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  • DSLRPhotographyforBeginners

    •TheRightWayofLearningDigitalSLRPhotography•

    ByBrianBlackCopyright©2013

  • TableofContentsDigitalPhotographyWhySLR?Aperture:WhatIsIt?ShutterSpeed:WhatDifferenceDoesitMake?ISOSensitivitySpecializedLenses

    TelephotoLensWide-AngleLens

    LensMultiplicationFactorZoomLens

    Wide-AngleZoomLensTelephotoZoomLensSuperzoomLens

    PrimeLensMacro(orClose-Up)LensFish-EyeLensTiltAndShiftLenses

    ComposingthePicture:Light,Framing,FocusLightingFraming

    RuleofThirdsIncludingContextLayersandDepthFocalPointsIntegrityandWholenessLines,Colors,TexturesandShapesSimplicityandEmptySpaceEyeContact

    FocusPointofFocusUsingAlltheCamera’sFocalPoints

  • DepthofFieldFocusModesPanningLensEffectsonDepthofField

    DownloadingandStoringYourPhotosUsingGraphicDesignSoftwareConclusion

  • DigitalPhotographyDigitalphotographyhasbecomethestandardtoday.Mostcamerassoldtodayaredigital. Analog photography is on the way to disappearance except in a fewnicheapplications.Butwhatexactly isdigitalphotography?Inwhatways is itbetterthananalogphotography?Howdiditearnitsplaceofpreeminence?Allphotographycapturesanimagebyfocusinglightreflectedfromsomethinginthe world through a lens and recording that image in a medium. With old-fashioned analog photography, the medium was a film with light-sensitivechemicals that darkened or changed colorwhen struck by light. The filmwasthenprocessedinadarkroomusingvariouschemicalsthatcausedtheimagetoappear ina“negative”–with thecolorsreversed–and then lightwasbeamedthroughthefilmontolight-sensitivepaperwhichwasalsoexposedtochemicalstoproducea“print.”Theprocesswastime-consumingandincludedmanypointswheremistakeswerepossible.Itwasexpensiveintermsofmaterialsandlaborboth, but until the advent of digital photography, it was the only way thatphotographscouldbetaken,developed,andpreserved.

    Instead of this analog process, digital photography focuses the light from thelensontoanarrayofelectroniclightsensorshookeduptoacomputerprocessingchip tocreateadigital imageandstore it indigitalmemory.Thestored imagecanbeseenimmediatelyonthecamera’sscreen,transmittedtootherdevicesforstorageorfurtherprocessing,anddigitallypublishedontheInternet.The advantages of digital over analog photography are enormous. There’s nodanger of losing photographs by accidentally exposing film, or of making amistakeinthedevelopmentprocessthatruinsthephotoforever.Youcanseetheresults of your efforts immediately, and know if you need to retake a shot, asopposed to waiting hours or days before the results are available. There’s nodelaywhilethephotosareprocessed;theycanbecheckedatonce.Thatmeansyoudon’thave to takeasmanyshots inorder tobereasonablysureofagoodone,andinadditioneachphotoyoutakecostsessentiallynothing–nofilm,nodevelopment chemicals, no printing paper or slide materials. Digitalphotographysavesboth timeandmoneybymaking theprocessmoreefficientandlesswasteful.Youcanmakeperfectcopiesofadigitalphotograph,whereascopiesofanalogphotographs lose fidelity the more times copies of copies are made. Digitalphotographsaretakeninexactlytheformatyouwillneedfordigitalpublication

  • or for using the photos in a graphic design program. There’s no guessworkinvolvedinmovingfromonemediumtoanother,nowonderinghowaphotothatlooksgreatinaneightbytenglossywillappearwhenrenderedintonewsprint.

  • What’smore,withdigitalphotographythere’snoneedtoworryaboutwhetheryou’reusingtherightkindoffilm.Youdon’tneedtohavesuppliesofvariousspeedsoffilmfordifferentshootingconditionsandpurposes.Anytypeofimagein any type of light can become a photo in your camera’s digital memory,providedit’swithintheparametersyourcameralens,aperture,andshutterspeedcanhandle,onesizefitsall.

    Finally, digital photography allows some versatile automatic controls to beimplementedforthingslikefocusingandexposurecontrol,someofwhichwe’lldiscussinabit.

  • Are thereanydisadvantages todigitalphotography?Yes, there isonepotentialdisadvantage.Justasanalogmusic(vinylrecording)cangiveyouabettersoundatthehighendofplaybackthandigitalmusic,sowithanalogphotographyyoucanpotentiallyachieveafinergradeofvisualartthanwithdigitalphotography.That’s becausedigital photographybreaks the image intodiscrete bits (pixels)andrelieson thebrainof thepersonviewingthemtogenerateawholepictureoutof thebits.Thegreater thedensityof thedigital image, themorecompleteandtrue-seemingtheimagewillbe,butthereisalwaysalimitatanygivenlevelof refinement and technology. Analog photography, however, has no limit tohowperfectlyitcanrenderanimage.

    Takingadvantageofthisinherentsuperiorityofanalogphotographyrequiresthebest cameras and equipment, though, and as digital photography continues toadvanceitreachesalevelofrefinementwheretheeyeandbrainsimplycan’ttellthedifference.Moreover, today’smethodsof publication are all digital,whichmeans that even though you can (conceivably) produce a better photographusinganalogmethods,itwon’tbeanybetterbythetimeit’spublished.Forjustaboutallpracticalpurposes,digitalphotographyissuperior,andthat’swhyit’srapidly becoming the way things are done for professional and casualphotographyalike.Today,digitalphotographycanbeproducedthatisextremelyhigh in quality. This is especially possible through the use of high qualitycamerasandlenses,amongwhichmostof thebestonesuseatechniquecalledsingle-lens reflex (SLR) photography, and that of course is what this book isabout.If your interest in photography goes beyond pointing a camera and takingsnapshots of the family on vacation, hopefully this little e-bookwill give yousomeinformation thatcanhelpyou.We’lldiscuss thereasonswhySLRis theway to go for quality photography. We’ll go over the elements of photocomposition.We’lldiscussaperture,shutterspeed,andISOsensitivity,andwhateach of thesemeans in terms of photo quality and effects.We’ll describe thedifferentkindsoflensesyoucanbuyforandusewithyourdigitalSLRcamera.We’ll go over the different common file formats for saving your pictures tomemory,anda littleongraphicsartsprogramsandwhy it’s important to learnhowtouseone,andthebasicrulesofmakingsureyoudon’t loseyourphotosafter you’ve taken them. This book isn’t a complete manual of thephotographer’sart,butit’sanintroductionthatshouldgiveyouanideaofwhatyou’regettinginto.

  • WhySLR?SLRstandsfor“single-lensreflex.”Thetermreferstoatypeofviewfinderonacamera.A standard viewfinder is placed beside or above the camera lens andfocusesseparatelyfromthelens.Theimageyouseeintheviewfinderisneverpreciselywhatthecameraseesorwhatwillappearinyourphoto,althoughwithawell-designedviewfinderitcancomeveryclose.

  • Atypicalsingle-lensreflexcamera

    Asingle-lens reflexcamerahasnoviewfinder technically socalled. Instead, ituses amirror to bend and redirect someof the light from the lens through aneyepiecesothat thephotographer is lookingright throughthelensitself.Whatyou see is exactly what you get. There are enormous advantages to SLRphotography.

  • ThebiggestadvantageisthatanSLRallowsyoutochangelensesinthecamera.Youcanuseaclose-uplens,a telephotolens,andvariouslenseswithdifferentaperturesettingstocapturejusttheimageyouwant.Withaviewfinder,thisisn’teasy todo,because theviewfinder ismade tomatchaparticular lensandwillpresent a much more distorted image if you change the lens. With an SLRcamera,becausetheimageyouseeisalwayscoming from thelens, it’salwaystruetothelens,nomatterwhichlensyou’reusing.SLRcameras are always equippedwith a removable lens that canbe replacedwithotherlensesatwill.SensorsarenormallybuiltintotheviewingdisplayinanSLRcamera, too.They tellyouwhether there’senough lightat thepresentaperturesettingandshutterspeed,andhowwelltheimageisfocused.FocusingismucheasierwithanSLRthanwithaviewfinder,asyoucanseetheimageasit’spresentedbythecameralensandseewhetherit’sinfocusornot.

  • All of these are reasons why single-lens reflex cameras have become thestandardforseriousphotography.Thatwastruelongbeforedigitalphotographybecamepractical (the firstSLRcameraswereanalog).But today,manyof the

  • famous names in manufacturers of analog SLR cameras have come out withexcellent digital SLR cameras, too. These includeNikon, Canon, Pentax, andothers. The advantage of craftsmanship in a digital camera doesn’t go to the“digital”part(theelectronicsensorarrayandstorageroutines),buttothepartofthe camera that remains analog,with the lens being the singlemost importantfeature.A single-lens reflex camera of top quality costs more than most other digitalcameras. (That was also true about analog cameras; the SLR cameras wereusuallymore expensive than the viewfinder versions.) You can expect to pay$500 - $1,000 for a decent DSLR camera, with the priciest, such as Nikon’sD3X,runningashighas$8,000.Specializedlensescostmoney,too.ADSLRisnotreallyneededforcasualsnapshots.Butifyouwanttotakeyourphotographyto a higher,more serious level, it’s definitely theway to go. In that case, youshould expect to spend some money, unfortunately. Digital photography hasshavedsomeofthecostfromtheart,butqualityisstillfairlyexpensive.

