Skip to main content

Photography Basics: Cameras, Technique, and Composition

Lesson 1 of 2

Photo Basics: Cameras, Technique, and Composition

John Greengo

Photography Basics: Cameras, Technique, and Composition

John Greengo

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

1. Photo Basics: Cameras, Technique, and Composition


  Class Trailer
Now Playing

Lesson Info

Photo Basics: Cameras, Technique, and Composition

I do teach a class here a creative life called fundamentals of digital photography. I'm not sure the exact length it takes us days to record it. It's close to twenty four hours of information and this class is the one hour version of twenty four hours of information. And so I personally think that I have been mistreated by creative life, and this should have been the first class on monday morning because it was kind of the the preliminary class. You know, as people are getting into it, we are going to be going through photo basics. So if you have years and years of experience, you might be going. I know about depth of field, and I know about shutter speeds, but you know what? Not everyone does, and we all have to learn it for a first time, and this class is kind of designed for people who are saying, I want to get into photography and I want to learn things right. I wanna learn it properly so they don't make mistakes as I'm going in. And so this is a great class, I hope, for people who...

are just getting into photography. But if you've been doing it for a while, maybe there's a few things I can enlighten you on, or maybe it's, good to see things just done in a different way, one of the ways that I like to teaches through visual graphics and so forth, and so we're going to see a lot of things on screen, and so I have a full kino for today and lots of slides, so let's, go ahead and get started, we got a lot of different things we're going to talk about, and we're going to get started with fun stuff right now, digital camera, all right, and so there's a lot of different types of cameras out on the market, I'm going to talk about three types, the single lens reflex, the point and shoot, and the new and ever growing popular mira lis cameras. Now, the camera that is chosen by more photographers than any other that are kind of in the serious mode is the digital slr camera there's lots of choices out there, there's a lot of great models, these are highly refined products, in my opinion, they're very mature, they're very advanced there's not a lot of changes that happened from year to year in these cameras, and they're popular for a number of reasons, one of the reasons is the viewing system. This is the most popular camera for literally the last fifty years, and it has to do in large part because of the viewing system. We have one very high quality lens on our camera as that light comes in it's eventually going to go to the image sensor in the back of the camera, but before it gets back there, it gets blocked off by a mere in the camera, which bounces the light upward to a focusing screen. Now, some of you who have been around a while may have either own or at least seen people using a waist level view finder on a camera like an old hassle, glad or rolling. And that was the system that they had. Sometimes they had twin lands reflexes, but you would just be viewing the image on the top of the screen, which was kind of nice because the cameras were small, but it was really tricky photographing action because everything was a mirrored image, and every time you move this direction, it seemed to move that direction. And so in order to make that much easier to view with, we use a prison system to bounce light around. So it comes out the viewfinder, which is where you look when you're holding the camera and the beauty of this is that you get to see exactly what your land sees. Whether it's the angle of view, whether if it's in focus whether you forgot to take the lens cap off, you get to see that when you're looking through the viewfinder and that's a big advantage to see exactly what the final picture is going to look like. But the problem obviously is, is that the mere is blocking the shot. So when you press the shutter release it's going to need to take that mere up and out of the way so that light can get back to the image sensor. Now, before it gets back to the image sensor, it has another place that it needs to get through here, and that is the shutter unit, and we often call this the shutter curtain because it used to be made out of cloth a cloth curtain, but they're typically made a very lightweight aluminum titanium metal blades in the camera, and your camera has two curtains. It has the first curtain and a second kurt, and the first curtain is in front, and what happens is it drops away, allowing light into the sensor for that short period of time of the shutter speed. And then the second unit comes down, blocks it off, making sure that each pixel is exposed for exactly the same amount of time. The mere then returns to its position so you can see what's going on one of the most important things to know about this process and these cameras is that if you saw it you missed it all right this is why photographers are very good at anticipating key moments and there's a little bit of shutter leg on the camera when they press the shutter and good photographers get in sync with their camera and they know exactly when to press the shutter down and then the shutter unit returns to its starting position getting ready for the next shot and there are cameras in the market that will do that upwards of fourteen frames per second and so that is the digital slr if you wanted to get into photography if you want to take high quality photographs if you want a very versatile camera the slr is generally the safe choice the way to go because there are so many options available in it so real quickly the big advantages with the slr is you have fantastic image quality and with today's cameras you're going to get that from the entry level to the very highest level of camera you get very high performance and when I talk about performance I mean shot to shot speed auto focus performance is very good on these cameras and you have an extremely good view finder that is really it's as good as your eyes because you're just using your eyes to view through the lands and so under very low light conditions these cameras are amazingly good now, a lot of people will get confused, and we don't have time to go into all the different cameras on the market, but they're kind of comparing well, what about this camera versus the one that that's the next step up? Because a lot of people are wondering, will this do the job? How does it compare with the next higher camera? So as you compare from the entry level up to the professional level, the three big differences are the performance. How fast will it auto focus? How many frames per second will it take? And for people who are doing sports photography, that's really important? Any time you're shooting, action and there's fast shot to shot speed performance is very important features some people don't use a lot of features on their camera, they just take basic pictures, and you don't need a lot of extra time lapse features and hdr modes in your camera, but some people really appreciate those the number of controls. One of things that kind of always grapes me about the entry level cameras is that they only have one dialogue for setting shutter speeds and apertures, and you've got to do kind of a little button, goofy twister game, where you're holding down buttons and turning dials and it's not quite as easy to work with those and so I much prefer a little bit higher in camera that has dedicated controls for going in and out of the features that I want to use. All right, talk real quickly about the disappearing cameras okay, so the point shoot is obviously being displaced, you might say by people using their phones because phones these days let me be honest, they have some pretty good quality on the phones for basic pictures ah, phone is very, very convenient and easy to use. The big advantage with pointed shoots in most all cases is that you get a zoom lands and you don't have that on a phone. You do have dedicated controls and you will have better image quality than on virtually any of the phones. The point shoots have a much simpler system. We have light coming through a single lens going straight back to the sensor system. In order to view your image, you have to view it off of the back of the camera and the lcd is a great way to be your camera with both eyes. I'm a better judge of composition when I can look at something with both eyes and so when I want a judge is this really working as a photograph kind of in the big scope of things it's quite nice, but when you get to the technical details of focus it's terrible, you have to zoom way in to see if it's really in focus and so you are never going to be able to judge focus by looking at an entire image and just looking at a little screen like that you're going to get back home, you're going to blow it up on your computer and you go like, oh, hey, that was out of focus and I didn't realize that you have to zoom in to check focus it's also, as many of you know, terrible under bright sunlight, it's very hard to see composition and it's very hard to work with, and I'm sorry, I just have a hard time taking cameras seriously if they don't have a viewfinder because it's really helpful in a lot of different situations. I know it's smaller and lighter way, but it just makes it more difficult to use in a lot of situations. But the point shoot can still be a valuable tool to have maybe it's a backup camera or a second camera, they're small, they're lightweight, they don't require a lot of figuring out you don't have to do a lot of reading of the instruction manual because they are just very, very simple in their operation and they have a very nice zoom range which the phones don't have and I love having different focal links as an option. I hate being restricted down to one lens when there's multiple things that I want to d'oh now the new and growing and arguably the most exciting part of the business right now in the industry are the new mira lis cameras and this is something that's just kind of been new as far as the digital cameras and it kind of got pioneered a little bit you might say by panasonic and olympus which well, let's be honest they could not really compete with the big boys of canon and nikon, so they decided to work together as much as two separate companies can and they decided to make a camera with a common lens mouth. And so the beauty of this system, which is the micro for third system is that you can buy an olympus camera and put a panasonic lens on and looking at their lens lineup they kind of chosen to do different things with their lenses, which is kind of fun now if you hang around on the internet, you're going to see a bunch of other cameras out there and terminology. One of the favorite terminologies is thie elektronik you find are interchangeable lens camera it's the evil camera on so that's just kind of fun and nikon has their own entry and here food she's got some meat ones cannons introduced a little one and sony's been pretty strong in this field as well now these cameras have different size sensors and we're going to talk about sensors in just a few minutes but let me explain how the mira lis camera works and by the way the mira lis camera is a really dumb name let's name this camera after the one thing it doesn't have it doesn't have a mere and that's the big thing it's like the slr it has an interchangeable lands and there's lots of lenses they're very high quality lenses in some cases and so there's lots of cool options with it but there's no