Know Your Aperture & Shutter Speed


Foundations of a Working Photographer


Lesson Info

Know Your Aperture & Shutter Speed

Let's talk about exposure all right, let's talk about exposure let's talk about that that when you hit that shutter release and exposure is made in your camera and it has to be properly exposed yeah, you don't want to under you don't want it over you want to nail your exposure? All right? Are you gonna do it every single time? No, you're going to go out and shoot a job on a blow exposure you may you may under expose everything. Okay, um, you may under expose everything a better over, expose everything a bit or or whatever book but your goal is is you get a subject sitting in front of your your camera or you have something going on in front of your camera, you need to make a good exposure of that. All right and that's aperture and shutter speed after and shutter speed, you're going to lock in at some I s o and its aperture and shutter speed aperture and shutter speed and the two go hand in hand all right and understanding how exposure is made understanding how your camera thinks and wha...

t you're looking for is going to help you become consistent. All right, become a consistent photographer well, if I said a subject down over here and I'm going to take their picture on would take one hundred pictures of them over here or I'm gonna have one hundred people like you were saying you had to shoot head shots of all these people every time they sit in front of that camera, I want every single person that comes through in front of my lens to be properly inconsistently exposed so that when I go through all those pictures and post production, my post production life is easy. If you blow it on exposure in shooting your post production is hell. All right, you do not want to pull up fifty thumbnails and light room or whatever you're working in aperture bridge. Whatever you pull fifty thumbnails up from a job and these three looked pretty good in these two are overexposed in these two are under exposed in these look. Ok. And this one's whoa, that one's blown and this one's way under and this one's that's ok and thes three years salvageable with both east ten look beautiful. And now these guard down when you're seeing that exposure going up and down and up and down and up and down, and you have to bring all of those photographs into one consistent look, you're gonna have a very difficult time in post production because to try to take a properly exposed photograph, all right, so we have a properly exposed photograph that we have one that's under exposed and then one that's over exposed and to get the under exposed level up and then overexposed level down and to keep the contrast, the same color the same you know, the noise the same, and those three photographs it's difficult to do? What I want to see is fifty photographs that pop up, and they're all consistently exposed there under one consistent exposure and let's say, it's just ok, I got it a little off on the underside are a little off a little off on the oversight at least they're all a little off one way or another, not a lot. I'm not talking about three, four stops, but at least they're all also when I work on one, I go and just shoot that all through and what we're going to eventually build up to and talking about, um, exposure is why aperture priority sucks, especially for portrait's average, your priority sucks, especially for poor treats, all right? And I'm gonna that we're going to talk about shooting aperture, priority versus manual versus shutter priority um, things like that and there are times for aperture priority their times. I have to throw my cameron aperture priority, and I'm going with that and there are times when I throw it very few, but there are some things have been a few times like once a year that I put it in shutter priority most of the time it's in manual and we're gonna we're gonna break that down okay so some of you you're gonna be like yes I get it I get it I get it I know this crap okay fine just just bear with us as we bring everyone up because I promise you there are working photographers with paid jobs on the books that still don't know this because I've met them over and over you know will it yes I met over and over and over paid for the arctic furs working photographers full time photographers that still don't understand aperture and shutter speed in their relationship with each other it has to be something you understand if you're sitting there going I don't quite get it then you have to get this so let's break it down we're not going to spend four days on it so here we go so we have apertures right and basically are aperture scale we're going to start it at one point four all right one point four two, two eight four five six eight eleven, sixteen twenty two sometimes you might see in f thirty two somewhere along the ridge you'll you won't see forty five and sixty four until you get into a large format photography for most of the time we're working in this one point four toe f twenty two range all right now aperture controls the amount of light coming into the camera the amount of it if you go to a water faucet and you turn it full on and water is pouring out of it, that isn't open aperture a tana water's coming through if you turn it to just a drip drip drip tripp