Free Photography For Beginners Course

Introduction

So I have a question for you and that is, do you wanna start creating amazing photos that you’ll be proud of and photos that will be appreciated by family and friends?

If so, it all starts right here right now with everything I wish I knew when I started photography 30 years ago.

Hello, my name is Chris Parker and it is my desire to help you elevate your photographic skills.

So you can fulfill your creative vision. And if you are ready to learn photography, so you can start creating amazing photos.

Well, let’s do it now real quick. Let’s go over some of the things you’re going to learn in this course, as well as the structure of this course.

So when it comes to mastering photography, there are four key ingredients you must master in order to create amazing photos.

So those ingredients are knowing your camera, equipment, light composition, and editing.

So everything you’ll discover over the next few hours are things I wish I knew when I started my photography career back in 1989.

So the structure of this photography course will follow those four key ingredients.

But what we’re going to do is we’re gonna start out with a quick start guide on photography to help you get started on the right track for creating amazing photos.

So this is going to include my five pro tips for starting your photography journey and what it means to paint with light.

So painting with light, the video will be your foundation for everything you learn in this free photography course.

So don’t skip it. All right.

So the first ingredient for mastering photography is getting to know your camera, gear, your equipment, and how to use it, to control the light and to paint with light.

So this is going to include detailed information about how your camera works and overview of the type of lenses and much more.

So it’s vital to know how your camera works, to get the most out of it, to create the type of images you want.

So make sure you watch all of that before you move on to ingredient two , which is exploring and harnessing their most important ingredient, all of which is light.

So you’re gonna discover the four characteristics of light and how they shape your subjects, the quality of light, and more after that, you’ll be introduced to composition and how it can elevate your photography skills and your images to a whole new level of appreciation.

And then finally, I’ll provide some pro tips on editing your images, like why you don’t need expensive software for editing, where your editing should start and more pro tips to improve your photos.

Now, one more thing real quick time stamps for this course are included in the description below plus, since this photography course is so long, I recommend saving it so you can easily find it later on when you come back.

Now, if you have any questions about anything covered in this free photography course, please post your comments below and I’ll be happy to answer them. So if you are ready to get started, let’s do it.

Table of Contents

Camera Types

So when it comes to cameras, you can categorize them into four main categories. This includes compact cameras, SLR, or DSLR, mirrorless, and smartphones.

Now for avid creative photographers and SLR or DSLR camera is the most popular type of camera. SOS.

SLR stands for single lens reflex and the D and DSL R stands for digital.

So in other words, this is a film camera or an SLR, and this is a digital camera DS SLR.

So before the days of digital cameras, one of my first cameras was this SLR camera.

So the SL single lens simply means that the camera can be affixed with a single lens, but you can also remove that lens and replace it with a different lens.

So that’s SL now R or reflex is in reference to inside the camera body and just in front of the film or the digital sensor. You have this mirror here and when you press the shutter release button to create a photo, the mirror moves up and out of the way.

So the film or sensor can record your photo. So that’s the reflex in SLR. Okay.

All right. Now, when it comes to a mirrorless camera, a mirrorless camera is similar to a DSLR, or even in the SLR camera in that you can change the lens.

However, it does not have a mirror inside the body, hence the name mirrorless.

Now there are several advantages and disadvantages to a mirrorless camera versus a DSLR.

So a mirrorless camera in general usually are lighter, more compact and faster, but it all depends on the make and model that you choose.

Now, another type of camera is the compact camera. So these types of cameras do not offer the option to change the lens. The lens is fixed. And as you can see, they are very small or compact.

Plus they have a lot fewer features and options versus a DSLR or mirrorless camera.

They are mostly considered to be a point and shoot camera.

Since the camera is going to do everything for you in regards to figuring out the aperture shutter speed and all of that other fun stuff.

And they’re not designed for the creative photographer.

So typically since you don’t have any way to control the camera settings, like with a DSLR, you basically point and shoot your subject. And that’s why it’s called a point and shoot camera or a compact camera sometimes as well.

Now the fourth type of camera is a smartphone. And I remember my first mobile phone in 1999, it had three main options.

I could get the sports news, I could get the weather and I had a digital Rolodex and there was no camera to be found on it.

And fast forward today, and some smartphones actually, probably all smartphones are more advanced than my first point and shoot camera, which was the Kodak disc camera circulation around 1987 or so.

it’s amazing to me how good these cameras are in our smartphones. And in fact, a lot of times when I go on vacation or when I take a walk with echo, I leave my DSLR cameras and all my gear at home and just use this instead.

It’s so much easier and lighter than all this other heavy gear. And I’m more than happy with the memories I capture with it.

But anytime I’m doing portraits, weddings, landscapes, or any other type of paid work, and for a lot of personal work, like some of these portraits of my kids here on the wall, I prefer my DSL are, or my mirrorless camera.

Now there is a fifth category of camera you should be aware of since you’ll probably come across it in your favorite photography of publication or on social media, or maybe if you’re like me, you’ve probably used one back in the days of film and they are known as a medium and large format cameras.

Now these types of cameras are used more by professional photographers that require the highest quality image possible.

So think of magazine covers, commercial work and more, most of them use a medium format camera, sometimes larger when needed.

So in essence, the digital sensor is much larger and a medium format than the sensor in a DSL R camera. And this provides a better quality image overall in general.

It all depends on your final output for the image you’re creating and the size of sensor needed, whether it’s DSL R mirrorless or medium or large format,

How Your Camera Works

let’s take a look at how your camera works, because it’s not much different from your eyes because when your eyes are closed, you can’t see what’s in front of you.

It’s not until you open your eyes, that the light filters through a lens behind the pupil. And then it provides a sharp, clear vision of what’s in front of you.

Then when the vision reaches your brain, it’s stored as a memory. Now your camera also has a lens and the light is going to pass through this lens.

But before it’s recorded by your camera, like we talked about before, if you have a DSLR camera, it’s going to hit that mirror. And that light is reflected into the viewfinder. So you can see that image in the viewfinder before you take the photo.

So the mirror is like your eyelids. When it’s down, your camera sensor or film cannot see the image or record it.

But just behind that mirror is another element of your camera that restricts light from reaching your sensor or film.

Now, this element is known as a shutter, which is also like your eyelids.

Now, when the shutter is closed, again, no light can reach the sensor. It’s not until you press the shutter release button that the mirror pops up. And at the same time, the shutter opens and then the light is recorded by your camera.

Now, once the sensor gathers the data, it then sends that information through a program in your camera that will begin editing your photo based on the settings you’ve chosen.

And then it will save that data to a media card.

Now the media card is like your brain, since you have memories of the past. And luckily media cards are better at storing and replaying data than our brains, or at least mine anyways.

Five Quick Tips

let’s start off with five quick tips for creating amazing photos to help you get started sooner rather than later, tip number five.

So you can start using your camera right now by putting it in program mode or auto mode.

So this mode gives complete control over your camera settings too. Well, your camera.

So basically your camera is going to make all the decisions for you. Now, this is an okay starting point.

However, I recommend shooting an aperture priority mode. Instead now, to get into that mode, you’re gonna turn a dial on your camera here to either a or AV, depending on if you’re using a Nikon or a can.

Now, if you’re using a different brand, check your camera manual to figure out how to set it up in aperture priority mode.

Since I’m not familiar with any other brands.

Now, the reason why I recommend aperture priority mode is it gives you some creative control over your camera.

Now, in these two images, you can see that one has a blurry background and the other is sharp.

So how did I do this? Well, I want you to practice in aperture priority mode so you can discover the answer for yourself.

And then later in this course, you’ll take a deep dive into apertures.

So you know, everything you need to know about them.

Okay? So what I’d like you to do is take two photos of every subject you photograph.

So the first image you are going to set the lenses aperture to the smallest number.

This could be four, 2.8 or smaller after you create the first photo, change the aperture to the largest number of your lenss.

This could be 11, 16, or higher.

Then take another photo of the subject.

Now, what I want you to do is compare those images in your favorite editing software side by side, or on the back of your camera.

So I want you to take a look at the background.

Notice the background when comparing the lowest aperture number with the highest number, which one do you prefer and why?

Let me know in the comments below, all right, tip number four. Now my next tip is to shoot in raw and not JPEG.

And the reason why is one will provide more details of your scene versus the other.

As you learn to use your camera and master light, you will make mistakes.

Even. I still make mistakes after 30 years.

And that’s sometimes due to finding yourself in a situation where the light is changing fast.

And either your camera can’t keep up, or maybe you just need to get the shot before the opportunity disappears.

And this results in an image that is too dark or too bright, like this one.

So for this image, since my camera has a feature to capture both raw and JPEG files, I’m gonna show you why raw is better.

So here are both file formats with the final edit, which one looks better?

Well, I think the one on the left here is better. It has more detail and the colors are more vibrant and overall the image is CRISPR.

On the other one, you can see a lot of detail was lost and the colors look unnatural. So raw files are better than JPEG, and this is why I recommend shooting in raw.

THREE

So sometimes you might end up with a blurry image and there is a couple of things you can do to reduce this from happening.

One is to use a very fast shutter speed, and you’ll discover more about them later on first let’s review how to properly hold your camera and some tips for stabilizing your camera to reduce the chances of getting a blurry focus.

Now, for those of you that have just taken your camera out of the box for the first time to focus on your subject, you’re going to press the shutter release button down halfway, and your camera and lens will then begin working together to focus on that subject.

So once it’s focused, you’re gonna press that shutter release button all the way down to create your photo.

Now, the key to reducing blurry photos is to stabilize your camera in your hands.

So here’s a photo I took with one hand, which isn’t recommended. And as you can see, the photo is blurry.

Now this happened because I wasn’t able to hold that camera very steady with one hand. And the result is a blurry image.

Now here’s that same subject with the tips I’m going to give you right now. And as you can see, it’s no longer blurry.

So the easiest trick is to use a tripod or you can be the tripod. Here’s how so first you need to properly grip your camera.

Next, you’re gonna take your other hand and place it under the body.

this is going to help support the camera and stabilize it, but we’re not done yet because this hand can also be used to manually focus the lens and or adjust the zoom of the lens.

you can zoom in or out. If you’re using a zoom lens.

Next, what I recommend doing is bringing your elbows into your body real tight.

This is going to add more stabilization, but there’s one problem, your breathing, and this is going to move your arms in and out.

And if you’re outta shape, like I am, then your arms are going to move about like a flying bird.

So to further stabilize your camera, focus on your subject. And then as you’re about to take that photo, hold your breath and then squeeze that shutter release button.

All right? So that should help in some situations.

And when you don’t have a tripod, but there is a camera setting that can ensure you never take a blurry photo ever again.

And that is your shutter speed. And like I mentioned, you’ll learn more about that later on in this photography course.

All right. Tip number two.

So you use the previous tip to avoid creating blurry photos.

But for some reason, when you look through the view finder, the images are blurry even after you’ve tried to focus on the subject.

So this happens because on most digital cameras, there’s, what’s called a diopter setting or diopter setting that works like, well, your glasses.

So your glasses have a specific prescription to help you see things in focus.

But if you look on the back of your camera here and next you’re view finder on the side, or right behind it here, you will see a dial that you can change the prescription of the view finder to again, help your eye, see things and focus.

Now, this doesn’t affect how sharp your image is. It’s just for previewing your scene in focus inside of the view finder before you create a photo.

if you’re having trouble seeing through the view finder and things, aren’t in focus, make sure to adjust that dial until everything becomes much clearer.

All right, tip number one, to accelerate your photography learning curve.

So you can start creating amazing photos sooner, rather than later, I have one special tip that can make all the difference, and that is have your photos reviewed by other like-minded photographers.

Now I know that sounds scary, but I guarantee you will learn from others faster than trying to figure it all out on your own.

Even I need a fresh set of eyes when I’m editing a photo I’ve created because I might be boxed in and I can’t see what’s missing.

So to help you along this photography journey, I’ve created the friendliest private Facebook group, this side of the Milky way.

This group includes thousands of other photographers that I’ve trained, and you are more than welcome to join the group to get feedback on your photos.

Now I’m in the group almost daily. And if I’m not, there’s always another friendly photographer willing to help you out to join the group.

Find the link in the description below. All right.

What Camera Should You Buy

let’s start off with five quick tips for creating amazing photos to help you get started sooner rather than later, tip number five.

So you can start using your camera right now by putting it in program mode or auto mode.

So this mode gives complete control over your camera settings too. Well, your camera.

So basically your camera is going to make all the decisions for you. Now, this is an okay starting point.

However, I recommend shooting an aperture priority mode. Instead now, to get into that mode, you’re gonna turn a dial on your camera here to either a or AV, depending on if you’re using a Nikon or a can.

Now, if you’re using a different brand, check your camera manual to figure out how to set it up in aperture priority mode.

Since I’m not familiar with any other brands.

Now, the reason why I recommend aperture priority mode is it gives you some creative control over your camera.

Now, in these two images, you can see that one has a blurry background and the other is sharp.

So how did I do this? Well, I want you to practice in aperture priority mode so you can discover the answer for yourself.

And then later in this course, you’ll take a deep dive into apertures.

So you know, everything you need to know about them.

Okay? So what I’d like you to do is take two photos of every subject you photograph.

So the first image you are going to set the lenses aperture to the smallest number.

This could be four, 2.8 or smaller after you create the first photo, change the aperture to the largest number of your lenss.

This could be 11, 16, or higher.

Then take another photo of the subject.

Now, what I want you to do is compare those images in your favorite editing software side by side, or on the back of your camera.

So I want you to take a look at the background.

Notice the background when comparing the lowest aperture number with the highest number, which one do you prefer and why?

Let me know in the comments below, all right, tip number four. Now my next tip is to shoot in raw and not JPEG.

And the reason why is one will provide more details of your scene versus the other.

As you learn to use your camera and master light, you will make mistakes.

Even. I still make mistakes after 30 years.

And that’s sometimes due to finding yourself in a situation where the light is changing fast.

And either your camera can’t keep up, or maybe you just need to get the shot before the opportunity disappears.

And this results in an image that is too dark or too bright, like this one.

So for this image, since my camera has a feature to capture both raw and JPEG files, I’m gonna show you why raw is better.

So here are both file formats with the final edit, which one looks better?

Well, I think the one on the left here is better. It has more detail and the colors are more vibrant and overall the image is CRISPR.

On the other one, you can see a lot of detail was lost and the colors look unnatural. So raw files are better than JPEG, and this is why I recommend shooting in raw.

THREE

So sometimes you might end up with a blurry image and there is a couple of things you can do to reduce this from happening.

One is to use a very fast shutter speed, and you’ll discover more about them later on first let’s review how to properly hold your camera and some tips for stabilizing your camera to reduce the chances of getting a blurry focus.

Now, for those of you that have just taken your camera out of the box for the first time to focus on your subject, you’re going to press the shutter release button down halfway, and your camera and lens will then begin working together to focus on that subject.

So once it’s focused, you’re gonna press that shutter release button all the way down to create your photo.

Now, the key to reducing blurry photos is to stabilize your camera in your hands.

So here’s a photo I took with one hand, which isn’t recommended. And as you can see, the photo is blurry.

Now this happened because I wasn’t able to hold that camera very steady with one hand. And the result is a blurry image.

Now here’s that same subject with the tips I’m going to give you right now. And as you can see, it’s no longer blurry.

So the easiest trick is to use a tripod or you can be the tripod. Here’s how so first you need to properly grip your camera.

Next, you’re gonna take your other hand and place it under the body.

this is going to help support the camera and stabilize it, but we’re not done yet because this hand can also be used to manually focus the lens and or adjust the zoom of the lens.

you can zoom in or out. If you’re using a zoom lens.

Next, what I recommend doing is bringing your elbows into your body real tight.

This is going to add more stabilization, but there’s one problem, your breathing, and this is going to move your arms in and out.

And if you’re outta shape, like I am, then your arms are going to move about like a flying bird.

So to further stabilize your camera, focus on your subject. And then as you’re about to take that photo, hold your breath and then squeeze that shutter release button.

All right? So that should help in some situations.

And when you don’t have a tripod, but there is a camera setting that can ensure you never take a blurry photo ever again.

And that is your shutter speed. And like I mentioned, you’ll learn more about that later on in this photography course.

All right. Tip number two.

So you use the previous tip to avoid creating blurry photos.

But for some reason, when you look through the view finder, the images are blurry even after you’ve tried to focus on the subject.

So this happens because on most digital cameras, there’s, what’s called a diopter setting or diopter setting that works like, well, your glasses.

So your glasses have a specific prescription to help you see things in focus.

But if you look on the back of your camera here and next you’re view finder on the side, or right behind it here, you will see a dial that you can change the prescription of the view finder to again, help your eye, see things and focus.

Now, this doesn’t affect how sharp your image is. It’s just for previewing your scene in focus inside of the view finder before you create a photo.

if you’re having trouble seeing through the view finder and things, aren’t in focus, make sure to adjust that dial until everything becomes much clearer.

All right, tip number one, to accelerate your photography learning curve.

So you can start creating amazing photos sooner, rather than later, I have one special tip that can make all the difference, and that is have your photos reviewed by other like-minded photographers.

Now I know that sounds scary, but I guarantee you will learn from others faster than trying to figure it all out on your own.

Even I need a fresh set of eyes when I’m editing a photo I’ve created because I might be boxed in and I can’t see what’s missing.

So to help you along this photography journey, I’ve created the friendliest private Facebook group, this side of the Milky way.

This group includes thousands of other photographers that I’ve trained, and you are more than welcome to join the group to get feedback on your photos.

Now I’m in the group almost daily. And if I’m not, there’s always another friendly photographer willing to help you out to join the group.

Find the link in the description below. All right.

Which Lens Should You Buy First

So the second most asked question I get from photography beginners is which lens should I buy?

And my answer is a 50 millimeter lens.

Now that’s probably not the lens recommended by the sales clerk at your local camera store.

Usually they’ll recommend that you get the lens kit since it includes a lens, and it takes some stress off of you from having to make a decision in that regard.

Now that lens kit usually includes a zoom lens, like an 18 to 55 or 35 to 70 or something like that.

Now there’s nothing wrong with that kit lens or is there well back in 1989, I too picked up that lens kit. And here’s that lens.

Now, if I could go back in time with what I know now, I’d say no, thank you to the kit lens. And I would use the money saved to get the 50 millimeter lens instead.

Why is that? Well, this lens here, it’s pretty much garbage. It’s slow.

And the photos I take with it are not as sharp as with a 50 millimeter lens.

Okay? But your salesperson recommends getting the kit lens and buying one or more additional lenses.

Why is that? Well, once upon a time, I worked as a sales clerk at my local photography store.

Now as a sales clerk, I was rewarded by the gross sales.

So that reward was higher commissions and bonuses from third party lens manufacturers like Sigma Tamron and others.

I made more money selling a Sigma lens versus a Nikon or cannon lens. In fact, Nikon and cannon gave out zero bonuses.

So there was no incentive to push their lenses.

Now, when it comes to kits, the price is usually more than buying the camera body by itself. Sweet, more commissions, well, maybe not sweet for you.

Okay. So my point is, if your sales clerk works on commission, you’ll need to think about why they’re pushing a specific lens or lenses or even camera kits.

Now, there are a few reasons why I recommend this lens to photography beginners, and that is for two main reasons.

One, the images will be sharper than a zoom lens, whether it’s a Nikon manufactured can Sigma or the kit zoom lens, it’s gonna be much sharper.

And two, the overall quality of your image will be 10 times better with the 50 millimeter lens versus your kit lens.

Painting With Light

let’s find out what I mean by painting with light.

And I’m gonna use it throughout this photography course a lot. So let’s think about what you are doing as a photographer.

You’re creating a photo, right? But how well, the number one ingredient for any photo, regardless of the type of camera is light.

Without it, you can’t capture an image or at least a good quality image. If the light is low and I’m gonna prove it right now, can you see me maybe, but probably not as good as he did before. Am I right?

And yes, I can make adjustments on my camera so you can see me better. And to save us time, I captured this image of me with the new camera settings.

And as you can see the quality isn’t the same as it was with my main source of light turned on. So light is important, very important.

All right. So think of light as your paint, then your media card is your canvas. Then your camera equipment is brush.

Now, when it comes to your camera gear, you have a lot of ways to paint with light, control it and even alter it.

