Shutter & Aperture Research & Demonstrations

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1 Camera Exercises ART-162 Winter 2013 version CX-162-CameraExercises-2013W.A3 Page 1 CX-2.1 Shutter & Aperture Research & Demonstrations 10 Explanations in part 2 are well done: submit written answers. 6 Photos in part 3 are effective demonstrations.: submit unedited digital files. Do the aperture demonstrations with an SLR camera see part 4 below. 1. Research shutter and aperture controls to discover how to use them to control sharpness and blur in your photographs. Sources: of Information: camera instructions, textbooks in the library, internet, photography magazines, experienced photographers, PDFs on the class server.. 2. Write answers to these questions: A. What, physically, is the shutter, what does it do? B. What, in addition to exposure, does it control? C. Explain panning. D. What, physically, is the aperture? E. What, in addition to exposure, does it control? F. What is Depth of Field? G. Give an example of an Aperture setting which gives a shallow depth of field. H. Does that Aperture give much or little exposure? I. Give an example of an Aperture setting which gives much depth of field. J. Does that Aperture give much or little exposure? 3. Demonstrate by making good photo examples: A. Frozen motion. Moving subject frozen or stopped by a short exposure. B. Flowing motion. Moving subject allowed to flow and blur during a long exposure. C. Panning. Follow a moving subject by swinging the camera, giving an un-blurred rendering of the moving subject against a motion-blurred background. D1. Extensive Depth of Field, yielding sharpness near and far, utilizing a small aperture (ideally f/16, f/22, or smaller), D2. plus same scene with wide (large) aperture giving much less DoF, i.e. more spatial blur. E. Isolation by Selective Sharpness (often mis-named selective focus ) Sharp subject stands out clearly against a soft, blurred background. 4. Special Requirement: You must do the aperture demonstrations with an SLR camera. If your camera is not one such, then borrow one from a friend, family, classmate, or use the photo class s camera. Why? Point-and-shoot cameras don t have a wide enough range of apertures to show off the effect their aperture adjustments are very limited. Hints: Correct Exposures: When adjusting either the shutter or aperture for the demonstration, you ll have to be sure the other is also adjusted, automatically or manually, to maintain correct exposure. Extreme Shutter Settings: Very likely you will have to find two situations one with bright light levels for the fast shots and another with dim levels for the slow shots. Your aperture range may not accommodate both shutter speeds at one scene. You may use high ISO speed to get the fast shutter, low ISO for the long exposure. Flowing Motion usually requires a tripod or other hands-off way of stabilizing the camera. Use self-timer delay to let the camera stabilize after you push the shutter release. Depth of Field: Be sure to have subjects close enough, as well as at distance, to make the effect obvious. Isolation by Selective Focus is most likely to succeed if done with a long focal length and a close subject.

2 Camera Exercises ART-162 Winter 2013 version CX-162-CameraExercises-2013W.A3 Page 2 CX-2.2 Light Atmosphere Variations 4 photos scene is constant same physical subjects and arrangement in all 4 photos viewpoint & lens zoom is constant direct sunlight shadows, from a certain direction. or similar with studio light. direct sunlight shadows, from a significantly direction, or similar with studio light overcast or fog, or super-soft studio light (see instructions below) night or backlighting, or studiobacklighting/rim lighting Do a series of photos designed to demonstrate to a beginner how dramatically the appearance of a subject can vary with changes in the lighting on it. The photograph is every bit as much about the light and shadow as it is about the subject. Select a subject which will not change physically while you complete the camera work, perhaps over several days. A house or building that is convenient to you works very well. Because of extended drizzly weather in the Columbia-Pacific, you will have to be very alert and responsive to opportunities to photograph in other kinds of light. Do not wait until it seems convenient for you. Natural Light Version Make the four pictures described below try each several times for best results. The camera position, lens setting, and framing must be the same every picture so make note of exactly where you stand or set the tripod. The concept? Your camera is mounted on a tripod and planted in place for the duration of the project. You touch only its shutter release. Ah, if only we could have a few days without bad weather, clumsy passersby, or thieves. 1. Direct, unclouded sunlight for hard-edged shadows. 2. As above, but with the sun from a significantly different direction. 3. Overcast or fog for enveloping softness, for a shadow-free subject. 4-A. Night-time, or, as appropriate to your subject, 4-B. back lighting which shines through the subject. Hint: It may be easiest to do this from home when you re there pretty much all day or all weekend and can run out for a moment to grab a shot when the sun is just right. It can be unbelievably hard to plan around or wait for our weather. Plan ahead depending on the season and on your daily hours of availability, east, south, or west faces may be best. Warning: Parked cars are not reliable design elements from one hour to the next, much less from one day to the next. Past successes are mentioned to stimulate your exploration you may do one of these, or a variation on one, or you may come up with something quite wonderful of your own: Photograph a particular building, from exactly the same viewpoint, at different times in the sun s journey through the sky, and under different skies. Photograph a tree in the different kinds of light, including the stained glass window effect of looking through the leaves towards the sun. You could do essentially the same thing photographing a person with long loose hair and thin, draping clothing. Studio Light Version Simulate the four of the natural lightings discussed above in the studio, and follow the requirements. Use a still life subject which has a good three-dimensional volumetric shape, some rough surface texture, and some shiny surfaces. Do not try this with a portrait subject people can t freeze into the exact same pose while you change the whole lighting setup. To simulate overcast lighting you will need a light tent a translucent diffusing white cloth to go over a frame around the subject. The cloth can totally scatter and reflect light. Or you can come close to this effect bringing two soft boxes in very close from opposite front sides. Arrange it so that from the subject parts as seen by the lens, in every direction there s either light source or reflecting white paper.