the inside of that fossett is a small aperture and is allowing just a little bit of water through alright large aperture fully open faucet closed down aperture closed downfall a drip this's just pouring out this is just dripping now all right it's the amount and as you open up in full stops you're allowing twice as much light in or half a much light all right, you're doubling the lighter you're having the light and one four, two, two, eight, four, five, six, eight, eleven, sixteen twenty two now when you see things like three point five on your camera those air third stops all right, so we're at two point eight and then usually you'll see three point two three point five four then for four point five five point o five six the five are four point five and the five point o r third stops that's fine tuning we have full stops for five, six, eight, eleven, sixteen and then fine tuning exposure by third stops it's like a cup of sugar a couple of third of sugar a cup in two thirds of sugar two cups of sugar all right, now this is how much crap is out in the photography world. I once met a photographer who was told by a master of photography who had all of their certification and was teaching a workshop that you should never use the third stop increments those air bad apertures to use you should onley use two, two, eight, four, five, six, eight, eleven you should never use three point five or four point you should just shouldn't do that it's such a load of crap like it's just amazing that that stuff gets out there in the world and and if you don't know, you don't know and someone comes along and they have some sort of air of authority about them and says this is what you must must not do than you listen to him. But so if someone's told you never to shoot a three point five like because that's a bad aperture, whatever you like would you say would be a good learning tool kind of like sticking with what modifier one lettuce to learn if you're just learning your apertures to stick on full apertures for awhile while you're learning what those different effects are uh I guess in some ways that would be good, but it all depends on the light that you're in is going to determine like can you really stick to a might be a full sun to eight and you need to shoot it out for because whatever shutter speed or whatever you're using I usually tend to think apertures and full stops because it's easy for me to calculate like when I met one exposure but I need to jump to a different exposure and to figure out its reciprocal I have a hard time going from three point two to thirteen right? Because thiss thirds like so I think to eight to eleven plus the third jump kind of thing um so I'm definitely in my brain I'm thinking full stops and when my meter shows me three excuse me three point two at one hundredth of a second which are all now third increments I'm just okay you know I have to think a little extra I don't like thinking extra um it is great to shoot all of your lenses though at all of your apertures ok here's the thing there's a sweet point and your lives this somewhere in the middle of your aperture reach where it's going to be its sharpest now I know some people like well, I shoot my such such linda de fate because that's the sharpest yeah but you're pictures could use a little shallower depth of field then faa well, it's sharper and faa I need to sharpen spot no no you know I don't need to count pours on your subjects like it's beautiful it to it well it's not as sharp okay of course it's not as sharp but it's acceptably sharp you know just whatever like ok you know you want your mom's calling it's dinner time all right now one thing I usually avoid and this is getting to know your lenses and shooting them all at their all their apertures as a lot of my lenses especially my twenty four to eight at f twenty two is horrible all the way closed down at f twenty two it just breaks apart f sixteen it stays sharp the contrast is good I don't get is many chromatic aberrations and weird optical things going on in my photographs but when I take this lens and I showed it to f twenty two it's nearly useless all right so knowing your lenses shooting them and each apertures definitely recommended and you can look at that from f sixteen the f twenty two the thing falls apart now some lenses you go from you know twenty you go up to twenty two and it holds together okay and you say ok this lin's holds together f twenty two this lindsay does not and you go and get yourself in a situation you got that twenty four millimeter lens on and you suddenly are meeting at f twenty two and you go no I gotta go to have sixteen I got to figure this out of f sixteen and not twenty two because I know my lens right? No your lenses know your lenses know that no that um I used to have a sigma um twenty millimeter one eight and I thought this could be great one point eight twenty millimeter it's fast it's why the school be awesome and it was sharp at one point eight from the lens to about two feet if I were to take a picture of you dave here at one point eight with that linds this distance away I had to shut it down to about three point five until you'd actually be sharp and then what did I have a twenty millimeter three point five lens one eight fine we're good. I was shooting more shows back then more live shows