Category Archives: Basic Digital Photography

Digital Photography Classes Scheduled at Cheboygan Area Public Library

welihan-20160728-lighthouse-crusie-6323These classes introduce newcomers to digital photography and cameras.  It can also be helpful to long-time photographers who want to brush up on their skills.  I hope you will join me at one of these two upcoming programs.

The class will be held at the Cheboygan Area Public Library, 100 S. Bailey St.  Classes start May 2, 2017, each session runs from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM.

There will be four sessions and a separate afternoon or early evening photo shoot.  Each session covers a different area of digital photogr2010-12-04-photo-class-42aphy and is loaded with tips and useful information to improve your photo technique.

Here is a synopsis of the program:

Class #1 Digital Photography Basics – May 2, 2017
As the title states, in this class we explore the basics you need to know about digital cameras and photography. Topics start with photo terminology, digital camera features and functions. Then we explore how the digital sensor, shutter speed, aperture size and light work together to make a photo image. I discuss how color temperature and white balance affect your images; how and when to use auto modes or preset scene modes and the most important items to have in your camera bag. If you have a digital camera, bring it and the instruction manual to class.

Class #2 Photo Composition & Creativity – May 16, 2017
The second class begins with a discussion on six photo characteristics that add visual appeal to your images. Then I show how to place the subject in way that adds additional interest in your photos. Next we discuss how to frame, balance and simplify your images; steady the shot; change camera settings that change the look of your photo and when and where to use flash. We look at some “bad” photos and discuss how to improve them. We look at many more “good” photos to inspire your creativity.  If you want to learn how to create photos that impress your family and friends, this is your class.

_dsc6173Class #3 Camera to Computer – Image Organization and Storage – May 23, 2017
People have told me this is the class they wish they attended before downloading their first images. Why? Because they have no idea where images are stored in their computer and, worst of all, where to find them.  That problem is fixed with this class. You will learn how to move images from camera to computer and how to effectively set up a system for photo storage and retrieval. I discuss why keywords and tags are important and demonstrate an easy-to-use and free photo management program. If you have images in your camera or computer and don’t know what to do next, this class is for you.

Class #4 Presentations, Prints, Smartphone Use and a Friendly Critique – May 30, 2017
I will show how to create photo presentations that can be set to music, photo books for gifts or to display on your coffee table and the best way to make your own prints. (Remember prints?)  It’s said the best camera is the one that’s with you and for most people that is a smartphone.  And while the average person take 150 photos a month with a smartphone, most of those images are just… average.  Learn tips and tricks that improve your smartphone photos.  We end the class with a slide show of images made by class participants. You do not have to submit photos to attend, but it will be more fun if you do.

During the first class, we will schedule an afternoon or early evening photo shoot to be held between the second and fourth classes.  This will give stuedited-in-luminar-08853dents the opportunity to practice newfound techniques. There is no charge for the photo shoot, but you must enroll in the first or second class to attend.

Each digital photography class is limited to twenty students and pre-registration is required  There is a modest cost for each class that is paid to the library.  Attendance at all four classes is not required, but each class builds on information covered in previous classes and so I strongly recommend students attend all four classes.

To register for the Cheboygan library class call:  (231) 627-2381.

Hope to see you there…   Dan

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A “Better” Way to Begin

Amateur Photog Hkbk001I started dabbling in photography in the summer of 1969 when I inherited my grandfather’s 8mm Kodak movie camera.  Later that year I worked at a summer camp where I shot and later edited what I considered to be an entertaining eighteen minute movie of my seven weeks as a camp counselor.  At the end of summer I showed the movie to the camp director, his family and the other counselors.  They liked it too.  That night I loaned the film to a counselor so he could show his family.  He passed it on to still another counselor.  I think the movie then went to the camp director’s family and probably after that to another counselor.   With time I forgot who had it.  I never saw the movie again and that was pretty much the end of my cinematographic endeavors.