  • Aperture:WhatIsIt?Aperturereferstothewidthoftheshutteropeninginacamerawhenapictureistaken. A wider aperture lets more light in and allows pictures to be taken indimmerlight.However,italsocreatesshallowerdepthoffocus,sothatpartsofthepicturethataremoredistant(orcloser)thanthecenteroffocuswillappearoutoffocus.Dependingonwhateffectyou’relookingfor,thismayormaynotbeagoodthing.

  • Theapertureofanycamera(notjustdigitalcameras)ismeasuredintermsof“fstop”or“fnumber.”Thetechnicalmeaninghereinvolvesa2-basedlogarithmicscalesothat1fnumberdifferencedoublesorhalvestheamountoflightenteringthecamera.There’samathematicalformulaforthiswhichwewon’tgointo,asit’snotterriblyimportantforpurposesoftakinggoodpictures.(It’srelatedtotheareaofacircle.)Thelowerthefnumber,thelargertheaperturewillbe.F1isavery wide aperture, while F 8 is very narrow. A lens comes equipped with arange of apertures which is controlled by device called a diaphragm thatfunctionsmuch like the iris of your eye.Note that this is not a feature of thechangeable part of the lens. The diaphragm is part of the cameramechanismbehind the lens not of the lens itself. Each lens is sold with a description orrating that specifies the maximum and minimum aperture. This rating issometimescalledthelensspeed,asitaffectshowfasttheshutterspeedneedstobewiththatparticularlens.Shutterspeedandapertureareinverselyrelated,sothat a wide aperture requires a faster shutter speed under any given lightconditions.Thewideapertureletsinmorelight,andafastershutterspeedletsinlessbyreducingthetimethatthesensorsareexposed.

    There’salsoaconsiderationwhenitcomestoframingthepictureandseeingitthrough the viewer.Anarrow aperture,while itmaybe appropriate for takingpictures inbright lightconditions, isn’t sogood forviewing thepicturebeforeyoutakeit,becauseitreducesthelightgoingthroughthelenstoyoureye.Forthatreason,SLRcamerasarenormallyequippedwithwhat’scalled“automaticaperturecontrol.”Thissetstheaperturetothewidestpossibleforthelenswhileviewing the scene andmetering the light, and closes the aperture down to theappropriatelevelwhentheshotistaken.Adigital SLR camera can be set to adjust part of its settings automatically invarious ways. One type of semi-automatic adjustment is called “aperturepriority.” In this type of photography, the photographermanually chooses theaperture and allows the camera to automatically set the shutter speed and ISOsensitivity for the correct exposure. Using this technique allows thephotographer to control the type of focus effect desired without having tomanually set all three variables. A different look to a photograph is achievedwith a high depth of field compared to a shallow depth of field. Note thedifferenceinthetwophotosbelow.

  • Inthispicture,thedepthoffieldisshallow,sothatonlythesquirrelmonkeyandthe branch it’s sitting on are in focus. This picture was taken using a wideaperture. It used a relatively fast shutter speed to cut down on the light andcorrectlyexposethephoto.

  • In this picture, on the other hand, the depth of field is extensive, so that thewholelandscapeappearsinfocus.Thisphotowastakenwithanarrowaperture,and the shutter speed was relatively slow in order to let enough light in forproper exposure. If anything had been moving quickly through the photo itmighthaveappearedblurryasaresult,notbecauseofdepthoffieldbutbecauseoftheobjectmovingacrossthefieldofviewwhilethepicturewasbeingtaken.(We’lldiscusseffectsofshutterspeedsbelow.)Whicheffectisbetter?Itdependsonwhatyouaretryingtoportray.Aphotoinwhichonlytheimmediatecenteroffocus is clear draws attention to that subject. Thismight be appropriate for aportraitorforaclose-upofoneparticularitem.Itwouldnotbeappropriateforapanoramicshotinwhichtheentiresceneneedstobeinclearview.

    Byusingaperturepriority,youcantakepicturesoftheappropriateeffectsand,withinthelimitationsofthelensyouareusing,adjusttheshutterspeedandISOsensitivity to allow more or less light in according to the f-stop you haveselected. (It’s important to remember that a slow shutter speed makes yourphotographymoresensitivetocameramotion,though.Averyslowshutterspeedrequiresasteadyhandorinsomecasesatripodtokeepyourcameramotionless.Otherwisetheentirepicturewillbeblurryandstreaked.)Sometimesalenshasitsbestperformancewhenitisnotfullyopened,i.e.usingatighteraperturethanthemaximumallowablewith that lens.For this reason, it’sbest tohavea lensappropriatetothetypeofphotographyintended,thatgivesgoodresultswiththeapertureopeningyouwanttouse.Also,therearetypesofphotographyinwhicha high depth of field is desirable even though the subject is very small, forexample macro photography. Special lenses are appropriate for this as well.We’llgetintolenstypesinmoredetailbelow.

  • Shutter Speed:WhatDifferenceDoes itMake?As noted above, there’s an inverse relationship between aperture and shutterspeed.Afastshutterspeeddoesnotletinasmuchlightasaslowshutterspeed.Ifyou’reusingatightaperturetoachievehighdepthoffield,youwillneedtouseaslowershutterspeed(foranygivenlightconditions)thanyouwouldwhileusingawideaperture.Shutterspeedisalsosometimescalledexposuretime.Itismeasured in termsof theamountof time that thecamerashutter remainsopenwhiletakingthepicture.Afastshutterspeedmeansashortexposuretime,whileaslowshutterspeedmeansalongexposuretime.(Infact,thereissuchathingas“timedexposure”inwhichtheshutterremainsopenforseveralsecondsinorderto photograph something in very poor light or to achieve special effects. Thiskindofphotographyisalwaysdoneusingatripodtostabilizethecamera.)Alsoasnotedabove,aslowshutterspeedcreatesgreatereffectfromcameramotionsothatatripodmayberequiredforstabilityatveryslowspeeds.However,whatmattershereistherelativemotionofcameraandsubject.Takingapictureofamovingobjectwithaslowshutterspeedcancreateablurredimageoftheobject(and the suggestion ofmotion).Using a faster shutter speedmakes the objectappearmorecrisply,withbetterdefinitionand lessblurring.Whichof these isdesireddependsonwhateffectonewantstocreateintheimage.Shutterspeedismeasuredinfractionsofasecond,withstandardshutterspeedsranging from 1/1000 of a second to one full second. The shutter, like thediaphragmthatcontrolsaperture,ispartofthecamerabodyandmechanism,notpartof the lens,but inadditionshutterspeed isset independentlyofwhat lensyouareusing(whichisnottrueofaperture).

    The shutter speed and the aperture are inversely related.Toproperly expose aphoto,it’snecessarytohaveaslowershutterspeedthenarrowertheapertureisset and vice-versa, given any specific combination of lighting conditions andlens speed. Just as it’s possible to have a camera automatically set the shutterspeedwhilemaintainingaconstantaperture(aperturepriority),it’salsopossibletomaintainaconstantshutterspeedforaparticulareffectandvarytheapertureautomaticallyinstead(shutterspeedpriority).Youcouldhaveaveryfastshutterspeedtocapturefast-movingobjectswithcrispfocus,oraslowershutterspeedtoshowthemotionof theobjectswithartful streaks.Yourcamerawould thenadjust the aperture to let in more or less light as needed to take a properly-

  • exposedpicturegiventhatshutterspeedandambientlighting.

    Fasttrainwithmotionblur,takenwithaslowshutterspeed.

  • Similartrain,nomotionblur–takenwithafastshutterspeed.

  • ISOSensitivityThethirdfactorbesidesshutterspeedandaperturethatdeterminestheexposureofapicture is the lightsensitivityof theelectronicarraythat takes in the lightandformsthepicture.Thisisadjustableinmostdigitalcamerasandisusuallycalled“ISOsensitivity.”The term “ISO” is taken from an international standardmeasurement of filmspeed.While themeasurement doesn’t directly apply to digital photography ithasbeenborrowedtodoso,andthesensitivitytolightisdisplayedasISO200,400,andsoon.ThehighertheISOsensitivity,thelesslightwillberequiredtoproduce a given exposure. With greater light sensitivity, your camera canproduce a given desired picture quality at a faster shutter speed and/or anarrower aperture.This is usefulwhenyouare takingpictures indim lightinganddon’twant either the blurredmotion effect of a slow shutter speedor thenarrowdepthoffieldthatresultsfromawideaperture.

  • ISOwasoriginallyameasureoffilmspeed,asinthisrollofISO400colorfilm.

