PictureCorrect.Com – Metering and Exposure: Introduction

Metering and Exposure: Introduction

A camera’s metering mode generally refers to the way the camera itself decides which is the correct exposure for a picture. A cameras metering system is the brains behind how your camera determines the shutter speed and aperture, based on lighting conditions and ISO speed; in-camera metering is standardized based on the luminance of light which would be reflected from an object appearing as middle gray.

Today, digital cameras users have the ability to choose and adjust the wide range of metering mode, or how the camera measures the brightness of the subject. Understanding these can improve one’s photographic intuition for how a camera measures light.

Here is a brief introduction to the most common metering modes available.

"Untitled" captured by Alexei Jurchenko. (Click image to see more from Alexei Jurchenko.)

“Untitled” captured by Alexei Jurchenko. (Click image to see more from Alexei Jurchenko.)

Spot metering:

Spot metering takes a reading from a very small part of the image and ignores the exposure of the rest of the scene.

  • About 1 – 5% view finder area is measured.
  • The readings are usually taken from very centre of the scene.
  • This method of metering is very accurate.
  • Spot metering is usually used very high contrast scenes.

Center-weighted average metering:

Here a metering is taken from the whole of the scene first, then the central spot an average reading is then calculated.

  • 60 to 80% view finder area measured.
  • It is usually possible to adjust the weight/balance of the central portion to the peripheral one.
  • Less influenced by small areas that vary greatly in brightness at the edges of the viewfinder, more consistent results can be obtained

Average metering:

  • Light information comes from the entire scene and is averaged for the final exposure setting.
  • No weighting to any particular portion of the metered area.

Partial metering:

This is most common in Canon cameras.

  • 10-15% of the view finder area is measured.
  • Partial metering is used when very bright or very dark areas on the edges of the frame would otherwise influence the metering unduly
  • Partial metering is found mostly on Canon cameras.

"Baby Tiger" captured by Lilia Tkachenko. (Click image to see more from Lilia Tkachenko.)

“Baby Tiger” captured by Lilia Tkachenko. (Click image to see more from Lilia Tkachenko.)

Multi-zone metering:

A type of metering first introduced by the Nikon, zone is a type of metering which takes readings from several different areas – or zones – within the scene to produce a calculated average.

  • Also called Evaluative/Matrix (Nikon), Evaluative (Canon). This is the default/standard metering setting on a number of cameras.
  • Light intensity measures from several points in the scene, and then combined to find the settings for the best exposure.
  • The idea behind multi-zone metering is to reduce the need to use exposure compensation

About the Author:
Chas Demain writes for creativeslrphotography dot com, a digital photography site.

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PictureCorrect.Com – Must-Have Equipment for Professional Wedding Photographers

Must-Have Equipment for Professional Wedding Photographers

When it comes to taking professional quality wedding images the lens is much more important than the camera body itself. This doesn’t mean get the cheapest camera body that you can find, if you’re on a tight budget and you can’t afford to go full-frame, you should consider getting a semi-professional camera such as the Nikon D300. This article outlines different equipment used in wedding photography and the reasons why they are so important to have in your bag.

"Bride" captured by Alyona Arnautova. (Click image to see more from Alyona Arnautova.)

“Bride” captured by Alyona Arnautova. (Click image to see more from Alyona Arnautova.)

When you are responsible for documenting such an important day as someone’s wedding day, there is no excuse for cheap equipment, this simply won’t get the job done for the level of quality that is required, remember they will look back at these images throughout their entire lives! They’re investing a lot of money in your services as a wedding photographer, so don’t rip them off by using the cheap amateur equipment.

If you initially can’t afford to buy that 24-70mm zoom lens or that professional body outright, then rent it! Most professional photography stores have a rental department. This is a great way to cut back on your outgoings while still providing a high quality service. This will help boost your reputation for the future, and help you save towards that professional camera you have been drooling over. Figure out the best rental arrangement for you. You can save money if you hire it for a few days in a row, this isn’t a bad idea to hire it for an extra few days before the wedding day, so that you can master all of its settings, if you are proficient in using your camera this will boost your confidence on the day. Try to practice when there is no- one else is around, don’t leave it till the actual day remember you’ll be under pressure on the day, and It doesn’t look good when you are fiddling with your equipment and the couple is waiting on you, they are paying for your time. Another thing I would recommend is mastering manual use of your camera, this is so you can create images how you intended them to be. If you want to underexpose slightly to shoot a nice silhouette shot you won’t be able to if its in auto mode, as it automatically balances out the exposure.