In the Fall when I returned college, I took with me the Fujica Compact Deluxe 35mm camera I had also inherited.  I enrolled in my first photography class and learned how to hold a camera, make a decent exposure, develop Tri-X film and make a print.  I was hooked… And since then I have never been far from a 35mm camera or the digital equivalent.

Browsing my local library in the early 70’s, I discovered The Amateur Photographer’s Handbook by Aaron Sussman.  There weren’t many books available for beginning photographers back then, so I checked it out and started reading.  The book offered detailed answers on film types, metering, filters, when to use flash, how to take candid people pictures, developing film, dodging and burning prints and much more.  Two months and several library renewals later I finished it.  At 562 pages, the book was not an easy read, but in its day an important book for any young photographer.  First printed in 1941, The Amateur Photographer’s Handbook was in continuous publication for over forty years.  In 1976 I was given a copy and since then have reread and browsed many time through my tabbed, yellow-highlighted and dog-eared copy.

I have an eighteen year old grand-daughter who shows a lot of interest in digital photography, but I’m not giving her a copy of the old book.  Now out of print for around twenty-five years, it is still a classic, but too long, too detailed and has too few photographs for a beginner.  I don’t want to scare Elizabeth away while she’s still in the early stage of her photo development (No pun intended.)

Instead, I gave her a copy of BetterPhoto Basics – The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Taking Photos Like a Pro by Jim Miotke (published by Amphoto Books).

Over the years, I have read dozens and dozens of photography books.  BetterPhoto Basics tops my list of books for beginners eager to learn camera and photography basics.  Each topic (such as capturing a sunset, preventing red-eye, how to crop for impBetterPhoto Basics 002act and much more) is covered in one or two pages.  Explanations are well-written and there are colorful example photos on almost every page.  Author, Jim Miotke, also points out if a technique works best with point & shoot cameras, digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras or both.

If there were a required text-book for the digital photography classes I teach, this would be the one.  It is a terrific learning tool, good for beginners and for old-dog photographers who need to be reminded every so often why the basics are so important.

That’s why I bought two copies; one for my grand-daughter and one for me.

January 28, 2013

Digital Photo Tips & Tricks

Digital Photo Tips & Tricks

Start your day or photo shoot with freshly batteries.  Check cameras, flash units and anything else in your camera bag that needs batteries.  Recharge the rechargeable batteries.  Pack the charger?  Replace and/or have a fresh set of batteries for the disposables.

Check camera settings – Before you walk out the door, set the ISO, WB for JPEG shooters and exposure mode (shutter or aperture priority, AUTO, whatever).  Load memory cards into camera.  Extra reformatted memory cards are stored where you can find them quickly.  DSLR owners have the lens you want to use first attached to the camera.  When you are prepared before you step out the door, you are ready for that great shot that pops up when you least expect it.

Always use the camera neck or wrist strap.  Using a neck or wrist strap is one of the best habits you can get yourself into.  You are going to drop a camera some day, generally at the worst possible time.  Require your family and friends who use your gear to do it too.

Learn what the camera icons do.  All digital cameras have icons that adjust camera settings.  Point and shoot cameras more than most folk may ever need.  It is best to know what they do and how they affect you image.  Practice before you need it.

Check the date and time on your camera settings.  The date and time doesn’t have to show on your photo, but you do want the correct date and time embedded in you metadata.  Correct date and time helps you organize, locate, and identify your images later.  It will also help you twenty years later when you are trying to remember when the photo was taken.  Check after daylight savings time springs forward or falls back to see if the time changed automatically.  Some cameras do, some don’t.

Keep camera steady – Hold the camera in your right hand, support the camera or lens with your left hand. Don’t block the flash, autofocus port or lens.  Lean against something solid, hold your breath, and shoot between heartbeats (This last one takes a bit of practice.).

Shutter buttons have two stages.  Press the button halfway down and the camera sets focus and exposure. Press the shutter all the way down to take the picture.

