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Diving into the Narrative

Lesson 40 from: Photography 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

Diving into the Narrative

Lesson 40 from: Photography 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

40. Diving into the Narrative


Class Trailer



The Camera is Simply a Tool


How Does a Camera Work?


How to Adjust Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO


Exposure Triangle


What is a Stop of Light


Reading Exposure Via the Histogram


Blown Highlights or Clipped Details


White Balance & Color Temperature


No Such Thing as the Correct Exposure


How To Measure or Meter Light


8 Key Points to Understanding ISO and Image Quality


Understanding the 3 Primary Metering Methods


How to Get Perfect Exposures in One Shot


Equivalent Exposure but Different Images


Compensating for Light and Dark Scenes


Starting with Automated Modes


Auto Mode and Flash-Off Mode


Portrait Mode on a Fashion Shoot


Landscape Mode on the Beach


Sports or Action Mode


Macro Mode with Food Photography


Creative Effects Mode - Floral Photography


In-Camera Processing


A Glimpse into RAW Processing


15 Tips When You’re Having Trouble Focusing


3 Primary Types of Autofocus


Single Shot with Portrait Session


Single Shot with Action Shots


AI Servo with Action Shots


Focus Recomposing vs. AF Point Selection


Shutter Speed and the Reciprocal Rule


How to Hold a Camera and Panning Tutorial


What Makes a Great Photograph?


How to Capture Candid Moments


How to Find the Right Light Direction


5 Basic Compositional Theories


The Power of Cropping


Color Schemes


Diving into the Narrative


If It’s Not Working With, It’s Probably Working Against


More About Your Camera and Lenses


Understanding Megapixels


Crop vs. Full Frame Cameras


Crop vs. Full Frame Cameras Demonstration


Prime vs. Zoom Lens


How the Lens Affects Composition


Dynamic Range and RAW vs. JPEG


5 Tips on Memory Cards


10 Tips on Buying Gear




The Good Karma Jar


Posing and Action Shots with Female Model


Posing and Lighting with Female Model


Posing and Lighting Couples Portraits


Lesson Info

Diving into the Narrative

It's time to dive into the narrative now, when I talk about the narrative, I want you guys to think of two things in particular. I want you to define out what is the subject, and what is the story of your image is an image that has a way well defined subject, and a well defined story is generally going to be a much more powerful image is going to elicit a stronger emotional response from the viewer and, well, those are the kind of images that we want to create, and I know that this sounds kind of all profound and theoretical, but really, it doesn't need to be it's quite simple, a narrative could be a simple porter that conveys confidence and beauty in a subject. It could be a couple walking along the beach, spending a tender moment together. It could be a father shedding a tear as it gives away his daughter on the day of her wedding or could be something conceptual. We knew conceptual chutes all the time and here's an image kind of our modern take a little red riding hood now the beaut...