mere okay and by taking that near out of the camera they're able to make the camera smaller they're able to make the lens is a little bit smaller and use different designs that they couldn't use with the slr now we don't have this little flappy thing in our camera going back and forth comes back to the image sensor now from here like the point shoot it's going to send information to the lcd in the back screen of the camera not a huge fan of this is nice for reviewing photographs but it's not good for composing most but not all of these cameras have an electronic viewfinder and the electronic view finder is the make or break point on these cameras and product. Part of the problem is that if this is not high enough resolution, your camera looks like an old nineteen nineties video camera with really grainy viewfinder in there. But the thing is, is that these cameras are being developed at a time where these viewfinders are becoming pretty good, and so most of the cameras out on the market have what I would call an acceptable view finder they have generally one to two million pixels at him. I'll be happy when they have maybe ten million that will be closer to what we see with their own eyes. But this has the potential in the future of being a great boon to photographers because with a mirror elice camera, one of the neat things is that when you look at the image you're looking at a digital image and that's what you're shooting, you are shooting a digital image. So you're getting a preview of what the final image is going to look like in contrast range, tonal values and so forth and so it's not as good as your own eyes, but it's a more realistic view of your final subject now they're still not high enough quality for me. As far as being great, they're good enough for owning I own a couple of muralist cameras. I think they're quite nice and so that's what you're looking at through the view finder here so you have your choice of viewing on these cameras. Big advantage with ease is they have a performance that is close to dea solares. In some cases they are equal, but they generally do not exceed the performance of they are in size wise, closer to point shoots in many cases and there is a growing system. I got a few cameras out here and you know, here we have our full frame camera, which frankly feels really nice in the hands and when I'm shooting, this is what feels comfortable to me. The buttons are the right size. We have tons of different lens choices a mere lis camera. This is one of the larger ones. This is the panasonic gh three and this is a little bit smaller in size for people with smaller hands. It's pretty comfortable this one's actually pretty chunky it's got a large grip on it, which is kind of nice but going down to the micro for third system. The lenses are so small you can have a very small shoulder bag with four lenses in it and it's not going to wear you out hauling it around all day long an slr with four lenses is going to be a pretty big pack that's gonna weigh you down if you're moving around all day one of my favorite new little cameras is this little fuji camera they've gone kind of retro on this and it's very small, extremely lightweight has a pretty big sensor on it and I could spend all day like this and not know that that's on my shoulder practically it's just super lightweight and it can be just so liberating walking around with a much smaller and lighter unit. I was recently doing a tour up in alaska and I was going into a town that I have been in twice before and the last time I was there I took the full backpack at three hundred two a camera body, all the white angle lenses, tripod everything and I took some nice pictures and then I took this one with just a simple zoom lens. I took far more photographs just walking around with that light camera and so those marylise cameras are really great for jess. The more simple shots they're great for travel photography, I think they're good for a lot of people's work if you're shooting professionally, you're shooting really serious the sl ours are still the way to go if you're shooting sports, the marylise cameras are terrible in my opinion if I could just throw that term out for all of them there are some that are actually better than others, but in general I would never ever take this to a sporting event to try to get action type photos. I could get a few, but I certainly could not get the numbers that I could from a nestle are with a really good focusing system. Maybe this might be a good time to just check in to see if we have any questions on cameras here in the audience or online I could see somebody's grabbing their microphone yet is there ah um like a mac shutter speed on the marylise and do the shoot raw they do shoot rock and there is a mac shutter speed on all cameras on a lot of the more serious slr is it's going to be a thousandth of a second? But on a lot of the esa lars it's four thousandth of a second for the point shoots most of our points use the mere lis cameras. Many of them are around four thousandth of a second as well. So top shutter speed not a problem, not an issue on him, it just goes, I'm just asking another question to go with the raw thing that's one of my concerns is getting a smaller cameras should all in raw, so would you recommend shooting with those and treating and rockets that processors use to be slow I'm a big proponent of shooting in raw which is a subject we'll talk about a little bit later in the classroom and j peg but yes, they shoot raw and I would shoot it in raw because I'm trying to capture as much information as possible and for for kind of the more serious photographer right now the marylise camera is a nice second camera and so if you're kind of looking for an alternate it's kind of like you got your car to go to work every day in and you want your convertible sports car for the weekend and this is the equivalent of the convertible sports car in some ways it can't do all the things but it could do some of them quite well like we have wet head from colorado who says for those was wanting to move up to a better camera do dslr is have good resale after a couple of years and are used dslr quality a good by use cameras yeah so if you were to track the prices dslr cz they just keep falling and falling and falling and so you can buy a camera you can use it for a while resell it as soon as possible don't just say well I'm going to hold onto it for a year because it might increase in value I don't know that there has ever been a digital camera that has increased in value as time went along sometimes it kind of spikes right really early on because there's a shortage and there's not and people are like antsy to get their hands on it right when it's brand new but they the resell value on them is one of the things that I hate most about digital back in the days of film you could buy a camera, keep it for ten or fifteen years, it becomes your best friend and you know it, you can trust it and it retains a lot of its value because if you want to take higher quality pictures, you get a new lens and you put new film in the camera it was just a light tight box that holds the other elements, but nowadays it's it's more important an image quality and you don't buy a digital camera with the thought process I'm going to keep this for the rest of my life unless you are very, very old, this is something that people are going toe recycle through, you're going to have to move through it s o think about you're going to have this camera for a period of time, but yes, selling I I do like going through used equipment I'm very cautious about buying digital cameras used because I'm very concerned about the sensor being clean and so if you do buy a digital camera use, make sure either you have a return option where you test to see that the sensor is giving you clean it doesn't have dust or any specs or everything works about that sensor in the camera that's the most important thing fantastic uh let's see matt is wondering how did the meritless cameras compared to d slr video heard great things about the loom ix th three right? And so it completely changes between different manufacturers so in the little retro fuji video is very e mean it shoots video and for mom and dad if you're just going on vacation and you just want to shoot a few little clips of being on vacation it's more than acceptable it's fine for basic video it's nice to just have that option in there if you want to shoot video with an slr for a lot of people arguably the best camera the market is the g h three there's a lot of options that are in this camera that they don't have natively in other cameras cannon has been kind of leading with some of their video and what's happened is that there's been other people who've made hacks to go in to make different software so they can enable the camera to do everything they want? Panasonic said ok hackers we're going to give you pretty much everything you want and they just included tons of other things in here and so for shooting video I would look real strongly at the panasonic th three it's got a smaller size sensor and so there are some compromises, so I can't just say flat out it's the best thing out on the market, but it's a good one and maybe one final question sweet shots. How do you feel about sony, the sl ours compared to candidate nikon? Uh, yeah, sony interesting case there I'm sony inherited minolta and somewhat of the men elton mentality, and it seemed like they were always on the edge of let's do something different. Canon and nikon are doing this and they're really successful and we can't beat them at their own game let's try something else, and sometimes they try things that don't work, and sometimes they try things that do work on dh right now, it seems like they're muralists cameras are better than their slr cameras because their current slr cameras use a permanent mere in there that sucks a little bit of light from going into the image sensors so that you can see it to an electronic viewfinder. They might be on to something in the long term, but their current crop of cameras I'm a little lukewarm on they got some great lenses with some of their zeiss lenses, your more than capable of taking some very nice pictures, I'm a little bit more of a fan of the conventional night constant cannons in this case and actually I one more great one did come in from lucas miz aria the side street photography what other subjects do you think? Muralist cameras? Exelon I think they're the ultimate travel camera which is a potentially in an extension of street photography, but I think for travel photography I have been waiting for years for a camera that took me seriously a cz a photographer gave me nice controls just make it smaller but high quality and a lot of the mirrors marylise cameras have addressed that issue and so I think for travel, photography, vacations, things like that it's going to be great it's just not great for action that's kind of the main thing I think we can move on. All right, so in photography it's a little challenging teaching brand new students, which I'm sure there's going to be some brand new students out there because there are three things that you need to know about, you need to know about shutter speeds apertures and I esos and whenever you're learning about one there's something going on in the background with the other two but we can only learn one thing at a time so let's start with shutter speeds arguably because I think they're the easiest thing to learn you know the difference between the day in a week, right? Yes nods audience yes audience participation good. Okay, so this is just time scale on a shorter level. Ok, so for photographers, the difference between a hundredth of a second and a thousandth of a second is a