Friday, November 14, 2014

Photography 101 - Assignment 3

Back after a little work induced hiatus.  Continuing our photographic journey, in this lesson we learn about proper exposure, manual metering, and the impact of film speed / ISO.

1. Choose a subject of interest to you, and photograph that subject in manual mode using the technique of bracketing as described in chapter 4 of the text.

2. Try shooting your subject from four or more directions, metering and bracketing from each direction.

3. Shoot one subject using all of your available ISO settings. 

4. Download your pictures or process your film using any film processing service that offers digitization of 35mm negative film so that the images can be displayed on the Web.

5. Review the pictures, and select four (4) images that you feel best demonstrate your abilities associated with this activity.

6. Post a brief self-critique of your photographic exercise (about 1–3 paragraphs). Describe the photos, how you carried out the exercise, what worked and what didn't, what you like about the photos you selected and what you would like to do differently.

Frankly, I found this exercise pretty boring which is part of the reason I took so long to do it.  Bracketing is pretty simple:  take three photos, one under-exposed, one at the correct exposure, and one over-exposed.  My camera can automatically perform the shift in exposure through a feature called auto exposure bracketing (AEB).  When shooting in manual exposure mode, the camera shifts the shutter speed to adjust the eposure.  Below you have the top photo one stop under-exposed, the middle properly exposed, and the bottom one stop over-exposed. The photos are straight out of the camera with no post processing.
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The exposure level of a photograph (how bright or dark it is) gets determined by three factors: the lens aperture, the shutter speed, and the film speed or ISO.  Shutter and aperture, and their trade-offs (motion blur/stopping and depth of field) were covered in assignment 2.  The trade off in changing the ISO is noise.  Known as grain in film, noise shows up as black and white (or colored) dot patterns throughout the photo.  Noise is normally greater in the darker areas of the photo. Newer and higher quality cameras tend to have less noise, even at higher ISO settings.  In these images I really don’t start seeing the noise until the last highest two ISO settings. The below photos show the effect of increasing the ISO while maintaining the proper exposure and go from 100 to 12800 in one stop increments (100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800).     Again, the images have no post processing.


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