Fundamentals of Photography

 

Fundamentals of Photography

 

Lesson Info

Culling Images

Alright. Now, we're gettin' into one of my favorite concepts. And I still haven't done this, but I would just love to hang over people's shoulder, as they are working through their images, like, why didn't you choose that one? That's better. Or, what about that one? Isn't that a good one? Why don't you think this one is better than that? And seeing how people edit their own images. I think there's a wide way of doing it, a wide variety of ways of doing this. I do think there are some ways, that are a little bit better, and worse. But, it's a very personal choice that we make, how we look at our images, and how we decide which ones we keep, and which ones we move on with. So, a big question, that you have to ask yourself... What are you satisfied with? What do you want, in your final images? And so, that's what we're gonna be talking about, is think about what you wanna go through, in 10 years from now. When you look at tomorrow's shoot, what sort of images do you wanna be in there? How...

many images do you wanna be in there? What are they gonna be organized like? So, before you get into this... Try to set up a good work environment, whatever that is. You don't wanna be stressed, you don't wanna be rushed. You wanna be comfortable, in your environment. For me, I gotta have a clean desk. I can't have a lot of other paperwork hangin' around. I wanna be able to just concentrate on this, without any other distractions around. With Lightroom... Lightroom's a little bit slow these days. And so, I wanna pre-load my images. And so, what'll happen, is I'll go, shoot, I'll download it, Lightroom will start building previews, and depending on how many pictures I shot, that might take some time. And so, I always usually try to rush in, start the download. Okay, now, I'm gonna go unpack the gear, I'm gonna go grab a bite to eat, take a shower, come back down, when the computer has done all its work, and everything's ready to go, at 100%. I wanna be able to speed through my images, and see things very, very clearly. The time separation, there is some good, and some bad. Sometimes, you need to go through images, right after you shot them, because you remember something being better about one situation, one photo, then the next. But it also helps, just to wait a few weeks, sometimes months, to come back, and look with fresh eyes, at what you shot, because sometimes, you're very emotionally involved in what happened, it throws off your rating system. And so, I think... That my travel editing is probably better, better than my standard editing, because when I travel, I always go through, and take a look at what I shot that day, and I just wanna get a quick edit, just give me some two-star images. I just wanna see what worked out that day. 10 minutes, and I'm off to bed. But then, when the trip's all done, two weeks, three weeks later, I get to come back, and now I have the whole picture of the trip in mind, and I go back to that day, and I go, oh, there was a gem I missed, and I thought this one was good, but it's not. And I have got another one, the following day, that's much better, and you can emotionally detach yourself from the situation, and this is why newspapers, and magazines had photo editors. They never went out and shot. All they did, was just edit other people's work. They go, hey, I don't know what you dealt with, when you were there, but this is what we needed, and this didn't work out, or this didn't work out. And there are people, that can look at your work, and just tell you what's good and bad, even though they weren't there. And that emotional separation is sometimes necessary, and when it's yourself, sometimes it's time, that will help you separate yourself, from that situation. What's your plan? What's your goal, when you have all your images? And so, I think of it as, okay, I got a mountain of images, and I would like to figure out, what is the best, and get rid of the worst, alright? Now, there's gonna be a clump left over, but how big... Clump, do you want in the best, and how much do you want in the least? How much time do you wanna spend? Are you gonna spend two hours doing this? Do you wanna try to do this, in 15 minutes? It's gonna make a big difference, on how you go through 'em. And so, just set yourself a time estimate, of what you're gonna do, and where all these images are gonna go. And so, that you kinda have a plan, 'cause I know all of us have kind of got stuck, looking through photos, and have time get away from us, and like, wow, okay, what was I doing? (laughs) And, you know... You gotta get a little bit more organized about this, if you wanna be efficient about your time. If you have a lotta free time, by all means, mingle through your images! That's great to do! But, it's good to have a plan. So, let's talk about eliminating and elevating images. And so, a lot of the images are gonna go. If you're gonna go, with my one-star system, just one