really big deal in our daily lives that doesn't make a big deal, but in photography it does so many cameras these days will range between one a thousandth of a second all the way down to thirty seconds. So let's, break this apart and make this really simple. One second has the one with the little quote marks behind it and in your camera they don't have a lot of space to write out seconds in there, and so it just gives you the one with the little quotation two seconds. All right, twice is much time, twice a cz much light and in photography it's a straight linear scale when you double the amount of time you double the amount of light and this is what we call a stop of light, we're doubling the light when we go to a half second, we're letting in half assed much light as we did in one second. Now that there's a little confusing to a lot of people who begin is that these numbers up here are fractions of a second, all right, so when it says sixty in your view finder, it really means one sixtieth of a second why didn't they tell me that? Well they're trying to say space and they're trying to clean up the numbers so that it's nice and simple just a sixty and all the photographers no one sixteenth of a second and you can use a really fast shutter speed like four thousandth of a second for very fast action so there's a lot of different shutter speeds and there's different ones that you're going to choose for different subjects and let's take a walk through the shutter speeds right now and take a look at a bunch of different photographs now what you want to be really thinking about his time in motion, how long a period of time and how much and what sort of motion is happening in that photograph and this seems like ok, yeah, I know these things but we're going to have some quizzes and I want you to be prepared to answer some questions you guys ready? All right, let's start off really fast shutter speed for thousands of a second so hummingbirds wings move very, very quickly so you need a very fast shutter speed to stop that motion two thousandth of a second whale breaching out of the water stops not only the whale but if you could look closely at the water droplets the water droplets are frozen in the air with this very, very fast shutter speed rarely do we need these two thousand four thousandth of a second shutter speeds, but they are handy in these situations. So animals drafts running very quickly. A thousandth of a second will do a good job freezing that motion. Ok, let me give you a couple of key shutter speeds. Five hundredth of a second is really good for stopping human action. Ok? And so some dancers in bhutan, it freezes them in the air. Is it going to stop hussein bolt on a world record hundred meter run? Well, he might be moving a shade bit faster and we might want a thousand or two thousandth of a second. So these are numbers that kind of very a little bit. But this is frozen here at five hundredth of a second, and I got a question for the audience here. In theory, if I had shot this at a faster shutter speed, would they be more frozen in the air? Does that sound like a dumb question? Can you be more frozen? If you take an ice cube frozen in your refrigerator and you put it in a colder refrigerator? Will it be more frozen? No once it's frozen, it's frozen. And so the key thing about shooting action and fast shutter speeds is you want to figure out how fast a shutter speed we'll do the job and you don't really need to go much beyond it. You could go one for safety, but you don't need to go. We'll have five hundred is good enough. Let's go to eight thousand that's the top the camera will d'oh it's not going to help you out what's happening is that you're going to let in less light at one eight thousands of a second, and you're going to have to make up for that light in other areas where datil cause problems. Trust me down the road, okay to fiftieth of a second is still kind of fast, but you'll notice in this shot with the woman jumping, you can start seeing some blurring of the feet, and I kind of like that in the shot to show some action, but when we have blurriness in the face and we don't like to see blurry this in people's face, it gets a little sketchy when shooting action and to fiftieth of a second, so I pretty much never shoot fast action sports. At two fiftieth of a second down at one hundred twenty fifth of a second, we're getting into more of your pedestrian shutter speeds so some camels walking in the desert, you can see that their legs are pretty well frozen at just a shutter speed of one hundred twenty fifth of a second. One sixteenth of a second I kind of call this home plate this is kind of a nice base place to be for casual human movement which would be my second key shutter speed to remember sixtieth of a second for casual human movement you can see that there's a lot of pete people and a lot of votes and a lot of motion going on here but you can't really see that motion the shutter speed has stopped it at a sixteenth of a second as we get below this we're going to start getting into the slow shutter speeds and we're likely to see movement especially if the camera's moving when our subjects are moving and so this is a panning shot we talked about panning in my previous section seven steps to great photos panning shot here the backgrounds blurry because I'm moving the camera runners moving pretty quick but it's still enough on panning the camera smoothly enough that the face is pretty well and focus and it stands out from that blurry background I really love a fifteenth of a second for a lot of these casual blurred shots here and so I'm using the panning blur I'm moving the camera and getting several shots but I'm lucky to get one that comes out right here in like here in seattle I was attacked by a shark out in lake washington freshwater lake it might have been a buoy I don't know okay, so I did one of the little goofy trick here is wow I was shooting this picture I zoomed my lens a little bit if you got his inland you consume it during the exposure and it causes this kind of radio blurry of it so the practical lesson that you can take from this is that if you're ever attacked by a shark I would set a fifteenth of a second because it'll make it look more exciting all right? So down at a quarter second it doesn't mean all your pictures are going to be blurry at slow shutter speeds for this bardal I shows a quarter of a second because it was under a very dark canopy of trees and I just couldn't shoot at a very fast shutter speed in a quarter of a second I've got a lot of blurry pictures but I waited for the right moment when that bird was still and I got one when it was sharp ok, so we're gonna have some audience participation coming up in this shot right here now this is up in vamp national park and you'll see what we have a train blurry cameras on a tripod the mountains are sharp and clear now you'll notice the train cars down here at the bottom of the frame are very blurry and as we look back up on the train up around the bend up here they don't seem to be that blurry can anyone in the audience explain why the train cars air blurrier here then up here and you better not say the train's moving faster down here the action is closer to the camera the action is closer to the camera that is correct this is closer it is larger on frame there is another reason why it is blurrier here than it is back here does anyone know a second reason we're going to grab a microphone here is that that it's moving through more of the frame moving through mohr of the frame I'm going to give you a correct answer on that one yes the the car here is moving across more pixels because it's moving this direction ok the one in the back is moving this direction so if we can turn the camera straight on in front right here so as I move from here to here to here I'm not changing very much in size but if I move this direction I'm changing pretty significantly back and forth and so it has to do with its apparent movement the train is apparently moving here more and it's closer which is why it's blurrier here so you have to think about what's the action is it side to side or is it coming towards me when choosing the right cheddar speed moving down in a second one second is really good if you like those blurry waterfall moving river shots if you like doing nighttime photography, you're going to be using these slower shutter speeds. This is actually a self portrait at mobius arch to full seconds four seconds working well after sunset down on oregon on the oregon coast bandon beach eight seconds one of the things that happened here is at eight seconds all the ripples in the water kind of evened out and it almost looks like we have a layer of ice which we don't get on lake union it's not cold enough here to do that but pret provided a kind of interesting look for getting these star shots you're going to need fifteen thirty seconds maybe longer and a fast lands to work with I call this picture ball of confusion is down in death valley at the racetrack where these rocks slide across the mud and here I'm taking a handheld it's a headlamp and I'm swinging it all around and so it's doing thirty seconds of recording all the light movement and that's called light painting, which is a lot of fun to do with long shutter speeds if you're out camping, we're in a really dark area so with those shutter speeds the three key shutter speeds that you kind of can keep in mind is kind of baselines is five hundred is pretty good for stopping fast human action a sixtieth for casual action and in one second one second for blurring moving water so I don't know check in real quickly we're good we're good online any questions in the audience? John uh wondering if you could talk something about you didn't really go into where handheld becomes no longer an option basically speed yeah it's because of the short nature of this class but I will say that handheld falls under the category of casual human movement I'm casually moving right now and so holding a sixtieth of a second if I had to just give you one number it's actually tied a little bit to the lens you're using so if you use a large telephoto lens that's magnifying your movements and you're going to need a faster shutter speed the some some cameras and lenses have stabilization and I'll actually address that a little bit later on so we'll go ahead and keep moving on and let's talk about the image sensor that is in your camera so this is the device that has replaced film this is what sensitive to light it's recording the image and there's a lot going on that a lot of kind of newbies to photography don't know about first off there's a ton of cameras out on the market and you might be surprised to learn that they pretty much all have different size sensors in them there's a lot of different sensors out there and that has a big impact on exactly what the camera does what it's best at all the accessories what they're going to do, what type of lenses you want for it and so forth. And so here are some of the most common sizes that you're going to find on slr today and to explain these it's probably easiest to start with the largest of these which is known as a full frame sensor and this is based directly off of thirty five millimeter film and for those of us old time photographers, I guess I'm an old time photographer now who had a bunch of thirty five millimeter gear cameras and lenses and when digital came around all you did was say replace the camera body, put a digital one in all my lenses work on it. It was very, very convenient and there's a lot of cameras out there that have this full frame sensor and it provides extremely good image quality and I wish all cameras had a full frame sensor in many ways, but the downside is that they're pretty