Tuesday, 13 March 2012

DSLR Beginners Course

Last night I went to a beginners camera course to learn how to use my Nikon D3000 SLR camera. I thought I would share what I learn't for those who are interested. 


ISO -
ISO stands for International Standardization Organisation. It is a measure of how sensitive the film is to light.
The ISO scale is as follows:
100 200 400 800 1600 (Some cameras have additional values including 3200 and 6400)
The different values equate to the different speeds of light entering the camera.
The lower the value, the more, finer pixels are used therefore the better quality photo.
Pixel sizes get bigger the furth down the scale, which create grainy photos.
You might ask, why not always use ISO 100 is that creates the best quality photo?
Well, you need maximum lighting to be able to properly use ISO 100, say on a bright sunny day.
If it was a grey day or in a low lit room, setting the ISO to 400 or 800 would produce a better photo.

Aperture -
From the Italian meaning 'opening', the aperture determines the amount of light let onto the film.
The Aperture is measured in 'F Stops'. The Stops are the degrees in changing aperture.
Widest opening of F5.6, smallest is F22
Scale - F4 F8 F11 F16 F22 F32 F45
The Aperture is key to achieve the required 'Depth of Field'. This enables you to focus on what you want in the frame.
For example, set it to F5.6, and this would cause the camera to focus on the immediate person in the frame.
All other persons and back ground would become blurred. If you set it smaller, say F22, the camera will use the light and depth of field to capture all the people in the frame.

Shutter Speed -
Holding the button down for different times allows different amounts of light to enter the camera. In a DSLR camera, the light meter is built in. Shutter speeds are all a measurement of a second. The key shutter speeds are 60th and 200th of a second.
Prone to camera shake anything less than a 60th of a second. So you should use a tripod to prevent camera shake. If you are holding your camera, use 60th of a second. Use 200th if there is not much light.

ISO + APERTURE= SHUTTER SPEED


LIGHT + TIME + SPEED = EXPOSURE


The grid you see when you look through the viewfinder. The scale goes from -2 to +2. You always want to aim for the dot to be around the central zero mark. This will mean you have the correct exposure.
If it is near to -2, it will be underexposed and therefore too dark.
If it is near to +2, it will be overexposed and therefore too white.
You can adjust your aperture to correct this.

The dial to the right on the top of your camera can be used to achieve different settings.
P - Programme. You can set the ISO but not the other settings (so like using a semi automatic car)
A - Aperture. You can set the Aperture but not the other settings
S - Shutter.
M - Manual. You can adjust all settings. This is the mode you should aim to use your camera on.

Colour balance
Colour balance is based on the sun. Auto White Balance determines the colour cast of the sun.
This is measured in 'Kelvin's', a value that measures the sunlight spectrum.
Auto White Balance should be used more or less all of the time, and equates to 5,700 Kelvins.
Here is the sunlight spectrum and how it will affect the colours of your photos -

Red     Orange    Yellow    Auto WB    Yellow    Green     Blue
<------------------------------=----------------------------->
2000     3000       4000       5,700         6500      7500    8500

If you are taking indoor photos where flourescent lights are making photos more blue, change the white balance.

Cameras and Lenses
DSLR - Digital Single Lens Reflex, can take off your lens and change it. Has two types of lens. Fixed Lens which has a focal point of 24 mm range zoom lens. A is a wide angle lens with a range of 24mm to 105mm which could take a photo of a whole wedding party. 105 mm would be used to take close ups, say of the bride and groom. The quality of a fixed lens is for a superior but restricting as you have to move to get a different shot though the detail is better, for example, you would take a close up of the wedding ring.
Range Finder - Seperate Lens to view finder (unusual to find these cameras these days)
Bridge - scale for focal range is bigger

Use Auto Focus as this will prevent motion blur.

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