Lenses with a wide apertures of f/2.8 up to as wide as f/1.4 or more are extremely valuable for weddings. These wide apertures enable you to use more available light, think about how dimply lit a church or reception hall can be. You don’t want to risk having to boost your ISO so much that you lose too many details. So remember that big apertures are a strong tool for the wedding photographer. Another great benefit of using wide aperture lenses is not having to fire a flash. I wouldn’t recommend shooting with a flash in the ceremony itself, its a very special moment for them so show them some respect. A lot of brides specifically request no flash in the ceremony or the location might have restrictions for flash photography. If you must use flash in the ceremony its always polite to ask the venue and bride just to be sure. I also see a lot of photographers firing a flash directly into a someones face which isn’t very flattering, there is normally always a surface around that you can bounce your flash from, using a white ceiling or wall to act as a giant soft box which creates a much better quality of diffused light. Although its best to try to use the available light as much as you can.

A lot of photographers prefer to carry only zoom lenses in their bag, this saves a lot of running around to position for their shot. I prefer with work with mostly primes, as prime lenses are available in wider apertures the end result is the subject appears much better separated from the background, this enables you to draw your viewers eye. This method of photography makes it easier for you to tell a story with your images. It creates more powerful images with minimal distractions.

For wedding photography lenses I would recommend covering a focal length from 24-200mm. 24mm is wide enough to provide expansive views of the ceremony and reception, and 200mm has enough reach to get a nice closeup of the bride or groom from the back of the church.

"Flare Dream" captured by   Alyona Arnautova. (Click image to see more from  Alyona Arnautova.)

“Flare Dream” captured by Alyona Arnautova. (Click image to see more from Alyona Arnautova.)

Here are some different types of lenses used in wedding photography.

Wide-Angle lens

The wide-angle length typically covers focal lengths between 10-24mm. This lens is very important when it comes to wedding photography. They are wide enough to show the entire view of the church or ceremony location, wide-angle lenses also make it possible to photograph in confined spaces, such as the bride’s dressing room or a packed dance floor. The wide perspective creates a sense of expansiveness and grandeur by showing the entire church or ceremony location. Wide angle lenses on a full frame body provide the best results, if you have a cropped sensor keep in mind that a 10-20mm lens will give a similar view to a 24mm on a full frame body.

Wide-to-Telephoto Zoom

The wide-to-telephoto lens such as the 24-70mm or 17-55mm are considered the most important lenses for wedding photography. They are wide enough to take a group photographs, and also three quarter length portraits, if you had to choose just one lens to shoot an entire wedding this would provide you with the best coverage.

Image-Stabilized Telephoto Zoom

Telephoto zoom lenses have a focal length of 70-200mm. If your style of wedding photography is an unobtrusive, photojournalistic style, then this is the lens for you. Its a great for ceremony’s, as you don’t want to be in the way of the guests, you can still get a great portrait shot of the bride and groom at the altar from the very back of the church. You can also capture the bridesmaids or groomsmen as a group without having to swap lenses.

The f/2.8 maximum aperture of these lenses gives you the option of narrowing the depth of field, keeping the viewer’s attention on the in-focus subject while blurring the background, and the Image-Stabilization mechanism will give you razor sharp images when taking shots fully zoomed in and taken by hand. The only downside to these great lenses is that they aren’t cheap by any means.

"Wed" captured by Olesia Kliots. (Click image to see more from Olesia Kliots.)

“Wed” captured by Olesia Kliots. (Click image to see more from Olesia Kliots.)

Prime Lenses

I love working with wide aperture primes, they give a beautiful depth of field and an advantage when working with available light. You can shoot at f/1.4, which will cover even some of the darkest areas. Here are some popular prime lenses on the market.

  • 24mm f/1.4 This lens was recently released by Nikon. It is an amazing lens, you can take great venue and ceremony shots, even though it is a wide angle lens you can still manage to get subject separation from the background and great quality ‘bokeh’ out of focus areas at an aperture of 1.4.
  • 50mm f/1.4 An affordable lens. This lens is great for the bridal preparation shots, and detail shots such as bouquet, rings, shoes etc. It also covers closeup portraits, and small group shots.
  • 85mm f/1.4 This is the classic focal length for portraits. It also provides a beautiful and creamy quality of ‘Bokeh’, which is how the out of focus areas appear.

