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Mastering Your Digital Camera

Lesson 2 of 51

Setting Up Your Camera

 

Mastering Your Digital Camera

Lesson 2 of 51

Setting Up Your Camera

 

Lesson Info

Setting Up Your Camera

So you've got your new camera, you've taken it out of the box, and now you need to set it up. You pick up the manual. That's where the excitement dissipates as you're confronted with hundreds of pages of complexity and confusion. So let's get rid of that and let me take you through the bits. You really need to know. There are three common menu headings set up shooting and playback. Now the exact terms used and layouts will depend on both of make of your camera on whether it's a DSLR or mirror system. So the manual isn't completely redundant, so keep it handy. Thanks. Jump. In this lesson, I'm going to cover the general set up and playback options. These are the settings I apply to all my cameras, irrespective of the subject I'm photographing. The important shooting menu options all relate to the main camera functions, exposure focus, etcetera, and I teach and expand on these in the relevant modules. Right? Let's get started. One of the great benefits of digital photography is that your...

camera can tell you lots of information about the images you take, and this could be a really big help in making sure you get the perfect picture every time, especially when it comes to things like exposure, focus and sharpness and color. The menu option for revealing this information is generally referred to as display options or display settings. The information I most want to see off the hissed a gram and highlights alerts. Now the benefits of these I discuss in lessons eight and nine of module five of this course. Suffice to say, both of them will be a really big help with perfecting exposure. I also turn on the option to overlay the focus point on the image playback. This helps me see exactly what area of the frame camera focused on when the picture was taken. Next, I turn on the electronic composition grid, which helps with how I framed objects in the scene, especially when applying very simple compositional aids such of the rule of thirds. And I also turned on the Elektronik virtual horizon, which helps to make sure the camera is straight and level at least with those times I wanted to pay. As well as customizing the information feedback, you can customize the camera itself by assigning different functions to many of the dials and buttons. Now, this will always be personal preference and there's no right or wrong here. Instead, let me tell you what I do just to give you an idea of the concept, I change the back command dial to set lens aperture on the front command al to set I s O I said the A f lock button to exposure lock only and change the function of the on button toe a f lock. I have one button set to focus area mode and another set to drive mode so I can change either of these settings very quickly and importantly, without taking my eye from the viewfinder. Now, as I said, how you assigned and reassigned buttons is really determined by the type of photography you do on your personal style. And it's something that will grow with you as your photography develops. At this stage, it's simply good to know that you could do it on your manual. Be useful when the time comes. So what else sound? I turned all the sound options to the minimum volume or off. Now, this is because for me a noisy camera may disturb my subjects. Andi just as a constant beeps emanating from my car dashboard annoy the bejesus out of me. I don't want my camera doing the same thing. Next, if your camera has dual card slots, you need to tell it how to prioritize them. My preference is for overflow, which means when the first card fills, the camera automatically switches to the second card. Alternatively, you can assign slot to to be a backup card, so every time you take a picture, the camera stores it on both cards simultaneously. This is beneficial if you're worried about card failure, but it does necessitate using two cards of the same capacity. Finally, if you're shooting in raw plus J peg mode and more about that in the next lesson, you can store the raw files on one card on the J Peg files on another, which makes organizing them later on just that little bit easier. Next, the lights add a copyright signature to every image I take, and even if you're not a professional, had suggested doing this, especially if you post pictures on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram, because it helps to prove your ownership of the image something else you will find here is the format function. Now I format all my memory cards before I use them, because it's a more complete way of clearing all the data from the card, and it reduces the potential risk of future files becoming corrupted. However, be aware that formatting a card deletes everything on that card. If their stuff on the card you want to keep, then use the delete button instead to get rid of unwanted image files. Finally, I set sensor cleaning to activate only when I turn the camera off. Now, this is because sensor cleaning takes time, and I want to be ready to shoot in an instant again. This is because I'm photograph wildlife, and I don't want anything to delay my ability to shoot from the hip. But if rapid response isn't a concern, then at the beginning of the end, well doesn't really matter too much. That covers the most important set up and playback menu options. Everything else well, like my father flying about clouds, rub your manual look up. Whatever is pressing you do whatever it tells you to do. No

Class Description

AFTER THIS CLASS YOU’LL BE ABLE TO:

  • Set up your camera with confidence
  • Better understand shutter speed, aperture, and ISO
  • Capture perfect exposures in camera
  • Get sharp, focused images quickly
  • Understand white balance and the difference between RAW and JPEG
  • Quickly and confidently capture images “in the moment”
  • Become a better photographer by building an understanding of basic photography techniques

ABOUT CHRIS' CLASS:

CreativeLive is partnering with Chris Weston to offer you his Complete Photography Master Course.

