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  • 7/25/2019 Basic Photography Book


  • 7/25/2019 Basic Photography Book


    Basic Photography


    2014 by the author of this book, Je!Curto, who retains sole copyright

    to the contents of this book. All photographs, text and graphics are the

    original productions of the author and may not be reproduced or reused in

    any way without express permission.

    For more by Je!Curto, see:! - Je!s personal website

    Camera Position Podcast- About the creative side of photography

    History of Photography Podcast- Learn about the origins of the medium

    Italy Photography Workshops- Hone your photography skills in Italy

    Autumn leaves reflect in a stream in Michigans Upper Peninsula
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    About the Author


    Photographer Je!Curto is Professor Emeritus of Photography at College of

    DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, where he has taught from 1984 to 2014.

    He was awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Illinois WesleyanUniversity in 1981 and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Bennington College

    in Vermont in 1983. Additionally, he attended Ansel Adams last workshop in

    Carmel, California in 1983.

    He was named an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2013, becoming part of a

    global community of 2000 education leaders recognized for exploring new

    ideas, seeking new paths, and embracing new opportunities.

    Curto hosts two popular podcasts about photography, one that records his

    History of Photographyclass sessions from College of DuPage and another,

    Camera Position, that discusses photographys creative aspects.

    In his early career, Curto worked as a photographer, specializing in event and

    public relations photography, architectural interiors and exteriors, portrait

    and product photography. His fine art photographs, which can be seen at!curto.comare held in numerous private and corporate collections.

    Since retiring from College of DuPage, Curto teaches photography

    workshops in Italy. See www.photographitaly.comfor more information.
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    Chapter 1


    Photography is everywhere.

    Photography has become the worlds most

    pervasive method of recording who we are, what we

    value and what our environment looks like. Millions

    of people now carry cameras in their pockets every

    minute of every day.

    Yet, even though photography is so omnipresent,

    mastering its intricacies can consume a lifetime of

    learning. This book is an introduction to those basic

    qualities of photography.

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    This books primary audience is students entering the photography program at College of

    DuPage, but should prove useful to anyone wanting to learn the basic technical and visual

    qualities of photography. Though the book concentrates on digital photography, the essential

    concepts can be easily transferred to film photography as well.

    Starting with a basic overview of what makes up a camera, well move on to how an exposure

    happens in the camera, looking at volume of light, length of time of exposure, light sensitivity

    and more.

    Then, well look at the eye of the camera; the lens. Well see how using di!erent lenses can

    change how the camera sees the world. Combined with that, well examine focus and how

    controlling focus or lack of focus can dramatically alter the way our images communicate.

    Once you have those technical considerations in hand, well look at the visual qualities of

    photography and see how what goes into the frameis of critical importance by covering

    elements of composition and visual literacy.

    Lastly, well provide a few resources for you as you progress farther into photography;

    organizations and websites where you can learn more about a medium that is at once so

    simple and so complex.

    As you go through this book, it would be a good idea to have both your camera and your

    camera owners manual nearby, so you can see how the general concepts presented in this

    book apply to your specific situation.

    The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.

    Dorothea Lange, photographer
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    Chapter 2

    The Camera

    Cameras come in many forms and many types, butno matter whether the camera is costly or

    inexpensive, uses film or digital sensors, has one

    lens or can use many lenses, all cameras have the

    same basic characteristics.

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    A camera is actually a very simple device. Or, at least, it can be. To make acamera, all thats really required is a light-tight box, a lens that can focus light rays

    through one side of the box, something to regulate the volume of light that comes

    into the box (a variable aperture), something to regulate how long the light is

    allowed to come into the box (a shutter) and something to record what the

    projected light is showing. Thats it; its really pretty simple.

    Section 1


    1. A light-tight box

    2. A lens

    3. A shutter to regulate time of exposure

    4. An aperture to regulate volume of light

    5. A place to put light-sensitive material

    6. A viewfinder to see what the camera willmake a photograph of.

    Anatomy of a Camera


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    In fact, it can be even more simple; a small hole in the side of a light-tight box will project an image of whatever is outside the box onto

    the inside of the box. The hole is the aperture; all you need is a shutter to regulate the time of light and something to record the image and

    you have a camera.

    Of course, modern cameras have made a simple machine more complex by adding a wide variety

    of features to control the cameras functions. But, no matter how sophisticated the camera is,

    no matter how much it costs and no matter what style or type of camera it is, every camera

    in the world has the same basic simple characteristics. Use the interactive graphics on

    the next two pages to help familiarize yourself with the parts of a DSLRcameras

    inner and outer workings.


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    Path of Light


    Mirror Focusing Screen PentaprismViewfinder




    Illustration 2.1

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

    DSLR - The InsideUse the interactive graphic below to help familiarize yourself with the inside elements of a typical DSLR camera.

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    Zoom Ring

    Focus Ring & Scale

    Finger Wheel

    Shutter Release Button

    LCD Data Screen

    Jog Wheel

    Back LCD Panel

    Mode Button

    Hot Shoe

    Illustration 2.2

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

    Use the interactive graphic below to help familiarize yourself with the outside elements of a typical DSLR camera.

    DSLR - The Outside

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    Section 2


    1. Point-and-shoot

    2. Mirrorless

    3. Single-lens reflex

    4. Medium format

    5. Large Format

    6. Camera Phones

    Types of Cameras


    We can crop a section out of the image, but we would have to accept a smaller image to print, as there arentenough pixels to make a very large image

    Gallery 2.1

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    All cameras are more or less the same; they need the elements you just read about in the previous section. No matter how much the

    camera costs or what its features are, it has the same basic elements of light-tight box, lens, shutter, aperture, etc.

    So, if every camera is the same, then why are there di!erent types of cameras? The answer is similar to why there are di!erent types of

    cars; there are di!erent things we want cameras to do, and their design changes to accommodate di!erent needs. Small cameras are

    great for their portability and their ability to be unobtrusive. Larger cameras are typically able to record greater detail because of their

    larger sensors or because of their higher quality lenses or both.

    As technologies have evolved, di!erent camera types and styles have been created to take advantage of new ways of making

    photographs so photographers can have the right tool for the job. Tap the presentation at right to see a few of the di!erent types of

    cameras that photographers use.

    Pixels & Megapixels

    Pixels are the building blocks of the digital image world. They are they tinypicture elements (hence "pixel") that make up the image. The

    more of them you have, the greater the potential you have for detail in a picture. Think of a mosaic picture; the more tiles th