    One might wonder in that case why light sensitivity wouldn’t simply be setalways to themaximum, except when youwant to produce one of those twoeffects (narrow depth of field or motion streaking). The answer is that withdigitalphotographyjustaswithanalogphotography,veryhighlightsensitivityproducessomethingcalled“noise.”This is the introductionofrandommarringthatwasn’tinthepictureasseenbytheeye.Theeffect,whetherusingaveryfastfilmoraveryfastISOsensitivitydigitalsetting,isagrainyqualitytothephotothatisgenerallyundesirable.Forthatreason,there’satrade-offbetweenISOsensitivityandtheotherfactorsthat impact exposure (shutter speed and aperture) and it’s best to set the ISOsensitivitytoaslowalevelasispracticalgiventheprevailinglightconditions.Ifthepicturecanbetakenata lowerISOsensitivityandstilluseashutterspeedfast enough and an aperture narrow enough to achieve the effect youwant, itshouldbe.Atthesametime,though,somephotosdobenefitfromahigherISOsensitivity.AphotothatwouldnormallyrequireaflashcanbetakenwithoutoneusinghigherISOsensitivity,avoidingthedistortingeffectsofflashlight.Also,aphoto to be taken in dim light might be best taken with high ISO sensitivityratherthanaslowshutterspeedorawideaperture.Italldependsonwhatyou’relookingforinthefinalpicture.

  • NightphototakenwithnoflashusingISO1600setting(veryfast).

    Allof theseconsiderationsarebasedaroundthe ideaofoptimumexposureforthepicture–theexposurethatwillrenderaphotothatcapturesallelementsinthescenewell.It’salsopossibletodeliberatelyvarytheexposuresoastoeitherunderexposeoroverexpose thepicture (in termsof the theoretical“optimum”)foraparticulareffectoremphasis.We’llgointothatmoreinalatersection.Fornow,theimportantthingis tounderstandhowaperture,shutterspeed,andISOsensitivityinteract toset theexposureof thephoto,andwhat theeffectsareofvaryingeachofthesethreeelements.

  • SpecializedLensesThebiggestadvantageofasingle-lensreflexcameraoverothertypesofcameraisthefacilitywithwhichthephotographercanchangethelens.Typicalnon-SLRdigitalcamerascomewithasinglelenswithmoderatezoomcapability.Thelensis non-detachable, which has one minor benefit: the seal prevents dust ormoisture from getting into the camera body. However, a well-designed lensfastening in an SLR camera reduces any contamination to aminimum so thatthisisnotaseriousconcern.

  • The lens in a digital SLR camera is detachable. It can be removed from thecameraandreplacedbyadifferent lensproducingadifferenteffect.Replacingthelensalsochangestheviewintheviewfinder,becausethelightgoingtotheviewfindercomesthroughthelensjustasdoesthelightusedtotakeapicture.

    Therearemanydifferentkindsofspecializedcameralenses.Thefollowingarethemostcommonkindsusedandtheonesthatyouasaphotographerwillmostlikelywanttobecomefamiliarwith:telephotolens,wide-anglelens,zoomlens,primelens,macrolens(alsocalledclose-uplens),andfish-eyelens.Beforegoingintoeachtypeoflens,let’sspendsometimediscussingfactorsthatare common to digital SLR photography and that set it apart from analogphotography.Today’scameralensesarespecificallydesignedwithdigitalSLRphotographyinmind.Aslongasyou’rebuyinglensesnew,youshouldnotrunintoanyseriousproblems.However, it’salsopossible to findused lenseson the resalemarket.Olderlensesmayfityourcamerainthesenseofitbeingpossibletoattachthelenstoyourcamerabody,butmaycausesomeunwantedeffects.Theseincludeinternalreflectionsthatcancauseghostimagestoappearinyourphotos.

    Tobeginwith,digitalSLRcamerashavesensors thatare slightly smaller thantheareaofa35mmframeoffilm,whichisthefilmsizethatwasnormallyusedwithanalogSLRcameras.Thisfactchangestheeffectivefocallengthofeverylensusedwiththecamera.Secondly,it’simportanttoconsultyourcamera’smanualinregardtowhatlensesarefullycompatiblewiththecamera.Sincelensmountingsarefairlystandard,especially within a particular camera brand name, it’s quite possible to findlenses that can be physically mounted on your camera but that may causeproblemsforyou inuse. Inparticular,checkwhether the lensyouareusing isdesigned for a specific typeof sensor, such as anAPS-C sensor. It is actuallypossible to cause damage to your camera by using a lens that isn’t fullycompatible.Thethirdthingtoconsideriswhattypeofphotographyyouwanttodo.Afastlens(onewithahighmaximumaperture)hasadvantagesforindoorphotographyor portrait photography. On the other hand, a slower lens (one with a lowermaximumaperture)isusuallylessexpensiveandmaybeperfectifyoumainlywanttofocusonoutdoorphotographyandonpicturesfeaturingbroaddepthoffield.

  • Themainthingtokeepinmindisthatalensisasignificantinvestmentandit’sbesttodoyourresearchbeforecommittingyourselftoowningone.Knowyourcamera,knowthe lensyou intend tobuy,andknowwhatkindofphotographyyouwanttopractice,andusingthoseasaguideyoucan’tgotoofarwrong.

  • TelephotoLens

  • A telephoto lens is one that magnifies the image seen. Telephoto lenses havemagnificationmeasured as amultiplier.For example, 5Xmagnificationmeansthatanyobjectsseenappearfivetimestheirnormalsize.Atelephotolensisusedfor shooting subjects that are far awaywhen thephotographer either can’t getclose to the subjectorwouldprefernot to.This typeof lens isoftenused forsportsphotographyandwildlifephotography.Another use for a telephoto lens arises from the fact that magnification,combinedwithawideaperture,createsverynarrowdepthoffield.Thiscanbeuseful in portrait photography when the desired effect is a crisply definedportraitagainstanout-of-focusbackground.

    Using a narrow aperture with a telephoto lens, however, creates a differenteffect.Depthoffield isgreatas isalways thecasewithanarrowaperture,butthemagnificationcreatesatypeofdistortioninwhichtheobjectsinthepictureappear tobe closer together (in termsofdistance from thephotographer) thantheyactuallyare.Spacebecomesvisuallycompressedinthepicture.

  • Some other effects arise with magnification. Small motions of the camerabecome magnified just as the images of the things viewed are magnified.

  • Telephotophotographycansometimesrequireuseofatripodorotherstabilizingdevice for this reason even when the shutter speed would normally be fastenough to avoid that necessity.The same is true formotions of the objects inview,whichcanbeabithardtotrackforthisreason.Manytelephotolensesalsohaveafairlynarrowmaximumaperture,whichcanrequireuseofslowershutterspeedsthanwouldbeoptimumforthelightconditions.

  • Wide-AngleLens

  • Awide-angle lens is insomeways theoppositeofa telephoto lens. It’sa lenswithashortfocallength(under35millimeters)thatcapturesandkeepsinfocusawideview,whileatelephotolensisonethatfocusesonanarrowviewinthedistance.Themagnificationwithawide-anglelensisoftensomewhatnegative,i.e.objectsappearsmallerormoredistantinthephotothantheyareinreality.

  • Phototakenwithwide-anglelensA wide-angle lens is used for panoramic shots, pictures of buildings andarchitecture, and other pictures when you want to include a wide area in thephotoratherthanfocusinonasingleobject.

  • LensMultiplicationFactorThe standards for focal length were developed originally with reference tocameras using 35mm film.Digital cameras frequently have a slightly reducedsensor plane size that gives the camera a “lens multiplication factor” thateffectively increases thefocal lengthof the lens.The lensmultiplicationfactorcan range from 1.0 (no distortion) to 1.6, depending on the camera. YourdocumentationforyourdigitalSLRcamerawill includethelensmultiplicationfactorandyoushouldcheck it toadjustyourexpectationsaccordingly.This ismostsignificantwhenusingawide-anglelens.As noted earlier, though, most new lenses are built with this fact of digitalcamerasinmind,sothatalensthatmeetsthespecificationsofyourcamerawillnot require any suchmodification ofwhat you can expect from it. Still, it’s agoodideatobearitinmind,particularlyifyouswitchfromoneDSLRcameratoanother.

  • ZoomLens

  • Azoomlensisanadjustabletelephotoorwideanglelens,essentially.Itcanbeadjusted in one or both directions, to function as a wide angle, normal, ortelephotolens.Itcanbeextremelyconvenientifthephotographeristakingmanydifferenttypesofpicturesasitresultsinhavingtocarryaroundfewerlenses.Ontheotherhand,azoomlenstendstobebiggerandheavierthananyofthelenstypesitreplaces,asitincludesglasslenselementsfordifferentpurposes,addingtothesizeandweight.

    Anotherdrawback tousingazoomlens is that setting theaperturecanbe lessprecise.A given f-stopmay not produce the same effect at onemagnificationthatitdoesatanother.Thetelephotoeffectorzoomeffectcanbeachievedintwootherwaysthanbyuseofaspecializedlens.Theothertwowaysinvolvemanipulationofthedigitalimageitselfandsoareonlyavailablewithdigitalphotography.Oneoftheseiscalled“digitalzoom.”Itiscreatedbyincreasingthesizeofthecentralportionofthepictureandaddingextrapixelstoit.Theresultislowerinqualitythanwhatcanbeachievedbyanopticalzoom(zoomlens).Theotherdigitalwayofachievingazoomeffectiscalledacroppingzoom.Thisalsousesthecentralportionoftheimagebutdoesnotaddextrapixels,simplycroppingtheimageandblowingitup.