This includes options with your camera body. And one of those options will allow you to alter the color of light and you’ll discover all of those options in the next section. Now, when it comes to your lenses, you have a lot of choices as well.

So all lenses give you control over how much light to paint with, or in other words, to capture more or less light.

And you’ll learn about those options in this photography course, too.

So if you are ready to harness the power of painting with light to fulfill your creative vision, let’s do it

Secret Photography Tools

in the next nine minutes.

I’m gonna share the secret tools I’ve used for the last 30 years for every photo I’ve ever created.

And you’ll also be using them for every photo you create in your lifetime. So this is an introduction to those tools.

And then later in the course, you’re gonna take a deep dive into each one of them. So you can master them to create amazing images.

So this is the foundation for painting with light. So here we go. So there are three main elements you must understand that are the building blogs for everything else you’ll ever learn about photography.

And these three elements when properly aligned will ensure a proper exposure, but what is exposure?

Well, your photos exposure relates to how bright or dark your image is. If it’s too bright, it’s overexposed.

And if it’s too dark, it’s underexposed.

Now here’s the properly exposed image.

So the question is how do you capture an image with the correct exposure based on your creative vision?

Well, you have to understand, and I mean, fully understand the three elements of your camera that affect your exposure. And those are your ISO aperture and shutter spade.

So those are the secret tools for every creative photo I’ve ever taken.

And once you fully understand them, you will then be able to paint with light to create amazing images.

So one of the first camera settings I decide on is ISO, but what is an ISO and why do I choose a first?

Well, basically ISO affects the brightness of the light sent to your camera’s sensor for recording.

Now, ISO comes in some standard settings, like 200, 400, 800 and 1600. Just to name a few.

There are a lot more, but in general, the higher, the ISO number means the light you paint with becomes brighter.

So how does ISO make available light brighter?

Well, first you have to understand an important concept about digital cameras versus film. Now, unlike film, your digital camera sensor is not sensitive to light.

It’s impossible for electronics to be sensitive in that manner and I’ll prove it.

So I have some film and I have some light and it’s starting to burn.

So it’s sensitive.

Whew, that stinks. all right. Now we have a camera light and well, it’s not sensitive. It’s not burning anyways.

Now I couldn’t find a sensor that I wanted to use for this demonstration, but the point is your camera’s sensor will not burn under ordinary light, like the sun or a lamp or a candle.

But because this film is unrolled, it’s exposed to the light.

It has been exposed to the light and it doesn’t matter how much light exposes it because it is sensitive to that light. It’s ruined forever.

However, with our digital cameras, once we take a photo, that sensor is exposed to the light, but you can continue taking another photo again and again and again, because it’s not sensitive to light like film is all right.

So I still haven’t answered the question of how does ISO increase the brightness of the available light.

So here we go, look at it like this.

You know, when you’re listening to the radio and one of your favorite songs comes on, what do you do? Yep. You turn up the volume and it gets louder.

The larger, the number on the dial means your music can get even louder.

Something similar happens when you dial the ISO higher in your digital cameras, the higher you go, the brighter your image becomes.

And this is the key.

Your camera sensor will make the light brighter by turning up the volume.

Or in other words, it amplifies the light to be brighter and to higher the ISO, the more it’s boosted, which seems pretty awesome at first on unlimited light. Pretty cool. Am I right

until you realize your photos begin to lag grainy, this grain is also known as digital noise.

See how I did that volume noise.

They’re kinda like distant cousins.

All right. So this image was captured at ISO 100 and I shot it again at ISO 800.

Now notice how it’s not as clean as the first one.

It has some grain or noise or however you wanna look at it.

All right. I then retook that photo again at ISO 1600 and it’s even noisier than before. And then one more time at ISO 6,400, which is very, very loud.

Like my teenage daughter, when she thinks she’s home alone.

All right. So the more you dial up the ISO the louder or noisier it gets.

So how does a higher ISO create a noisier photo?

Well, there are two reasons why a photo becomes noisier and you’ll discover the answer to that with the ISO deep dive coming up later in this course.

APERTURE

All right, next up my favorite topic, the aperture.

So what is an aperture?

Well, it’s nothing more than a hole in your lens, that’s it?

Well, other than the fact, you can control how big that hole is, which can affect your exposure. And it has creative powers.

Now, the bigger the hole, the more light that is sent to your camera and the smaller, the hole, the less light that travels to your camera.

Now inside your lens, you can see this hole and depending on the lens that you have, when you rotate the lens barrel, you can see the size of the whole change.

Now the size of the hole is represented by a number like 2.8, four, eight or 16 to name a few.

However, in photography, these numbers are presented like this F 2.8 F four F eight and F 16.

Now this is where things get a little confusing because a larger number doesn’t mean you have a larger hole, quite the opposite.

So F 2.8 is a larger hole compared to F 16.

How is that possible?

Well, there’s some math involved and we’ll take a deep dive into apertures and you’ll learn everything you need to know about them later in the chorus for now.

Here’s a hint.

Look at this number again. And what does it look like?

If you set a fraction, you are correct.

We have F divided by 2.8. So what does the F stand for?

Well, again, you’ll find out later on in the course, as for its creative powers, you probably already discovered what they are when you followed my five pro tips that you watched previously, you did watch it, right?

if not check out this timestamps below to discover aperture’s creative powers for yourself, or you can wait until we get to the aperture deep dive tutorial.

All right. So the third and final element of your exposure and creativity is shutter speed.

Now, like we talked about before, there is a shutter directly in front of your camera, sensor, or film, if you’re old school and that shutter blocks the light from being recorded.

Now, when you create a photo, the shutter opens and your sensor can then record the light or the photo for you.

Now, how long the shutter stays open is based on the speed you set for the shutter.

So if you decide to open the shutter for, let’s say five seconds, it will do so for that duration.

And then it will close and your sensor will stop recording. Now your shutter speed is like apertures because they’re listed as a fraction.

So some common shutter speeds.

You’ll use our one, one 60th of a second, 1, 1 20 fifth, one, two 50th, and one, 500th to name a few.

Now whole numbers are also used to represent the speed of your shutter, and they refer to seconds instead of fractions of a second.

So like one second, five seconds, seven seconds, etcetera. And of course the longer your shutter is open.

The more light you paint with and the shorter, the length, the less light you’ll record.

Now, your shutter, like your aperture also has some creative powers. Now those powers include either freezing the action or blurring the action.

You can create a soft dreamy like water by using very slow shutter speeds. And for this image, I used a one second shutter speed to create that Milky effect on the water.

Now, if you’re like my wife and that’s not something you’re into, you can actually freeze the action with a fast shutter speed.

So here’s the same subject, but a shutter speed of one, 500th of a second that freezes the water in place.

Now, how does this happen?

Well, you’re gonna find out in the next section.

So if you’re ready, well, let’s do it all right.

00:34:41 | Discover ISO

Now that you have a good grasp on what an, an exposure is and the three elements to achieve your desired exposure.

It’s time to take a deep dive into ISO apertures and shutter speeds. So we’re gonna start off with ISO first, since this is the camera setting, I recommend adjusting before the other two with dozens of ISO setting options, which one should you use?

And when, well, in the next few minutes, I’m gonna share some pro tips on which ISO settings to choose under different lighting conditions.

But first let’s discover how grain is increased with each higher ISO setting.

As I promised previously, the first is based on the quality of your digital camera and the size of your sensor in general, the higher, the quality camera will result in less noise at higher ISOs.

We’re gonna gonna take a look at a couple of images to compare older and newer technology.

So back in 2001, I picked up my first digital camera, which is this Fuji S two right here.

Now here’s an image that I shot with it at ISO 800.

You can definitely see a lot of grain in the image.

This next photo I took with my Nikon D 500, which I got around 2016 or so. So that’s about 15 years after my Fujis two.

Now, although there’s a lot of grain, there isn’t as much as there was before.

Why is that? Well, the cameras processor in the D 500 is much better at reducing noise versus my Fujis two.

So the technology has vastly improved over the years.

This next image I shot with a larger sensor. In this case, this image was captured with my Nikon Z six, which is a mirrorless camera.

And the sensor is larger compared to the D 500 and Fu GS two, just like the other images.

This was captured at ISO 800.

The amount of grain once again is better than the older and smaller sensors in general, higher end cameras or newer technology have better noise reduction capabilities versus lower end or older digital cameras and bigger sensors also reduce the amount of digital noise.

The other factor is today’s digital cameras are well they’re electronic.

And when light enters your camera, the sensor records the brightness of the light that reaches it.

This is different from the film days when the film itself was sensitive to light, like I demonstrated previously.

So your electronic camera will amplify the light.

When you choose a higher ISO setting, this amplification causes the grain to increase in size with each higher ISO setting that you shoot with.

All right.

So another thing you should know is unlike aperture and shutter speeds, ISO does not have any creative options.

Instead. It’s only used to increase the brightness of available light. If you can’t physically add more light with, let’s say off camera, flash, or strobes, or let’s say you have a creative vision for a photo that requires a specific aperture or shutter speed.

In that case, you will add more light by that’s, right?

Amplifying it with a higher ISO number.

And as you down know, the higher, the ISO will result in more noise.

So my number one recommendation is to use the lowest ISO setting possible at all times.

All right. So here are some guidelines to get you started since it’s impossible to give exact settings for specific lighting situations, since the possibilities are unlimited.

All right.

When shooting outdoors on a bright sunny day, you’ll want to use the lowest ISO available on your camera, like 100 or 200, if it’s partly cloudy or completely cloudy, you might have to use ISO 400 to 800.

And that’s going to depend on how dark the clouds are and how much sunlight it’s restricting.

Now, if you’re gonna shoot indoors, you might have to use ISO 800 to 1600 or hire again.

It all depends on how dark it is inside.

Now, when you’re ready to start taking photos, you may have some doubt about which ISO setting to use in that case.

Your camera might have an option to automatically set your ISO for you.

And this camera setting is often referred to as well.

Auto ISO. So does your camera have this option?

Well, you’re gonna have to check your camera manual to find out if not, just use one of the guidelines I just mentioned to get you started.

Now, if you do have auto ISO, it’s going to make it easier for you to start taking photos now, without worrying about which ISO number to use since your camera is going to auto automatically choose the ISO for you.

However, I must warn you that it’s not perfect. And sometimes you may end up with a bad exposure.

And later in this photography class, you’re going to learn about exposure, metering, exposure, compensation, and more to get the right exposure.

If your camera doesn’t do so automatically.

Now, if you have auto ISO refer to your camera manual to learn how to set it up, and here’s how it works, depending on your camera, you should be able to set the maximum ISO setting, which will minimize the amount of digital noise based on your choice.

Also, depending on your camera, you might also have the option to set the minimum shutter speed setting.

The minimum shutter speed will ensure your camera doesn’t choose a speed that will cause images that are blurry more on that coming up soon.

Now, if you do not have auto ISO refer to the guidelines provided earlier, when you continue with the following tutorials, which is going to start with the creative side of apertures coming up right now,

00:40:57 | Discover Apertures

all right, we’re gonna do a quick recap on apertures, and I’m going to do a demonstration.

That’s gonna show you when you use different apertures, it can alter how your image looks.

Then we’re gonna take a deep dive into apertures so you can master everything you need to know about apertures.

All right. So something interesting happens when you adjust the aperture from smaller to larger or vice versa.

Now, as you can see with these images, the background goes from in focus to out of focus, more and more with each change of the aperture.

I should also point out that there are other factors that determine how much the background is blurred out, like the length of your lens, the distance between your subject and the background and more.

You’re gonna learn all about those and more after this tutorial now, all the way in the beginning of this class, I mentioned that I recommended starting to shoot an aperture priority mode.

And if you didn’t do that, that’s okay because we’re gonna go ahead and do that right now.

So let’s go ahead and grab our cameras. And the first thing you wanna do is you wanna set your camera in aperture priority mode to do that.

You’re gonna locate the dial on your camera, that has the setting for aperture priority mode.

And you can find it by locating either the letter a or a V.

So in case you’re wondering the, a stands for aperture priority, and now you have full creative control over the aperture and your camera is going to automatically choose the shutter speed for you to get the correct exposure.

Now, if you don’t have auto ISO, you’re gonna need to set your ISO.

According to the guidelines I provided previously, since your camera’s not going to do it for you, when you’re in aperture priority mode now to choose the aperture you wanna shoot with, you’re gonna need to turn a dial on your camera to adjust it accordingly.

All right, let’s grab any two items and set them about six to 12 inches apart.

Now, for the first photo, we’re gonna set the cameras aperture to the largest aperture for that lens.

This could be something like F 2.8 or F four.

It’s all gonna depend on your specific lens.

Now for this lens, it’s a 50 millimeter lens and the largest aperture is 1.8.

All right. So what we’re gonna do is we’re going to focus on the front object. So the zebra in my case, and we’re gonna create our first image.

All right. So once you have that image done, the next thing to do is to change your aperture to the smallest hold for that lens.

And that could be something like F 11 or F 16, and for this lens, it’s F 16.

So go ahead and set that let’s refocus on the front object again and create another photo.

All right, now that we have both images done, let’s compare them side by side.

So the image on the left is the one that I shot at F 16.

And the other is F 1.8. In both images, you can see that the zebra is in focus and the elephant is only in focus in the first photo.

And at F 1.8, it’s not in focus at all. So this demonstrates that the larger the aperture, the more the background will be blurred out.

And this is also known as well.

You’re gonna find out in the next tutorial.

00:44:25 | Aperture Deep Dive

All right, we’re now gonna take a deep dive into aperture.

So you, you fully understand how they work and how they can alter your final image.

Now, previously, I demonstrated that the larger the aperture, the more the background is blurred out when it comes to the area and focus, this is referred to as the depth of field.

So the depth of field is the zone within a photo that appears sharp.

And in focus when focusing on your subject that is considered the point of focus beyond that, how much appears in focus corresponds to the depth of field.

So here are two more images and the amount of the depth of field in one is greater than the other.

The first image I captured at 1.8, and it is considered to have a small or shallow depth of field.

The second image was captured at F 16, and this is considered to have a large depth of field.

In essence, a small depth of field has lesson focus versus a large depth of field. Now, the help you remember this, a small aperture number, like 1.8 represents a small depth of field and a large number like 16 means you will have a large depth of field.

Now you may have realized a weird phenomenon, and that is a small aperture number.

Like 1.8 has a very large hole compared to an aperture of 16. Why is that?

Well, as we discussed earlier, an aperture number in photography is referred to as an F number.

And as you now know, the numbers are listed like this F 1.8 F two F two eight, and so on.

Also, just so you know, in case you’re wondering not all cameras will include a forward slash with the number when you dial in an aperture, either way, you’ll know exactly which aperture it is, what size it is and how it will affect your depth of field.

Now, there is a reason why a forward slash is included, and it will explain why F 16 is smaller than 1.8.

So if you are ready to demystify this phenomenon on how 1.8 is larger than 16 let’s first go over what the F and your F number represents.

So the letter F stands for focal length. Each one of your lenses has a specific focal length that is represented in millimeters.

So this lenses focal length is 50 millimeters, and it has a range of F numbers from 1.8 to 16.

So let’s take the focal length of this lens 50, and we’re going to replace the letter F with it.

Okay. So now we have this math equation 50 forward slash 1.8.

Now, no worries. Math is not a requirement to create awesome photos, just stick with me for another 15 seconds.

And this will all make sense.

Okay. If we divide 50 by 1.8, that equals 22.77. Then if we take 50 and divide it by 16, that’s 3.125.

So which one is the smaller one? That’s right. 3.125.

Therefore in photography, F 16 is a smaller hole versus an ature of F 1.8.

So you might be wondering how can you use what you’ve just learned to be more creative?

Well, let’s look at some more images to reinforce what you’ve learned.

And then I have a video that demonstrates that shows how different focal lengths and distances can affect your depth of field as well, which I’ll share in just a minute.

Now for this particular image, I wanted to tell the story of this couple’s wedding day and the location of that wedding day.

So I wanted to use a fairly small, but large aperture.

I didn’t wanna completely blur out the background. So I used an aperture of F four, so not too big, not too small.

And that allowed me to keep some of the background and focus.

And if you recognize this letter D you know, that’s from Detroit and in particular, the Detroit tigers.

So their wedding day was in that area. And we were near the Detroit tiger stadium.

If I had completely blurred out the background, that information would’ve been missing, and you would’ve thought that this particular image was shot at any major city across the world, but by including the D and keeping it in focus, we now have a storyline that lets you know exactly where this particular wedding took place.

Now for this next image, I also shot this at an aperture of F four, but the distance between our subject and the background is much greater than it was in the previous image.

And that creates a much blurrier background because of that distance.

Now on this image, I actually shot this at a small aperture of F 11, and you would expect the background and even some of the foreground here to be more in focus than it really is.

And that’s due to the lens that I used, which is a macro lens, which is going to change the amount of depth of field based on it being a macro lens versus a normal lens.

So your lenses can also affect the depth of field, not just distance and not just apertures for this next image.

I shot at an aperture of, of F eight. So I have the foreground in focus.

The tree lines here in the front are somewhat in focus and each tree behind one another is less and less in focus.

So we have a somewhat shallowed at the field, but not very shallow because they, again, I wanted to help tell the story of the day and show the types of trees behind them.

I could have completely blurted out.

So you couldn’t even recognize that those were tree trunks, but that would’ve eliminated that part of the story.

So make sure you’re selecting your apertures based on the story you wanna tell for this next image.

I’d love this image. It’s a classic shot of the guys, the groom, the groomsmen walking towards the camera.

And it’s a very popular type of photo that all my clients want, but I chose the wrong aperture and I had to try and fix it in Photoshop.

My motto is to get it right in camera and I didn’t on this image.

And you can definitely see in the background, all the details of the background and the cityscape, we can definitely read what’s going on in the signs.

And you could say, that’s helping tell the story, but there’s too much in focus.

And it’s taking away from our main subjects, which are the guys in this case.

And it’s kind of hard to separate the foreground and the background because all of it is in focus.

So let’s take a look at the image that I did in Photoshop.

And now that the background is blurred out, you can definitely see that the guys stand out a lot more than they did previously.

So here’s the before and after on the left side, we can read the signs on the right side.

We can’t, and you can definitely see how the guys on this side on the left side are harder to visualize or see, because they’re not standing out as much as the guys on the right now, truth be told, I probably should have blurred this out a little bit more to tone it down even more, but the more I blurred it out, the more unnatural it began to look, which is why I always recommend getting it right in camera.

So you don’t have to try and fix it afterwards.

All right. So here’s the video demonstration that I mentioned previously.

All right. So we’re gonna take several photos to demonstrate depth of field and how you can control depth of field with different factors.

So the first two images I’m gonna shoot at 1.4, which is the largest aperture for this lens.

And then a second photo at F 16, which is the smallest aperture for this lens. And then we’ll compare those two images to see how those aperture settings affect depth of field.

So I’m gonna go ahead and shoot at S 16 first, and I’m gonna have her hold out the flower.

So I can focus on the flower, which is going to demonstrate the depth of field when I focus on the flower versus her.

So I’m gonna go ahead and focus on the flower and take the first image.

Now I’m going to change to 1.4 and take a second image.

All right, let’s compare those images now.

And the first one is going to be the one shot at F 16, and we can see that there’s a large depth of field.

And a lot of the elements in the scene are in focus.

Now let’s compare that to 1.4.

We can see that the flower, the stem and her hand is in focus, but the rest of the scene is not.

So she’s blurry in this image as well as the elements in the back, the fence and the house is in the back are blurrier than the subject and the further the elements from her, the more they become blurred out.

All right. So remember what we talked about before, when you have a small aperture number that’s going to result in a small depth of field or less of the image being in focus.

When you have a large aperture number like F 16 or F 22, you’re gonna have a larger depth of field and more of the image is going to be in focus.

Now I wanna demonstrate another way you can control depth of field.

And what I’m going to do is I’m gonna step back about 15 feet here and take two more images at 1.4 and then another at F 16.

Okay. So I’m gonna go ahead and shoot at F 16 first.

Okay. I’m gonna switch to 1.4 now.
All right. Let’s take a look at these images now.

And the first one is at F 16. And just like before we have a large depth of field, but check out what happens when you shoot at 1.4 and you’re further from the subject.

So this time she’s in much sharper focus than before.

So she’s not as blurry, but the background, even though it’s more in focus, it’s still blurry.

