We launched a new IT training category! Check out the 140+ courses now.

Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Pressing the shutter button

From: Foundations of Photography: Exposure

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.

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.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Foundations of Photography: Exposure
Foundations of Photography: Exposure

64 video lessons · 88434 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 8m 45s
    1. Welcome
      1m 57s
    2. What is exposure?
      4m 8s
    3. A word about camera brands
      2m 40s
  2. 9m 31s
    1. What is a camera?
      2m 52s
    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 2s
    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 43s
  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 58s
    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 57s
    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 15s
    1. Shooting with post production in mind
      3m 45s
    2. Exposure strategy
      3m 51s
    3. Goodbye
      39s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Foundations of Photography: Exposure.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.