Photography 101 Part 1Written by Kelly Paal
Photography 101 Part One Equipment: camera, meter, flash, tripod
This article is a simplified photography course directed at new photographers out there who want to know where to start.
If you really want to learn photography first thing you need is a good affordable and reliable camera. It must, and I repeat must, be able to shoot in fully manual and fully auto focus modes. (This leaves out any digital cameras on market right now, sorry.) To really learn photography you must understand equipment. Youíll need to learn how manipulating shutter speed, aperture, and focus will have a dramatic effect on your photos. Meters, if you have a camera that can work in a fully manual mode it should have an internal meter suitable for what you will be doing. Tripod, youíre going to need one whether itís portrait work or landscapes youíll need one eventually. Luckily you donít have to spend a lot here. Just something lightweight and durable. Flash, you can buy a separate camera mounted flash, which is great if you can afford it. Consider what kind of photography that you will be doing though. If youíre going to do mostly nature and landscape, you may only need fill flash that comes with most cameras today. If you plan on doing portraiture alone you will want to consider a camera mounted flash that has an adjustable angle. Film, film speed to be exact. Slower speeds (25 to 400) are intended for portraiture and landscape photography. Faster speeds (600 and above) are intended for actions shots and photojournalism. So first you need to know what you going out to photograph and make sure that you have appropriate film for job. Now that you have camera loaded with film consider shutter speed. Do you want to blur motion, or freeze it? If there is no motion at all what shutter speed do you need to expose scene with natural light. From 1/60th and down to bulb setting will blur most motion. For example if you want to blur water in a waterfall, a setting of 1/30th should work. (Youíll need a tripod though.) 1/125th is a normal setting for most shots. On many cameras 125th setting is marked in a different color to make it obvious. If you want to freeze action youíll need to start with 1/500th and work up from there. The faster motion faster shutter speed needed to stop motion. Many cameras go up to 1/2000th of a second. If youíre trying to use natural light alone in a scene you will want to determine aperture first and then see what shutter speed you need to properly expose scene for available light. (Keep in mind sometimes there isnít enough light.) Aperture, these are set of numbers on your lens closest to body of camera. They can go from 1.8 to 22, and they are referred to as F-stops. These numbers determine how much light reaches film inside of your camera. Most internal meters will blink on appropriate aperture for shutter speed that youíve set, or speed youíve set will blink if your F-stop is correct for speed. Both F-stop and shutter speed can be changed to expose scene correctly. Consider that faster shutter speed more light will be needed to expose scene correctly. This makes logical sense if you think about it. If shutter isnít open as long, fast shutter speed, then there is less light able to make it to film and so scene must be brighter to expose correctly. To learn, bracket your shots. Take first shot at aperture suggested by your meter, move one stop up, take a photo, one down, take another photo.
Photography 101 Part 3Written by Kelly Paal
Photography 101 Part 3 Content
Even if you feel that you already know what kind of photography you like to do, itís always a good idea to try your talent at different aspects of photography. Pictorial, this is a general term but it applies to any photographer whoís goal is simply to create beautiful photos. This breaks down into smaller subsets but most popular form is landscape and nature photography. This is what I do and itís tempting to go on and on but I will just say that this form of photography, to me, is a real art. At least that is goal to create art in photographic form. It is goal of photographer to use their abilities to capture an image in itís moment of beauty and simplicity. Portrait, this can be people and even animals. It also includes wedding photography as well. This is an aspect of photography that can be a lot harder than it seems. Not only do you have to know your basic photo composition but you need to understand what makes each person look their best. You must know how to bring out their personality and character in shot. If you love working with people this may be your field. Itís fun and challenging. Photojournalism, now this isnít just press photography, though that is one aspect of it. It is also documentary photography as well, latter doesnít always need an event to occur right in front of you. Either way purpose is to tell a story. Really good photojournalism shouldnít need text below it to tell you what is going on. It should be compelling and storytelling. Composition still plays a part, you canít tell a story if story canít be seen. And while these photos can be beautiful in their technical aspects they arenít necessarily beautiful images. The story telling is as important.