basic image, we're gonna get the worst, in the garbage, and the best, the two-stars. Some of these might become three-stars, or more, but just separates them from the rest, and we'll deal with them later. Alright, the good ol' trash can. Should we throw things in there? Why would we throw something in the trashcan? Well, I throw things in the trashcan, because they're outta focus. And there's a lotta things, that can go wrong, in the focusing, if you remember back, to the focusing section. Remember our focusing quiz? All the different problems, with focusing. And so, there's a lotta things, that can go wrong, in focusing, that I don't foresee ever being able to be fixed. Now, maybe it will be, and that would be really nice. Noise and lens sharpness are a couple of things, that have asterisks down here, that we can do a little bit of adjustment. And so, don't throw it away quite yet, if there's some noise, 'cause you might still need it, and we might be able to resurrect that image from the dead. But, there's a lot of things, you know, if you don't have enough depth of field, or you focused in the wrong spot, I really doubt that we're gonna be able to fix that, in any time, in my foreseeable future. And so, you may capture an image that, you know, at the time, and it was all, that was a great moment! But, it's out of focus. And it's disappointing, when you get those good moments, and they're outta focus. But, you know what? I don't think that's ever comin' back, folks. It's just not comin' back. And so, that's the time, to really, probably be sendin' that one to the trashcan, unfortunately. Now, I will... I may take an aside here, and say, I do have some personal images. I have my professional catalog of photography, and then I have personal pictures, from my family, and my history, and there are a few very out of focus photos, but those photos are a part of my history, and I have kept that. And so, I'm not telling you that you have to delete all your out of focus pictures. But, when it comes to your quote-unquote, good photography, out of focus pictures really don't have a place, anywhere. (chuckles) And a personal aside, yeah, there's a little aside, a little dark folder, that you can file, under an assumed name, in the corner of your hard drive, for those moments, that you wanna keep. Bad exposures. As I mentioned before, we can fix a lot of exposure problems, but if it's really, really outta the park, you might say, overexposed, underexposed, blown highlights, shadows that don't have any detail, that might be a reason for deleting the photographs. Now, there's a lot of adjustments, that you can do. Take this image here. This image is shot, dark, and we can go in, into the exposure slider, and we can brighten it up, and we can essentially fix this photograph, alright? And so, we've just added three stops of exposure, in post-production, and cameras are pretty lenient! They'll allow you to do that! Well, what if we took a photo, that was correctly exposed, and then we looked at a little portion of the detail, in the shadows? The picture, that was properly exposed, does not have nearly as much noise, as the one that we've tried to raise the brightness, by three stops, in post-production. And that's because, it was too dark, there wasn't enough light there, and we're trying to bring up information, that was never recorded, in the original outset, by the camera. And so, getting the right exposure is important. Now, if you really, really need the photo, yeah, you could do it, and save it a little bit, but it's gonna be limited, as to how much you can do with it. And so, if you have a really bad exposure here, (clicks) into the trash bin it goes. Composition. If your composition is not right, there's a lot of empty space, or there's cropped elements, that are really important in there, that might be a good reason, for getting rid of that photograph as well. Now, there's some things, that you're gonna be able to adjust, in post-production. So, don't be too quick, to throw things away, right away. One good thought, is to put things, destined for the trash, but don't empty the trash, for a while. And so, that's why I label things blue, and I keep 'em around for a while, until I'm really sure, that I wanna get rid of them. And so, I'm not just deleting immediately, I'm just indicating, I don't think I want these. Alright, some other distractions. Secondary subjects, that we didn't want in there, unusual elements, that just don't work with that particular subject. The background isn't right. There's distractions, in the background. The eyes are... We have conflicts, we have bright elements, and there's a lotta things going on, in the background, even though our subject looks fine! The background is so distracting, it has ruined the photograph. There's other just awkward things going on. There's an unnatural pose. It just didn't look right. How many people, how many photographs have we taken, with people, with their eyes closed? Probably don't need those. Missing parts, missing