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Canon getting started guide

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Aperture (AV mode)First of all, ‘Aperture’ is the technical name for the hole in the lens of the camera, this setting is key in landscape photography as it controls the depth of field in a photograph: depth of field is the definition of how blurred/focused the background of an image is.This setting is controlled by switching the camera settings to Aperture Priority (AV) – this lets you manually control the aperture whilst letting the rest of the setting are adjusted by the camera to get the right end product – the camera does this using a complex system – sometimes the ISO is also adjusted during this process.This setting is also useful in portraiture as photographers use the advantages of Aperture to blur the background of an image so that the central focus is on the main subject at hand. The sizes of the lens’ are measured and known as F-numbers.The lower the F-number – the bigger the aperture, this reduces the depth of field and lets more light in to the photograph.Wider settings let more light in, this is useful in low light conditions and will reduce the depth of field in the picture.The higher the F-number – the smaller the aperture, this increases the depth of field and reduces the amount of light being let in to the final image.Using this setting often requires a tripod as the camera needs a longer exposure time to avoid camera shake or movement.The correct exposure or the desired effect is achieved by balancing out the settings.

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This photograph was taken with the Aperture setting of F10 – this has focused on the tree’s completely yet blurred the background of the image to the point where you can’t really make out the green bin in the distance – the plant growing alongside the tree has also been blurred in to the background to make the tree stand out a lot more against the rest.

This photograph was taken with the Aperture setting of F16 – this has had the same effects as when I used F16 although the bin and tree’s in the background have become extremely blurred and hard to distinguish against the rest of the background – the plant growing alongside the tree seems more in focus than it did in the first photograph – the sharpness of the tree also seems like it has been decreased against the background.

For this image, I changed the Aperture settings to F22, the background is blurred against the tree considerably so – it’s hard not to look at the tree instead of searching the background – the plant alongside the tree is a lot more blurred than the first image and so is the background – this has shown the clear difference in Aperture settings.




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Shutter Speed (Tv mode)This is the length of time the shutter on a camera is open for when taking photographs. Shutter Priority mode (S or TV) should be enabled – this lets you manually choose how long the shutter will be open for, the camera will adjust other settings to get the right exposure.Shutter speed is presented in fractions of a second such as: 1/30.Smaller numbers = faster the shutter opens and closes – the shutter speed is measured in whole seconds as exposure gets longer.Slower speeds are used to show movement and when they are used there is a longer pause between the shutter opening and closing – this allows a longer time for movement to be captured. This also allows more light in and is also good in dark conditions - using a tripod to avoid camera shake, because more light hits the censor in the camera aperture settings are often adjusted to increase the depth of field.A faster shutter speed enables a photographer to essentially freeze a moment in time – it means that there is a shorter capture time and less time to capture movement so taking these photographs often require a quick snap of a particular scene, it also ensures a sharp, focused image that captures moments that human eyes can not, however, these images require a lot of either ambient or artificial lighting.

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The first shutter speed is 1/250 of a second – as we can observe, it’s very clear to see that it has picked up the movement of the person walking past easily by blurring the movement – it’s hard to distinguish exactly what is what in this image – i.e. where her head is etc/

The second shutter speed was 1/30 of a second – we can see that the camera has picked up some form of movement but it is not as clear as the first image – the person walking by is slightly blurred but not very – it’s easy to distinguish what is what in this image.

The last shutter speed is 1 / 4 – we can observe that the camera has not picked up any movement – it’s taken the image extremely quickly and captured a very sharp, focused image of the person walking by – there is only a slight blur to show that it has picked up at least a little bit of the movement.



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ISO settingsThis changes the camera’s censor sensitivity – the bigger the number the more sensitive/faster the film/censor is.Faster films/censors needs less light.Slow films/censors need more light.If you’re photographing in lower lighting conditions without a tripod or support of some kind, faster ISO speeds or faster films should be used.As the ISO speeds increase there is a higher chance of seeing ‘noise’ in a photograph: image noise is the random variation of brightness/colour information in a photograph – the effect makes certain parts of the image looks grainy or have a sand like texture, noise is usually regarded as a bad thing as it lowers the photographs quality. It becomes most noticeable in shadows or in larger areas of similar colours: i.e. The sky, the ocean, a wall etc.Low ISO speed is required to avoid ‘noise.’ you can have a sharp photograph but when it is cropped to, for example: 100 x 80 pixels, it can produce a bad quality end image. The higher the ISO setting, the more the pixels are forced to become brighter than they already are thus causing them to ‘pop’ and therefore creating a ‘gravelly’ image.

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The ISO setting for this first image was 1600 – we can see that in the middle of the photograph it’s light and clear – there is a slight darkness around the edges of the image that shows the censors sensitivity to the light.

This second image has the ISO setting of 800 – we can see that there is still a lot of light in this image however, the slight darkness that was around the edges in the first photograph with ISO 1600 has darkened and become more blatantly obvious.

The last image has the ISO setting of 200 – from the first glance we can tell that there is not a lot of light in this image – it’s almost pitch black apart from the centre of the photograph which still allows some light in and makes the fire extinguishers still visible.




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White BalanceThis helps the camera understand what ‘white’ is – it may sound odd but a camera doesn’t recognise white.The auto-white balance setting works in most situations although it depends on what your desired end product is – you may want to change the settings or the colour.For example: using a ‘cloudy’ setting on a sunny day gives the end photograph a warm/yellowy tint.Sometimes the settings will need to be altered if the colours are not being reproduced correctly or other times you can use the wrong white balance for a desired effect on your end photograph.

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The first image has been taken with the white balance setting of: White Fluorescent – this allows the image to come out bright, with a hint of blue in parts – it makes the white of the walls look extremely bright in comparison to the other object in the image. The second image was taken with the white balance setting of: Tungsten light – this has turned any white in the image in to a shade of blue, it’s definitely changed the shadows to a darker blue.The third image has been taken with the white balance setting of: Daylight – this has made the white of the walls become a darker, almost yellow colour – it has kept the other object to it’s original colour and made the lights in the reflection of the object more vivid.The last photograph has been taken with the white balance setting of: Shade – this has enhanced the darker, yellow colour that we observed in the third photograph and made it darker and more eye catching – the TV has become darker and so has the reflections in the TV – although the only thing brighter in this image seems to be the lights in the reflection.

Tungsten LightWhite Fluorescent


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Original image


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Dodging and burning

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Colour adjustments