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Learn photography basics

Photography is about a lot of fun and a lot of skills too. While clicking is a common joy for many people, skills are yet to be conquered. Well, the technical knowledge may be boring. After all, it gives us a chance to make great pictures not only for your business but also of your family and friends. So, study hard and take even more fun after that.
Learn Photography Basics

Here the list of the posts on how to Learn photography basics and click better pictures every day.

  1. What is Exposure in camera?

  2. What is Shutter speed in camera?

  3. What Is Aperture in camera?

  4. What does ISO in a camera

  5. What is White Balance in camera?

  6. What is a Color Temperature in Photography?

And this list is going to grow…
If you like to know something specific please share in the comments below!
Cheers 😉

What is shutter speed in camera?

The definition of the shutter speed
Here all is simple. The shutter speed refers to the amount of time that the shutter is open. It measures in fractions of seconds. The bigger the denominator the faster shutter speed, the less light getting trough.
The measurement
Very fast shutter speed will be displayed as 1/2000 or more, when it reaches 1-second or slower it displayed as the number with double quote 30″ (equal to 30 seconds)

Freeze the motion
The faster shutter speed allows to freeze the motion, such as splashes. Slow shutter speed may provide interesting motion blur effects.

What is shutter speed in camera?

 

How to use it
  • When you deal with the very bright daylight situation you may use fast shutter speed such as 1/1000 or more.
  • The bird in the sky in a sunny day and you want it looks very sharp — your shutter speed will be above 1/2000
  • You kids are playing and you want to have clear sharp pictures — your shutter speed will be above 1/500
  • When you work with the studio light the shutter speed synchronized with the speed of the flash and it not suppose to be more than 1/250 or 1/125 (check the instruction of your camera)
  • A portrait will require anything from 1/125
  • If you shoot handheld you shutter speed suppose to be not less than 1/60, otherwise images may not be sharp.
  • If you have to use slower shutter speed you need to use support such as a tripod or useful replacement of it.
  • You want to make mysterious waterfall with blurry water and sharp landscape your shutter speed will be below 1/30
  • If you want to photograph the city in the night you will use very slow shutter speed something like 30″ and small aperture from F/13 to F/22. In this situation, very strong tripod is the must (even micro move of the camera will destroy the photo)
P.S. If you like to click stories about street food, markets, malls and other activity you may need to use faster shutter speed in a low light condition. In this situation, you will need to adjust shutter speed aperture and ISO read here how.

What is exposure in camera?

The exposure in photography is one of the most important elements. Well, if you click everything in the auto mode, exposure will be adjusted automatically. But if you want to photograph, then you need to work with manual mode of the camera.

The of exposure (digital photography)

Exposure – the unit of measurement for the total amount of light reached the image sensor during each shot. The exposure is controlled with the Shutter speed, Aperture, and ISO. All three are together called exposure triangle.

The exposure triangle
Exposure consists of the three components: Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO. Each represents the equal side of the exposure triangle. To use this idea, just imagine the perfect triangle with equal sides. It is natural that to change the length of one side, you will need to change the lengths of other two sides too. All the elements in a triangle are related to each other, and of course, they are also related to the light condition you are shooting in.
exposure-explainedLet’s consider a few examples with natural light
Let’s say, you like to photograph the portrait on a bright day. Additionally, you plan to focus on the eyes and blurred background. The background is also far away from the model. You may like to use “big aperture” (F/2 or F/4.5 depends on your lens) on a bright day, you may use ISO 100 to achieve a less noisy image. With this condition, your shutter speed will be very high, depending on the amount of light; it could be above 1/1000 or even more. Once you set up the Aperture and the ISO, you may change your shutter speed and check the result via the light meter in camera. When the indicator is in the center your settings are done. Try to remember them. In photography, a camera is just a tool to get amazing pictures, so it’s ideal if these settings come into your mind automatically- without disturbing the creative process.

Alternatively, you may like to photograph a friend with a lovely cityscape behind. But you would love to see details of the wonderful architecture behind. In such a situation, you will need to use a smaller aperture – F/7 or smaller (depends on your lens). As your aperture is now smaller, you need to adjust the other components. You may like to increase the ISO by about 200 or more, and then adjust the shutter speed the same way as you did in the previous example.
Both of the examples are relevant if you use manual mode. In other modes such as Shutter Speed priority or Aperture priority, the numbers will be decided automatically by a camera. If you use one of the automatic modes, everything may be decided by the camera. But please notice that human judgment leads to more creative and interesting photographs.

How to achieve the right exposure
The “Correct exposure” means you have enough details in a final image. The “Overexposed image” means the details in the light area were lost. The “Underexposed image” means the details in the dark areas were lost.
Most of the cameras have some sort of light meter. During the professional photo shoot, the photographers use the more sensitive external light meter. But for everyday shooting, the inbuilt light meter is good enough. The light meter indicates the exposure condition under natural light. But if you work with impulsive and unpredictable lights then you need external light meter such as Sekonic. The external equipment is quite expensive, so there is another way. You have to practice with your lights a lot and remember the numbers on your strobes or speed lights with relation to each camera setting. It sounds close to impossible, but after few months of practice, it will start working and your numbers will be close to the right measurements.

In conclusion
Keep the size of the Triangle equal. Remember the settings. Plan the shot. If you need more specific information, please check the articles from Photography 101 series.

