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Canon Rebel T2i / 550D Fast Start

Lesson 2 of 9

Photography Basics


Canon Rebel T2i / 550D Fast Start

Lesson 2 of 9

Photography Basics


Lesson Info

Photography Basics

we need to dive into some photography basic. So if you have not taken ah photography class, I would encourage it. It will really enable you to get the most out of this camera possible. Now, the class, that would be a good one to take in. My recommendation is a class that I happen to teach right here, a creative life called fundamentals of digital photography. And so, for the next five minutes, this is basically the highlights and some of the cuts from that class. And we're gonna be talking about the digital single lens reflex camera in very general terms. And so when we talk about a single lens reflex camera, we're talking about a camera that has one main lens on it. That light will come in through the lens and there are lenses of different types. There are wide angle lenses and there are telephoto lenses. Yeah, and we have a whole class on lenses in the fundamentals of digital photography that I'd recommend, and unfortunately, it's about as far as we get a go on it right now. Here now...

, within that lands, when you focus, the lens elements will move back and forth to focus. And so that's why the lens moves back and forth when you press down on the auto focus within the lands is the aperture, and the aperture is a device that opens and closes, allowing in different amounts of life. And so, if you had, say, a 50 millimeter, 1.4 lens and you stopped down to F 22 this is kind of what it would look like. Each time you change these F stops, you're letting in less flight or more light. You're either doubling the light with each step or you're cutting it in half and understanding this is really important because this is one of the most important things and photography gives cameras. One of their most unique abilities is having shallow depth of field or large step the field, as well as allowing in different amounts of light so that we can work in bright, light conditions. We can work in very low light conditions, and so this depth of field you can see here on the right is very narrow. At 1.4, you can see a little bit in focus towards the middle of this yardstick, but the ends air very out of focus. And as we move this aperture step by step, we get to see a little bit. Maurin Focus Now, which is the right place to put? Put it on your camera, will. We will talk about that more towards the end of class. It's just good to know that as each time you change changing aperture, you're going to get more and more depth of field, having a good understanding that this actually takes some time and getting used to it. So it's a little complicated for people who are first getting into it. But once you understand it, it's a very, very good tool for a photographer to really have good control over. And so here it F 22 we have maximum depth of field. We have as much in focus as possible. So moving back to our profile of the DSLR as we drop in to the Mir, this is what allows us to see the image. The light is bounced up onto a ground glass, and some of you may remember people using, or you may use yourself a twin lens reflex where you look down into the camera. You hold it down at your waist, a waist level viewfinder and some ah, some older, 35 millimeter cameras used to be able to take the prism off and use that, but they found it a lot easier to view through a prison. And so with a DSLR. One of the greatest advantages with this camera is that you get to look through a very high quality lens in the viewing system you have is sharp, it's bright, it's easy to focus, and it's just a very, very convenient system to use. And that's why a lot of professional photographers like a system with a prism on it like this, an SLR system. So when you actually take a picture, what happens is the mere needs to get up and out of the way so that the light can travel back to the image sensor. Now the image sensor is the rial ki in today's cameras because we aren't using film, and this is really determining a great deal not entirely, but a great deal to what extent we have a the quality of our images. And so the higher quality sensor is going to be, ah, higher quality image. So as light comes back to the sensor, it is first stopped by a shutter, which is usually comprised of four metal blades. Actually, eight. Because there are two shutter curtains, there's a first curtain that will drop away and let light in. And then there'll be a second curtain that will come by and block the light off at the end. There we are, blocking the light off, and so that's the way the shutter system works. The mere will then drop back down so that you can see what you are looking at. And the shutter unit will return to its starting position, ready for the next picture. One of the key things to remember in this is that if you saw it, you missed it. Because when you are actually taking a picture of the mirrors in the up position and you're not able to see through the camera, so having a good understanding of shutter speeds is very important. We're not gonna be able to discuss all the shutter speeds here in this class, But let's just go through some of the some key ones. So here, 2/1000 of a second, we have frozen a bird in flight. The wing tips of the bird as you can see our nice and sharp. A good Cheddar speech, remember, is 5/100 of a second for stopping human motion If you shoot sports, if you shoot action of any sort. Highly recommended to use 5/100 of a second or faster next up 125th of a second is a very intermediate shutter speed. It's not real fast. It's not real slow for some camels walking through the desert. It's perfectly fine for stopping their legs in motion, however. At 1/30 of a second with horses at full speed run, you can see how much blurriness that we have in the photograph and blurriness is sometimes associated with something bad. In many cases, it could be something good here in an eighth of a second, the cameras on a tripod, and you can see that the bridge at the bottom of the picture is sharp and focus and the people who are walking or a little bit blurry. And that's how much blur you get with people walking at a normal pace. Slow shutter speeds could be a lot of fun, especially with used with water. And so, if you want that cotton candy silky look from water that is moving a slow shutter speed like 1/2 a second or longer at 30 seconds waves crashing on the shore line down in Monterey kind of make it looks like clouds at in the mountaintops. So your cameras capable of 30 seconds and its longest exposure and actually going beyond that with the right type of set up. Now, when you walk into the camera store and you see a bunch of different cameras that are available for sale, one of things that may not be completely obvious is that the sensor within those cameras is a different size on a lot of these cameras. Uh, so the professional cameras, the camera that you have the t two I, as well as some of the smaller cameras have a variety of sensors in them. And what's really important is the size of the imaging area on that sensor, because that's going to determine quality. It's going to determine our angle of you in a lot of features. Now the cannon t two I has the third largest of this collection. I've showed you largest is exactly the same. Size is 35 millimeter film WAAS, and so we sometimes will call that a full frame or goes by FF for FX. It goes by a variety of names, depending on the manufacturer. It has a crop factor of 1.0, which means it's the same. Size is a 35 millimeter frame. The next size that you should be familiar with is Nikon size. It is D X sensor. It's a little bit smaller. It's a 1.5 crop, so it's 1.5 times smaller than the full frame sensor. The cannon sensors, which is called on a PSC sensor, is just a little bit smaller than the Nikon one, and it has a 1.6 crop factor, and this will be very important in selecting lenses. And we'll talk a little bit more about lenses at the end of the day. And so this, as I said, I is very important for anyone who wants to work with this camera. So if you want to know more about this, I would take a look into my class fundamentals of digital photography. It's a 10 week class we spent. I think over 20 hours exploring cameras, the lenses, exposure focus and getting into things like composition lighting at the end of it. So it's a very complete class. If you want to know more about photography, I would recommend checking into that class could settle. Can I get you up to full speed with this camera and photography? Very, very thorough class. Thank you. Love that class learned so much from that. So before we head on to the next section Weaken, weaken, take any little questions right here and see if we need to check her. Reset anything. Oh, sorry. One of the one of the suggestions in the class was, uh, for you to do a course on keynote. That kind of always comes up. That's my secret stuff. Yeah. Johns fans keynote presentations. One person asked in the chat room. Your name? What's the best flash with Tito? I don't know. We'll get into that later. I will talk about flashes very specifically whenever I have. Well, have you ever heard the phrase? There's an app for that in my classes. There's a slide for that s so if I have a visual, I will just simply say there's a slide for the Nuggets. OK, any questions from students? Okay, all right, Well, I have one question from ZZ in the chat room. Is there any reason I need to use the software from the supplied CD? The Canon Digital Solution? If I already used Bridge and CS five Sweet for uploading and handling all my images. That question came when you were opening the box right? In short, my answer is no if one of the things that I have found and this is true with our cannon users and are Nikon User, is that the software that comes from the manufacturer No offense canon under anyone else. It's a little clunky, and most photographers that I knew no enjoy using a program like Light Room, Apple's Aperture. And there's a variety of other programs. By far the most popular. One seems to be light, and it can handle the raw files that JPEG files and all the information that is coming out of this camera. There are some people that prefer to use the software that comes with the camera, but for the most part, I think most people prefer using light room because there's first off, it's a very good program that works very well, and the thing that I like most about it is that there's a lot of interest in it. If I have a question on light room, I can ask almost anyone of my photography buddies, and they're likely to know an answer about it. There's a lot of books on it, and there's a lot of classes on it, and so there's just a lot of information out there about how to use it. And so that's one of the reasons why I like light room so much, somewhat passionate on that is about the only piece of software. I'm not really into the whole computer side software and playing around in photo shop. But it does make life easier as far as organization and developing the images. Awesome. I think we're ready to move on. Okay, very good.