These lenses perform at their best on a full-frame body, although you can still produce some great images on a small sensor camera. As I said before, the if you had to choose between getting a new camera body or a professional lens of the same value, I would recommend the lens hands down. You will notice a much bigger difference in the quality of your images.

A good combination of lenses for a wedding is a couple of fast primes such as a 24mm and an 85mm, and a 70-200 telephoto-zoom lens. The 24mm covers you for expansive venue and ceremony photos, and group photos. The 85mm produces great quality portraits and couple shots, and the 70-700 will give you the speed and length that you need for great candid photography, and ceremony shots at the altar and coming down the isle.

You might also consider getting a quality macro lens for amazing detail shots like wedding rings etc. 105mm is a good option.

"Sunset Bride" captured by Julius Sabelino. (Click image to see more from Julius Sabelino.)

“Sunset Bride” captured by Julius Sabelino. (Click image to see more from Julius Sabelino.)

If you carry all of these lenses in your kit you will be able to capture the day at its best. Of course you need to have an eye for photography and many will argue that its not the equipment its the photographer which is true, the reason I express that professional lenses are such a valuable part to carry in your kit, is solely for the image quality. These lenses will make a big difference as to how professional your portfolio appears to viewers.

Camera body

There are many advantages in carrying a professional camera body. Some of the main benefits are high ISO capabilities which will give you a higher shutter speed in low light situations, and some full frame cameras feature incredibly high megapixels such as the Nikon D3x, which is great if you get a lot of orders for larger wedding prints. For wedding photography I would say that a high ISO camera like the Nikon D3s is more beneficial, having this capability means that you will be able to capture every moment in any lighting situation without fail, and without having to constantly work with flash. Carrying a professional body for wedding photography also means higher shutter speeds, enhanced colour replication, quicker menu access using dials instead of buttons, and of course the benefits of a full frame sensor. Other benefits include wider range of view, reduced image noise, reduced lens distortion. Small sensors have a 1.5 ratio crop factor which artificially magnifies an image. The downside is that this magnification brings out all of the flaws in the lens, but there is a also a big advantage in having a 1.5 crop sensor. When you attach a professional full frame lenses you can potentially get the equivalent of a 400mm lens from a 200mm lens. A professional 400mm lens can cost you upwards of 8k.

When photographing a wedding, I cannot express how important it is to carry a backup camera. If you are unable to afford a full frame camera as a backup, a small sensor body will do nicely. Or considering hiring a backup camera.

Flashes and Accessories

"The Hillside" captured by Jason Lavengood. (Click image to see more from Jason Lavengood.)

“The Hillside” captured by Jason Lavengood. (Click image to see more from Jason Lavengood.)

Another important thing to consider with wedding photography is carrying an off camera flash. Whether it is on a stand or held by an assistant, you need to be very fast in putting it all together, its a good idea to practice the controls as home, and do plenty of testing so that when it comes the day itself you don’t have the bride and groom waiting on you. Speedlights with TTL in combination with wireless remotes such as pocketwizards are a good option. Speedlights are very portable, although don’t provide as much output as studio monolights. When using pocketwizard remotes you can attach 3 or more speed lights. They are triggered via a radio transmitter, this means that they don’t need to be in line of sight to your on camera transmitter/ reciever, so you can put one inside a building or around a corner for example and it will still fire via the remote. Its a very powerful tool but takes a lot of practice to master well. When considering a speed light you should make sure that it has a rotating the flash head. This is so that you can also use it as an on camera bounce flash, to bounce off ceilings etc.

An important accessory to carry when working with off camera flashes are diffusers such as soft boxes or umbrellas. I find soft boxes to be much better when it comes to location shooting as umbrellas blow over with the slightest gust of wind, you can get sandbags for them but this means its just more weight that you’ll be carrying throughout the day which just isn’t practical. You want to streamline your equipment as much as you can. Working with a small portable soft box that you can carry off camera is a good solution. Ideally you should have an assistant hold this for you, or use a flash stand. A single properly executed off camera flash with diffuser is more than enough to provide stunning couple portraits with a beautiful quality of light, that softly highlights them and ‘pops’ the subject from their background which creates a more dynamic image, this is a particular advantage when the weather doesn’t cooperate. You can still create great images when its a miserable and dreary day.