Turn terms like aperture, shutter speed and ISO from a bunch of obscure photography jargon to a toolset that you can easily manipulate to capture great photos. Led by landscape photographer Chris Weston, this class covers everything beginners need to know to master photography basics from exposure to focus.

Turn that camera dial off of auto and learn how to properly expose a photograph. With a few basic camera settings, get the most image quality and the best colors from your mirrorless or DSLR camera. Then, master focus modes and techniques for sharp photographs.

Learn the basics of photography in a series of short, memorable lessons. Chris' straight-forward teaching style is great for newbies that find the task of learning photography daunting, while the to-the-point lessons make it possible to spend just a few minutes a day mastering your camera with easy photography tips and techniques.

WHO THIS CLASS IS FOR:

  • Beginner photographers
  • First time DSLR or mirrorless camera users
  • Any photographer that wants to get off automatic mode to shoot better photos

ABOUT YOUR INSTRUCTOR:

Named one of the world's most influential wildlife photographers, Chris Weston takes a contemporary approach to photography. After launching his career in 2001, the Fujifilm ambassador's images have graced the pages of top publications like BBC, The Times, Outdoor Photography, Practical Photography, and Digital Photography. As a photography educator, Chris has written over 20 photography books, along with leading photo tours and online workshops.

Lessons

  1. Buttons, Dials and Switches: What This Course is All About

    In the first lesson, meet the instructor and see why Chris suggests focusing on just six camera controls that help adjust exposure, focus, color, and quality.

  2. Setting Up Your Camera

    Find what you really need to know about inside your camera's extensive menu. Find the general setting and playback options in your camera and learn what features to turn on and why.

  3. JPEG or RAW

    What's the difference between JPEG and RAW in digital photography? Learn the difference between these two file types and when to use each, based on when the type of images you share.

  4. Compression

    One of the major differences between JPEG and RAW is that RAW files are much larger. In this lesson, see how both JPEGs and RAW files are compressed and the pros and cons to each type.

  5. Menu Settings for JPEG Shooting

    If you opt to shoot JPEG, you can still control how the image is processed using picture settings and picture styles. Learn how to use different presets for better JEPG results straight out of the camera.

  6. Module 1 Summary

    Summarize everything from the first module to ensure a sold grasp on JPEG and RAW settings.

  7. Applying White Balance

    Light has color -- and white balance is what keeps the colors in your images in check. Learn how color temperature differs by the different times of day and sources of light, then control how your camera sees those colors with the white balance setting.

  8. Using White Balance Creatively

    White balance can be correct -- or creative. See how the white balance settings can be used to create a warmer or cooler image to play with the mood of the photograph.

  9. Auto White Balance

    You don't have to adjust the white balance for every photograph. Auto white balance will read the scene and choose the color for you -- determine when (and when not) to use this automated setting.

  10. Module 2 Summary

    Recap what you've learned about colors and white balance in this quick lesson.

  11. Controlling Exposure

    Lens aperture and shutter speed work together to create an image with proper exposure, or a photo that's not too light or too dark.

  12. F Numbers

    Aperture is measured in f-stops or f-numbers. Decipher the numbers and learn how to create a balanced exposure when adjusting the shutter speed or aperture.

  13. Lens, Aperture, and Shutter Speed

    Lens aperture will also create blur in the background and foreground. Learn how aperture can create a shallow depth of field using a wide aperture, or more sharp detail with a narrow aperture. Then, see how shutter speed can freeze action and how a slow shutter creates motion blur.

  14. Exposure Modes

    To get access to the aperture and shutter speed controls, you need to get off auto and into a semi-manual or manual mode. Decipher the different modes on your camera in this lesson -- and bust the myth that serious photographers "must" use manual mode.

  15. Too Little or Too Much Light

    What happens if the scene has too much light or too little light? In this lesson, Chris walks through the different options when the settings you want just don't work for the scene in front of you.

  16. Manual Exposure Mode

    Jump into full manual exposure mode. Decipher the camera's meter to help balance the settings.

  17. Aperture Priority Exposure Mode

    Using modes such as aperture priority is often both faster and simpler in manual mode. See why Chris uses aperture priority mode most often.

  18. Module 3 Summary

    Wrap up those two elements of exposure in this quick summary of the class' third segment.

  19. ISO in Practice

    To complete the exposure triangle, ISO needs to be added to the equation. Learn what ISO is and see how the camera setting is used in the field.

  20. ISO and Noise

    ISO has a trade-off -- the higher the ISO is, the more noise or grain the image will have. See how aperture affects image quality in this lesson.

  21. An Acceptable ISO

    Each camera handle high ISOs a bit differently -- so what are the best ISO settings to use? Determine how to find out what ISO is acceptable for the shot.

  22. Module 4 Summary

    Wrap up the final elements of the exposure triangle in this summary on ISO.