All right. So distance is another way of controlling your depth of field.

So the closer you are to the subject that you’re focusing on the shallower or the smaller, the depth of field, or the less of the image that will be in focus and the greater the distance between you and your camera and the subject, you’re focusing on the greater, the depth of field or the larger, the depth of field, or the more of the image that will be in focus.

Now, another thing that you can do is if you are photographing somebody and you have a busy background like this, and you wanna blur out the background, but you’re not getting the amount of blur that you want, what you can do is you can move your subject away from the background.

And then that will blur out that background even more.

So we’re both going to move up here about 30 feet or so, and we’re gonna take another photo.

All right. So we’re now about 30 to 40 feet further from the position we were before. And I’m gonna shoot at 1.4 again,

All right. Let’s take a look at this image and compare it to the last one.

So as you can see, we have a fairly large depth of field, but compared to the last image, the background is much more blurred out than it was before.

So again, distance helps affect or control the amount of the image that is in focus.

Now, another thing that you can do to control the amount of depth of field, if you can’t move your subject away from the background, because maybe you’re photographing a tiger at the zoo, or you’re on safari.

And for obvious reasons, you can’t get closer to that tiger, or you can’t ask that tiger to move away from the background.

What you can do instead is change your lens from shorter to longer.

So I’m gonna change my focal length here from 50 to 200 and shoot another photo to compare that, to the image that we just took.

All right. So I have my 70 to 200 lens, and I’m gonna shoot at the longest length, which is 200 now for this lens.

The largest aperture I have is 2.8. So I can’t shoot at 1.4.

So technically it’s a smaller aperture versus the one we shot previously with the shorter focal length.

So I’m gonna have her hold up that flower again.

I’m gonna focus on that flower and take another image.

Let’s go ahead and compare this image now to the one we did previously.

So as you can see the flower, the stem and her hand are in focus, but she is no longer in focus like it was with the last image at 1.4.

And definitely the background is more out of focus than it was previously as well.

So that’s another option for controlling your depth of field by using a longer lens.

All right, now that you know, the creative aspects of apertures, how it affects the depth of field and how distance affects the depth of field, it’s time to take your knowledge and apply it since knowledge is not power action is, and that’s because the best way to learn photography is to practice what you’ve learned.

Now, remember adjust your aperture based on the amount of depth of field you prefer.

And don’t forget to adjust the ISO.

If you don’t have auto ISO set up now real quick, there’s one more thing you should know, and that is bouquet in photography.

We use the term bouquet to describe the characteristics of how the background looks when blurred out the bouquet appears as little circles in the out of focus areas, and those circles can have different shapes depending on the type of lens you use.

So let’s take a look at a couple of images to see what it looks like.

All right. So for this image, I captured this at a national part that we live near and they were doing a demonstration on birds of prey.

And I wanted to use a shallow depth of field to blur out the things that were going on in the background, because there was people walking by.

And I wasn’t sure if I was going to get the shot I wanted at the time, because the bird’s head was moving so fast. I should say the owl.

So I used an aperture of 2.8 and I used a long focal length of 200 millimeters, which helped create a shallower depth of field

And that helped create these circles in the background.

So that’s the bouquet, the circles that you see in the background for this next image, I used a 60 millimeter macro lens, and I used an aperture of F 2.8.

And you can see the shape of the bouquet is different from the previous image.

It kind of has a outline on the outer edge of the circle, and it’s not really a circle. It’s more oblong versus circle.

Now you can also get a hexagon shape depending on the lens and the aperture that you use now for this next image.

I didn’t create this image. I actually found this on P pixels.com,

but I wanted to show you this image because the bouquet on it is very unique to this particular lens.

And you can see that the bouquet is more of a bubble type shape, and the outline on it creates more of a bubble effect.

Especially if you take a look down here in the bottom, right of the image, you can definitely see that bubble type shape.

Now this particular lens it’s called a Meer Golet ER, or something like that.

It’s actually a lens from the fifties and you will find older lenses like this will create different types of bouquet.

So if you wanna create something different and unique, take a look at different lenses from different eras to see if you can find something unique.

01:51:29 | Shutter Speeds

All right, now that you know everything you need to know about apertures, we’re now going to take a deeper dive into shutter speeds.

All right, now that you know how to use apertures creatively, it’s time to take a closer look at shutter speeds.

Since it also provides creative options, to see how the shutter speeds can help you achieve your creative vision, grab your camera and switch it to shutter priority mode.

This setting can be set by changing the dial on your camera to S you now have full creative control over the shutter speed, and your camera will decide on the aperture to achieve the proper exposure.

Now, remember, you’ll need to set the ISO setting manually unless you have auto ISO activated.

So what creative options does the shutter speed provide?

Well, I’m glad you asked the two options are to either freeze the action or blur the action.

So for this image, I froze the action of the newly wedge jumping by using a fast shutter speed.

Now for this waterfall image, which I captured on a family vacation in Letchworth park, New York, I blurred the action by using a slower shutter speed.

So the creative options are achieved by how long your shutter stays open.

Although there are some other factors that can affect how much motion blur is created.

For example, the speed of your subject can affect the amount of blur.

And so does the distance of your subject from your camera and you’ll discover why that is in just a moment.

First, I’m going to demonstrate how to freeze and blur the action with my wife’s handy Dany fan.

So we’re gonna take two photos at two different speeds for the first image. I’m going to use a shutter speed of one eighth of a second.

And for the second image, I’ll use one eight thousands of a second.

All right, I’m gonna go ahead and turn the fan on to the slowest setting.

It has three different speed options, but we’ll use the slowest one for now.

So I’m gonna set my camera to one eighth of a second, and I’m going to record the camera’s view so you can see what I see prior to taking the photo.

Now we have one problem I’m hand holding and at this shutter speed, it’s not going to work and you’ll find out why in the next tutorial.

So I’m gonna start over and put my camera on a tripod.

All right. So let’s try this again.

Now here’s the image I just captured and the camera sees the blades the same as you and I they’re blurry. Right?

So what I’m gonna do now is I’m gonna change my shutter speed to one eight thousandths of a second and retake the photo to see if we can stop the action.

I think I need to increase my ISO as well.

So let’s see. Wow, ISO 40,000, maybe a little bit more.

I might need to change my aperture as well. I’m gonna go down to F two. So I think I have a good exposure now.

So let’s go ahead and try this again.

Okay. So this time the camera froze the action and we can actually see the individual blades. So anytime you wanna freeze the action, use a fast shutter speed.

The only problem is how do you know which cheddar speed to use, and when that, and more will be answered real soon, but first I’m gonna take a third image with the fan at the highest setting or the fastest setting.

So the blades move even faster and I’m going to use the same shutter speed of one eight thousandths of a second.

And this is going to demonstrate the cause and effect of the speed of your subject in relation to your shutter speed.

I’m gonna go ahead and turn this up.

Oh, wrong way. All right, there we go.

It’s much louder. Now let’s go ahead and take that shot again.

01:05:40 | Shutter Speed Deep Dive

All right. You now know how the shutter speed can either blur or freeze the action, but the question is, how does this happen and how do you decide on which shutter speed to use and when well you are now going to take a deep dive into shutter speeds, that will answer those questions and more,

all right, So the amount of blur in an image is dependent on three things, your shutter speed, the speed of the subject and the distance of the subject to your camera.

Let’s review a couple of images of the fan blades we captured previously.

The first image here on the left is the photo captured at one eighth of a second.

And the one on the right is one eight thousandths of a second. This is a classic example of freezing or blurring the action.

Now let’s compare the faster shutter speed with the third image I captured that you haven’t seen yet.

Now you may remember for this image, I had the fan setting set to the slowest speed, and here’s the third image with the faster fan speed.

And this time we have some motion blur.

This is due to the blades turning faster this time.

So this demonstrates how the speed of your subject can alter whether or not you are freezing or blurring that action with the same shutter speed.

So this brings us to that question again about figuring out which shutter speed to use and when, and that answer is coming up soon.

I promise before I share that let’s look at some more images.

So I volunteered my daughter to assist us at a local park for this demonstration.

And we took three photos, two at a distance of 10 feet from the camera with the shutter speed of one second and one, one thousands of a second.

Then the third image, I captured her 500 feet from the camera at one second.

So this image was at a distance of around 10 feet from the camera and a shutter speed of one, one thousandths of a second, which shows we froze the action.

This next image was captured at one second.

And this time we have some motion blur.

All right, now let’s see how distance affects whether or not the action is blurred or frozen.

Also, in case you’re wondering, I didn’t shoot a fourth image at the faster shutter speed with this distance, since it would still freeze the action, but check out what happened with the slower shutter speed and a distance of around 500 feet.

Now, it’s hard to see how much of the action is frozen or blurred because she is much further from the camera than before.

So let’s go ahead and zoom in.

And, and although the action is not frozen, the amount of blurring that occurred is less than when she was only 10 feet from the camera.

So this demonstrates that the distance can play a role in whether or not the action is frozen or blurred or by how much.

So the further your subject is from the camera, the less blurring will occur.

Why is that? Well, let’s jump into Photoshop here and find out.

So we have both images here and they both have guidelines, apply to them, which represents the opening and closing of the shutter.

The right guideline represents the opening.

The left represents where the shutter closed.

So in between those guidelines, she traveled from one to the other as she was being recorded on the sensor.

But as you can see the amount she traveled in our first image here was greater than the other image, which reduced the amount of motion blur.

So try and think of your subject, traveling across a sensor, the closer they are to your camera.

The further they’re going to travel along that sensor and the longer the motion blur is going to be the further they are from your camera.

They’re going to travel a shorter distance on that sensor, creating less motion blur.

So keep that in mind, the further they are, the less motion blur you will have.

All right. Now for the moment you’ve been waiting for, I’m gonna share some guidelines on deciding which shutter speed to use and when, when it comes to photographing your kids or people in general sports or even wildlife, and you wish to freeze the action.

A good starting point is one, 500th of a second.

If the action is really fast and you’re close to it, then you may wanna go up to one, two thousandths of a second or faster like one, four thousandths of a second, but sometimes adding motion blur can help create something unique.

For example, in this image, I used a shutter speed of one 30th of a second to add some motion blur of my daughter, riding her bike at that shutter speed.

It should have caused a lot more motion blur on her than what actually occurred.

And that was achieved because I took my camera and I panned, and I followed her as she went by and doing this creates motion blur in the background versus on my daughter.

So panning is a photography technique to create motion blur more on the surroundings than the actual subject, because you’re focusing on that particular subject.

When it comes to shooting landscapes, there’s generally little to no action in the scene, unless of course you’re shooting a waterfall or a landscape on a windy day.

Therefore you can use any shutter speed.

You desired actually, that’s not correct because if you remember the first photo I took in the previous tutorial, I tried to handhold the camera with a one second shutter speed.

And that resulted in a blurry image due to camera shake by using a tripod, I was able to eliminate the blurriness caused by the camera shaking.

So one of the things you can do is use a faster shutter speed, but if you wanna blur the action, then you’ll need a tripod to avoid camera shake.

So it’s safe to say that a faster shutter speed is required.

The faster the action is, and or the closer you are to the subject with your camera.

Now, the problem is all of those factors can include an infinite amount of possibilities.

So what I recommend is testing and practicing prior to the actual day of the shoot, or when you first arrive at the scene, take some test shots to narrow down the shutter speed you want for your create a vision.

All right. So here’s another pro tip for deciding on the minimum shutter speed to avoid camera shake or blurry photos when you don’t have a tripod.

So based on the lens that you’re using, you’re gonna take the focal length and double it.

If it’s a zoom lens like this 28 to 70, you’re going to use the longest length.

So in this case, that would be 140, and then we’re gonna convert that to a shutter speed, which would be one, one 40th of a second.

Now, if your camera doesn’t have that shutter speed, then round up.

So in this case, one, one 50th of a second is the minimum shutter speed I should use for this lens.

Now for my 70 to 200, the minimum shutter speed would be one, 400th of a second. Now, keep in mind that this is a rule that can be adjusted based on how well you are able to hold the camera.

For example, my daughter is smaller and stature than I am.

She’s like five foot three and a hundred pounds.

So this lens and the weight of the camera is probably going to be harder for her to hold still and avoid camera shake, which means she might need a faster shutter speed than one, 400th of a second.

She might need something like one, 1000th of a second.

So you’re gonna need to experiment with all your different lenses to find the ideal minimum shutter speed to avoid camera shake.

Another thing you can do when you forget your tripod at home, like I do when I go on vacation is to use your surroundings to stabilize your camera for this waterfall image.

I wanted to blur the motion of the water to create a smooth silky type of effect, but with no tripod in sight, I ended up with the dreaded camera shake blur.

Luckily there was a small Stonewall in front of me that I placed my camera on and I was able to get the shot.

Now, if you don’t have the same type of luck, you can try leaning against a wall or bring your elbows in tight and hold your breath as you squeeze the shutter release button.

So the better you’re able to hold the camera still the better chance of getting the shot or better yet, don’t leave your tripod at home.

All right, now it’s your turn to take this knowledge and practice by shooting and shutter priority mode and discover for yourself the creative side to shutter speeds.

Now coming up next is the answer to something you might have already discovered.

And that is why does your camera sometimes get the exposure wrong when shooting in aperture or shutter priority mode or even full auto let’s find out so you can continue elevating your photography skills.

01:15:30 | How Your Camera Gets Exposure Wrong

What I’m about to share is going to elevate your photography knowledge to a whole new level.

This information is vital for mastering your camera to create amazing images with your desired exposure.

This knowledge will also make it easier for you to fulfill your creative vision once you know your camera’s limitations, which by the way, it does have limitations because it’s not perfect. Like you and me.

All right. So far you’ve been shooting in aperture and shutter priority modes, but not all of your exposures have been perfect. Have they?

Some are overexposed, some are underexposed, and then some but not all are exactly what you were hoping for.

Why is that? Well, in essence, your camera is a computer and it gives you results based on how it’s programmed.

So let’s review how your camera has been programmed, and this will answer why it sometimes gets your exposure wrong.

So the best way to demonstrate this is with some photos.

So let me introduce you to one of our family members, buzzy bunny, and I photographed him on a white background to demonstrate how your camera is programmed to sea light.

So this image was shot in aperture priority mode, and it’s under exposed.

Now here’s the image with the correct exposure.

And I’ll explain how I achieved that with an auto mode and a moment first, let’s explore why the camera gave me an underexposed image in aperture priority mode.

Let me point out the obvious your camera has a body, but it doesn’t have a brain like you and I, instead it has a computer chip.

Therefore your camera determines the proper exposure based on yes, like I mentioned, how it’s programmed.

So your camera has no idea. If you’re photographing a bunny, a tree or something else, all it sees is light.

And the color of that light and the computer chip in your camera transforms that information that the sensor received into digital data to reveal your image.

So how is your camera programmed to see the proper exposure and automat?

Well, I’m glad you asked.

So your camera is programmed to assume the brightness level of light is a mid gray tone, depending on your camera.

That’s around 10 to 18% gray.

So think about that for a moment.

Some scenes could be dark and moody and then another could be bright and vibrant, but your camera has been programmed to assume that the brightness levels and both of those situations should be 18% gray.

So when you’re shooting a very bright scene or a subject like fuzzy bunny, your camera is going to overcompensate for this brightness level. And in this case, we have a bright white bunny on a bright white background.

All right. Try and say that 10 times real fast. All right.

So the result is an underexposed image.

When your camera compensates for this brightness level and converts it to a mid gray, this happens anytime.

Light is very bright or when the elements in you’re seeing are highly reflective like Sonoma.

And the opposite happens when you have a very dark location or dark subject, like with Myrtle the turtle, I photographed her with a black background and she too is dark.

And in auto mode, my camera overcompensates and over exposes the image.

Now, the question is, how do you fix your camera to give you the proper exposure when using an automo like aperture priority or shutter priority?

01:19:21 | Metering Modes

Well, you have two options and they will be revealed next.

All right, we are now going to literally jump into a photo to dissect it, to understand how your camera is giving you the exposure it does.

And you’ll learn the two solutions for getting better exposures.

When using an auto mode previously, you learned that your camera is programmed to set your exposure based on a mid gray of around 10 to 18%.

But the question is, how does your camera see the light or measure it?

Well, since your camera doesn’t have eyes like you and I, your camera uses a light meter to see the brightness levels of the available light.

Then the light meter measures how bright it is based on how it’s programmed will determine the camera settings.

It chooses for you.

Now, when your camera gets the exposure wrong, you have two options that include either changing the default light metery mode or adjusting the exposure value. Also known as exposure compensation.

So let’s go over the metering modes.

First, there are three popular types of metering modes that include matrix metering, also known as evaluative mode.

If you’re a can user, the other two are center weighted, metering and spot metering.

Now, depending on your camera, you may have more options, but for now, let’s go over the basics of those three.

Now, in essence, you can control how your camera meters, the available light based on one of those three metering modes.

So the matrix or evaluative metering mode is designed to evaluate all the light you see in your view finder of the metering modes you have, this is the most complex. And what it does is it evaluates the light in five different zones.

It then calculates the different light levels in each section to give you an exposure.

Now, I find this metering mode works for most instances. It’s when you start shooting portraits, for example, with the light behind them, that you’ll find it. Doesn’t give a good exposure.

At least for the subject you are photographing next, you have the center weighted mode, which evaluates the light more towards the center of the viewfinder, and it ignores the light outside of it.

SThe spot metering mode is even smaller at around three to 5% of the view finder area.

And basically it only evaluates the light and that small spot in the center of your view finder.

Although some cameras will move the spot meter based on where your focus point is.

So if you change the focus point from the center to the right or to the left, the spot meter will evaluate the light at that point in your viewfinder.

And we’re gonna cover focus points in more detail later in this photography class now to see how these different meter modes work let’s watch this pre-recorded video.

All right. So for this photo shoot, I am shooting an aperture priority mode again, and I’m shooting at 2.8 and I have matrix metering set for the first image and I’m going to compose her. So she’s on the left side.

So we get some of the light from the background in the image as well.

So we can compare how the light is metered with the three different metering modes. So I’m gonna go ahead and take the first image here.

All right. So for this first image, it is a bit under exposed, but overall, the exposure isn’t too bad, the skin tones look pretty good.

The background looks pretty good, but I think I would like it a little bit brighter.

So what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna switch to center weighted mode to see if that gives me a better exposure.

All right. So this time the image is overexposed in regards to the skin tones.

And that’s because the metering is being applied more towards the center and the light around the image is not being metered at all.

So that background there in the back is much darker than the skin tones, which creates an overexposure of the skin tones.

So this time I’m going to switch to spot metering mode.

And because I had the focus point on her face, it’s going to also meter the light in that area.

So her skin tones, her hair, and maybe a little bit more around her as well.

So let’s see if we get a better exposure with spot metering. All right. So for this image, we did not get the exposure I wanted.

The overall image is now underexposed and the skin tones are darker.

And that could be the way the light is being metered in that area where I focused.

So overall, I believe the matrix mode gave us the best exposure.

So we’re gonna head back into the studio and take a closer look at these images to compare them a little bit more so I can give you some more guidelines on which metering mode to use.

And when, so this was the first image we took and I used the matrix metering mode for this particular image.

And as you can see, it did a really, really good job in giving me a good exposure in camera.

However, I do find that the image is around two third stops under exposed, and I base that on the brightness levels of her skin and this area right here, which is really dark.

And we’re losing some detail in the hair and that’s because it’s under exposed.

So the one thing I can do is I can increase the exposure compensation to make it brighter at time of capture, which you’ll learn how to do very soon, or I can try and fix it in post production.

The problem with that is when you have an underexposed image like this, you’re going to create new problems.

When you increase the exposure in your favorite editing software.

For example, when underexposed, it can become muddy, the skin can become muddy and you’ll lose some detail.

The skin color can shift and become unnatural looking.

You’ll also introduce digital noise and artifacts, all of which now require your attention and time to be fixed in post-production.

So it’s my recommendation to start your editing in camera, by getting the exposure right at the time of capture versus fixing it after the fact.

So when it comes to the matrix metery mode and this type of lighting condition, you’ll often find that the exposure is close to perfect, like for this image.

However, if the lighting of the scene is back lit and we don’t have all these trays or these buildings here, and it’s really bright in these two sections up here, then the matrix metering mode is going to overcompensate for this large amount of brightness levels in those two sections and will further under expose your image.

