Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

Introduction to Digital Photography: Week 2

on January 24, 2012

In Week 1, we covered focus modes, depth of field, ISO and aperture, and we had a practice session. 

Week 2 began with our tutor going through our homework assignment and people talking about some of the photos they’d taken during the week. Our assignment was to take photos showing examples of ‘framing’ and upload them to the Facebook page. The week went by so quickly that I woke up on Friday morning thinking ‘Shit – I haven’t charged my battery and I haven’t done my homework.’ I charged the battery and started thinking about ‘framing’. I didn’t have very much to work with so I took some photos of Vinay instead:

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At the beginning of the class, we went through photos that some people had taken during the week. I think I’m going to have to take my camera with me whenever I leave the house because there’s not a lot to take photos of at home!

After that, our tutor started talking to us about shutter speed and how to use it – when to use a fast shutter speed and when to use a slower one. Some of the photos she showed us were incredible. One in particular was taken in the desert at night and the movement of the stars could be seen in the picture – they looked like comets. She said it was pitch black, there was no moon, and the shutter speed she used was 30 minutes. THIRTY MINUTES. The result was a red Martian-looking landscape with streaks in the sky. Stunning. 

We went outside, set up our tripods, and experimented with different shutter speeds. We were divided into two groups – one group taking photos and the other being the subjects. One person in the subject group had to stand still while the others walked around behind him.

This was taken at 1/60:

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This was taken at 1/15:

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This was taken at 1/5:

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This was taken at 1″:

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See how the people in the background get more and more blurry?

We then experimented with what happens when you turn the zoom as you take a photo. I didn’t even know you could do that! The effect is quite interesting:

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In the second half of the class, we had to put our chairs in a circle and each choose a book from a pile in the middle. We then had to go through our chosen book and find one photo that stood out for us and explain to everyone else why we liked it and how we thought they achieved it. Contrast, depth of focus, capture of movement, balance, exposure – it all came into the discussion. 

And then it was 6pm. My mum, sister and Vinay were at the mall so we took a cab home together. Thankfully there was no conversation with the driver.

When we got home I took a few more photos of Vinay. There is a bit of ‘noise’ (‘grain’) in the photos as I had to use a high ISO due to the lighting rather than use the flash:

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I’m getting there – slowly!

Read about weeks 1, 3 and 4.


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