3 Camera Exercises ART-162 Winter 2013 version CX-162-CameraExercises-2013W.A3 Page 3 CX-2.3 Duets 1 photograph, presented digitally B&W may help consider it! Exactly two subjects competing for our attention No major distractions. There must be a strong visual relationship between the two. The picture will be stronger if there s an emotional interplay between them.

4 Camera Exercises ART-162 Winter 2013 version CX-162-CameraExercises-2013W.A3 Page 4 CX-2.4 Hi-Lo Vantages 2 unedited photographs, presented digitally Same subject Once from a low vantage point, looking up at it Once from a high vantage point, looking down on it. Find a subject you can photograph from a low vantage point looking up at the subject, and also from a high viewpoint looking down on it. For instance, compare a picture of a person made from your normal standing position to photographing from near the ground.

5 Camera Exercises ART-162 Winter 2013 version CX-162-CameraExercises-2013W.A3 Page 5 CX-2.5 Flash On Camera 7 photos as described below. Select the best photo for each of the shots edit out your inferior exposures, of which there may be many. present results digitally. Some photography is done with flash alone, other times flash and ambient light combine. The purpose of this assignment is to experience the nature of on-camera flash in its purest form, with little or no contribution from existing light. On-camera flash has several defining characteristics: Gives you light where there isn t enough. Exposure time is brief, so moving subjects are frozen in place. Illumination comes from near the lens, reaching into almost all visible areas except for characteristic black line shadows caused by the slight offset between flash and lens. Illumination falls off dramatically with increasing distance from camera and flash to subject. This makes it almost impossible to uniformly illuminate several rows of subject such as a group of people but is useful for isolating a subject from a cluttered background. Shiny surfaces reflect the flash back into the camera. Camera Flashes: You can work with either the camera s built-in flash or a larger unit which attaches to the hot shoe on top of your camera. Most SLRs will do this assignment, most point-and-shoots will not. The college s camera is available for you to use. The darker the room or outside the better your demonstrations will be. Ambient light contaminates the effects you are experiencing and demonstrating. Manual Mode & Histogram Metering: Use a manual mode for shutter and aperture settings. Set your camera for the fastest shutter speed which will synchronize with the shutter., such as 1/200 second. For each shot, you will have to experiment to find the best aperture use histogram metering paying attention to highlights and midtones, accepting that there may be many black pixels. Assignment, using flash for all photos except 3B: 1.Reflections. 1A. Photograph straight into a mirror. Looking through the viewfinder, be sure you can see the flash unit in the mirror. 1B. Step to the side far enough that you can t see the camera in the mirror and then take another step and aim at the same spot in the mirror, but from an angle. 2. Illumination Fall-off. Photograph a subject which stretches out a long distance from you, such as a long sidewalk or picket fence. There must not be any reflective wall (or anything else to bounce much light back) at the end. Sometimes an interior hallway can meet this requirement. Note how the brightness fades with distance. The scene must be dark or dimly lit before you provide flash flash must be the dominant light making your exposure. 3. Isolation by Flash works best with distinct physical separation of subject and background. 3A. With flash. Photograph a subject in front of a very cluttered background. The subject should be no more than half way from your flash to the background the more distance from subject to background, the better. 3B. Without flash. Turn the camera to Program mode, repeat the shot above. 4 Indirect (Bounce) Flash works best with distinct physical separation of subject and background. 4A. Bounce Flash. Use a white cardboard to send the flash up to the ceiling instead of directly on the subject. (An externally mounted flash unit usually has an option of being pointed up.) Photograph a person s head, showing their face. 4B. Repeat the portrait above, but using direct, not bounced, flash.

6 Camera Exercises ART-162 Winter 2013 version CX-162-CameraExercises-2013W.A3 Page 6 CX-2.6 Internal Framing 1 photograph, presented digitally nearby subjects provide a pleasing frame which you look past to see the primary subject of interest. Occasionally looking through or past a near subject to a far one can enhance a viewer s sense of being present to the scene, at least in their imagination. It s a feeling of being able to reach out and touch, or to walk into, the foreground. There s also a special pleasure in getting a peek at a distant scene through a gap in an obscuring foreground. Make such a photograph.

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