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DSLR beginner – the concept

dslr-guide

Time to get on top of your DSLR?

There is a lot to handle and manage in the DSLR world. And the benefits are huge. You really become a composer of images and not just a snap-shooter surviving on instagram filters.

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Who decides – you or the wheel of fortune?

On the camera body there is a shooting mode dial with different letters and symbols. They all give you the opportunity to define crucial settings for your photography. Each preset mode controls a limited number of settings that you can control – the camera does the rest.

Popular settings among professionals are A Av and S Tv.

The most complicated setting is M. Here you need to master both shutter speed and aperture for every shot you take. Fast fingers and camera bodies with in your face control buttons are preferred with this setting.
The green rectangle, known as the panic button is very useful when you haven’t got time to decide how you’ll record you photo.

[tabs] [tab title=”Canon” icon=”entypo-book”]

B: Bulb mode. You control shutter speed. As long you press the button it records.

M: You control Shutter speed and Aperture, ISO and focus; – the rest is auto.

Av: You control Aperture, ISO and focus; – the rest is auto.

Tv: You control Shutter, and focus; – the rest is auto.

P: You control Point of focus, ISO; – the rest is auto.

Green square: Panic button. You don’t control anything; All is auto.

[/tab] [tab title=”Nikon” icon=”entypo-book”]

B: Bulb mode. You control shutter speed. As long you press the button it records. Bulb on Nikon comes by setting the shutter speed to B in either M or S mode. It pops up after the 30” as shutter speed.

M: You control Shutter speed and Aperture, ISO and focus; – the rest is auto.

A: You control Aperture, ISO and focus; – the rest is auto.

S: You control Shutter, and focus; – the rest is auto.

P: You control Point of focus, ISO; – the rest is auto.

Green square: Panic button. You don’t control anything; All is auto.

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[tab title=”Fuji” icon=”entypo-book”]

B: Bulb mode. You control shutter speed. As long you press the button it records. Bulb on Fuji comes by setting the shutter speed to B in M mode. It pops up after the 30” as shutter speed.

M: You control Shutter speed and Aperture, ISO and focus; – the rest is auto.

A: You control Aperture, ISO and focus; – the rest is auto.

S: You control Shutter, and focus; – the rest is auto.

P: You control Point of focus, ISO; – the rest is auto.

Green square: Panic button. You don’t control anything; All is auto.

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[tab title=”Sony” icon=”entypo-book”]
B: Bulb mode. You control shutter speed. As long you press the button it records. Bulb on Sony comes by setting the shutter speed to B in M mode. It pops up after the 30” as shutter speed.M: You control Shutter speed and Aperture, ISO and focus; – the rest is auto.A: You control Aperture, ISO and focus; – the rest is auto.S: You control Shutter, and focus; – the rest is auto.

P: You control Point of focus, ISO; – the rest is auto.

Green square: Panic button. You don’t control anything; All is auto.

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[tab title=”Pentax” icon=”entypo-book”]

B: Bulb mode. You control shutter speed. As long you press the button it records.

M: You control Shutter speed and Aperture, ISO and focus; – the rest is auto.

Av: You control Aperture, ISO and focus; – the rest is auto.

TAv: You control Aperture, Shutter and focus.

Sv: You control Point of focus, ISO; – the rest is auto.

Tv: You control Shutter, and focus; – the rest is auto.

P: You control Point of focus, ISO; – the rest is auto.

Green square: Panic button. You don’t control anything; All is auto.

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Your display –  control your camera’s vital stats

Your camera display has a wealth of information. Here is what’s really worth looking in to.

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RED: Less important settings. Typically more administrative parts that won’t spoil your day much.

YELLOW: Settings regarding exposure and color balance in your images.

GREEN: Important settings that decide motion, field of depth and the resulting exposure for your images.

Histogram – it’s all about exposure

Post shot previews show both the image and histogram (often requires activating in the camera settings) and can also highlight the under/over exposed parts of the image. It is cool ‘cause it immediately reveals the general exposure in the image.

Then you can immediately evaluate and consider to take another shot with better settings. That is if the image is either under or over exposed. [cml_media_alt id='4266']illustration-histogram[/cml_media_alt] The exposure slider on the display helps to sort out the lighting. Especially good when using different manual settings. Contrast is enhanced when the histogram contains relatively more information in the shadows and highlights compared to the midtones.

Fokusering – get the best bit sharp as a tack.

handy when autofocus doesn’t work due to i.e. low lightning conditions. You turn off autofocus on the lens e.g the button is usually abreviated to AF.

With autofocus you get to choose different focus points before you shoot. Often you’ll have have 9 or more points shown inside the viewfinder. Changing to one focal point might give to the ability to compose your photo better. If your subject is placed to the left, change to one of the focal points in the left side. Your camera body has either a button to change focal point or a joystick or small wheel.

The images above have 3 different focus areas. One with no focus at all. One with the Rabbit and Squirrel in focus and one with to dog in focus. Not all in the image is sharp due to field of depth, controlled by Aperture.