    Thehighest-qualityzoompictures,however,canbe takenwithanactualzoomlensoruseofopticalzoom.

  • Wide-AngleZoomLens

  • A wide-angle zoom lens is a wide-angle lens that allows variable settings –essentiallyazoomlenswhoserangecoversthewiderfocuspossibilities.Focallengthofsuchlensesrangesfrom12to35mm,dependingonthespecificlensmodel.Somewide-angle zoom lenses exhibit a bit of barrel distortion at theirmore extreme settings; this refers to an image that looks “barreled out” or“balloonedout”attheedges,akindofmildfish-eyeeffect.Usuallysuchlensescomewitha lenshoodwhichhelpspreventunwanted lightentering theframe,causinglossofcontrast.

  • TelephotoZoomLens

  • This is what most people think of when they think of a zoom lens. It’s anadjustable telephoto lens that keeps the action in close view. The usual focalrangeisbetween100mmand400mm.

    These are not inexpensive lenses, especially the relatively fast ones that allowwide apertures. They’re good for action photography where you need tomaintainfastshutterspeedtoavoidblurringandwanttotakecloserpicturesofdistantmovingobjects.

  • SuperzoomLens

    Theselensesarepopulartokeeponyourcamera,becausetheyhaveaverywide

  • range of focal lengths, all the way from wide-angle to telephoto. A goodsuperzoom lens will have a focal length range from 28mm to 300mm. Thischopsoff theextremespossiblewithwide-angleor telephotozoom lenses,butcoversagreatvarietyofpossibleshots.Many specific types of photography can achieve better results with a moretailored lensrather thanasuperzoomlens.However,asuperzoomlens is idealfortravelphotography,whereoneissomewhatlimitedtohowmanylensescanbeeasilycarriedabout,andwhereopportunitiesneedtobeseizedquickly.Sincethe superzoom lenscoversmostof thephotographsyouwillprobablywant totakeinmostsituationsyouarelikelytoface,it’snotabadchoiceasa“default”lensforyourdigitalSLRcamera.

  • PrimeLens

  • Aprimelens,alsoknownasafixedlens,hasafixedfocallengththatcan’tbechanged.Theselensesareoftenmadewithawideraperturethanotherlensessothattheycanbeusedindimmerlightthanthosewithanarroweraperture,atagivenshutterspeed.Ofcourse,thatmeanstheimagewillhaveanarrowdepthoffield.Themainuseof theprime lens is forportraitphotographywhere that isexactlytheeffectdesired.

  • Macro(orClose-Up)Lens

  • Amacro lens,alsoknownasaclose-up lens, isone thatallowsamuchcloserfocus to a small subject.Macrophotography is typicallyused to capture closeviewsofverysmallthingssuchasflowersandinsects.Thelensdoesnothavetobe extremely close to the subject to take the picture, allowing close-ups to betakenofsubjectsthatmightotherwisebescaredaway,e.g.abugthatthinksofthephotographerassomethingthatmightwanttoeatit.

  • Amacrolensismostoftenusedinnaturephotography,butitalsocomesinveryhandyforportraiture.Amacrolensisusuallywideinitsmaximumaperture,afeature permitting shallow depth of field. They are also usually very high inoptical quality. This is a specific function lens, rather than a general purposelens.

  • Fish-EyeLens

  • A fish-eye lens is an extreme wide-angle lens that deliberately adds a spatialdistortiontothepicture.Animagetakenwithafish-eyelenscanappearwiththecentral portion (where the camera is focused) enlarged while the peripheralportionsof thepicturearereducedinsizeandclarity thefurther theyarefromthecenter.Unlikeapicturetakenwithastandardwide-anglelens,thedistortionwithafish-eyelensisdeliberate.

    The angle of viewwith a fish-eye lens is usually 180 degrees (that is, a fullsemicircle)butfish-eyelensescanbefoundtotakeasmuchas220degreesofview.Thisisspecializedphotographyintendedtoproduceaparticulardistorted,artisticeffect.A variation on the fish-eye lens is the “circular” fish-eye, which rather thanfilling theentire framewith thefish-eyeeffect,createsacircular imagewithintheframethatisdistortedinthiswaywhiletherestofthepictureisflat.Fish-eye lenses aremost commonly used in landscape photography.However,theycanbe fun things toplaywith inother typesofphotographyaswell, forexampleallowingaportraitthatresemblesanM.C.Escherdrawing.

  • TiltAndShiftLensesThese are specialized lenses used for tilt and shift photography. Tilt and shiftphotographyuses cameramovement itself to shift focus, usuallydownwardorupward,butsometimessidetoside,inordertoavoidperspectivedistortion.Thistype of photography is most commonly used in landscape and architecturalphotography. It’s useful in any photography, though,where the plane of focusneedstobechanged.Theselensescanbeusedtoshiftthedepthoffieldwithoutchangingtheaperture,throughcontrollingtheplaneoffocus.Thesamelensescanbeusedtocreatea“fauxminiaturization”effect,sothattheobjectsphotographedappeartobeminiature.Thesearequiteexpensivelenses,though,andprobablynotworththecostunlessneededprofessionally.

  • ComposingthePicture:Light,Framing,FocusThegreat thingaboutasingle-lensreflexcamera(whetherdigitaloranalog)isthat it allowsyou somanyoptions in regard to composingyourpicture!Yourcameracan,withachangeofonlyalens,becomeatelephotocamera,aclose-upcamera, a portrait camera, a sports camera, a wildlife camera, or almost anyotherkindofcamera.Butwiththatversatilitycomefactorsthatmustbekeptinmind.Photographic composition is the termused for changingwhat is in thepictureandhowitistakensoastocreatetheeffectandimagethatyouwant.Thisisafarcryfrompointingandshootingasnapshot!Youmayinmanycasescomposeyour picture by changingwhat is included in it.This canbedonemost easilywithportraitphotographyorstudiophotography.Youcanchangethebackdrop,the clothing and hairstylesworn by yourmodels, the poses, and all the otherfeaturesofthepicturesothatwhatyouarelookingatchanges,andsoofcoursewillthepictureyoutakeofit.

    When photographing something in nature or otherwise out in theworld, youropportunities to do this sort of thing aremuchmore limited. But that doesn’tmeanyoucan’tartfullycomposethephoto!Itsimplymeansthatyoumustusedifferent methods. Instead of changing what you are shooting at, you changehowtheshotistakensoastocapturedifferentpartsofit,fromdifferentangles,andindifferentways,soastocreatedifferentimages.There are three main factors that are involved in photographic composition,otherthancontrollingthesubjectmatter.Thesearelighting,framing,andfocus.

  • LightingIn studio photography, just as you can control the subjectmatter, so you cancontrol the intensity of the lighting by changing the lighting itself. In outdoorphotography that isn’t possible, but you can still use lighting to help composeyourphotos.

  • Onewaytodothisistoselectthetimeofdayorweatherconditionsunderwhichyou take the photos. You will achieve a dimmer, more diffuse light on an

  • overcast day than you will under bright sunshine. Also, different lightingconditionsprevailatnight,underartificiallight(ormoonlight)thanindaylight.The other way to control lighting outdoors is to start from the other end. Byadjusting the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO sensitivity of your camera, youcanincreaseorreducetheamountoflightenteringthecameraandsomakethepicturebrighterordimmer.Thiscanbeusedtooverexposeorunderexposethephoto deliberately. Overexposing the photo gives it a more “washed out”appearance, bringing up detail in things that are in shadow thatmight not beshown in a “correctly” exposed picture. Deliberately underexposing it on theotherhanddeepensthecolorsandshadesinbrighterpartsofthepicture,atthecostofmakingthedimmerpartsevenlessvisible.

  • Photoofahighwayatnightusinglongexposuretime.

    Besidesdeliberateover-orunder-exposure,youcanuseyourcontrolofthethreefactors behind exposure (ISO sensitivity, shutter speed, and aperture) to takepicturesinverydimlightthatappearasiftheyweretakeninsomewhatbrighterlight. This can allow nighttime photography without the use of flashbulbs orelectronicflash.Asyoutakemorepictures,you’llgetabetterfeelforwhatyourcameracandointermsofexposureandwhatchangingeachoftheexposure-relevantvariablesaccomplishes.Rememberthesethreerulesofthumb:

  • 1)Awideapertureletsinmorelight,butreducesdepthoffield.

    2)Aslowshutterspeedletsinmorelight,butincreasesblurringduetomotionofeitherthesubjectorthecamera.3)AhighISOsensitivityincreasestheapparentbrightnessofapicture,butatveryhighlevelsalsoincreasesgraininess.

    Keepingtheserulesinmindwill letyouadjustlightsensitivityinthewaythatwillproducetheeffectsyouwant.