Viewfinder – If your camera has a viewfinder and the image appears blurry, adjust diopter.  Viewfinder focus does not focus the camera.  Viewfinder image size is often different than what the sensor on the camera records.  Lenses zoom in and out, the viewfinder does not.

Images are first stored in the camera’s internal memory (“buffer”).  If you are shooting fast and the buffer fills, the camera stops shooting until one or more of the images are transferred to the memory card.

Don’t remove the battery or memory card from the camera while saving an image. You could scramble some of the images being saved and/or damage the card.

If the camera is turned off while an image is being stored, the image will be completely stored before the camera powers down and does not harm your images.

Images can be displayed on the LCD monitor after each shot.  Take a look and assess composition and exposure.  It is called “chimping,” but a good way to learn how your camera settings work.  Turn the LCD viewer off to save battery life.

Shoot a lot of shots of a subject, especially when learning new equipment.  The change of position, distance and angle gives you a whole new perspective.  You may be surprised by what works. (And what doesn’t)

White Balance (WB) – Be sure to set the white balance when shooting JPEG images.   RAW shooter set the WB in post-processing.  Of course experimenting with the “wrong” WB will give you some unique looks that might be fun.   Auto (the default) works in a wide variety of lighting conditions.   Daylight is best when photographing outdoors in bright sunlight.   Cloudy is best when photographing outdoors in cloudy or overcast conditions.  The setting will also warm images taken anytime indoors or out.   Incandescent or tungsten is best when photographing indoors under incandescent lights.   Fluorescent is best when photographing indoors under fluorescent tube lights.   Fluorescent H is best when photographing indoors under the new fluorescent light bulbs.    Flash best when photographing with flash. It is daylight balanced works to remove color casts in some situations.

 Trick your point and shoot camera to do what you want – Point and shoot cameras work well in Auto mode much of the time.  P&S cameras also have preset modes for portraits, scenery and fast-moving kids.  When you know what the modes do, you can use the presets for different types of photos.  Here is what you need to know.   Need shallow depth of field shoot in Portrait mode.  The mode sets a wider aperture.   Need a more depth of field shoot in Landscape mode.  Landscape mode sets the camera to a small aperture.   Need a fast shutter speed choose ‘Sports’ mode.  This mode will freeze most fast-moving subjects.   Need a slow shutter speed  Try night mode (if your camera has it) but this mode generally fires the flash.

 When done shooting, turn camera off.  Every effort saves little battery life.

Check to see if batteries need replacing or charging.  At the end of the day or before you pack your gear away, check to see if you need to recharge or purchase more batteries.  Don’t leave this important task until to the last-minute and you are less likely to miss the first shot tomorrow.

January 19, 2012

Photo Tips for New Photographers

Photo Tips for New Photographers

1. Keep your camera with you.  The best camera is the one you have with you.  Keep your equipment simple -just a small camera bag– and keep it close.

2. Look around.  Look at familiar surroundings with photography in mind. You might catch an interesting trick of the light or find an unexpected wildflowers in your yard.  Simple subjects make great shots.

3. Take photos early and often.   If you want to get good, photograph something every day.  Start in your backyard.  Look with the eyes of a photographer and you’ll see opportunities you never noticed before.

4. Learn all you can.  One of the great things about photography is the never-ending supply of things to learn.  Dedicate an hour a day to reading about photography, listening to photography podcasts and taking photos and you will soon be an expert.

5. Take advantage of free resources.  Explore the Internet for tips and inspiration.  Don’t forget the resources available at the Cheboygan Public Library.

6. Learn the basic rules.  There is so much information available about photography that it can be overwhelming.  Start with one aspect of photography that interests you.  (Focus, shutter speed, aperture, proper exposure, wide-angle lens)  When you master one, move on to  another topic.  Read magazines, books and photo blog posts, study Internet tutorials, listen to a podcast, look at photo books.  You will learn by studying what more experienced photographers have to say and trying their techniques.

