1 Seniors Photography Workshop Some images stand out from the crowd & make viewers say WOW! Today we will look at how you can give your images that WOW Factor..
10 So let s think about what makes an image stand out from the crowds of snap shots that we are exposed to, every day. Focus on the Subject. Our eyes are attracted to the sharpest object in an image. If your subject is blurry, the viewer will probably be left wondering which element of the image is the subject. There are two factors that affect image sharpness. These are Focus Point & Shutter Speed.
11 Focus Point. Cameras have between 3 & 61 focus points. So how does your camera decide which focus point to use? Obviously, the camera can t read your mind, it is simply programmed to focus on the nearest high contrast object in the viewfinder. This will not always be your chosen subject. Most cameras will allow you to choose one active focus point at a time, putting you in control. Please see your instruction manual for directions. This allows you to choose the exact point of focus.
12 Shutter Speed. The other factor that can cause blurring in your image is a slow shutter speed. Your camera will indicate the shutter speed in the viewfinder, when you half press the shutter button. If the shutter speed is less than 1/100th second it is difficult to avoid camera shake. You can use a tripod to minimise camera shake or adjust your camera settings (ie. turn up the iso, see your instruction manual) to attain a faster shutter speed. A moving subject will need faster shutter speed, usually over 1/500 th second, to avoid motion blur. The faster the subject is moving, the higher the shutter speed needed to freeze it.
13 Keep it Simple It is easy to be blinded by an interesting subject. Our attention can be so strongly focussed on the main subject, that we forget to look at other distractions in a scene. Objects in the background or foreground of an image can take the viewer s attention away from the subject. Often simply moving the camera position to one side or up or down, will remove the distraction. Moving closer to the subject (or zooming in) can also remove distractions. A little bit of time taken, before you press the shutter button, can result in a better image.
14 Understanding Camera Modes It is important to understand what each automatic camera mode is trying to achieve. These modes are called Sport, Landscape, Portrait, Macro etc. Each mode will give different photographic results. They operate by juggling your camera s Shutter Speed, Aperture & ISO. Before we look at some of these Modes, you will need an understanding of Shutter Speed, Aperture & ISO
15 Shutter Speed. Between the camera s lens & the sensor is a shutter curtain. How long the shutter stays open, determines how much light falls on the sensor. This is expressed in seconds or fractions of a second. A fast shutter speed, say 1/500th second or faster, will freeze a moving object. The faster the subject is moving, the faster the shutter speed needed to freeze it. A slow shutter speed, say 1/50 th or less will allow you to capture motion blur, but will require a tripod, to minimise camera shake.
16 In this image a fast shutter speed (1/1250 th sec) froze the skateboarder in mid air, with little motion blur. A slower shutter speed, say 1/200 th sec, would give some motion blur More artistic perhaps? Your choice.
17 In this image using a tripod & a slow shutter speed of ½ sec., gives the water a silky appearance.
18 Aperture. Inside your camera s lens are a set of blades which open & close to control the amount of light passing through the lens. The larger the f number, the less light is passed through the lens.
19 Opening & closing the Aperture blades in your lens changes the amount of light that falls on your camera s sensor. Changing the aperture value changes the Depth of Field in an image. Understanding Depth of Field (DOF) & using it creatively is one of the most important tools that photographers can use to make their images stand out. So what is DOF?
20 Depth of Field. When you focus on a point in an image, there is an area in front of & behind the point of focus that will be acceptably sharp. This area is called the Depth of Field.
21 Using a large aperture say f/2.8 will give a shallower DOF than using a small aperture, say f/16. Point of focus is the front battery in both images. Using f/2.8 results in a shallow DOF, blurring the rear battery. Using f/16 results in a wide DOF revealing details on the rear battery.
22 Using your knowledge of DOF you can decide to isolate your subject (using a wide aperture). This is useful in Portraiture where it is desirable to keep the viewer s attention on the model. In this portrait an aperture value of f/5 was used to give a shallow DOF. As you can see the background is nicely blurred as a result & is not distracting.