    Herearesomeotherrulesofthumbthatwillhelpyouincontrollingthelightingconditionseitheroutdoorsorinthestudio.The broader the light source, the softer will be the light. Conversely, with anarrow light source, you get a crisp, sharp light.A broad light source softensshadowsandcontrastsandlowerstextures.That’sbecauseabroadlightsourceallowslighttohitthesubjectfrommultipledirections.Inportraitphotography,forexample,asofteffectcanbeachievedbypositioningthesubjectnearalargewindowthatdoesnothavedirectsunlightexposure.Themoredistantthelightsource,theharderthelight.Thisisactuallyavariationontheaboverule.Ifyoupositionalightsourceclosertothesubject,itwillbelargerrelativetothesizeofthesubject.Ifit’sshiningfromadistance,it’smoreasingle-direction light source that sharpens contrasts and shadows.You canusethisruletocreatethemostflatteringimages(orthemostcreativeanddesirableones)inindoorphotography.

    Diffusion scatters light andmakes for softer lighting.Diffusion refers to lightshining through a translucent substance, such as clouds, fog, or filters andscreens.Apicturetakenoutdoorsonanovercastdayorinafogwillbesofterineffect thanone takenona sunnyday.The sameprinciplecanbeused indoorsthrough the use of filters and screens to create a diffused light and produce asoftening effect.Youcanmakeyourown filtersusingmaterials such aswhitecloth or translucent plastic. Outdoors, you can use a light tent or canopy todiffusethesunlightintheabsenceofanynaturalcloudsorfog.Bouncing light diffuses it. If you shine your light source not directly on thesubjectbutratheronamattesurfacesuchasawhitewalloramattereflector,asofterqualityoflightwillbeproduced.Note that this really only works with a matte reflector. If you use a shiny

  • reflector,suchasamirrororapieceofpolishedmetal(somethingyoucanseeyour reflection in), the light will remain almost as sharp as if it were useddirectly.Themoredistantthelightsource,themoreitweakens.Thisisaprettyobviousone.Alightsourceisstrongerandbrighterwhenit’sclosertothesubjectofyourphotograph, and weaker and dimmer when it’s further away. There’s amathematicalprinciplecalledthe“inversesquarelaw”thatgovernsthis,whichsaysthatlightvariesinverselyasthesquareofthedistancefromthesource.Thatmeans when the source of light is twice as far away, it’s four times weaker.When it’s three times as far away, it’s none timesweaker. Just remember thatwhen a light source is farther away, it becomes sharper, but alsoweaker, andadjustyourexpectationsaccordingly.

    Thecloserthelightsourceistothesubject,thesharperwillbethefalloffoflightonobjectsinthepicturefurtherawayfromthelightthanthesubject.Whenyoushinea light fromashortdistanceonsomething in theforeground, the light ismuchdimmer(inproportion)onanythingabitfurtherawayfromthelightthanthe subject is. For example, if you photograph a person with a bright lightshiningonhisfacefromashortdistance,thelightonanythingbehindhim(dueto the inversesquare law)willbedimmer.Becauseyousetyour shutter speedand/oraperturebasedonthelightonthesubject,theotherobjectsinthepicturecanappeartobedimlylit.Ifthelightisfurtheraway,thedifferencebetweenthelightingon the foregroundandbackgroundwillbe less, and thewholepicturewillseemmoreevenlylit.Youcanusethistiptocontrolhowmuchbackgroundshowsupinthepicture.Lighting from the front softens texture. Light from the side, above, or belowsharpens it. If the light is coming straight on from the front, the details andtextures in the picturewill be softened.This is often a good thing for portraitphotography as it can soften imperfections. If you want the textures of yoursubjectsharplydefinedinthepicture,arrangeitsothelightcomesinfromtheside or from above or below. (Of course, each of these will also make adifferenceintermsofshadowscastandothervariations.)Shadowsgenerateasenseofvolume.Whenshadowsare sharplydefined, theycreate a three-dimensional feel to the photograph (which is, of course, a two-dimensional image). Several of the lighting tips above can be used to deepenshadowswhen a three-dimensional feel and sense of volume are desired. Forexample, using side lighting or angular lighting can deepen shadows and thuscreatevolume.

  • Backlighting creates highly diffuse lighting, but makes for difficult lightmetering.Whenmostofthelightsourceisfromtheback,thereflectedlightoffasurface in front of the subject (such as a wall) can provide very soft, diffuselighting. If the light source itself is in the photo, this can create some veryinteresting effects such as silhouettes, but you have to be careful when usingyour light meter. This creates what’s called a “high dynamic range” (HDR)lighting situation and requires a technique called “exposure bracketing.”Exposurebracketing involves taking threedifferent shots,oneexposedexactlyasthemetersays,oneaboutone-thirdunderexposed,andthelastaboutone-thirdoverexposed, to compensate for errors thatmay arisewhen sampling in high-variablelightfields.Evenlightyoureyeseesaswhitehascolortoit.Thecolorofapparentlywhitelight is called color temperature. Our eyes and brain adjust our naturalperception so thatwedon’tnotice thisvariationmuch,but a cameradoesnot.That’sonereasonwhytheimagetakenbyyourcameramaynotperfectlymatchwhatyouseewithyoureyes.Sunlight intheearlymorningandlateafternoon,not long after sunrise or before sunset, can generate awarm-color cast to thepicture.Brightnoondaysun,on theotherhand,gives thephotoabluish,cool-colortone.Yourdigitalcamerahasawhite-balancecontrolthatletsyoushiftthiscolor balance either to compensate and neutralize the color temperature or toemphasize it for deliberate effect. One use of this feature involves landscapephotography. On a clear, bright day, a landscape photo can be strongly blue-shifted in appearance. Ifyou setyour camera’s colorbalance to “cloudy,”youcancompensateforthisandgiveyourphotoawarmglow.

  • FramingThe “framing” of a photo refers towhat is included and not included in yourpicture,fromamongallthethingsthatyoureyessee.Inthestudio,obviously,youhavemorecontroloverwhatgoesintothepicturethanyoudowithoutdoorphotography.However,youcanstillexercisealotofcontrolwhenshootingphotosoutsideofastudio.Herearesomeofthequestionstoaskyourselfasyoupreparetotakeapicture.

    1) What shouldbe in the center of thephoto– theobject orspacewherethecamerashouldbepointed?2) What shouldbeat theedgeof thephoto?Many times, it’spossible to set things up so that some natural object creates a“frame” around the picture. (This is where the term “framing”comesfrom,infact.)Forexample,ifyou’reshootinganoutdoorpicture, the trunkandonehorizontal limbofa treecancreateaborder.Awall,theedgeofastreet,oranythingelsethatcandrawalineatthetop,bottom,oredgeofthepicturecanservethesamepurpose.Asidefromthis,attentiontowhatappearsattheedgeispartofcompositionofthepicture;youwantittodirectattentiontothecenterratherthandistracting.3)Decidehowmuchelseshouldbeinthepicture.Ideally,everyelementthatappearsintheshotshouldaddtothewholeandnotconsist of meaningless clutter. You can control a lot of this bychangingyourpositionbeforetakingtheshot,orbyusingazoomlensandcarefullypositioningtheframe.

    4) Choose your angle carefully so as tomake everything therightsize,positional relationship tootherelementsof thephoto,andimportanceinthepicture.Themarkofatrulygreatphotoisthat your eyes are immediately drawn to exactly what thephotographer means to be the center of attention, and moveaccordingtoaplan.

  • Exampleofframingusingbuildingsandstreetedge.

  • RuleofThirdsThe “rule of thirds” is a technique or rule (although there is no such thing inphotographyasahardandfast“rule”)abouthowtocomposeapictureusingtheelementsinit.Dividethepictureintoninepartsofequalsizeusingtwoverticaland two horizontal lines. The four interior intersections of these lines are themainpoints of interests in thephoto,where the eyes arenaturallydrawn.Thephotoshouldbecomposedwiththeunderstandingthatthesepointsinthemiddleofthepicturearewherepeoplewilllookfirst.Usuallythatmeansthemainitemsof interest should be located at or near one of those points, but sometimes aninteresting photo can be constructed by having something at those points thatdrawstheattentiontoanotherpartofthephotowherethemainsubjectresides.

  • [caption:PositioningofthedoginthispictureemploystheRuleofThirds]

  • IncludingContextContext arises when you think about the theme of your photo.What are youtryingtoportray?What is themainsubject?Context isanythingthatrelates tothat, which can logically be included in the picture. For example, using treebranches,anarchway,adoorway,orawindowtoframeapictureeachconveysadifferent impression about the setting, whichmay related to different themes,ideas,andmainsubjects.Includingotherobjectsbesidesyourmainsubjectcanalsoaddcontext(ofcoursethisiseasiertodoinanarrangedphotosuchasinastudio). For example, if the subject is a musician, context could include amusical instrument; if a scientist, a lab coat and laboratory equipment, or ablackboard with equations could provide context; if your subject is a womanabout to go out on the town, her clothing and surroundings can be chosen toreflect this theme.Beawareofall thedetails thatwillappear in thephotoandmakesuretheyallfittogether,andthateachiscorrectlyemphasized.

  • LayersandDepthAnotheruseof framing is toadddepth to thephotoor layersof subject.Yourmainsubjectwillbefurtherawaythantheframeinmostcases(althoughnotall– but if the frame is further away than the subject, that also adds layers anddepth).The feel of looking at the subject through the framegives thephoto athree-dimensionalfeel.