so I thought actually why should wide open one eight but if I'm this far away from the lead singer up on stage and I'm shooting at one eight it's just soft I called it my oatmeal wins because it was about a sharp is a bowl of oatmeal right? And so I'd have to shoot three five f four for that lead singer this distance to be sharp and so I just bought this one eight lens is really enough for leads congratulations right? I hate okay so as we open up our aperture or are f stop after f stop aperture of stop all the same we're allowing more light into the winds as we close it down we're allowing less light into the lives if you were trying to get x exposure into your camera than the less light you have coming through the limbs, the more time that light needs to enter the linens and that's we're going to get into shutter speed. Aperture is amount shutter speed is time so you have that fossett turning on you have a glass of water but the glass underneath faucet and you turn it full on and your goal is to fill that that glass all the way up all right so I get my glass of water my goal is to fill it all the way to the top with water I put it under the false that I turn it full on full on it will not take much time for that cup. Fill up right? I fill it up two seconds to take it out. My, I have a full cup of water now I take the cup, I put it under the faucet and I turned my faucet on the f twenty two drop drop drop, drop drop and my goal is to fill it with water it is going take me more time to fill it up let's say it takes me a minute to fill this thing up with water and when I'm done I still have a full cup of water so I got to a full couple water under two different ways one took me three seconds one took me one minute what was the final product? A full cup of water final product was proper exposure I got to proper exposure one setting improper exposure at another sex we'll break this down in reciprocal coming right up so the smaller the number of the larger the opening that's what like is you're learning apertures that's the one that doesn't make sense the smaller the number of the larger the opening more light there is the bigger the number, the smaller the evening it's just sort of a weird thing just get in your head don't try to understand it there's math behind there is it's all math and I went to public school in the south. So how do you think I do with mash? Right? Not bring it all right, eh? So the larger, the larger the opening, the shallower, the depth of field, the depth of field we're going to get into this even more coming up but the depth of field is what is acceptable in focus and not right we have a shallow depth of field s o I focus on on david the whole background goes out of focus or I focus in on you I want a greater depth of field I focus on you and I have the background in focus that is my depth of field what area in the photograph is it acceptable sharpness and focus all right so um but it's not the on ly thing that affect step the field there there are other factors and depth of field it's not just your aperture there's more to it than that aperture is typically the first technical aspect I think of when shooting for portrait cy typically wanting a shallow depth of field to bring the focus of the photo to the subject so I am an aperture priority photographer in my brain I'm thinking apertures most of the time first I've got to take a picture of the three of you looking at the background I'm looking at you I'm looking at the background I'm looking at you and I'm trying to figure out I want you and focus how much do I want that background out of focus and I'm thinking about my aperture and then I'll figure out my shutter speed all right um it's rare I think about shutter speed first most of the time I'm thinking app so as a photographer you're walking into a situation there's all this stuff going through your brain and you're going to think aperture I have to take a picture of a subject I need that subject to pop off of that photo I needed you guys or the viewers of my pictures and I need to be the director of your eyes and I need to pull out a picture and show it to you and I need you doing go exactly to the point in the photograph I want you to go to and it's what's going to be lit and what's going to be in focus and you're going to say that is the subject and I don't want anything else detracting from that subject and how you step off the field and then we would get into how use the light or how I compose my photograph is I'm taking your eyes and directing them to my subject in my photograph so I think aperture a lot because I think that the field a lot all right we're gonna get through shutter speed here and we're gonna take a little break so for those of you sit in front of computer going shut up so we didn't take a break we'll get there so shutter speed is time most of our cameras goto eight thousandth of a second fast shutter six thousandth of a second way take it down here no one second we are doubling time or we're cutting time in half right? Just like apertures we're adding twice as much light or cutting the light in half for those of you into flash you double your flash power you get one stop a light you cut your power and half you lose one stop a light you you cut your time in half you lose a stop alight you double your time you get