You can get great shots using just a single off camera flash, although you need to have perfect placement. Consider using 2 or 3 flashes. You can create so many great effects with off camera flash, including rim lighting, and highlighting different surfaces as well as the subject, there are also flash gels that you put over the flash head to output different colours like red or blue, flash gels are also used to balance the flash with ambient light, such as tungsten or flouresent.

"Untitled" captured by Evgeniy Lyaschuk. (Click image to see more from Evgeniy Lyaschuk.)

“Untitled” captured by Evgeniy Lyaschuk. (Click image to see more from Evgeniy Lyaschuk.)

Camera bag/jacket

Consider a bag with wheels. Doing wedding photography is hard work, it doesn’t help when you are hauling heavy gear with around with you. You want to make this as easy on you as possible so you can focus on the job at hand. Camera jackets are a great solution, all of your lenses are readily available to you anywhere you go, you can fit up to 4 lenses in a single jacket!

With wedding photography you need to be confident and full of ideas on the day. So you need to make sure you know your equipment like the back of your hand before you take on the job of photographing someones wedding day. Take plenty of time to practice your new equipment and read the instruction manuals carefully beforehand so that on the actual day you are quick and ready to capture all of the special moments as they unfold.

About the Author:
Melissa Fiene is a wedding photographer based in Sydney Australia. To view her work please visit http://www.melissafiene.com. She produces high quality images, providing contemporary, and natural style wedding photography.

For Further Training on Wedding Photography:

Check out Simple Wedding Photography, it covers everything you need to know to photograph a wedding and the business behind it. From diagrams of where you should stand throughout the ceremony to advice on all the final deliverables to the client. This 200 page ebook will be useful to wedding photographers of any experience level. It also carries a 60 day guarantee, so there is no risk in trying it.

It can be found here: Simple Wedding Photography Guide

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PictureCorrect.Com – Capturing Motion with Slow Shutter Speeds

Capturing Motion with Slow Shutter Speeds

A digital SLR camera gives you the power to capture some amazing effects, once you know how to use it. You can develop all the skills of a professional once you understand your manual settings.

If you have grown up with a ‘point and shoot’ camera and have just taken the plunge with a new digital SLR, don’t just leave it on auto. That is a waste of good technology; it means you are still using your equipment as a point and shoot camera. The key to improving your photography is to learn to use your manual settings.

"The chat" captured by Alberto Roseo

“The chat” captured by Alberto Roseo (Click Image to Find Photographer)

One of these settings is Shutter Speed. It is fun to experiment with and easy to see the results in your photos. Although we usually try to freeze our subject with the fastest shutter speed possible, you can get some great effects by using a slower shutter speed to capture movement effects.

To try this out, you can set your camera to Shutter Priority, in which case you can set the shutter speed and the camera will take care of the aperture for you. Or, you can go to fully manual and adjust both settings yourself. Just remember to keep your exposure balanced by compensating each movement in the shutter speed setting with a corresponding movement of the aperture setting.

Remember to always use a tripod for slow shutter speed photos.

Here are five ideas for great capturing great motion effects, simply by slowing down your shutter speed to capture the movement of the subject. If you haven’t tried this before, you will have some fun and be thrilled with the results.

Slow Shutter Speed Subject #1. Waterfalls. This is the obvious first choice. You have certainly seen the silky effects of flowing water in photos, but perhaps you have wondered how it is done. Just set your camera to a very slow speed; about one second or a half-second, and see the results. The silky slow-movement effect is not always your best option. For each waterfall you should try a few shutter speeds to see which one works best for that particular subject.

"San Francisco Airport" captured by Marion Wilson

“San Francisco Airport” captured by Marion Wilson (Click Image to Find Photographer)

Slow Shutter Speed Subject #2. Cars at night. When doing night photography, you usually need fairly slow shutter speeds anyway. If you try shutter speeds of one second, two seconds, ten seconds, and even longer, you will see some amazing results. The lights of the vehicles will create streams of bright colour, stretching away into the distance. The more traffic you see, the more remarkable the effect can become.

Slow Shutter Speed Subject #3. Lightning. People often ask me how I take my lightning photos. Some people imagine it takes superhuman reflexes to snap the picture at just the right moment. The truth is, my approach is exactly the opposite.