expensive fact they make cameras very expensive. The least expensive full frame camera is in roughly the two thousand dollars price range and so they needed to make something smaller to make it a little bit less money and so nikon made a sensor they call it a dx sensor and it's smaller by a factor of one point five so it's gonna have a crop factor of one point five cannon has one that's very similar it's, slightly different it's one point six on the crop factor pretty close together and then the micro for third system, which is what is being used by panasonic and olympus, has a two times crop compared to this, and we'll talk a little bit about those crop when we get to the lenses. Nikon has a one serious camera marylise camera that uses a little bit smaller sensor. They call it a cx kind of a compact sensor on it, and then there's a variety of point shoots that have slightly different size sensors. If you look at him, you have to dig pretty far deep into the stats of the camera to figure out exactly how big it is, and your phone is likely to have a sensor the size of the very smallest one on here or smaller. And one of the things that we want is a big sensor. A big sensor means big pixels that can absorb light. And so in general, I like to have the biggest sensor possible and it's something that we're all kind of cover tina's when we look at different cameras, tobias, how big is the sensor let's? Talk about the pixels itself, so pixel the word comes from picture element it's, the light sensitive cells in the sensor, that's picking up light and recording it now there's a number of cameras out on the market that will have six thousand pixels across in four thousand pixels in height and if you don't mind doing a little bit of math four thousand times six thousand gets us twenty four million which is a twenty four megapixel sensor which is plenty of pixels for getting good image quality now the pixels themselves look a little like this they're just going to be a little light sensitive cells kind like a solar cell you might say there's a micro lends in front of it usually to get with light directed in there and you've probably noticed how new cameras have more pixels than old cameras well what's happening is that's very simple if you want more pixels in the same area they've got to be smaller in size and they've got to be packed closer together and there is a big balance between how many pixels and how big a pixels in some ways you want both but you can't have both if you want a high quality sensor you want something that has a lot of pixels but is also very large in size and so that's a bit of a compromise what's better twenty four megapixel camera or a sixteen megapixel sensor well, it depends on some specifics that are going on the other aspect is the quality of those pixels and the censor I was reading one technical analysis about sensors and cameras and they said that eighty percent of the image quality had to do with the processing of the information not the actual sensor itself it's how it's processed in dealt with afterwards and so when I say quality generally you can also substitute the word nunes new cameras tend to be better than old cameras and so if you have two cameras that are both twelve megapixels and their five years apart and when they were introduced, the newer one almost always do a better job and so this is how they can continue to make cameras, but they keep figuring the processing out better every single year. So on your cameras we got a sensor we got light that comes into the sensor and from there it magically turns it into a bunch of ones and zeros, which is our digital image so our camera needs light how much light doesn't need? Well, we're not going to get into too much of the behind the scenes technical we don't have time port in this class, but it works on a eso setting which is international standards organization and for most cameras not all but most the base setting where cameras work their best is s a one hundred for some cameras it's eighty for some it's one sixty for some it's two hundred it's generally in the range but one hundred foreign away the most popular setting there will be additional settings like two hundred, four hundred eight hundred sixteen hundred some cameras go way up there a number when you change from I s a one hundred to two hundred you're doubling the sensitivity of that sensor it's basically cranking up the brightness double and if you make new other change, your picture will be twice as bright as it was in the first image you're generally you're going to be using eyes so one hundred for fairly bright subjects and you'll be using sixteen hundred in low light although there's a lot of bumping around in here when you know what you're doing, your camera is also likely to have an auto also said and this is where your camera goes in to figure out what I s o you want now if we weaken drawn analogy between this in driving cars, maybe race cars, this is the equivalent of having a stick shift or an automatic drive if you were driving in the daytona five hundred would you want an automatic drive car? Most race drivers and I don't know many, but I would assume that they would prefer to be able to shift gears themselves and for photographers this is shifting gears yourself there's very specific reasons why you're going to want to be jumping between these so let me just kind of go through a few quick photos and why I would do specific isil with esos, one of the things I'm thinking about is sensor quality, but I'm also in the back of my mind thinking about cheddar speak I want to have an appropriate shutter speed in some cases now, but I also one hundred for a subject that not is not moving and I'm on a tripod I can use any shutter speed possible, whatever shutter speed works one minute, thirty seconds doesn't matter when a thousandth of a second to be fined. So I'm going to shoot this at I s o one hundred when I want to shoot sports and I need a faster shutter speed, I need to compensate with the light a little bit and they need a little bit more sensitive sensor and so I s o four hundred. Even under good lighting conditions for shooting sports is almost always necessary. If you shoot nighttime sports or enter gymnasium, you're going to be up at sixteen thirty two or sixty, four hundred when I go into a nightclub. Yeah, they have lights where you can see the band, but I'm probably going to need to jump up to sixteen hundred, depending on lighting conditions in the lens and so forth, and so under low light conditions, I'm concerned about movement, I don't want them completely blurry. Now the reason I don't just jump up to sixteen hundred all the time is for image quality off of the sensor, so I like to do tests with cameras every once in a while to see how good they are different, I suppose, and I think this is a good test for anyone who has a new digital camera to shoot a static subject at different esos to see how good the quality is, and you can see very clearly over here a twenty five thousand this is what's called a noisy image. It kind of looks grainy if your day, if you're familiar with the film, look, but it's not nearly as attractive as grain, and so we try to avoid this as much as possible, and so part of the game of photography is to keep your eyes so as low as possible. And so there's a lot of different things that were going to do to try to keep that ice so low as much as possible because typically for good pictures, I don't like to go above sixteen hundred, but that does very from camera to camera because the size of the censor, the quality of the camera, how good the processor in that camera it'll very some of these cameras, I'm pretty good up to sixty, four hundred other cameras, I'm going to stop at sixteen hundred and so it depends a little bit on the camera and it depends on your opinion as well. What do you think is good enough quality for what you're doing? The two important factors you want to know about lenses are their focal length. They got some millimeter numbers like eighteen to fifty five or fifty millimeters and sometimes they're really weird numbers like ten point four dash thirty seven point one which means it's a zoom lens and it varies between those two so fifty millimeters is kind of our traditional normal lands. Anything less than fifty is what we consider a wide angle lands anything with a number of greater than fifty is what we consider a telephoto lens. Zoom lenses are simply lenses that change in focal length. There are all sorts of zoom's standards. Ooh, maybe twenty four to seventy you might have a lens that it's exclusively good at wide angle but it zooms like a sixteen to thirty five same thing with the telephoto and pretty much all the point shoots have zooms on them there's a few point in shoots that have a fixed prime lands but not that many. What you see through the camera through the lands is simply an angle of you and so you can just simply put your hands out like this to see the angle of you. This is what you see with a fifty millimeter lands using a full frame sensor if you have a crop frame sensor like some of the mirror lis cameras or some of the cameras from nikon, canon, sony and many others have a one point five or one point six crop because it's a smaller crop, you would need a different lens to see that same angle of you. Okay, audience participation time. You guys ready to get your hands free? Get your hands free and want to do is we want you to put your hands out in front of you like this. Luke. Okay, put your hands like this and bend your elbows a little bit. Okay, now, kind of move around, pivot at the hip. You are looking to a fifty millimeter lands right between your fingers. That is a fifty millimeter lands so I can get, like, three or four students. I can't get all of you with a fifty millimeter lands. All right, so if you want to fifty and you don't own it that's what it looks like all right, so with a wider angle lens were simply seen mohr from side to side. If you're into photography, you're gonna want at least a twenty eight millimeter lands. If you have a crop trained camera, that means you're going to want in eighteen millimeter lands. With a lot of these cameras they come with an eighteen to fifty five millimeter lands so it's a pretty good start for a wide angle lance, if you like to do architecture, landscape or other types of things you might want to go all the way down to sixteen which would be known as a ultra wide lance and then when we have a narrower angle of you were talking about telephoto lenses around one hundred millimeters is very popular for portrait photography. If you are into photography, you are going to want at least a two hundred millimeter lands depends on what you do but two hundred millimeter lands is a nice narrow angle of you. Okay, audience participation time you guys want to have it to you want to free two hundred millimeter lands? Ok here's what you do you go here birdie birdie birdie, come on, everybody and right there, your finger the width of your finger is about what you're going to see with the two hundred millimeter lands now, obviously body parts vary in size and arm length varies a little bit there but that's roughly what you're going to see with the two hundred millimeter lands. All right, so let's look at some photographs hundred degree angle of you super wide angle lands and so this is a sixteen millimeter lands doing landscape photography trying to show the grand environment for travel photography, a moderately wide, pretty wide angle lens, a twenty eight millimeter lens on a full frame camera is very handy doesn't really distort the way the super wide angle lens does and it's a very, very valuable folk alike. The fifty millimeter lands is kind of your standard lands I really like the fifty