one stop away! A stop of light is all about doubling and having that's pretty easy may if I can handle that if I can handle it. All right, so eight thousand four thousand, two thousand one thousandth of a second. Five hundredth of a second to fiftieth of a second one twenty fifth sixtieth thirtieth, fifteen eight quarter and we get half a second one second then it goes two seconds, four seconds, eight seconds. Sometimes your cameras will go fifteen seconds not sixteen seconds. Fifteen and then thirty seconds one minute, two minutes, four minutes on your shooting. Like the north star for our friends in antarctica in the winter who are tuning in? Um, you'll be out there with, you know, three hour long exposures. If you're in a three hour exposure and you need an extra stop alight, you now have to expose for six hours. Think about that it's doubling time so a three hour exposure, whatever you're doing with that, uh three hour exposure and you need one more stop alight that is now a six hour exposure. Joe mcnally did a series of photos out in the desert for national geographic, and they'd go out all night long shooting in the desert on dh. They might get four or five shots done because they would open that shutter for an hour and they've been look at it and go. Ok, I need another stop alight. What does that mean? That means two hours to get another stop the light. All right, so these are all numbers, and you need to plant these in your head like your phone number. Like your address. Like your kids ages. Like your shoe size. I think you just need to know. You need to know from a thousand to five hundred is one stoplight. A thousand two fifties two stops like two thousand one twenty five three. Stop the light and here's. What happened? So that people ask me a lot. So I got a photographer, the school. Should I get a photo school? Um, you know, you can you can have a career and run a business without gone. Going to photo school. I am the kind of person that I need to be shown and taught and tested toe learn something, I can't just pick up a book or just watch a two hour tape and just go with it. I need it to be demonstrated in front of me and then really I need to be pushed to be tested on it. So the beauty about going to photography school for me is all of this stuff here we were tested on it like your multiplication tables, right? Two times two is four two times three is six and we were tested so we'd be saying there we'd have a get out of, you know he's an open paper and then say ok, you're and I asked the one hundred sixteenth of a second of two point eight what is your shutter speed at five six? What is now your shutter speed at f a but I have so four hundred right now and we'd be tested and tested and tested on it and we would have to make reciprocal tables. All right. And so all of these numbers all of these numbers are apertures are esos or shutter speeds. They were drilled into our head of photography school. Now how many of you we go back to that quick? How many of you have the discipline to sit down at your dining room table and write out reciprocal matrixes? How many of you going to how many sexy blogged posts is that hey, guys, today I sat down and I just wrote reciprocal lt's all day and wow, I really know the difference you know between an eighth of a second in a thousandth of a second now and count those stops out in my brain no like that's not the fun part the fun part is shooting the fun parts the making magic happen but for me without knowing the numbers like I can't go do be the shooter that I need to be without sitting and understanding like I'm looking at the back of my camera or I'm looking at my light meter and I know it changed me it should be made I know where that change needs to go I know which direction it needs to happen I know which button to push on my camera which dialled to turn and so when I'm looking at the back of the lin back of the camera or I'm looking at my light meter and I say I need to make a change I know where that change needs to go that change happens and I keep shooting and I'm trying to stay away from like, oh god, what I do what do I do what I do? I don't know what to do I don't know what to do, I know what to do and again it comes I want to run a successful business than run of camera successfully first it's all this crap you can't sex up numbers I'm sorry just keep so how about you controls how much light interest the camera shutter speed controls for how long the light interest the camera the faster the shutter the sharper the image all right you are photographing a moment of time and I'm going to capture eight thousands of a second of time of something in front of my camera so somebody's running by eight thousand of a second of them their sharp if I shoot someone running for one second one one thousand that amount of movement across the sensors going to blur right so the slower the shutter speed the more blur I'm more likely than not going to get the faster the shutter speed the less of a blur or shake or something that would get the sharper the picture is going to be the longer the shutter speed the more likely my focus is going to get blown not really my focus but just motion blur all right so the rule of thumb is you can hand hold all right you can hand hold a camera at one over your focal length now the rule of