Camera and Techniques

dslrHi guys! So this week we were moving onto one of the parts that interested me the most in this module, photography! The camera I will be using for my portfolio of images is the Canon eos 600d with lens 18-55mm, which is a wide angle to mid-telephoto zoom lens.

Help! I don’t understand my camera features.

There are many important features on a camera which allow you to get that perfect image, which is what we’re aiming for. The first important feature is the aperture, which works very much like the iris of the eye. This feature controls how much light you let into the lens. Aperture is measured in f-stops. The higher the number of these f-stops, e.g. 28, the deeper the depth of focus in the image. If you open up the aperture, you will isolate objects or you may want to close it to get more of a focus on the scene.  An important thing to know is the depth of field. With this you want to isolate details to draw focus to a particular point in an image. Macro mode allows you to use an extremely shallow depth of field and focus on objects close to the camera.

The next important thing is the shutter speed. It is the period of time for which the shutter stays open and closes again. This feature blocks the light from entering the camera lens. So a longer exposure shutter speed means more light entering the lens but less detail, and a shorter exposure shutter speed means less light entering the lens, but more detail. With a slow shutter speed, a tripod is usually required for stabilization otherwise image blur may occur.

ISO is the film sensitivity, which in old cameras was the standard of the film you loaded into the camera. Nowadays, there is no film in modern digital cameras, so the ISO feature is replicated in them. You can apply a filter through the manual settings on your camera to change underlying conditions of the image. The higher the ISO number, the smaller the grain. The higher number allows for more detailed images.

Reciprocity is the understanding that both the duration of exposure to light and the intensity of the light have a relationship which can determine the effective exposure of images. The megapixels is the amount of information captured by the camera. It is how the image is translated into pixels. You should have your camera set to the max amount of megapixels it can handle for a clear, sharp image. The camera RAW file is the best way for saving images as there is no image compression. If you choose to store your images as JPEG files, some of the image quality may be lost in compression. However, RAW files do take up way more space on your memory card due to the images not being compressed, so I prefer to save mine as JPEG files.

Rule of thirds is an important thing to have in the back of your mind while taking pictures. This is the grid like feature that you can sometimes set to appear on your camera screen while taking photographs. The element of the picture should be composed along the points of connection on the grid. This respects the extra space around those elements and gives you an overall better image.

There are lots of different lines and shapes out there, so when taking a photograph it is important to look at what lines the scene may have of interest. Horizontal lines are considered to have a calming effect in a photograph. Vertical lines are considered powerful and create stability. Diagonal lines are considered dynamic.

Here is an image I took just recently which I thought had interesting light and lines in the scene. Click on it to see it in larger format.

Mountain Walk

Here is an article which I also found interesting and that might give you all some tips! Next week we will be learning how to create our podcasts so follow my blog and stay tuned every week!

Image Sources


One thought on “Camera and Techniques

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