first street photography. Some people like the thirty five it's, a matter of personal style and taste, but it's, good for just general action out in front of you, good for a very journalistic view of the world we're getting into. Our telephoto lenses now are short tele photos are great for portrait work we often have shallow depth of field. The characteristics of the face look very normal when you want to get further away from your subject so you don't get eaten, you're going to want your two hundred and longer lenses. Now we go on and talk about all the bigger lenses, but we're just going to stop it two hundred if you're looking at a point to camera, they'll often have a zoom lens that it's listed as a five times zoom lands, and sometimes you have to dig into the literature to figure out what do they mean by that? And then they'll be something in there that says equivalent twenty eight to one forty or numbers like that and that's going to explain the wide angle versus the telephoto there's a number of cameras that have humongous zooms and they keep producing them because people still keep buying him it's very hard to use a camera at six hundred seventy five millimeters, but they're out there and there are a little tough to use because it's very strong you know, if you do use a point in ship, let me give you one very important tip your feature your camera probably has a feature called digital zoom and here's what it does, it takes a little portion of the frame and it magnifies it, and this is the same thing you could dio on a computer at home and it's pretty low quality. If your camera has digital zoom in almost every case I can imagine I would turn that off. You don't want to be using digital zoom you want to use optical zoom, which is the actual lens elements in the lands now within the lands we have aperture said it's. This is the opening through which we shoot in the lands and we have many different settings and there is a siri's of numbers that you should get to know quite well because you're going to be using these in photography and these air fractions and they're a little bit complicated for people to learn because the small number is the big opening and the big number is the little opening and get used to it because it's just the way it is, but you'll often see these justus f twenty two or twenty two now, when we go from four point o two two point eight, we're letting in more light and the slightly weird thing about this we talked about I cells, and those numbers went one hundred, two hundred, four hundred, they just doubled, it was really easy. When we were at shutter speeds, we went sixty one, twenty five to fifty, they doubled and they cut in half. In this case, we're not doubling and cutting in half, and it's, because of circle, gets exponentially larger when it gets just a little bit bigger. And so each step here is either doubling or cutting in half the amount of light and each step quite a few steps in europe, it got to get used to changing those, and so the aperture setting is going to control the amount of light coming in your camera. So if you want to let in more light or less like you could make it a change with your aperture, but when you do that, it also does something else, and that is, is it controls the depth of field, so depth of field could be defined as the zone of acceptable focus, and sometimes we want everything and focus and sometimes we want just a narrow slice of information in focus and this is going to be adjusted by the aperture on your camera so let's take this aperture let's open it up and you can see here by the red hash marks on the right hand side we have very shallow depth of field and as we adjust the aperture setting to a smaller and smaller opening we get more and more depth of field so you can see our depth of field is growing here down at the end of the rulers it was out of focus and it's becoming maurine focus with every setting and so if we want maximum depth of field we're going to stop down to something like f twenty two where we get lots in focus and so as far as the depth of field goes give you three quick tips you want to use a really wide aperture to blur the background for instance in a portrait shot you can use a middle aperture for kind of general photography and if you want great depth of field you're going to use a really small aperture which is a big number of like f twenty two and so check and russ again once again with you absolutely one good question that I actually now really wondering myself we have eighty photo the half apertures like four point five not not the full apertures is it actually doing physical things to the blades at all? Or is it just software? No, it is actually changing. Most cameras will change in third stops and it's, just a little increment. Every once in a while you want you don't want to double that it's just too much. And so you can just go a little bit and it's one of those times when you just need to take a half step forward rather than taking a full step. And so it is physically moving the blades that one third catches. So the full stops are still doubling the light, right? And then the others are just there for one third increments in most cases. Excellent. Thank you. I think that'll be all right. So let's move on to a bit more of the techniques. And now they learned most of the basics. We're gonna move on. All right. Most cameras have this big old dial on the top of the camera and it's called the mod ill and it's how shutter speeds and apertures are seven. The camera and most cameras are going to have some manual options and you're gonna have some automatic options. We're gonna have a little green zone, green camera pictures of different things, faces and so forth now these auto zones I have what I call child safety locks on the features of camera and so if you want to get in and make a change you kind of can't do it some of the menus are limited or their disabled you can't get into him and if you really want to do photography throw these out the window don't use them you don't want to use him anymore they're fine for handing your camera to a friend to take pictures but if you want to take control you've got to get out of the auto moz and so the auto modes can help you out cheat if you want to see what the camera would recommend for a portrait photograph you could put it in the portrait mode and you can get an idea of where the shutter speeds are now one of the things that I really was never quite sure about with ease in the early days of my photography was well maybe I should use the landscape mode because maybe the cameras doing something I don't know how to do well when you don't know anything these air find modes but once you start learning photography there is nothing going on here that you can't do yourself there is no magic mojo no fairy dust, nothing the cameras air doing that you just can't do yourself so you should step into the more manual melts we're going to start with program program is actually the same is the green zone. The only difference is that the flash won't pop up and you don't have child safety locks on the rest of the features of the camera. And so program mode is pretty good if you just want to have your camera ready to take a picture real quickly and you're not critical about shutter speed and aperture, but you want to have more control that's why you're watching this class right? That's what you're watching creative life, you want to take control shut her priority is kind of one of the first steps, and in this mode you could select a very specific shutter speed. Ah, there's action! I want a thousandth of a second! I'm going to choose a faster shutter speed for shooting action now I want to do one of those blurry shots I'm going to choose a slower shutter speed, you can do that and let the camera figure out the aperture. I'm actually not a big fan of the shutter priority mode. I prefer the aperture priority moment, and this is where I get control of the aperture and I'm just paying attention to the shutter speed on the back end of things you might say, and so I'm thinking this might look good at really shallow depth of field. Or I might want to have great depth of field and it's a very easy change going from one point four to twenty two or whatever the ranges on your particular lance so I like aperture priority quite a bit now these three months that we've just talked about aperture priority shudder priority in program have something in common and that is is that they were all what we call auto exposure mounts, which means the camera is ultimately deciding the exposure of your photograph and it's based off this eighteen percent gray theory that everything in the world is eighteen percent gray and in order to adjust for that because trust me, folks, not everything in the world is eighteen percent gray. You need to figure out where that little plus minus button is on your camera. This is the exposure compensation they put it in a lot of different places on cameras and here's why you want to use it in this particular photograph? It looks like a silhouette right now because the camera has under exposed it's a very bright background and what we need to do is we need to over exposed by about a stop and you can see how much the photograph changes when we brighten this up by one stop over the camera recommended setting and so this is a reason why you would go to the plus side with exposure compensation for subjects that are very, very dark in nature, you want to go to the minus side, and so the camera has lightened this subject up a little bit too much, so we're going to dial down the exposure compensation to minus one. To get this to the proper exposure takes a little bit of practice and playing around to kind of really get this fine tuned in the field, but this is a good reason for looking at your images and trying out some different things. So in the africa priority shutter priority and program modes filthy to play around a little bit with your exposure compensation. Now the number one most important thing about this is very simple. Reset it back to zero when you're done, because if you leave your camera at plus to the next pictures you take, you're gonna have a little bit of a problem, okay, but if you want to get serious, you got to try out manual manual is we're most serious photographer shoot a great percentage the time most serious photographers shoot in manual and aperture priority, very few shooting anything else and manual is when you want to take control of your camera's light, shutter speeds apertures, and you are going to need to use the light meter, a swell these very from camera to camera. But there's usually a scale a minus side in a plus side if the indicator is down on the minus side it means your picture is probably going to be too dark if it's way off on the plus side sometimes there's arrows pointing that you're way off it's going to be too bright and so to start with for your first picture it's generally pretty good to get it set right in this in the middle of zero so let's take an example and let me kind of walk you through the exposure of this particular photograph all right, so these are some monks in bhutan and they're doing a slow dance move they're not moving real quick talked about shutter speeds apertures and esos and I kind of always have my camera at I s a one hundred and I'll make adjustments from there but that's kind of the base starting point I'm thinking about casual human movement somebody from the audience yell out what's a good shutter speed for casual human movement sixty eighth of a second thank you very much and so that's where it would be good to be at I could be faster it would be nice to be faster but sixtieth would be a good good shutter speed here as faras aperture um I want a fair