Advice on photography
People are by far the most interesting photographic subjects, but you have to get in very close -- much closer than you are going to feel comfortable with at first. Robert Capa used to say that if your photos arent good enough, you're not close enough.
This is a photo of Dr. Caroll Behrhorst and a nurse at the Behrhorst clinic in Chmaltenengo, Guatemala, taken in 1977. I took it while standing on a desk and aiming a wide angle lens two feet from the doctor's head. Behrhorst is smiling here at the idea of a photographer having to stand on his desk to get a shot.
The other important point about photography is that the photographer's motivation is vital. Whether you are motivated to be a great professional or to show the world something important, you can't just snap off a few images and call it a day. You have to study your subject, take time, and think about how that person should be portrayed.
This was taken on a Pentax 35 mm camera with a 20 mm lens using Kodak 400 ASA film. Today, Kodak and Pentax are out of business more or less, and 35 mm film is difficult to find. That doesn't mean that you can't achieve high quality work.
Digital cameras use old fashioned frames of reference -- You will often see analog settings for things like aperture, shutter speed and film speed. What does it mean
|SLR type cameras allow through the lens
viewing and focusing by employing a mirror that flips up to uncover the
shutter at the moment of exposure. The mirror (blue) flips up to allow
light to reach the shutter. It flips back down to allow you to focus through
the main lens. |
The rangefinder is usually a much cheaper type of camera.
This photo was from an antique site.
Large format camera
The bellows is very useful for making adjustments in perspective
for architectural photos.
Negative size is often 3.25 by 4.25 or 8 x 10. Usually
these also have a rangefinder or in the case of old style studio portrait
cameras there is a ground glass focusing plane which is removed and replaced
by the film for the exposure.
Lens apertures and shutter speeds
Two things control the way light travels through your camera. One is the
diaphragm inside the lens (the aperture) and the other is the shutter.
Aperture openings on old SLR cameras go up the scale as follows: 1.2, 2.0,
2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 16 and 22
Each is twice as small as the next. The lower the number, the more light that comes in. These were called F stops - F22 was like a pinhole, and F 2 was wide open. So the higher the number, the smaller the aperture.
Shutter speeds went up the scale from 1/30th of a second to 1/60,
1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000
There is often also a "B" for "bulb" which is the squeeze
thing you see hanging off the view camera above.
Also, the 1/60 was the shutter speed to be used for the flash.
Each time the film speed doubles or is cut in half, we say it is going up or
down one "stop." You can also call it "stopping" up or down.
We also say that each aperture and shutter setting is a stop.
So, lets say your light meter says you could get a good shot at f16 at 1/60
What would be an equivalent setting?
Highlight the rest of this line to reveal answer: ( Yes, f 8 at 1/125 or f 5.6 at 1/250 )
Why might you prefer a fast shutter speed?
Why might you prefer a small aperture?
Here's another one. Suppose you are going to shoot a basketball game at the
Dedmon center. You know the light is a little weak. What film speed would be
Let's say at that film speed, you find you have a 2.8 exposure at a 1/1000
shutter speed. What do you do?