Photo 101 - Basic Photography and Composition

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Basic Photography Presentation

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  • Photo 101:Basic Photography and Compositionby Melvin Chua

  • ObjectivesLearn the common terms and basic concepts in photographyProperties of light and how it affects compositionFrequently used rules of composition and how they are applied

  • What is Photography?It is recording light patterns onto a sensitive medium through a timed exposurePhotography is the capture of light

  • Elements of PhotographyLightTimeMediumPhotography is about 3 basic elementsExposureThese elements are used to determine

  • ExposureExposure is the total quantity of light allowed to fall on the light sensitive medium.Proper exposure is achieved by balancing the 3 elements of photography.

  • ExposureImbalance in exposure may result to Overexposed or Underexposed photographs.OverexposedUnderexposed

  • So how do we control the 3 elements to have a proper exposure?

  • ApertureAperture helps control the amount of light able to pass through the lens and onto the sensor of the camera.

  • Measuring ApertureAperture is measured in f-stops or aperture stop.Higher the f-stop = Less light is allowed to passLower the f-stop = More light is allowed to pass

  • Shutter SpeedShutter speed controls the amount of time the light falls on the medium.Faster the shutter speed = Less light falls onto the mediumShutter speed is measured in seconds. Slower the shutter speed = More light falls onto the medium

  • Lets first establish the Aperture to Shutter Speed relationship

  • The Water Bucket Analogy=More water =Less Time to Fill BucketLess water =More Time to Fill BucketMore Light =Less Time to Expose MediumLess Light =More Time to Expose MediumAmount of water to fill the bucket = Amount of light to get a proper exposure

  • ISO/ASAISO / ASA is a film convention that quantifies the sensitivity of the film to light.In digital photography, ISO controls the light sensitivity of the camera sensor.Higher ISO level= More sensitive medium is to lightLower ISO level = Less sensitive medium is to light

  • Putting these 3 together

  • The Exposure TriangleLightExposureTimeMediumApertureShutter SpeedISOElements of Photography

  • Exposure TriangleDescribes the relationship between the aperture, shutter speed and ISO.Increasing or decreasing the value of one will directly affect the exposure of an image.Your desired exposure will always involve a combination of these 3 values.

  • The Window AnalogyAperture is the size of the window. A larger window lets more light in.Shutter speed is the amount of time the window is open. The longer it is open, the more light comes in.ISO is how sensitive your eyes are to the light coming in from the window.For example, wearing sunglasses make our eyes less sensitive to light (low ISO).

  • Loss or Gain of LightApertureShutter SpeedISOf/16f/2.81/500 seconds2 secondsISO 100ISO 400Less LightMore Light

  • What are the three elements of photography?RecapWhat is exposure?

  • What controls the amount of light?RecapWhat controls the sensitivity of the cameras sensor?What controls exposure time?

  • Questions

  • Whats the difference between a snapshot and a photograph?A snapshot is a picture taken without artistic intent.A photograph is a well thought out image, involving artistry, technical skills and composition.

  • Elements of PhotographyLightTimeMediumWhat is the most important element in a composition?

  • The quality of the light is more important than the quantity of the light.

    - Jo Avila

  • Getting to know LightDiffusedLight has different properties we can leverage to make our photos more interestingSpecularReflectedRefractedColored

  • Specular LightSpecular Lighting creates defined or harsh shadows.Adds strength to a photograph. Useful when taking pictures of men or powerful individuals.Specular light comes from concentrated light sources such as the sun, or an exposed flash bulb.

  • Diffused LightDiffused Lighting creates soft, little or no visible shadowsMakes pictures feel softer, very useful when taking photos of women and children.Diffused light comes from light sources with big surface areas such as a window or a soft box.

  • Converting Specular to DiffusedUse a diffuser to scatter light effectively from a specular light source.A diffuser can be any material, from a simple cloth to a soft box, as long as it can scatter light emitted by your light source.

  • Diffuser SamplesAnd sometimes, it pays to be resourceful

  • An experiment on ShadowsSubject is farther from light source = Hard shadows behind subjectSubject is closer to the light source= Soft shadows behind subject

  • RecapWhats the difference between a snapshot and a photgraph?Is sunlight specular or diffused?When taking a babys portrait, what kind of light is best used?How do we convert specular light to diffused?

  • Questions

  • Other Properties of Light

  • Reflected LightReflections can be used to provide balance and symmetry to an image.Reflections can be enhanced by using a CPL Filter (Circular Polarizer).

