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How Does a Camera Work?

Lesson 3 from: Photography 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

How Does a Camera Work?

Lesson 3 from: Photography 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

3. How Does a Camera Work?


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

How Does a Camera Work?

So how does the camera work let's understand some of the basics the terminology because in all reality ever since they started making cameras the fundamentals have been the same the elements have been the same they might have changed the icons the button placements these little details but the way they actually work it's been the same since we started making cameras even back in the film days one of course, one hundred years ago we didn't really have buttons right but he's absolutely right in that you know most of components as faras the after the shutter speed the sensor I mean, we went from film the sensors but everything has stayed the same I s so and so forth. All right, so well, where should we start? Let's start with lenses. Okay, well, the first thing I probably bring up is the focal links let's talk about feelings so here in my hand I haven't eighteen to fifty five what do you got? I've got fifty five to fifty okay, so the focal length is measured in millimetres and basically t...

he lower that number. So if we go from eighteen fourteen thirteen to ten, the wider is getting if I wanted that wide view I would be on the eighteen of your lands or the fifty five of my islands but if I wanted to zoom in and maybe narrow into a portrait then I'd be on the bigger number side so like the two fifty on mine or what you want I can only go up to fifty five so the way that they've designed his kit lenses is basically one lands kind of picks up where one left off so the widest you can get on the thirty five to fifty is fifty five the tightest is at two hundred fifty and the widest I could get on this is eighteen millimeters the tightest is fifty five millimeters but of course there are tons of different lenses that very in range but that's just the basic rule on focal length okay, so that's how it works the lower the number the wider the angle and the higher the number the tighter the more zoom you're gonna be okay so well let's talk about the aperture what is the aperture? Because that's the next component of a lens that kind of matters so the aperture is kind of like the pupil of your eye so let's say I went into the bathroom and the lights are on and bright what happens to my people? It'll shrink down and that's pretty much what the aperture in the lens does it opens and closes and it controls the amount of light that comes in do you do this often in bathrooms looking when I'm doing myself I will fly to the light switch on enough and watch my pupils but that year is accurate that happens to when let's say you're in a movie theater you're watching movie and then you just stepped directly outside it's super bright and almost like you can actually hurt your eyes well it's not I don't think it could damage them but maybe it's bright but it does like it's physically uncomfortable right? So you step outside and take a couple minutes for those for your eyes to adjust your pupils they closed down and it lets in less like the exact same thing happens on a lens and I have here emanuel appetizer lens that I can actually show you guys so let me see here where my little dial is a little after preview lever here so if you notice this is at its widest open setting ok, I can actually closed down the aperture toe let in less and less light it does something else too when we have a wide open after not only letting in more light but we're also well it's doing something else. What is it doing from an artistic standpoint? Now if you guys like that blurry look where maybe I'm looking at pie and he's unfocused and everything behind him is blurred that's because I controlled my aperture and if I opened it up really, really wide he would be in focus and everything else would be blurred now, if I squint my eyes right? Yeah, absolutely. It would be like raising the aperture to the highest setting where it kind of closes down, then everything sharpens. So as you get older, you're trying to do this to read same thing she would not know this because she's super young, right? But, um yes, that's exactly. Right? So we're controlling the depth of field with our appetite, right? So the wider the after the larger that opening, the less depth of field we have meaning maur blur in the background more blur behind your subject or wherever you're focusing, the smaller you go down again, the less light we allow in we allowing much, much less light. And we also increase that have the field. So the mohr of the image is going to be sharp. And what that cop that blurry that blurry effect? Oh, the blurry effect bo can say it again, bo okay, it's pronounced like, well, everybody says it in kind of a different way. Totally find the correct pronunciation of island said pronunciation the correct pronunciation of okay is bo, like bow and arrow and kill you like kettle, right? It is a japanese japanese where that's, right and the interesting thing about that term way often use that term just to just just to talk about the blur basically but the actual definition is talking about the aesthetic quality of the blur so you say a lens has great quality to the okay you'd say that but it really doesn't matter if we sabe o que were basically referring just that blurry area all right, so light passes through our aperture now the actor is actually a component of what you mentioned earlier the exposure triangle right? That was actually number one for us yeah, so that's the first component light passes through the aperture thie after controls the amount of light going through and then it reaches the inside of the camera now this is the interesting part I'm going to take this lens off now wouldn't necessarily recommend taking lenses often leaving them off the camera but what do you see inside of there? That is a mirror that is a mirror's checks out see this little mirror here when you look through the viewfinder a lot of people think that they're seeing this sensor or they're seeing basically yet where the images recorded but in reality what are they actually seeing a mirror? I I used to think that I was looking through the lens that was wrong teo we all did we always have that that's how the way it worked but when we look through the viewfinder there's actually another mirror it's sometimes referred to as a pen tamir or pente prism on the top of the camera and