thumb out there is you can hand hold it at sixtieth of a sec or faster one sixtieth of a second or fast but really it is one over your focal links so if you have a two hundred millimeter lin's you're shooting with you know seventy two hundred millimeter lens and your zoomed into two hundred millimeters you are magnifying the image in your view finder and onto your sensor your magnifying with a two hundred millimeter lens and not only you magnifying the image your magnifying, any movement all right, so if I take this camera take thirty five off of it and I put this on it two hundred millimeter and I focus in on you right as I'm back here focusing I'm not dead still there's a little bit of movement and the more magnification that's going on with my lens the more that movement is magnifying you ever take a powerful set of binoculars and try to look at something far away and so to get seasick because everything in your visions just kind of floating everywhere if you're needing the high powered magnification you goto a spotting scope on a tripod you know now if you go wide angle if I come in here with a fish I ten millimeter fish I you're not seeing a lot of movement because it's just a dang wide I could go to a slower shutter speed handheld with a wide angle then I can't with a two hundred or whatever oh also note the bigger the lens you go on here the heavier this gets the heavier this gets, the harder it is to hold still, so if I'm saying at a wedding and I'm shooting the ceremony and I'm in the back of the church and its dimly lit and I see my shutter speed starting to dip below two hundredth of a second then I know like oh, I better watch out because it two hundred millimeter I'm most likely going to start getting motion blur under two hundredth of a second so I have to get a strong stance wide stance with the feet of good firm grip on the lens in the camera and I smashed this thing into my face and I make his many points of contact this camera to my body and try to hold still if I don't have a tripod or mono pot or some other support systems, you can do the whole origami joe mcnally like thing he does like he's got this thing he does like joe does and he packs this thing into his shoulder he brings his arm up around it maybe it's like this and you know he'll shoot this lends a thirtieth of a second you could go slower totally go slower but it's a skill set of learning how to shoot slow shutter speeds and keep it sharp and it sounds stupid but just like you need to sit in your dining room and make reciprocal tables, you need to sit there watching american idol on your couch or whatever and be shooting your cat across the room and say I want to shoot my cat at fifteenth of a second and get it sharp handheld so when the commercials come on, you got some across the room and I'm going to shoot a picture of those suitcases over there and I wanted to be sharp at two hundred millimeter at an eighth of a second I'm gonna figure it out and I've sat on my couch many a times saying you say ok, I want to get this I wanted my thing is I breathe and I hold that I smashed this thing's deep into my face and then just click on I try to pull it off it is something you could learn is that I just want to say I've seen your wedding photographer you're an incredible wedding charter for uh I'm just saying that's alright, I like what I did have ah question for you about that from twitter and loss it's from nato and could you could you ask back about the rule of thumb for one over focal length with regard to crop lenses? So how how does that apply? Do you have to think about it as the as they, uh kind of like a cross factor and not really because the crop factor the crop isn't optically making it a three hundred you're just seeing part of the two hundred it's still optically a two hundred millimeters lense as an optically really changed to a three hundred millimeter lens if it's a one point five crop fact you're just seeing less of it if you could take that chip out and put a full frame in it. It's still optically the same lands, right? So it's still kind of the same rule of thumbs all right? Uh oh, I'm being told we need to take a little break here s o a twenty eight millimeter lin's I'll hand hold that at thirtieth of a second faster and not really think much about it. When I go to a two hundred millimeter lens, I'm trying to get my shutter speed to two hundred fifteenth of a second. I really don't want to be below that, and I know myself with big, heavy linds like that too. Two fifty if I got you can still get a little motion blur two hundred fiftieth of a second with the two hundred millimeter lens if you had a thousandth of a second, your goal, you get your perfect right, so when I'm looking through the back of the camera, I meet a ring and I'm sorry that I'm a two hundred millimeter lens and arment sixtieth of a second, then I have to make a change by how much to stops you need to calculate that oh, I'm it's sixty if I need to be to fiftieth that's two stops I mean I so one hundred two hundred, four hundred two stops the light bam I saw four hundred two fifties of second two point eight and I'm going that's that's how my brains working and when you're a sixteenth of a second at two point eight and like away I need a faster shutter speed but how many stops is that? How do I get there