Shoot: Room To Zoom


Digital Photography 101


Lesson Info

Shoot: Room To Zoom

Remember how we talked about using different lenses make things look different in your photographs? I'm going to talk a little bit about lens selection in the section and also reviews some composition that we went over some rules of composition and actually some of you here in our studio audience they're going to get up and take some pictures today, so that should be pretty fun and then also talking about that room to zoom that I mentioned where you make people look even better in your photographs just by giving standing back and using that longer part of your lens so with that said, we're going to start off by I'll just kind of explain a little bit about that let's start with that the room to zoom part now whatever you're shooting with a camera no matter what kind of camera it is for instance, right now I've got a seven d and on the seventy I just changed my lens it's in eighteen to two hundred millimeter lens and this is what's called a variable aperture lens, so what that variable a...

perture means is when I am all the way wide like taking a wide angle shot like this with the camera, I have to kind of get in close to whatever I'm shooting so I can fill the frame andi I can choose my aperture setting that I want, but if I zoom out like this I'll get a totally different look and that's what I want to show you in this segment is the different look but also talk a little bit about the camera settings that might change if you are shooting wide like this with a variable aperture lens or if I'm shooting longer focal length like this more telephoto with the variable aperture lands what happens is you're aperture setting could change depending on what it is even if you don't want it to change the lens will make could change so that's kind of gets a little frustrating if you're just starting out and photography maybe you've purchased your first dslr and you have a lens on it and not quite really sure about how lenses work yet you just know hey it's a zoom lens and it goes wide and it goes long and that's all I know about that's okay but you need to know what the limitations are so I'm going to show you a little bit about that and then also giving yourself room to zoom whenever you take photographs of someone if you have someone in front of your camera you're trying to fill the frame with them and you're into close meaning you're using that wide angle part of your lens anything that's close to that lens is gonna look bigger and that can look distorted on some people so it's things look better if you give yourself I say room to zoom and stand farther away from your subject and use your telephoto lens to zoom in and fill the frame, and when I say telephoto, it could be whatever the longest lens possibility is on any camera that you have, so if you have a compact camera or a mirror lis camera or a dslr camera, whatever the longest focal length is you can use is going to compressed space and make people look better actually, they'll be in a better perspective speak if you have a smartphone that is not an optical way meaning not using a lens really to get in closer to your subject with the telephoto so that's not going to make much difference. So if you have a smartphone right now, unless you're using some special telephoto lens apparatus on your smartphone that's not going to make much difference, so right now it really has to deal more with a dslr or a compact camera where you can zoom in to get the shot. Okay, so look, some what's kind of demo this I thought that might be sort of fun to dio and I'm going toe move this light out of the way here and move it over here so we can light things up, and I'll probably in this light we already have on and all adjust the height of that in a minute um you look better come to lives. Who would better in the lights? Always look for the light. So I'm gonna have eric come in our model eric, that was here for the last segment. Knees here for this segment too, eric. Thanks. Thanks for helping out my pleasure. All right, so this is basically I'm just going to give you an example of what things might look like if you're taking a photograph of someone and you're in really close and you're trying to fill the frame with their face, you know, fill the frame and not be so far away and what things might look like if you're in with a wide angle lens versus if you step away. So let's, start with the first test I'm shooting right now, just in p for program, which is the more sophisticated version of automatic. What it does is it chooses the shutter speed and aperture for me. I don't have to figure that out right now, and I chose a nice so of four hundred, so it does allow me to do that. I can do that manually, but p for program does everything else. We'll just start with that to get going, and right now, the camera that I have with this lens is an eighteen millimeter to two hundred millimeter zoom lynn it's okay zooms out from eighteen all the way out to two hundred millimeter focal length I'm going to zoom it all the way back and so now it's the widest angle that it's that it can achieve, ok? And I'm just going to get in close and make sure I've got enough light right now just light up the scene and right now I'm just kind of using this is like a main light. This is a little bit of a fill light kind of filling in the shadows down below what's nice about having two lights is you can light up the top of snow one and the bottom of some one or two different sides there's more than you khun more to do with two lights, okay, so I'm shooting completely wide angle now on this and I'm coming in his close is the focusing distance will let me aah lot of lenses won't focus any closer than, say, three feet just kind of depends on your lens, so I'll get in and I'm just pressing I shutter button to focus and just checking to see