First, I wait for a storm (at night) with lots of lightning; in particular, fork lightning that will appear well defined in a photo. I set the shutter to the ‘B’ setting, which lets me open the shutter for any length of time I choose. Then I wait for the lightning to flash. I can capture just one flash of lightning, or several flashes, just by leaving the shutter open for longer.

Slow Shutter Speed Subject #4. Waves. The movement effect of water in a waterfall can also be applied at the beach, although you don’t see it so often in photography. When you visit the beach, experiment with different shutter speeds. Sometimes you will find that soft movement effects are just as satisfying as freezing everything with a fast shutter speed.

"cycling-in-the-quarry" captured by Matt Sillence

“cycling-in-the-quarry” captured by Matt Sillence (Click Image to Find Photographer)

The misty appearance of fast moving water captured with slow shutter speeds can be most effective where waves are crashing over, or swirling around rocks.

Slow Shutter Speed Subject #5. Crowds Of People. A crowd of people moving in different directions can create a fascinating motion effect in a photo. You don’t need extremely slow shutter speeds to capture some nice results. Photos taken around 1/4sec will show substantial blurring, but of course you can exaggerate the effect by going even slower.

For a really impressive image, have a friend stand very still, while everyone around them is moving. Your subject will appear frozen in a sea of moving humanity. Very striking!

So there you have some experiments to go out and try yourself. If you haven’t done it before, you are bound to have fun and be excited by the results. And of course it will force you to get to know your camera a little better, which is guaranteed to make you a better photographer.

About the Author:
Andrew Goodall writes for http://www.naturesimage.com.au and is a nature photographer based in Australia. He manages a gallery in Montville full of landscape photography from throughout Australia.

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PictureCorrect.Com – Flash Photography Tips

Flash Photography Tips

Flash photography is the use of a camera flash bulb in a variety of possible situations where there doesn’t seem to be enough light. The most common use of flash photography is group portraits at gatherings where there is not enough light to take a satisfactory exposure.

flash photography tips

“Tim and Becks Proctor” captured by Simon Burt (Click Image to See More From Simon Burt)

But there are many other situations where the flash could be used such as: fill-flash situations when the background is brighter than the subject, using the flash to light up a room and creating better coloring, or using the flash to freeze a moving object in a dark situation.

Indoor Flash Photography

In typical indoor situations there will probably not be enough light to take a normal hand-held well-exposed photo. There are many indoor flash photo opportunities you may be faced with. You may want to cast light on a group of people for a portrait photo. You may want to throw light into a room for an architectural photo. Or you may just want to cast light on certain objects in a lighted room that appears too dark for an exposure.

If your camera’s auto-exposure settings say that the photo would require a shutter speed slower than 1/60 of a second then you probably shouldn’t hand-hold the camera or the photo would come out blurry. The reason it would come out blurry is because the shutter would be open long enough for any minor hand shake to distort the composition. The use of a tripod or faster film will probably be needed but many of us do not regularly carry a tripod. Most photographers simply use their flash bulb when they are inside.

indoor flash photography

“on the couch” captured by Jason Lavengood (Click Image to See More From Jason Lavengood)

In order to take effective indoor flash photos there are some techniques you should keep in mind. When using the flash do not point it directly at a mirror or glass that will create a lens flare or just ruin the photo. Stand close enough to your subjects so the flash is actually effective (four to ten feet). Try to make sure your main subjects are about the same distance away from the flash as each other or some that are closer to the flash will appear brighter than ones that are farther away.

Fill Flash Situations

Fill flash fills in the areas of a photo that would normally appear too dark. Fill flash can be used for sunny day portraits for shadows on a subject’s face or to fill any shaded area that is out of the sunlight. Fill flash can also be used to cast light into a room where there are no windows. Fill in flash is ideal for back-lit and side-lit situations. In a backlit situation there will be a lot of light in the background but no or little light cast on the front of the subject.

This would normally create somewhat of a silhouette effect, but with a fill flash it would balance the photo nicely. But in order for this technique to work, you must be careful to stay in flash range which is usually around four to ten feet. With common cameras in order to add fill flash to a photo just toggle the flash to go off when it normally would not be needed.

types of flash photography

“Limedrop” captured by Paul Greene-Taylor (Click Image to See More From Paul Taylor)

Other Types of Flash

Many newer cameras now have a red-eye reduction mode where the flash may fire before the picture is taken in order to cause the subjects’ pupils to contract. The red-eye reduction modes in newer cameras are surprisingly effective and many work in different ways to contract pupils.

