Understanding Exposures not Understood

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by RxForB3, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. RxForB3

    RxForB3 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm currently reading Understanding Exposures (as recommended by many of you). So far I can't say I enjoy the author's writing. He seems very pompous, but then, that could just be me. Plus, while it felt like the beginning of the book was all about learning to shoot on manual, he VERY often states that he shot on aperture mode. AND despite his insistance on the "triangle," he seems to almost completly ignore ISO. I might not be to that section, though, I suppose. In any case, I've gleaned a few ideas to try, but there are at least a couple things I don't think he suitably explained (or I didn't understand them, or he will explain later).

    First off, he keeps saying in reference to his photos that he pointed the camera to the sky (or some other portion of the photo), got the appropriate shutter speed for the aperture, then recomposed the picture. Maybe I should reread my manual, but I don't recall it saying specifically how to do this. Do I press the shutter halfway, hold it, frame the shot and go? If so, that doesn't seem too practical when using a tripod...

    Second is the idea of how to focus with a large aperture (he uses f/22 a lot) such that everything is in sharp focus. He mentions setting the distance on the lens to 2 ft. or some such. However, on neither of my kit lenses do I see a designation of distance (nor, if I recall is there one on my 50mm f/1.8). First off, how does one determine which distance to focus with each lens (he gives only two examples with no explanation of how he came up with that), and second, without a distance option, how does one do this? I tried today while on my outing in Yakima Canyon (see my other post) and failed miserably.

    Thanks for your help!


     
  2. EchoingWhisper

    EchoingWhisper TPF Noob!

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    Predict the distance. But I do recommend you to use auto focus to set the focus point. I've missed lots of photographs by shooting by locking my focus via manual focus and lost focus after changing the focal length.
     
  3. EchoingWhisper

    EchoingWhisper TPF Noob!

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    And also, I didn't learn much from that book, because I've already understood the exposure triangle via online tutorials.
     
  4. RxForB3

    RxForB3 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If I understand correctly, though, using autofocus to try to cover two objects (one close, one far away) would leave one very lacking. For instance, when I tried to photograph my sons stuffed Geicko Gecko using a backdrop of the Space Needle in the distance. If I focus on the Space Needle, the gecko would be out of focus because mostof the dept of field would be behind the needle. If I focus on the gecko, the needle would be out because part of the DOF is lost in front of the gecko. Correct?
     
  5. EIngerson

    EIngerson Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    When he says point the camera to the sky, he means aim just to the side of the subject, so you have the same exposure minus the subject and set to the correct exposure. When he says recompose, you aim back in on the subject and frame them accordingly and snap the photo. (Read all of the descriptions for each photo also)

    The book is very specific when he talks about using F/22 and distance to subject. (google focusing to infinity) Also, read the blue box on Page 11 and go to the website. Watch all the videos and go back to them when you get to that part of the book. He's not pompus, he's teaching. Get some thick skin quick, because photography is not polite.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  6. RxForB3

    RxForB3 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Or do you mean use the autofocus to focus aout 1/3 of the way between the two points?
     
  7. RxForB3

    RxForB3 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Unfortunately I purchased the book from Amazon Kindle. Still need to figure out how to go to a specific page as it seems to set things up as "locations." I'll try to find the spot you're mentioning, though.

    As for focusing to infinity. I've watched videos on that before, but it sure didn't seem like what was being referred to in the book...is that really what he meant?
     
  8. EIngerson

    EIngerson Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I sent you a PM.
     
  9. Tony S

    Tony S Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Your example of using the gecko and the Space Needle will pretty tough one to fix with a single exposure and no photoshopping. The dof you are trying to cover is too much considering the distance from the camera to the gecko and the distance to the Space Needle from the gecko.
     
  10. RxForB3

    RxForB3 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ahhh...ok. After viewing the video that accompanies the book (thanks EIngerson) I get what he's saying. Now I'm just confused why so much time was spent on the subject in the book. It seems like some very useful advice, but unfortunately I don't have a lens that fits the bill. Good to know, though.

    So in a case with a telephoto lens, setting the focus to infinity with a "large" aperture of f/22 or so would give the best chance at focusing two objects at disparate distances, though it may not be possible to fully focus both objects (as in the case of the space needle and gecko).
     
  11. EchoingWhisper

    EchoingWhisper TPF Noob!

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  12. RxForB3

    RxForB3 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So with better lenses with a distance scale on them, I could set the distance to the hyperfocal distance and thereby have as much in focus as possible? Also, it appears from playing around with the calculator that the lower the focal length, the more likely I am to get everything in focus. So say with the gecko and space needle, I should have used my 18-55mm kit lens at the 18mm focal length. Am I understanding that right?
     

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