Photography The word photography comes from Greek words meaning to write or draw with light. Photography is a process of making pictures by the action of light. Light is reflected from an object to form an image on a material sensitive to light.
A camera works somewhat like the human eye, capturing reflected light from objects and through a camera lens and focusing those light rays into an image. Traditionally cameras recorded the image onto film. More recently through the development of computer chips, many cameras capture their images on a computer chip. The computer chip then allows the conversion of the image to digital data. Why do people take Photographs?
Photo Terms Digital camera – A camera that captures the photo not on film, but in an electronic imaging sensor that takes the place of film. Exposure - the amount of light captured by the camera. Aperture – A small, circular opening inside the lens that can change in diameter to control the amount of light reaching the camera's sensor as a picture is taken. The aperture diameter is expressed in f-stops; the lower the number, the larger the aperture. A larger aperture passes more light through to the sensor. Shutter speed – The camera’s shutter speed is a measurement of how long its shutter remains open as the picture is taken. The slower the shutter speed, the longer the exposure time. When the shutter speed is set to 1/125 or simply 125, this means that the shutter will be open for exactly 1/125th of one second. The aperture and shutter speed together control the total amount of light reaching the sensor.
Pixel – Short for Picture Element, a pixel is a single point in a graphic image Resolution - Resolution refers to the number of pixels in an image. Megapixel - A unit equal to one million pixels. The higher the resolution, the more pixels in an image and therefore the greater the image quality. An image file that is 1 megapixel (MP) can make a photo realistic print of 5 x 7 inches; a 2 MP file can make an 8 x 10-inch print; a 3 MP file can make an 11 x 14-inch print. DPI - Dots Per Inch. Number of dots a printer or device (like a monitor) can display per linear inch. For example, most laser printers have a resolution of 300 dpi, most monitors 72 dpi, most PostScript imagesetters 1200 to 2450 dpi. Photo quality inkjet printers now range from 1200 to 2400 dpi. PPI – Pixels Per Inch. The number of pixels per linear inch is used to describe image resolution. A higher ppi means more image detail and correlates to higher image quality. Monitors display images at 72 ppi, inkjet printers require at least 150 ppi to produce photo realistic prints.
Other Terms LCD - Liquid Crystal Display: a low-power monitor used on the rear of a digital camera to display settings or the photos themselves or use to compose photos in shooting modes. JPEG - Joint Photographic Experts Group, A standardized format used by many digital cameras for storing images. This format is also commonly used for images on the web and images attached to e-mail messages. GIF - Graphic Image File format. A widely supported image-storage format released in 1987 and promoted by CompuServe. It gained early widespread use on on-line services and the Internet. An excellent format for graphics used on the World Wide Web (WWW), and there are animated GIFs too. (JPEG is better for photographs) TIFF - Tagged Image/Interchange File Format. In digital imaging, a file-storage format implemented on a wide variety of computer systems. Considered an industry standard, but so open that header information is used in many different ways. Macro mode. a lens mode that allows you to get very close to objects so they appear greatly enlarged in the picture. Most cameras have a setting for macro photography with an icon of a flower to designate it. Depth of field - the range of distance in a scene that appears to be in focus and will be reproduced as being acceptably sharp in an image. Depth of field is controlled by the lens aperture, and extends for a distance in front of and behind the point on which the lens is focused.
1 DOCUMENTARY - photographs whose main purpose is to record a place, person(s) or event Title: The Steerage, 1907 Artist: Alfred Stieglitz About: Stieglitz was sailing to Europe in 1907 and found the company of other first class passengers unbearable. One day as he was trying to avoid them, he walked to the end of his deck and looked down into the part of the ship which accommodated the poor passengers. He perceived the ordinary men and women as flashes of color dotted in among the geometric shapes of 'iron machinery'. Moved and fascinated by this sight, he raced to his cabin and returned with his camera to take a picture that to him constituted a step in his 'own evolution'.
Title: The Terminal, 1892Artist: Alfred Stieglitz About: Stieglitz used natural elements such as smoke, rain, and snow to soften and unify the image into a pictorially pleasing synthesis.
Title: Lunch atop a SkyscraperArtist: Charles C. Ebbets About: The photograph depicts 11 men eating lunch, seated on a girder with their feet dangling hundreds of feet above the New York City streets. Ebbets took the photo on September 29, 1932, and it appeared in the New York Herald Tribune in its Sunday photo supplement on October 2. Taken on the 69th floor of the GE Building during the last several months of construction.
