Picture This Workshop- Week 3 of 5

Pin It

Hey there, it's Jenny from J. Van Allen Photography with week three in our photography tutorial.  In the previous weeks we introduced this equation...
And we discussed

  • what is exposure (the process of capturing light with your camera to produce an image on film/digital sensor).

  • what is aperture (the circular mechanism inside the camera that allows light into your camera ; more or less depending on your settings on your camera).

  • what is shutter speed (it controls the ability to blur or stop action in a photograph. It also determines how long the film/digital sensor is exposed to light).

  • we also tried using aperture priority/ shutter priority to get a better idea of what aperture and shutter speed do.
In order to make the big leap into shooting manually, you also need to have a basic understanding of ISO.

ISO is the measurement to the digital sensor's sensitivity to light. A lower ISO setting is considered "slow film." Higher ISO settings require longer exposure time and is considered "fast film." So I have a few tips regarding ISO settings:

  • try to shoot in the lowest possible ISO setting as possible
  • An ISO setting of 100 is a good starting point for bright outdoor settings.
  • An ISO setting of 400 is a good start for indoor settings
  • any higher ISO is used for low-light situations (but really try to keep the ISO in the lowest possible settings, so your pictures don't get that grainy look to them--unless that's the style you're going for).

    Okay, are you ready to shoot manually! (on a side note:  everybody does things differently!  This is just my process of shooting manually!)
Here we go!
  1. Determine what your ISO setting should be.  (are you shooting outside? or are you inside?)
  2. Determine what the most important exposure factor is for your pictures (are you looking for some pictures showing that great depth of field (fuzzy background/aperture) or do you want and action shot (shutter speed)? Change either the f-stop (depth of field shot) or shutter speed (action shot).
  3. Take some test shots what do they look like?  You may have to adjust the other exposure factor based on what your pictures look like.

Some photographers like to use the in-camera meter (circled in red) to determine the correct exposure once determining #2 (determining the most important factor regarding your exposure). To use the in-camera meter, scroll the dial (that controls the function until that little dash underneath is underneath the "0." If you find that helpful then by all means!  Use it!

Okay, here's a series of pictures showing my process of taking pictures and getting the right exposure.  These pictures are straight out of the camera (SOOC) *gasp!* .

Okay, when I took this picture it the sun was starting to set, but it was still fairly bright so I  first set my ISO to 100, I knew I wanted to concentrate strictly on the bike, so second, I set my aperture to f/ 2.8. Lastly,  I took a picture with those settings, this is what I got, a picture that is overexposed.
f/ 2.8, ISO 100, shutter speed 1/80
Knowing I have some adjusting to,  I decide to increase my shutter speed (which gives me less light).  Then I take another test shot, I'm pretty happy with that. 

f/ 2.8, ISO 100, shutter speed 1/250
Once, I have the correct exposure I can continue to take pictures without having to adjust things too much.  I can concentrate more on how I want to position the subject in the picture.
f/ 2.8, ISO 100, shutter speed 1/250

Also, don't forget to get close to the subject, or shoot through things
this is good.
f/ 2.8, ISO 100, shutter speed 1/250

this is better
f/ 2.8, ISO 100, shutter speed 1/250

So this is your homework for this week...
1.  Get out there and shoot manually.
2.  Shoot photos, a lot of them and practice all your new found knowledge! Have some faith my friends and most of all have fun!  (It'll take some getting used to- it's a lot of info!)


Amanda @ Healthy House on the Block said...

These are SO fantastic! I'm absolutely loving "Picture This" workshop! I'm learning SO much -- thanks so much Steph and Jenny!!

Lindsey @ FRESH AIR + FRESH FOOD said...

Wow! I'm sold - I need to get me a fancy digital camera. I've got the old film manual cameral but it is so expensive to experiment with (all that developing) and trying to remember what I did with each one. I'd given up but I didn't realize that you do all the same stuff with the digital camera but with instant gratification. I'm so behind the times. Thank you for helping me get the motivation and information to get caught up!

Natalie@Endless Crafting said...

I wish I could just hug you! This is so awesome. I have been reading tons of tutorials and yours has been the best so far. One question..the whole in camera meter thing..I don't think I can adjust it in my manual setting..am I right? Looking forward to my homework!