Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Understanding your camera - Part 1

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Understanding your camera - Part 1

    The pdf file containg the notes and exercises for part 1 is attached. When you open the file, you should be able to save it on your computer, etc.
    If you have not already done so, you should read the other topics in this thread - "A message from Bob" and "January Reading List"

    If you have any questions regarding Part 1, please post them as a comment to this post - please do not start a new topic as that will be come quite confusing as we progress through the course as 10 parts are planned.
    When posting your images, please "reply" to this post.

    Some of you may be using smart phones which may not have all the features of a DSLR. In Part 1 we will look at the 3 common exposure metering modes used in a DSLR. If your smart phone only has one metering option, that is fine, Just complete the excercises using that mode - the main oint of the excercises if for you to understand how your camera performs under diferent lighting conditions.

    Cheers
    Bob

    UYC-Pt1.pdf

  • #2
    Well done Bob. Excellent .pdf

    Cheers - Neil

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks, Neil

      Cheers, Bob

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Bob,
        looking forward to checking this course out all the best
        cheers
        Robert

        Comment


        • oldgreybeard
          oldgreybeard commented
          Editing a comment
          Welcome back to the forum, Robert. I'm looking forward to seeing your photography develop over the next 12 months
          Cheers,
          Bob

        • clangrant
          clangrant commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi Bob
          I haven't had a chance to do much of anything been to busy at work & have had other things going on maybe later when I get a chance

      • #5
        Many thanks for the worksheet.
        Kind regards,
        Dennis

        Comment


        • #6
          Welcome Dennis. I hope you enjoy the course.
          Bob

          Comment


          • #7
            Great start, Bob. Haven't done my homework yet, but am reading and re-reading before starting. The pdf notes are fantastic- already printed your first lot for the start of my bound booklet.

            Thanks, Gary H

            Comment


            • #8
              Hi Gary, This lot of reading should be a soda after the manual

              Cheers,
              Bob

              Comment


              • #9
                Well the first week is done and I expect you are now starting to get out and practising the evaluation and visualisation process.

                I was discussing the course with a colleague (we will call him Joe) yesterday and recalling our experiences when starting our first photography courses. A comment which I want to share with you is to break the process into manageable pieces. Joe's comment was that trying to concentrate on the whole process on the first outing, just did not work for him. His solution was to concentrate on say highlights and shadows on the first few outings. Then add mid-tones for the next couple of outings. By the end of the week he was comfortable with assessing the scene and could then start to consider how he might capture the image.
                Joe found visualisation very difficult as he didn't understand how his camera worked - he missed the point that you should only be trying to visualise what the image might look like. Subsequent lessons will teach you how to make that image; at this stage you should be trying to create an image in your mind where you see the main feature of the image, the highlights, shadows, mid-tones, and where the light is coming from.

                Maybe you will find Joe's approach helpful. If you find another method that works for you, please post it on the forum - it may also help others.

                Cheers

                Bob
                Last edited by oldgreybeard; 9th February 2018, 09:51 AM. Reason: typos

                Comment


                • #10
                  Hi all,
                  How are you going with your visualisation?

                  Here is the scene I visualised from the Damper Creek.

                  In Part 8 - Landscapes, we will look at the making of this image in detail including how and why I made the strategy decisions which resulted in this image and I will also include a screen capture video of every step involved in belnding the images. Only the 4 images shown at the beginning of this part of the course are used to produce the image.

                  Click image for larger version

Name:	Damper-Creek-final.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	111.6 KB
ID:	8127


                  Part 2 of the course will be posted on Saturday

                  Cheers

                  Bob

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Well, so ends the first session. The title "Getting to know your camera" definitely worked for me - I now know which buttons to use to change from Matrix to Centre Weighted to Spot metering and what each are designed to do. Visualising what a shot will look like came a lot harder - my aim has always been to just get a better, sharper photo and if it looked better than the previous one I was a happy chappy. So, having done the homework set down by Bob, what did I learn? Mainly, that the matrix setting seemed to get the best result and that the centre weighted shots constantly appear under exposed. I must admit that all photos were in JPEG, as my past experience has been that the camera does a better job processing RAW images than I can do. So here are my homework shots. Now I'll get ready for detention!