Class Description

Join John Greengo for an in-depth step-by-step tour of the Canon Rebel T2i (known in Europe as the Cannon EOS 550D). With a hands-on introduction to your camera's operations, detailed instructions on how all the menus work, and instruction on how to shoot great photos with this specific camera model. Workshops for other DSLR camera models listed below in the resources list.


  1. Course Overview
  2. Photography Basics
  3. Button Layout

    Get an in-depth guide to all of the functions and features found in the buttons of your Canon Rebel T2i DSLR camera.

  4. 4a. Menu System part 1
  5. 4a. Menu System part 2
  6. Camera Operation
  7. Lenses & Accessories
  8. Q&A
  9. Next Steps



This is a great class. I bought a Canon T2i (used but in great condition) for my wife (I have a Canon 60D), and this class has been good for both of us. It served as a great learning class for my wife to move from a small point-and-shoot to her T2i DSLR, and for me -- well, what can I say. I thought I knew all about my camera, but this class proved I do not! I learned a great deal here beyond just the T2i specifics. I like the clear concise delivery of the subject material. Everything is organized in such a way to be able to digest each section before moving to the next.

a Creativelive Student

I really enjoyed this class. I've had my T2i for a while now, but I've only used it sporadically because I didn't understand many of the functions. The few times I referenced the manual was like listening Charlie Brown's teacher....LOL. John is really great at explaining things simply. I watched his Fundamentals class live and it was awesome. I'm hoping to add that to my collection one day.


This was the best tool for me, as I am new to the world of semi professional photography. This is a great starting point before moving on to greater concepts. Understanding your camera is a must, and the switch to Manual shooting now is not as intimidating after this viewing this tutorial. I will definitely pursue his other classes.