Youth will explore depth of field, aperture and shutter speeds, hard and soft lighting, silhouettes and flash techniques. Youth will also learn to evaluate composition using the rule of thirds, the golden triangle, and the golden rectangle, use different viewpoints and understand positive and negative space.
Film speed is a measure of a film’s sensitivity to light. Common film speeds include ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, and ISO 800. Digital cameras use these same ISO numbers. Since there is no film, the ISO numbers refer to the effect of light on the camera sensors. The higher the number, the less light you will need. The lower the number, the more light you will need.
ISO 25 to 100—Slow Speed The sharpest results; for use in bright light. Good to emphasize motion blur or to force the depth of field. Ideal for enlargements. Popular with nature photographers and scene photography.
ISO 125 to 200—Medium Speed The best general-purpose choice; for use with a variety of lighting. Captures a greater depth of field. The most popular choice for automatic cameras.
ISO 400 to 1600—High Speed For dim light and to freeze fast action; good for using available indoor light. Used by action photographers and photojournalists. Used primarily with adjustable cameras.
Digital cameras offer a variety of exposure modes that help the camera perform in certain situations. Program (P) or automatic mode will automatically set the camera controls for most subjects, making it a good choice for everyday snapshots. Action mode sets the shutter speed as fast as possible for shooting fast-moving subjects. Portrait mode sets the aperture to focus clearly on the subject and eliminate distractions in the background. Macro or close-up mode and movie mode are also available on many digital cameras.
Get a Look Inside - An Activity
1. If you have access to a film-based camera, try this. Before you put in any film, get a look inside!
Watch the shutter in action. Set the lens opening at its largest opening. Set the shutter speed at 30. Open the camera back. Be careful not to touch the inside of the camera or the surface of the lens. Hold the camera up and look into the lens through the open back of the camera. Press the shutter release button. See how long light is let through the lens. The shutter was open only 1/30th of a second. Advance the camera once and set the shutter speed at 250. Look into the lens and watch how fast the shutter works. Compare several different settings. If your camera has a B or T setting, try it out. It keeps the shutter open as long as you hold down the shutter release.
Watch the aperture in action. Set the shutter speed at 1/15 second. Set the lens opening at its largest opening. Press the shutter release and notice how big the opening is when light comes through the lens. Set the lens at the smallest opening, advance the camera once, and repeat. Notice how small the opening is. Compare several different settings. Each larger opening lets in twice as much light.
2. Using a digital camera, set your camera to the Program Mode, usually indicated by a P.
Watch how aperture and shutter speed are programmed to work together. Point the camera at one scene and start with any combination of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings. On digital cameras, ISO is the measurement of the sensor’s sensitivity to light. For film cameras, it is the measurement of film’s sensitivity to light. As you change one of the settings, watch how the other settings change. You can usually see these numbers change on an LCD screen. Continue changing the aperture or shutter speed until you have gone through all of them. Create your own exposure chart by recording the relationship of the setting numbers as they change. Different combinations of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO can all add up to the same overall exposure.
Controlling the Image - Lighting
Make a time exposure at night. Carnival rides, fireworks, star trails, or car tails make interesting pictures. Put the camera on a tripod or set it on a solid surface so it doesn’t move. Set the shutter at “B.” Set the lens at its largest opening.
Painting with Light
To paint with light you need a tripod, a small flashlight, and an assistant. Outside at night or in a dark room, mount your camera on the tripod and set the shutter on “B.” Have your assistant stand about 15 feet away and point the flashlight at the camera and draw patterns in the air, trace the outlines of subjects, or write his or her initials or nickname (backwards) or as you hold the shutter open. Your exposure should last 10 to 20 seconds.
Advance the Sunset
Advance the sunset so that it appears to pass through its natural stages by reducing exposure time. Correctly exposed at 1/15 and f/11, a sunset can appear boring with little detail in the clouds. If you reduce the exposure to 1/250 at f/11, the result may be more dramatic. The mood of the scene becomes more somber, with greater detail in the clouds.
Make Your Own Reflector and Diffuser
Make a reflector and diffuser. These lighting tools will often help you manipulate natural light so you won’t need a flash.
A reflector to bounce natural light Place the subject so that one side is parallel to window. If the camera is facing the person, the window light causes the other side of the face to be darkened. Use white cardboard or paper on the dark side of the subject at an angle to catch the window light and bounce light onto the subject’s face (dark side).
A diffuser to soften light Unwrap a hanger and bend the wire to make a circle. Cover the hanger with a sheet and hold it above the subject. Take a picture at high noon with and without the diffuser to compare results.
Group photographs like a jigsaw puzzle. But instead of joining them in a long strip, you make a patchwork of pictures. A montage can cover both the length and depth of the scene. There are no rules, so be creative!
Stand in one spot and take your photographs in a systematic way to ensure you cover the whole scene.To avoid gaps in the finished montage, overlap adjoining areas that contain important details.Leave out areas such as broad expanses of cloudless sky, but keep the horizon because it provides continuity.Concentrate each frame on a light or dark area. This way each individual section of the montage will be correctly exposed.Assemble your finished prints. Overlap the pictures to cover the length and depth of the scene.
Controlling The Image - Introduction
Hints on how to make mats and choose frames.
Select a top mat color that is lighter that the bottom mat.Select a bottom mat color that draws attention to an object in the picture. Consider a bright color.Measure the amount of the photo that will show through the opening in the bottom mat. Then add to that number the width of the top, bottom, right, and left sides of the mat. This gives you the size of the glass and frame—the finished size. (A photo that is 7.5 inches X 9.5 inches with a border of matting 2 inches all around will have a finished size of 11.5 inches X 13.5 inches)
Choose a style that matches the picture: casual, elaborate, wood, or metal.Use special picture glass.Do not hang your photos in direct sunlight.
Controlling The Image - Photo Links
These links are intended to enrich member learning and not designed to substitute the information contained in the 4-H Photography books.