Quarter 1: Technical Aspects of Photography

The Camera: The Digital Single Lens Reflex(DSLR)

For this class we will be using the DSLR camera as it provides the best image quality, allows adjustments to aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, as well as interchangable lenses.

The Camera Lingo: Explaingin what all this means...

The Big Three: Aperture, Shutter Speed, Iso

Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO work together to determine how much light hits your sensor. They each also control a different aspect of how light is captured. However, adjusting one also effects the others and vice versa.


Aperture: Aperture (AV) determines how much light is let in. Think of Aperture like a big club bouncer, it decides how many people in line get in. It also determines the Depth of Focus, the lower the aperture # the more background blur that can be achieved.

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More Examples!

Shutter Speed: Shutter speed (TV) determines how long light is let in for. Think of it like a door in a dark room the setting is how long the door is open for. Because shutter speed is timed it is written in seconds (3" = 3 seconds) or more commnonly fractions of seconds (1/100 = one hundreth of a second). The faster the shutter speed the faster the camera can capture motion. Shutter speed is essential for capturing moving subjects!Longer shutter speeds can also be used to create cool effects with light and water.

Shutter Speed

ISO: ISO is how senstive the sensor (or film) is to light the lower the number the less senstive, the higher the number the more senstive. A high ISO is highly senstive to light and can help get good pictures in dark areas, however this comes at a cost. The higher the ISO the more distorted the picture gets, the bigger the picture is printed the more obvious this becomes. In digital images these distortions look really bad. The lower the ISO the more creamy and sharp the picture becomes.


Working Together

Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO work together and the combination results in an Exposure (EV). This exposure can be too light, too dark, or just right.


You cannot adjust one of the big three without effecting the others.


For example if you increase the shutter speed to be really fast the camera (in TV mode) will try to use the widest aperture setting to get the correct amount of light.


Similiarly, if you use a narrow aperture (f/22) the shutter speed will try to adjust to give the camera more time to take the picture for the correct lighting.


Setting the ISO really low (100) will make it more difficult for the camera to find the right settings in dark places but will also give you the best quality pictures.


Basically it is a balancing act with the big three!