23 Here an aperture of f16 yields a wide DOF, resulting in an image which is sharp, from foreground to background.
24 ISO. Digital cameras allow you to adjust the sensitivity of the sensor, electronically. In the old film days you had to buy film to suit the lighting conditions. 100 asa film was good for daylight & 400 asa film was good for night or indoor photography. With your digital camera you can simply set the sensitivity to suit the lighting condition. In automatic modes your camera will automatically set the ISO to give a fast enough shutter speed to avoid camera shake. You can also set the iso manually (see your instruction manual)
25 Using Automatic Camera Modes Now that you have an understanding of Shutter Speed, Aperture & Depth of Field we will now look at which camera mode to use for different types of subjects/scenes. Landscape Mode. Our eyes like to explore landscape images, so it is important to maximise the DOF. Your camera will select a small aperture to achieve this & will try to adjust the ISO to give a fast enough shutter speed to avoid camera shake.
26 Portrait Mode. With portraiture it is important to isolate the subject. In this mode your camera will use a large aperture, in order to achieve a shallow DOF. It is important to ensure that the subject s eyes are in sharp focus. Make sure that you place the active focus point on the subject s eye when focussing. The first thing that we look at when viewing portrait images is the eye/s, so an image where the eye/s are not sharp will not have a strong impact on the viewer.
27 A sharp eye makes a portrait image which connects with the viewer.
28 Sports Mode. The aim in most sports images is to freeze the subject. To achieve this your camera will choose a fast shutter speed. A shutter speed of 1/1,000 th sec. froze this wakeboarder, in mid air.
29 Macro Mode. Close up photography can be incredibly addictive. Flowers, insects, etc. that are all around us can make great photographic subjects. Your camera will use a small aperture to maximise DOF, as at high magnifications DOF is often just a few millimetres. It is critical to get your focus spot on! A tripod or monopod will help to minimise camera shake. Macro photography takes practice, but can be very rewarding..
30 Bees make great subjects & every garden has them.
31 Flowers are available all year around & can make beautiful subjects.
32 The automatic modes that I have discussed are the most widely used. If your camera has more modes, you will need to consult your user manual to determine their use. When you are ready to take more control of your camera, you will need to learn to use the Creative modes on your camera. These are Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority & Manual modes. We will now discuss another important area of photography Composition.
33 Composition Equally important as your technical knowledge of your camera, is your knowledge & use of Composition. Composition is the placement & rendering of subject matter, within an image. Composition has a very important role to play, in determining the impact your images will have on the viewer. The so called Rules of Composition are not really rules, but just guidelines.
34 Rule of Thirds By far the most well known of the Rules of Composition. Placing the subject roughly at the intersection of the grid lines, with room to look out of the image, gives the image a pleasing Composition.
35 Placing the horizon 1/3 from the top or bottom is pleasing to the eye.
36 Leading Lines Leading lines guide the viewer s eye to the point of interest in the image. Subtle lines, in the flower s petals, lead your eye to the subject.
37 Strong leading lines can make dramatic images that invite your eye to explore the image.
38 Framing Framing a scene can be a very effective tool of Composition. Frames are everywhere, if you look for them. For example archways, doorways & windows can be very useful in framing a scene. Another, often unnoticed frame, is one formed by trees or shrubs.
39 Using archways or doorways to frame a scene.
40 Branches & shoreline frame the image.
41 We have only looked at a few Rules of Composition & you can find many more simply by Googling Photography Rules of Composition. The combination of correct camera mode, good camera technique & applying composition rules will help you capture images with that WOW factor. Remember to stop & think about the image that you are trying to capture, before you press the shutter button. A little time taken prior to pressing the shutter will result in better photos.
42 This Workshop was written & presented by Kevin Ho Mob: For the Camden Haven Community College PO Box 301 Laurieton NSW 2443 Phone:
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