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Foundations of Photography: Exposure
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Pressing the shutter button


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Foundations of Photography: Exposure

with Ben Long

Video: Pressing the shutter button

It's time to discuss how to press the shutter button on your camera. Now I know that may sound a little patronizing, particularly when I talk like this. But it turns out that that simple button press triggers a fairly complex chain of events, and you need to be aware of those events when you press the shutter button. If you don't understand everything that happens, you could miss shots, or end up with images with bad exposure or bad color. So, to work through what we're going to cover here, you first need to switch your camera to program mode. We covered mode changes earlier, so you should be comfortable with this.
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  1. 8m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 56s
    2. What is exposure?
      4m 8s
    3. A word about camera brands
      2m 40s
  2. 9m 32s
    1. What is a camera?
      2m 53s
    2. The shutter
      3m 53s
    3. The aperture
      1m 33s
    4. Exposure defined
      1m 13s
  3. 13m 50s
    1. Modes
      2m 7s
    2. Pressing the shutter button
      2m 54s
    3. Autofocus
      5m 22s
    4. Light metering
      2m 3s
    5. White balance
      1m 24s
  4. 29m 26s
    1. Shooting sharp images
      1m 58s
    2. Noting shutter speed
      4m 3s
    3. Taking control of shutter speed
      1m 30s
    4. Stop defined
      2m 50s
    5. Shutter priority mode
      4m 34s
    6. Exercise: Shutter speed
      40s
    7. Reciprocity
      3m 13s
    8. Controlling motion
      7m 8s
    9. Shutter speed increments
      2m 21s
    10. Exercise: Go work with shutter speed
      1m 9s
  5. 26m 3s
    1. Depth of field
      1m 53s
    2. How aperture is measured
      2m 42s
    3. Aperture priority mode
      4m 57s
    4. Lens speed
      53s
    5. Shooting deep depth of field
      3m 53s
    6. Shooting shallow depth of field
      2m 50s
    7. The depth-of-field preview button
      4m 24s
    8. How shallow should you be?
      2m 47s
    9. Exercise: Go work with aperture
      1m 44s
  6. 16m 26s
    1. ISO: The third exposure parameter
      6m 27s
    2. Assessing your camera's high ISO
      5m 32s
    3. Shooting in low light
      3m 32s
    4. Exercise: Shooting in low light
      55s
  7. 14m 30s
    1. White balance controls
      5m 37s
    2. Adjusting white balance manually
      4m 25s
    3. Shooting raw
      4m 28s
  8. 6m 3s
    1. How light meters work
      1m 47s
    2. Why are there different modes?
      4m 16s
  9. 33m 59s
    1. Exposure compensation
      4m 0s
    2. Intentional overexposure
      2m 40s
    3. Intentional underexposure
      1m 42s
    4. Controlling tone
      2m 31s
    5. The histogram
      10m 4s
    6. Real-world histograms
      5m 49s
    7. Tone and color
      2m 16s
    8. Auto exposure bracketing
      3m 58s
    9. Exercise: Go work with exposure compensation
      59s
  10. 12m 56s
    1. Dynamic range
      2m 24s
    2. Exposing for highlights
      4m 15s
    3. Fill flash
      3m 11s
    4. Three solutions to the same problem
      3m 6s
  11. 12m 26s
    1. Manual mode
      2m 6s
    2. Manual mode and light meters
      4m 52s
    3. Manual exposure exercise
      5m 28s
  12. 12m 1s
    1. Custom modes and A-DEP
      1m 39s
    2. Program shift
      3m 52s
    3. Exposure compensation with program shift
      1m 58s
    4. An exercise in reciprocity
      53s
    5. Scene modes and in-camera processing
      3m 39s
  13. 8m 16s
    1. Shooting with post production in mind
      3m 46s
    2. Exposure strategy
      3m 51s
    3. Goodbye
      39s

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Foundations of Photography: Exposure
3h 24m Appropriate for all Dec 23, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Arriving at the best exposure for a photo is part science and part art. In Foundations of Photography: Exposure, Ben Long helps photographers expand their artistic options by giving them a deep understanding of shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and all other critical exposure practices. This course covers the basic exposure controls provided by all digital SLR cameras, as well as most advanced point-and-shoot models. Learn how to master a camera's metering modes, how to use exposure compensation and bracketing, and much more. By the end of the course, you'll know how to develop an "exposure strategy" that will allow you to effectively employ your exposure knowledge in any shooting situation.

Topics include:
  • What is exposure?
  • Exploring camera modes
  • Light metering
  • Shooting sharp images
  • Controlling shutter speed
  • Understanding f-stops
  • Controlling motion
  • Working with a shallow depth of field
  • Measuring aperture
  • Shooting in low light conditions
  • Performing manual light balance
  • Working with the histogram
  • Using fill flash
  • Understanding reciprocity
Subjects:
Photography Cameras + Gear Photography Foundations Lighting
Author:
Ben Long

Pressing the shutter button

It's time to discuss how to press the shutter button on your camera. Now I know that may sound a little patronizing, particularly when I talk like this. But it turns out that that simple button press triggers a fairly complex chain of events, and you need to be aware of those events when you press the shutter button. If you don't understand everything that happens, you could miss shots, or end up with images with bad exposure or bad color. So, to work through what we're going to cover here, you first need to switch your camera to program mode. We covered mode changes earlier, so you should be comfortable with this.

In the days of all manual photography, before you took a shot, you framed it, then you focused, then you dialed in your exposure settings, and it was only after doing all of those things that you could take a shot. You still have to do about all of those things, but the good news is that your camera can probably do them for you, and it probably does a very good job. The way you start this process is to press the shutter button down halfway. Now, if you take a moment now to feel your shutter button, and I mean feel what happens when you press it, you'll find that it is pressing it all the way down, but then there is also a halfway point, a little stop that you can feel.

When you press to this point, you're telling the camera to start working on all of those decisions that need to be made before it can shoot. The first decision is autofocus. When I press halfway, my camera's autofocus mechanism springs into action and calculates focus. Next, a light meter in my camera measures the light in the scene and calculates the shutter speed and aperture that'll give me a good image for that particular light. That is, an image that's neither too bright nor too dark. Now finally, the camera also calculates white balance. This is a process that will improve the chances that the colors in my scene will look correct.

Now this is all a fair amount of work, and it can actually take some time, especially if you're trying to focus in low light. Well, once it's made all of these decisions, your camera will beep at you and possibly flash a little light in the viewfinder. This lets you know that all the necessary preparation is done, and you're ready to shoot. Now, you press the shutter button the rest of the way, and the camera takes the shot. Now it's absolutely critical that you always half-press, hold there, wait until the camera says it's ready, and then press the rest of the way.

If you just mesh the shutter button down all the way, the odds are you're going to miss your shot, because your camera has to chug through all of those steps before it can take the picture. It's a much faster than you would be doing it if you were doing it yourself, but it still takes some time for your camera to do this. If you've experienced that problem of trying to capture a particular moment, and you press the button, and the camera doesn't take the picture when you thought it was going to, that's probably because you've mashed it all the way down. So if you're not already used to this process, then you need to start practicing it, because this half-press step is going to be critical for some of the more sophisticated light metering that we'll be doing later.

Autofocus, metering, white balance, these are all complex operations, and we're going to talk about all of them in great detail as we continue.

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