Fundamentals of Photography

 

Fundamentals of Photography

 

Lesson Info

Advanced Techniques

All right folks, it is time to dive into our last and final section on focus, what I call advanced techniques. It's a hodgepodge collection of other things that you need to know about for some special situations. This is important to all photographers, but it's especially important to those of you shooting with Digital SLR cameras because we have a mirror in the camera and when we press down on the button, the mirror needs to get up and out of the way very quickly. When it does so, it causes a vibration in the camera at the exact time you are trying to take a photo. It can cause blurriness in some photos, depending on certain factors. The way to prevent this is to put your camera in the mirror lock up position. There's going to be something in the menu system or on the release system that allows you to put it in a mirror lock up position. What happens then is it now takes two button presses to take a photo. You press down once, what happens, is it will lock the mirror up. You'll get th...

e vibrations like you've always had but you're not actually taking a picture right now. What'll happen next is the next time you press the shutter release... There we go. The picture will actually be taken without any movement beforehand. It just stabilizes everything in the camera beforehand. It seems like it's a very fussy thing. Oh, the fussy little buttons and mirror movement. What are you so concerned about? Well, it can actually show up on your photographs. I'm in Yosemite Park and I'm taking a photograph and I'm doing, like many good photographers, I'm checking to see if I got it sharp. I zoom in and I'm like that doesn't look very good. I realized, oh I'm not in mirror lock up. I should put my camera in mirror lock up and then I will get much, much sharper results. Through my experience, I have found hat mirror lock up is about, at its most necessary, you're gonna have this vibration at the most, at around an eighth of a second. There's this vibration zone that I have found that hovers around an eighth of a second. At really fast shutter speeds, it's fast enough to stop the motion of any vibration in the camera. At a long enough shutter speed, the vibrations tend to settle out. But at an eighth of a second, it's really, really bad. Now, the shutter speeds are kind of interesting from a visual point of view. But we're gonna think about them from an acoustical point of view. They make a sound when you open and close, it makes a sound. When you get into the vibration zone, is right when you can really separate the difference between the first and the second curtain opening and closing on your camera. I have recorded the sound of my camera at different shutter speeds and I want to let you listen to them. I want you to see if you can separate the first curtain from the second curtain cause at first, you're not going to be able to tell the difference. But as we get to slower shutter speeds, you're gonna be able to clearly tell a difference at a certain point. When I do this, just so that you can hear it really clearly, I'll do it twice in a row, all right? So the first one. (camera shutter) That was two clicks of 125th, and I don't think anybody in this room was able to differentiate first and second curtain. Probably the same is true here at a 60. (camera shutter) Sounds just like one continuous click. Remember, that is two firings of the camera. That's not the first and the second curtain. Those are two individual ones. Let's go down to a 30th. You might be able to pick up something. (camera shutter) Still sounds pretty much like one big clunk to me. Let's get down to a 15th. (camera shutter) Now we're really starting to pick up there's a slight little difference cause that's the delay in that picture taking. (camera shutter) Now everybody's hearing that difference. (camera shutter) So when you can distinctly hear the first and the second, you are probably in the vibration zone. (camera shutter) Now let's go down to one full- We're not going to do one second. So we're going to do a quiz now. We're going to see how good your hearing is (audience laughter) in this regard, all right? So I am gonna give you a shutter sound and then you're gonna tell me what shutter speed you think it is. Can somebody help me out? Who answered the last question? Was it Team A or Team B? I think it was Team A had missed the last one on what we were checking. I think it was a focus test, so we're gonna go with B cause nobody remembers and I think that's what it is in B. All right, so Team B, listen in really closely and then just tell your captain what you think and she's gonna have to make a decision for the team. All right, here it comes. (camera shutter) Okay. Confer with your captain and see what you think it is. (whispering) Now I'm not gonna put in a thousandth of a second. (whispering) Let me give everybody one additional obvious tip of advice here is I am only picking shutter speeds in the vibration zone, all right? (Team B talking) (John laughs) (whispering) Okay. Okay. They think it was half a second. Half a second. It was not. It was 1/8 of a second. Oh. (camera shutter) That was it again. Okay, over to Team A. You guys are a little behind. You really could use these points here. (audience mumbles) Okay, I am gonna give you an audible daily double, if you can nail it. You have to nail it. (audience cheers) You have to nail. It wouldn't have made any difference, you missed it over there, okay? So if you can nail it. Are you ready? We're ready. (camera shutter) Okay, they're gonna think about that. The pressure is on them. (audience mumbles) We're going with one second. So you think it was one second. Nope. (audience talking) (camera shutter) Okay, Team B, I'm going to give you a daily double here. I'll let you get this if you can get it. All right, so listen, here we go. (camera shutter) (Team B whispers) This is hard. We're going... We're going with a fifteenth. Fifteenth? It is. (Team B cheers) Two points for Team B. Wow. All right, this is really hard because most of you probably don't own that camera and every camera has its own little shutter sound. I encourage you to listen to your own camera, kind of just shoot through these slower shutter speeds and that's your audio signal that your camera is in a vibration zone area, and that you might have a problem if you're on a tripod. Now, if you are shooting handheld, stabilization will help out with this. Also, handholding will actually dampen it a bit more than being on a tripod in some cases. I'm not saying that you're gonna get sharper pictures handheld versus a tripod, but we don't need to worry about these when you are handheld. If you're shooting, maybe you're at a wedding reception and you're shooting a dance shot that's kind of a slow shutter speed at a fifteenth of a second, you don't need to worry about the shutter vibration in a situation like that. It's typically when it's on a tripod, that