So remember, the matrix mode is evaluating the light in five different sections.

And if one or more of those sections has a dominant brightness level, that is very intense.

It’s going to overcompensate for that and will give you an exposure that will be more over or underexposed versus what I have for this image.

That being said, the matrix mode is great for lighting situations like this, or even on cloudy days when the light is muted.

So here’s the second image we took and I used the center weighted metering mode.

And this time the light meter was restricted to the center area and all the light outside of it has been ignored.

And because we have a fairly dark area right here that is affecting the light meter and what the camera ends up doing is for this dark area right here and gives us an overexposed image based on how it’s programmed.

So trying to fix the overexposed skin, you can see it’s a lot brighter than it was before.

And trying to fix that in post-production is going to create new problems that you’ll have to try and fix.

And just like with an underexposed image, you can end up with color shifts, muddy skin tones.

And if too overexposed, you could lose detail.

That will be nearly impossible to fix.

Now in regards to using the center weighted metering mode, honestly, I’ve never used it and don’t have any recommendations for it.

Personally, I stick with matrix or spot metering.

All right. So here’s the third image we took and I used the spot metering mode for this.

And the exposure is nearly identical to the matrix mode, even though the metering was restricted to her face here, as well as some surrounding areas.

And that’s because my camera allows the spot meter mode to move with the focus point, which of course was placed on her face overall though, the main area being analyzed is the skin, since it makes up a larger portion of the section being metered, and this resulted in the camera compensating for those brightness levels.

And underexposing the skin around two third stops.

So your spot metering mode and the other metering modes could give you different results versus my camera based on how your camera has been programmed.

And you may not have issues with over or underexposing the skin, or you could end up with the opposite of my results and have overexposed skin.

So you’re going to need to test out your metering modes prior to shooting in order to get the results you want so that it’s now time to discover what and how to use the exposure compensation tool built into your camera, which is coming up right now.

01:29:32 | Exposure Compensation

Previously, I promised two options for helping your camera get the right exposure based on your creative vision.

You learned about the first option, which is to change the metering mode.

Now let’s explore the second option, which is manually adjusting the exposure.

When your camera doesn’t give you the results you want, or in other words, compensate for your camera’s mistakes.

And this second option is known as exposure compensation.

And although you have to adjust this setting manually when using any of the auto modes, it is easier than it sounds.

But before we get into manually adjusting your exposure, you first have to understand a vital component of exposure in photography.

And that is you need to know what a stop is in photography, and no I’m not referring to physically stopping or stop signs.

Instead, a stop in photography is the terminology we use to describe what happens to the amount of light reaching your camera for your exposure based on when you change a camera setting from one to another, in essence, a stop refers to doubling the amount of light or cutting the amount of light in half.

So when you switch from ISO 100 to 200, that is considered one stop going from F four to F 2.8 is one stop.

And so is going from one second to two seconds.

So let’s say you have a one second shutter speed and decide to use two seconds instead, doubling the shutter speed from one to two seconds means you are doubling the amount of light since your shutter is open twice as long.

Or you could say that you’re increasing the light by one stop, which is faster than saying all the things I just said.

So if you hear someone say they increased their exposure by one stop, that means they’ve doubled the amount of light.

Or if they say I’ve stopped down by one stop, that means they cut the amount of light in half.

All right. So if this is still confusing, no worries, because it will be at this point in your photography journey, I’m giving you information that is essential for mastering exposures and in time and practice, this will all make sense.

I promise now if you’re wondering, what does this have to do with exposure compensation?

Well, everything. So grab your camera and your camera manual to determine how to compensate for the exposure given by your camera.

Now, most cameras, at least on the Nikons, I’ve owned, have a button on the camera’s body with a plus and minus sign.

So you’re gonna press and hold that button and your digital screen will change and will look something like this.

Now, when I rotate the dial to the left, I get a negative number to the right.

I get a positive number.

Each turn increases or decreases the amount of light by roughly one third.

So I have plus 0.3, which is one third turning again, I get 0.7 or two thirds.

And again, it gives me one stop.

If I continue, I get 1.3, 1.7 and so on. And a positive number would be increasing the amount of light and a negative number would be decreasing the amount of light.

So when you’re using an mode and you discovered that your image is still under or overexposed, you can change the metering mode.

Like I showed you in the previous tutorial.

Then if you find the image is still under or overexposed adjust the exposure compensation accordingly.

For example, in the last images we took outside of my daughter, they were about two third stops underexposed.

So manually adjusting the exposure by plus 0.7, brightens the image by two third stops.

But how do you know when your image is over or underexposed in camera while you’re out and about shooting?

And why does it matter if it’s off by a little bit great questions that when you know the answers to will elevate your photographic skills and the answer is coming up next,

01:33:49 | Dynamic Range

you are now going to take your photographic knowledge to the next level and this and the next two tutorials that follow since they are the foundation to, from auto modes to manual mode, I guarantee shooting in manual mode will be easy.

If you watch this in the following tutorials, it all starts with understanding dynamic and tonal ranges in photography, since they both relate to your exposure.

And you’ll soon find out your camera’s limitations to the dynamic range and how to overcome them to get the exposure that you want.

So dynamic range and tonal range, what are they let’s find out by exploring dynamic range.

First in essence, the dynamic range and photography refers to the range in which your camera can successfully capture the brightest and darkest areas of a scene without losing detail.

In nature, you can say there’s an infinite level of brightness from blacks to whites and grays in between this brightness range can be measured in stops.

Now we did cover stops in photography previously.

So if you need a reminder, go back and watch the previous tutorial.

Okay? So both your camera and your eyes are not capable of seeing every level of brightness, depending on the intensity of the light in your scene.

When it comes to your eyes, you can see around 24 stops of brightness levels, high end cameras range from 10, 10 to 14 stops, and then lower end or older cameras.

Like my Fuji S two are closer to seven stops.

So this means your camera is not capturing detail in the darkest areas of the shadows or the brightest areas in the highlights.

Now, if you expose for the highlights, you’ll capture those details, but you will lose more details in the shadows.

This is known as exposing to the right, which is better than exposing to the left or for the shadows.

Now, the reason being is it’s easier in post production to bring back some shadows versus highlights.

Now let’s compare dynamic range to tone range.

So the tone range also refers to the brightness levels of a scene, but it is directly related to the tones captured by your camera.

So here’s another way to think of the dynamic versus tonal range.

Imagine your Ferrari has a range of zero to 255 miles per hour.

That’s its dynamic range.

Now imagine your spouse installs a speed inhibitor and changes the range from zero to 60 that’s its total range.

Since it’s been limited to a smaller range, all right, now that you know, your camera has the limitations.

Here are some solutions to overcome its inability to give you the exposure you desire.

One of the things you can do is control the light by diffusing it, or maybe you can add more light to the shadows.

Now, if you are a landscape photographer, it’s going to be more difficult to control the light in this way.

So what you can do is use a polarizing filter to darken up parts of the scene or the landscape, or you can use a graduated neutral density filter, which is going to darken up the sky and the scene even more, which is going to reduce the number of stops in your scene.

Now, another thing you can do is what is known as HDR, photography, which consists of taking three exposures, one underexposed, one overexposed each by one stop, and then a third exposure in between then in post-production you can merge the three exposures to get more detail in the shadows and highlights.

Now, if none of those options are ideal for your situation, then you have to decide what is more important in the scene or easier to deal with in post production.

Then you’ll have to expose to the left for the shadows, if they’re the most important or expose to the right, which is what I recommend.

Now, the question is, how do you know what tonal range you are capturing now?

Although your camera doesn’t have a gradient tool, it does have another tool that can show you visually the tonal range you’ve captured and whether or not you have the correct exposure for that scene.

More on that coming up next.

01:39:12 | Histograms

it’s now time to elevate your photography knowledge.

By once again, jumping into a photo to explore the tonal range captured in an image and to dissect the five zones of your histogram.

So what is a histogram? Well stay tuned because you’re about to learn everything you need to know about histograms, to ensure you never ever end up with an over or underexposed image.

Now, previously we went over the dynamic and tonal range of exposures, but how do you know whether or not you have the exposure you desire?

Well, although you can view the image on the back of your camera with the LCD screen, there are numerous reasons why that’s not the best way to determine if your image is over or underexposed.

One, the quality of your LCD screen may not be able to show all the detail actually captured, or if you’re shooting outside on a bright day is going to be difficult to see your image.

So my recommendation is to learn how to read your histogram, to ensure you capture the right exposure for your creative vision.

Otherwise, you’re going to spend more time fixing your image and post-production, since you didn’t get the exposure right at the time of capture, and we can’t forget about the lower quality of your image that you’re going to create.

If the exposure is off by a lot, like two stops or more so trying to fix that is going to cause a lot of headaches and it may not be worth keeping the image.

So we’re gonna fix that by elevating your histogram knowledge.

So what exactly is a histogram?

Well, a histogram is nothing more than a graphical representation of data using bars of different Heights.

Those bars represent the different tonal ranges or brightness levels captured by your camera.

All right, let’s say you go on vacation and wish to record the number of images you took each day on a graph on day one, you took 50 photos.

The following day, you took 150, then 100 and on day four you took 200. Now imagine your vacation was 256 days long.

Your graph would look like this.

And now it’s starting to look like a photo’s histogram.

Since in photography, your photos histogram includes 256 bars of data.

But the real question is how do these bars of information help you capture the proper exposure?

The answer will be apparent after you and I take a deeper dive into the histogram itself.

So the histogram represents the pixel data of your image, depending on your camera and your editing software.

This data can be presented to show information about the colors in your image and or the brightness levels, or in other words, the tonal range in your image for now, we’re only going to cover the tonal range of a histogram in this tutorial.

So the tonal range goes from 0% or pure black all the way up to 100% or pure white.

Everything else in between is a shade of gray.

So these different shades of gray are divided up into five zones within your histogram.

So each zone of your histogram of course represents a different level of brightness.

In addition to those zones, there’s also a black point and a white point.

All right, we’re now going to take a deep dive into the five zones, the black and white points.

And we’re going to jump into one of my favorite images.

All right, the very first bar of your histogram is number zero and is pure black. The last bar is number 2 55 and it’s pure white.

So the first and last bars are known as the black point and white point.

They’re the darkest or brightest parts of your image and contain no detail.

So in this image, we have a lot of blacks on the inside of this cave around here, along this railing and pathway down here, as well as behind me.

Now, as far as the white points, they’re mostly contained within the water here and this mini waterfall right there.

Now next to the black point, we have 25 more bars known as the blacks.

In essence, the blacks are a lighter shade of pure black and unlike the black point contains detail in that tunnel range.

So for this image, there are lots of blacks from the inside of the cave, along the edges.

We can’t really see them kind of hard to see right now we would have to, to zoom in to see them, but we do have blacks along those areas, as well as this area behind me as well.

So the blacks are followed by what is known as the shadows and it includes 51 bars.

Again, we have some lighter shades of black or shadows on the inside of the cave right here. We also have some on the steps here.

And then of course in different parts of the image here, here, and down here, those are all shadows.

Next, you have your midtones, which include a whopping 102 bars that represent a large portion of mid gray tones.

And these can be found along the path here, along the steps, the railing, these rocks back here.

Those are definitely midtones as well as some of the darker greens up here in the leaves and the trees up here.

Those are all midtones.

The next zone is known as the highlights and it also has 51 bars.

And those are located along the path here where it’s much brighter.

Those would be highlights. We have some in the water.

Some of the bricks on the bridge here would be considered highlights as well as these brighter leaves right here.

All of those would be considered highlights.

So the final zone is known as the whites and it consists of 25 bars.

So the whites are basically a darker shade of pure white, and those can be found in the water here, as well as some of these very bright bricks on the bridge.

All right, now that you know what the bars represent in regards to the tonal range.

The next question is, why does this matter?

Well, previously I mentioned that your Instagram represents pixel data or the brightness levels, but it’s more than that.

The pixel data itself is the detail or texture in your image.

You have 256 possible bars of texture to capture along the dynamic range of the scene. You’re photographing.

So imagine what would happen if your histogram only has 200 bars out of 256, what would that mean?

Well, that means you did not capture detail or texture in this part of the dynamic range. So I’m about to share a technique that will help you see the exposure before you actually create it to ensure you capture all the detail in your scene.

01:46:27 | Histogram Deep Dive

Let’s say hello to Myrtle the turtle again.

And in case you’re wondering about her name, our daughter is wanted a turtle forever, but we settled on a cat instead.

All right. So I photographed Myrtle on a black background.

And as you can see, she too is dark, but she does have some bright highlights around her fur and her eyes are brighter than the fur.

Based on the histogram, we can see the tonal range captured, which includes lots of blacks, shadows and some midtones and very little to no highlights or whites.

So this histogram is vital to understanding them in regards to whether or not you have the proper exposure and whether or not you’ve captured all the detail in a scene.

Let’s jump into another photo and explore how to see your dynamic range before you capture an image.

So you can compare the histogram to what you see.

So this next image here, I captured on a family vacation in Northern Michigan of all places.

So let’s check out the histogram for this image.

So it looks like I captured detail in all 256 bars or the full dynamic range of the scene.

So would you agree that this image is properly exposed? Great.

The only problem is that was a trick question since this is the histogram of the final edit. Now here’s the histogram of the image straight out of the camera.

And it looks like a lot of the bars are missing in the blacks and some in the shadows.

So this is an indication that the photo is overexposed and here’s that same image straight out of the camera with no editing.

And it does look overexposed wouldn’t you agree?

So if I had reviewed the histogram before packing up, I could’ve retaken the photo to get the correct exposure.

This would’ve resulted in a higher quality image and it would’ve saved me some time editing.

Now it’s time for you to elevate your photographic skills with the following information.

Are you ready?

Good, because this is what’s going to separate you from every other photographer on this planet.

So here we go.

So only looking at the histogram by itself, isn’t enough.

It is only confirmation of what you see prior to creating your photo.

So before you click that shutter release button, you first have to visualize your final image.

So what do I mean by that?

Well, you have to see the subject you wanna capture, and you have to see the light in order to determine your exposure.

And that simply means you have to see the dynamic range or the brightness levels of that light throughout your scene.

For example, in this image, it’s very bright along the horizon and it gets darker on the way up.

And then the sand here is fairly bright as well, but the tree itself is darker than the sky and the sand.

So we have a shadow down here of the tree and darker areas within the tree as well.

Therefore we have some blacks and shadows in and around the tree and in the sand and the sky, we have some, some midtones up here.

Then we have some highlights here inside the sand, and then we have our whites along the horizon, and then some whites and highlights on this end of the image as well.

So seeing all five zones before you take the photo tells you that if you wanna capture detail in the full dynamic range of your scene, you will need a histogram that has bars in each tonal range.

If not, and it looks like this, then, you know, your image is overexposed.

But if the histogram looks like this, then you know, it’s underexposed or is it remember Myrtle the turtle.

She had a histogram that looked like this one. And here it is again.

But we know based on the dynamic range of that scene, there will be more bars on the left side of the histogram and little to none on the right side.

That is why it’s important to see the brightness levels of your scene.

So you know what to look for in your histogram to ensure you are getting the exposure needed for your creative vision.

Our next image is another family member and his name is fuzzy bunny.

This time we have a mostly white bunny on an all white background. And as you can see, fuzzy has some light gray spots and his eyes are almost pure black.

So picture in your mind what the histogram should look like.

Is this what you had imagined? Awesome.

Because the bars of the histogram this time are heavier on the right side where the highlights and whites are, and we have some information or detail in the midtones and very few to none in the shadows and blocks.

So remember the histogram will confirm what you see before you take the photo.

And if the histogram matches those brightness levels, then you should have a properly exposed image.

All right, so far we’ve explored the tonal ranges within a histogram, and you now know what to look for to confirm you have the right exposure, but the histogram can also warn you.

If you’re not capturing all the detail in a scene, let’s look at a couple more histograms that will warn you.

If you haven’t captured all the detail and or exceeded the dynamic range of your camera, since it’s only capable of seven to 14 stops of light.

So this image looks very dark and it could be underexposed.

According to the histogram, there are two warning signals that can indicate whether or not the image is underexposed.

The first is the left side of the histogram, where there’s lots of bars all bunched together. So this could be an indication that the image is underexposed.

The other is the right side, where there’s a gap in the highlights and the whites.

This is another warning that your image could be underexposed or this image in particular and not all the details were captured.

So here’s the properly exposed image and it’s histogram.

And notice how the histogram no longer has a gap.

And the less side isn’t as heavy as it was before.

This is why it’s important to visually evaluate your scenes available dynamic range before taking the photo, then match it to your histogram to get the proper exposure and just as important capture all the detail.

All right. So here’s one more image that is overexposed and its histogram is confirming that this time we have a gap on the left side and the bars are bunched together on the right side.

And here’s the properly exposed image along with its histogram.

All right. So the one thing we haven’t covered yet that you might be wondering about is the height of the bars.

In our vacation example, the height of the bars changed based on how many photos were taken each day.

So the bars in your photos histogram can also change Heights based on the number of pixels in a specific tunnel range.

If there’s a predominant brightness level, you’ll see a spike for that specific tunnel range.

In this image, I photographed a couple against a dark wall and the histogram shows a huge spike in the blacks and shadows.

Those black and shadow values are located within the dark green wall.

And this is why those bars are very tall.

Since the wall takes up the majority of the image.

And as you can see the bars for the midtones highlights and whites also have data, but the bars are much shorter since there are fewer details in those tonal ranges and the small spike to the right represents the details in his shirt and her dress.

All right, so I have one more tool to share with you to help you achieve your creative vision.

And you’ll be one step closer to ditching auto modes and shooting in full manual mode.

01:54:57 | Exposure Triangle​

I’m about to share some vital information that will help you take full creative control over your camera and help you finally understand the relationship between ISO apertures and shutter speeds.

Then you’ll be ready to ditch auto and shoot and manual mode guaranteed.

So when it comes to capturing a photo, you have two options.

You can either choose one of the four auto modes and your camera will set the ISO aperture and or the shutter speed to get a proper exposure, which you learned how to do in previous tutorials.

Or you can set your camera in manual mode and manually set each of the three camera settings.

Why would you wanna do that?

Well, if you want full creative control over your camera and wish to set the aperture size and the shutter speed, then you’ll use manual mode, which you’ll learn how to, to do in the next tutorial.

First, you need to understand the relationship between ISO aperture and shutter speed before attempting to shoot in manual mode.

Once you understand this concept shooting in manual mode will be easier guaranteed in photography.

There is something known as the exposure triangle, and it explains the relationship between your different camera settings with a visual tool.

So here’s a typical exposure triangle.

And on each side you have one camera setting with information about how each affects your exposure and whether it freezes or blurs the action, the depth of field and possible digital noise.

So I’ve put together this PDF for you.

So make sure to download it so you can use it to follow along and for future reference.

Now, the purpose of the exposure triangle is to help you visually see what happens when you choose or decide to change a camera setting.

And at the bottom we have apertures and the larger the aperture, the more light you’ll have.

And as you move to the left, you decrease the aperture size and end up with less light.

The creative outcomes of your aperture is also listed.

So as smaller aperture results in a large depth of field and the larger, the aperture becomes the smaller, your depth of field on the left side is your ISO.

Again, the amount of light and the effect of that light is listed so more or less light and less or more digital noise, shutter speed also shows more or less light depending on the shutter speed chosen and the creative effect of the speed chosen.

So each of these camera settings has a tight relationship with each other.

In essence, if you change the camera setting of one, you may have to adjust one or both of the other two settings to get the exposure needed.

For example, let’s say you’re photographing a landscape and decide on ISO 400, a shutter speed of one, 500th of a second.

And since you want a large depth of field, you choose F 11.

After taking the photo, you realize that there is too much digital noise.

So you change your ISO to 100.

This in effect reduces the brightness of the available light in half, twice, or in other words, two stops less light.

And the exposure triangle shows you that 400 to 200 is one stop.

And 200 to 100 is another stop.

So two stops less light in order to get the correct exposure.

You have to change the aperture by two stops by adjusting it to F 5.6. So F 11 to F eight is one stop and F eight to F 5.6 is another stop.

Or you can adjust the shutter speed by two stops with a slower shutter speed of 1, 1 20 fifth of a second.