how close I can get and this feels really weird to have a camera this close your face, right it's not it's, not that comfortable a shot give me that pouty look giving your best zoo lander ok, we'll try one more so what happens? I was kind of getting into close and I was pressing the shutter button down and it was beating but it wasn't letting me take the shot it's because I was um too close for the minimum focus focusing distance so now we have some shots where I've tried to fill the frame with eric space and um well there's there things behind him for sauce so that's a little distracting and his face being that close to the lens looks a little distorted, right? I mean, if you look at that picture and then look at eric right now it looks different than he looks that's why sometimes if you ever have a picture taken of yourself and you look at it later and think why does my nose looks so big your nose isn't that big it's just the distortion of being that close to someone with a wide angle lens so instead of filling the frame by getting in really close to eric and shooting at a wide angle, I'm going to give myself room to zoom and step back and then I'm going to use the longest focal length on this lens to fill the frame and I've got a little wire under here get out so I'm going to step back and fill the frame and right now because I'm shooting and p for program mode is just giving me the exposure settings the camera wants tio and it looks a little blurry but you can tell now that I've kind of scooted back a bit just looking at his face gosh, that sure is better looking then the picture I took before to fill the frame you can tell just by looking at this photograph here versus looking at eric that it looks pretty much the same perspective right? His nose doesn't look aa lot larger in that image like it did before and actually I think I may go to m for manual and I'm going to change my exposure settings a little bit just because right now the exposure setting I had is one thing is one twenty fifth of a second shutter speed, which is a pretty slow shutter speed to be hand holding a camera with so I could get some image blur you might not be able to see it so much on the screen, but if you zoomed in a little closer to it, stay on your on your computer if you were looking at your photos, it might look a little blurry um and I met f five six with a nice so of four hundred so I'm going to change things up a little bit I'm now going to shoot those are my settings I know those are my settings that p for program chose for me by moving to manual I can choose the settings and I'm going tio choose three point five for my aperture setting ok and I'm going to keep um they go put the shutter speed at I'm gonna try one sixtieth of a second just because that's a good idea whenever your hand holding a camera and I'm going to see what my exposure reading is I'm gonna get in close to him again this is doing what you don't want to d'oh getting into close, but I'm trying to fill the frame right the wide angle shot ok, now it just it's like it gives his head a funny looking shape, doesn't it really you look a lot better than that, but you can do this for a fact. I mean, sometimes if you have a really wide angle lens you've seen, you know, people like do a really a really weird look like right into the lens like whatever it is and that might be what you're going for you never know ok that's my exposure setting one sixteenth of a second f three five because that is the widest aperture setting that this lens will let me use now this is a variable aperture lens remember, the variable aperture means the aperture khun very depending on the focal length that you choose so if I zoom all the way out now, this lens will only let me use f five six as an aperture setting I can't go to f three five that's a wider aperture because this lens won't let me so that is the limitation of working with a variable aperture lens. There are advantages to these variable aperture lenses in that they're less expensive and they're much lighter. I like this lens actually for travel because it's eighteen millimeter focal length what is very wide two, two hundred focal length, which is a nice long telephoto so if I'm traveling and I don't want to change my lens very often, andi just want to capture everything everything from taking pictures of, you know, landscapes all the way to close up shots of people from far away. This is a great lens tohave, but there are some limitations to it that I if I'm working this way and I want to use a very wide open aperture I can't if I'm going in a long telephoto mode, so if I am now zooming out to the longest focal length, these setting is going to change and I was right up to me okay, so now what's happening is I'm using a longer focal length and it's looking a little bit darker but actually the exposures okay, I think it looks it still looks pretty good and what's happening is it's compressing space that longer focal inc now makes him look more attractive it's his face is in better perspective and also it you might notice this to look at the picture on the left which is the wide focal length his face looks distorted. The background is more stuff you know you can it's more distracting. You can see more things back there when I sand back and give myself room to zoom in now he's looking much better and the background is not is distracting either. Now that couch were even farther away from him that the couch would even look blurrier because one of the cool things of working with a longer telephoto lens is that's. One of the things you can use to help you blur out that back around a little bit it's a combination of a couple things one if you have a longer telephoto lens that you're using and also using a wider aperture so the widest apertura can use on this is f five six because that's all the lens will let me do at this long focal