format)
        • IPTC (The International Press Telecommunications Council)
      • Popular software packages have them built-in
        • Adobe Photoshop
        • Photo Mechanic
        • iPhoto
    • 69. The Organizer
      • Builds databases of information about your photos
        • EXIF
        • IPTC
        • File names
        • Folder names
      • Allows searching of your photos regardless of where they are
      • Popular software
        • Adobe Photoshop Elements
        • Extensis Portfolio
        • iView MediaPro
        • Canto Cumulus
    • 70. Time To Edit
      • Crop and straighten
      • Tone and contrast
      • Color correction
      • Creative sharpening
      • Many software packages available:
        • Adobe
        • Corel
        • Apple
        • Microsoft
        • Extensis
        • Ulead
        • JASC
        • Nova
        • Free/share-ware
        • Etc.
    • 71. Why Adobe Photoshop?
      • Because it’s the best!
      • Because the camera is good, but you might be able to do better in post
      • Because your in-camera technique is good, but you might be able to do better in post
      • Because you might have been forced to do something like underexpose on purpose, and only you know how to deal with that
    • 72. Why Adobe Photoshop?
      • Because you may want to create a piece of art out of your photos…
    • 73. Adobe Photoshop Family
      • Adobe Photoshop Album 2.0 – casual snapshooters
        • Adobe Photoshop Album Starter Edition 3.0
      • Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 – photo enthusiasts and most amateur photographers (This is probably all you need!)
      • Adobe Photoshop CS2 – professional gold standard
    • 74. Sharing Your Photos
      • Print
        • Desktop printers
        • Commercial printing services
          • Shutterfly, Ofoto, etc.
          • Costco
      • Web
        • Online services
          • Shutterfly, Ofoto, etc.
        • Web pages (72 dpi)
      • Email
        • Good for small files only! (72 dpi)
    • 75. Printing Tips
      • Set the print size
      • Set the correct printer and paper (including size, orientation, fit on paper)
      • Your software gives you options, then your printer gives you options – can be confusing
      • Color management – either let your software manage the colors, or let the printer do it, but not both!
      • Set the color profile of the paper you’re using
      • Do a nozzle check beforehand. (Keep scrap plain paper around!)
      • Clean the nozzles often.
      • Use third-party inks and paper at your own peril!
    • 76. Email Tips
      • If you don’t have to, don’t!
      • Don’t email big files! Anything ~1M or more is too big!
      • Use software emailing features, or manually reduce the file size (72 dpi, 640 pixels is usually sufficient).
      • Package up your images if you have many – zip, etc.
        • Better yet – use the Web!
      • Attach the images – avoid placing them in the body of your email (in-line).
    • 77. Web Tips
      • If you have already enhanced your photos, make sure your service (Shutterfly, Ofoto, etc.) doesn’t enhance them again!
      • If you manage your own web pages, use small files (72 dpi)
      • Software available to create galleries
        • Adobe Photoshop
        • CompuPic
        • ThumbsPlus
    • 78. Sharpening
      • In digital terms, adding adjacent light and dark pixels to enhance contrast
        • Amount – how much (gas pedal)
        • Halo (Radius) – how many pixels affected
        • Threshold – how many surrounding pixels considered “edge”
      • Different needs
        • Print: inkjet, laser, offset, etc.
        • Web/email (screen)
        • After resizing
      • Schools of thought
        • For output only
        • Workflow (artistic) sharpening
    • 79. Live Editing Session…
    • 80. Parting Thoughts
      • “ Good art comes of good craftspersonship.”
    • 81. If It Moves You, Shoot It! Often!
      • Practice! Practice! Practice!
      Anything and everything!
    • 82. Recommended Reading
      • Photography
      • Blue Pixel Personal Photo Coach: Digital Photography Tips from the Trenches by David Schloss
      • Perfect Exposure: Jim Zuckerman's Secrets to Great Photographs by Jim Zuckerman
      • Designing a Photograph: Visual Techniques for Making Your Photographs Work by Bill Smith
      • Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams
      • Successful Underwater Photography by Brian Skerry, Howard Hall
      • Adobe Photoshop
      • Adobe Photoshop CS2 for Photographers by Martin Evening
      • The Photoshop CS2 Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby
      • The Photoshop Elements 3 Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby
      • Photoshop Restoration & Retouching by Katrin Eismann
      • Photoshop Masking & Compositing by Katrin Eismann
      • The Photoshop Show Starring Russell Brown by Russell Brown
      • Adobe Photoshop CS2 Classroom in a Book by Adobe Creative Team
      • Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 Classroom in a Book by Adobe Creative Team
      • Photoshop on the Web
      • Adobe Photoshop ( photoshop /overview.html )
      • National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) ( http://www. photoshopuser .com/ )
      • Photoshop News ( http:// photoshopnews .com/ )
      • Photoshop Café ( http://www. photoshopcafe .com/ )
      • Adobe Evangelists ( http://www. adobeevangelists .com/ )
    • 83. Thank You For Coming! Now Go Take Pictures! Peter Liu Photography kaiscapes .com
    • 84. Supplemental Slides Begin Here
    • 85. Film Speed Trivia
      • ASA – A merican S tandards A ssociation. Most common film speed rating in the U.S. until the conversion to ISO. Only the name has changed.
      • ISO – I nternational S tandards O rganization. Most common film speed rating in the U.S. Doubling the value doubles the film speed.
      • DIN – D eutsche I ndustrie N orm . Based on a logarithmic scale where each increase represents 1/3 stop. E.g. ISO 800/30 on a roll of ISO (ASA) 800 film indicates that the DIN rating is 30.