So one, 500th to one to 50th is one stop. And then 1, 120 fifth of a second is another stop.

Or you can adjust both the shutter and aperture by one stop.

Each in that case, you can go to F eight and one to 50th of a second for two full stops.

And the choices you make to your aperture and shutter speed depend on your creative vision for the shot and whether or not you can hold your camera still at a slower shutter speed.

All right, now that you’ll understand the relationship between your camera settings and how it affects your exposure.

You are ready to shoot in full manual mode, but first I have to reveal a secret tool that will make it super duper, easy to do guaranteed.

So if you are ready to discover that secret tool to finally ditch auto and elevate your photographic skills so you can shoot in full manual mode all as do it.

01:59:37 | Full Creative Control

Now it’s time to take full creative control over your camera by learning how to shoot and manual mode. It sounds like a daunting task. Doesn’t it? Where do you start? Which camera settings should you start with?

First ISO aperture shutter speed.

Then once you figure out one setting, how do you decide on the other two to get the right exposure? Fair.

Not once you’re done with this tutorial, you’ll know exactly how to shoot in full manual mode to achieve your creative vision and get the proper exposure, because I’m going to give you step by step instructions.

Let’s get started by grabbing your camera and let’s put it in manual mode to do so. Change your dial to the letter M and now you’re in manual mode.

So here we go. Step one, choose your ISO based on your available light.

Remember, try to use the lowest ISO number possible based on the brightness of the available light. Step two.

Next, you have to decide on your creative vision for the photo you wanna create.

Do you wanna freeze or blur the action? Do you want a small or large depth of field?

Which one of those is the most important step three?

If the depth of field is the most important to element set your aperture accordingly, or if freezing or blurring, the action is more important, then choose your shutter speed. Step four.

Now it’s time to set the third camera setting based on your creative vision to get the proper exposure and the secret tool you’ll use to help you do this is well, it’s not really a secret.

So what is it? Well, we talked about this tool in a previous tutorial and it’s called a light meter.

So look through your view finder to locate it, which is displayed with multiple dashed lines.

And it looks something like this right here.

So that’s the secret tool to help you determine if you have the correct exposure and depending on your camera, you might might have a plus sign on the right, or it might be on the left.

So here’s how it works.

If the marker is dead center, then you can expect that your exposure will be good.

If the marker is on the positive side, then your image will be overexposed and it will be underexposed if the marker is on the negative side.

So the goal of course is to have a good exposure and you need to adjust your camera settings until the marker is in the center.

The challenge is to balance the camera settings based on your creative vision. So what I recommend doing is starting with the camera setting that will not affect what you want to achieve creatively.

For example, if a shallow depth of field is the most important, then adjust your shutter speed until the marker aligns to the center.

But if you end up with a shutter speed that is too slow, then you can increase the ISO instead, or a combination of both the shutter speed and ISO.

All right, now that you know how to shoot in manual mode, your exposures will be perfect every single time. Nope, not really.

Because remember in previous tutorials we covered how your camera sees things differently than you based on 18% gray and the different metering modes that alter how the light is well metered.

That’s why it’s imperative that you understand the dynamic range of a scene and use your histogram to confirm the existing range of light to ensure you have a proper exposure based on what you’re trying to photograph.

So if you skipped any tutorials, then I recommend going back and watching everything to fully understand your camera.

And then, and only then will you be able to master your camera?

And exposures.

All right. So we’ve covered all the tools necessary for achieving your desired exposure, but we are not done with mastering your camera gear and we’ll continue with part two next, and this will include some additional modes.

Your camera has to help you achieve your creative vision.

Are you ready to continue elevating your photography skills to master photography? Awesome.

The next step to mastering photography is discovering more tools.

Your camera has to help you achieve your creative vision.

And in this section, you’ll discover additional camera modes.

We haven’t covered yet, like focus, quality shooting and drive modes.

And then we’ll wrap up mastering your camera with white balance in the next section, you’ll continue elevating your knowledge of camera gear with the deep dive in the lenses, filters and accessories.

If you are ready well, let’s do it focusing modes. What are they? And how do you use them? Great question. Let’s find out.

All right, real quick.

02:04:25 | Focus Modes

For those of you that have just taken your camera out of the box for the first time to focus on your subject, you’re going to hold down the shutter release button, halfway, your camera, and your lens will then work together to focus on your subject.

Once it’s in focused, press the shutter release button all the way down to create the photo.

Okay. When it comes to focusing, that was pretty easy, but focusing isn’t always that easy. And sometimes as you’ll soon, see, it’s impossible to focus.

This is why most digital cameras give you different focus options and different focusing modes, which focusing options you’ll use will depend on your subject and your creative vision for the final image.

Although focus’s main function is to give you a sharp image.

It can also be used creatively in conjunction with your aperture.

For example, by selectively choosing a point of focus on you can direct your viewer’s attention to that specific location.

By focusing just on that area or a subject for this image, I chose to focus on the flower closest to the camera.

Then with an aperture of F 1.8, I was able to reduce the depth of field.

So that flower I focused on is the only one that is T sharp.

So we’re gonna cover the basics of five different types of auto focus modes, and I’ll share some tips for focusing manually as well.

So the auto focus modes, most digital cameras have are auto flexible center and continuous or AI servo.

If you’re a canyon user. And another one that is fast becoming my favorite is eye tracking mode.

Unfortunately not all digital cameras have this focusing mode.

So let’s start out by grabbing not your camera, your camera manual.

So you can follow along and discover what focus modes your camera has and how to set them up.

Now, before we look at each of these focus modes, there’s something else vital to focusing and dad is the focus points.

So what are focus points? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Let’s take a look.

All right, now, grab your camera, turn it on.

And let’s look through the view finder. Now there’s a lot of information being displayed in your view finder. Am I right?

The one thing I want you to focus on no pun intended or was there and that is the circles or bracket looking things covering your subject.

Those are your focus points. So depending on your settings, one or more of those points will be used for focusing.

Also, depending on your camera, you could have a few or dozens of focus points.

Now, growing up, I only had one focusing point on my Nikon, 8,008 SLR.

So we’re kind of spoiled nowadays.

Anyway, there are several advantages to having multiple focusing points.

One is the freedom to choose manually, which focus point to use or to let your cameras artificial intelligence auto track a fast moving subject more on that coming up.

As I mentioned previously, as you press your shutter release button down your camera and lens work together to focus on the subject based on the focus point you choose.

Once the subject isn’t focus, you’ll see a focus indicator in the form of a circle.

Now most digital cameras will have a built in safety that will stop you from taking the photo until the focus indicator appears.

So the focus indicator in most cases appears as a circle.

So if you’re not able to take the photo, then the camera is telling you that the subject is not in focus.

This could be due to the subject moving too much, or maybe your camera is having a hard time focusing due to the lighting or based on the subject itself.

In that case, if you can’t get it in focus, you’ll have to manually focus on the subject and you’ll learn how to do that in just a minute.

All right, let’s do a quick review of five common auto focus modes.

The first option is a full auto focus mode where your camera will determine for you what part of the image to focus on.

So let’s say you have a dozen focus points turned on your camera will review your scene and will try to locate the main subject.

And when it’s found it will auto focus your camera on that subject, but like most auto features in your camera.

It’s not always going to give you the results you are hoping for.

One option to take control over your focus.

Point of choice is to use the flexible focus mode.

This mode is sometimes referred to as multi-point focus mode.

The benefit of this focusing mode is it allows you to choose a specific focus point within your view finder, based on where your subject is located.

However, this can be slow and tedious to manually set your focus point. And isn’t recommended if your subject is moving.

Another focusing mode you’ll probably have on your camera is sometimes referred to as a center focusing mode.

And this is the one that I use 90% of the time.

So the focus point used in this mode is the one that is dead center in your viewfinder.

Now, although your subject may not always be in the center, once you’re focused on your subject, make sure to keep your shutter release button pressed halfway, and then you can move your camera to recompose the frame based on what you want to capture.

As far as the composition.

Now, if you find your subject is constantly moving or fast in general, like your, your kids or wildlife you’ll want to consider continuous or AI server, this focusing mode has artificial intelligence built in and will be able to find and track your subject, which will make it easier for you to create the image you desire when using this mode, you’ll need to keep your shutter release button pressed halfway down for the focusing mode to continue tracking and focusing on your subject.

Once you capture the image, this focusing mode will stop tracking and you’ll have to press it down halfway again, to start the tracking function.

All right, now, let’s check out how the eye tracking focusing mode works.

Also, depending on your camera, you may have a different eye tracking mode for people versus pets.

So you’re gonna have to check out your handy Dany manual to find out what modes are available in your camera.

All right. So if you have this mode, the focus point will locate the eye closest to your camera and will focus on that eye, which is pretty awesome.

If you ask me since the eyes are the windows to the soul and the part of your subject, that should be tack sharp.

Okay? So the last focus mode I wanna share with you is manual mode.

Now you might be wondering why would you want to manually focus your camera? That’s a great question.

Sometimes depending on the lighting and or the subject, your camera may not be able to focus on your subject automatically.

This can occur due to low contrast lighting, or when your camera can’t determine an edge.

So let’s say you’re photographing a flat surface or the lighting is flat either way. Your camera will have a hard time finding any texture to focus on.

For example, I captured this image during a foggy morning, the light was flat and the camera couldn’t pick up any textures or an edge to focus on.

In this case, I had to focus manually for this image. I also had to use manual mode.

And the reason why is the camera wouldn’t focus exactly where I wanted it, which were the eyes.

It kept bouncing between the blades of grass and other elements.

So I had to switch to manual focus, which is pretty easy on your camera.

You’ll see something like this. And AF is for auto focus and M is for manual.

So switch to manual. And then depending on your lens, you may need to switch that to manual as well.

Now, to focus in manual mode, you’re going to turn the focus ring on your lens. And this time you don’t have to press the shutter release button down halfway, since you’re focusing manually now, as mentioned previously, look for that focus indicator.

So, you know, the subject is in focus and then take the photo next up.

You’ll discover some drive modes to help you achieve your creative vision.

02:13:47 | Drive Modes

so your camera has several drive modes that powers your camera to take one photo at a time or multiple photos at a time.

So we’re now going to take a closer look at three main drive modes and two alternative ways to capture a single image.

Our first drive mode is known as single drive mode, and it’s pretty simple.

In this mode, you will be able to take one photo at a time when you press the shutter release button.

If you wanna take another photo, you’ll press that button again.

So this mode can be set with your dial set to S depending on your camera. It could be located in one of several different places.

So probably a good time to check out that camera manual again.

Okay. So the continuous drive mode on the other hand can be pretty amazing.

If you are shooting fast action, like sports, wildlife, or any other type of fast action where you don’t want to miss the shot.

So the way it works is when you press the shutter release button, your camera will continue to take photos.

As long as the button is pressed down.

Since not all cameras are created the same, some will be able to take more photos than others.

It also depends on the speed of your media card.

So if you take a look at your media card on the front here, you’re gonna see the speed of it.

And the higher, the number, the faster your images can be written to the media card. So if you plan on shooting a continuous mode, you may wanna get the fastest card available for your budget.

And as far as the number of images, it could be a few per second or a dozen or more at a time.

Again, it all depends on your camera.

Another thing your camera might offer is the ability to choose how many photos in this mode.

For example, my Nikon D 500 has a continuous slow, and a continuous high mode, which is labeled C L and C H.

And in the low mode, it will take fewer photos per second versus the high mode. So just a little bit more flexibility based on what you need.

Now, we also have a self timer mode, which is considered another drive mode.

And you’ll use this when you want a selfie, or when you want a photo of yourself with someone else.

And there isn’t anyone around to take the photo for you to access the self timer.

You’ll need to dig into your camera’s menu to find it and set it up for my camera.

I have different time intervals to choose from, or I can set the exact time needed.

Plus I can choose to shoot more than one photo after the allotted time is up.

For example, I could do 10 photos, every 10 seconds or every five seconds, depending on how I wanna set it up.

All right. Another option for capturing an image is to use a remote release button.

So this remote release trigger I picked up around 20 years ago or last century, and it’s basically hardwired directly to my camera, but in the 21st century, some cameras use a wireless remote control, either way in this drive mode, you can remotely trigger the camera to capture your image.

Okay? So our final drive mode is known as mirror lockup. And this drive mode is a little unknown mode.

Since it’s not always found easily, you may find it tucked away somewhere else within your menu system.

So check your manual to see if you have it and where to set it up.

So this mode is essential for long exposure photography, or when you don’t have a tripod and you’re using a long exposure.

And in this mode, it will help alleviate camera shake.

It does this by waiting for the mirror to move up and lock into position before it takes your photo.

And the reason why this helps eliminate some camera shake is because the mirror, when it moves up will tend to vibrate as it moves up and out of the way of your shutter.

All right, we’ve gone over all the different drive modes.

Next up is another exposure tool to help you get your desired exposure.

This is going to make it easier to get the exposure that you want in case you’re having a little bit of trouble with all the tools we’ve covered so far.

So if you’re ready for that, let’s do it.

02:17:58 | Auto Exposure Bracketing

in this tutorial, we’re going to explore an option to help you achieve your desired exposure.

In the previous section, I gave you a lot of tools to nail your exposure.

However, it was a lot of information and maybe you haven’t really grasped everything presented so far.

This is why I wanna share a tool.

Your camera might have known as auto exposure bracketing or AAB for short. So let’s check it out.

So let’s say you’re in a difficult lighting situation like the light changing quickly, or maybe you’re not sure which camera settings to use well with AAB.

You can quickly take three or more photos depending on your camera with multiple exposures.

So the first exposure could be underexposed.

The second could be the ideal exposure based on your camera’s light meter, and then the third would be overexposed.

So this is also a great way to capture detail from a scene with a large dynamic range.

And maybe your camera is only capable of capturing 10 stops of light when you really need 14 or more.

So what you can do then is you can then merge those three photos together to include all the details and the shadows and highlights.

And this is also known as HDR or high dynamic range photography.

Now, the question is how many stops does your camera offer?

Well, again, you’re gonna have to check out your camera manual to learn how to set it up, including the different variations or amount of stops that you can use.

For example, you might have the option to alter the exposure brackets by one, stop each or possibly two stops each.

So if you have two stops available, that would mean your first and third images would be two stops over and under exposed.

Now, if you’re shooting in continuous drive mode to take multiple photos at one time, and you wanna shoot with the auto exposure bracketing mode, you can do that with most cameras.

So as you press your shutter release button all the way down and continue to hold it, your camera will take three photos at different exposures and will continue to create three more photos until your media occurred.

Can’t keep up. Or if you’ve reached your camera’s capabilities to shoot multiple photos at one time, all right, next up is quality modes.

So if you are ready, let’s check out the options you have to help you achieve your creative vision with quality modes.

02:20:50 | Quality Modes

so quality modes refer to the file format that you choose for your photos. And previously, I mentioned how I recommend shooting in raw, and that’s what I personally shoot in as well.

Now, depending on your camera, you may have another option known as T files.

Personally, I think TIF files are overrated and I’ve never used them myself. So I’ll leave that up to you to decide if you wanna use them or not.

So, one of the drawbacks to using raw files is they are much larger in size compared to JPay files, but I believe the price of media cards and hard drives are at a point where prices are very reasonable compared to where they were two decades ago. So for me, the price of storage, isn’t a problem.

And I have no issues with the larger raw files and your situation might be different. So what I’d like to do now is give you more information on the differences between raw and JPEG files.

So you can decide for yourself, which file format is best for you.

So previously you learned how your camera works, and you may remember how I said your camera edits your files before it saves them to your media cards.

So let’s check out this graphic that shows you the steps of your photo being processed in camera.

And we’re gonna go over JPEG files first.

So you set your camera to the JPEG quality mode, and you took a photo before it saved your media card, your camera processes, the information it received from your sensor and other camera settings.

You chose like the white balance, which you’re gonna learn about soon.

You can also choose the color space, the bit depth and more.

So your camera takes that information along with the exposure data, like the brightness levels of the light that was captured, and it sends it to your camera’s processor.

So the processor reviews all that information.

And in order to save it as a JPEG file, it has to compress that data.

In other words, your camera’s saying to you, sorry, the detail in the clouds, you don’t need those.

So I’m going to discard that information or that detail, because I can’t fit it into the JPEG file, or I can’t fit that detail in the shadows into your JPEG file.

So I can’t save that information either.

So let’s say you end up with an image that is too bright, with less detail than was visible to your eye at the time of capture.

And since you already took the photo, you can’t recover any of that missing detail.

When you edit that image, since that detail was thrown out, when you created the photo and saved it as a JPEG file, which means you have a lower quality image.

Now let’s compare that to how your raw files are processed this time.

Instead of throwing out that information, all of the data collected is bypassed by your processor since the raw file isn’t being compressed.

In other words, all the data or the detail in your scene that was collected by your sensor is saved in the raw file.

This means even if you open the raw file in your favorite editing software and notice it’s too bright, chances are good.

You can recover some of that missing detail since it was recorded and saved at the time of capture.

You just need to know the secrets of reading your histogram to know that detail is actually there.

And if you completed the last section, then you should be practicing what you’ve learned in order to master reading your histogram, or maybe you already mastered your histogram, hopefully.

All right. So next up is an often forgotten camera setting that can make drastic changes to your image based on how you set up this next camera setting.

02:24:44 | White Balance

In photography, white balance is one of the most overlooked camera settings.

And this is a mistake in my opinion, because the white balance is another means of expressing yourself creatively and for storytelling.

So at this time you are going to discover what the white balance is.

And later in the course, you’ll take a deeper dive into the white balance since it relates to the color of light.

So what is white balance? Well, white balance in photography is about altering the color of the light source to match the white color you see in person.

So it’s rendered pure white. Otherwise the whites or grays like the highlights and shadows will have a color cast.

This color cast can be detrimental to your image, or it can be pleasing to the eye and even artistic.

For example, if the whites in your scene appear yellow or blue, they will be pure white after choosing the correct white balance and camera.

Now, although you can do this in post processing change the white balance, it doesn’t always give you the results you want, especially for those that prefer shooting in JPEG.

So choosing your colors or picking the white balance is part of the equation for creating exceptional photos.

The others include light and composition.

All right? So there’s a few different ways to choose the white balance in your camera. And we’re gonna go over the easiest ways for now and later in the course, I’ll share some pro tips for dialing in the exact white balance for your creative vision.

And depending on your camera, you’re going to find a dial that lists some common white balance options.

And if it’s not on a dial, it should then be available via a screen on top or within your system.
Main menu, either way. You’ll notice several icons that represent the lighting situation. You find yourself in.

All right? So these white balance options are known as pre-made white balance settings.

These settings were created by your cameras manufacturer, and they have determined the color of light based on those situations.

Some common white balance settings are sunlight, cloudy, flash, fluorescent shade, and more so when you’re outside shooting on a sunny day, you’ll switch the white balance to sunlight and your image will be properly balanced based on the pre-made setting.

Now, if you’re not happy with the color balance, you can choose to manually set the color with an option known as the Kel temperature, or you can spend more time editing your photo by dealing with it in post production.

If you want full creative control over your white balance, make sure to check out the white balance, deep dive section.

02:27:43 | Lenses Intro

We’re not done exploring camera gear though, since we need to explore lenses and we’ll do that in the next section.

All right. It’s time to explore another vital element of the first key in creating amazing images.

And that is to discover all that lenses have to offer for capturing your creative vision, because without a lens, you wouldn’t be able to harness the light of your scene to capture your photo.

In essence, all lenses have one basic feature, and that is to funnel light through the lens, into your camera’s sensor.

There’s a lot of options when it comes to choosing a lens and we can place them into two main categories, which are prime lenses and zoom lenses within those two categories, there’s a variety of lenses that can be further refined into four different topics.

Three of which are defined based on their field of view.

And those are wide angle telephoto and standard lenses.

The fourth topic is all other types of lenses that can be referred to as specialty lenses.

If you are ready to elevate your knowledge of lenses, let’s do it.

02:28:51 | Prime + Zoom Lenses

Prime lenses and zoom lenses.

What are they?

Well, a prime lens consists of one fixed focal length, and a zoom lens.

On the other hand allows you to choose from multiple focal lengths.

So zoom lenses sound awesome.

Since you have multiple focal lengths in one lens, and it makes you wonder why you’d want a prime lens. Am I right?

Well, there are some advantages and disadvantages for both.