  • Refracted LightLight can be refracted or bent. You can use it to add more depth to your pictures.

  • Colored LightColors can be natural...Colors can be artificial...Reds and Yellows can make pictures look warmer...Blues and Greens can make pictures look cooler...

  • RecapWhat property of light can be used to bring symmetry to a picture?What property of light can be used to bring more depth to a picture?

  • Questions

  • Improving Composition

  • Choose Your Focal LengthFocal Length is the distance between the lens and the recording medium.Measured in millimeters.50 mm10 mmLonger focal length =Closer and magnifiedShorter focal length =Wider and expansive

  • Use Depth of FieldThe zone of acceptable sharpness in front of and behind your subject.The term Circle of Confusion or Bokeh describes the amount of blur needed to render a part of the photo as unsharp.Use aperture and proper distance to control depth of field

  • Aperture and DOFlow F-stop = less DOFf/1.8high F-stop = more DOFf/16Use low F-stop for portraitsUse high F-stop for landscapesUse f/8 to f/11 for general photography

  • Distance and DOFThe closer the subject, the less DOF.The farther the subject, the more DOF.Finger Focusing Example

  • Choose Your Shutter SpeedMotion can be either frozen or captured. Fast shutter speed freezes motionSlow shutter speed captures motion

  • Choose Your ISOHigh ISO settings are susceptible to image noise.Lower ISO = Less noiseNoise is a random brightness or darkness of color information in an image.Use noise to your advantage!

  • Understanding your SubjectThe physical properties of your subject, either individual or relative to the environment.Use these properties as foundations of a great composition.A photograph is a story about your subject.

  • TextureTexture refers to the properties held and sensation caused by the external surface of objects received through the sense of touch. It is revealed in a photograph by variances in tone, depth and shape. Wood and lightning are popular examples.

  • Shape and FormBoth shape and form uses space to emphasize their outline.Shape is 2-dimensional. The object looks flat and only has length and width.Form is 3-dimensional. The object looks like it has length, width and depth.Both CANNOT exist without the presence of space.

  • Pattern and RhythmPattern refers to elements in a photo that repeats itself in a predictable manner. Usually lines and shapes.Rhythm refers to the conjugation of elements in the photo but in a non-uniform way.

  • ContrastContrast is the dissimilarity of colors between two elements in a picture, usually the foreground/subject and the background.

  • VarietyVariety is the mixture of different elements in a photo with similar properties.

  • ScaleYou can capture scale and size in a photo by placing objects of different sizes beside each other.One of the objects in the photo should generally be familiar to your viewer.

  • PerspectivePerspective is the way how an element in the photo appears to the eye produced by the position of the photographer. Perspective can also affect the size and scale of your subject.

  • Seeing things differently Worms Eye View Humans Eye View Birds Eye ViewSubject appears larger.Subject appears normal.Subject appears smaller.

  • Can 2 of these properties appear in the same picture?

  • Exercise

    textureshapeformpatternrhythmcontrastvarietyscaleperspectivemotion

  • Questions

  • Understanding the big pictureHow do you make the entire photograph more interesting? Here are some guidelines

  • Rule of ThirdsDivide up the view mentally into nine equal segments.Portrait shots stress attention on the subjects eyes.Most landscape shots put the horizon along one line.Put points of interest on the intersections of those lines.

  • BalanceBalance between the weight of the elements in a picture.Informal balance have elements of unequal weight, but still manages to both draw attention.Formal balance have equally weighted elements.Elements are like in a seesaw battle for attention.

  • SymmetrySymmetry creates 2 divisions in your image that are identical to each other.Mirror images are best examples.

  • FramingFraming isolates the subject by confining it to a space within other elements of the photo.Imagine a picture frame within your photograph.

  • Leading LinesUse natural lines that lead viewers deeper to your photo or pointing towards your subject.

  • Negative SpaceNegative Space is defined as any empty area in your photo that isolates your subject.

  • Selective FocusThe use of Depth of Field to isolate your subject from the rest of the photo.

  • Can 2 of these guidelines appear in the same picture?

  • Exercise

    Rule of ThirdsBalanceSymmetryFramingLeading LinesNegative SpaceSelective Focus

  • The Last RuleKnow the rules first before you break them!The Rule of Breaking the Rules

  • Questions

  • Thank You

  • CreditsPhotos by:John Melvin Chua

    Ryan Capulong

    Joyce Paulo

    Mary Rose Uy

    Cocoy Lopez

    Jonathan San Juan

    Reyna Luto