Improving Your Basic Photography

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1 Improving Your Basic Photography Steve Dell Tonight s Topics Camera Styles & Types Camera Selection Tips Shooting Tips Shooting Techniques Shooting Triumphs 1 2 Camera Styles & Types Point & Shoot (P&S) Small Simple to carry (& hide) Straightforward all-in-one design Somewhat inexpensive ($200-$600) Digital Single Lens Reflex (dslr) Superb image quality Substantial image size Selection of lenses & other accessories Somewhat expensive ($600-$1500 & way up!) Camera Styles & Types Camera Phone Small size Standard feature in your pocket or purse Smaller image size Surprisingly good image quality Somewhat affordable ($0-$500 & up) Interchangeable Lens Cameras ( mirrorless ) Smaller size Some trade-offs for convenience Sufficient image size for most needs Superb image quality Somewhat expensive($600-$1000 & up) 3 4 1

2 Camera Selection Tips Approximate number of Megapixels At least 4-8 megapixels Almost always, more is better, to a point Available lens options Wide angle to telephoto How wide? How telephoto? Anticipated battery Life How many photos can you take? How expensive are the batteries? How available are the batteries? 5 6 Camera Selection Tips Camera feel & controls Comfort Can you easily carry the weight all day? Can you easily grip the camera? Can you shoot with either eye? Can you easily carry & conceal? Camera bag should not scream Steal me!! Control whether flash fires or not Clarity of layout Can you easily find & change key settings? Shooting Tips Know your camera Know what ISO settings mean Know how to control the flash Have (& use) a tripod, beanbag or other support to hold your camera level Have enough memory cards Have fun with the Macro Mode Have your owner s manual handy 7 8 2

3 Automatic Modes Depth of Field Portrait (icon of person s head) Subject in focus; background blurred Landscape (icon of mountain) Everything in sharp focus from foreground to infinity Macro (icon of large flower) Tightly focuses on subject with very narrow depth of field Action (icon of athlete) Stops action Blurs action Night Portrait (icon of person s head & star) Focuses on the subject, brightens the subject & darkens background Images are normally JPEGs What is it? The amount of an image in-focus versus out-of-focus Why is it important? The various aspects of an image can be emphasized (& de-emphasized) by controlling it Portrait of a person, shot in a studio or in the field, should emphasize the person & not the background Picture of the Grand Canyon should be sharp from the front thru middle all the way to infinity What do you do to control it? The careful selection of aperture (f/stop) 9 16 Advanced Modes Advanced Modes Program Mode (P) Camera selects both shutter speed & aperture, based on the scene Change one & the other changes automatically Critical to learn how to control depth of field Aperture Priority (A or Av) User selects lens opening (aperture); camera picks appropriate shutter speed F/2.8 or F/4.0 is wide open ; allows maximum light, faster shutter speed & minimizes depth of field F/11 or F/16 is stopped down ; allows minimum light, slower shutter speed & maximizes depth of field Shutter Priority (Tv, or S) User selects shutter speed; camera picks lens opening (aperture) 1/500 th to 1/4000 th is very fast & should stop the action 1/60 th & slower is slow & could blur the action Consider a tripod for slower shutter speeds 3

4 Advanced Modes Manual (M) User has full control over both shutter & aperture Other settings Can intentionally over- or under-expose the image Can change white balance Can change focus point Images can be either JPEG or RAW Things to Consider You can observe a lot just by looking around Yogi Berra America Philosopher The best picture you get today might be behind you Bob Evans Photo Workshop Leader

5 What Pictures to Take Landmarks Location markers Locals, unique storefronts, etc Fabulous events & highlights Family, friends & feasts Funny signs When To Shoot Outdoors During the Golden Hour 30 minutes before to 90 minutes after sunrise (Yawn) 60 minutes before to 30 minutes after sunset (Cocktails can wait) During the day the light & shadows are their harshest This is the time to visit: Malls & Museums Cathedrals & Churches Espresso bars & Eateries Basic Picture Taking Steps Compose (watch your background) Compress (simplify) Consider other angles of view Focus (normally automatic) Flash (turn on or off as needed) Fire Review (can be difficult in bright sunlight) Revise Recompose for your next image Have Fun!!! Composition Remember the Rule of Thirds Avoid bull's-eyeing your subject Aid your viewer s exploration your image Almost all will view it from left to right Review your background before shooting Avoid cluttered or chaotic background Adjust f/stop to blur or focus background Avoid poles growing out of anyone s head Re-examine your horizon Adjust to make it straight

6 Types of Orientations Horizontal (Landscape) shots Wider than tall Vertical (Portrait) shots Taller than wide Square shots Equal on all sides Panoramic (Ultra-wide) shots Significantly wider than tall Significantly taller than wide Options for Your Images Print for yourself Print for your family & friends Put them in an for family & friends Photo sharing or social media site Prepare a slide show Put into a scrapbook project Produce a greeting card Possibilities are limitless Making a Slide Show? When creating for a social club travelogue, use your most memorable images Your snapshots & iphone shots are acceptable When creating for a photo club presentation, carefully trim the content Your images or group of images should tell a story When creating your slide story, always use only your best images Your audience s time is important Your audience will probably be in the dark Putting the Show Together How long should the show be? A travelogue minutes A club presentation 5-7 minutes How long should each image be visible? Average time is 4-6 seconds Additional time is acceptable if there s suitable animation How to enhance it? Appropriate Music Animations, fades, transitions, zooms, Avoid using random animations or transitions

7 Final Thoughts Take your camera everywhere you go Take pictures of people, places & things Take it again if something didn t work Take loads of shots if you won t be returning anytime soon. Thank You Have FUN!! For more information

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