So let’s review those.

So I have my favorite to prime lenses here, which are the 50 and 85 millimeter.

And there’s several reasons why I love these prime lenses versus the same focal length in a zoom lens.

And we’ll cover those in a second, but first, what do you notice about this 28 70 with this 50 millimeter lens that’s available within the zoom?

Well, the prime lens is smaller and it’s lighter, but you’re saying I have more focal lengths with this versus this. And you’re correct.

So with the zoom lens, I have dozens of lenses versus one with the 50 yet I prefer this versus this.

And here’s why so prime lenses are much more affordable than zooms.

So these prime lenses, I think were I paid around $200 for the 50, and I think $800 for the 85. Now for the zoom lenses, I paid around $2,000 each. So $4,000 for these two lenses versus 1000 for these two.

Now, as far as quality or the sharpness of your image, a prime lens will yield a sharper image.

Overall prime lenses will give you a better quality image compared to a zoom lens.

And one of the main benefits of a prime lens is that they typically come with very large apertures, which gives you a couple of advantages.

One a larger aperture will allow you to collect more light and shoot in low light situations.

The other advantage of a larger aperture is the ability to blur out your image, and this will help your subject pop much more versus a smaller aperture, which you learned about earlier in this course.

Now, one of the biggest disadvantages to a prime lens is if you wanna change the perspective of an image, or maybe you wanna crop in tighter, or to get, get more or less of the scene, you need to move closer physically or farther away from your subject in order to change how much of the scene you capture.

And when it comes to a zoom lens, the biggest advantage is having those multiple lenses or focal lengths built in which will allow you to zoom in versus moving closer to your subject or zooming out.

Now, when it comes to the aperture for zoom lenses, you’ll find that some lenses will not be able to use the largest aperture throughout the different focal lengths.

For example, this kit lens that I bought back in 1989 has a focal range of 35 to 70. And the maximum aperture is 3.3 to 4.5.

So what that’s telling us is I can only use F 3.3 at the shortest focal length of 35.

If I wanna use the longest focal length of 70, then the largest aperture size I can use is 4.5.

So when you’re looking at zoom lenses, that’s one thing you’ll have to keep in mind.

Now, if you don’t want that limitation, then the lens without that restriction will be more expensive.

Another thing about apertures for both primes and zooms is the larger the aperture.

The more expensive the lens will be.

For example, this 50 millimeter lens is a 1.8 lens and it cost around $200, but a 50 millimeter, 1.4 lens is $450.

So more than double for a one stop, larger aperture.

All right, let’s take a deep dive into focal lengths next, since they’re an important part of your lenses.

02:33:00 | Focal Length

So the focal length of your lens is more than just the length. Basically the focal length determines the angle of view.

The lens will capture, and we have three main types of lenses based on their field of view.

Those are wide angle standard and telephoto lenses each will increase or decrease the amount of the scene that will be viewed depending on the type.

So let’s go over each of those, let’s start off with a standard type of lens.

So a standard lens is considered to be normal and normal refers to what your eyes see, or at least the field of view that you see.

So a normal or standard lens is around 50 millimeters, but depending on your cameras, sensor size, the actual focal length could be more or less than 50 millimeters.

And we’ll talk more about that later in the course.

Now, personally, I think a 50 millimeter lens is the perfect lens for all levels of photographers.

And I highly recommend having one.

Now, a lens with a larger field of view is known as a wide angle lens.

So the amount of the scene you can capture is much greater than a standard lens.

So this type of lens is essential for landscape photographers and even wedding photographers.

So lens is considered wide angled when the focal length is around 12 to 24 millimeters and possibly 28 as well.

Now another type of wide angle lenses is known as super wide angle, and these lenses have a focal length of around eight to 12 millimeters.

Now, when it comes to very long lenses, like my 70 to 200, these are known as telephoto lenses.

They’re kind of like many telescopes that allow you to capture subjects that are far away.

And the result is a shallow field of view.

So focal lengths of around 100 to 300 millimeters are considered a telephoto lens.

But if you have, let’s say a 500 or 1000 millimeter lens, they’re referred to as super Teleo lenses.

And they’re very, very expensive.

Now, if you need one of these super telephoto lenses and can afford to shell out 10 or $12,000, for one, you can convert a smaller telephoto lens into a super telephoto with the use of a teleconverter.

So a teleconverter can double the focal length of your lens for a few hundred dollars, but there are some serious drawbacks to teleconverters and will cover teleconverters in depth in the accessories section of this course.

All right, we’re now going to wrap up the last of the four lens topics, which are specialty lenses and you’ll discover four popular types coming up next.

02:36:10 | Specialty Lenses

We’re now gonna cover the four most popular types of specialty lenses.

And this means there’s actually more than just these four, and we may cover those in a future tutorial.

So the first type of specialty lenses called a macro lens and it’s used for well macro photography.

So macro photography is the art of capturing a subject that is photographed at a one to one magnification, or in other words, the subject is life sized in the photo, but most people used the term macro photography to refer to any photo that is a closeup of teeny tiny subjects or details of a subject.

For example, this image of a mili was captured with my macro lens.

And I often used a macro to capture wedding rings when I was a wedding photographer.

And I’ve even used it for other subjects as well.

So later in this course, you’ll discover more about the art of macro photography, but first let’s go over some additional details about macro lenses.

All right. So in essence, a macro lens allows you to get really, really close to your subjects, which has the advantage of letting you photograph teeny tiny subjects like bugs the inside of flowers and anything else that is micro in size.

And in case you’re wondering this macro lens is also considered a that’s right, a prime lens since the focal length is fixed at 60 millimeters, but it’s more of a specialty lens due to its ability to allow you to get really, really close to your subjects.

And in a way it’s like a magnifier and here’s how that’s possible.

All right. So with a prime or even a zoom lens, the minimum focusing distance is much longer compared to a macro lens.

So my 50 millimeter lens has a minimum focusing distance of around 18 inches.

And my 85 millimeter is around 30 inches and my 60 millimeter macro lens has a minimum focusing distance of seven inches.

So again, being able to get really close to your subject allows you to capture smaller subjects.

So macro lenses like prime lenses come in different focal lengths, and you can get them from anywhere around 15 millimeters to 200 millimeters.

Now, one thing to keep in mind when using a macro lens versus a prime lens is the depth of field as much shallower in a macro compared to a prime lens.

And for this image I used in aperture of F 10, and you would expect everything to be in focus.

And it would’ve been if I used a non macro lens, however, I wouldn’t have been able to get this perspective since I would’ve been at least a foot further away from the subject.

Another type of specialty lens is a fish eye lens.

So this type of lens has a very wide angle of view and they come in focal lengths of around eight millimeters to 17 millimeters.

One of the unique characteristics of fish eye lenses is the front element or the glass on the lens.

And as you can see, the glass is round and it pops out kind of like an eye, which is where the lens gets its name from another thing you’re going to notice with super wide fish eye lenses, like an eight millimeter lens is that the image you take is encompassed in a circle like this photo here.

Another characteristic you’ll find when taking photos, what they fish eye lens is that they tend to distort vertical and horizontal lines.

And the shorter, the focal length, the more distortion you are going to see in your photo.

For example, in these images, you can see that the vertical and horizontal lines are distorted.

Now, the thing that I love about fish eye lenses is they do cover a great angle of view and can provide another creative option for your photos.

But then again, you do get that distortion.

And that’s why this is a specialty lens because the use of it is limited based on what you’re trying to achieve or your creative vision.

So a tilt shift lens is another specialty lens, but this one has a more practical use versus the fisheye lens.

And it also has a creative aspect to it. So what is a tilt shift lens? Well, I thought you would never ask.

All right. So a tilt shift lens allows you to change the plane of focus, which is beneficial for photography, but you are not interested in architecture, photography.

You say, no worries. I’ll show you how you can use this lens creatively in just a moment.

First, let me show you how it works.

All right. So here’s a tilt shift lens.

And the bottom of it looks quite different compared to all the other lenses we’ve explored so far, the main physical characteristics that separated from other lenses is the knobs the way it’s curved at the bottom there and those dashed lines.

So when you tilt the lens on its axis, it looks like it’s broken, doesn’t it.

So it’s kind of like a miter saw or a table saw where you’re going to change the angle of the blade if needed.

So you’re basically doing the same thing, except instead of a blade, you are changing the angle of the lens.

This causes the perspective of your scene to change in relation to the focus plane of the lens, based on the angle you choose.

Let’s look at some images to see the benefits and creative ways. You can use a tilt shift lens.

All right. So we have a photo here on the left that was taken with a non tilt shift lens.

And the one on the right, you can see the same building that was shot with a tilt shift lens this time, and take a closer look at both images.

What do you see? So the building captured with the tilt shift lens is no longer leaning or tilting.

So the tilt shift lens is an awesome lens for architecture, because it does allow you to change the perspective very easily within the camera versus trying to have to fix it in Photoshop or light room.

So if you have a desire to become an architectural photographer, then a tilt shift lens would be the tool of choice for that field.

But let’s say you have no desire to take photos of buildings. No worries. Check out some of these images that were shot with a tilt shift lens.

And what do you notice?

Well, the depth of field seems to be very shallow.

However, the depth of field was controlled more from the tilt of the lens versus the aperture by itself.

So one last thing you should know about tilt shift lenses is the focal lengths available and most heavy, small or wide angle of view of around 24 to 45 millimeters.

And you can even get a tilt shift macro lens with a focal length of around 50 millimeters and larger.

Now keep in mind though that a wider tilt shift lens is ideal for architecture, especially when you’re shooting buildings that are close together.

Since you’ll be limited on how far back you can go to get the entire building in your frame.

And those cases, a wider lens works best.

Our next specialty lens has a funny name and it’s called a lens baby. And they came out around 15 years ago.

And at that time I picked one up for myself.

So since then, lens babies have multiplied and there’s a lot more options compared to the original and to discover the different lens baby options, go to lens, baby.com.

All right. So the real question is what is a lens baby?

And what can you do with it?

Well, like I mentioned, here’s my original lens baby.

And you can see that it looks nothing like any lens we’ve covered so far.

So there’s no focusing ring, no way to control the aperture.

Since it doesn’t have one consists of only two glass elements, the front and back, and the body is not round like a normal lens and looks more like an accordion, but don’t let this funny looking lens, fool.

You it’s actually quite addicting when you begin to see the creative results from using this specialty lens.

If you navigate to their website, you’ll find a gallery of images taken with their specialty lenses.

And this will give you a great idea of the creative options available to you when using one of these lens, baby specialty lenses.

Now, the interesting thing about this lens is using it.

It’s completely different from what you’re used to with your prime lenses or even zoom lenses.

Like I mentioned, there’s zero way to focus with this lens.

You basically point at your subject and it’s technically and focus automatically, but don’t expect your subject to be T sharp, at least with the original lens baby, then to control the depth of field, you have to press the outside of the lens towards your camera in a way, this is like the tilt shift lens.

Since you’re basically changing the focal plane, which creates a shallower depth of field, but you have control over it by changing the angle of the lens.

So if you wanna shallow where death of field at the bottom of your image, you’re going to press and hold the top of the lens like this.

All right, now that we’ve covered the categories and types of lenses, let’s dig a little deeper and look at the different parts that make up your lens.

02:45:59 | Lenses Deep Dive

So one of the most important elements of a lens that can affect the quality of your final image is the glass inside and outside of your lens.

So the glass has a coating that is applied to the surface, which is designed to reduce light reflections and increase light transmission.

And they’re also designed to reduce unwanted optical degradation like Maray patterns.

So the quality of your image is a direct result of the quality of your lens.

In my opinion, investing in a higher quality lens will give you better images versus buying another new camera.

For example, have you ever heard of a hassle glad camera?

If not, it’s a high end film camera that was developed in the mid 18 hundreds.

Now there were other film cameras with the same film format or film size over the last 150 years, but a hassle glad is the cream of the crop or the Lamborghini or the Ferrari of film cameras, not because of the camera body, but because of the quality of the lens and the results were stunning versus what I could afford at the time, which was a Maia RGB, 67 long story short invest in your glass or lenses.

And you will thank me later on.

All right. So inside your lens, you have more glass that directs the light through it.

Plus, as you learned about before, there’s a hole inside of your lens that can control how much light passes through, and it can also affect the depth of field. And this is known as the aperture.

All right, since I’m not willing to take my lens apart to show you what this aperture looks like, let’s check out this image here.

So this mechanism is known as the diaphragm and it consists of multiple blades.

And when you adjust your aperture, the blades contract, or expand to create the size of your hole, all right, now let’s take a look at some other parts of your lens here on the outside.

One is the focus ring, and you’ll turn this manually to focus. If you need to, which we talked about previously, then if you’re using a zoom lens, you’ll have this ring here that you can use to change the focal length of the lens.

And it should include some numbers here that represent the focal length.

So it’s not going to show every single focal length since there are over 100 options for this lens alone.

And instead, it’s just going to show several focal lengths as a guide now for your prime lenses.

This 85 millimeters is in 85.

And I know that because on the outside here, it’s showing the focal length right here. And as you can see, it says 85 millimeters.

All right, we’re now going to cover name brand lenses versus third party lenses next.

02:49:08 | Name Brand vs. Off Brand

So when it comes to buying lenses, you have two main choices.

When it comes to the manufacturer of a lens, you can either purchase from brand names like Nikon, cannon, Sony, or whatever the manufacturer of the camera that you have, or from third party manufacturers like Tamron Sigma, and Takina to name a few.

So the question is, do you go with the name brand or off brand?

Well, it all comes down to your quality expectations and your budget overall brand name lenses are going to be of a higher quality, more dependable and guaranteed compatibility lenses from Sigma Tamron and others are going to be more affordable, but the sharpness of the lens may not be as good as the name brand equivalent as for compatibility, third party lens creators make lenses for the most popular cameras like Nikon can and Sony.

Now another advantage with third party lenses is you may find focal lengths, not available from brand names.

For instance, Sigma has an 18 to 35 zoom lens with a large aperture of 1.8.

And the cool thing about this lens is regardless of the zoom range, you select for it.

You can use the 1.8 aperture throughout the different zoom ranges.

And as of this recording, that option or that lens choice is not available from some brand names like Nikah.

So when it comes to buying lenses, you’ll have to do a little more research to find out which options are best for you covering all the different aspects of lens.

Characteristics is way beyond the scope of this photography class, but when it comes to buying a lens, you have another option used or new plus if you’re going to be buying used, do you get a modern or retro lens?

Let’s explore your possibilities.

And then you can decide whether or not used is good enough for you.

02:50:48 | Used Lenses vs New

So the main benefit to buying used is the amount of money you’ll save versus new, but there’s more to consider when buying used versus new.

And that is the age of the used lens.

So older or retro lenses like this lens that I picked up 30 years ago may not have features available in the modern equivalent.

And this can cause issues with aperture selection and or auto focusing.

So if we take a closer look at this lens, you’ll notice it has an extra number here with some numbers on it.

So these are the aperture values for this lens.

Unlike it’s modern equivalent, the apertures are fixed to these numbers.

Whereas the modern lens is capable of more aperture values in between another difference between retro and new is the quality of the image in general, a newer used lens will provide better quality.

So if you can live with some of these disadvantages or the compatibility with features of your camera and older used lens will typically be less expensive versus a newer, modern used lens.

So this 85 millimeter lens that I picked up last century can be bought today for around $200. And it’s used modern lens. Cousin can be found for around $500.

All right, you are now ready to begin exploring and discovering how to harness and master light, which is the second key in creating amazing images. If you are ready for that, let’s do it.

02:52:22 | What Is Photography

What is the true meaning of photography?

Well, get ready to have your mind blown with the following fact, the word photography was created from Greek roots.

So photos means light and graph means drawing together.

They mean drawing with light, or as I like to say, painting with light, how cool is that?

So photography is essentially an art form whereby you use light to draw with, or to paint with.

So without light, you cannot capture the scene and won’t be able to create a photograph and it’s easy to demonstrate.

So grab your camera and your lens cap and put it on now, try and take a photo. Well, you didn’t capture an image, did you?

I know obvious, but this demonstrates that light is the number one ingredient for creating photos.

Now, once you fully understand what light is, it’s qualities and characteristics, you can then use that knowledge to shape your subjects based on your creative vision.

But I have some bad news.

This is not something you are going to be able to master overnight or even weeks, months, and possibly years.

It’s going to take time and practice.

But when you get to the point where you’re able to control and see light, like never before you will then elevate your level of photography skills.

Well beyond 95% of photographers in the world, if nothing else, this section should be the one that you continue to study and come back to over and over again and do so as long as you need, until you are able to achieve the status of light master.

So my recommendation is to save this photography class, to watch again in the near future.

So every lesson in this section is essential to understanding how to become a light master.

And each lesson is in a specific order to help you understand light and builds on the next lesson.

So make sure you don’t skip anything now in the premium class, I’ve included free PDF files that include additional information about each section to help you continue elevating your light mastery. Next up is discovering where light comes from.

So if you are ready to get started on that, let’s do it.

02:55:01 | Where Does Light Come From

We’re now gonna take a quick look at some places where light comes from.

We’re not gonna go over every possibility.

Otherwise we would be here all day.

So let’s take a quick look at some of the more common sources of light, and then we’ll go from there.

So light can come from two basic places.

It can either be natural light, or it can be artificial light.

So some of the natural light that we can use to paint with are the sun and even stars.

As for artificial sources of light, we have a lot more options.

So artificial light sources could include speed lights, strobes, ambient light, like lamps or fluorescent lights.

Each of those different types of light provides different characteristics as far as intensity quality and even the color of light, all of which should be observed prior to creating your image.

And then with the knowledge that you’re going to gain throughout this session, you will be able to paint with that light based on your creative vision.

All right, now that we know where light comes from, let’s take a look at what light actually is in the next lesson light.

02:56:05 | Light, What Is It?

What is it? Yes. That’s an obvious question, but what is it truly?

Hmm. Well, I have to warn you.

We’re going to get a bit technical, but don’t worry.

I’ll keep it short and rest assured this will help you better understand the characteristics of light.

And then with this knowledge, you’re going to be able to control those characteristics.

And you’ll learn more about that in an upcoming tutorial.

So here we go. Light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which ranges from radio waves to Gama rays, electromagnetic radiation waves, as the name suggest are fluctuations of electric and magnetic fields, which can transport energy from one location to another.

Wow. All right.

So that’s some pretty deep stuff right there. Wouldn don’t you agree?

So what does this exactly mean in terms of how you can use light for photography?

Well, light is basically a range of those electromagnetic spectrums that are visible to the human eye.

And as you learned about in previous tutorials, your camera is very similar to your eyes.

Therefore, those range of spectrums is also visible to your camera.

And this is going to make a lot more sense as you go throughout the rest of this section.

Now, based on your eyes, there are other ranges you can’t see those light spectrums would be x-rays ultraviolet, rays, radio waves, and some others as well.

All right, now that you know, the technical term of what light is, let’s take it a bit further to better understand what light is really all about.

02:57:46 | Color Of Light

You now know that what you can actually see is based on an electromagnetic spectrum range.

And within that range, you can only see a certain amount of that light.

So within that visible light spectrum, there are different wavelengths of light.

And based on those different wavelengths, your eyes will transform them into different colors.
Speaker 0 02:58:09
Then within those wavelengths, you have different lengths of light.

The shortest of which is violet, and the longest is red.

Then in between those two colors are the following colors of light, orange, yellow, green, blue, and indigo.

Now, when all of those colors are combined, we end up with white light, like from our sun.

Then when that white light goes through a prism, the different wavelengths bend in different amounts and different colors start to appear.

You will then see the full spectrum of colors in order from longest to shortest.

And this range of colors can be seen in nature.

When you take a look at a rainbow now, before we take a deeper dive into light room itself, I have a question.

What if your eyes were a high end camera sensor, what would your specs be?

Let’s find out

02:59:06 | Your Eyes As a Sensor

in previous tutorials, we covered how your eyes are similar to how your camera sees the world.

I’d like to delve into this a little bit more to refresh your memory.

And as you reminder to see the light before you capture it and compare it to what your histogram is telling you about the light you captured.

So the basic fundamentals of how your eyes and your camera sees light are very similar and there are some differences as well.

So let’s take a look at both. All right. So check this out.

Both your camera and your eyes are basically made up of the same parts to paint with light.