  23. Metering Modes

    Determining exposure isn't guesswork -- the meter helps determine what settings create a balanced exposure. Metering modes determine how the camera's meter works and come in handy for tricky lighting scenarios.

  24. The Light Meter

    White and black confuse the camera's built-in light meter. Compensate for the camera's confusion using a tool called exposure compensation to tweak the exposure.

  25. The Bucket Test

    Confused by metering and exposure compensation? In this lesson, Chris shares an easy, visual way to remember camera metering.

  26. How To Read Tonality

    Understanding tone will help you predict how the camera's meter will read any given scene to take well-exposed images, without the guesswork.

  27. Being Creative With Tone

    Tone doesn't need to be correct to make a great photo -- learn how to use tone and exposure creatively.

  28. Exposure Compensation

    To adjust the exposure without switching to full manual mode, exposure compensation will help capture the ideal exposure. Here, Chris shares the ins and outs of using exposure compensation.

  29. High Contrast Lighting

    Capturing an image in even lighting is easy -- but what about scenes with a large amount of light or high contrast lighting? In this lesson, learn why your camera can only capture a certain dynamic range and what to do to capture high contrast scenes.

  30. Histogram

    If each pixel was arranged on a chart based on the brightness and darkness of each pixel, you'd get the histogram. Here, Chris explains how to use the histogram to guide your exposure.

  31. Highlights Alert

    Turning on the highlight alert will make any overexposed areas in the scene blink. See how to use this tool for proper exposures in this lesson.

  32. Never Underexpose

    One of the great parts of digital photography is the ability to edit your photos later -- but how much can you edit a photo successfully? Chris explains why images that are too far underexposed can't be corrected in post-processing.

  33. Digital Exposure Mantra

    Determining the exposure is part an exercise in determining what's the most important element in the image. When you can't properly expose every area of the image, this piece of advice still helps you capture a good image.

  34. Module 5 Summary

    Recap the elements that factor into an image's exposure in this brief lesson.

  35. Focus Modes

    Missed focus and soft images are one of the biggest frustrations for beginning photographers. Avoid those out-of-focus shots by understanding different focus modes.

  36. Autofocus

    Understanding how a camera's autofocus works helps capture sharp shots. Understand the difference between phase detection and contrast detection.

  37. Point of Focus

    Where do you place the focal point in an image? Pick up focusing tactics for stronger images in this lesson.

  38. Depth of Field

    Depth of Field is photography jargon for how much of the image is in focus. Expanding on the discussion from the lesson on aperture, see depth of field in action.

  39. Hyper-Focal Distance Focusing

    Because depth of field is a range of distance and not a single tiny point, photographers can focus on something that's not the subject and still get the subject sharp. To get the most sharpness in an image, try this hyper-focal distance technique.

  40. Focus Tracking

    Focus tracking allows moving subjects to stay in focus. See how modern digital cameras use focus tracking in this lesson on autofocus area modes.

  41. Manual Focus

    Modern autofocus systems have come a long way -- yet there are some subjects that still work best using manual focus. See what subjects work best with this setting -- and how to manually focus the camera.

  42. Predictive Focus

    When capturing very fast action, predicting where the subject will be and focusing on that point allows you to get a sharply focused shot in tricky scenarios.

  43. Summary

    Ensure you have a good grasp of focus with this summary on focusing techniques.

  44. Buying Lenses

    One of the perks to mirrorless and DSLR systems is the endless options of optics. But how do you choose a lens? Learn what to consider when buying a lens in this lesson.

  45. Summary

    Summarize what you need to know about camera lenses in this lesson.

  46. Quality of Light

    Mastering photography is about more than just understanding your camera controls. Begin building an understanding of how light affects your images with hard and soft light.

  47. Direction of Light

    Where the light is coming from can play a role in the dimension, depth, and texture of an image. See how changing your position in relation to the light source can dramatically change an image.

  48. No Such Thing as Good Light

    Most photography tutorials will tell you to look for good light -- but Chris argues that there's no such thing as good light. Instead, photographers need to understand what to do with the light in any given scene.

  49. Final Word

    Now that you know how to work the camera and recognize good light, what's next? Practice, Chris says. Put the pieces together by trying out for yourself.

  50. BONUS - In Conversation with Art Wolfe

    Find inspiration from a conversation with Art Wolfe, a landscape, wildlife, and cultural photographer.

  51. BONUS - The Source of Creativity

    Where do photographers find creativity? In this bonus lesson, see how to encourage creativity in yourself.

Reviews

user-f7ad15
 

As others have stated, a really clear course. This is a back to basics but I always learn something. That aha! moment when he covers something I had forgotten or was new. Always good to go back and get some good advice. I have only watched half of the videos but looking forward to there rest. Excellent course.

Christina
 

He is as clear as it gets - wonderful!

Teresa Piccioni
 

Chris is a great teacher, very clear and exaustive in a short of time.