Following on from my first blog post in this series, I wanted to talk about what I’ve learned this week and the blogs I’ve started to follow in my quest to become a photography “guru”.
My first stop was Digital Photography School. I used to subscribe to their newsletters years ago, and always found them helpful. So I reactivated my subscription and read a few of their tutorials for beginners.
The first thing anyone new to photography needs to understand (so I gather), is the Exposure Triangle. Now this isn’t something to do with nakedness or dirty old men in parks… no, no. It’s to do with light, and how to adjust your camera settings to best work with the light you’re presented with. It takes into account ISO, shutter speed and aperture. As well as helping to work with the light you’ve got, adjusting any of these three areas also affects things like noise blur and depth of field.
I really like the DPS’s window analogy when it comes to the exposure triangle:
Imagine your camera is like a window with shutters that open and close.
Aperture is the size of the window. If it’s bigger more light gets through and the room is brighter.
Shutter Speed is the amount of time that the shutters of the window are open. The longer you leave them open the more that comes in.
Now imagine that you’re inside the room and are wearing sunglasses (hopefully this isn’t too much of a stretch). Your eyes become desensitized to the light that comes in (it’s like a low ISO).
There are a number of ways of increasing the amount of light in the room (or at least how much it seems that there is. You could increase the time that the shutters are open (decrease shutter speed), you could increase the size of the window (increase aperture) or you could take off your sunglasses (make the ISO larger).
Read more: http://digital-photography-school.com/learning-exposure-in-digital-photography#ixzz2ePI5lsUI
I fully understand ISO – it’s quite simple really – outdoors and sunny days, keep it low, and then increase it if it’s overcast, dark room, night etc.
Shutter speed is also pretty clear – if you have a fast shutter speed, then you’ll capture a real instant snapshot. So it’s no good for dark situations as you won’t have let enough light in. But if you’ve got something moving that you don’t want to blur, then go for a fast shutter speed. If you want blur, then go for a slower one.
Aperture is a bit more confusing. It’s the aperture f numbers that get me. A lower number means a larger aperture and a smaller depth of field. I try and remember it by big number=big depth of field, small number = small depth of field. But I think it’s important to also remember that a small number actually means a larger aperture. Which doesn’t really make sense to me – in my mind, if there’s a smaller aperture, it would let less of the picture in, which would explain why the object in the foreground is in focus, but the rest is blurred. But I’ve not got into the real techie details to explain why this is not the case yet!
My new camera is quite good because on the display in manual mode it has little icons to help you remember the effects shutter speed and aperture have:
So those are the technical lessons I’ve had this week. I’m shooting in manual mode pretty much all the time now, which is great. Thank god we live in a digital age. Learning all of this on actual film would have been a very expensive process!
I’ve also added lots of new photography inspired blogs to my Bloglovin account. These aren’t yet what I would call my “favourites”, they’re just the ones in the photography category that caught my eye (apart from A Beautiful Mess which is fabulous blog!):
- A BEAUTIFUL MESS: Sharing daily inspiration, DIY, and recipes. We believe that the best things in life are homemade
- Digital Photography School » Photography Tips and Tutorial, and
- Digital Photography School » Post Production Tips: Discover how to use your digital camera with our Digital Photography Tips. We are a community of photographers of all experience levels who come together to learn, share and grow in our understanding of photography.
- EVERYDAY ELSIE: The personal photography blog of Elsie Larson.
- Photography Concentrate: Learn Photography Faster!
- Photography Life: Photography Life provides various digital photography reviews, articles, tips, tutorials and guides to photographers of all levels
- PhotographyBB: Here you’ll find digital photography tips and techniques along with image processing tutorials in Photoshop and Lightroom. Stay up to date with the latest professional Photoshop Actions, our community forums and our free monthly downloadable photography magazine.
- Searching For Tomorrow: I’m Kitty and this is a visual journey through my lens where I shoot stories and share adventures.
So that’s it.
- Let me know if I’ve got any of the above completely wrong!
- If you have any tips or tricks for me, let me know in the comments below.
- Or any great photography blogs I should be following.