length and that's, not the widest aperture there is, if you remember, on the other lens I was shooting on, that lends haddon aperture of f two eight so that man I could open up the aperture even wider, but this lens is limiting in that way, but like I said, there it's kind of a tradeoff there, good things and bad things about it if you needed to purchase a lens and just you're just kind of getting started. This is actually a good lens to get it's not that expensive. Rosalie speaking. Um, I'm not quite sure the exact price maybe if someone looks it up online, I think it's either four hundred dollars or five hundred dollars something like that compared the lenses that are fixed aperture lenses, meaning you you know, there's one wide aperture on there and it's not going to change it's fixed it's kind of misleading when you say fixed aperture lens, those lenses are way more expensive. They can't help you take great shots, but it's kind of versus spending thirteen hundred dollars on the lens for one of those versus spending, I'm not quite sure, but four hundred five hundred dollars on something like this, and this helps you take wide angle shots so not so attractive on people. But if you're inside of this eh interior of the home or taking landscape shots, you can get some great landscape shots with a wide angle part of this lens and then all the different focal lengths that lead up to two hundred. So if you wanted to zoom into something kind of far away, you could do that, too. I noticed there were some people tweeting me last night and also talking to me on facebook about the lenses that they have and wondering you know which ones to get and it's a good idea if you have something that gives you a wide perspective and perhaps something that gives you a telephoto perspective and this does all of that it's just a little limiting in some areas but it's a great one to jump into all right so that's kind of a great example to show you if you know that any kind of camera that you're shooting with dslr compact camera or mirror lis camera that if you stand back and give yourself room to zoom things are going to look a lot better her any questions about that one eight hundred just wants to check about what about lens distortion when you're zoomed in is there any that you need to worry about well the less expensive a lens sometimes what you can see is like something called lenz aberration around the outer edges of your image sometimes but honestly if that's kind of a tradeoff is many things are in photography so if that does ever happen in your photographs you can kind of crop out those edges it's not that big of a deal to have a lens like this that you can you know capture wide shots and telephoto shots all in one is really kind of a nice way to get started I think and I actually I use this lends a lot when I travel these many lenses, but it's one of the ones I like to use and traveling when I know I'm gonna be taking pictures in fairly bright light and I want to make sure that I don't need to change my lens if you're on the fly and you don't have can't bring a backpack and all that you just need one length this is good, good to go with so yes, there can be some distortion up close and there could be just a little bit of distortion far away, but just that's more around the edges that helped it does. Okay. All right, so we talked a little bit about room to zoom and just lends selection. Um, let me just show you a couple other things. I'm gonna grab this. This is a lens. I know. I was just talking about working with a lens like this it zoom lens that's on this camera here eighteen to two hundred millimeter lens. But another lens that I use a lot of this is just in comparison is it's a cannon twenty four to seventy millimeter lens and this is a lens. That's has a fixed aperture. So it's f two eight. So on this lens, I could actually use an aperture setting a wider aperture setting on and let in more light and it's more expensive it's a lot more expensive, but it's something that if you start thinking about camera equipment and lenses and things you might want to purchase, if you're just getting started and you're on a budget, this may not be the lens to get, but you can start thinking about it and, you know, get a lens that's within your budget and something you can really kind of play around with and get a lot of different perspectives, a lot of angles of you, but just so you know that this is another lens that's kind of a basic say for professional photographers. If they're building up their lens cash cachet, they'll have like a wide angle lens. They'll have something like this was, which is kind of a mid range lens. It does go to twenty four millimeter, which is still considered kind of wide but not super wide two seventy millimeters, which is a nice mid range focal length and actually on a camera that say, has a smaller sensor like the cannon seventy or the tea for I or a lot of the entry level nikon cameras or other dea solares out there, they actually make these lenses look a little bit longer just because of the size of the sensor, so it makes the pictures from these lenses look as if you're using a longer focal length which is good on people as we just saw any time you can use the longer focal length and you're taking a picture of a person, they're going to look great unless of course you're going for that wide angle goofy shot and those air fun too. But this is a great lines to have if you want to start thinking about investing in another lenses that you can work for forever and that's the cool thing once you get into a camera system a dslr camera system, you start purchasing lenses so the lenses or what last it's the camera bodies that I want to say they become disposable but it's something that you go through the camera body's much faster so once you you lock into one system, whichever one it is cannon or nikon or whatever