Friday, February 5, 2010

SLR manual camera basics 1

the following basics are camera controls that are used to regulate EXPOSURE. these controls allow you to be creative with your photography by employing different SHOOTING TECHNIQUES (next post).

Shutter Speed - expressed in fractions of a second, control how long light is allowed to come through the aperture. common shutter speeds are B, 1", 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, 60, 125, 250, 500, 1000, 2000 (b=bulb, 1" is one second)

*Higher numbers are FASTER - used to freeze action or in bright light conditions
*Lower numbers are SLOWER - used to intentionally blur motion or in lower light conditions

60th is the lowest speed you should hand hold your camera. lower speeds will cause unintentional motion blur from the photographers movement. for learning photography, i recommend shooting at the fastest speed possible for crisp shots - shutter speed priority, choose shutter speed first.

check out this video for an explanation of different shutter speed choices.

Aperture - the adjustable size of the opening in the lens that allows light in. the aperture controls depth of field which refers to how much of the photograph is in focus. common apertures are 1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22. apertures are also referred to as f-stops.

*Higher numbers are SMALLER - used in bright light conditions or to create high depth of field
*Lower numbers are LARGER - used in lower light conditions or to create selective focus, blurring either the background or foreground

Film Speed - film speed is referred to as the ISO, or on older cameras ASA. common ISO's are 25, 50, 100, 125, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400. the number refers to the fineness of the GRAIN, which are the particles reactive to light.

*Higher numbers are FASTER - needing less light for exposure, more grain, less detail
*Lower numbers are SLOWER - needing more light for exposure, less grain, more detail

film speed is a creative decision determined before you begin shooting. one cannot change the film speed once it is in the camera, however shutter speed and aperture can be constantly adjusted to match the light conditions and your creativity.

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