2 EXPRESSIVE - Images concerned with communicating a particular emotion. Title: Migrant Mother Artist: Dorothea Lange About: Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age thirty-two. Title: Untitled Artist: Patrick Farrell About: Sonson Pierre, 7, huddles in mud outside his home in Gonaives
Title: Gun #1 • Artist: William Klein
3 LANDSCAPE - an image that portrays the natural environment. Title: Tetons and the Snake River Artist: Ansel Adams
4 ORGANIC SHAPE - shapes based on natural objects such as trees, mountains, leaves, etc… Title: Roots Artist: Ansel Adams Student Work
5 ABSTRACT - an image that emphasizes formal elements (line, shape, etc) rather than specific, recognizable objects.
6 Portraiture to capture the personality of the subject or group of subjects on film.
RULE OF THIRDS Rule of Thirds has been used for centuries and is probably the most important of all the composition techniques. The Rule of Thirds means that the frame can be divided into three horizontal sections and three vertical sections and therefore, where the horizontal and vertical lines intersect makes an ideal location for the more important parts of your picture. By locating your main subject at one of the four intersections you give the subject more emphasis than if it was right smack in the middle of the picture. This is also a good technique if you have more than one important subject; the intersections can still work even if there's a subject on more than one. The divisions can also be helpful in setting up a picture, they can for example, help you determine how much horizon you want.
Visual Elements Texture: if you could touch the surface of the photograph how would it feel? How do the objects in the picture look like they would feel? Light: what areas of the photograph are most highlighted? Are there any shadows? Does the photograph allow you to guess the time of day? Is the light natural or artificial? Harsh or soft? Reflected or direct?
Line: are there objects in the photograph that act as lines? Are they straight, curvy, thin, thick? Do the lines create direction in the photograph? Do they outline? Do the lines show movement or energy? Space: is there depth to the photograph or does it seem shallow? What creates this appearance? Are there important negative spaces in addition to positive spaces? Is there depth created by spatial illusions?
Focus: what areas appear clearest or sharpest in the photograph? What do not? Repetition: are there any objects, shapes or lines which repeat and create a pattern?
Shape: do you see geometric or organic shapes? What are they Value: is there a range of tones from dark to light? Where is the darkest value? Where is the lightest?
Composition of the Photograph Angle: the vantage point from which the photograph was taken; generally used when discussing a photograph taken from an unusual or exaggerated vantage point. Background: the part of a scene or picture that is or seems to be toward the back.
Balance: the distribution of visual elements in a photograph. Symmetrical balance distributes visual elements evenly in an image. Asymmetrical balance is found when visual elements are not evenly distributed in an image Balance: the distribution of visual elements in a photograph. Asymmetrical balance is found when visual elements are not evenly distributed in an image. Central focus: (focal point);the objects(s) which appears most prominently and/or most clearly focused in a photograph.
Contrast: strong visual differences between light and dark, varying textures, sizes, etc. Framing: what the photographer has placed within the boundaries of the photograph. Vantage point: the place from which a photographer takes a photograph.
Setting: actual physical surroundings or scenery whether real or artificial Composition: the arrangement or structure of the formal elements that make up an image.
Lighting can make or break your photo When it comes to the direction of light, there are 360 degrees of possibilities. When the light isn't working for you, change it by moving your position, your subject's position, or the light itself, if possible. High Front Light (Sunlight) Front Light Side Light Back Light
Ambient light – The natural light in a scene. An overcast day is actually preferable for portraits—there are no harsh shadows under eyes, noses, and chins, and nobody has to squint. Flowers also photograph best on a cloudy day, especially pastel-colored flowers with soft textures.
Artificial Light - An ambiguous term that refers to light produced by electricity as opposed to a Natural source and to illumination introduced to record images White balance – A function on the camera to compensate for different colors of light being emitted by different light sources. Set the "white balance" feature on your digital camera to tungsten or fluorescent. Turn on the flash (if close enough) so it becomes your main light source
Flash Off Fill Flash A flash technique used to brighten deep shadow areas, typically outdoors on sunny days. Some digital cameras include a fill flash mode that forces the flash to fire, even in bright light.
ZOOM IN: TIPS Good Better RULE OF THIRDS:
FOCUS: TIPS Change Direction:
Assignment Samples Emphasis on Lines