you choose the lenses are proprietary. There are some adapters that you can use or you can interchange lenses in between, but that starts giving a little inter kit and you lose some features so just so you know lenses or where is at think about the lens choices that you can make budget wise in the beginning and then think about limbs choices that you might save up for to create even cooler shots so that's just a little little tip on working with variable aperture lenses working with fixed aperture lenses and some things you can plan for in the future set this down and also just a little tip right now, I don't have a lens cap on this, and I don't have a little cover on the bottom if you ever take this cover off, you know what you want to do when you put this on your camera, there's a little live that fits over it. This is now exposed and on this, our little sensors that talk to your camera and they're very delicate, so you really don't want to have a lens sitting around that doesn't have this little end cap on it. I just quickly took this off before we started the segment and came in here without the end cap, you know, everyone's looking around for now, where is it? I left in the other room? But you want to keep the end cap on here and whatever you set a lens down if you don't have an end cap on let's, say you're changing lenses than what you want to do is take off the lens hood and set it down on the table with the glass side down. So that's the best way to deal with lenses because they can be expensive and you don't want to mess him up, so take good care of your lenses it's going to take this over here now, thank you. Thanks very much. Okay? Because we have had like five or six different people in the chat room asking for suggestions on how to shoot people with glasses and have avoid reflection and all that stuff would you do you mind talking about that briefly oh, about it and we actually have a pair of glasses if we want to if you don't mind wearing glasses for a moment okay what's him. So yes that's that can really be a challenge when you're working with someone that wears glasses in front of the lens different glasses have different kinds of glass on them. Sometimes people have that coding that's the anti glare coding which can help when you're photographing. But not everyone has those especially if maybe they have some less expensive reading glasses or something although those those look very nice rest so you have the anti glare on and they have the what they do have the anti glenn oh, they have anti glare ok, well that's good that will be somewhat helpful but still anytime there's glass in a picture there is going to be some glare. And so you want to look for that glare because what the glare does is it's going to reflect and you're not gonna be able to see someone's eyes and that's the key in any portrait photograph is to be able to look at someone's eyes in that photograph and make sure there they're nice and sharp and there's nothing distracting, so go ahead and pop those on and let me take a shot and just see how it looks first we'll just do a sample shot here, so I'm seeing some reflection as I'm taking a shot of him in in the glasses so that's often what happens? So the reflection here really is not in front of his actual I but it's still on the glass and it's distracting it's just not a good look, so they're different things you can do with this and you kind of have to play around with it it's all about the angle, so go ahead and just you can leave those on unless you can't see ok alright lean a little bit forward for me and what I'm gonna have you do is just so you're gonna turn your head just a little bit this way and I'm gonna get another shot and I've I've angled his face a little bit farther or a little bit away so I could just see that there's not any glare and I'm going to move around a little bit and see if we can get this shot and look right at me so it's just really about the angle it could be the angle from the side is you move around or you move them around, okay, so I've I've gotten rid of some of that glare just by my moving around and I'm really paying attention as I looked through the lens as to where the glare is there a couple of other little church you can work with two another thing I wanted to point out is because I've got two lights on him once coming from over here on one's coming from over there I'm also getting shadow from the side of his glasses on his face but I'm gonna deal with that next let's just talk a little bit about the reflection stay on that part tilting glasses that's another way to get rid of the glare so what you can do is just it's kind of a slight I'm just touch these for second it just kind of a slight tilt up so it's not like you wantto where I'm like that you know you don't want to do so I don't know that's a look teo but just kind of giving a little tilt so you you bring them up just a tad above the ears but not so much you can go ahead and just kind of fit those back just so the air pieces tilted up just a little bit and so you can see right through him okay and that helps a little bit too so it's either that you moving around the side and or having them just tilt them up or down just a little bit that glare is going to go away. So now let's talk about the shadow that is coming in from the side of his face. That's that's we've got a shadow from the arm of the glasses, and that might be something that right now you can try bringing the light a little bit more in the front and also light placement is going to effect where you get the reflections in the glass is to go ahead and just look straight on at me, and I'm going to move around this way and now I've got because I have two lights. I've got two more options for reflection. You can also work with perhaps turning off one light now that's going to cut down on some of the glare, but you've got to