For those who took photography classes in high school

Discussion in 'Photography Board' started by Pea-n-Me, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    I hope I can explain this correctly and someone knows what I'm talking about. :)

    I've noticed here that people who learned photography very early on and in its most basic form seem to know things that those of us (or some of us, anyway, lol) who studied it on our own later in life take longer to learn or don't quite get, etc.

    An example being the mathematical relationships between settings for shutter speed and aperture, metering and such. I imagine this would have been something learned in high school class relatively simply.

    Can anyone either explain this to me or direct me to a site or book that explains this simply and perhaps I could print to reference? It's not something I've ever seemed to grasp and would like to be able to know them off the top of my head like some of you do.

    Thank you in advance. Don't be afraid to post whatever you think I'm looking for, I'm sure there are others who want to learn this as well.
     
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  3. GrillMouster

    GrillMouster Mouster of the Grill

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    I suggest you read either "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson or "The BetterPhoto Guide to Digital Photography" by Jim Miotke. Rather than just reading through the books, stop after each lesson and actually practice what you learned with your own camera until you firmly understand it. Then move on to the next objective, practice some more, etc.
     
  4. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    Have read UE twice and actually a whole library of photography books. :thumbsup2 I still haven't found exactly what I'm looking for, and I don't know how to explain it other than I read posts here referring to it - and those posts are always by people who've been shooting for many years going way back to high school.

    Hopefully someone will know what I'm talking about! (Thanks GM!)
     
  5. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk DIS Veteran

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    Don't you just wish we could go back and take high school photography class so we can have all that "inside information"?? :lmao:

    I'm watching, hoping to pick up some info too! :thumbsup2

    FWIW....... the flash book I've been reading went over the rule of sunny 16. I think I need to read it a dozen more times so it sinks in........... Is that the sort of thing you're looking for?
     
  6. GrillMouster

    GrillMouster Mouster of the Grill

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    I'd like to help, Pea-n-Me, but what you're asking is really vague. I don't want to write a million-word essay and have it not be what you were looking for. Can you explain, specifically, what you're having trouble grasping? Maybe post a link to one of those threads you referenced.
     
  7. JoeDif

    JoeDif DIS Veteran

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    Are you looking for things like the Inverse Square Law?

    For photographers, this applies to flash / studio lighting. Put simply ( if any type of physics can ever be put simply :rotfl:):

    An object that is twice the distance from a source of light will receive a quarter of the illumination. So what it means to us photographers is that if you move your subject from 3 feet away to six feet away, you will need four times the amount of light for the same exposure

    3 feet at 1/4 flash power will give the same exposure of 6 feet at 1/1 or full power given the aperture, shutter speed & ISO remain constant.
     
  8. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    I know. I wish I could explain it better (and if you know me, I'm rarely stuck for words :rolleyes1 ) but if I could, I could probably look it up somewhere.

    Did you take photography in HS? Do you by any chance remember what types of things you learned there and what your tests were on, etc?

    I am not good at picking a shutter speed. I can do it by trial and error, but I don't know how to set it from the top of my head given other exposure circumstances - if that helps. (I did read Understanding Shutter Speed but I think I'm ready for a review of that, too!)

    I will look around. I've seen photo chick mention it before, and Kyle (Handicap). I think Kevin (ukcatfan) the other day and others that I can't think of right now.

    Sorry so vague!!
     
  9. dday2022

    dday2022 Mouseketeer

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    I have to use analogy's to remember things, exposure, f/ stop and shutter speed I remember as filling a bucket. You want to get the bucket exactly full, not full enough and the photo is to dark, overflow it, the photo is blown out. So you are aiming to fill the bucket, the f/stop is how fast the water is coming out of the faucet and the shutter speed is how long you have the faucet on.

    So shooting a "fast" f/stop say f/1.8 you need to have a fast shutter speed, shooting a slow f/stop say f/5.6 you need a longer shutter speed. <edit> if you go up with one you have to go down with the other, and vice versa. </edit>

    Now as with all things there are times when that doesn't apply, I might want to overexpose or underexpose to highlight something or set the mood. I might want to use a faster f/stop to blur the background, or a slower f/stop to get more of the background/foreground in focus. But I think that's a different post. The best thing to do is get out with your camera and experiment, after all photons and electrons are mostly free.
     