bit of depth of field I'm not going to shoot with massive it's not going to be super small good old photographic saying f eight and be there is going to be a good option for this one. Let's, take a look at the light meter under expose this happens all the time you need to lighten this up a little bit in this case, I think maybe I'll back off the aperture to five point six toe, let in one stop of light. Now I'm one stop away, and in this case, I really need to stick to a sixtieth of a second, and I'm going to bump up that I so to two hundred to kind of play around a little bit, so I'm sticking to what's important with the shutter speed, and I'm compromising on the other factors and so that's manual exposure something I hi, I highly encourage you to play around with let's jump right into focusing the camera. One of the most common complaints I hear from people who don't know about cameras very much is I press the button and it doesn't take a picture. How come it doesn't take a picture and it's like because you're jabbing at it and you're not letting it focus cameras have a place where you press down to fire the shutter, but in between is where it hits a secondary lever, which allows your camera to focus and you need to let your camera focus on a subject most cameras will not allow you to shoot a picture unless it's in focus, and so if your camera just doesn't fire for some reason, it's, because you're not doing it right, you need to get those focusing points on the subject, talk about that in a second, press halfway down and let it do its focusing and then press all the way down. Photographers have very sensitive fingers were very sensitive people here. We have very sensitive fingers and were often just tapping, tapping down halfway, making sure our camera is awake. It's ready, it's in focus, it's ready to go and so just get used to that and the feel of it on your camera. Now, you should also make sure that your camera is in focus by making sure that your cameras focusing system has turned on or turned off there's manual focusing, which I like to do for some situations, but auto focus works great on many, many cameras and it's. What I used most of the time in my camera canon cameras have a big old switch on the lands nikon is in a state of transition, you might say they've had a switch on the body and there's a lot of cameras and lends combinations that will be on both it's a little confusing, so let me just recommend leave the one in auto focus on the body all the time when you want to go to manual focus just flip the switch on the lens it's probably easiest to do that keep things nice and simple now for focusing you need to be aware of what your frame looks like and this is a little bit different I'll note for all the mirror lis users but this is for mostly for the sl ours some of it pertains to the marylise is that your camera has a little box somewhere in the viewfinder look for it and that's where it wants to focus and it needs contrast and lines if you're going to set your framing up for a picture like this, your camera is going toe wanting back and forth as the lens is trying to focus all right, it needs something of contrast all right? Do you think the camera can focus on this? Yes nods yes not if it's not in the right spot and this is what happens some people like well, there's contrast in there will you didn't put the box exactly on the right area and so does this look like a good thing to focus on? They're all scared answering correctly on this point yes, it is a great thing to focus on we got nice solid lines, verticals, horizontal lines, all sorts of lines going through these focusing points and so we're going to be using these focusing points for different types of situations. Now one of the options is you can activate all the focusing points, and so they're all hot looking for something to focus on. The problem is, is that in a situation like this photograph, you can't have everything in focus, you have to have the lens choose one thing to focus on, and the standard way all cameras work is they focus on whatever is closest to you, and so in this place is going to choose the bracket on the right hand side as the most important bracket if you said no that's, not where I wanted to focus, you're going to have to go change to an individual point you should figure this out on your camera how do I change focusing points? And while this is a very valuable tool, I and a lot of other photographers don't do this because it's a lot of hassle and what we end up doing is we end up using the center focusing point often because it is the best type of focusing point it's what's known as a cross type point on virtually all cameras, which means it's looking for vertical lines and horizontal lines, which means it can pick up on just about anything now some cameras have many more than the nine focusing points I've illustrated here and they have something I generically called group point where it's not all it's not one it's a group of them and this tends to be really good for sports photography, so if you want to do sports, we talk to be choosing a smaller group that you can kind of position in the frame can be quite handy, so you need to be familiar with how to change your different focusing points. Many photographers simply leave it on single point because they want to be very precise about where they focus sports photographers air working with group point and sometimes you'll use all points for certain types of photography but usually not too many because it's just a little too generic and where it wants to choose to focus. So take a photograph like this class if we have that centerpoint activated, can it focus? No, it can't because there's nothing in there to folks if we want to focus on this person picking dates, what we're going to do is we're going to move the camera up onto that person even though that's not the framing we want for the picture we're going to press halfway down on our shed a release which are most cameras is going to lock focus so it's focused in the right place we're going to then recompose the camera and then press the rest of the way down on the shutter release and this is called focus lock and it's something a lot of photographers do for a lot of situations. We focus we recompose because we like to be artistic and we take the picture. All right? If you have a camera with you, get it in your hands is your thumb on the top or on the bottom? Some people grab a camera like this and this is incorrect. This is correct. If there was only a little thing you could remember, thumb up is good and thumb down is bad, something like that, and the reason is is because your elbow is out here this put your elbow down here where there's a better basis support if you have a longer lens, you're also be able to support that lands in the palm and you have your fingers, work, zoom or the focusing system on the camera on the lands. All right, so from down is bad thumb up is good just come up with something to think about that. All right, next up, we're talking about shutter speeds for hand holding the camera. We want to look us what's the focal length of the lens and a good rule of thumb is one over the focal length of the lance, and so with the sixty millimeter lens, you're probably going to need a sixteenth of a second so what that means with different lenses like a seventy two, two hundred? Well, around a sixtieth two one two, fiftieth of a second, your traditional fifty millimeter lands. He's going to be around a sixteenth of a second in a wide angle. Fourteen. Well, a fifteenth of a second would be pretty close. So that's a good place to start the one area that has come to really help us out. A bit of technology that is very nice is the stabilisation systems that are built in on lenses and camera. It's amazing how good this is at being able to shoot there's. A number of the fuji camera, the little olympus omd am five is amazing. I shot shark pictures down to a half second with those cameras because they have really good stabilisation systems in there. But as far as keeping that focus correct, thinking about our shutter speeds, we have fast shutter speeds and there's all sorts of cool things we could do with fast shutter speeds. But there's a whole lot of cool things we could do with slow shutter speeds, but in many of these cases to use these slow shutter speeds, you need a tripod, and so tripods are absolutely critical for a lot of different types of photography. Obviously under very low light conditions, they're going to allow you to shoot when you wouldn't normally be able to get a hand held shot because the shutter speed is going to be open for longer than you could ever hand hold the camera in some cases I'm using a tripod because I want depth of field and it's kind of a long shutter speed a quarter of a second, but I'm needing that depth of field sometimes I'm using the tripod right in the middle of the day because I want to get a blurry shot where most people don't get a blurry shots, so the main reasons for using a tripod or pretty obvious we want to maximize sharpness it's going to be good under low light conditions so that we can use those very slow shutter speeds and allows us to blur movement like rivers and waterfalls and so forth hand it also allows us to shoot with maximum depth of field all right, so this is not going to be a long dissertation on flash. This is this kind of the most basic level on flash, but flash is another tool that we can use on your cameras there's going to be a lightning bolt in many cases that pops the flash up and sometimes control some of the flash options in there, the three b basic options are auto off and on I am not a big fan of auto because cameras want to use a flash whenever it's dark I want to use a flash when it will work and sometimes when it's dark and the subjects to far away it won't work and so I think everyone should be consciously making the decision am I going to use a flash or not and be choosing on or off yourself don't let your camera choose it for you flash has one of these problems it's called light fall off it's very effective for subjects that are right in front of you but as you get further away that mountain range behind is not being illuminated by my little flash all right, one of the things that I don't like about flash is that you get some pretty harsh shadows with it especially when you turn the camera sideways you get really unusual shadows and so any time you can kind of hide where the shadows are so using the flash in daytime is a great choice it's a great for using it with people shots to help illuminate the face we're having people stand in front of a brighter doorway so you don't see those shadows if you could do bounce photography using a low white ceiling or a white hallway you khun bounce that light to get a nice soft light rather than that direct flash on one of the most effective times to use the flash is when you wouldn't normally consider using the flash under bright noon sunlight illuminating the shadows filling the shadows adding a little catch light to the eyes and you want just a little bit of flash. You don't want to overpower flash and so built in flash and add on flash could be helpful in a few little situations, but try to be very careful about using good use of bounce lighting. Here you can see how the ceilings a little bit brighter, but with digital, were able to shoot it higher isil more and more easily, all the time, and for a lot of situations, I say, turn the flash off, try to steady the camera and shoot it still is, you can use a tripod, use a stabilisation system and just shoot with natural light. I've become a very big fan of natural light flash has its place, he just kind of have to put it in there, just when it's most helpful there's just a