vibration can kind of resonate in that stiff device. Mirror lock up works really good for those users and SLRs. I'll be honest with you, I don't use mirror lock up that often and that's because I'm using live view cause I just want to see what's going on in the camera, so live view does the exact same thing as mirror lock up. The difference is that live view is constantly feeding you an image and it's wearing down on the battery life. If I know that I'm shooting something and I don't need to look at the back of the camera and I'm trying to conserve battery power, then I'll put the camera in mirror lock up. They both work under the same principle. The mirror goes up and there's no vibrations when you shoot. Next up, the concept of hyperfocal distance, all right? Hyperfocal distance is the focusing distance to achieve the maximum depth of field, which another way of saying I want everything in focus, where should I focus the lens? Near, middle, far, where exactly do I need it to be? Now in general, depth of field follows this rule. I have to put this is in about cause it's not exact. It's about 1/3 in front of a particular point that you focus on and 2/3 behind it. It actually becomes more 50/50 when you focus up close, but in general, on most distant things, it's 1/3 in front and 2/3 behind. When we talk about depth of field, of course it involves focal length, the aperture you set, and the subject distance, so all of these are gonna play havoc on the exact hyperfocal distance. So how does this work visually, all right? When we choose a place to focus, let's choose at the number 10 here, and we have different apertures that we can choose, if we choose a very wide open aperture, we might get one inch in front and two inches in back in focus. That's just the way focus works. As we stop our aperture down a little bit, we might get two inches in front and four inches in back. A little bit more, three in front and six in back and so on and so on and so on. Now as depth of field grows as you stop the aperture down, let's stop at all the way down, all right. The depth of field may not reach infinity in the background. This could be really important to a landscape photographer who wants those mountains in the background to also be in focus. You take a photo, perhaps you use depth of field preview, and you're noticing, oh the distance really isn't in focus. The mistake that some people make, is they decide to focus the lens on the mountains in the background and they are then throwing away 2/ of their potential focusing area. So they've gone too far with it. What they should have done, if they could visualize it in this manner is just move the focusing back enough so that the distance, or the distant objects, are in focus. It's really tricky figuring out where exactly do I need to focus to get that infinity mark just within the area in focus area. Now, if that was unclear for you, let me do it again from the side. You're up shooting photos of the mountains and the flowers. Right? All right. So if you focus on the mountain, that's gonna be in focus but nothing else. You can focus at F22, set your aperture to F22, not get everything, you can focus on the foreground, set at F22, still not get everything, but if things are correctly aligned, you could focus somewhere in between and have the 22 reach what you want in the foreground and what you want in the background. This is a really important concept when you have a lot of depth of field that you're trying to get into one shot here. I'm not focusing on the most distant object. I'm not focusing on the nearest piece of rock here that you can see in focus. It's a very careful balance on where you choose to focus and what I'm often doing is I'm auto-focusing but I'm choosing some place to focus in this frame that will alow me to hold the depth of field from the nearest point to the furthest point in there. Now, I think this was a whole lot easier back in the days before auto-focus, back when we had to manually do this ourselves. That's because the lenses had on a focusing and a hyperfocal scale right on the lens. As I mentioned before, some lenses have distant scales and some have hyperfocal scales. The hyperfocal scales on these two lenses here are not quite what I would call adequate. They're there but they don't give us a lot of information because everything's all very scrunched up and very tight. If you want to see a really nice looking hyperfocal scale, look at a Leica lens. Those are manual focus lenses, so they have a little bit longer throw when you are focusing and so it's able to be a little bit more clear. Your bottom of the line lenses, they don't even tell you where you're focusing. That's one of the things that you get with a higher end lens is having this really nice focusing scale. If I designed my own cameras... Look forward to the future, I'm gonna have a lot of new products available. (laughs) If I design my own lenses and cameras, I would like to have a focusing scale that looks a little something like this, all right? Below this, I would like to have my depth of field scale. Some lenses kinda have this on it and some of you who use... I remember the older Nikon lenses, they had these different colored marks which made this very easy to figure out. Right now, we know that we're focused at about seven feet or about two meters, all right? Now we're focused at 10 feet or about three meters. If we have the aperture of F11 set, we can see how far on either side of where we're focused what would expected to be in focus here. I know I'm gonna get everything in focus from roughly seven to 15 feet, focused at 10 feet at F11, all right? If I want to focus on infinity I can do that, but I'm throwing away a bunch of my focus potential here. If I said I want to shoot at F and I want as much in focus, including infinity, what I would do is I would move my focusing tab back to here, focus at 30 feet, 10 meters, and then my focus extends from five meters to infinity. This is what you're looking for is you're figuring out what aperture do I have set and that's the zone that's going to be in focus. If I wanted a lot in focus, I would stop down to F and focus my camera at about 15 feet because then I would get the entire range up to infinity in focus, if my camera is set at F22. We had a discussion before about what is really in focus. Some people have higher standards because they know that something's gonna be blown up to a very large size and it's gonna be scrutinized very carefully. What some people will do is they will use a different mark than 22 even when they're down at 22. If they're down at 22, they'll use the more stringent standard of F11. Then you can say that's really gonna be in sharp focus because in this range here, you are focused in the middle and it does get a little bit worse, it's just that it's acceptable out here. If you have higher standards, you could choose a lower number. The next one down. If you have high standards, that's one of the options that you can do.

