Here are the posts and sites that I found this week that I think you as a photographer should read. Not all of them are always related to photography, but they are worth looking at and will probably make you think.
The exposure is controlled by three important settings on your camera. Shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.
The first two can affect the feel and focus of your image. Slow the shutter speed down to give the feeling of movement. Speed it up to freeze the action. Open your aperture up and create a shallow depth of field causing the subject to be the only thing in focus, thus drawing the eye of the viewer toward it.
Shot at a slower shutter speed allows the motion of this actor to be blurred as he does his flip.
By using a large aperture, the singer is in focus and the background is slightly blurred.
Shutter speed and aperture have a huge influence of the artistic side of the image, but ISO is the setting that can make or break the picture. It controls the quality of the image and, when used right, can allow the photographer to use the other two settings to match the image to their vision.
Setting your camera to a low ISO, like 200 on Nikons or 100 on Canons, allows the highest image quality available from the camera, but it limits the sensitivity of the sensor. This can make the fast shutter speeds or small apertures that a photographer is looking for in some situations, hard to achieve. Especially high shutter speeds.
Remember, you should be using at least the reciprocal of your lens length. So if I’m shooting with a 150 mm lens, I should be using at least a shutter speed of 1/150 of a second in order to not introduce any camera shake into the image.
I was in a high school theater to shoot the images used in this post. The stage, even when under full light, was dark. As a result I had to use a very large aperture (usually 2.8) and a low shutter speed for the lens I was using (70-200), but by raising the ISO from my normal 200 to 1600, I was able to raise the shutter speed up to a point that helped eliminate camera shake and get most of the shots I wanted.
The trade-off? High ISO settings can introduce a lot of noise into an image. If you know the limitations of your camera, you can reduce the affect of the noise in your images. My Nikon D300 produces good images up to ISO 1600, so I was able to set the ISO at 1600 and still get usable images.
At this size. the image still looks good even at ISO 1600
You can see in the image above that the higher ISO setting doesn’t affect the quality that much, but if you click on it, you will be able to see a larger version and how the noise is beginning to affect overall quality of the picture. But even then, it isn’t that bad yet.
Don’t be afraid to raise your ISO to get the image you are trying to capture, but be aware of the possible affects it is going to have on your pictures. It is one of the tools we have as photographers and if we know how to use it, changing ISO can help.
I listen to a lot of podcasts and I have noticed a trend recently; a lot of the “photography” podcasts are discussing using DSLRs as video cameras. I have a problem with that. Video is NOT photography. OK, you are using the same camera, but if you are a photographer, you are not shooting videos.
Photography is about capturing a moment in time. You can hold a photograph. You can pass a photograph to other people. A photograph can be looked at for a moment or for a long period of time. A photograph needs only one person to take it and you only have to worry about the light.
A video must have technology to view it. You can’t hold a video. You can’t give a video to someone else. A video forces you to watch it on its own time line. To properly produce a video you need a crew or at least two people. At least one to operate the camera and one for the sound. When producing a video, you MUST have good sound and good light.
I have nothing against video. I think with the iPad and other new technology, we are going to see more and more opportunities to use video, but video is not photography. Just because your camera can produce video doesn’t mean that you have to use it. Yes, I have been in situations where a short video would be nice, but I wouldn’t want to focus my attentions to it. And when I listen to a photography podcast, I want to listen to something about photography.
If you are going to produce a photography podcast, blog, book, or whatever, focus on photography. Not on video.