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Photography 101

Lesson 2 of 55

The Camera is Simply a Tool

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

Photography 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

2. The Camera is Simply a Tool


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

The Camera is Simply a Tool

The camera is simply a tool, and it's going to come down to the photographer to get the best images out of that camera. And to demonstrate this well, we've set up a little demonstration for you. All of these photos. They were taken, actually, with a simple iphone three and iphone for using the built in camera app. Now, the first session was basically taken by lee morris and patrick haul, our good friends from the f stoppers who did the original iphone fashion shoot. Then we did a follow up shoot with the iphone before we did the same thing that we took out reflectors. And we basically demonstrates, um, natural light techniques again, pulling off great professional images. Now notice that I didn't say that we captured these images using perf sessional cameras or professional camera techniques. And the whole reason is because, well. A professional camera can enhance the overall quality of a photograph. It can allow more possibilities. It could open up essentially what you can do, but it ...

can't create the image itself and to prove that we have a little demonstration for you. So in my right hand, I have the cannon five demark three. This is a full frame camera. The camera body itself ranges anywhere between twenty, eight hundred thirty, four hundred dollars, depending on what kind of cell you get it on. And this is the eighty five one point two l. So this is another two thousand dollar lens in my left hand, I have a rebel. This is a standard rebel it's five hundred dollars dslr, and we have the eighty five one eight lens on it. About three hundred dollar lance. So my left hand, I have a hundred dollars in my right hand. I have around five to six thousand dollars. Now, given that this is roughly one six of the price of this camera, does that mean that we're going to get? One sixth the quality. Is this camera going to take six times better photos than this one? Well, the answer is no more likely or not, this camera's going to give you maybe an extra twenty, thirty percent of overall image quality, but we can still get amazing professional images with just basic cameras and basic camera set ups. So what we've done here is where several demonstration just to show you that the difference between these two cameras is not going to be as much as you think it is now, this camera is a full friend camera body, so our full frame sensor, this is a crop sensor. Ok, so we do have to stand back a little bit further when we capture on the rebel to get the same exact shop. So occasionally we might mention a topic that will be later covered in more ito, for example, crop versus full frame cameras, so be on the lookout for these little for more info tip it'll papa guide you to the chapter containing more information on that particular topic, but we're gonna do is we're gonna shoot the exact same shot, both with this camera and with this camera, we're going to show you that well, it's not going to be a six times difference. Okay, so what we have here in our scene is it's fairly early in the day, it's roughly eight thirty nine o'clock we got up again at the butt crack of dawn to get out here so we can shoot during sunrise because we have this beautiful directional light over this field. I'm going to go with a simple composition here, just whitney on the left third, and then we're gonna go kind of open space. What I'm gonna do is crop and move the frame so we don't have any skywriter these other things, the background, we have some telephone poles and other things that were basically just current crop out, so we kind of eliminate that distraction so let's, just take a moment right now and look at pies, lighting, setup. I want you all to pay really close attention to the way that pious lighting and setting up his shots in every video because even though we're showing you just simple camera techniques or functions were still going toe light and set up the scene for best results. So here olivia are assistant is holding up the silver side of a basic five and one reflector. Now that silver side of the reflector is going to catch and reflect away a lot of light compared to let's say, the white side of a reflector, which we might use for fill light and here we're using that hard and powerful light from the silver toe act is a main light on the model's face. All right, let's, get back to the video. Okay? So we're set up here and let's see, what we were gonna have you do is because the light is so directional. Whitney, I'm gonna have you bring your chin is down and towards that reflected a little bit. There we go, since the light is so directional off this side, well, I need to kind of turn her chin into a little bit so we don't get as much shadow coming across your face. And then will you give me a little kick to the hips o kick kind of out towards this side and then and actually turned the turn your chest just directly towards me. I'll show you what I mean. I like to show because it's easier to show them the sand. All right, so just kind of roll the hip right out to the outside. I'm gonna have roll it to this side and let me see what we'll go. Both sides won't see what we like better roll to the right side. I like that. Okay, so well, that I bring the chin over there you go, my dear, perfect, beautiful love that that looks awesome. Okay, now all I got to do is switch over to my five day three remember, this is a full frame camera, so the actual view on this is eighty five the actual view and this is some around like one twenty one thirty so one point six times eighty five so she's gonna hold perfectly still I'm just gonna get a little bit closer I think I could probably get a pretty similar shot from here. Okay, gorgeous love that make sure they're pretty similar very close. So right now, right here I want you guys to get it out of your heads that you have to have amazing professional gear to get professional shots you simply don't need that. What you do need is you need to have your creative I you need to understand lighting and posing, which is everything will be teaching you here and then just have your basic dslr and go out and shoot now that we're set up with the scene where I'm gonna go ahead and shoot a few more shots just using the same exact scene are same lighting, setup and so forth because, well, I don't want to waste our beautiful scene in our beautiful model and, well, everything about it all right? So I'm gonna go out and take a few more shots you guys going out to the next video now now, with many of our chutes after we've set up the scene and talk, what we need to teach will definitely take the opportunity to take more pictures. After all, we've already set up, and we're good to go, right? So why not don't want to waste it? If you like to see more of those scenes to watch how pie shoots and interacts with this subjects, be sure to check out the related bonus. Chapter video you'll know in a scene has bonus chapter content, because you'll see that seymour info that'll pop up at the bottom of the screen. So just look out for those back to the video.

Class Description

Learn how to create, edit, and share stunning digital images.

To a photography beginner, the gleaming complexity of a new camera seems to demand an arsenal of expensive equipment and a long legacy of training. This is a common misconception – beautiful, professional-grade shots are within reach to any with a mastery of the basic mechanics of photography.

Join Pye Jirsa of SLR Lounge for a thorough, practical exploration of the fundamentals. Photography 101 teaches you how to use standard, inexpensive equipment to:

  • Explore the inner mechanical workings of your camera
  • Learn how to recognize good light and modify it to your needs
  • Make the elements of manual mode - aperture, shutter speed and ISO - work for you
Take advantage of the flexibility and control offered by your camera’s manual mode by shadowing Pye on 5 days of shooting at 8 different locations. You’ll learn how to capture both crisp action shots of moving subjects and classic portraiture with posed models. You’ll also gain a sense of what makes a great photograph, and how to mix professional staging with candid, humanizing moments.

You will walk away from Photography 101 with SLR Lounge's Pye Jirsa as a better photographer, and you’ll have the creative and practical skills to create, edit, and share stunning digital images; all with no more gear than you started with. 

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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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.