and you go to two fifty announced too dark and won't know it's too dark and I can't open up my amateur anywhere uh how to shoot and fix it no no you're not going to just shoot and fix it later you're gonna fix it now. All right? So, uh if I want and I feel like there's just found this website er lost model lost model that tumbler dot com because see this whole girl in a field with a suitcase thing has now become such a cliche they're like I have to, like get these pictures out of my life because I've shot now a girl with a suitcase but this was for a job. This was for a red campaign on dit was shot for a specific reason she had to have the suitcase and now I'm like, now it becomes so it's a girl in the suitcase, I I know that internet and don't make fun of it because I have make fun of it myself, so so I needed I need a motion to stop fast shutter speed I need to show movement slow shutter speed there are plenty of times I just throw that thing on a slow shutter speed because I want motion I want movement the rule of thumb is that's a bad portrait but if that's inside seedy artwork that text has to drop over that works or if they're if I'm trying to convey some emotion or movement it's hard to convey movement when everything is just dead sharp it looks frozen you want to convey maybe you want to convey that that bride is going down the aisle goto a slow shutter speed show that blur that dress going down the aisle move back up to a fashion or speaking get it because you know your client meant well blurry I'm an artist all right um I should fans and I was one of my goals is to shoot bands toe where like if you knew this band you could call him out by me like you could still recognize them but there's still this blur because if text had to get dropped over this, you could still read sharpe text over a blurred back so I'm always thinking about ok they need a portrait I of course shot this portrait of them sharp, but then I shot it, moving my camera at a slow shutter speed like eighth of a second to get some blur and then the graphic designer will have two options well, I've got a picture of them sharp but I have it also blurred and I tell you if you do the blaring in camera it looks better than doing in post production you can usually tell you put in motion blur you know I my goal is if I want a motion blur on it I do it with my camera how do I do it with my camera I go to a slower shows and the picture of them sharpen the picture of them blurry are the same exposure and when we get back from the break we're going to talk about reciprocal tze uh just quickly panning using a slow shutter speed well following a moving subject we see our subject stays sharp but are everything else is kind of moving so I'm using a slow shutter speed and we're like fifteenth of a second or slower and as my subject is moving I'm moving the camera with them and my goal is they stay in the same spot on the sensor but everything else is blurring past the censor. So what my sensor sees if I get my timing correct is she stays with same part of that sensor thus staying relatively sharp but all of this you know everything else that's not moving is visually moving across my sensor so it blurs and she stays sharp here. Okay, um, so shutter speed, this kind of stuff is where, like, shutter speed, I'm thinking, shutter speed, more an amateur. I'm not worried about depth of field in those pictures. I'm worried about shutter speed because I want motion. I want movement. I want the blur, and I'm going to introduce that into my photographs. So, here's, what we're going to do, we're going to take a quick break, er, for admit something gonna bounce back, you ladies on that, uh, we're going take a break, and we're going to come back into reciprocal zx and the relationship these two have together.

Class Description

Want to be a good photographer? Want to do it for a living? Want to rise above the bottom? Then join Zack Arias for this creativeLIVE course. Zack's first workshop was all about studio lighting. This time around, he's covering what you need to know to be a professional working photographer. Many people requested a class about business. Many requested natural light. Plenty wanted strobe + ambient. Everyone wanted more “client interaction” and posing guidelines. Zack's digging deep and covering as much as he can.



Outstanding! There are so many gems, any photographer aspiring to venture into business will gain much from this course. There are plenty of technical how-to's with superb examples, from choosing the right lens for a given situation, to learning about reciprocals, expressed in Zack's warm and fun style. He's a joy to watch. But, this class is much more than that. Zack is extremely generous in sharing very personal experiences and insight, on how he began from early days of struggling, to current projects, how he built his portfolio, and looking ahead to the future. And, in the final discussion with his wife Meghan, they open up and share their personal struggles balancing work and family life, and their strong support of each other. We can all relate to this. This class is a great guide on what it takes to start and become a successful pro photographer, and pulls no punches. It's not easy to do, but with some creativity and an insane amount of hard work, is doable and very rewarding!