  • FocalPointsThe framing of the photo should draw attention to the intended focal points.Thereisalwaysatleastonefocalpointintendedtoaphoto,andsometimesmorethan one.When your eye falls on something other than the focal point of thepicture,itshouldbeledtothefocalpoint.Ideally,aphotoshouldbeconstructedsothattheeyemakesajourneythroughittotouchuponeachintendedsubjectinsequenceas if followinga trail.Thiscanbedone throughcarefuluseof lines,shades, and objects that are near to or lead the eye towards other objects. It’shard to present a formula for doing this, but you can test it in each case bylookingatthecompositionandseeingwhereyoureyestravel.

  • [caption:phototakenusingmultiplefocalpoints]

  • IntegrityandWholenessTry not to shave off part of anything that is amain subject of your photo, oranythingthatmightdrawpeople’sattention.That’sespeciallythecasewhentheobjectisinlargepartdepictedinthephoto.Youwanttoavoidcuttingoffasmallpartofit.Iftheeyesaredrawntotheobject,havingapartofitdisappearfromview can draw attention to the missing part, in a way that is jarring andunpleasantorgivesasensethatsomethingiswrongorincomplete.It’s acceptable, on theother hand, tohave a large part of the object be out ofview,sothatwhatisinviewonlygivesasuggestionoftheobject.Thisisoftendoneinframing,withtheframepresentingonlypartofanobject(suchasatree,building,orroadway),therestofwhichisoutofview.

  • Lines,Colors,TexturesandShapesEveryphotoiscomposedoffourthings:lines,colors,textures,andshapes.Linesappear naturally at the edges of things and can be straight or curved. Colorsincludeshadingandbrightnessandcanexciteorsoothe,callattentionordivertit.Texturescanbeintensifiedorsoftenedthroughuseoflightingandcanalsobeemphasizedorde-emphasizedbyplacementwithinthephoto(atexturethatisinshadow or under soft lightingwill show up less than if the textured object ismovedsothatitappearsinbrightlight).You can use these features of the photo to create attention paths. The eyesnaturally track along lines, while they naturally focus on recognized shapes.Colorsshapethemoodofthepersonseeingthem,andtexturesgiveafeeltothephoto.Alloftheseareelementsofcompositionthatcanbeusedasifonewerepaintingapicture.Thetechniquesdiffer,buttheendresultcanbeverysimilar.

  • SimplicityandEmptySpaceSometimes,lessismore.Aphotographincludeseverythingthatthecameratakesin,andthatcanmakeforajumbled,clutteredpicture.Thiscanbefixedthroughtheuseofframing,alongwithlightingandfocus,tosimplifythephoto.Youcanadjusttheperspectiveandwhatisincludedinthephotosothatonlythethingsyouneedtohaveinthepictureareinit.Don’tbeafraidtohaveemptyspacebepartofthepicture!Aphotothatincludesa few, or even just one object of attention can be very powerful. The ratio ofemptyspacetoobjectsofattentionshouldbenomorethanaboutthreetoone,butthatisacceptable;theentirepicturedoesn’tneedtobefilledup.

  • Oneruleaboutemptyspacetokeepinmindisthatamovingobjectshouldhavemoreemptyspaceinfrontofitthanbehindit.Ifthereisnotmuchspaceshownin front of themoving object, it gives the impression that it’s going to crash.(Likeallrulesinphotography,however,thisonehasexceptions.Itcanbeuseful

  • tomake the picture look as if themoving object is going to crash – into theviewer, for example, or to create that effect for a different reason.Always beawarethatthatiswhatyouaredoing,though.)

  • EyeContactWhenyouarephotographingamainsubjectthathaseyes(apersonoranimal),mostofthetimeyouwillwanttoobtaineyecontact.Evenifthepictureyouaretaking is onewhere the subject is looking away from the camera,making eyecontactfirstsoastoputyourfocusonthesamelevelasthesubject’seyes,andthenhavingthesubjectlookawaytotaketheactualphoto,isagoodtechnique.Itcreatesagreaterlevelofidentificationbetweentheviewerandthesubjectbyputtingthesubjectontheviewer’seyelevel(asthepositionisperceivedwhenviewingthephoto).

  • There are exceptions to this rule as well. These exceptions come when thesubjectwitheyesisnotthemainfocusofthephoto,forexamplewhenapersonoranimalisinthepicturetogivesizeperspectivetosomethingelsethatisthemain focus of attention. It’s a good idea to learn how to follow the rules first

  • beforelearninghowtobreakthem,though,andthisoneisnoexception.

  • FocusThe thirdway inwhich framingmay be accomplished is through focus. Thisconsistsofthreethings:

    1)Whatthecenteroffocusisforthephotograph.

    2)Howsharplyinfocusthatcenteris.3)Howsharplyinfocustherestofthephotographis.

    In almost all cases, the center of the photograph should be sharply in focus.However,thereareexceptions.(Asnotedrepeatedlyabove,thereareexceptionstoalmosteveryruleinphotographyjustasinanyotherart.)

    Controlling the focusing (once you’ve focused on the main subjectappropriately)ismostlyamatterofcontrollingthedepthoffieldbysettingtheaperture, and controlling the motion blurring effects by setting shutter speed,althoughmuch canbedonewith the effects of lightingon focus, too.Doyouwantyourphototobeentirelycrisp,clear,andinfocusforallofitselements?Doyouwantpartofittobesharpandclearandtherestsomewhatblurred,soastodirectattentionmorepowerfullytothecenter?Doyouwanttoconveyspeedor movement with a streaked or blurred effect of a moving object such as aleapinganimal,aracecar,oranairplane?Ordoyouwantinsteadtocaptureallofthevisibledetailsoftheobjectwithperfectclarity?There isnoalways right answer toanyof thesequestions!That’swhatmakesphotographyanartform.Althoughgeneraltipscanbegiveninabooklikethis,in theendtheonlywayto learn it is todoit.That’showyou’lldiscoverwhathappens when you set your aperture to f4 while leaving the shutter speedautomatic, or set your ISO sensitivity to 1600 and leave everything elseautomatic–oranyofthehugenumberofotherpossibilities.

  • PointofFocusTheterm“pointoffocus”meanstheobjectwithinaphotographiccompositiontowhich the photographermeans to draw themain attention. For purposes ofsetting focus, almost always the point of focus should be in sharp focus anddefinition.Theremainderofthephotographraisesquestionsaboutsharpversusblurryfocus.(Asalways,thereareexceptions,butinthiscasetheyarerare.)

  • ADSLRcameraoftenallowsforsettingthepointoffocusmanually,sothat itdoesnotalwayshave tobe in thecenterof the frame.Manyof thebetter andmoreadvancedDSLRmodelsevenallowforsettingmultiplefocalpoints.Whenyoudothis,thecamera’sautomaticfocusingcontroltakessamplesfromeachofthe focal points and processes an overall focus thatwill try to keep all of thefocalpointsinsharpfocus,asmuchasispossiblegiventhedepthoffieldthat

  • arises from the aperture setting. One should always use this control withdiscretionandartistryandnotgohog-wild.Usingtoomanyfocalpointsleavestheviewer’seyewithnoplace to rest andno strongpoint for attention. It canmakeaphotographseemoverlybusy.Anotherimportantthingtokeepinmindistherelationbetweenfocalpointandphotocomposition.Iftheforegroundisclutteredwithoutoffocusobjectswhilethefocalpointisbehindthem,thiscanbedistractingunlessitisverycarefullyhandled.

    The traditional focal point in the center of the frame should be the default inyour mind. DSLR camera controls allow you to depart from this traditionalcomposition,openingupextrapossibilities.That’sagoodthing,butitshouldbeused judiciously andwith a certain amountof cautionuntil you feel confidentaboutthetechnique.

  • UsingAlltheCamera’sFocalPointsDespite what was said above, there are some circumstances when it isadvantageous to use a lot of focal points, or even all of the focal points thecamera offers. This would be when you are taking photos of moving objectswhosemotionisunpredictable,suchasoftenoccurswithsportsphotographyorwildlifephotography.Itcanbeverydifficulttokeepafast-movingcreaturesuchasabirdorafootballteaminapre-definedfocalpoint(suchasthecenteroftheframe).Usingallofthefocalpointsinsuchacaseimprovestheabilitytokeeptheobjectinfocusbyhavingthecamera’scomputerchiptakecareofthejobforyou.

  • DepthofFieldControlling depth of field is a matter of using aperture settings (mostly) andlighting(toa lesserextent).We’vediscussed thissubjectabove,buthereareafewmoretipsandthoughts.Whenyouwanttobringasinglesubjecttotheforegroundasthefocalpoint,ashallower depth of field is the best approach.Having your subject be sharplydefinedwhile the rest of the photograph remains blurry and out of focus canbring more attention to your subject and avoid distractions. Portraitphotographers do this a lot. However, there are some cautions that should bekeptinmind.

  • One cautionary note involves avoiding a cluttered but blurry photo. If yourbackgroundisbusybutoutoffocus,thiscanactuallydetractfromyoursubjectby drawing attention to blurred objects that are hard to recognize. The mindwants to ask, “What the heck is that thing?” rather than simply letting thebackgroundbebackground.Withshallowdepthoffield,youwanttheobjectsinthebackgroundtophaseintooneanothersothatnoneofthemdrawsattentioninparticular but all of them serve to frame the main subject. With a busy

  • background, if there’snoway tocompose thepicturesoas to reduce thebusyaspectofit,thebestapproachisoftentouseawidedepthoffieldsothatalloftheobjectsareinfocus.Useanothermethod,suchasframing,todrawattentiontothemainsubject.

