Have some questions about the basics.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by babidoll85, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. babidoll85

    babidoll85 TPF Noob!

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    So I am trying to get out of the auto mode and have been doing some studying, but I guess I need a little clarification.

    I have been getting some info on aperture and shutter speeds. I get aperture. I get that the lower the number equals the bigger the opening which lets more light in. Ok I think I also get shutter speed.....A faster shutter speed needs a larger aperture (1.4 for instance) and vice versa. So what exactly is a fast shutter speed? and what is slow? I understand the aperture numbers but haven't quite gotten this yet. Thanks for any advice!!!
     
  2. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, it is often called shutter speed, but it is actually not the speed of the shutter, but the exposure time, the time the shutter is "open" and light hits the medium. fast = short exposure, slow = long exposure
     
  3. babidoll85

    babidoll85 TPF Noob!

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    Okay, so if I was using a slow shutter speed that is how I would get motion blur? And why else would I want to use a slow shutter speed? In a low lighting situation to get more light in?
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It depends on what you are trying to do.

    We use the shutter speed to control how motion is captured. If we use a longer shutter speed, motion will be rendered as blur. It could be the motion of your subject, or motion of the camera. For most photography, you want as little blur as possible, so a faster shutter speed is usually better.

    There is a rule of thumb for when you are holding the camera while shooting. You want to use a shutter speed that is the reciprocal of the focal length, or faster. So if you are using a 100mm lens, you would want to use a shutter speed of at least 1/100, in order to avoid blur from camera shake. This is just a rule of thumb, faster is always better to avoid blur.

    Now, when you want to freeze the motion of a subject, there is no correct answer for what speed you will need...but faster is better.

    With photography, it's almost always a trade off. We use aperture to control Depth of Field and we use shutter speed to control how motion is captured...we use the combination of the two (along with the ISO) to get the exposure.
     
  5. babidoll85

    babidoll85 TPF Noob!

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    Ok that makes sense to me. I was thinking the faster the shutter speed the better...but I guesss there are other things to take into consideration. Now that I think I have a general idea of aperture and shutter speed I need to know about ISO. Any explanation for that, or should I google;) ?
     
  6. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    yes, and yes :)

    You could also go up with the ISO (sensitivity of the film or amplification of the digital signals from the sensor pixels), but that would mean either grainy film, or noise which is amplified in the digital signal. So if motion is not an issue one would usually try to keep ISO low for maximum image quality and use slow shutter speeds.

    So the selection of aperture, shutter speed and ISO are usually a compromise, and you decide which is most important for you ;)
     
  7. babidoll85

    babidoll85 TPF Noob!

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    Okay, I kind of get what you are saying but the ISO thing is throwing me off a little bit because I'm not quite sure what that is yet:blulsh2: I'm guessing from what you are saying it has to do with sensitivity...of some sort LOL. I guess I need to go check out wikipedia....
     
  8. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    well, double the ISO, and you need half the amount of light for the same exposure.

    for film we call it sensitivity

    in the digital world it has to do with signal amplification
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, that's the simple explanation. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive to light...so the less light you would need. By turning up the ISO, you can use a faster shutter speed (to avoid blur, for example).

    As mentioned, the higher the ISO...the more digital noise you will get. However, noise is better than blur, in most cases.

    Rule of thumb...keep your ISO as low as possible. Only turn it up when you need a faster shutter speed and can't use a tripod etc.

    (there are other implications for ISO, when using flash...but we can deal with that later)
     
  10. nossie

    nossie TPF Noob!

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    Hi Babi.
    Many people here will agree that the best 16bucks you can invest in yourself as a photographer starting out is to buy this book called Understanding Exposure. It's a priceless foundation that will de-mystify the camera.
     
  11. babidoll85

    babidoll85 TPF Noob!

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    That makes so much sense to me...(I'm really excited:)). So what mode do you typically shoot in? I have been shooting in apeture priority until this point because that is all i understood...I'm sure it differs from person to person though.. Anyway is there any excersizes you can suggest to play around with ape & ss? Do people usually adjust ISO? I know, alot of questions, but I am taking notes;)
     
  12. babidoll85

    babidoll85 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks so much Nossie...I was actually at barnes and noble a few weeks ago and I remember seeing that book. There were so many different books though and I was a little overwhelmed so I didn't end up getting anything. I will definitely pick it up!
     

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