What is white balance in camera?

Red, Green, and Blue are the 3 primary colors that form the white light. They are mixed in various proportions – depending upon the color temperature of the light. If the color temperature is high – the light is bluish. If it’s low – the light is reddish.

 

Definition of White Balance
The white balance is used to remove the unnecessary color casts so as to make the image look more natural. Hence, it  is set according to the color temperature of the light sources.
Working with White Balance
In most of the cases,  a white balance is used to avoid the casts. While some photographers choose to use  the “wrong white balance” to produce very creative pictures. You can also create very warm pictures if you use the “shade mode” in the daytime. The opposite (cold) is valid if one is using “tungsten mode”. While DSLR has special mods for all the different types of lights – it’s not really necessary that you must use flash white balance when you use the Speedlight or strobe. Most of the modern digital cameras will calculate ambient light and provide you with a decent result on an “Auto White Balance Mode”, specifically when two or more color temperatures from the different light sources are mixed in the one set. In such cases “Auto white balance” is good to use, or neutralize particular light sources with color filters or gels. There is also the more professional way to set up the white balance by using neutral white, it called “Custom White Balance”. Most of the DSLRs will have instructions on how to set up the “Custom White Balance” for your particular camera.
What is white balance in camera?
While shooting on film was required to adjust light sources with filters and gels. However, when we are shooting with the digital camera, it’s easier as you can use the Auto White Balance (AWB). Also, if you photograph using RAW or DNG format, you may adjust your white balance later while processing the images. However, some of the details may be lost if the transformation is too dramatic. So it is always recommended to use the correct white balance during the shooting. To adjust the white balance in RAW pictures, the photographers use “Gray cards“. They are put within the set later as they help in picking the neutral gray during postprocessing.

 

P. S White balance in food photography is usually aiming the daylight color temperature (except for some special occasions like candle light dinner or so). That’s why many food photographers say that natural light makes food look tastier.

What Is Aperture in camera?


The aperture definition in digital photography

 

The aperture is the unit of measurement that defines the size of the opening in the lens. The size of this hole will regulate the image sensor’s degree of exposure to the light.
It measures in F-stops. The diaphragm is the device which controls the aperture opening. So we can say that the aperture is the hole which control the light entering trough the lens to the image sensor.

 

Get the DOF
The aperture controls depth of field (DOF) the smaller F-stop number the more blurred background you will get and opposite, a background will look sharp with the large F-stop number. When people talk about small F-stop numbers it called “big aperture” and when its large F-stop number it called “small aperture”. Even though it sounds confusing that just refers to the size of the opening when the aperture is wide open and more light gets in it shown with small numbers such as F/1.8 it called “big aperture”. “Small aperture” (F/14 or F/22) refers to the small hole and lesser light entering in.
What Is Aperture in camera?
Moving objects and aperture
While “small aperture” provides more sharpness it also requires more time to perform. Which also guide us to the conclusion that when we deal with the moving objects we may like to use “big aperture” unless we want some blur motion effect. But what if you want to photograph people in the restaurant and it doesn’t have big windows and light is dim, but you still need a sharp picture? You will make an adjustment to the other components in exposure triangle, read here how.

 

Buying the lens

Every lens has its own aperture ratio. The smaller number on the lens (F/1.2 or F/2) the better it behaves in a low light situations. However, if you only shoot with studio lights you may be fine with the larger numbers on your lenses such as F/5. As we talking about food photography here where the nice bokeh is an advantage, you may like to purchase lenses with bigger aperture diameter (F/1.2 or F/2). And for sure read some reviews before buying.

 What Is Aperture in camera?
P.S. If you like to click stories about street food, markets, malls and other activity you may need to use faster shutter speed in a low light condition. In this situation, you will need to adjust shutter speed aperture and ISO read here how.

What is color temperature in photography?

The color temperature one of the most important things in photography. I would say it also part of photography multiplication table, something all photographers know and use all the time.

Definition of the color temperature
Well, technically speaking color temperature is one of the many characteristics of the visible light. Each light source has it own color temperature.  Take a look at this table:
Temperature Source
1,700 K Match flame, low-pressure sodium lamps (LPS/SOX)
1,850 K Candle flame, sunset/sunrise
2,700–3,300 K Incandescent lamps
3,000 K Soft (or Warm) White compact fluorescent lamps
3,200 K Studio lamps, photofloods, etc.
3,350 K Studio “CP” light
4,100–4,150 K Moonlight
5,000 K Horizon daylight
5,000 K Tubular fluorescent lamps orcool white/daylight compact fluorescent lamps (CFL)
5,500–6,000 K Vertical daylight, electronic flash
6,200 K Xenon short-arc lamp
6,500 K Daylight, overcast
6,500–10,500 K LCD or CRT screen
15,000–27,000 K Clear blue poleward sky

The color temperature measured in Kelvin (K). As it visible from the current table the light temperature varies from reddish to bluish tints. Natural daylight is usually between 5500 to 6000 K but in the “magic hours” it became as warm as 2000K as well. Light below 5000 K (1,700 – 5000K) considered as warm colors and the light above  daylight (5000-27000K) referred to cool colors.

Color temperature and White Balance

In photography, the color temperature is always used along with term “white balance”. To create correct white balance photographer need to understand with what color temperature he deal with and adjust camera settings accordingly.

Find more about White Balance Here