  • FocusModesADSLRcamerahas (usually) threedifferentmodesof focusingwhichare setwith a control. These are AI servo focusing, one-shot focusing, and manualfocusing.One-shot focusing allows you to use one control in one position (usuallydepressingtheshutterbuttonpartway)toautomaticallyfocusonthefocalpoint(bydefaultthecenteroftheframe,butthiscanberesettosomeotherlocation),afterwhich thepicture is takenand thefocus is lost.Youhave todo thesameprocessagaintofocusonadifferentfocalpoint(oronthesameone).Thisisthewayautofocusused toworkonall camerasprior to thedigital revolution,andit’sstillthemostcommon,popular,andeasytousemethod.

    AIservofocusingallowsyoutoholddowntheshuttercontrolandtakepicturesinrapidsuccession,click,click,click.Thecamerafocusesautomaticallyonthefocalpoint(again,bydefaultandnormallythecenteroftheframe)beforeeachpicture is taken.This allowsyou to takemultiple shotsof amoving target farmoreeasilythanyouwouldbeabletodowithone-shotfocusing.

  • Finally,manual focusing is just that.You turn thecamera’sAIoffanduse theForce– that is tosay,youset thefocusmanuallyby looking throughtheviewport and seeingwhether it looks like it’s in focus or not. This is a good ideawhendoingmacrophotography,becausethetolerancesforfocusarequitesmall,andtheautofocusismorelikelytomakesmallerrorsthattranslateintoablurredsubjectwhentakingclose-ups.It’salsoagoodtechniqueforshootinglandscapepicturesatnight,whentheautofocusfindsitdifficulttolockontothetarget.

  • MostDSLRnewercamerasallowyoutocombineautofocusandmanual,lettingyoufine-tune thefocusafter theautofocushas locked in.As longasyouhave

  • thetimetouseit,thisisoftenthebestofbothworlds.

  • PanningA panned photograph is one in which the camera is moved along with thesubject, especially with a slow shutter speed. The moving object in theforegroundisinfocus,whilethebackgroundisblurred,notbecauseofashallowdepthoffieldbutbecauseofmotionblurring(themotioninthiscasebeingthatofthecameraratherthanthatoftheobjects.Thiscancreateaninterestingeffect.

  • It’s probably easiest to use theAI servo autofocus technique to take a pannedshot,asthiswillallowmultiplepicturestobetakenrapidlyandlikelysomeofthosewillcomeoutwell.Alternatively,youcanpre-focusthecameraonapointbeforethemovingsubjectgetsthere,followthesubjectasitmoves,andtaketheshotwhen itarrivesat that location.Ofcourse, this lattermethodrequires thatthemotionofthesubjectbepredictable.

  • LensEffectsonDepthofFieldThetypeoflensyouareusinghasabigeffectondepthoffield.Forexample,it’s difficult to achievemuch shallow depth of field effectwhen using awideanglelens,evenwithafairlywideaperture.Telephotolenses,incontrast,makedepthoffieldshallowerwithanygivenaperturewidth.There are some techniques that canmodify these effects, such asmoving thephysical distance between the camera and the subject so as to change thefocusingparameters.However, the best technique is to knowyour lenseswellthroughpracticeandfamiliarity,andknowwhatyouneedtodoinordertotakethepictureyouwantwithanygivenlens.

  • DownloadingandStoringYourPhotosOnce you’ve taken a photo with a digital camera, it goes into the camera’sinternal memory. From there, it will be necessary to transfer the photos to acomputerorotherprocessingdevicebeforemuchcanbedonewiththem.(Thatmaychangein thenot-too-distantfuture,asdataprocessingfunctionscontinueto be integrated. For now, though, it holds true.) The technical procedure fordoing thiswill vary from camera to camera.More importantly, here are somerulestogobywhenyoumoveyourphotosaround.

    1) Alwaysmake sure there are two copies (ormore) of anyphotoinexistenceatanyonetime.

    2) Oneofthosecopiesshouldbestoredataremotelocationsothatitwillsurvivethedestructionofyourharddriveifthatshouldhappen.Cloudstorageisgreatforthis.3) When youwork on photos using a graphic arts program,always save your worked-on copy to a different file than theoriginal.Infact,beforeyoustarttoworkonit,makeacopyoftheoriginalphotointhesameformat.Thenpulloneofthetwointoyour graphics program andwork on that,making sure the copyyou aren’t working on is labeled “original” (or the equivalent)and kept in its original condition and format. That way, you’llalwaysbecertainyoustillhavetheoriginalasitoriginallywas.4)Whenyoupublishaphoto,whetherinitsoriginalformorasmodified, include a copyright statement to establish yourintellectual property rights. (It isn’t necessary to register yourworkwiththegovernment.It’scopyrightedifyouhavetherightstoitinthefirstplaceandyousayitis.)

    Alloftheseproceduresareintendedtokeepyourhardworkfromgettinglostorstolen.Thegreatthingaboutdigitalphotographyisthatit’ssomucheasiertodothatwithadigitalfile(everythingbutthestolenpartanyway)thanitistomakesurenothinghappenstoanegative–especiallysincebadthingswillhappentonegativespurelythroughthepassageof time.That isn’t thecase,happily,withdigitalrecords.Theequipmentonwhichdigitalphotosarestoredcanwearout,buttherecordsthemselvescan’t.Herearethemainformatsthatdigitalphotoscanbesavedto.Yourcamerawill

  • onlybeabletohandleafewof these,perhapsonlyoneof them,butanygoodgraphics program should be able to convert the files and save your photos inmultiple formats.Computer processinghas taken theplaceof the art of photodevelopment that, in the days when analog photography dominated, was acrucialpartofthephotographer’sart.A word about photo compression: this is a technique (actually severaltechniques)forreducingthefilesizeofdigitalphotossothat theytakeuplessmemory space. Compression is generally divided into two categories, losslessand lossy. Lossless compression uses algorithms that perfectly represent theinformation in thedigital photo so thatnoneof that information is lost.Lossycompressiondiscardssomeoftheinformationbutinawaythattheeyeusuallycan’tsee;itpreserveswhatthedevelopersbelievedtobethe“important”partsoftheinformation.

    Herearesomeofthecommonformatsforsavingdigitalfiles,notincludingtheonesthatareproprietarywithparticulargraphicsprograms.RAW– this isanyof several file formats inwhichyourcameracancompressfilesforcomputerstorage.Itisalosslesscompressionmethodandusuallyaverygoodway to store information, but the bad part is that it is different for eachcamera manufacturer, so you may not be able to use a RAW file with muchbesidesthecameraitselforviewersproducedbythemanufacturer.TIFF–aversatilestoragemediumthatisusuallylosslessandtakesupalotofmemoryspacebutpreservesveryhighquality.Inmanycases,TIFFfilesusenocompressionatall.MostgraphicsprogramswillreadTIFFfilesandoftenthatisthedefaultway that theysavegraphics files.However,TIFF isn’tasusefulassome others for purposes of publication and transmission, simply because thefilesaretoobigtomakethatquickandpractical.

    PNG – this is another lossless compression method that, unlike TIFF, doesusuallycompressthefiles,althoughnotasmuchaslossycompressionmethodsdo.It’sagoodwaytostorefilesinan“intermediate”stage,becauseitpreservesmore information than a JPG file, even though it’s not as convenient forimmediatepublication.GIF– this is a normally lossy compressionmethod that creates a pool of 256colors and renders thepicture, ifpossible, into those256colors. If thepicturehas more colors than this, some of its information will be lost in thecompression.JPG – this is a lossy compressionmethod that is designed and optimized for

  • colorphotos,sothatthesecompressedfilespreserveanenormousamountoftheinformationfromthephotos.JPGhasbecomethestandardformostimagefilespublishedonline.AllgraphicsprogramswillsavetoJPGformat,andthebetteroneswillallallowyoutoadjusttheamountofcompression,balancingfilesizeagainstqualityofimage.For themostpart,you’ll findyourselfworkingwithJPGandPNGfiles. It’sagoodideatosavetwooriginalcopiesuncompressed,though,andcopytheseintocompressed formats as needed. In almost all cases where you are publishingphotosonlineortransmittingthembyemail,JPGfileswillbequitesufficienttopreserve the image faithfully at the same time as the format allows a highlycompressedfilesizeforquicktransmissionandlow-volumestorage.