few other little camera settings that we haven't talked about here that you should know about as you get into photography first, and most important is the file type. We have two different types of files that most camera shoot, j peg and raw jay pegs air very convenient, because it's, a common format that we can email we can put on facebook, we could transfer very easy on the web, but the problem is, is that we lose some data in a j pickets compressing and throwing out some information. The raw photos are using a unique format and kind of this might little pain in the butt for for some people is that you've got to use special software that came with your camera, where you can use other programs like I use adobe light room and there's many other very good programs out there that read a raw when I want to put a picture up on my website or email it to a friend, I shoot a raw turned it into a j peg, I send them the j peg and I keep the original raw, which has all the original information. The j pigs are a little bit smaller in size, but I want to collect as much data as possible. Back in the days of film, I shot film, I kept my negatives, I didn't throw my negatives away. The negatives on their own aren't good for anything. I've never shown my negative standing one nobody wants to see my negatives, I'll make a print and this is essentially your negative. And so if you're serious about your work, you want to get the most out of your images, you're going to want to shoot rock now there until you get your software game set up. You can shoot j peg and jay peak is still pretty good these days and you could get some fine results but you want to be looking at shooting rock you're not shooting it right now white balance is the color of light that you're working under you need to be aware of the type of light sources around you and the color of light your camera will have settings for sunlight cloudy and shade it'll have settings for artificial light like tungsten fluorescent and flash if you're getting wonky color you should go in and check the white balance camera also has an auto white balance setting and I have to admit I use auto white parents a lot and the reason I use all the white balance is number one it does a pretty good job and number two I shoot in raw and I can fix white balance later on if it's one key but if it is bad I will I will go in and adjust it if it doesn't look right and so I know where this is know how to change it feel free to change it any time you need to the drive mode it controls what happens when you press down on the shutter release of the camera do you take one picture do you have the motor drive continually fire off shots one after another when you're shooting sports I keep it in the motor drive most of the time I keep it in single shot. I'm just looking to take one picture at a time. Sometimes, though, the self timer or the two second self timer works really nice when you're working on a tripod real quickly on playback. Universal symbol for playback is the arrow to the right. All right, so you press that for playback. Obviously, pay close attention if your camera has an information button or a display button on the back of the camera because it'll pull up additional information about your shutter speed. Your aperture the time of day that you shot lots of other information, and if you want to check to see if it's a great photograph, you want to make sure it's sharpened focus, and so you'll use thes zoom in. Zoom out buttons. Different cameras have different buttons in different places, but learn where they are on your camera, because then you can zoom in and you could be one hundred percent guaranteed that it's in focus. If you zoom back out, then you can see thumbnails and you could quickly quickly scroll through all of your images. Well, russia need to grab a drink of water here, maybe one question, but we have a little bit of room to go and not much time, um well then I'm just going to say something funny we were wondering when you were showing this picture of the shark attack what shutter speed you should use if you're being attacked by a shark may know it's very important for a lot of people out uh I think a fifteenth is where to stick, but that's the key one fifteenth of a second for all shark attacks because that scene we don't want to make it anymore complicated and it has to be right exactly the spur of the moment of death just locking at fifteen all right? Uh had a lot of technical stuff I mean, we may not have as much time for this, so we're going toe keep things really when it comes to composition and so forth make simple, bold statements life is kind of cluttered we need to simplify things here in seattle over at the chicken and locks we got these little sculptures which are kind of intriguing what should you d'oh? Well, you should start to fill the frame with him don't have into small in the frame there's a lot of junk in the background, explore your subject, move around it, walk around, figure out different angles you don't have to shoot all of something to be in the picture shooting just one can be fine or just portions of one play around with the depth of field that we've talked about and so this is how you will shoot a subject and I will just explore it little bits here a little bit here. I kind of like this idea. One idea leads to another. And my favorite image from this little siri's is this shot here? Now we compare that back to the first image of just kind of seen this general subject and recognizing it. It takes a little bit of time to dive in and work this out of a subject, but it's worth the time, so allow yourself time to be creative with the subject. Just a quick little moment on light because obviously light is very important for a photographer. So you should always be aware of your surroundings in light. And how it's changing how it's different. So let me just give you three quick characteristics to think about unlike you want to be very aware of the direction of life what's illuminated. What did the shadows look like from that direction? And how will this change if I move the light to a new to a new place or I move my subject around to have that light in a different direction? You want to be aware of the light the size of the light source photographers and studios are very aware of exactly the size of their light source and how it affects their subject. The other aspect you want to be thinking about is the color of the light source, whether you have gels over your light like we do here in the studio where the time of day when you shoot something at sunrise were in the afternoon. Different things to think about as far as the direction of light. Front light is where your subject is being illuminated in front. It's easy like to work with, but not the most interesting, more difficult and more interesting light would be back light. And so sometimes this could be a little tricky on the exposure, but could be very interesting. A very good type of light is sidelight like coming around your subject, creating a little bit of shadow. A little bit of shadow is good. Too much shadow is what you get in hard light. You get this very hard line between the shadows and the bright areas and it's very hard to see into those shadows for details. Tough light to work with you wait till that later in the day you will have soft light to work with. Also beginning at the end of the days are magic. Golden hours of light is when we have very warm light, which is a very good time for both portrait photography and landscape photography. Now there's a lot of tools and gadgets we don't have time to go into on controlling the light, so probably the simplest thing to work with at the start is just simply this device working with time allow a little bit of time down in san francisco shooting the painted lady houses bright sunlight on the city behind the houses are in the shadows as we wait for the sun to set and as the sun gets lower, the bright lights in the city get darker and darker and is the street lights come on? The house has become brighter and brighter compared to the background and it's a better balance between the houses and the city by simply waiting for the right light. All right with our final few minutes here we're going to rush through composition composition in five minutes folks point of view where are you standing? How high up are you? Are you standing up on the left? Are you laying flat down on the ground so that you can get a low angle of you? Those of you here in seattle? No it's a long and skinny city. How far is it from seattle all the way out to the columbia center it's about a mile and a half, but when you photograph it from kerry park right next to each other it's a bit of compression that's going on shooting from low angles with animals or kids getting down to eye level highly recommended if you have the opportunity to shoot up above and shoot straight down you can get interesting perspectives I wanted to shoot straight down on the cross country team is they're doing their big chance before the big games I used to fish eye lens on a mano pot right above it I wanted to mimic exactly what it was like riding my bike across alaska are riding my bike on a very unusual canoe trip it's a pedal powered canoe trip and in this canoe we installed a model pot in the back of the boat so that we could get shots like this where shots from the front of the boat like this and then we use duct tape so that we could attach a boom off to the side of the boat because there is nobody else to shoot these shots and while we were in this remote part of of canada we were running out of food on this expedition and I wanted to capture running out of food and so I got this shot says on unusual point of view next thing to think about is clean backgrounds what is your subject what is your background? The tomb of the unknown soldier in washington d c has lots of people around it it's very cluttered how do you clean it up telephoto lands slightly different angle of you he constantly thinking about your background because it is in many cases as important as your subject material. Another theory is that darks retreat and lights advance and so this is a reasonable picture of a dingo in australia, but I prefer the one where it isthe right in front of a very dark tree. The ears stand out and they become much more notifiable shapes in this case, standing just a few feet apart. That bright background really distracts from your eyes and so moving from left to right, adjusting that background, looking where the light is hitting and what does the background look this case? I'm working with a great blue heron moving in closer and closer, and this is a bad shot here because I got something very important running through the beak of the bird. You see that dark area just above the bird's head to the left? If I line it up right, I could have a nice, clean background for backgrounds also want to think about silhouettes having a nice colored background if you have distinctive shapes, and so human shapes are obviously very easy to see thinking about your angle of you, which lends do you want to use? You need to think about what's the story that you're trying to tell and so on many subjects, if it's not an interesting environment, get in close if it is an interesting environment, put on your white angle lens and show the bigger environment. In some cases, you'll like the white angles a lot shot, and you might like the close up shot. Where in the frame should the subject be placed well, we talked about using that center focusing point, because it was the cross type sensitive point. You don't want to keep your subject there all the time. And so you want to move it off to the sides in some cases, and so play around with moving your subject away from it.

