Thursday, June 24, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
There's more. If you are having your prints processed commercially then you should realise that the proportions of a 35mm negative (2:3) don't always match those of some popular print sizes. If you want your prints to match what you saw through the viewfinder you will need to ask for "full frame" prints.
As a wee example: A 35mm negative printed to show the full frame onto 10x8 inch paper will produce an image closer to 10x6 inches
So, where do we start? Most books, at least the ones I have read, start with some history or "What is photography?" or something down that line. This is all very well and may interest you a bit later but right now what you probably want to do is take pictures, sorry, photographs. If you study at college or university they prefer the term "image " and get upset when you tell them you are going out to " take some pictures ". So we are going to start , where everyone really starts book or no book, at the beginning.
How to take a picture.
Compose and expose.
Photography is full of rules and to get us started I have invented one of my own. You have to do two things when taking a photograph.
- Compose: This is the creative or artistic bit where you arrange all of the elements of your picture within the frame or viewfinder to produce what should hopefully be a pleasing composition.
- Expose: This is the scientific and mechanical bit where you expose your film to light through the lens of your camera and if you are lucky preserve the image for posterity.
In my infinite wisdom I have decided to call this The Compose and Expose Rule. To make life simple compose and expose rhyme so it is easy to remember. You compose first and expose second that is the rule. If this is going to give you problems I suggest you give up now and take up something less challenging.
In the following tutorials we will look at both parts in more detail. If you pay attention and I can make myself understood you will learn how to exert a great deal of control over how your photographs will turn out.
We will start with the "compose" part first as most of the decision making is for aesthetic reasons and is largely up to you and if you are using a fully automatic camera it is the only bit that will be any good to you.
This series of tutorials, which is constantly expanding, is provided as an introduction to photographic techniques. It may not turn you into a brilliant photographer but hopefully it will help improve your photography by teaching you a bit about some of the theory behind photography.
Some of the tutorials will be useful no matter what type of camera you are using , however, the tutorials are geared towards 35mm/APS SLR cameras with the ability to be operated manually, at least to some degree. By manual operation I mean that you will have to physically focus the camera, set the aperture and set the shutter speed. All three would be good though as a mimimum you should have control of either the aperture or the shutter speed. i.e. Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority.
If you have the manual for your camera now would be a good time to read through it. Pay attention as to use of the light meter and the shutter and aperture controls. You don't really need to know about the multitude of 'program' or 'auto' modes your camera may be equipped with.
I am not making any great claims about these tutorials but I would like them to be useful and not to dull so I am keen to hear from you if you are using them. I am also quite happy to answer questions if I haven't covered what you are interested in yet, or if you don't know what I am talking about !