You need a lens to allow the light into your camera with the lens on your camera.

The light is filtered through an aperture into the sensor.

When the shutter opens, of course, which is then recorded to your media card or film, if you’re shooting old school and then for your eyes, they also have a lens.

And the light is then filtered to the back of your eyes, into the retina, and then transmitted to your brain where it’s stored as a memory.

So those are the basic similarities, and let’s take a look at the differences.

All right. So in previous tutorials, you discovered that your camera cannot record exactly what you see.

And it basically comes down to the technical limitations of your technology versus your eyes.

And your eyes are much more complex and can decipher larger ranges of highlights and shadow details versus your camera.

And there are even differences between one camera manufacturer’s sensor versus another, or even within the same lineup, based on the specifications of that specific sensor.

In other words, less expensive cameras will have a much more difficult time capturing all the data within the scene versus a higher end camera.

But even the most expensive cameras still cannot compete with your eyes.

So here’s what happens when you are viewing a scene with your eyes.

As you look throughout the scene, your eyes can adjust to different levels of brightness within that scene.

Then depending on the brightness, the pupils in your eyes, which are similar to apertures will begin to get larger or smaller to let in different brightness levels of light.

Then as that light travels from your eyes to your brain, it will then begin to decipher all the data that’s being collected.

So the data is the details and the highlights, midtones and shadows.

Now, as we talked about before, your eyes are capable of 20 stops of light or more, depending on who you ask.

Now, if you compare that to what your camera sees and what it records, it’s much different.

So when the light is recorded by your camera’s sensor, it’s not really deciphering the data or the details.

It’s only collecting that information.

So the problem is when you have a scene that has a large range of brightness levels from dark to light, your sensor is not going to be able to record all the detail in those different brightness levels.

This is due to your camera, only being capable of seeing or recording seven to 14 stops of light.

So in a way, your eyes are the top of the line sensors and your digital cameras sensors are from the dark ages.

Although there is some hope with technology advancing at the rated is it’s possible digital cameras may one day exceed what your eyes are able to see.

So imagine the photographs you’ll be able to capture when that day arrives.

And hopefully it’s not that far out into the future. Back in 2002, I picked up my first digital camera, which is this Fuji S two, and it’s only able to capture seven stops of light fast forward, 18 years.

And my Nikon Z six is capable of 14 stops double in less than two decades.

So hopefully I’ll see, or at least be able to capture more than 20 stops in my lifetime until then make sure to see the different brightness levels of light within a scene and read your histogram to ensure you’re getting your desired exposure or the details you need to fulfill your creative vision.

Next up, how to see color.

03:03:17 | How You See Color

Why do certain objects have a specific color?

Well, when light hits an object that object will absorb some wavelengths and at the same time we’ll reflect other wavelengths.

So in order to actually see an object, you can only see it when the light is reflected from the object into your eyes.

And at the same time, the colors you see on the object are from the wavelengths that are being reflected back to your eyes.

For example, here, we have a, a photo of an orange lizard and it’s absorbing most wavelengths, but what it’s doing is it’s reflecting back the orange wavelength.

And that’s the color that you see.

Now, take a closer look at the lizard and you’ll notice it’s not pure orange, pretty obvious, but what is that telling us?

Well, although the majority of the color being reflected back is orange.

There are some mixtures of other wavelengths being reflected back as well, just not as intensely as orange.

And this gives us the different color variations that we see.

All right, next up discovering the three behaviors of light.

03:04:35 | Three Behaviors of Light

When it comes to light, we can categorize it into three types of behaviors.

And it also has four unique characteristics.

Now we’ve already talked about some of these behaviors previously, but we didn’t define them as we will now.

So let’s first go over the behaviors and we’ll cover the characteristics in the next tutorial.

Now you may be wondering why would you want to know the behaviors of light and how does that actually help you with your photography?

Well, when you learn how to predict lights, behavior, that is essentially the first step towards understanding how to control it.

Remember everything you’ve learned about light so far builds on the next lesson and each in turn will help you better understand and master light.

So the three types of behaviors are reflection, absorption and transmission.

So a reflection occurs when the light reflects off of a surface.

Now, as you learned previously, as light hits a surface, it basically bounces off of it.

Then the different colored wavelengths that are reflected give the object it’s color.

So the reflection of light can actually happen in a couple of different ways, depending on the surface of that object, as well as the texture of the surface.

So we can define these types of reflections into two categories specul and diffused reflections.

So specular reflections occur on very smooth surfaces, like a mirror metal or even water, especially when that water is calm.

When light hits a mirror, it bounces off 99.9% of the light.

And that’s why you’re able to see yourself in a mirror.

Other mirror like surfaces, like the rim of a car or the side of it will not reflect as much light like a mirror that is depending on the surface, if it’s shiny or dull, it’s going to reflect the object more or less, depending on the texture of that surface, but on some level, all objects reflect light, which is why we can that’s right.

See them.

So let’s take a deep dive into specul reflection with a little bit of a scientific explanation.

When it comes to reflections, there’s a term called the law of reflection, which simply means you can predict what angle the light will bounce back at.

So based on this law of reflection, when light hits your mirror or another smooth surface like metal or water, it’s not just reflecting the light. It’s actually following a very simple law as follows.

The light will bounce off the surface at the same angle at which it hit.

So what our diffused reflections, well, a diffused reflection occurs when light strikes the surface that is irregular or something with a texture, you end up with a diffused reflection.

When light hits a textured surface, the light will be scattered in all different directions instead of at the same angle, like with a specul reflection.

And in most cases, objects that do not have a specul reflection are then considered diffused reflections.

Although most objects have a combination of both a smooth and textured surface.

And we can definitely see that in this photo of my daughter, the majority of this image is diffused reflections, but a jewelry would be considered a that’s right A specul reflection.

Not only that, but if you take a closer look at her eyes, they too are specul since her surroundings are being reflected in them.

So the type of surface and the amount of texture will determine if it’s Ashley specular or diffused reflections.

So here’s a quick pro tip for those of you that shoot portraits and pets.

One of the biggest mistakes I see from portrait photographers are eyes that are very dark or almost pure black.

If you lay your portraits properly, the eye should have a reflection of the surroundings or at least a catch light.

And you should be able to decipher between the pupil and the Iris, since one has color and the other is black.

All right. So the second behavior of light is being absorbed by the object or the surface.

Every object absorbs some wavelengths of light and reflects others.

Anything being reflected, as you know is the color you see, but when it comes to the light being absorbed, it can alter elements in regards to how bright or dark it is for this image.

The available light is evenly spread throughout the scene. Yet there’s a large tonal range of light values.

The water itself is reflecting more light than the rock formations and the rocks are than absorbing more light.

And that makes them darker.

All right. So the third behavior of light is transmission.

So transmission is when light hits an object surface and then passes through it.

For example, when light passes through a window that is transmission in action.

There’s also another type of transmission called diffused transmission.

And this is similar to diffused reflections in that the light will be scattered, but the difference is the light doesn’t scatter until it passes through a surface.

And this image diffused transmission is occurring when the sunlight travels through the clouds.

Another thing that can happen with the transmission of light is when it passes through an object, filled with a color, it will then pass on or transmit that color onto another object.

And in this image, we have a large canvas tent covering our main subjects, but it’s not blocking the light entirely.

Some of that light is transmitting through it.

And the color of the canvas, which has a bit of a yellowish tone to it is being cast onto the subjects.

All right? So those are the three behaviors of light. Next you’ll discover the four characteristics of light.

03:10:30 | Four Characteristics of Light

So far we’ve covered a lot about the tight cavities of light, and it’s all led us to this point in elevating your mastery of light.

What you’re about to learn is going to change how you currently see light.

And it all has to do with the four characteristics of light.

This includes the quality, intensity, color and direction of light.

Each of these is essential to understanding how to use light, to achieve your creative vision.

So let’s start off with the quality of light.

In essence, the quality of light is basically determining whether or not the light is soft or hard, but you’re probably wondering how can light be soft or hard?

Well, let’s take a look at two images and this will better illustrate the difference between hard and soft light.

So our first image here on the left is considered to be hard light.

And the image on the right is considered to be lit with soft light.

And you’ll notice that the highlights are very bright and the shadows are very dark in the first image. Plus the edges of the shadows have a hard edge to them.

If you compare that to the other image, you can see that the highlights are not as bright and the shadows are not as dark.

And the transition from highlight to shadows has a much smoother transition versus the hard light.

Now, at first you may think that the quality of light isn’t that big of a deal that is until you have to decide the quality of light that you may wanna use in order to set the mood of an image or to fulfill your creative vision.

For example, when shooting portraits, you should decide ahead of time, whether you want hard or soft light.

And again, that depends on your goal for the final image.

For example, let’s say you’re photographing a newborn.

Should you use soft light or hard light?

Well, think back to images you’ve seen of newborns.

What was the quality of light?

I bet that the majority of them were lit with soft light.

Why is that? Well, soft light tends to be more flattering for newborns and portraits in general.

But if the mood you are trying to create represents a strength, or maybe you want to create something mysterious, then a hard light would work better. So the question is how you create soft or hard light.

Well, one way is based on the size of your light source and in general, the larger, the light source, the softer of the light will be, and the distance of the light to your subject can also change it from hard to soft.

All right, so the second characteristic of light is intensity and light sources can have different intensities.

This can include very bright to dim and everything in between.

One of the most intense types of light sources is direct sunlight on a sunny day.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have stars that appear very dim.

Light bulbs are somewhere in the middle, depending on how powerful they are, but there’s a catch.

The closer you are to a light source, the more intense it’s going to be.

For example, if you’re reading a book next to a lamp, the light will be fairly bright, but if you move 100 feet away from that lamp, it’s not going to be as bright or as intense.

So the intensity of the light source depends on how close you are to it.

And we have a new handy Dany law that helps us better understand how this works.

So let me introduce you to the inverse square law.

This law states that the brightness of your light on your subject will be less intense.

The farther you move away from the light source.

And in fact, the light on your subject will appear twice as dim as the distance moved away from the light source.

No worries.

You don’t have to be a math wizard to utilize this law of light.

Instead, all you need to remember is the distance and the brightness are not linear.

And other words, as you move away from a light source, it will quickly become less bright.

And the reason for this is the light becomes less intense because it’s spreading out over a larger area.

The further it goes away from your subject.

Another way to change the intensity of light is by diffusing the light.

And this can be achieved by placing something that is transparent or will allow something to transmit light through it.

And thereby diffusing that light as it passes through.

And remember when light transmits through something, it becomes scattered light, and the result is a softer light and a common type of diffuser for photographers.

And even cinematographers is what is known as a soft box or umbrellas.

All right, so the third characteristic of light is the direction of the light.

And this is another important consideration when creating the type of image that you want.

In essence, the direction of light can basically come from any direction, but in photography, you’ll find four basic lighting terms to describe the direction of lighting used.

This includes side lighting, overhead, back and front lighting.

Now these four basic directions of light can dramatically change the appearance of the subject in your photograph.

And this is because the direction of the light will determine where the highlights, shadows and midtones will be in your image.

Now, in general, when lighting your subject, or you’re saying you have at least one main source of light, and it will generally fall into one of those four categories.

However, you are not limited to just one light all of the time.

And this can be due to having lights, reflecting off of different objects within the scene, or you can add additional lights to the scene and then add them so that they come in different directions.

Now, this brings us to some other terms you are going to hear as a photographer when we’re discussing multiple sources of light for your particular scene or your subject, and those terms are key fill and ambient light.

So if you take an image outside from direct sunlight, then that light source will be coming from overhead.

The sunlight is then considered not only to be the main light, but it’s also referred to as key light.

Now this type of lighting is unflattering because it can cause deep shadows in people’s eyes.

Now, what you can do in that situation is use another light source, which will be known as the fill light.

And this type of light will come from a direction, either from the side or in front of the subject.

And by doing this, you will add light into those shadow areas created by the overhead light.

And it will create a more pleasing portrait.

And it’s even possible to have a third type of light that already exists in the scene like a lamp post, or if you’re shooting inside, then maybe there are lamps in the background and this creates what is known as ambient light.

All right, so the fourth characteristic of light is color.

Now, as you may remember any previous lesson, we talked briefly about the technicals of light and how different wavelengths create the colors of light.

And what we’re going to do now is we’re gonna go over how different sources of light will emit different colors of light.

What it basically comes down to is different light sources will produce different colors of light.

And the general range of colors goes from red to white, to blue.

And in photography terms, this color of light is measured on a temperature scale.

And one of the terms you’re going to hear in photography when it comes to the temperature of light is the Calvin temperature.

So the Calvin temperature is basically the scale on which different light sources are placed within that scale, based on the colors they emit.

So red is going to be very warm and on the opposite end of the scale, you will have blue, which would be considered cool.

Now a sunrise, for example, will emit a very warm color of light and the yellow to orange, to red colors,

Tungston lighting will also emit a warm color in the yellow to orange range.

Now you could even get a different color from the sun as well.

When you have direct sunlight, it’s not as warm as sunrise or sunset and direct sunlight in mid-afternoon is going to be closer to yellow, to white.

In addition to that, the light from the sun will change again on an overcast day, when that light transmits through the clouds, it ends up becoming not only softer, but also cooler or blue.

Then you’re also going to notice, depending on the scene, you could have a range of cool to warm temperatures in that same scene.

For example, you could have direct sunlight, emitting yellow light, and also have blue light in your scene as well.

And you’re going to notice these blue cooler temperatures in the shadows.

So the next time you go outside, take a look at everything around you and try and view the different colors of light within the area that you’re viewing.

And the thing is, you may not have noticed it before because your eyes automatically adjust to these different colors and we just accept it as it is.

But if you make an effort to view those different colors in the different areas of a particular scene, and you look for those colors, then you will notice the variety of blues and yellows throughout a scene.

And here’s the thing knowing, and seeing this light is important when it comes to your photography and that’s because the color of light can affect the mood of your photos.

And there’s a specific camera setting that allows you to adjust the color of light based on your creative vision.

That camera setting is known as the white balance.

And you may remember we did cover the white balance previously to learn more about the white balance and the Calvin temperature, make sure to check out the corresponding sections in the premium chorus to elevate your mastery of light.

All right, it’s now time to take a look at the third key to creating exceptional images and that is composition

03:20:38 | What Is Composition

What exactly is composition?

Well, composition is the placement or arrangement of visual elements and a work of art as distinct from the subject.

It can also be thought of as the organization of the elements of art, according to the principles of art in its simplest terms, composition means putting it together.

So what exactly are we putting together?

Well, different elements within a scene make up a particular image and these different elements could include lines like the horizon of a sunset or steps leading somewhere shapes like statues or works of art color throughout an image, or a main color scheme, compositional techniques known as the rule of thirds or rule of space to name a couple of photography rules.

And there could be other elements that make up your image as well.

This could include people or other subjects that you may be photographing and even light can play as a compositional element.

So how you put all of these elements together in your image will determine if you’re able to hold the viewer’s interest in the photo.

So when someone looks at your photo, does it grab their interest and make them say, wow, that’s an amazing photo.

And they continue looking at it, study it even, and possibly share it via social media.

All of which is the goal of any image you create, isn’t it, to create something so amazing that people are in awe of your artwork, composition can help hold that viewer’s attention by arranging the elements to create a mood or a story.

Now, on the other hand, if you get composition wrong, then you’d lose your viewer’s interest.

And your photo becomes just another average photo among the billions created every year.

So here’s a poorly composed photo I did for an engagement session.

And for this image, I used a technique known as the rule of thirds, and I placed a couple in the right third of the frame.

And just so you know, you’ll learn more about the rule of thirds later in this photography course.

Now, although I used a so-called rule in photography, that doesn’t mean I’ve created a great composition and that’s due to having too many elements competing for your attention.

So our primary subjects to the couple are in the foreground, but there’s a lot of stuff in the background competing for your attention as well.

So we have the Detroit Tiger’s logo, the name of the ballpark, a bat coming out of the future, groom’s head and a lot more. It’s a total mess.

Now, based on what you’ve learned so far in this photography course, what could I have done better for this composition?

Well, the main thing would’ve been to blur out the background more with a larger aperture to create more separation between the foreground and the background, and there’s other things that could have done as well.

But we’ll get into that another day.

Now, when it comes to composition, it’s ideal to have the main element as the focal point of your image, then you can use other composition techniques to direct your viewer around the image.

And then back to the main focal point, when it comes to composition techniques and rules, there’s over 30 of them.

Each of them can help you create amazing images.

So what I’d like to do now is share the more popular techniques and my favorite.

So we’re gonna start off with a quick overview of each technique, and then I’ll share over 25 images and the composition techniques that I used for each image.

03:24:09 | Composition Techniques

One of the most popular composition rules that photography beginners should know is the rule of thirds.

Now keep in mind when I say rule it, isn’t a hard rule.

It’s more of a guideline or rule of thumb. Now the rule of thirds suggest that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts.

Those parts are created from two equally spaced, horizontal lines, and two equally spaced vertical lines.

Then we have four points where the lines intersect.

So this rule suggests that by placing your main element, along with one of these grid lines or better yet intersecting at one of the main four points, you’ll create a stronger, more meaningful composition that will grab your viewer’s attention by drawing their eyes to the main element of your artwork.

Now, you could also use the grid lines to divide your scene into thirds, which simply means you can use one of these three horizontal rows to place your main elements in.

And this works really well for landscape images, or instead of using one of the horizontal rows, you can use one of the three vertical columns to place your main subject in.

And this works well for numerous types of subjects.

And I tend to use this a lot for the portrait of photography work that I do.

Okay. I’m gonna share some more images that follow the rule of thirds later on first, let’s take a look at another composition technique known as leading lines.

This is another easy technique to use to direct your viewer’s attention to the main element.

And that is because you’ll find lines everywhere in your scene.

So lines come in, all different types, shapes and sizes.

So let’s go over some characteristics of these lines and we’ll take a look at multiple images later on.

So lines can come in three different types of angles, horizontal, vertical, or diagonal.

They can also be long, short, or anywhere in between, and they don’t have to be straight either.

They can even have curves to them and they don’t have to physically be there either a line can actually be implied, but all lines have something very similar in common.

And that is lines will guide your viewers on where to look within your photo.

And that’s because your eyes will naturally follow lines based on their direction.

So you can use lines as a way of getting your viewer to focus on the main subject and other elements in a scene as well.

The next compositional technique is one of my favorites and it’s known as framing.

In essence, a frame is something visual that surrounds your subjects like a picture frame, a frame doesn’t have to be anything specific.

You can use any elements in your scene to frame your main subject.

All right, as you now know, light is the second key to creating exceptional images, but light can do much more than just illuminate your scene.

It can also be a compositional element all by itself.

So when it comes to your light source, you have an infinite number of options from the stars to the moon studio, strobes a lamp in your home and much more.

And the source of your light doesn’t have to be part of the image itself to affect the composition.

And this is due to something you’d learned previously, and that is the characteristics of light, which are intensity quality direction and the color of light.

So the characteristics of light can shape your main subject and will affect the composition.

But you can also include the source of light or a secondary light as part of the composition.

And they’ll share images of both coming up real soon.

First let’s review one more composition technique, and this one is a little less known versus the others.

However, it can play a vital role in telling a story about your subjects and that is using expressions as part of your composition.

Now, depending on your subject, it can be easy or difficult to get the expression you desire to tell the story or to capture the true essence of that person.

03:28:30 | 50+ Composition Techniques

Let’s jump into the light room now, and I’m gonna share some photos showing how I’ve used these compositional rules and techniques.

All right. So this first image of our daughter is not a strong image when it comes to some of the composition techniques we’ve talked about, but the expression is the main compositional technique used by capturing her mood.

At this point in time, during the photo shoot later on in the photo shoot, about 20 minutes later, she was having enough and she was done.

So expressions are a great way to tell a story based on the subjects that you are photographing.

This next image I captured with a Mamia RGB 67, about 18 or 19 years ago.

And although I do have the rule of thirds being applied in here with a couple in the center, it’s not a very strong composition based on the rule thirds by itself.

Instead these leading lines on this wall, bring us into the image and direct us directly to the couple.

So I believe the leading lines in this image are the strongest composition technique used in this particular image.

Our next image, again, not a strong composition, really not using the rule of thirds.

Instead, we have another great expression telling us the story of this young man’s day.

And I’ve included enough elements in the image to help tell the story.