  10. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    That I've got.
     
  11. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    Currently looking at HS photography lesson plans to see if I can find anything there.
     
  12. dday2022

    dday2022 Mouseketeer

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    Hmm, I'm kind of confused as to what you are asking then. If you are asking how people can look at a scene and say "f/4 at 1/30th of a second at ISO 200" I'd like to know that, I imagine it comes with experience. For me I have to use the in camera meter to find my first exposure and experiment after that.

    Remembering back to my HS photography class almost 30 yrs ago, It mostly a little lecture, go take photos, develop film and prints, then get feed back on the project. Of course this was long before digital, and I still remember dodging and burning in the darkroom.
     
  13. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    Actually, you may be on to something. That's much more specific (which I think is what I'm looking for) than what you wrote before (that I already understand). I think my problem is that I've learned my way and am going on instinct rather than any specific formulas or whatever. I'd like to learn the formulas that I somehow missed.
     
  14. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    Had to look up Sunny 16. Will need to learn about it some more.

    Stay tuned!

    I don't think that's exactly what I was looking for, but I'll take it!
     
  15. dday2022

    dday2022 Mouseketeer

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    I had to look up the Sunny 16 rule again to, thanks wikipedia. You also might be interested in this link http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm, I'm still digesting it, so I can't regurgitate it... sorry for the mental image.
     
  16. Marlton Mom

    Marlton Mom My favorite ride is the "ladies room"...... it's a

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    Ok so here's the scoop on h.s. photography class from 32 years ago.....

    You can sneak into the darkroom and eat your lunch and hang out with your friends there, especially if you are cutting classes because the instructor never checks the darkroom.

    Marlton Mom

    PS. The darkroom has a really good fan so.... you can "light" up too! :smokin:

    Sorry, but at this age that's the best I can "remember". ;)
     
  17. JoeDif

    JoeDif DIS Veteran

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    :rotfl::rotfl: Did we go to the same high school?
     
  18. dday2022

    dday2022 Mouseketeer

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    The darkroom used for loading film canisters (blackout room) was also a great place if your girlfriend was taking photography too. :lovestruc
     
  19. GrillMouster

    GrillMouster Mouster of the Grill

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    Exposure is basically how light or how dark an image is. An overexposed image is washed out because too much light reached the sensor. An underexposed images is dark because too little light reached the sensor. So, controlling exposure is all about controlling how much light reaches the sensor. The unit of measure that we use for light in exposure is the “stop”. Whenever you add one “stop” of light, you’re basically doubling the amount of light. When you take a way one “stop” of light, you’re cutting the amount of light by half. Taking away two stops of light means cutting the amount of light to just ¼ of what it was (because the first stop cut it in half, then the second stop cut it in half again…like folding a piece of paper twice give you four grids). So, a “stop” of light is not an absolute value it’s a relative amount.

    Let’s use a cooking analogy:
    In a bowl you have one teaspoon of sugar. When you add another teaspoon of sugar, it’s like adding a “stop”, because you have doubled the amount of sugar in the bowl. Okay, so now you have two teaspoons of sugar in the bowl. If you add another teaspoon of sugar in the bowl did you add a stop? No, you did not. Because, remember a stop is not an absolute value; It’s not always going to be one teaspoon. If there are two teaspoons of sugar in the bowl, then adding one stop would mean adding two teaspoons to the bowl. So, now you have four teaspoons of sugar in the bowl. How much sugar do you need to add in order to go up by one stop? Four teaspoons is correct. So, now you have eight teaspoons of sugar in the bowl, reducing it by one stop means taking out half, or four teaspoons. So, now you have four teaspoons left in the bowl. How much do you need to take out to reduce it by two stops? The answer is three teaspoons (the first stop means taking out two teaspoons --leaving two teaspoons in the bowl--, and the second stop means taking one teaspoon out of the bowl). I hope you’re with me so far.

    There are three basic camera controls that you can use to affect exposure, or how much light reaches the sensor. Those controls are: ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. ISO is how sensitive the sensor is to light. Shutter speed is how long you allow light to hit the sensor inside the camera body. Aperture is the pupil inside the lens through which light passes and enters the camera body.

