You need to know all of this stuff. You will have a performance test that you will need to pass with 100% before you can move on.


1. Do you know how to format the memory card with the camera?

2. Do you know how to set the white balance to "auto". This will usually work. I usually set a manual white balance in the studio, but because so many people use it set it to auto. Inside usually doesn't work .I set it to TUNGSTEN manually. Remember to set the camera back to auto when you are done.

3. Do you know how to do a manual (custom) white balance?

4. Do you know how to set the camera to capture raw images?

5. Why would you shoot in raw instead of jpeg? Raw has a lot of advantages. Here are some of the most important:

More exposure latitude. If something blows as a jpeg it is often OK as a raw file. This has saved me many times.

You can white balance after you take the picture.

The file is 16 bit instead of 8 bit. This means that you can make larger adjustments in color and value without any posterizing. Ask me to explain this to you. If I want to really be sure I get a shot I always use raw. The down side is the files are about 5 times larger.

6. Do you know how to select a particular focus point in the viewfinder (not focus recompose, choose a particular focus point)?

7. Do you know how to adjust the ISO?

8. Do you know why you would adjust the ISO?

Usually you want the lowest ISO possible and still be able to achieve correct hand hold able exposure. Lets say for example you want to take a picture in the hall without a flash. The camera tells you with an ISO of 100 the exposure will be 1/15 at F2.8. The shutter speed is too slow to hand hold.The lens is opened as far as it will go. The image will be blurry What more can a poor boy do?(Split Enz song from the eighties). If you set the ISO to 800 the shutter speed could then be 125 of a second. You always need to know what the exposure will be before you snap the shutter. Ask yourself, "will these settings give me the look I want (depth of field, stopped motion).If not try adjusting the ISO. After a while you will know what ISO you will need in particular lighting situations.

9. On the class cameras (Canon) do you know what TV on the mode dial does?

T stands for TIME so it is shutter priority, you set the shutter speed and the camera sets the aperture.

10. Why would you shoot in TV mode?

When you want to have a particular shutter speed. I almost always use the camera this way outside. If a picture is blurry it goes in the round file, if it has a little more or a little less depth of field it is usually OK.

11. On the class cameras (Canon) do you know what AV on the mode dial does? A stands for aperture. You set the aperture and the camera sets the shutter speed.

12. Why would you shoot in AV mode? When you want a particular aperture. You can also shoot in TV and just adjust the shutter speed until the aperture goes where you want it.

13. Why would you shoot in M (manual) mode? Usually I shoot in manual mode in the studio.

14. Do you know how to achieve correct exposure in manual mode?

15. Do you feel confident you can go inside or outside, put the camera in TV, AV, or M and get correctly exposed sharp images in each? Read the above info and then go outside and practice.

16. Do you know how to use the exposure compensation control on the camera?

17. Do you know when you would use it?

Cameras are dumb beasts. The meter is always trying to average what it sees to gray. If what you are taking a picture of doesn't have values that average to gray you need to use exposure compensation.It is a way of telling the meter that it needs to give you more or less exposure than it thinks it should.Some common examples: snow pictures. If you take pictures of a scene that is predominately white the meter will usually give you settings that will underexpose the image. It wants to make the snow gray(it wants to make everything gray). To compensate you need to set the exposure compensation to +1, to +2,That will give the image a stop or two more exposure (make the scene lighter). Another example is when the subject is back lit like when you take a picture of someone with the sun at their back. The camera meter will see all the bright light from the sun, and try to make it gray. Your subject will end up being way underexposed. You need to set the exposure compensation to +1,or +2 to give the person more exposure.

18. Do you know how to use different apertures to achieve different looks? If you wanted a soft background what might you set the aperture to? Wide aperture (smaller aperture numbers)  = less depth of field (blurry background), Small aperture = more depth of field (sharp subject and back ground).

19. Do you know how to use different shutter speeds to achieve different looks? If you wanted to freeze action, what might you set the shutter speed to? Larger shutter speed number to freeze motion, smaller shutter speed to blur motion, useful for panning shots, etc.

20. If I said, "When you are taking pictures in the snow you need to open up a stop or two", would you know what that means?

A change in exposure by a factor of two. In the old days changing the aperture from one setting to the next doubles or halves the amount of light reaching the image sensor. Changing the shutter speed from one setting to the next does the same thing. Either changes the exposure one stop. These days you can often make changes of a half or third stop so things are a little fuzzier.In general if you need to open a stop you need to give the image twice as much exposure.You can do it by opening the lens a stop or cutting the shutter speed in half.

I've done most of the work for you.Read through this stuff, go out and apply it, practice, practice, practice. All of the screen shots came from the pdf manual for the class camera. Read it for more information. There is no way to be a good photographer if you don't read the camera manual. Being good at something isn't easy.

If you have your own camera you are on your own. All Canons are pretty much the same. I think Nikon calls aperture and shutter priority something else, but the are pretty similar. You will still need to pass the performance test. If you have your own camera bring it in for the test. Don't work on anything else until you pass the test. We have a lot of ground to cover this semester.