basically where the light comes and so it goes in through the after it hits this mirror it reflect up to that pen tamir and then it comes through the viewfinder so what you're actually seeing is just these reflections coming off the mirror all right so let's split this up this is the part that I would not recommend doing so we're gonna flip the mirror up and you guys can see inside there's an actual little door here she already knows all this stuff is like you're actually do I know it's kind of cool looking but yes no you're giving me the heebie jeebies all right this is my camera so it's in my old camera so it doesn't really matter so you can see the shutter right underneath that so like michelle said when the mere flips up that's when the light hits the shutter the shutter opens to reveal a sensor and then the images recorded the sensor now our after controlled the amount of light right what should the shutter controls the duration in which your sensor is going to be exposed exactly and then we talked about how basically every component kind of has that exposure related side and the artistic related side so what is the artistic so well done this is by the way number two over exposure trying yes this is number two of the trunk. So a shutter speed my question was, if okay, so then after side we had that exposure and the artistic related function. What about the shutter speed side? Now, if I want to see motion, I could drag my shutter meaning slow it down, or if I want to freeze it, then I can speed it up. Okay, so that's the artistic side, the faster the shutter, you're freezing action, the slower the shutter you're capturing or shilling motion. Okay, perfect. So now we expose the image or exposed the light to the sensor, and then the magic happens. The sensor records the image, but it goes toe like a little it goes like a little image heaven for just a couple minutes way refer to that as the buffer. Actually, we don't call it image haven't we just called the mother? Okay, so when it's in the buffer, this is when the camera's going basically process the image, so if you're shooting a jpeg or if you have a unique artistic filters or anything applied to that image, it's going to record image on the sensor transfer to the buffer is goingto process it in the buffer before it sends it to the memory card interesting note if you shoot raw well, the image is not being processed at all it's going raw, straight from the center well, it's going to hit the buffer, but it's not the process in there and it is going to go directly to the memory card unprocessed. So hold on, let me rewind that rock goes straight to the memory card. J peg, it gets cooked up a little bit inside of your camera, sits in your buffer and then goes to your memory card. Well, even if you're shooting a standard j peg, it still will process it in camera. Ajay pig without any additional settings applied to it. They're still picture styles. Basically, it will adjust contrast, saturation sharpness and it still does that basic raw processing in camera. So really, if you ever want just a final jpeg image, it has to be processed somebody either on your computer or on the camera. It needs to be done. All right. So that's, where our raw file we would either get the raw file on our memory card or we would get the final j peg on the memory card. And then it goes to our computer where we do what all kinds of magic good magic, bad magic is not good. Avoid the bad magic, but basically we would go and do additional processing with use, light room or amateur or capture one. Now this is really kind of mohr well beyond the scope of this workshop processing in and of itself is really half the artistry to photography and there's. So many different things to learn. Which is why we have the light room workshop collection we use light room primarily in the studio. So for anyone that wants to learn the processing side, be sure to check out the light in workshop collection because it teaches everything from a to z. All right, so let's, do a quick recap we have first arlen's which determines field of you feel the view our light enters the lens and goes through the aperture which controls the amount of light that's coming in. This is like a test has no idea. I know I'm just running with it. The light goes through the after which controls are amount of light coming in and then it hits the shutter. The shutter door opens and for a certain amount of time and then it exposes their sensor gets transferred to the buffer and then into the memory card. Right. Can you cover this now, please? Thank you. Okay, sorry. Our cameras naked, we need to put his clothes back on. Okay, so that is the recap. Now when it comes to different types of cameras really well, everything kind of stays the same for the most part, even when we talk about film to digital there's this small differences for example let's talk about going from digital back to film what changes from digital back to film its sensor to film exactly. So instead of recording on a sensor a digital sense of what is recording on film how about this is it's like already in the name we have a mere list dslr sony there's no mirror at all it's there's no straight that sensor okay, so if I did this now this is a very nice camera and I'm going to do and no no too well, you popped the lenses off on this you have to make sure on a mere lis camera you turn it off when this thing is on, it attracts dust like crazy but you can see the sensor inside of here. This is actually a full frame sensor. Check this guy out kind of look okay, so my acquisition syndrome is turning on right now. All right? So this is missing that mirror. So basically, when we with these mere lis cameras when you look through the viewfinder what you're seeing is actually on elektronik view they're called tvs, elektronik, viewfinders and you're seeing basically what the sensor is saying so this is a different technology but everything else still works the same way our aperture r shutter speed and our eyes so these three components of the exposure triangle they work the same way, regardless of the camera type, whether it's film, whether it's, digital, marylise, digital and so forth. These things have been the same since the beginning of time, and I assume they're probably gonna be the same for a very long time, right? All right, so are we done here? I think so I'm ready to move on, I'm ready, move onto. I think you guys understand how to use a camera. We understand how to use a camera now, how we understand how a camera works, right, everybody through how to use it next. All right, we'll head 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