make sure you've got the proper exposure setting and or move one light in a little bit closer and also bring up your light, and that might help, too. A lot of this is, you know, I guess with the rule about shooting glasses and not getting a glare is to tell them on dh to move around, but you also can kind of just play around depending on what your lighting scenario is, whoever is sitting in front of the lens to see. How how light looks the best on them and maybe bring your light up a little bit so it's not shining right into the glasses now daylight on glasses can also be a real challenge and you just have to kind of really look at the glare and you move around and have your subject tilt their head a little bit until the glasses and just play when you have studio that you have a little bit more control over how things were going to look and right now because I've moved the lights back just a little bit um it's looking a little bit darker but it's not too bad I'm still shooting at one sixtieth of a second shutter speed and my aperture is f five six because that's about is why does this lens will let me go as we talked about that that it's a variable aperture so whenever I'm zoomed out to a longer focal length five six is about the widest aperture you can use on dh that's. If you look up there on the screen, you can see the variable aperture what it looks like on the lens, it says f it's his three point five dash five point six if you're looking at it on your lens, it's actually represented numerically it doesn't have that athlon marital say one colon and then three point five dash five point six and one, eight hundred and the chat rooms asked, can you still get catch light, even with glasses on? Actually, yes, I'm still getting some catch light in his eye, it's just because of the way I have the let light positioned above it's still shining light in through the glasses, but I'm not getting the glare back, and that just has to do with my moving around and his tilting up the glasses, all those things were helpful, so light placement where you're standing and also tilting of the glasses or tilting of their head, it's something you just have to kind of play around with a little bit. I'll never forget. I was taking portrait of four corporation and I had like sixteen executives come through the conference room as I was taking their portrait and the head honchos came in and, you know, he had like, oh, two minutes, he was going to give me so I could get the portrait head shot, you sat down and he had on glasses and I kind of looked at him and I said, so do you mind? And he goes, I'm not going to make this easy for you, so I had tio do the kind of moving around he wasn't going to help me out at all with tilting his glasses were doing anything like that so you may have different personalities that you're working with in front of the lens and you gotta keep that in mind too that they're different different variables in getting rid of that reflection right now eric's really nice so lean a little bit forward eric and let's see how this works and chin down just a tad and I'm just gonna move the light back a little bit because some having him lean forward and let's check how this looks and yeah okay so actually put your chin down even more I'm just going to do kind of an example here so I'm just taking a shot of eric and he has his chin down and the glass frames are now cutting through his eye this is not a good thing because it's really it's eliminating one of the most important parts of the portrait photographs which is someone's eyes it's now sort of blocking by being able to see them to be conscious of this as you're photographing someone with glasses especially if you're having to move them around or you're moving around make sure that the frame is not getting is not cutting through there there I mean that's what your that's what you're trying to capture okay this and we cannot just a little bit and sit back just a tad down now okay so just with a little bit of that positioning just having him move has had a little bit I can get the eyes in there and I can also get rid of that glare in the glasses. We're still going to have a little bit of shadow come in on the side because there is light in here and we've also got we have some lights in the studio, so I got lights coming in from over there that are not part of this. They're providing some shadow. They're making a shadow happen on his face. But again it's from light position that you really want to play. So so we talk about some composition. Anyone have any? And I think that's fantastic. Yes, let's. Go ahead and move on to that. Wonderful. Thank you for covering that, by the way, that's amore said they were a good five or six people, at least who asked that so I could be able to hit that well, yeah, you know what that's what's so great about teaching on creative live is we get to interact like this. So they're questions that pop up that everyone's thinking of it really makes sense for me to just address it right here, so that's cool.

Class Description

Are you ready to start taking amazing digital images? Join award-winning photographer Erin Manning for a three-day introduction to the fundamentals of digital photography — frustration-free.

Whether you take pictures with your phone, a point-and-shoot digital camera, or a DSLR, Erin will give you the tools you need to capture beautiful digital images. You’ll learn about light and exposure, including how to work with and modify your on-camera flash. You’ll learn about common errors beginning photographers make and develop strategies for troubleshooting. Erin will also guide you through the basics of digital image editing and sharing your images online.

By the end of Digital Photography 101, you’ll have the creative and practical skills to create, edit, and share stunning digital images.



Good basic or "refresher" course.