Taking it to a new level

Today I had the first class in my second course on photography. Yay!!!  I loved it!  And as I sat in class, I thought about this blog. I am going to take it to a new and slightly different level. Instead of me saying where we were and what we were doing and posting pics, I'm going to actually talk about what I'm learning. I'm going to talk about the class and the actual setting on pictures. It's my hope that some of my friends that are looking to improve will get to use this blog as their learning tool.

So here goes.

First, photography is all about capturing the light! There is light all around us and we see it different from different perspectives. So take a look around. What do you see? If you see something that sparks your interest, look at it from a different perspectives to see how else you might see it and how the LIGHT affects it.

Second, photography is subjective. You probably got that from the first lesson....because it's all about WHAT YOU SEE :)

Now for some tidbits about actually using the camera.

When you first begin to take pictures you want to recognize what kind of light you're working. Do you remember those speeds on the old 35mm film? Remember things like 200, 400, 800, etc? Yeah, that's your ISO. It is set according to how much light you have. For example, when in  bright light or sunny day you would use 100 or 200. Cloudy days or darker insides might require a higher ISO like 600. BUT keep in mind that the higher your ISO, the grainier your picture. Soooo, keep your ISO as LOW as possible!

I took this picture straight out of the bag. I didn't look at my ISO or exposure reading or anything. So of course it was all under exposed. ISO set to 200, shutter speed 1/25 and aperture 4.5

Then I took the time to look at my exposure rating to line it up with zero.  This time my ISO is 200, shutter 1/4 and aperture 4.5. Even with these settings you can see a little over exposure in the background.

Aperture, or Av on the camera dial, is all about your depth of field. What do you want in focus? You can focus on the foreground, background of middle of a subject. Typically for a portrait you'd use an aperture of about f11. It focuses on the person. If you want to blur the background, you can focus on the person and set your aperture (Av or f-stop) to about 5.6. See the examples below.

Focus the camera on the middle flower with aperture (f) 8, shutter 1/250, ISO 100.
 

Then refocus or point the camera to the flower you want in focus, the first one (same settings f8, ISO 100, shutter 1/250) 
 

You've probably heard people talk about the shutter speed....or Tv on your camera dial. This mode can BLUR or FREEZE an action...like the water in the fountains in the previous post. 1/4 will slow the water down or blur it. 1/60 will get more detail and 30 seconds will FREEZE the motion. Anything below 1/60 of a second though will require either a tripod or you setting the camera down to stabilize the image.

For example, i wanted more details in this picture so my settings were f 3.5, shutter 1/1000 (stopping the action), and ISO 100 (because it's a bright day).

Then, I in the below picture I wanted to slow the motion, so ISO still at 100, f 22, and shutter at 1/15.

I think that's plenty for now. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask as if I don't know, I get to ask someone else and LEARN more.  Next time there will be some homework posts as well as ACCESSORIES you need!!!  Happy picture taking!