                    Cheers, Gary


                    1. Matrix f11 1/500 ISO 200

                    Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_9368 7m_1.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	336.6 KB
ID:	8136

                    2. Centre Weighted f13 1/630 ISO 200
                    Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_9369 7cw_1.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	333.2 KB
ID:	8134

                    3. Spot f14 1/800

                    Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_9370 7s_1.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	319.8 KB
ID:	8132



                    1. Matrix f10 1/400 ISO 200

                    Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_9338 4m_1.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	330.3 KB
ID:	8133

                    2. Centre Weighted f13 1/640

                    Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_9339 4cw_1.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	312.9 KB
ID:	8135

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Hi Gary,
                      Am I correct in assuming that your focus point was in the centre of these images? If so, that would mean that you were largely focused on the sky which would influence the results for the centre-weighted and spot meter readings. Also you will find that centre wieghted and spot metering works better when you are closer to the subject and the sky and background have less influence on the reading. I would use centre-weighted for say 3/4 or full lenght portraits and spot for head and shoulders portraits. Spot would also be my preferred method when the subject is backlit, but you have to take your reading close up to the subject to avoid the influence of the bright background. On the car shots, getting closer to the car and metering off the car door with centre-weighted or spot metering , would have given you a more accurate result.

                      Your seascape is fine. Matrix metering would be my choice for similar subjects as it gives a much more balanced result by taking into account the whole image.

                      We won't be discussing composition for a while yet, but the composition in these examples has let you down. Unless I have misread your intention, I would assume that the car and the beach are meant to be the main focus of these images. But in both cases, the sky takes up a disporportionate amount of the image. For the car image, I would suggest setting the wheels on the bottom 1/3rd line of the image and cropping a similar amount of the sky out of the image. This would give some foreground to lead into the image.

                      With the beach scene you have some good lines in the diagonal from botton left to top right as well as the beach line, hill top and lower clouds in the background. I would have cropped this image as a panorama by cropping out the dark featureless sky. This would bring the top of the image down to just above the line of white fluffy clouds.

                      I suspect you were trying to take advantage of the white fluffy clouds in the car image, but to my mind they do not contribute to the image, in fact I find my attention is being drawn away from the car to the cloud formation.

                      As you said visualising the image is a lot harder. I think you are probably having the same problem as 'joe' ( see post #9). It is difficult trying to remove the strategy stage from the visualisation - concentrate on finding what is important in the scene and what is not. If it's not important, make a note to look for a solution AFTER you have a clear picture in your mind. Often the solution is a simple as cropping or moving the camera position.

                      Overall, no detention. I do suggest that you use RAW + Jpeg if your camera provides that as an option under the quality settings. A RAW image always look dull and lifeless compared to a jpeg straight out of then camera, but we won't be getting involved with post-processing for a while yet. However, it will be slowly introduced over the next 6 parts as we learn how to convert a RAW image and resize it to post on the forum. Until then the jpeg from the camera is OK.

                      In the two images below, I basically just cropped out stuff that was not important - That is the role of visualisation : you almost nailed it. All-in-all a good job.

                      Bob

                      Click image for larger version

Name:	Gary1.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	159.5 KB
ID:	8138


                      Click image for larger version

Name:	Gary2.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	156.0 KB
ID:	8139

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        So, having done the homework set down by Bob, what did I learn? Mainly, that the matrix setting seemed to get the best result and that the centre weighted shots constantly appear under exposed.
                        I have to disagree - in the car image which I cropped - I did not make any adjustments to the exposure, etc. But that image is your second image " 2. Centre Weighted f13 1/630 ISO 200" In my book the exposure is spot on. By comparison the image "1. Matrix f11 1/500 ISO 200" is slightly over exposed.Notice the increased detail in the clouds for example.

                        We will be looking at exposure in much more detail over the next 3 parts, but I mention it now for your consideration when visualising the scene. Are you metering the points you define as the highlights, mid-tones and shadows to confirm your assessment?

                        Cheers

                        Bob
                        Last edited by oldgreybeard; 27th February 2018, 09:19 PM.

                        Comment


                        • Gary H
                          Gary H commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Thanks Bob for your comments and assistance. The beach scene was for Scenario 4 where the subject (life saving clubhouse) had to be in the centre and the sky had to occupy the upper 1/3rd of the image. Having done that, I can now see how a simple crop made so much difference. The car was the subject (Scenario 7) and I must admit I didn't even look at the composition - too busy comparing the three different results. Again, your cropping made all the difference. I will now be looking a lot more closely at the finished image and how it can be improved, so Thanks.