Class Description

For the basic point-and-shooter to the more advanced SLR user, this class will teach techniques, concepts, and innovative ideas that will open your eyes to the world around you and set you on a course for taking your photography to a higher level. Before unleashing your creative vision, you first need a solid understanding of your camera and some technical details: the photography basics. This course will take you step by step through the maze of technical jargon and equipment to help you achieve your full artistic vision and on your way to taking great pictures. 

In this Photography Basics course, you will learn everything you need to know in order to get started with your camera, the essential techniques, and the fundamentals of composition. All the components that go into making a great picture. 



John Greengo is an excellent instructor and I always get useful information from his classes. This one serves as a great reminder to the proven techniques and best practices. The information is delivered in a meaningful and easy way of learning.


This course is perfect for those who are just starting out. As a semi-newbie with a Nikon D3300, I find that it unfortunately doesn't go into as much detail as I'd like. But seeing as I got the class for free and John did acknowledge it was a bit of a crash course. One great thing was about composition. I hadn't done any research on it and appreciated the little bit he said on it. So I will be taking this course as a springboard! Thanks!

a Creativelive Student

If you are new to photography or need a refresher on the basics.. Take this class! I learned more basics in this 90 class then I did taking 3 classes here locally. The info is simple and easy to follow. The pictures and graphs make it easy to follow along. Great job. This is class 1 of my series to launch my career. Thank you John for sharing.