Pocket Card or Reference Sheet?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by iSellJerseyShore, Jun 10, 2005.

  1. iSellJerseyShore

    iSellJerseyShore TPF Noob!

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    First off I would like to say that this is my first post on the forum here. I have been searching and lurking on these boards for a while..

    I am wondering if anyone may know of a Pocket Card or Reference sheet that can be downloaded and printed. Something that outlines when to use certain settings for different conditions ie: ISO speed for daylight vs. nightlight

    Being a Amatuer I think it would be handy to have a reference like that with me while out shooting to help get that perfect shot..

    Thanks in advance!!


    iSellJerseyShore
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome, nice you to join.

    There are so many possible situations that no card would hold all the options...and there are no 'correct' settings...just the photographers vision of what they want the photo to be.

    There are some guidelines that you can follow.

    For the most part, you want to use the lowest ISO setting/film that your lighting conditions will allow. Higher ISO will produce more film grain or digital noise...so unless that's what you want...keep it low. When the light is just not there....raising the ISO is one of your options.

    When shooting hand held, the rule of thumb is to keep your shutter speed (reciprocal number) higher than the focal length of the lens. So if you had a 50mm lens, you want your shutter speed to be 1/60 or faster.

    To keep your shutter speeds fast enough, you can either open up your aperture or raise you ISO. The more you open the aperture, the more shallow your DOF will be.

    As you see, with three variables, there are plenty of options to get your shot...but which is best? Only you will know....so practice, practice practice.

    A general rule about exposure is the Sunny 16 rule. It's for objects that are directly lit by the sun. Basically the rule is F16 and shutter speed (reciprocal number) equal to your ISO. So a good setting for something in the sunlight would be F16, 1/90 @ISO 100. You can adjust your settings from there.

    Now, most/all modern cameras have built-in meters. That's how the camera knows what settings to use. However, you have to understand what the camera's meter is trying to do. It is set to make the scene a neutral tone...even if it's not. So you have to outsmart the meter to get the scene to look like it's supposed to. I think this would be more helpful to learn than trying to use a list of settings for different situations.

    Sorry for rambling on like that. Welcome to the forum.
     
  3. hobbes28

    hobbes28 Incredible Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forums!

    I agree totally with what Mike is saying there. I'd also add that a good practice to follow is to get one of those little pocket notebooks and write down your settings for pictures you take along with a little description of the picture. That way you can remember settings for the pictures and develop a good list for yourself. The longer you shoot, the more you'll recognize settings that you like for different results and you can develop your own "cheat sheet". That and it's a good practice for your own records so you can teach yourself metering without a meter...or getting the settings you would like ready before you meter.

    Other than that, I'd carry a grey card with you for your on camera meter for you to establish some settings for yourself.

    Good luck and, again, welcome to the forum.
     
  4. iSellJerseyShore

    iSellJerseyShore TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the responses!!

    I have started to write down some tips/notes in a notebook to have handy with me while im out shooting..

    Thanks for the information and its pleasure to be apart of the community!!


    -iSellJerseyShore!!
     
  5. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Good question. Photography is the science of the photographic process. A lot of algebraic and chemical equations. I have (on occasion) consulted my copy of "Kodak Professional Photoguide" from 1986... The guide is tear resistant. Plus a lot of dials that can be fun on a rainy day. Plus who can resist Special Flash Techniques:

    ƒ number for 2 flash units = 1.4 (Guide Number for Single Flash)
    light superimposed Distance

    Poor exscuse for a proper equation, but you get the point.
     

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