In the last article (Basics of Digital Photography Part I) we gave you the preliminary information about all the aspects of photography like basic information, types of digital cameras used in photography or the type of photographs. Now we go in detail and this article will make you learn about the various attributes of photography, having photographer’s vision and other measures important to take good photographs.
Well the first question that comes in mind is how to take good photographs? We all try to capture the best images but how they turn to just snapshots is the point of discussion. To take good photographs you need to have a photographer’s vision. For any professional photographer there are two keys of success. One is light and the other is composition. Light is the most basic element for any photograph and taking out the good light from the bad light is the art of photography.
The other key is composition. Composition is the flow and the order to a photograph, establishing a subject and a background and using good photographic techniques to lead the viewer to that subject.
Now let’s discuss both the keys in detail
Light: “It’s all about Light” this is the most common sentence said by ay professional photographer if you ask him the concept of photography. Suppose you are shooting the seashore. Instead of taking the photograph at midday with harsh, boring, high contrast light you can prefer taking image just after sunset when the light is soft, warm and colorful to add beauty to your photo. Same photo taken at other time can be totally show different effects.
Composition: Focusing the subject and leading the viewer to the subject on the first glance is the primary need of every photographer. Every time you need not to centralize the subject but defining foreground subject in proper way is the mainly focused.
The other important measure while taking a photograph is the artistic use of Exposure of camera and setting the accurate aperture and shutter speed while capturing the photo can drastically create the difference. We will come over to it later.
Best Time to Shoot
The first thing which needs to explain is about finding the proper light. Finding good light can depend on the hour. There is the talked about “Golden Hours.” These are the hours just after sunrise and just before sunset, when the light is lower, softer, and more colorful, thus the hour before sunrise and the hour after sunset as perfect times to shoot.
If we talk in terms of seasons the light at the winter season is most optimum for shooting because the sun is at a lower angle giving great depth and shadows and it is best to shoot at an angle to the sun as it gives more depth to objects as the shadows lead out from them to the side.
Try to avoid taking portrait shots in the middle of the day, as the strong light will produce harsh shadows under their eyes, nose and chin. If you can’t wait for too long then you can take the shelter of tree, building whose shade will provide softer, more even light and will eliminate those harsh shadows.
Although many times you don’t find the light but how you can create the light using the camera will be discussed later.
Composing the Elements
There are some basic rules while creating good compositions. Certain elements make for a pleasing arrangement and are appealing to the eye and add aesthetics to the photographs. Below are some basic suggestions on how to blend good aesthetics into your photography.
The Rule of Thirds: Every time placing the subject at center is not very pleasing so it is best to have your subject in one of the intersections of thirds of your image i.e. placing the subject at the intersection point of thirds drawn. Like if image is divided into nine equal blocks then the subject must be at the intersection point of four blocks. This will grab the attention of the viewer.
Composition thirds rule:
Secondly the leading lines which lead the viewer to the subject or lead from the subject to the background helps to define the photograph. Other elements include finding natural frames and avoiding the bad lines.
Basics of Exposure
Now after detailing the basic natural elements we move on with the next section of learning about the camera and its features. Giving proper exposure to the camera counts the most. Basically exposure is getting the perfect amount of light onto your digital sensor or film, so that there is detail in both shadow and light, contrast and good color. The three elements which control the exposure are the aperture, shutter speed and the ISO. All three parameters are explained in detail below:
Aperture: Aperture is the adjustable opening in your lens that allows light to pass through to the digital sensor or film. It goes from very small to almost as large as the lens glass itself. Aperture is denoted in terms of “f-stops” with largest opening acquiring the smallest number while the smallest opening having the highest number.
For example moving from largest to smallest openings, the aperture number are like f1.4, f2.0, f2.8, f4.0 f5.6, f8.0, f11, f16, f22.
But what does this aperture controls, it actually controls the depth of field (DOF) i.e. amount of depth in our image that is in focus or in the field of focus. A shallow depth of field would have the subject in focus leaving everything in front of it and behind it out of focus while the deep depth will focus all the way from foreground to infinity. You require different DOF for different type of photography. Like portrait photography will use a shallow DOF while the landscapes use deeper DOF.
The larger the aperture the shallower is the DOF and the smaller the aperture (bigger f number) the deeper is the DOF. So if we want to shoot some flowers we use a large aperture such as f2.8 or f4 but if we want to shoot meadow of flowers with beautiful mountains on the background we use small apertures such as aperture such as f11 or f16.
Shutter Speed: The second parameter is the Shutter speed which denotes how long the shutter of a given aperture is open to allow light to hit the digital sensor or film. The longer the shutter is open the greater the light enters the sensor. Normally the shutter speed is enumerated in fraction of seconds like 1, ½, ¼ 1/15, 1/30, 1/60,1/200, 1/500 etc. But nowadays the cameras just drop the “1/” and gives the speed like 125, 300 etc.
Shutter speed is used to either stop motion or to show motion. If you want to stop motion like in case of an athlete in their sport, a race car going by, or even that of a bird flying you need to use high or fast shutter speed usually 1/500 or faster while if you want to show motion in your photography like movement of dancers dancing, silkening of water in waterfall you must use low or slow shutter speed like from 1/30th of a second to even 10 sec long. But for this kind of photography you need a steady hand or a tripod to hold the camera firmly. Normally a hand can be firmed 1/focal length of camera lens.
Again if we want to stop the subject while keeping the background blurred or in motion like in a bike ride then we use the concept of Panning where we use slower shutter speeds depending upon the speed of subject. Normally we use 1/30 or 1/15 of shutter speed but you need to put the camera on monopod and keep the motion of camera steady as the subject moves along. Panning requires mastering and once achieved will take your photos to a next level.
ISO: The ISO parameter measures the sensitivity to light of the digital sensor or film. The higher the number, the more sensitive the sensor will be to light. Normally ISO is expressed as 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, etc. with increasing sensitivity.
The ISO relates the sensitivity of sensors of camera. In bright sunlight we often use low ISO like 100 or 200 and while moving to shaded areas the ISO are increased a little up to 400 and while capturing the scenes in night you can shift to higher side. But the higher ISO may produce noise in the image.
In these two articles we have covered lots of thing for digital photography and using these setting or techniques we can improve our photography a lot. Hope you will like this article and we want your expertise to improve this topic.