7. Break the Rules.  One great advantage of a digital camera is it costs nothing to experiment.  Play around, try new things.  You will probably find something you like and you will get a lot of practice in the process.

8. Experiment with camera settings.  A point and shoot camera provides more options than you think and all the options of a DSLR can keep you occupied for weeks.  Read the manual.  Shoot your subjects with multiple settings to see what effects you like.  Take notes and check the EXIF data to see the camera settings you used.

9. Get closer, lower, higher, up earlier and turnaround…  One problem common to almost all beginning photographers is not getting close enough to the subject.  After taking an overall shot of the scene, move in.  Shoot subjects (especially kids) at eye level.  Then move left and right, up and down to see how the change in perspective changes your photo.  When taking pictures of the sunset (or any other picture) turnaround.  You may be surprised by the photo opportunity right behind you.  Opportunities abound the hour after sunset and the hour before sunrise.  Don’t put your camera away when it starts to get dark.  Stay out longer, get up earlier, get closer and turnaround.  (And when it does get too dark, go indoors and take photographs indoors.)

10. Make a list of shots you’d like to take.  For the times you can’t carry your camera around, keep a small notebook  (Or my personal favorite, 3×5 cards.) and jot down places you’d like to come back and photograph. Note important details so you can return at the same time or when the weather’s right. You can also take a picture with your phone camera and email yourself the details.

11. Don’t buy expensive equipment right away.  Very nice photos can be taken with inexpensive cameras.  Don’t rush out and spend money on expensive equipment until you know the limits of the gear you have.  Buy one piece of gear at a time.  For example, use on lens or lens setting until you have shot photos from every angle, in every type of light and know all  you can about that lens.  The temptation to buy something more will be almost overwhelming, but fight it as best you can.  The more pictures you take and experiment with your equipment, the better you will know what your next piece of gear really needs to be.  And you will save a lot of money in the long run.  I speak from experience…

12. Tripods make a huge impact.  An inexpensive tripod or even a bag of navy beans wrapped in duct tape can steady your shots.  To avoid camera shake as you push the shutter button, use the camera 2 (or 10) second timer function with a tripod.  (Tip within a tip:  Keep your tripod in your car.  You will know where it is and won’t have to remember to pack it when you travel.)

December 24, 2011

Glossary of Digital Photographic Terms O-P-Q-R

This Glossary of Digital Photographic Terms (A through Z) was originally compiled as a handout for the basic digital photography class I teach.  As shown in this photo blog it is a “living document” laid out in six blog postings.  The definitions will be expanded, updated and upgraded as needed.  Feel free to suggest additional terms for the list.

Glossary of Digital Photographic Terms O-P-Q-R

 

O

Orientation Sensor  A sensor that knows when you turn the camera to take a vertical shot and rotates the picture so it won’t be displayed on its side when you view it.

Orphan work  An original work that is protected by copyright but whose copyright owner cannot be identified and/or located, because the work (or subsequent transfer of rights) wasn’t registered with the Copyright Office, or because the copyright owner has died and the heirs are unknown.  Reproduction and other uses of such works carry the risk of a copyright infringement claim.

Overexposure  An image that appears too light because too much light reached the sensor.

Online gallery  Internet sharing services that allow you to post your images to the Web.

Optical Viewfinder  A glass-covered opening in your camera you look through to frame and compose your image.

Optical Zoom  A traditional zoom lens where lenses move back and forth to visually bring the subject closer to you or farther from you.  Optical zoom indicates the camera has a multi-focal length lens, as opposed to a digital zoom that magnifies the center portion of the picture.

 

P

Parallax Error  The difference in views between the lens taking the photo and the external optical viewfinder.

Patent  A government grant that generally protects an invention from being copied, used, distributed, or sold without the permission of its owner.

Photon  A particle of light.

