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    Basic + PhotographyWorkshop

    An Informal Guide to Basic Digital

    Photography

    By

    Roe G. Empleo

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    BASIC+ PHOTOGRAPHYWORKSHOP

    An Informal Guide to Basic Digital Photography

    I INTRODUCTION

    This is an awkward thing for me to write because I am not sure whether Imqualified enough to talk to you about Photography since I am still starting to learnabout it myself. Or will I ever be comprehensive in my words because I haventwritten anything like this before. But just thinking about my experiences with peoplewho share the same passion with me in this photographic journey, and how

    unselfishly they share their own knowledge and experiences to me as I was juststarting out, made me realize that I, too, have the same obligation to those whowant to learn and pursue their inclination towards Photography. We all shall learntogether and share with the others the fruits of this workshop.

    And so, I welcome you all to my informal workshop on the Basics andFundamentals of Digital Photography!

    II SCOPE OF WORKS

    In this workshop, I intend to talk about just a simplified introduction to DigitalPhotography and focus more on the Hows and the Whys of taking a goodphotograph. This workshop will include the following short courses:

    A. Introduction to Digital PhotographyB. Introduction to the Different Genres of PhotographyC. Introduction to Portraiture & LightingD. Better Composition and Framing

    Since its a time limited workshop, I will just focus on the more important topics andpointers, but will leave you links and/or related reading materials that you canbrowse on your own.

    III OBJECTIVE

    Every endeavor, no matter how grand or mediocre they are, is pointless without atangent objective. They will just end up a waste of time and efforts to your part. Soin this little workshop of ours, my objective is not to make you all Professional

    Photographers (because I am not), but to instill in you the same passion and drivethat I have towards Photography. By guiding you in exploring more of your

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    potentials and re-asserting your given talents, I wish to prepare you in yourupcoming struggle in the World of Photography.

    PART 1 : INTRODUCTION TO DIGITALPHOTOGRAPHY

    Like all art, Photography is a discipline with its own set of accepted rules,methodology, and standards. Even a (a person who has) natural ability todraw needs to be trained in technique, style, and aesthetics. ~ Ed Yap, imag magazine

    This is very true in every discipline of art like Painting, Architecture, Music and thelikes. Nobody is a born Master of his craft. Everybody has to learn from the basicand fundamentals to hone their talent and create their own style. People who dwell

    too much on being smart, talented, or being pretty usually are the ones who easilyget stuck halfway to their prime because they are not accustomed to working theircraft when faced with hurdles and problems.

    That is why seasoned photographers stay on top, not because they are famous,but because they have earned it. They have worked hard for their skills and still porethemselves on improving their craft. And this tenacity is what we all must learn fromthem. Step by step, we must accumulate knowledge and experience, and integratethem into our own mold.

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    A: UNDERSTANDING YOUR CAMERA

    EXPOSURE

    Most digital cameras have one of the following standardized exposure modes:Auto ( ), Program (P), Aperture Priority (Av), Shutter Priority (Tv), Manual (M)and Bulb (B) mode. Av, Tv, and M are often called "creative modes" or "autoexposure (AE) modes.

    Each of these modes influences how aperture, ISO and shutter speed arechosen for a given exposure. Some modes attempt to pick all three values foryou, whereas others let you specify one setting and the camera picks the othertwo (if possible). The following charts describe how each mode pertains toexposure:

    Exposure Mode: How It Works

    Auto [ ] Camera automatically selects all exposure settings.

    Program (P) Camera automatically selects aperture & shutter speed; you canchoose a corresponding ISO speed & exposure compensation. With somecameras, P can also act as a hybrid of the Av & Tv modes.

    Aperture Priority (Av or A)You specify the aperture & ISO; the camera'smetering determines the corresponding shutter speed.

    Shutter Priority (Tv or S)You specify the shutter speed & ISO; the camera'smetering determines the corresponding aperture.

    Manual (M)You specify the aperture, ISO and shutter speed -- regardless ofwhether these values lead to a correct exposure.

    Bulb (B)Useful for exposures longer than 30 seconds. You specify the apertureand ISO; the shutter speed is determined by a remote release switch, or by theduration until you press the shutter button a second time.

    In addition, the camera may also have several pre-set modes; the most commoninclude landscape, portrait, sports and night mode. The symbols used for eachmode vary slightly from camera to camera, but will likely appear similar to thosebelow:

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    PortraitCamera tries to pick the lowest f-stop value possible for a given exposure. Thisensures the shallowest possible depth of field.

    Landscape

    Camera tries to pick a high f-stop to ensure a large depth of field. Compactcameras also often set their focus distance to distant objects or infinity.

    Sports/ActionCamera tries to achieve as fast a shutter speed as possible for a given exposure-- ideally 1/250 seconds or faster. In addition to using a low f-stop, the fastshutter speed is usually achieved by increasing the ISO speed more than wouldotherwise be acceptable in portrait mode.

    Night/Low-lightCamera permits shutter speeds which are longer than ordinarily allowed for

    hand-held shots, and increases the ISO speed to near its maximum availablevalue. However, for some cameras this setting means that a flash is used for theforeground, and a long shutter speed and high ISO are used expose thebackground. (Check your camera's instruction manual for any unique characteristics).

    However, keep in mind that most of the above settings rely on the camera'smetering system, in order to know what is a properly exposed image. For trickysubject matter, metering can often be fooled, so it's a good idea to also be awareof when it might go awry, and what you can do to compensate for such exposureerrors (see section on exposure compensation within the camera metering

    tutorial).

    Finally, some of the above modes may also control camera settings which areunrelated to exposure, although this varies from camera to camera. Suchadditional settings might include the autofocus points, metering mode andautofocus modes, amongst others.

    A photograph's exposure determines how light or dark an image will appearwhen it's been captured by your camera. Believe it or not, this is determined by

    just three camera settings: aperture, ISO and shutter speed (the "exposuretriangle"). Mastering their use is an essential part of developing an intuition forphotography.

    UNDERSTANDING EXPOSURE

    Achieving the correct exposure is a lot like collecting rain in a bucket. While therate of rainfall is uncontrollable, three factors remain under your control: thebucket's width, the duration you leave it in the rain, and the quantity of rain you

    want to collect. You just need to ensure you don't collect too little("underexposed"), but that you also don't collect too much ("overexposed"). The

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    key is that there are many different combinations of width, time and quantity thatwill achieve this. For example, for the same quantity of water, you can get awaywith less time in the rain if you pick a bucket that's really wide. Alternatively, forthe same duration left in the rain, a really narrow bucket can be used as long asyou plan on getting by with less water.

    In photography, the exposure settings of aperture, shutter speed and ISO speedare analogous to the width, time and quantity discussed above. Furthermore, justas the rate of rainfall was beyond your control above, so too is natural light for aphotographer.

    EXPOSURE TRIANGLE: APERTURE , ISO ,SHUTTER SPEED

    Each setting controls exposure differently:

    Aperture: controls the area over which light can enter your cameraShutter speed: controls the duration of the exposureISO speed: controls the sensitivity of your camera's sensor to a given amount oflight

    One can therefore use many combinations of the above three settings toachieve the same exposure. The key, however, is knowing which trade-offs to

    make, since each setting also influences other image properties. For example,aperture affects depth of field, shutter speed affects motion blur and ISO speedaffects image noise.

    The next few sections will describe how each setting is specified, what it lookslike, and how a given camera exposure mode affects their combination.

    SHUTTER SPEED

    A camera's shutter determines when the camera sensor will be open or closedto incoming light from the camera lens. The shutter speed specifically refers tohow long this