    ISO, shutter speed, and aperture do more than just control exposure and how much light reaches the sensor. Those settings can also be used for creative control of things like noise, lighting ratios, depth of field, etc.. I won’t go into detail about those creative and compositional variables here.

    Let’s start with one of the easiest controls to understand: ISO.
    ISO differs from aperture and shutter speed in that ISO doesn’t actually affect how much light reaches the sensor. ISO actually controls how sensitive the sensor is to the light.
    Examples of ISO settings are:
    50.....100.....200.....400.....800.....1600.....3200.....6400
    There are more settings than those, but these are enough to get us started. As you can see in the above sequence, the numbers double as you go left to right. That doubling represents one stop. In other words, ISO setting 200 is twice as sensitive to light as ISO 100. You could also rephrase this as “ISO 100 is half as sensitive at ISO 200”. ISO 200 is four times as sensitive at ISO 50. ISO 400 is eight times as sensitive as ISO 50 (because each stop doubles the light). ISO 800 is sixteen times as sensitive as ISO 50. Got it? I say that this part is easy, setting numbers themselves tell you how many stops brighter or dimmer they are than other ISO settings.

    Shutter speed controls how long the light coming through the lens is allowed to hit the sensor. Examples of shutter speed settings are:
    1/250.....1/125.....1/60.....1/30.....1/15.....1/8.....¼.....½.....1.....2
    In the sequence above, shutter speed gets slower (longer) as you go from left to right. As you go left to right, you add one “stop” of light at each setting. Shutter speed is similar to ISO in that the setting number doubles as the light doubles...roughly. I say “roughly” because in a few spots (between 1/125 and 1/60, and again between 1/15 and 1/8) the light does double, even though the number in the setting isn’t exactly double.

    Aperture controls how big the diameter of the pupil inside the lens will be, and, thus, control how much light reaches the inside the camera. Example aperture settings are:
    f/32.....f/22.....f/16.....f/11.....f/8.....f/5.6.....f/4.....f/2.8.....f/2.....f/1.4
    In the sequence above the aperture gets larger as you go from left to right. Each aperture setting allows one stop of light (double) more than the setting to its left. Again, another way to phrase it is that each stop allow half the light of the setting to its right. Now, aperture confuses a lot of beginners for two reasons. The first reason for confusion is that the f-numbers in the settings get lower as the physical aperture gets larger (wider). The second reason for confusion is that, unlike ISO and shutter speed, when you double or half the light, the f-number doesn’t double or half; there doesn’t appear to be a clear pattern in how the f-stops are numbered. The reason for this is that the f-stops are actually fractions, where the numerator is the focal length and the denominator is the diameter of the pupil inside the lens. You don’t need to understand, or even remember, how or why the f-stops got their numbers. You just need to memorize them and don’t try to apply any logic or pattern to how they were numbered. Also know that all lenses set to the same f-stop allow the same amount of light into the camera.

    I should also point out that the sequences above for ISO, shutter speed, and aperture only show full stops. Your camera probably allows half-stop or third-stop increments between those full stops. I don’t memorize those incremental stops; I just remember how many clicks of the dial they are from the full stops. It’s probably best to forget about the incremental stops for now until you understand exposure using the full stops.

    Exposure depends on a combination if ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. Exactly which settings will give “proper” exposure will depend on the scene and its lighting. A variety of setting combinations can give the same exposure. For example: a particular expose correctly at ISO 400, 1/60 sec, f/2.8. The following combination of settings will yield the exact same exposure: ISO 200, 1/15 sec, f/4. Let’s go setting-by-setting to see how that’s possible. The second shot used an ISO of 200, which is one stop (half the light of) the first shot (ISO 400). The second shot also used a shutter speed of 1/15, which is two stops greater (four times as bright as) the first shot (1/60). The second shot used an aperture of f/5.6, which is one stop below (half as bright as) the first shot (f/4). So, let’s review the math…the second shot used an ISO that was one stop dimmer (-1), a shutter speed that’s two stops brighter (+2), and an aperture that’s one stop dimmer (-1) than the first. If you add -1, +2, and -1, you get 0 (neutral). So, the second shot, even though the individual settings were different, results in the same total amount of light reaching the sensor as the first. Therefore, the exposure is the same. So, again, there is no ONE combination of settings that will give proper exposure.