Pinhole camera  A camera whose lens is covered except for a pin-sized hole.  A pinhole is essentially a very small aperture, so you have to shoot long exposures.

Piracy  The unauthorized copying of copyrighted material, most often used to describe the unauthorized copying of CDs, DVDs, and software.

Pixel  Short for picture element. The basic building block of every image.

Plagiarism  Reproducing any portion of a copyrighted work without permission. See also academic plagiarism.

Point-and-Shoot  A type of digital camera that has automatic settings for most features (such as focus and exposure).

Polarizer  Camera filter that reduces the glare bouncing off shiny surfaces in your photos.  Will also deepen the contrast of the sky from certain angles.  Digital cameras require a circular polarizer.

Portrait Mode  The orientation of an image in which the longest dimension is vertical, also called tall orientation.

PPI  Stands for pixels per inch. Used to state image print resolution. Measured in terms of the number of pixels per linear inch. A higher ppi usually translates to better-looking printed images.

Print Resolution  The number of pixels per linear inch (ppi) in a printed photo; the user sets this value inside a photo-editing program.

Proprietary Format  Also called native format. The format used by only that particular type of camera.  Example: Memory Stick memory card is a proprietary format of Sony cameras.

Public domain  A work of authorship is in the “public domain” if the term of its copyright protection has expired or if it does not meet the requirements for copyright protection (for example, while the design of a calendar can be copyrighted, the content itself cannot).  Works in the public domain may be used freely.

R

RAM  (Random Access Memory)  A computer’s system working memory.

Rear Curtain Sync  An electronic flash synchronization technique in which the flash fires only when the second (rear) curtain of the focal plane shutter begins to move at the end of the exposure.

Red Eye  An effect caused by in-camera flash photography that appears to make a person eyes glow red.  (Animal eyes will appear red or green.)   Caused by light bouncing from the retina of the eye.

Resolution  A term used to describe the capabilities of digital cameras, scanners, printers, and monitors; means different things depending on the device.

RGB  The standard color model for digital images; all colors are created by mixing red, green, and blue light.

Rule of Thirds  A way of mentally dividing your picture horizontally and vertically into thirds, then placing important subject matter where these lines intersect.

December 15, 2011

 

Glossary of Digital Photography Terms: K – L – M – N

This Glossary of Digital Photographic Terms (A through Z) was originally compiled as a handout for the basic digital photography class I teach.  As shown in this photo blog it is a “living document” laid out in six blog postings.  The definitions will be expanded, updated and upgraded as needed.  Feel free to suggest additional terms for the list.

Landscape Mode  The orientation of an image in which the longest dimension is horizontal.

LCD Screen (Liquid Crystal Display)  The type of display screen on the back of most digital cameras.

LED (Light Emitting Diode)  The colored indicator lights used on most cameras, power supplies and electronic devices.

Lens  One or more elements of optical glass or plastic that collects and focuses light rays to form a sharp image on the digital sensor.

Lithium-Ion  A type of rechargeable battery that was originally developed for use with camcorders, and is now used as a power source for many digital still cameras.

License  A legal agreement granting permission to use a work for certain purposes or under certain conditions. Cartoon and film characters, for example, can be used on merchandise (and in some classroom applications) only through a license granted by the copyright owner for that specific purpose.

Lossless  Refers to storing an image in a non-compressed format, such as TIFF.

 

Macro Mode   See Close Focus Mode.

Matrix Metering  Also called multi-zone metering. A metering mode that calculates exposure based on the entire frame.

Megapixel One million pixels.

Memory Card  Most digital cameras do not have on-board storage capacity.  To store images you need a memory card.  Memory cards are available in several types, Secure Digital (SD), Compact Flash (CF), Memory Stick (MS), SmartMedia (SM) and more.  The memory card or cards for your camera is determined by what digital camera you buy.  The cards are physically different and are not interchangeable.  Memory cards capacity ranges from 1 to 32 gigabytes and larger.  Ideally you want the largest capacity and highest speed memory card that works with your camera.  Of course, the price of a memory card increases with increased memory and speed.  Format new memory cards in the camera before use.  Re-format the card to remove images after your images have been securely saved on your computer.