                          Cheers, Gary

                      • #14
                        Good morning Gary,
                        I can see what you were thinking with scenario 4 and you achieved that in terms of the positioning of the main elements. I think the one thing that you didn't really nail was in the visualisation - what surrounding elements should be included / excluded. A longer focal lenght or zoom lens (if you had one) might have allowed you to achieve the same positioning of elements and eliminate the band of dark featureless cloud at the top. Cropping in post editing is simple, cropping in camera (depending on the camera's features) may also be possible without the need to change focal lenght.

                        Your last sentence in the post #13.1 is the key. - so long as you don't complicate the visualisation by trying to solve the strategy before you have a clear picture in mind.

                        I will post a summary of part 1 later this morning.

                        Cheers

                        Bob

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Part 1 Summary

                          Part 1 comprised a discussion on visualisation and camera metering modes. While both are intrinisally linked and the visualised image may dictate the choice of metering mode, I do not accept that the choice of metering mode should necessarily dictate my decisions as to the visualised image.

                          Let's look at Gary's seascape 1. Matrix f10 1/400 ISO 200 in post #11. It is not uncommon to be faced with this scenario - a large percentage of the image is sky and physically it is not possible to get closer to the main subject to take a meter reading which does not include the large area of sky. In such a case, it is desirable to know how the different metering modes will measure the exposure - Does Matrix mode produce an overexposed image? Is there any difference when using centre-weighted or spot? We will use the selected meter reading and our knowledge of how the meter reacts in this particular lighting scenario to form part of our strategy - not our visualisation. The fact that we have to meter a large are of sky should not dictate our visualisation - we can and should visualise the final image which we want to make while make 'notes' for ourselves that we will have issues to resolve: the final exposure, composition, etc either with camera adjustments and / or photo-editing.

                          On page 6 of the Part 1 course notes, I talked through part of my evaluation:
                          "Looking at the scene, there is a log across the creek approximately in the centre of the image – this cannot be over exposed. Looking further at the highlights, there is a very bright section of rock just in front of the
                          log – I will need to darken this area and bring out some detail. The sun shining on the rocks (bottom right) should also be slightly darker as they are attracting too much attention."


                          Over the next 6 parts of the course, we will discuss the tools and techniques which will enable us to define the strategy to implement the final image and notes. At this stage we are trying to define WHAT we want to produce. HOW we do that is determined in the strategy development. At this point we really do not have the understanding of how all of the features of our cameras work nor how each react with other features or settings to complete the strategy. Those skills will be acquired over the next 6 months.

                          The 7 scenarios set for your homewrork were designed to build up your knowledge of how each of the 3 metering modes performs under different lighting conditions. You should be looking for differences - not just whether one is under or over exposed. They are all correct, but under different lighting conditions one mode may be more applicable than the other 2. It may not be the right exposure to produce your visualised image - that is not uncommon and we will discuss that in the next 2 parts.

                          At this point you should be looking to build the skill to decide which metering mode is going to be the best choice. An example - Senario 2 portrait with light background. If you move in close to the subject so that the head occupies the majority of the image, you will normally get a different exposure( than would be obtained if there was a significant amount of background in the image) when using Matrix mode but not necessarily when using centre-weighted or spot. I would expect that the reading taken with the spot metering mode would suggest that the image will be overexposed. But the reading is correct as the face is likely to be reflecting less intense light compared with the background . Conversely, the face in the image produced with the Matrix metering mode the face will appear to be underexposed as the meter takes into account the greater area of the light background.

                          You are not expected to have that level of skill after only one month, but this will become almost automatic over the next few months. The science is not necessarily all that helpful, all you need to know is that if I have a backlit subject for example, centre-weighted or spot metering modes will generally give a better solution than would Matrix metering.

                          To finish this summary, I want to look again at Gary's car image. In my comments -Post #11 - I said "I suspect you were trying to take advantage of the white fluffy clouds in the car image, but to my mind they do not contribute to the image, in fact I find my attention is being drawn away from the car to the cloud formation." Which is correct: Gary's image with the clouds or mine without?

                          The answer is simple: they are both valid approaches. An important part of the evaluation / visualisation process is to determine the focal point of the image and which elements either add to or support the image and draws attention to the image and the message you are trying to convey. That is a very personal decission and comes back to the fundemental question:

                          What is the image I am making and why and I making it?

                          Answer that question and visualising your image and making decisions as to which elements are important, and which can be deleted or somehow diminished in importance, becomes so much easier.

                          Congratulations on completing "Understanding your camera - Part 1"

                          Cheers,

                          Bob
                          Last edited by oldgreybeard; 28th February 2018, 10:48 AM.

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X