Last fall, Christofer and I attended a photography course. The idea was to get the courage to let go of auto mode and learn the manual settings. By learning how to make some manual settings you can shoot much, much better pictures! Better colors, better focus and more. Better looking photographs in every way.
Digital cameras are different, of course, so read your cameras manual to make adjustments and set your camera.
For those of you who already have taken a nice picture that you want on your wall, send it to us and we will do a photo wallpaper of it!
Here are the technical terms which lays the foundation for learning to shoot like a pro!
The shutter is the "cap" that opens and closes to let light through the lens and onto the sensor - ie the part of the digital camera that captures the image and converts it into digital form. The longer the shutter is open, the more light comes in and the image becomes brighter.
If you have the shutter open for long, movements and vibrations will make the picture fuzzy. You've probably seen pictures where car headlights appear as long yellow lines along a road? These are taken with a slow shutter speed, maybe 30 seconds. Sharp images of fast situations, such as in sports, are taken with very high shutter speeds, maybe a millisecond (1 ms).
In poor lighting, you can compensate with slower shutter speed, but remember that slow shutter speeds require tripod. You can not take a photograph with a shutter speed of half a second without the hand vibration resulting in blurred images
The size of the hole that lets light into the digital camera is called the aperture, and can be larger or smaller. In this way, you can determine the depth of field, meaning how far the focus should reach. Should you take a portrait, you would want a shallow depth of field to put the background out of focus and blurred, and the face in focus. If it is a landscape, you want everything to be sharp, then you have a long depth of field.
The smaller the aperture, the greater depth of field. You determine the depth and the size of the digital camera aperture by the f-value. The lower the f-number, the less depth of field (and larger aperture). A portrait may require an f-value around 5, while a landscape is best shot using f-value of 16.
Like any other settings, the range of options vary depending on which camera you have. Simpler cameras may only have the few individual f-values to choose from, while SLRs are more likely to range from 3-25.
The light factor is important. A wider aperture lets in more light, allowing you to have a faster shutter speed.
» ISO speed
The film-based camera uses film rolls which are of various light sensitivity. Sensitivity is measured in an ISO value, and the higher the ISO number, the more light sensitive the film. In the digital camera, you can change the ISO value without juggling with various rolls of film, of course. If you have poor lighting, you can increase the ISO value to make the sensor more sensitive to light, but at the cost of quality - the higher the ISO, the grainier picture.
Sometimes, however, you need to pull up the ISO value properly, even if it means some graininess. Should you take a photo in a very poorly lit environment, and without a tripod, you can by increasing the ISO value make the picture more sensitive to light - so you can shoot with a fast shutter speed and thereby avoiding fuzziness.
»What is white balance?
Digital cameras can adjust the so-called white balance. There are usually several fixed settings: bulb, cloudy, sunny, fluorescent lights, etc. Choose the right white balance, you will get much better colors in your images.
»Flash, to be or not to be?
Camera flashes are good to give more light and allow you to shoot with a fast shutter speed and low ISO speeds even in the dark. But the flash that is attached to your digital camera is directed straight ahead, and in addition rarely any good. Pictures taken with this flash is usually flat, dull and furthermore get portraits awful with red eyes.
You can try to dim the flash a little by putting some paper or similar in front. Best is to get a real flash, or simply ignore the flash and learn to compensate low light using settings mentioned above. Or by lighting a lamp.
»Zoom or move closer?
Get closer! Use the zoom feature only when you can't go further, or if you want to create a special effect. Zoom function degrades image quality.
»Other good tips
Think about the big picture. Pay attention to everything that fits into the picture. Then it becomes easier to detect those dreary details before you shoot. If you can't limit the number of distracting objects, try to shoot in a different location.
Do not forget to make backup copies of your photos! There are a plethora of digital storage space on the Internet, which also makes it easy to share photos with family and friends. A favorite is Dropbox that offers 2GB of free space and is easy to get started with.
Buy an extra memory card as backup.
We can easily make a photo wallpaper of your photos. Do you have a hard time deciding which image to choose? We can insert several pictures in stylish frames, and create a photo album on your wall.
Photo tips from Tommy K Johansson, a highly skilled IT blogger. Read more tips on his blog