iful thing about photography is that the narrative is defined by both the photographer and the viewer because, well, photography is subjective after all, and one little tip I'd give all of you is define your narratives define your story, your subject based on what you are interested in and on what you want to shoot shooting to try to please the viewer generally doesn't work and it just doesn't happen they don't get pleased anyway and you end up with a photograph that you yourself are not really interested in. So if you can shoot to kind of your own interests and create your own narratives generally, other people going to appreciate that as well. Now for today we're going to go with a very simple narrative. What I want to do is we're going to set up a little scene right here we have our nice little cookie jar and if you can guess we're gonna have my son even steal a cookie from the cookie jar where you catch him in the act, so we're gonna set him up to fail basically actually he can't fail this he's gonna want to steal a cookie we wanted to steal a cookie, we want to get the shot so him failing and stealing a cookie is actually completely succeeding for the purpose of this tutorial. All right, so what we're going to do, though, is we need to plan now remember the plan acronym we need to prepare we need toe lock in we need to be in the right area, have the right composition, and then we need to wait for that now moment. So what we're about to do is what we refer to as planned photojournalism. Now we do this all the time, it's not just in shooting scenes like this at a wedding if I'm shooting, say, ah, father who walks into the room and sees his daughter for the first time in her wedding dress? Well, before I let that whole thing kind of just take place when I'm going to do is set up the daughter just by the window or by a nice light source, so she's ready and in position, we have a good background all spend time cleaning the background, making sure where ready to go now, what I want to do basically is we're just gonna go around the kitchen, and we're gonna do a bit of cleaning work, so I don't want really anything in the sink to be displayed here, so I'm gonna go ahead and turn the faucet on going move the soap out, we're going to put the tongues, and just so they don't end up shiny and there, I think the flower should be okay, right there, I do notice something's over here, like this little bottle of well, olive oil, we're going to move this guy out also, I don't want these things in the background, you know? Ah, good friends said to me once, basically when it comes to photography, if something's not helping the scene, that is probably detracting from it. Okay, so and I kind of slaughtered that phrase. I don't know what the exact one essentially if something's not working for your composition is probably working against it. So remove these kind of things because they're definitely not helping. And so I think they're just gonna add more clutter in this type of a shop. All right, let's, keep on going through the scene. You will notice that what we've done here is we've taped up the little lcd clocks just on the oven on the micro because there were really bright. They can show up pretty strong in the image, always going to remove this little towel right here. We don't need this in the frame and let's just kind of clean off this back, so I don't think that's going to be in because this will be blocked up by ethan, but let's, go ahead and make sure there's a little plastic thing over here is gonna clean up in general, we just leave this right over here, we'll go away. Okay, the only thing that we need is we need to grab a chair because ethan's not tall enough to get all the way to these cookies, so we need to help him out a little bit. So I was gonna go grab a chair over here and well, does he's this guy move this? We're going to use this in just a second. I'm gonna move this mat over the other side. Perfect. So let's just set this chair up right in run of the cookies and, you know, we can play around with a composition just a little bit if we decide that we want to move things around kind of leave the cookies off to one side or the other, we can do that. I'm gonna place this right in the centre for now, and we'll just probably leave the cookies right in the middle for just right now and then what we'll do is we'll we can change that once we get ethan to the scene. Now, the cool thing is that even isn't going to know what's going on here. We're just going to tell him to come in and take a cookie is gonna walk into all these cameras. Which would be awesome. All right, so now we've got everything the right place. I'm going to go through, and we'll talk through the lighting set up. So we have the same polyester fabric just covering the window. Why? We had that direct light coming through the window. This polyester family you can pick up from any local fabric store is super cheap. As we mentioned, you get, I think six or twelve yards of it. We got a lot of it for, like, twenty bucks. This covered the entire window that we get. We get this nice soft light coming through. But thing is that this light is now a little bit behind where everything's going to be so evens going right here. And this line is kind of off to the side and behind. So what we need to do is set up a film like, and I feel like it's just gonna fill a bit of the shadows. Okay, so what we're gonna do is just on this side, I'm gonna open up our silver reflector. We're going to place this right onto this stand right here, okay? And then we're going to raise this up, and what I'll do is basically raise it. And they're going to come out this side and is angle it so I can see it so I can see it basically reflecting right off the cookie jar right here and that's what I'm going to kind of gauge so we'll just move it kind of close so it's out of frame and angle it right? So it's kind of reflecting that same area that ethan is going to be in just a moment we won't need the white for right now and by the way, if you need to add in maur light, you can always add in another silver reflect or two, but this will should be enough for our purposes so let's go and set that to the sign I was going to take a quick look and it looks pretty solid I think we're already toe actually q ethan and get him to come into the scene so hold on what we need to do first, though, is going to lock in our setting, so we've done the repair side plan we've prepared, okay, now we need to lock in our settings are going to come around, we're going to set up the actual scene and locking our settings and manu moses, we're ready to go get in the right area and then the now moments when we're going to kill him okay, let me come around and dial in the settings case I'm in the position I want to talk a little about the composition now whenever you're shooting say newborns are infants or children getting down and getting low and shooting from their perspective generally gives you a much more powerful shot and this is something we talk about in depth in the newborn photography workshop so I'm shooting low I'm at ethan's height now what I want here for my composition is I want ethan to really take the center of the frame and kind of the kitchen scene to be around him we even have this nice little basket of fruit in the background which looks really nice in the corner of the frame and this is pretty much it I might move the cookies off to the left or the right but this is going to be the shot now what I have to do is lock in my sex so I'm gonna go ahead and flip into manual now my live you exposure preview isn't working right now on like an icon and that's totally fine I'm just going to dial it in I'm going to use that in camera meter and then what we're gonna do is just adjust we're gonna look at the history um we're going to look at the highlight alert afterwards and we'll adjust from there so let's go ahead and what I need to do first is I need to decide on what shutter speed I need for this scene because we're shooting ethan basically plucking a cookie from the cookie jar I do need it to be at a little bit quicker of a shutter speed because we want to freeze the motion I don't want there to be any blur so I want to go with one, two hundred of a second for my shutter speeds so let me go ahead and raise that up right now now for my aperture I'm going to go with probably two point oh it's out one point right now which is the widest open after at two point oh I'd get a slightly more sharp detail in a bit better depth of field not by much but just a little bit generally I don't like shooting wide open on these less expensive prime linda's because typically there'd be a little bit soft when it comes to details so I'm going to raise that up right now two f two there we go okay now if I take this shot it's gonna be underexposed I can see that in my history I'm so we go out and take the shot to show you so right now you can see if I hit play and then we look at the playback you can see the history ram that all of our shadows are pushed to the left so we need to balance it out a little more probably about by one stop maybe even two stops but we do have a lot of dark things in this scene so we have this dark kind of mahogany cabinet and all that mahogany who knows what kind of wood this is but it's dark wood and a lot of dark features in the background so don't be fooled if there are a lot of shadows in this type of scene because they're frankly are a lot of shadows but we want to make sure that they're not clipped we want to make sure that there's still detail there and it looks right now that we are clipping quite a bit so let's go ahead I'm just gonna hit the information button let's go ahead and bring the isis sensitivity up to two hundred let's take one quick shot to see if we pulled out our shadows looks like for the most part we did but still it's a little bit on the dark side we do have a little bit of highlights over here that's kind of being blown and really honest the edge of the cookie jar where those highlights are being picked up and the background you know nothing in the background is too dark that I feel like it doesn't really fit it looks actually pretty good based on what we need so what I might do is let's see we're going to grow up just just to see what it looks like let's go upto so four hundred and see what the what are highlights going to look like that point okay, so you know what I think I saw four hundred going to our best bet because you can check us out at four hundred from our highlight alert we're really still only losing that tiny bit of highlight just on the glass of the jar and that's going to be pure white anyway regardless and if we hit up we can see on our history ram that we've pulled the shadows up off the left edge much better we've got a much better balanced image and we're shooting and roswell so we have a little more leeway to so I'm gonna leave it right here we're not going to go up any higher because I do want to maximize the amount of basically detail and overall image quality by leaving the is a little bit lower if you wanted to we could bump it a little more but I want to make sure my highlights don't blow out and everything else it looks like my shadows have retained so I have the information I need okay? So we're locked in and nothing's going to change now on our camera settings let's see we're in the right area we've chosen our composition and now it's time for our now moment this is basically going to q ethan to come on in to a steel the cookies and we're going to shoot it as it's happening one thing I do want to do real quick before he comes in and I'm going to move my f point right to where his face would be in the frame so I always do that whenever you're about to queue action move the auto focus point to where the action going to take place that when you're ready to go and you don't do any focus re composing or anything like that all right let's, cue ethan now let's do this by the way I have to speak to even in chinese because my son does not speak english yet alright, so even dear santa either centigrade even now your cookie being ha ha now you're being too hard on december somebody well you're looking needs a guys against someone that you're cookie being up e t these are perfect I'm going to go in and just get a little closer we're going to shoot just pour tre aspect just to kind of leave everything else out and really focus on ethan you never quit, okay? Awesome! We have a ton of shots that we got here even having an absolute blast remember that when you set up these kind of scenes go for additional kinds of crops to now evens getting a sugar high so I'm gonna let him come down and take a break because I don't want to keep shooting but we got a bunch of great stuff. What I want you to do is now go for your assignment and for your simon. Basically, I want you to set up your own narrative, set up your own story and subject. It could be something as simple as this. You're setting up yourself, do a plan, photorealistic moment where you can basically set up the lighting and then cue the action, let it happen. We're working with children. We do have a little bit of direction, and guidance is necessary because they are children, of course, but you can shoot a fully journalistic moment, can shoot a planned analyzing moment. Either way, when you get something cool that you like, be sure to posted estar longe dot com and tell us about it tells how you shot it and so forth. We'll see you on the next video.