  • UsingGraphicDesignSoftwareTaking thepicture– although there is a tremendous amount of art to that – isonlythefirststep.Oncethephotoistakenandyou’resatisfiedwiththeimageasit appears on your camera’s screen, and once you’ve downloaded it to yourcomputerharddriveandsavedabackupcopyinaremotelocationsuchascloudstorage, youwillwant to do somethingwith it.Atminimum, you’ll probablywanttosaveittoadifferentfileformattomakeiteasiertopublishthephotoorshareitwithotherpeopleovertheInternet.Thebiggerthefilesize,thelongeritwill take to transmit.Compressing the file allows it to bemovedonlinemorequickly,andforthatifnothingelseyourequireadecentgraphicsprogram.Agraspof computer graphics also allowsyou tomodify the photo in a lot ofdifferentways,including:

    1) Editing and improving the photo itself. Using a graphicsprogram,youcaneliminateclutteringdetails,sharpencolorsandcontrasts,dampendistractingreflections,andmakeotherchangestothephotothatimproveonwhatyouwereabletoachievewiththe camera. Don’t think of this as “cheating,” unless of courseyouweretakingthepictureassomesortoflegalevidence(andinthat case you’re engaged in forensics, not art). Think of it asmakingyourphotosthebesttheycanpossiblybe.Inanalogdays,while the possibilities were a lot more limited, photographerscould still use techniques such as cropping and variation ofdevelopmenttechniquetochangethewayaphotographlooked.Ithasalwaysbeenpossible todo this to somedegreeon thebackend(asitwere).2) Incorporatethephotointovariousgraphicdesigns.Thiscanrange from a Christmas card to a book cover design to aletterhead to a banner for aweb site to –well, anything, really,thatcanbepublishedorshared.Youcanaddotherimagesortexttothephoto,provideaframearoundit,croppartofitandspliceitwith other images to create an interestingmélange, or even usemultiplephotosinamovingcollage.Theskyisthelimit!3)Saveeitherthephotoitselforthecreationsoutlinedaboveinotherformatsforeasytransmissionandstorage.

    Notallgraphicsprogramsarecreatedequal.Somehavemorecapabilities than

  • others, while some are more user-friendly than others. A complete andexhaustivedescriptionofgraphicsprogramsandwhatyoucandowiththemisbeyond the scope of this book, but here are several of the better graphicsprogramsonthemarketandtheirgoodandbadpoints.AdobePhotoshop.Thisprogramisonesurelyeveryone’sheardofbynow,andforgoodreason.It’sfairlypricey($700ormoredependingonthepackage),butforthepowerofthetoolscombinedwitheaseofuse,there’snothingelseonthemarket quite like it. It’s professional grade and quality, and can produceprofessional quality graphic art, but it’s simple and user-friendly enough thatsomeonewhoisn’taprofessionalcanuseitwell.IfyoualreadyhavePhotoshop,there’snotmuchreasontolookatanyotherprogram.

    CorelDraw.EasilyaspowerfulasPhotoshop,andtheprofessionalstandardforyears,CorelDraw isn’tquiteasuser-friendly.There’sa steep learningcurve inthebeginning.However,there’sawealthoftrainingmaterialsthatcanmaketheprocesseasier.Again,thepricetagisn’tforthefaint-hearted(about$500forthefullgraphicssuite),butgiventhecapabilitiesoftheprogramandtheavailabilityofsuperiorcustomerservicefromthecompany,itmaywellbeworthit.Thosetwo,AdobePhotoshopandCorelDraw,arethemostpopularprofessional-gradeprogramson themarket.There’soneopen-sourcegraphicsprogram thatcan be downloaded free that has many of the same capabilities, but is moredifficulttolearn.It’scalledGNUImageManipulationProgram,orGIMP.(Theacronym is inuniversaluse.)GIMP isnotquite as full-featuredasPhotoshop,butithasallofthemainfeaturesandit’sfree.Youcan,atworst,managequitewellwithGIMPuntil such timeasyourartisticambition takesyou in toareaswhere it won’t suffice, when you may decide that paying for Photoshop orCorelDrawwouldbeagoodinvestment.Certainlyforjustaboutanyapplicationof graphic arts to business purposes, and for retouching photos, GIMP willsufficeperfectlywell.GIMP isn’t very user-friendly and its controls aren’t perfectly intuitive.However,thereisanextensiveusermanualavailableonlineaswellasplentyofon-linehelp,bothofficialandunofficial–includingsomeverygoodvideosonYouTube.

    Theseareonlya fewof thegraphicdesignprogramsavailable,ofcourse.Buttheyarethetoptwoprogramsthatrequirepaymentandtheverybestthat’sfreewhen it comes toworking inphotography.Othergraphicsprogramsmayhavemoretoofferwhenitcomestocreatingoriginaldrawingsorelectronicpaintings,moreinthewayof3Dcapacity,orotherfeaturesthatthesethreedon’toffer.But

  • from a photographer’s perspective or that of someonewhowants to use themalong with photography to create things for publication online, these areprobablythebestprogramsavailable.Ifyou’renotalreadyfamiliarwithgraphicartsprograms,thiswillbesomethingelse that you need to learn which you don’t think of as “photography”necessarily. But so it goes in the digital age. With analog photography, youneeded(ifyouweretohaveanycontroloverthisaspectoftheart)tolearnabouthowtosetupadarkroom,andinvestinchemicals,anenlarger,safelights,andalltheotherequipmentnecessaryforprocessingyourphotosfromexposedfilmtofinishedprintsorslides.Theuseofgraphicssoftwareisthereplacementforallthat in the digital age, and it’s easier to learn, less expensive, less potentiallydangerous (photographic chemicals are quite toxic and potentially a healthhazard),andlesslikelytoresultinadisasterthatdestroysyourwork.Computergraphicsarealsomoreversatile,morefuntoworkwithandalotlessmessyandsmelly. (If you’ve ever worked in a darkroom, the smell of stop bath – likeconcentratedsuper-poweredvinegar–isunforgettable.)

    Ifyouwanttoengageinserious,artisticphotography(andit’shardtoseewhyyou’d need a digital SLR camera for anything less than that), at least a basicunderstandingofandskillwithgraphicartssoftwareiseverybitasimportantasa proficiency with the camera itself. Today, when you’re finished taking thepicture,you’reonlyhalfdone.

  • ConclusionWeliveinarapidly-evolvingworld.Thetechnologywehavetodayforallformsofinformation–includingphotography–isworldsmoreadvancedthanitwasfifty years ago. Some things, however, remain the same. When it comes tophotography,thebestresultsarestillobtainedwiththestandardforphotographicart, the single-lens reflex camera. This technology was developed in 1949,decadesbeforethepersonalcomputeranddigitalphotography.EventhoughliveLCD preview systems are more “advanced” than single-lens reflex, theversatilityoftheSLRsystemwithexchangeablelensesandlowershutterlaghasstillnotbeenmatchedbyanythingfullyelectronic.There’s no reason at all not to meld the best of both worlds. A digital SLRcamera that incorporates the true-view fidelity and versatility of the classicsingle-lens reflex with the convenience and process capacity of digitalphotographyletsyoudothat.Insomeways,thischangesthephotographer’sart,butthechangesaremainlyinthebackendandinperipherals.Youdon’tneedtoworryabouteitherfilmtypesorfilmdeveloping,butinsteadyouneedtolearnaboutfiletypesanddigitalgraphicsprocessing.

    The remainder of thephotographer’s art, and certainly theheart of it, remainswhat it has always been. It requires a good eye and a feel forwhat the basicphotographic variables will do to a picture. Those variables include shutterspeed, aperture, and ISO sensitivity; composition of the photograph, lighting,framing,andfocus;exposure,depthoffield,andfocallength.Ifyou’rethinkingaboutengaginginphotographyasanartform,forbusiness,asaprofession,or as a serioushobby, I congratulateyouona terrificdecision. Ihopethislittleguidewillhelpyoudothat.

  • TableofContentsDigitalPhotographyWhySLR?Aperture:WhatIsIt?ShutterSpeed:WhatDifferenceDoesitMake?ISOSensitivitySpecializedLenses

    TelephotoLensWide-AngleLens

    LensMultiplicationFactorZoomLens

    Wide-AngleZoomLensTelephotoZoomLensSuperzoomLens

    PrimeLensMacro(orClose-Up)LensFish-EyeLensTiltAndShiftLenses

    ComposingthePicture:Light,Framing,FocusLightingFraming

    RuleofThirdsIncludingContextLayersandDepthFocalPointsIntegrityandWholenessLines,Colors,TexturesandShapesSimplicityandEmptySpaceEyeContact

    FocusPointofFocusUsingAlltheCamera’sFocalPointsDepthofFieldFocusModesPanningLensEffectsonDepthofField

  • DownloadingandStoringYourPhotosUsingGraphicDesignSoftwareConclusion

    Digital PhotographyWhy SLR?Aperture: What Is It?Shutter Speed: What Difference Does it Make?ISO SensitivitySpecialized LensesTelephoto LensWide-Angle LensLens Multiplication Factor

    Zoom LensWide-Angle Zoom LensTelephoto Zoom LensSuperzoom Lens

    Prime LensMacro (or Close-Up) LensFish-Eye LensTilt And Shift Lenses

    Composing the Picture: Light, Framing, FocusLightingFramingRule of ThirdsIncluding ContextLayers and DepthFocal PointsIntegrity and WholenessLines, Colors, Textures and ShapesSimplicity and Empty SpaceEye Contact

    FocusPoint of FocusUsing All the Camera’s Focal PointsDepth of FieldFocus ModesPanningLens Effects on Depth of Field

    Downloading and Storing Your PhotosUsing Graphic Design SoftwareConclusion