Friday, January 8, 2010

Lesson 2, part 2: But Wait -- there's MORE!

This might turn into "12 days to better photos". lol. I need better photos now... before Wesley's big 1st birthday! Anyway, here is my summary of lesson 2, part 2.

We've learned aperture, ISO and shutter speed. Now it's time to learn about balance.

In the first challenge I took this photo with an aperture of f/22. It took a lot of light to use that high of an aperture. I actually had to use a tripod because my shutter speed was so slow. My shutter speed was 1/8th of a second which was way to slow to hand hold. (I guess I could have upped my ISO of 800 to get a faster shutter speed, but I was trying to keep the ISO the same for all three pictures.)

In the second challenge we played around with shutter speeds. This next picture was taken with a shutter speed of 1/1000. It also took a lot of light in order to use a shutter speed this fast. My ISO had to be as high as possible, and my f/stop was as low as possible. This made for a very "noisy" picture with a very narrow depth of focus.

"To achieve what your camera considers to be correct exposure your aperture and shutter speed need to balance to let in enough light to expose your image. (The exposure is the image created by the light entering the camera and being recorded onto the film or digital sensor.)

Thankfully for us, most SLR cameras come with a built-in meter that tells you when you are correctly exposing your images."

On my rebel, the meter is found on the back screen and in the view finder.

"If the line is on the minus section, your image is underexposed. If the line is on the plus section, your image is overexposed. If the line is centered, you have achieved what the camera considers to be the correct exposure."

The aperture, ISO and shutter speed are also displayed on the back screen and view finder. This is how you learn to use the manual mode (or "M" on my rebel).

"When in manual mode, you use the exposure meter to balance your f/stop with the shutter speed to equal a correct exposure. Really, if you have already set your ISO for the amount of light you have or the situation you are in, then operating in manual mode means you're just making 2 choices -- your shutter speed and your aperture."

This makes the very scary intimidating manual mode a lot more friendly.

This lessons challenge was taking a picture in manual mode.

Choose a non-moving object either indoors or outdoors.

Set your ISO according to the lighting available, and balance the f/stop and shutter speed.

ISO 1600 f/1.8 1/50

I'm not very pleased with this picture, but I needed to turn in my homework. I had absolutely no light to work with. I wish I could have cheated and used my speedlite. I normally hate taking my settings to the max. The high ISO makes things too noisy. The f/stop is too the lens' limit, and it loses the sharpness. AND the shutter speed is way too low, and I had to get out the tripod to take the picture. Moral of the story... I need more light. This picture would not have been possible without or tripod or with an awake baby.

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