Intro to Digital Photography


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Presentation for my 2009 Intro to Visual Communication class at Drake.

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Intro to Digital Photography

  1. 1. Digital photography AUG. 27, 2009 | JMC59
  2. 2. Choosing a digital camera What will you do with your images? What size prints do you want to make? How much money do you want to spend? How “big” of a camera do you want?
  3. 3. Basic features Resolution Flash Zoom (optical /digital) Macro (close-up) mode Storage (compact flash, SD card, etc.)
  4. 4. Know your resolution 1MP - low quality, good for screen-based images 2MP - mid-quality for computer and small prints (4x6) 3MP - good quality for color prints (8x10) 4MP - very good quality (11x14 prints) 5+MP - excellent quality (cropping photos)
  5. 5. Pixels and megapixels Pixel = Picture (pix) elements (els) Mega = million Megapixel (MP) = million pixels A pixel is a very small light-sensitive area More pixels = better quality = more money
  6. 6. What resolution to use Shoot at the highest resolution you will need, and consider if you will be cropping. More realistically: if you’ve got the memory, shoot at the highest resolution you can. You can always make images smaller, but never bigger.
  7. 7. Resolution and megapixels 2400 xx1800 = .3MP 1600 x1200 = 1.9MP 640 480 4.3MP
  8. 8. 3072x2304 or L
  9. 9. 2048x1536 or M2
  10. 10. 1600x1200 or M3
  11. 11. 640x480 or S
  12. 12. Pixels and printing Web site: 450x350 pixels (.25-.50 MP) Computer wallpaper: 800x600 pixels (0.5-1.5 MP) 4x6 print: 1200x1800 pixels (1.5-2.5 MP) 8x10 print: 2000x2500 pixels (4-5 MP) 12x16 print: 2400x3200 pixels (6+ MP)
  13. 13. Flash Works from a distance of 1 to 12 feet Default — Auto Flash Red-eye reduction Forced flash Night flash mode No flash
  14. 14. Forced flash
  15. 15. Reducing red eye
  16. 16. Reducing red-eye Get the flash away from the lens Bounce the flash off the ceiling Turn on room lights (lets pupils contract) Use red-eye reduction flash Have subject look slightly away from camera Move camera closer Don’t use flash
  17. 17. Red eye Or do this...
  18. 18. Zoom Optical = good Digital = bad Try to find a camera with at least 4x optical zoom (and ignore digital zoom)
  19. 19. Macro mode Allows you to shoot very close Camera won’t normally focus that close
  20. 20. Memory/storage Internal — very limited usage Removable — Compact Flash, Memory Stick, Smart Media, Secure Digital (SD), MiniSD, MicroSD, MultiMedia Card
  21. 21. Review Resolution - shoot at high or low? Flash - do you ever need in daylight? Close-up - what is this mode called? Storage - what’s an example of external memory?
  22. 22. Photography Literally means “writing with light” Light is the most important thing when taking photos
  23. 23. Three ways to control light Aperture: how much light gets in Shutter speed: how long light is let in ISO: sensitivity of image device
  24. 24. Aperture F-stop is the measurement of the opening F1 is very wide opening letting in lots of light F32 is a small opening letting in little light
  25. 25. Aperture Your camera likely has F3.5-F8 A full F-stop change either doubles or halves the amount of light coming into the camera Involved in depth of field, which we will cover shortly
  26. 26. f 6.3
  27. 27. f 4.0
  28. 28. f 2.8
  29. 29. f 1.8
  30. 30. Shutter speed Determines how long light comes in 1/15th of a second would be a long exposure letting lots of light into the camera 1/2000 would be a short exposure, letting in very little light Slow shutter speeds allow blurring of the subject Fast shutter speeds stop the action
  31. 31. ISO The sensitivity of light of a photosensitive surface Film is measured in ISO, and most digital cameras have this adjustment Low ISO indicates low sensitivity to light, but generally higher resolution with less “noise” or “grain” A 100 ISO setting is twice as sensitive to light as a 50 ISO
  32. 32. 100 ISO
  33. 33. 200 ISO
  34. 34. 400 ISO
  35. 35. 800 ISO
  36. 36. 1600 ISO
  37. 37. Depth of field How much of the photo is in focus Controlled by... Aperture Subject’s distance from the camera Focal length
  38. 38. DOF: Aperture The more wide open the aperture, the less the depth of field
  39. 39. F11 aperture
  40. 40. F2.8 aperture
  41. 41. DOF: Distance from camera The closer the subject, the less depth of field The farther away, the more depth of field
  42. 42. Focal length The greater the focal length (zoomed or telephoto), the less the depth of field Therefore, for the greatest depth of field you would need a wide angle lens, with a closed aperture, and a subject at a good distance
  43. 43. Using this information Or, using it on YOUR camera
  44. 44. Auto mode When you want to take a snapshot without worrying about the mechanics of photography, leave the camera on Auto. This mode sets all exposure levels automatically, and it usually locks you out of making any minor adjustments manually.
  45. 45. Program mode Like auto mode on steroids, this mode automatically sets aperture size and shutter speed for a perfect exposure — but it also lets you tweak settings, giving you more creative control. You can change white balance and exposure compensation, for instance, and even nudge shutter speed up or down a bit.
  46. 46. Aperture value When you set the size of the aperture, and your camera automatically provides the right shutter speed to deliver the correct exposure. Rely on this mode to blur the background or to keep the entire image in sharp focus (depth of field).
  47. 47. Time value Shutter mode: This setting is your best option for taking action photography. Shutter priority allows you to freeze the scene or artistically blur the photo. All the while, the camera keeps the exposure matched to the aperture.
  48. 48. Manual mode This mode gives you total control. Exact opposite of Auto mode. You use buttons on the camera’s body to set both shutter speed and aperture size. But you are working with no safety net. The camera won’t protect you from under- or overexposed photos. Use the LED screen lots.
  49. 49. Landscape mode Your camera picks the best aperture and shutter settings for the greatest depth of field when taking photos of landscapes and other outdoor photos.
  50. 50. Macro mode To focus on extremely close subjects — within a few inches of the lens — choose the tulip. You can take life-size photos of insects, flowers and other small subjects in this mode. But the focus range (depth of field) is very narrow.
  51. 51. Snow and sand Brightly colored or glaring backgrounds can trick the camera into underexposing the subject. This mode overexposes the scene to gain details that would otherwise be lost.
  52. 52. Action The action (or sports) mode sets the camera to the highest possible shutter speed, increasing your odds of getting a clear shot of people in motion.
  53. 53. Night This mode lets you capture nighttime scenes by combining a flash, which freezes people in the foreground, with a slow shutter speed, which allows lights from buildings, cars and other elements to show in the background.
  54. 54. < Flash Night mode >
  55. 55. Portrait This mode lets you capture portraits of people (or animals) with lower depth of field so that the background should have a soft focus.
  56. 56. File formats JPG (JPEG) RAW
  57. 57. RAW file format Uncompressed Not all manipulation programs support (Photoshop does) On more expensive cameras
  58. 58. JPEG file format Compressed Almost all programs support On all cameras Lossy compression (so some data is lost)