A slow sync flash is for more complicated exposures and is used commonly to create blurry long exposures. The flash fires at the beginning of the exposure, but the shutter still stays open for a moment after the flash has fired. This can freeze a car at dusk and create a blurry streak in the cars path. Or the slow sync flash could capture a sunset and freeze a closer subject that is moving through the frame. There are countless situations where a slow sync flash could possibly be used to enhance an exposure. There are also other versions of the sync flash such as the rear sync flash (where the flash fires at the end of an exposure) or the stroboscopic flash (where the flash fires multiple times throughout an exposure).

Many photographers also choose to bounce the flash off a wall or ceiling to get a softer diffused kind of light commonly sought after for portraits. This kind of flash technique requires a flash that can be aimed in a direction that the camera is not pointed. It takes practice to refine this technique but many professionals come to use this method almost exclusively.

Conclusion

Practice using flash in your photos even when it is not necessarily needed and pay attention to your results. The best way to become better at flash photography is to analyze your photos and try to figure out what you could have done differently in order to create a better flash-filled exposure.

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Copyright © 2003-2013 PictureCorrect, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

PictureCorrect.Com – P Mode on Digital SLR Cameras

P Mode on Digital SLR Cameras

It seems that some folks are determined to make photography more difficult than it has to be. You might hear some photographers say, “I only shoot using the manual exposure mode” while others might say, “I only use the Aperture or Shutter Priority exposure mode”.

That is fine and well for those who understand the basics of camera exposures. It is also great to use those shooting modes when a change of the lens aperture opening and/or shutter speed setting will give better results for an image. But, is it really necessary to fumble with exposure controls for every shot? No, not really. That is why all cameras have Automatic Shooting Modes. Pictures taken using the automatic mode will generally come out pretty good. When you use the automatic mode, the camera will choose just about every setting for you to get a proper exposure; however, there are times when changing certain camera settings will produce a better image. Unfortunately, those settings cannot be changed when you are shooting in the automatic mode.

“The Photographer” captured by Jan Maklak. (Click image to see more from Jan Maklak.)

What Is Program Mode?

Let me introduce you to the Program mode. The Program or “P” mode is similar to your camera’s automatic mode because it will automatically set a proper exposure value for your shot. (as far as the lens aperture opening and shutter speed).

What makes using the Program mode different than shooting in automatic is that you will have control over most camera settings while the camera chooses the best exposure values. The settings that you will be able to control in the Program mode will include the ISO, light metering, focusing, and flash settings.

Every Digital SLR camera and Mirrorless camera has a “P” mode setting. However, most basic compact cameras won’t have a program mode

So, the Program mode is good for learning how to use different camera settings without having to worry about obtaining the proper exposure as well. You can use The Program mode for spur of the moment shots without messing up too many pictures due to bad exposure settings. You can always experiment with manual settings when getting the shot exactly “right” is not critical.

Take note that the lens aperture and shutter speed settings can be controlled to an extent in the “P” Program Shift mode. We will discuss that a little more in just a bit.

“Becoming Photographer” captured by Christian Minuc. (Click image to see more from Christian Minuc.)

When To Use Program Mode

But first, let’s take a look at a couple of picture taking situations when the Program mode can be useful. Let’s say you are taking pictures of a scene with very bright as well as dark shaded areas. Sometimes in a situation like that, your camera’s light meter can be fooled and produce an underexposed or overexposed image.

If you are using the program mode you can set your camera to Spot Metering and read the light from a small area rather than reading the light from the overall scene. That will give you a proper exposure for the part of the scene or subject that you think is the most important. (the camera will set the exposure values) You would not be able to use spot metering if you were shooting in the automatic mode.

Here is another scenario in which the program mode can be useful. Let’s say your camera is set to a focusing mode that covers a wide area of the scene you are viewing. If you are trying to take a picture of a flower that is close to other flowers or leaves, the camera might focus on the wrong flower.

That’s not a big problem if you are in the program mode. Just change your camera’s focusing mode so that it zeros in on the exact area that you want to be in focus. Once again, you would not be able to perform this function if you were using the automatic mode.

“New” captured by Nate Pliskin. (Click image to see more from Nate Pliskin.)

So, the point is that just about any camera setting that you may use in the manual mode can be used in the program mode. Once again, remember that the lens aperture and shutter speed are automatically set for you when you use the P mode.

