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Photography Basics

How a camera works, what effects you can achieve by changing basic variables (zoom, aperture, shutter speed and ISO) and how to optimise shooting for preschool. Camera example used is Canon G12.

Johanan Ottensooser

on 8 March 2011

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Transcript of Photography Basics

Photography Basics A course on the basics of photography for pre-school teachers 1. This is a Camera the light passes through the lense through the aperture past the shutter and onto the sensor (or film). 1.1 This gives us four values, one per "part" of the camera a closed aperture lets in a little light an open aperture lets in a lot of light a thick lense is zoomy a shorter lense has a wider angle of view The lense gives us a millimeter value, which determines "zoominess." the aperture determines the amount of light that is let through, the /f number; this determines focal depth. The shutter determines exposure, which is how much time the sensor can view the scene a longer exposure is bright, but slow, and can blur a short exposure is quick, though dark The sensitivity of the sensor, or "iso" affects the brightness, grain and colour in the photo a low iso has great colour and clarity, but is less sensative to light high iso is very sensative to light, but has bad colour and alot of "grain" 1.1 Review: Match the camera part with its variable Lense



Sensor f number (f/)



seconds 1.2 Zoom: the lense You know how to zoom! But, did you know there are two types of zoom?
optical zoom
digital zoom
Stay away from digital zoom! (It ruins your resolution) If you can't get the framing you want with zoom, use your feet! Bonus marks: you can get better apertures (I'll talk about them later) if you don't zoom too far, so use your feet when you can for a better photo On your Canon G12, the zoom is a toggle mounted on the shutter release button. 1.3 Aperture As we learned before, the more open the aperture, the more light is let in.

A wide open aperture has a low /f number (e.g. 2) and a closed aperture has a high /f number (e.g. 8).


The /f number also affects the sharpness of the image:

A wide aperture has a small depth of field and is bright
e.g. the subjects face will be in focus but the background will be artfully blurred

A closed aperture has a wide depth of field and is not as bright
e.g. everything will be in focus On your Canon G12, you will mainly be using the Automatic mode or the Scene modes. Here, the aperture will be automatically set for you.

However, if you wish to play with aperture effects, go to AV mode (or manual mode), and then you can toggle the aperture with the front toggle ring. 1.4 Shutter Speed The amount of time that the shutter is open determines how much time the sensor is exposed to light. A long exposure is a brighter photo...


If the image changes in the time where the shutter is open, there will be blurring, so you want the shutter speed to be as fast as possible where the picture is still bright.

Unless you want to play with effects like slow-synchro, which I'll talk about later.

We probably won't play with shutter speed too much, but if you do want to, check out shutter speed priority mode or manual mode. 1.5 ISO (Light Sensativity) The last bit we can fiddle with here is ISO, which can be changed to mimic the sensativity of different film speeds.

A low ISO has rich colour, but needs a longer exposure. A high ISO is a little grainy, but takes fast low-light photos.

Again, we probably won't play with ISO too much, but if you want to, on the right of your camera there is an ISO dial: I recommend automatic mode or forcing a low (e.g. <400) speed for good colour.

If you are looking to do some low-light photography, use the candle mode, its easier and will do all the tricky things for you. 2. Photography for Preschool Now that you know a little about how cameras work: lets talk about what this means for you.

You will probably have two photography use-cases:

1) Fast portraits of children
2) Effects photos for parents

I'll now explain how to get best effects in both of these scenarios. 2.1 - Fast photos of children 2.1.1 - All auto
Put the camera into auto mode
Put the ISO wheel on auto
Set the exposure comensation wheel to 0
This is the easiest mode there is, and will shoot great shots in 99% of the situations you will encounter

2.1.2 - Changing ISO, Flash settings or Exposure
In auto mode, you can, if you wish, change these settings to achieve desired effects
Add flash by hitting "up"
Change ISO and Exposure Compensation with their respective wheels

2.1.3 - Shooting in Low Light
If you find yourself shooting in low light conditions (indoors, at night, at twilight, etc) and you don't want to lose your colour too much to flash:
Put the camera in low light (Candle) mode

2.1.4 - A better option than auto (1)
Go to "scene" mode
Select "Child" mode
This will allow faster focus tracking for better child photos! 2.2 - Effects 2.2.1 - Scene Mode
In "Scene Mode", you have access to a wide variety of photo effects, from black and white to colour swap to tilt-shift effects. Play with these and have fun!

2.2.2 - Slow Synchro
This is a fun one!
Go into Shutter Speed Priority and make a long exposure
Turn flash on to "Slow Synchro"
This mode will "freeze" a flash image in a longer exposure, making a people appear ghostly.

If you want to know how to do any other camera effects, just ask!

Time to make some movies! To make a film, just hit the shutter button in movie mode 3. Managing your Photos 3.1 - On your camera
click the "play" button to review your photos
the directional pad to scroll
the "bin" button to delete

BE CAREFUL not to delete all of the photos on your memory card 3.2 - On your Computer Either plug your camera in or take the memory card out and put it in your computer.
Then open your image editing software (e.g. iPhoto (recommended) or Picasa
Import your photos with tags! (e.g. the name of the event)
Delete the photos from your memory card!

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