Ratings and Reviews


I watched this class "live" and was simply amazed at the amount of information Pye covered. Yes, he talks a little fast, and since I was streaming the class I couldn't stop it to review anything, but this guy really knows his stuff and explains it very well so I absorbed quite a bit. Bye is enthusiastic, clearly enjoys his craft, and delivers excellent information to students in a light heartedI and fun way. I think some reviewers are a bit harsh about his humor. Lighten up, people! His examples and the additional information his co-host provides are very worthwhile and you can tell the course was well thought out. I plan to buy the class to help me get back into DSLR photography.


I really enjoyed this class. I am not a beginner, but there were still things I learned here that I found helpful. I really enjoy learning from Pye. He is quick, gets to the point and doesn't spend a lot of time going over and over the same point. There is a wide variety of things that he covers, so really something for everyone. I would recommend purchasing this class if you want to understand your camera better, improve your technique and start taking better photos.

Joy Bobrink

I have tried to learn photography myself via the internet / YouTube but always felt like I was missing something in my foundation. Sure I can zero out my meter...but why? How do I know the settings I've selected are the correct ones? I've been circling this drain for a year until this course. WOW! Pye has SO MUCH information in every video. He doesn't just stand in a classroom and talk, he's out in the field actually putting his settings into his camera, talking about why and why not and then shooting. He's hands on the entire course. You don't just hear him, you see exactly what he's doing! I'm a visual / listening learner and this is my eureka moment! Thank you Pye! Watching the Exposure video and how you changed the settings yet maintained the exact same exposure was mind blowing. Awesome course! I would recommend this to anyone new to photography or anyone that feels like they don't have all the info.

Student Work