    How do you know which combination of settings to use? If you understand the creative uses of shutter speed to control motion/blur or light ratio, and if you understand the creative uses of aperture to control depth of field and light ratio, and if you understand the creative uses of ISO to control image noise, then you would start by picking the creative control that is most important for that particular shot. Since I haven’t explained the creative controls in this essay, I’ll just throw out some “safe” general starting points. For ISO start at 400, for shutter speed start at 1/125, and for aperture start at f/5.6. From there, tweak the settings until you arrive at the proper exposure. You can use a meter (either a hand-held meter or the one built into your camera) to help.

    Walking into a situation and reliably guessing settings using nothing but your eyes (without a meter) takes practice and experience. There are some general “rules” that can help you arrive at a close guess. The Sunny 16 rule is one guess. The Sunny 16 rule basically says that if you’re photographing a subject that’s in bright, full sun, then it will be properly exposed if your shutter speed is the nearest inverse of your ISO and your aperture is f/16 (hence Sunny 16). If you don’t want to use f/16, then remember to offset the shutter speed and/or ISO by however many stops you adjust the aperture. For example, a subject may expose at ISO 400, 1/500 sec, f/16 according to the Sunny 16 rule, but it would have the same exposure at ISO 200, 1/1000, f/8. If you do the math you’ll see that the ISO and shutter speed were dropped by a combined total of 2 stops, and the aperture was increased by 2 stops, so the overall exposure didn’t change.

    Once you understand the Sunny 16 rule and how you can change the individual settings while maintaining the same exposure, you can use the Sunny 16 rule to make educated guesses for different lighting situations. If you do a Google search for Sunny 16 you’ll find an accompanying list of different lighting situations and how many stops under they may be from the Sunny 16 exposure. For example, a slightly overcast day may be one stop under the Sunny 16 exposure (so the shutter speed may still be the nearest inverse of the ISO, but the aperture would be f/11 – one stop under f/16). An overcast day may be two stops under the Sunny 16 exposure. Open shade may be four stops under the Sunny 16 exposure. Indoors (varies) may be nine stops under Sunny 16 exposure. And so on. At least this will give you a starting point from which you can tweak your settings.

    Usually you’ll want to keep your ISO as low as possible to avoid getting too much image noise (although I have been known to intentionally use a high ISO to add noise that will look like film grain when converted to black and white). Generally, you’ll want to use an aperture that gives you just enough range that all of the important stuff is in focus, and the distracting elements are out of focus. Finally, you’ll usually want a shutter speed that, if you’re hand-holding the camera, will negate blur caused by camera shake. The rule of thumb for that is that the minimum shutter speed should be the inverse of the effective focal length (although that ideally assumes that you have reasonably steady hands, good stance/technique, and it also doesn’t factor the benefits of image stabilization). There are general rules of thumb for the minimum shutter speeds for freezing different types of action (1/250 for normal walking, 1/500 for a child moving quickly, 1/1000 for running sports, etc.). It’s also important to note that it’s not always best to freeze motion. Sometimes you want to use a shutter speed slow enough to introduce a little blur, giving a sense of motion. The popular example is using slow shutter speed so moving water (waterfall, running stream, etc.) looks silky-smooth rather than being frozen drops suspended in air. Often, in order to achieve a good exposure, you will not be able to use the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO that you’d prefer. Welcome to the world of photography. It’s all about compromise. You’ll have to pick which creative control/setting(s) is most important and compromise on the rest (or take multiple exposures and fix in post). Sometimes you’ll need accessories, such as a tripod, neutral density filter, reflectors, artificial light, etc., to get around the challenges. This last paragraphs is touching on creative considerations that I said earlier I wouldn’t get into, so I’ll stop here (before this becomes a second volume).

    If you have more specific questions feel free to ask.
     
  20. Marlton Mom

    Marlton Mom My favorite ride is the "ladies room"...... it's a

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    George Washington in Northeast Philadelphia??? After all George did grow cannabis......
     
  21. JoeDif

    JoeDif DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2

    Bishop Neumann in South Philly....close enough LOL
     

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