Tutorial Photography - Lesson One

CT

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CT submitted a new resource:

Photography - Lesson One - Photography - Lesson One

Shutter Speeds and Apertures.

Before you can start to make any progress in undertanding photography at all you absolutely have to understand the relationship between shutter speeds and apertures. It's actually pretty simple, but looking at a modern DSLR it can seem a lot more complicated than it really is when faced with all those lcd screens, buttons and dials.

This introduction is going to be as simple as I can make it and hopefully will help people grasp the essential...
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Great intro CT, even i can grasp this, Dude question, Do you need to allow for crop factor? that being giving a long lens a bit of extra reach.
 

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#3
Very well put and written CT (y) thanks
 
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Great intro CT, even i can grasp this, Dude question, Do you need to allow for crop factor? that being giving a long lens a bit of extra reach.
Not quite sure what you mean there Brian? I think you're asking should you include the crop factor in your shutter speed setting (1.6X in my case) to get a safe hand-holdable shutter speed?

People argue this endlessly - but personally I don't - otherwise than noting that going faster than the lens reciprocal is always wiser if you want to be really safe. To be fair though, I'm amost always using a tripod for birds and always have IS engaged, so my biggest problem is usually subject movement rather than camera shake.

I tend to use 500mm and 700mm focal lengths most of the time and even at 800 or 1600 ISO in our climate, I'm struggling set the shutter speed to the reciprocal of the lens, even with the lens wide open. Most days if I had to observe the shutter speed = lens reciprocal rule, I'd never take a shot, but the rule really applies to just hand holding.

I struggle to hand hold the 500mm anyway - it isn't so much the weight (although it is heavy) it's trying to keep that single AF point on the head of a small bird - you've really got no chance at all - with a bigger target it wouid obviously be easier, but you'd be well advised to go for the fastest shutter speed anyway, quite apart from crop factor considerations.

Hope that's not too confusing?
 
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Not quite sure what you mean there Brian? I think you're asking should you include the crop factor in your shutter speed setting (1.6X in my case) to get a safe hand-holdable shutter speed?

People argue this endlessly - but personally I don't - otherwise than noting that going faster than the lens reciprocal is always wiser if you want to be really safe. To be fair though, I'm amost always using a tripod for birds and always have IS engaged, so my biggest problem is usually subject movement rather than camera shake.

I tend to use 500mm and 700mm focal lengths most of the time and even at 800 or 1600 ISO in our climate, I'm struggling set the shutter speed to the reciprocal of the lens, even with the lens wide open. Most days if I had to observe the shutter speed = lens reciprocal rule, I'd never take a shot, but the rule really applies to just hand holding.

No thats not confusing at alll, great explanation. Thanks, likewise looking forward to part 2
I struggle to hand hold the 500mm anyway - it isn't so much the weight (although it is heavy) it's trying to keep that single AF point on the head of a small bird - you've really got no chance at all - with a bigger target it wouid obviously be easier, but you'd be well advised to go for the fastest shutter speed anyway, quite apart from crop factor considerations.

Hope that's not too confusing?
No thats not confusing at all, looking forward to part2. Thanks CT
 
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LOL. I'm glad some of you are finding it helpful, but I wasn't really planning a Lesson 2, I just wanted to do a very basic explanation of shutter speeds and apertures. I called it Lesson 1 because those are the basic building blocks you have to start out with. I thought long and hard about including ISO in this intro, but in the end decided to keep it to the basics.

I might just do a further one on ISO as it's so tied in with shutter speeds and apertures with the same halving and doubling relationship.

Once you get on to exposure basics there are already some good explanations on the board including a very good one by Ed Bray.
 
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#16
Great stuff CT (y)
Are you going to do a follow up on ISO, white balance and exposure?
This thread should me made a sticky.
Oh, and can I be your wildife photography apprentice? :)
 

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Reading the scale from right to left, each time we move one place to the right we halve the size of the aperture, and therefore halve the amount of light being admitted to the camera.

Reading the scale from left to right, each time we move one place to the left we double the size of the aperture and therefore double the amount of light being admitted to the camera..
I'm not quite sure whether its you or me that's been at the malt a little
early this morning CT :D
but if you do as you suggest you fall off the page ;)

Great guide by the way (y)
 
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#22
Excellent work CT, even I can understand some of this. :LOL:

Can I ask, is an exposure meter a good thing to get and use in these days of computerised DSLR's? Does anyone still use them? Are they essential to good exposures?
 
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#23
Having spent a year doing one lesson after another I for one can appreciate the amount of time this takes. It is much appreciated and I think a certain person will find this quite educational in a few days :schtum:
 
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Can I ask, is an exposure meter a good thing to get and use in these days of computerised DSLR's? Does anyone still use them? Are they essential to good exposures?
A meter isn't really at all essential these days, when you have the preview screen and the histogram on your DSLR.

I do use one, but it's mainly when I'm using a medium format camera with no metering. Most medium format users will use one for the same reason. Studio photographers tend to go for a meter which does flash exposures as well to make life a bit easier in setting up flash exposures.

So - not essential for most users these days, but I'd say if you fancy one then get one, you can learn a lot about exposure just by playing about and experimenting with it, but make sure you get one that does incident and reflected readings. If it does flash as well - all the better.
 
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#26
Thanks for the tips CT I will definitely think about a light meter as I need all the help I can get bringing all the different elements together. As said this lesson has helped me out no end though (y)
 
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#29
Great guide, nice idea to choose that type of lens, gives easy relationship between the dials.


Dave.
 
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#33
A really good document, very clear and helpful.
A follow up on how ISO affects light and potential shutter speed would be a great next step.
 
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A really good document, very clear and helpful.
A follow up on how ISO affects light and potential shutter speed would be a great next step.
I'm glad you found it useful. I will be doing a follow-up to include ISO, either as a separate post or incorporated into this one. (y)
 
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#36
Another BIG Thanks to Cedric for this.
It will help me explain so much better than if I tried to put it into words when I start my photography course - got eight 9 year old's coming plus a couple of teachers so I need all the help I can get !
 
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Another BIG Thanks to Cedric for this.
It will help me explain so much better than if I tried to put it into words when I start my photography course - got eight 9 year old's coming plus a couple of teachers so I need all the help I can get !
Good luck with the course - teaching kids is great - they soak it all up like blotting paper.
 
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#40
I really enjoyed this and have book marked for future reference, its nice to have these things explained in simple terms
 
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