Metadata  Extra data that gets stored along with the primary image data in an image file. Metadata often includes information such as aperture, shutter speed, and EV setting used to capture the picture, and can be viewed using special software. Often referred to as EXIF metadata.

Metering Mode  Refers to the way a camera’s auto exposure mechanism reads the light in a scene.

Monopod  A one-legged support used to steady the camera.

Multi-Zone Metering  See Matrix Metering.

 

Noise  Graininess in an image, caused by too little light, a too high ISO setting, or a defect in the electrical signal generated during the image-capture process.

December 1, 2011

 

Glossary of Digital Photography Terms: G – H – I – J

This Glossary of Digital Photographic Terms (A through Z) was originally compiled as a handout for the basic digital photography class I teach.  As posted in this photo blog it is a “living document” laid out in six blog postings.  The definitions will be expanded, updated and upgraded as needed.  Feel free to suggest additional terms for the list.  Email me at:  ItIsAllAboutTheLight@gmail.com .

Gray Card  A card that reflects back 18% of the light hitting the card surface.  Digital camera light meters are calculated for 18% reflectance.

Histogram  A visual representation of the exposure values of a digital image. Histograms are shown in graph form and display the light values of the image’s shadows, mid-tones, and highlights as vertical peaks and valleys along a horizontal plane.

Hot Shoe  The device on a camera that holds an external flash or provides the cable connection from flash to the camera.

 

Image Sensor  A digital camera’s solid-state capture device, made up of a grid-like arrangement of red-, green-, and blue-sensitive elements.

Image Stabilization  An optical or digital system for removing or reducing camera movement.

Intellectual property  Any product of a creative mind that is fixed in a tangible form of expression and, thus, is thereafter protected by patent, copyright, or trademark laws.

ISO (International Standards Organization)  The ISO setting on a camera determines how sensitive the camera sensor is to light.  A low setting such as 100 is used in a bright situation where the camera needs to be less sensitive to light.  In contrast, a high ISO such as 800 or higher 1600 is low-light situations to make the camera more sensitive to the available light.  ISO is equivalent to ASA.

AUTO ISO – digital camera automatically sets the ISO speed according the brightness of the scene, increasing or decreasing the sensitivity.  Photographer has no control over which ISO number is used.

ISO 80 – When taking photos in bright light; excellent for close-ups, landscape, and portraits. Produces fine detail and image quality.

ISO 100 – Extra sensitivity with little, if any, reduced image quality.

ISO 200 – Acceptable image quality, with some visible noise.  Good for cloudy and overcast days.

ISO 400 – suitable for indoor photography whether or not a flash is used. Useful for “stop-action” and sports photographs.

ISO 800, 1600 and above – useful in very low light, or outside in good light when increased shutter speeds are required. Results can be disappointing when shooting at these high numbers with compact digital cameras, so take test photos before photographing an important event.

 

JPEG (Pronounced jay-peg)   Joint Photographic Experts Group :  The primary file format used by digital cameras; also the leading format for online and Web pictures.

JPEG+Raw  A camera setting that creates both a Camera Raw file and a JPEG file of a picture.

November 17, 2011

Glossary of Digital Photographic Terms D – E – F

This Glossary of Digital Photographic Terms (A through Z) was originally compiled as a handout for the basic digital photography class I teach.  As posted in this photo blog it is a “living document” laid out in six blog postings.  The definitions will be expanded, updated and upgraded as needed.  Feel free to suggest additional terms for the list.  Email me at:  ItIsAllAboutTheLight@gmail.com .