parts? You know what I mean by this. It just happened to be cropped outta the frame! We generally wanna see all those parts of the body, if it's in a situation, like that. And so, that's a good photo, to be deleted, down the road. Duplicate images. And so, exactly the same image. So, important concept, I think, is back in the days of film, occasionally, we had cameras that had a little, tiny scratch on the film plate, and it would scratch the film, maybe just for one picture. And so, photographers, at the time, shooting film, somethin' great, just take a bunch of photos, just in case there's a problem with that piece of film, in the development, or something else. Nowadays, with digital, there is no real reason, to shoot the same picture, twice. Change something! Exposure, focus, composition. Do something different about it, because we can copy photos very easily. So, do something different. And so, if you took three or four photos, that are exactly the same, you can get rid of all those extras, except for one. So, those are all good reasons, for eliminating photographs. Now, why are you gonna rate things better? Why should they go up, to two, or three-star images? Clearly, the best moment. If there's something that happens, that boy, that was really the pinnacle moment, that's gonna be good. With portraits, it might be the best expression, or best gesture. Maybe, in landscape photography, it's when the light was actually the best. Or maybe, it's just when you happen to get the camera in the right position, to get the best composition. In some cases, you're gonna hit a conflict. Well, this one's better here, and this one's better here, and this other one's better here, and it's gonna be kind of a balance of all of those, in how you're gonna use your photographs. Judging a beauty competition, this one's winner here, this one's here. And so, which one actually wins the whole contest, isn't necessarily the winner of any one of those particular categories. Sometimes... I'll have a series of two-star images, and one of 'em will get rated to three-stars! It's not really a three-star image, but I just needed, you know, every group of idiots needs a leader, even if it's not a leader! And so, sometimes, I will have a two, or three-star image, that isn't really a two, or three-star image, but I needed a winner outta this group, because it's generally a good group, that I'm gonna make use of, in some way or another. Now, some common types of photography, and things that I'm looking for. So, landscapes, portrait, and sports, are some pretty popular categories. And so, in landscapes, I wanna make sure that I have sufficient depth of field, and that there's no notable distractions. And I'd prefer great light. I'll take good light, when I'll get it, but I'll take great light, even more. Portraits, I'm really looking for those eyes. Small, little gestures can be important. And anything, that seems kinda awkward, outta place, a collar turned up, or anything that just is gonna draw the attention of something that you don't want to be drawn attention to. With sports, there's usually peak moments, on almost all types of sports. Looking for the eyes, 'cause it's essentially an action portrait, in some ways. If you're shooting a sport, with a ball, it's really nice to have that ball in the frame, and that gets to be really hard on sports, like hockey, or baseball, where we're talkin' about a very small object. But, not having that object in the frame, that's just one of the other people runnin' around the field. But, when the ball's in frame, they're at the peak of action, and that can be really important. And it can be very hard to deal with, the background, 'cause you have very little control over the background, but you do have control over it, with the lens you choose, and where you choose to shoot. Alright. So, in this whole concept of what goes down, and what goes up, there's a lotta things, that we need to think about, and... Where it gets rated. And, in this case, you may need to develop the image a little bit, to figure out whether it's really worth it. And so, every once in a while, I will do something, that I know I'm not supposed to do. It's my time. I'll do whatever I want. But, you should go through, and just edit your images. And then, finish 'em, and then go start working on them. I can't help myself. I see an image. It's got potential. And I wanna bring it, and I bring it over, in to develop. Like, if we crop it like this, and we just add this, I know you can become a three-star image! Just need a little bit of help! And so, sometimes, I get excited, and I don't do things in order, that you're supposed to. There's no rules on this, but in theory, you should just edit quickly, and then go back, and develop. And there are a number of things, that we're gonna improve on, when we get into the develop section. But, that was kinda my ideas, on culling, and how to choose images, for deletion, and rating higher.

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?