Class Description

As a photographer, you will need to master the technical basics of the camera and form an understanding of the kind of equipment you need. The Fundamentals of Digital Photography will also teach something even more important (and crucial for success) - how to bring your creative vision to fruition.

Taught by seasoned photographer John Greengo, the Fundamentals of Digital Photography places emphasis on quality visuals and experiential learning. In this course, you’ll learn:

  • How to bring together the elements of manual mode to create an evocative image: shutter speed, aperture, and image composition.
  • How to choose the right gear, and develop efficient workflow.
  • How to recognize and take advantage of beautiful natural light.

John will teach you to step back from your images and think critically about your motivations, process, and ultimate goals for your photography project. You’ll learn to analyze your vision and identify areas for growth. John will also explore the difference between the world seen by the human eye and the world seen by the camera sensor. By forming an awareness of the gap between the two, you will be able to use your equipment to its greatest potential.

Lessons

1Class Introduction
2Photographic Characteristics
3Camera Types
4Viewing System
5Lens System
6Shutter System
7Shutter Speed Basics
8Shutter Speed Effects
9Camera & Lens Stabilization
10Quiz: Shutter Speeds
11Camera Settings Overview
12Drive Mode & Buffer
13Camera Settings - Details
14Sensor Size: Basics
15Sensor Sizes: Compared
16The Sensor - Pixels
17Sensor Size - ISO
18Focal Length
19Angle of View
20Practicing Angle of View
21Quiz: Focal Length
22Fisheye Lens
23Tilt & Shift Lens
24Subject Zone
25Lens Speed
26Aperture
27Depth of Field (DOF)
28Quiz: Apertures
29Lens Quality
30Light Meter Basics
31Histogram
32Quiz: Histogram
33Dynamic Range
34Exposure Modes
35Sunny 16 Rule
36Exposure Bracketing
37Exposure Values
38Quiz: Exposure
39Focusing Basics
40Auto Focus (AF)
41Focus Points
42Focus Tracking
43Focusing Q&A
44Manual Focus
45Digital Focus Assistance
46Shutter Speeds & Depth of Field (DOF)
47Quiz: Depth of Field
48DOF Preview & Focusing Screens
49Lens Sharpness
50Camera Movement
51Advanced Techniques
52Quiz: Hyperfocal Distance
53Auto Focus Calibration
54Focus Stacking
55Quiz: Focus Problems
56Camera Accessories
57Lens Accessories
58Lens Adaptors & Cleaning
59Macro
60Flash & Lighting
61Tripods
62Cases
63Being a Photographer
64Natural Light: Direct Sunlight
65Natural Light: Indirect Sunlight
66Natural Light: Mixed
67Twilight: Sunrise & Sunset Light
68Cloud & Color Pop: Sunrise & Sunset Light
69Silhouette & Starburst: Sunrise & Sunset Light
70Golden Hour: Sunrise & Sunset Light
71Quiz: Lighting
72Light Management
73Flash Fundamentals
74Speedlights
75Built-In & Add-On Flash
76Off-Camera Flash
77Off-Camera Flash For Portraits
78Advanced Flash Techniques
79Editing Assessments & Goals
80Editing Set-Up
81Importing Images
82Organizing Your Images
83Culling Images
84Categories of Development
85Adjusting Exposure
86Remove Distractions
87Cropping Your Images
88Composition Basics
89Point of View
90Angle of View
91Subject Placement
92Framing Your Shot
93Foreground & Background & Scale
94Rule of Odds
95Bad Composition
96Multi-Shot Techniques
97Pixel Shift, Time Lapse, Selective Cloning & Noise Reduction
98Human Vision vs The Camera
99Visual Perception
100Quiz: Visual Balance
101Visual Drama
102Elements of Design
103Texture & Negative Space
104Black & White & Color
105The Photographic Process
106Working the Shot
107What Makes a Great Photograph?