Glossary of Digital Photography Terms:  D – E – F

Depth of Field (DOF)  The distance between the nearest and farthest points that appears in focus in a photograph.  DOF varies with lens aperture, focal length, and camera-to-subject distance.

Diaphragm  The adjustable aperture of a lens is called a diaphragm and it controls the amount of light passing into the camera.  The diaphragm may be in front of, within or behind the lens.

Digital Zoom  Digital magnification of the center of an image that increases the apparent image size by interpolation.  Interpolation enlarges individual pixels often making a blurry picture and out-of-focus image.  Many photographers turn the digital zoom function off.  You will get the same or better quality image by cropping the image in post production.

Download  Transfer data from a device to a computer using a cable connection.

DSLR  A digital single lens reflex camera.

Diopter adjustment: A viewfinder feature that corrects for common eyeglass prescriptions so eyeglass wearers can use the viewfinder without wearing their glasses.

 

EXIF: Exchangeable Image File Format. Developed to standardize the exchange of image data between hardware devices and software.

Exposure: The amount of light allowed reaching the sensor, determined by the intensity of the light, the amount admitted by the iris of the lens, and the length of time determined by the shutter speed.

Exposure Value (EV): EV settings are a way of adding or decreasing exposure without the need to reference f-stops or shutter speeds. For example, if you tell your camera to add +1EV, it will provide as much exposure by using a larger f-stop, slower shutter speed, or both.

 

f numbers – A numerical designation (f/2, f 2.8, f3 etc.) indicating the size of the aperture.

F-stop – A term used to describe the aperture, or opening of a lens. F-stops are defined numerically – f1/4, f5.6, f22, etc. Larger, or wider apertures, allow more light to enter the lens, which results in faster shutter speeds. Faster apertures also allow for selective focus (narrow depth-of-field), while smaller (slower) apertures allow for greater depth-of-field. Wider apertures are preferred for portraits, while smaller apertures are preferred for landscapes.

Flash: A flash supplies additional light to compensate for low lighting, back-lighting and other lighting issues.

Focal Length The distance from the optical center of the lens to the image sensor when the lens is focused on infinity, usually expressed in millimeters.

Focus The process of bringing one plane of the scene into sharp focus on the image sensor.

File Format: A way of storing image data in a file.

Fill Flash: Also called forced flash. A camera setting that causes the electronic flash to always fire, which produces the effect of filling in shadows in brightly illuminated images.

Focal Length: The distance between the film and the optical center of the lens when the lens is focused on infinity, usually measured in millimeters.

Focus: To adjust the lens to produce a sharp image.

Framing: 1. In photography, composing your image in the viewfinder or LCD. 2. In composition, using elements of an image to form a sort of picture frame around an important subject.

Front Curtain Sync: The default electronic flash synchronization technique. The flash fires at the beginning of the exposure — in the instant that the first curtain of the focal plane shutter finishes its movement across the film or sensor plane.

November 12, 2011

Glossary of Digital Photographic Terms: A – B – C

This Glossary of Digital Photographic Terms (A through Z) was originally compiled as a handout for the basic digital photography class I teach.  As shown in this photo blog it is a “living document” laid out in six blog postings.  The definitions will be expanded, updated and upgraded as needed.  Feel free to suggest additional terms for the list.  Email me at:  ItIsAllAboutTheLight@gmail.com .

Angle of View  The amount of a scene that can be recorded by a particular lens. This is determined by the focal length of the lens.

Aperture  The aperture is an adjustable opening in the lens that allows light to enter the camera.  Most digital cameras have an automatic mode that adjusts the camera’s aperture depending on light levels.  The size of the opening is calibrated in f-stop numbers.  The smaller the number the bigger the aperture; the higher the number, the smaller the aperture.

Aperture-Priority Auto-Exposure  A Semi-automatic exposure mode; the photographer sets the aperture, and the camera selects the appropriate shutter speed to produce a good exposure.

Automatic Exposure  A feature where the camera automatically adjusts the aperture or shutter speed or both for the proper exposure.