And if you know exactly what he’s doing at this time, let me know in the comments below this next image is not a very good image.

It’s actually pretty poor.

It’s out of focus and that’s because I captured this image at night, as you can see at a very slow shutter speed of under one second.

So I was handholding this and it created camera shake, but I include this image because I want to talk about the composition of this image and how it relates to where you may be going on your vacations or images that you capture in general.

So as you can see, we have a railing in the front front.

We have some leading lines directing us throughout the image, as well as these leading lines from inside the top and bottom on the rails here, they’re kind of curving.

So if your eye comes down here, maybe it picks up one of these curves and it comes back in through the image at different points.

So it’s allowing you to travel across the image from one side to the other top and down behind it.

You can see there’s a lot of lights going on. It’s kind of hard to see what it is, but this is Niagara falls.

Now in your lifetime, you’ve probably seen thousands of images from Niagara falls and they all pretty much look the same don’t they?

But this image is different from anything else you’ve ever seen.

I decided to shoot through the railing and use the railing as a frame and to use the leading lines to direct us throughout the image.

And I wanted to include the Niagara falls as a secondary element to what’s going on in the foreground, but we still know it’s the Niagara falls.

At least now that I’ve told you, or if you’ve been here before, you know, this is Niagara falls.

Now this is on the Canadian side, not the American side.

So my point is, you’ve seen millions of photos of this location and probably other locations, too, like lot of locations at U mite park, the grand canyon, the Eiffel tower, et cetera.

So all of these locations that are hotspots for tourists are receiving millions of photos taken every year at these locations.

And they all look the same.

So my point is, try and find something different to stand out from the crowd, think of a new, different type of composition technique that you can apply to your images to capture that location, but to show it in a different light, try a different angle, different perspective, that way your images don’t look like everybody.

Else’s all right, next image here.

We have the couple on the right side of the rule of thirds, and we have some leading lines on this bridge that take us throughout the image and back again towards the couple, this next image I’m using rule of thirds.

Again, her feet are in this quadrant right down here on this point.

And there’s another compositional technique being used as well, which is contrast.

So her dress here in the sand are contrasting from the skin of her feet and the color of her tos.

So our eyes tend to come towards her feet because they’re different from the large areas of contrast from the dress and the sand.

Now the whiteness of the dress itself is grabbing our eyes attention as well.

So we come up here and we look round up here, but because of the contrast, we come back down to this area over here, rule of thirds.

Again, we have the couple in the left quadrant and the Corvette is taking up two thirds of that quadrant.

Now this image could be better. The background should have been blurred out even more.

It looks like I shot at F four at 28 millimeters.

So I should have used a larger F stop, like 2.8 or even 1.4 with a 50 millimeter lens.

I just didn’t have an option to shoot at this angle with a larger focal length because I couldn’t back up anymore.

So other than that, I like the composition.

And of course I could have blurred out this background in Photoshop, but I haven’t done that yet, but I do like how the couple is on the left side.

And then the Corvette has some leading lines here, bringing us back towards the couple, same couple, same car rule thirds, again, they’re up at the top.

And we have a leading line from here, back up towards the couple.

And then for this next image, we have the rule of thirds again, but we also have some leading lines in a few different places.

So the main one would be this set of bricks here.

That’s creating this column.

So we have a leading line bringing us back down towards the couple.

We also have some shadows here.

So if our eyes navigate away, we can see that these shadows have a diagonal line, bringing us back to the column here. And then this one brings us back here.

You could also say that I’m framing the couple between two windows.

So there’s a few different compositional techniques being used as well as this leading line down here as well.

This next one we have what is known as a juxtaposition.

That’s a composition technique as well that we haven’t talked about.

So basically if you grew up in the seventies and you watch Sesame straight, then you may remember one of the lyrics was one of these things belong.

One of these things don’t so that’s Jux to position.

So we have this large building, this architecture here along with a couple.

So that’s the juxtaposition.

So we have a lot of different things going on in here. As far as composition, we have our rule of thirds.

We also have leading lines coming back towards the couple on this railing here.

There’s some patterns in here that have some leading lines coming back to them as well, but they’re being blocked by these columns, but these large tall columns here coming back down to the railing.

So in essence, we can say that if you come over here and look over here, maybe your eye gravitates back down towards this railing and then back towards the couple.

And then we have implied leading lines with the direction that our couple is looking.

So naturally, you’re going to be thinking to yourself, subconsciously, what are they looking at?

Well, let me see.

Well, there’s really nothing going on over here is a lot of open space.

You see the architecture and those leading lines bring you back.

This next image of the groom, getting ready for the wedding ceremony was captured inside of this door frame.

So I’m using framing to frame the groom.

We have some leading lines inside of here as well that lead us back to the groom as well and some on the outside.

But the main composition technique is the framing of the groom in this doorway.

I’m using framing again for this bride getting ready.

This is a back of a chair, had a hole in it. And I decided to use that to frame the bride.

So again, wedding photographers, there’s a ton of them, thousands in my area.

So I have to do something different to stand out. So my images don’t look like everybody.

Else’s so try and find different angles perspectives again, and use different composition techniques to make your work stand out.

Rule thirds for this bride here. And I’m using the leading lines here of the bricks to direct us back towards the bride.

Again, the background, I didn’t do a very good job blurring that out.

I should have again, I’m at F four at 40 millimeters.

I should have done 200 millimeters at 2.8, and that would’ve helped to blur out the background.

Sometimes you just gotta get the shot because you don’t have a lot of time, especially when you’re shooting weddings, rule thirds.

Again, for this image, we have a lot of leading lines in these buildings here, bringing us back towards the couple leading lines again, same couple.

So the buildings top to bottom are the leading lines, bringing us back down.

We have a leading line here, and I’m also using light as a compositional technique as well, to help balance this image as well as create these rays of light coming from the sun diagonally to the right, which is another leading line right here.

Now in this next image, I’m using light as part of the composition as well.

And you could say that I’m using color as part of the composition as well, but it’s being done poorly in this particular image because we have this red door and the background, and it’s competing for our attention with this couple right here, which is the main subject.

So this is not a good use of color in the composition.

So I could tone this down or desaturate this door in Photoshop to lessen that color from competing for our attention.

And there’s a lot of leading lines here in the bricks to bring us back to the main couple.

It’s just that color of door is kind of distracting my daughter again, we’re using rule thirds and we have leading lines over here on the right side, directing us back towards her again for this image.

I’m using the light as the main compositional element, but there’s some other things going on in here as well.

We, we have a door frame. So I am using framing as part of the composition technique, but because of this light source right here, it’s so bright.

That’s the first area that our eyes navigate to because of the brightness.

Then you begin to navigate around that light to see what’s going on.

And then you notice that this bride’s made here and this one holding the light are both looking down.

So it’s kind of telling a story of what’s going on in this moment.

What are they looking for?

Well, if you wanna know, let me know in the comments below now behind them.

There’s two more stories. We have the bride and another bridesmaid or her mother right here, and then behind them, we have two more bridesmaids doing something else.

Now I think these four people in this image detract from the main story, which is right here.

So again, a large aperture of 1.4, probably would’ve been better to blur out these people here so that they weren’t part of the story.

But again, you have to get the shot with what you have available.

I would probably blur everybody out in the background in Photoshop to make this a stronger composition for this image.

I’m using action as part of the composition, as well as texture.

Most brides dresses do not have this amount of texture.

So I cropped in real tight to focus on the dress itself and not the bride with the dress.

We can see there’s a lot of texture. She’s doing something leaning lines of her arms. Bring us into that action for this image.

Again, I’m using a couple of different composition techniques.

I’m using framing from this piece of furniture here to frame the dress.

And then I’m using this artwork here to balance out the image because it’s kind of heavy on the right side.

And I’m kind of using the rule of thirds as well. So this frame here is balancing this side without it, it would be too heavy and unbalanced.

I’m also using light as part of the composition, which we can see in the reflection right here, which helps tell the story of the day based on that light source and the color of light.

We also have some light coming over here, which is a different color than this light source here.

So this would be window light, which is bluer versus the yellow coming on this side of the dress for this next image.

I’m using leading lines and implied leading lines. So we can see the groom is gazing off into this direction.

What is he looking at? Not quite sure.

So the bench brings us back to the main subject, and again, I’m using rule of thirds next image, rule of thirds again, and I’m also utilizing the leading lines of the Hills and the trees here to bring us back to the couple, this one, leading lines and framing as well as rule of thirds.

So I’m using this Bush here in the foreground with the back one here to frame them in this area right here.

One of my favorite images of this wedding reception included images of the bride and groom as well as family members along this close line.

And I positioned myself in a way to create a leading line from the couple into the rest of the image, but I wanted to blur out these images so that the main focus was on the couple here.

The use of color is bringing us into this image, and then we can see the implied leading line of the groom looking off, but the color grabs our attention.

And then the lines of that artwork, bringing us back to the groom, this image, again, I’m trying to create something different during the ceremony.

I’m framing the guests within this piece of work here, artwork.

I’m not quite sure what it was, but I had an opening or a little window right here that I peaked through to capture the guests during the ceremony to help tell the story and to frame them as the main subjects.

Once again, I’m using framing of this doorway here to frame the wedding dress and the inside of the bride’s room here, where she was getting ready.

The one thing I do not like is this window right here.

It’s very bright and it’s competing with the dress and it’s kind of a distraction.

So you’re looking back and forth between the two, not quite sure what to look at.

So if I were to do this over again, I would close these drapes and try and darken up this window here.

So the focus would be more on the dress and the rest of the things going on on the inside.

All right. So again, I’m using leading lines of the guitar here to get to the main action up here at the top.

The one thing I do not like is the back of these chairs here.

This was at the ceremony.

So what I could have done is I could have captured this at a different angle or different perspective to crop out the back of these chairs.

I could use the crop tool to crop in tighter, but I don’t necessarily get everything in there that I wanted when I captured it originally.

So be aware of your surroundings, the foreground, and the background, and try and crop out anything in camera before you take the photo.

That way you don’t have to worry about fixing it later on.

Now in this next image, I like this image, but I don’t like this image.

What I don’t like about it is this large post right here, it’s kind of dominating the image.

So I had to do something in Photoshop to help bring out this couple a little bit more.

So I used color to try and focus more on the couple versus the surroundings.

So if I were to re-shoot this, I would try and shoot it at an angle where this post was not in the image, but I do have the framing of the couple going on here as part of the composition, along with the leading lines and the colors of their jeans, quick shot of a bug in our garden.

We have leading lines for this image and the rule thirds is heads right in the middle.

There not a strong composition other than the leading lines.

Again, I’m using expressions to create something new and different for this engagement session and their expressions kind of give you an idea of their personalities.

So when photographing people try and capture their true essence by capturing expressions that tell us who they are or what their personalities are like.

And then this next image of the same couples, a little bit more somber, traditional classic, however you wanna say it.

So what I did is I used the surroundings to frame them on the left side, which is the row of thirds.

And I framed them between this railing down here and this railing up here.

And then if your eyes gravitate away from them, this leading line of the railing will bring you back to the couple.

If you gravitate to this side, the top of the railing or down here will bring you back.

Based on this leading line, back towards the couple for this image, we have juxtaposition going on.

Again, we have a large building taking up the majority of the image and then the leading lines, bring us back towards the couple over here.

And I’m utilizing rule of thirds for this next image.

I’m using two main composition techniques, any idea which ones I’m using?

Well, if you said framing, you would be correct.

And I’m also using color as part of the composition.

Now for this next image, it’s really, really busy.

There’s a lot going on here, but I do like this image because it’s different.

Again, you’ve seen photos of couples millions of times, but how many photos have you seen where the couple are posed in this way?

Probably not very many if at all. So what could I have done better?

Well, the background here is really busy.

We have a lot going on, the lights are dominating the top portion.

We have a number down here, so I could have blurred out the background and used a shallow depth of field of 2.8 or 1.4.

But again, I wasn’t in a position or I couldn’t use a larger focal length or a shallower depth of field based on what I was trying to capture at the time, which was the two numbers here, plus the lights in the background.

So as you can see, I shot this at 14 millimeters and F five.

So it’s a very large depth of field. So I would have to fix this and Photoshop.

Other than that, I like how the couple are framed between these two lights here.

And then we have the 50 yard line here as a leading line, bringing us into the main subjects here, which are the couple again, I’m using framing to frame the couple in the doorway.

And then during the editing process, I applied color as part of the composition.

And then in this next image, I’m using framing and leading lines.

And for this one, I’m using framing plus color.

So there’s two different colors being utilized to grab our attention.

The first is the same color tone that I applied here, which is a beige rustic retro type of feel or tone to it.

And then we have the color of his tie, which is contrasting with everything else and the image, and that’s grabbing the viewer’s attention because of that contrast.

And it’s fine that we’re focusing on that tie because it brings us towards the main subject, which is the couple and the framing inside of this doorway helps as well.

This next image is the same building that I shot here. I just cropped in tighter this time.

And again, I placed each into the columns here to frame them inside of there.

And then I had them look in opposite directions to create implied lines and those implied lines intersect with each other and keep us focused on the couple leading lines and framing again, as well as that color tone that I applied previously

for this next image I’m using color and texture is part of the composition techniques, but color trumps the texture because it’s so much brighter and different in contrast with the textures and the image that are eyes naturally navigate to this area.

First because of that color.

Now this next image is one of my favorite images. I captured on a family vacation in New York.

We were walking through this tunnel here. I stopped to capture this image.

So I could use the edging of the tunnel here to frame this side of the park.

And there were people on the stairs in the bridge, and I think my kids were on the railing.

So I had to remove all of them to get this final image, this image I’m using a macro lens.

So a lot of it is out of focus, but I’m using color as a main composition technique to bring us into this image for this image.

I’m utilizing leading lines as well as the rule thirds.

They’re both right here on this point for this image, I’m using framing again to frame the couple within the image.

Again, I’m using three different types of techniques.

We have framing leading lines and color.

So there’s a lot going on, but because of each of the different composition techniques, our eyes always gravitate back towards the couple in this image for this one,

I’m using the leading lines of the background here, as well as framing the girl’s legs between her fiance’s legs right here, this next image, again, probably different from what you’re used to seeing of couples on their wedding day, we were shooting downtown Detroit and there was a lot of construction going on.

So I decided to frame them inside of the top of this cone right here.

Now in the background, we have this big, bright red and yellow sign. It tells a little bit of a story about the location, but I think it’s kind of detracting from the overall image.

Our eyes tend to look right here first, but then this sign is pulling us into this side of the image. So I’m not really liking the sign in this image, same couple again, and I’m utilizing color and framing better in this image than I did in the previous image.

And again, same location.

And I’m utilizing this construction here to frame them inside of these different poles right here, as well as framing them between these two colors right here.

So we have a frame within a frame as well as leading lines, bringing us back towards the couple nice leading line, leading into the couple as well as rule of thirds, using expressions again, to tell the personality of this couple know she is not a bride Zilla.

They’re just a fun, loving couple that wanted to do something a little bit different and fun, kind of a boring photo. I’m utilizing the rule of thirds though.

And I blurred out the background to help this part or this subject to stand out from the rest.

Another one of my favorite images, I’m utilizing leading lines and the rule of thirds to place the tree on the right side and the leaning lines of these Hills and the foreground here.

And the background lead us back to the tree.

You could also say that the color of the sky is contrasting with the tree and that’s helping with the composition of the image as well.

Again, rule thirds this time I’m placing the get, go in the middle. Another rule of thirds image.

The head of the Millie is directly on this point, right here, landscape photo with the rule of thirds, I placed the shoreline here directly in the center.

And then for this last image, again, a lot going on, not a whole lot, you can do when you’re about five rows, back, 10 rows back, whatever it was at the time, and you can’t really get a great shot, a perfect shot.

So what do you do?

Well, you do what you can with what you have, and there’s some luck involved as well. So we have two different stories going on here.

We have the main lead singer right here, and we have our guitarist over here.

So the lead singer is in focus, but we also have another story going on over here with the guitarist.

He’s not as sharp as the lead singer. And the guitarist is framed between these hands.

All these lights up here have lots of color, and they’re all directing our attention back down towards the band itself, which helps with the composition of this particular image.

So overall, this was a pretty lucky shot. I would say to get these people in front of me to lift their hands at the right moment to frame the musician right here.

So utilize composition to tell a story, to direct your viewers to the main subject and to create a stronger, better image based on placing the elements of the scene in a specific order, based on what you want them to see.

03:56:05 | Editing

Editing is the fourth key to creating amazing images and editing is an art form. All by itself.

We could easily spend hours, days, weeks, even months talking about editing, and you still might not have mastered it based on your creative vision, not to mention all the different editing software options and their numerous editing tools that will take months to master.

So I’m gonna give you some tips on what software to use and why, and then you’ll have to explore my premium photography masterclass to learn more about editing as well as researching other artists, to find out how to edit your images with your software of choice.

But first, before we do a quick review on some software, let me show you how editing can transform ordinary images into extraordinary for this image.

It’s a pretty boring location and subject, but by replacing the sky and changing the colors to match a sunset, we have a much more interesting image that being said, is this image still a photograph in a way it is, but it’s more of a composite than an original photograph.

Since I’ve used another image to transform it. Now for this image, there’s been no editing done to it yet.

So this is straight out of the camera.

Now here’s a classic traditional type of editing style, but I wanted to mute the colors and create a more retro feel, which is my preferred editing style.

To me, this is still a photograph, even though the editing style does not include the natural colors when I captured this image.

And I understand that not everyone is going to like my editing style, which I’m okay with, since I’m happy with it, that being said, not everyone is going to like your editing style either.

So how you edit your image is going to be based on your creative preference.

The problem is at this point, you may not know what your preferred style is, or if you do, you may not know how to create it or even which software to use to create it.

So the first step is deciding on what software to use, which can be difficult in and of itself.

Since you have a lot of choices, then you have to spend some time learning the software.

Now, regardless of your choice, I’d recommend trying out two or three applications for a week or two to get a feel for how the software operates, the tools available and which one you’re comfortable with and whether or not you wanna shell out any money for your editing software is something else to consider.

So let’s check out a couple of options to get you started. Now, when it comes to software, you have a lot of choices, a lot more than I had 30 years ago, or even 15 to 20 years ago.

And at that time, Photoshop was the dominant software.

And I’d say it still is today. Now getting Photoshop at a decent price is much more affordable now than it was back in the nineties. Back then I had a shell out around $800 or so for a single license. And that didn’t include updates, which were a couple hundred dollars more for each update.

Now compare that today, when you can get Photoshop for one Starbucks coffee or $10 per month, plus the photography plan includes both Photoshop and Lightroom for that same $10. So basically $5 each.

Now the main advantage to Adobe software is they’re updated three to four times per year, and they have many more time saving features versus software that you can get for free plus much more.

Now, another cool feature about Photoshop and Lightroom is you can use them on your iPad and iPhone for free, which is a great way to try them out before you pay for the monthly subscription.

When it comes to using either one on your laptop or a desktop, you can download a free seven day trial.

Now, when it comes to which one you should try first, I’d recommend Lightroom over Photoshop.

So Photoshop, even though it has a lot more tools and features, it’s going to take much longer to master than Lightroom.

So editing your raw files and Lightroom is fairly simple. Once you get the hang of using it, but there are two different versions of Lightroom.

There’s the desktop or the classic version.

And then there’s the mobile version, which you can also use on a laptop or desktop, which one you use is dependent on the features.

You need to learn more about Photoshop and Lightroom, check out their playlists in the description below.

Now, if you’re more interested in freeware, you can actually get a clone of Photoshop for free. And there’s also a free alternative for light room, both of which I’ve included a link to in the description below.

Now, one of the most popular free alternatives to Photoshop is known as gimp, which stands for GU image manipulation program.

And gimp includes a lot of the same tools and features as Photoshop.

Although you won’t find all of the time saving artificial intelligent tools to make your job easier, like the subject select tool, which will instantly make a selection of your subject for you auto magically.

Now, if you’re interested in learning more about GAMP, I have a gimp for beginner’s playlist in the description below to get you started to continue elevating your photography skills, make sure to get my photography masterclass that includes over 30 hours of content.

Plus check out some of my free photography and editing tutorials here on my channel, via the links in the description below.

Parker
Parker
A 30-year photography pro with a desire to help you achieve your creative vision! Facebook | Youtube

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