[tabs] [tab title=”One Shot” icon=”entypo-book”]

One Shot: Press the shutter button halfway down. Autofocus will blink red on the chosen points. Move the camera if you want to ”freeze” the focus but have a composition to one side. Or just press the button all the way to shoot immediately. Splendid for images where the subject doesn’t move.[/tab]

[tab title=”AI Servo” icon=”entypo-book”]

Moving Subjects (AI servo):
Press the shutter halfway down. The camera starts to focus continuously on the subject.  You’ll need to follow the subject in the viewfinder. Splendid for sports photography or when subjects are in constant motion.[/tab]

[tab title=”AI Focus” icon=”entypo-book”]

Automatic shift (AI focus):
The camera changes automatically between one-shot and servo. Nice for ready steady go photos (e.g. athletics). Or with a subject trying to escape.
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Use AI Focus as default.It’s the most automated setting and you might catch more in focus then.

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One or more shots per second?

[cml_media_alt id='4268']antal-billeder[/cml_media_alt]Set the camera to capture constantly when you hold the shutter button down. Then you will ensure to capture the bridal bucket flying or the bird leaving the tree.
Most cameras will capture 4-8 images per second in high quality. The party ends when you’re out of memory card or the camera buffer gets fed up.
A nice default is continuous shooting. Then you will always capture the escaping kid or animal with 117 images.

Delay or not to delay?

[cml_media_alt id='4269']tidsindstilling[/cml_media_alt]You may also capture images with delay. Often the camera has 2 settings for delayed shutter release. The 10 second option is very good when you as the photographer would like to be in the image. The 2 seconds option is for tripod photography (e.g. landscapes). This prevents micro shaking on the camera-tripod combo when you press the shutter button.

Master depth of field – the aperture

Let’s keep it simple. A low F number will give you a higher degree of a blurred background outside the focused area. Use a F2 and you will get really beautiful images with pin sharp motif and blurred foreground and background. That is why your point of focus comes in handy.

A high F value like 16 will give you detail throughout the image.
That’s perfect for landscapes.

The images above ara captured with F1.4 Shutter on 1/1000 and ISO 800. The models are not standing on a line. Red is closer to camere than blue who is closer to camera than green. With such a low F number the filed of depth is down to few centimers / inches. That is whe the surroundings become blurred. Or even the foreground. The image where everything is sharp is captured with a aaperture on 16. Field of depth is very dependent on how close the object you are and how far away the background is. With a different distance you can simulate the same images as above with a F4.

Depth of field depends on your distance to the subject and F number you use. So, a F on 4 can give you a blurred background. If the background is far away.

A F number on 2 lets a lot more light in.
A F number on 11 lets less light in.

Having an F number between 2-4 makes good sense for indoor photography and portraits.
Capturing images of buildings or landscapes a F on 11-16 makes good sense.

An F number halves or doubles the amount of light let in when you go up or down on the scale.

Shutter speed – freeze or flow?

Change the shutter speed when you want to freeze or have movement in your image. Like spinning wheels or running water or a water drop captured in motion.

It’s very important to be able to keep the camera calm for slow shutter speeds. Otherwise you’ll get shaken images. A tripod will come in handy here.

Most people are able to keep a camera still with a shutter on 1/40 sec. But are you the more vibrant type of person then 1/60-1/80 is probably more realistic.

Getting motion into the image relies on how fast you motif moves. There’s a big difference in spinning wheels on bikes or racing cars.

Are you capturing a tree in windy conditions you might want all the leaves to be sharp. Then you’ll need a fast shutter (like 1/1600sec) to freeze the movement of the leaves. Otherwise the tree crown might look slightly blurred.

  • A fast shutter on 1/2000 will freeze the subject
    • – fast shutter speeds reduce exposure
  • A slow shutter speed on 1/8 will capture movement.
    • – slow shutter speed give more exposure

Above images is examples on a moving robo insect that is constantly moving. How to capture it with motion or getting is sharp?

ISO – the sensitive grains.

Sensitivity of your camera to light is controlled by ISO. A value of ISO 50 will give little sensitivity to light where  values of 1600-6400 are highly sensitive to low light. Some cameras manage high ISO values with relatively low graininess, whilst other with ISO values greater than 800 goes very grainy.

[cml_media_alt id='4289']iso-light[/cml_media_alt] [cml_media_alt id='4288']iso-eksempler[/cml_media_alt] Click on the images to see them in a large and thus more detailed version.

Go figure out how grainy your ISO makes your images by taking similar test photo’s as above. Then you’ll know your camera much better! You need a high ISO for indoor where you want to capture ambient light without a flash. You may also choose to set the ISO value to auto on your camera. Then the ISO values will usually operate between 100-800 (depending on model) according to the lighting conditions.

  • The higher the ISO the grainier image.
  • Increasing ISO makes your camera more sensitive to light.

Whitebalance – neutral or?

Got yellow walls? Or are people a little to blue in their faces? Well, then the white balance is out of control. It’s measured in Kelvin. The scale goes from blueish at 2.000 K to warm at10.000 K. Daylight is around 5.500 K

If you like to enter the world of white balance you have several options to choose.
If you don’t see any major differences in your white balance just use AWB (Auto White Balance) – your camera figures it all out.

Are you more into a bit warmer pictures or do you want them to look more corporate? Then it’s time for you to decide temperature. And get to control the tone in your images. Start up by using some white balance presets on the camera. Browse through the different presets below and compare with the neutral image on top.

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Designer - Photographer - Adobe TrainerGrafisk TroldmandSpecialist i Photoshop, InDesign og Illustrator. Har en baggrund indenfor kunst og marketing. Skrevet bøger og lavet online videoer samt lavet seminarer for Adobe. Når der ikke undervises arbejder jeg med visuelt design på egen tegnestue. Adobe Certified Instructor Adobe Experience Expert