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Photography 101

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Tiger Li

on 14 July 2014

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Transcript of Photography 101

a beginner's tutorial by tiger li
part one | exposure
photography is the art and science of recording light.
three factors determine how a camera does this:
film speed
shutter speed
in auto mode, your camera uses algorithms to set A, S, and ISO automatically
part two | composition
part three | buying guide
coming soon
the one book you need on exposure:

the one book you need on composition:

just want pictures with captions of camera settings?
what is aperture?
aperture is the size of the lens opening
aperture is measured in
such as f2.8, f4, f5.6, etc.

a smaller
number = a larger aperture. the lens opening at f4 is twice as large as f5.6, which mean 2x more light comes in
why does aperture matter?
aperture also determines the
depth of field
- a measure of the degree to which the picture is in focus
coming soon
About the author
Tiger Li - photographer, traveler, MBA student. What do I shoot with most? Olympus EM-5. See some shots from my recent Southeast Asia trip: tigerinasia.tumblr.com
Want to read more about photography?
what is film speed?
'speed' refers to a film's sensitivity to light

film speed is measured in ISO. a film with ISO 100 is not very sensitive - it would be appropriate for very bright sunny days. a film with ISO 1600 is fast (aka sensitive) - it would be appropriate for indoor or nighttime use

ISO 1600 is 2x as sensitive as ISO 800, which means
ISO 1600 would require 1/2 as much light to produce a photo of the same brightness
why does film speed matter?
at high ISO settings - aka fast, sensitive film - the camera loses accuracy. you will see specks and color imperfections called
another implication of film speed: it allows you to shoot at different apertures or shutter speeds and achieve the same exposure. for example, if it's dark and you keep getting blurry pictures, increase your ISO sensitivity so you can shoot at a faster shutter speed
what is shutter speed
shutter speed is the length of time the camera shutter is open. when the shutter is open, light is hitting the film and recording an image.
why does shutter speed matter?
fast shutter speeds produce crisp photos of moving objects, freezing them in time
slow shutter speeds blur motion and can create dynamic effects
unless you are using a tripod, slow shutter speeds can result in undesirable blurry photos. as a rule of thumb, prevent this by using a shutter speed of at least 1/60 sec
setting a large aperture such as f2.0 results in a
shallow depth of field
. some parts of the picture will be in focus while others are blurred out. this a very cool effect for isolating subjects, portraits, etc.
shutter speed is measured in seconds, or usually fractions of a second. a shutter speed of 1 sec is very slow, while a shutter speed of 1/1000 sec is very fast
ISO 200
most cameras perform their best at this setting
ISO 6400
noise and loss of color integrity. in most cameras, noise becomes visible at ISO 800 and higher
here a photo taken with an aperture of f11, shutter speed of 1/8 sec, and ISO 800
this photo is taken at f2.8, which is four
more than f11 in the previous photo

what is a
? an f2.8 aperture means the lens opening is 2x as large as f4, which is 2x as large as f5.6, which is 2x f8, which is 2x f11. each of these doublings is called a

setting the aperture four stops more (aka bigger) means 2^4 times more light is entering the lens. to compensate, shutter speed must be four stops less (aka faster), or 1/125 seconds

notice the background blur vs the previous photo
1/2 sec
here is the same scene again with different settings: we've gone back to the original aperture of f11, but we've lowered the ISO by three stops, from 800 to 400 to 200.

to compensate, shutter speed must be three stops more (aka slower), from 1/8 to 1/4 to 1/2 second

with a 1/2 second exposure, this is slow enough to capture some motion blur. i gave the rotors a flick before taking this photo
1/8 sec
1/125 sec
1/2 sec
the three photos above have identical exposure values - that is, the quantity of light hitting the camera sensor is identical

altering the settings for A, S, and ISO is the basic art and science of exposure in photography
most pros shoot in aperture priority mode (labeled A or Av). this gives you more creative possibilities and unlocks the potential of your camera
In aperture priority mode, you set aperture and ISO, then camera sets shutter speed automatically
1/8 sec
1/125 sec
let's look at some examples:
setting a small aperture such as f16 results in a
large depth of field
. both background and foreground and objects can be in sharp focus at the same time
Full transcript