Fine Tuning Program Mode

As previously mentioned, the aperture and shutter speed can also be adjusted somewhat in the P mode. For example, once you compose a picture and press the shutter half way down, you will be able to see the lens aperture and shutter speed the camera has chosen on the LCD screen. If you think the shutter speed might be too slow, there will be a dial on the camera that you can rotate or a button to press to change the shutter speed.

(This will be called using the Program Shift or Flexible mode. It is part of the regular Program mode. Check your camera’s instruction manual for more precise instructions)

What will happen once you change the shutter speed is that the aperture will be changed accordingly to maintain a correct exposure. If it is the aperture setting you want to change, just move the dial or button in the opposite direction. You will be able to choose the aperture setting you want and the camera will set the shutter speed for a proper exposure.

Some will say that the same type adjustment can be done using the aperture or shutter priority modes. That is very true. But again, one of the main reasons to use the Program mode is so that you don’t have to worry about setting apertures or shutter speeds. However, it is good to have the option of quickly adjusting them in the Program mode if you choose to do so.

While using the Program mode can be very useful, it is also a good idea to learn how to use the Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual modes as well. Eventually you will figure out which one might be your first choice.

About the Author:
If you need to learn more about the Camera Lens Aperture, the Camera Shutter, and ISO, feel free to visithttp://easybasicphotography.com/Camera-Exposure-basics. There are plenty of other photography tips and topics at the site to help you better understand the basics of photography.
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Copyright © 2003-2013 PictureCorrect, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

PictureCorrect.Com – How to Avoid Blurry Photos

How to Avoid Blurry Photos

I’ve heard too many new photographers telling me that they were often frustrated with blurry photographs being captured. They did not know what the reasons were, nor were they able to resolve this issue effectively.

We always understand that knowing the source a of problem can help in problem solving. In this article, I am going to share with you some key reasons that cause blurry photographs. After helping you better understand the problem, I will go on to share how to capture sharp photographs like a professional photographer.

“***” captured by Serjio. (Click image to see more from Serjio.)

Focus Settings:

One of the common reasons for blurry photographs is having a wrong focusing point. It is important that you know exactly where to focus before composing the frame and pressing the shutter button. For example, when photographing portraits, professional photographs will typically focus on the model’s eyes. It is very important that your model’s eyes are sharp and in focus in the photographs. This is especially so if you are using a wide aperture where depth of field is shallow.

Instead of using matrix focusing, 51 point focusing or other fanciful technology, I strongly recommend using single point focus. It must be the photographer telling the camera where to focus, rather than having the camera make this important decision for us.

Although technology advances in leaps and bounds, a camera’s intelligence is still unable to read a human’s mind. The camera will not know exactly where or which area in the frame we want to focus on. Therefore, always reserve the rights to make this important decision yourself.

Setting a Fast Enough Shutter Speed:

Another key reason causing blurry photographs is having a shutter speed that is too slow. A slow shutter speed will likely cause “camera shake”, especially when you are holding the camera without any sturdy support.

The general rule of thumb to prevent “camera shake”, is to have the denominator of the shutter speed 1.5 times greater than the focal length. In other words, if your focal length is 50mm, your shutter speed shall be at least 1/80 seconds to avoid blurry photographs. If your focal length is at 100mm, your shutter speed shall be at 1/160 seconds or faster.

Using a Tripod:

The other get around is using a tripod for enhanced stability. This technique is good for landscape photography or photographing static objects. Pressing the shutter button may potentially cause “camera shake” too. As such, it is a good habit to use a remote shutter or camera’s self-timer when your camera is mounted on a tripod.

“Macro” captured by Trek. (Click image to see more from Trek.)

Firmly Holding the Camera:

When not using a tripod, ensure you are holding your camera using the correct technique. If you are holding your camera to shoot, your left hand acts as a support and your right hand serves to adjust the settings and press the shutter button.

With the above information, I am sure you now understand who the main culprits for blurry photographs are. More importantly, you know how to resolve the problem. With that, what are you waiting for? Grab your camera, start shooting, and have fun!

About the Author:
Yong Sak is a passionate Singapore Freelance Photographer who enjoys taking photographs and sharing his knowledge on photography. He owns a Photography Portal which houses many Basic Photography Fundamentals which are essentials for those who are new to photography and are hungry for more information.
Go to full article: How to Avoid Blurry Photos

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

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