Automatic Flash  A flash unit with a light-sensitive cell that determines the length of the flash for proper exposure by measuring the light reflected back from the subject.

Auto Focus  A system that automatically focuses the camera lens.

Auto Mode  A digital camera mode where both the aperture and shutter speed are set automatically.

AVCHD  (Advanced Video Coding High Definition)  A format for recording and playing back high-definition video and used in many HD camcorders.
Average Metering – Average metering takes all of the light values for a given scene – highlights, shadows, and mid-tones – and averages them together to establish a good overall exposure. Average metering is best used for front-lit subjects.  Back lit subjects tend to be silhouetted when metered in Average mode.

AWB (Auto White Balance)  An in-camera function that automatically adjusts the white balance of the scene to a neutral setting regardless of the ambient light source.

 

Back Lit  The subject is heavily lit from behind which generally causes it to be underexposed.

Back Lighting  A lighting effect produced when the main light source is located behind the subject. Backlighting is also a technology for illuminating an LCD display from the rear, making it easier to view under high ambient lighting conditions.

Blinkies  Flashes on the camera LCD screen that indicates over or under exposed areas in the captured image.

 

Capture  A term used in digital imaging meaning “to photograph”. The term is used to differentiate the method by which the image is made. As the word “photograph” is closely associated to film photography, “capturing” is applied to specify a digital sensor is used.”

Card Reader  See: Memory card reader

CCD (Charge-coupled device) An image sensor that reads the charges from the sensor’s photo sites one row at a time.

Center Weighted  An auto exposure system that uses the center portion of the image to adjust the overall exposure value.

Compact Flash (CF)  A common type of digital camera flash memory storage. There are three types:  CF Type I: the original 5mm high card, CF Type II: cards and devices that are 9mm high and CF Type III: used in double-height slots only.

Continuous Auto Focus  An always-on auto focus system.

Continuous Shooting   A mode available on many digital cameras that allows a burst of shots by holding down the camera shutter button.  Continuous shooting is often used to capture fast-action sporting events and kids running around the yard.

Contrast  A measure of rate of change of brightness in an image.

Copyright  A form of protection provided by the laws of the United States that gives creators exclusive rights to ownership and use of their “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, architectural, cartographic, choreographic, pantomimic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, and audiovisual creations. Copyright is also protected by international agreements.

Copyright infringement The unauthorized copying or use of a work that is protected by copyright.

Copyright notice The copyright notice consists of three elements: the “c” in a circle (©) or the word “copyright”, the year of first publication, and the name of the copyright owner.

Camera Raw  A file format offered by some digital cameras.  Records the image without applying any in-camera processing that is usually done automatically when saving photos in JPEG or other formats. Also known as Raw.

Center-Weighted Metering  Metering mode that reads the entire scene but gives more emphasis to the subject in the center of the frame.

Chimping  A digital photography term used to describe the “Oooh! Oooh! Oooh!” sound made by photographers when checking the camera LCD just after a photo is taken.

Choices  A photographer makes choices more than just the subject when taking a digital photo, they include:

Light – Quantity, Quality, Type;

Point of View – Where to stand;

Field of View – What to include, what to exclude

Camera Configuration – horizontal, vertical or on occasion diagonal.

Circular Polarizer  See” Polarizer

Close Focus Mode   A point and shoot camera mode that allows close focus of objects close to the lens.  It is designated on the back cameras with a flower icon.  Close Focus is not a true macro focus, but is often called “macro.”

CMOS  (Pronounced see-moss, Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor)  A type of Imaging Sensor. CMOS chips are less energy-consuming than CCD Type sensors and are becoming increasingly common in pro DSLRs.

Composition  The arrangement of the main subject, other objects in a scene, and/or the foreground and background.

Contrast  The range of difference in the light to dark areas of a photo.

Crop  To trim an image or page by adjusting its boundaries.

November 11, 2011

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