Controlling perspective

It used to be said that the camera cannot lie, but using different focal length lenses you have almost as much freedom to control perspective in a photograph as an artist has when drawing by hand. Perspective is an important way of implying depth, as well as height and width, in a two-dimensional picture. A photograph of a scene such as a landscape shows elements smaller and closer together towards the far distance, and parallel lines seem to taper towards the background. The more steeply such...

Analog to digital

Continuous Tone Image Analog Digital

The act of scanning, be it using a flatbed model or one designed for film stock, involves converting continuous tone images into digital files. Photographs in either print or negative (or slide) form contain a range of subtle tones and colors that blend smoothly into each other. These are referred to as continuous tone images. For instance, in a black and white image it is difficult to see where one shade of gray starts and another one finishes. The effect is a smooth transition from the...

Single lens reflex SLR cameras

All SLR cameras have a clever optical system (as shown in Figure 8.7b), which allows you to view an image of the subject formed by the lens. It is a true 'what you see is what you get' (WYSIWYG) system. Unlike a compact camera, the shutter is not in the lens but in the back of the camera just in front of the film or sensor. Looking into an eyepiece at the back of an SLR you observe a small, ground-glass focusing screen, onto which the scene is reflected by a mirror. So you see what the lens...

Specialist shooting modes

Some cameras contain a range of shooting modes designed to take the guesswork out of adjusting camera settings to suit different shooting scenarios. Selecting these modes will automatically change your camera's functions to the most appropriate setting for the photographic task at hand. The guide below will give you an idea of when best to use which mode. N.B. Not all modes will be available on all cameras and some modes are digital-only options. Check you manuals for details of what specialist...

Two or more colors creating a splittone effect

Once you have mastered the art of digitally toning your pictures it is time to spread your 'tinting' wings a little. One of my favorite after-printing effects back in my darkroom days was split toning. This process involved passing a completed black and white print through two differently colored and separate toning baths. This resulted in the print containing a mixture of two different tints. For example, when an image is split toned with sepia first and then blue toner the resultant picture...

Using a longer focal length

A very useful reason for changing to a longer focal length telephoto lens is so that you can keep your distance from the subject and yet still make it fill your picture. In portraiture photography, changing to 70 or 100 mm allows you to take a head-and-shoulders type photograph without being so overbearingly close that you make the person self-conscious, or creating steepened perspective which distorts the face. Candid Figure 15.4 Fixed focal length lenses provide a single angle of view and are...

Changing focal length

As well as providing a way for the light (and image) to be focused onto the sensor or film, the lens on the front of your camera also has a creative side. The creative controls your camera lens offers include focus control (allowing a sharp image of things at your main subject distance, and so giving them emphasis) and aperture control (allowing changes in depth of field as well as helping to control the amount of exposure). Figure 15.1 The focal length of the lens you use (or the zoom setting...

Features for reducing noise

In a perfect world there would never be an occasion when there was a need for photographers to use either a high ISO value or a long exposure and so all the images produced would be beautifully noise free. But alas this is not the case and all too regularly you will find yourself shooting in environments with very little light. Does this mean that we have to put up with noise-filled images for the sake of shooting convenience The answer is no. Most mid- to high-range digital cameras now contain...

Processing a film

Processing black and white negatives is in many ways like cooking - you use liquids, and have to control time and temperature quite carefully. You also need some basic equipment. The ten most important items are shown in Figure 35.1. Before you try using a tank for the first time, practice loading with a scrap film, or an unwanted (and uncut) length of negatives. Do this first in the light, then with your eyes closed, then in a darkened room. It's important not to force and buckle the film...

APS films and cameras

The Advanced Photo System APS is a film format introduced in 1996. APS films are only 24 mm wide, giving negatives slightly over half the area of pictures on 35 mm film see page 51 . They do not fit 35 mm cameras, and so a whole range of scaled down cameras from compacts to single lens reflex designs have been introduced for APS photography. They are similar in price to 35 mm equipment. Other information passed from an APS camera via the film to the lab can also cover the lighting used for each...

Interior lighting

The main problem here is contrast, and to a lesser extent the dimness and color of the light. The lighting range between, say, the most shadowy corner of an interior and outside detail shown through a window is often beyond the exposure capabilities of your film or sensor. To avoid this problem you could exclude windows, keeping them behind you or to one side out of frame, but where windows need including as an important architectural feature 1 Shoot when the sky is overcast. 2 Pick a viewpoint...

Selective toning

As well as controlling which group of tones is tinted it is also possible to restrict the effect to just a selected area of the photograph. Using the selection tools in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements you can outline a portion of the photo and then apply the toning to just this area. If the color change is added to the picture using a Hue Saturation Adjustment layer then a special mask the size and shape of your selection is added to this layer to restrict the effect of the layer. The main...

Extended blurred motion techniques

Panning - An extension of the slow shutter technique involves the photographer moving with the motion of the subject. The aim is for the photographer to keep the subject in the frame during the exposure. When this technique is coupled with a slow shutter speed it's possible to produce photographs that have sharp subjects and blurred backgrounds. Try starting with speeds of 1 30th sec. Flash blur - To achieve this effect you need to set your camera on a slower than normal sync shutter speed. The...

People and places

Several other visual devices are worth remembering to help strengthen things you want to say through your pictures. For example, the size and scale of a structure can be usefully shown by the inclusion of figures see Figure 18.6 . Provided the figures you include relate to the environment in the photograph they can be also used as symbols - for example, showing the solitary outline of a person at a window in a vast, impersonal office block communicates more about the place of humans generally...

Info

Figure 16.6 High ISO settings are generally used to capture photographs in low light situations but care should be taken when using high values as they can produce photos with noticeably more noise than the same picture taken with a lower ISO setting. Where you are provided with a choice of ISO settings use the following guide to help you select which value to use for specific shooting Where you are provided with a choice of ISO settings use the following guide to help you select which value to...

Special effects attachments

Fluted Glass Photoshop

Some optical attachments are made of clear plastic with faceted surfaces to give a multiple image of your subject. This way, you can repeat whatever is composed in the center of the frame into three or more separated but overlapping images, like Figure 40.1. Some filters work by having a parallel fluted pattern, which turns one narrow strip of the image into a row of repeats. Strips may run vertically Figure 40.2 or at any angle you choose to rotate the attachment. When you are making multiple...

Interiors of buildings

If you are a beginner, then making pictures of the interiors of buildings may sound difficult, but the abilities of modern camera equipment has made this task easier than ever before. A wide-angle or at least a shorter than normal focal length lens is usually necessary. This is because there seldom seems to be enough space to get back far enough to include what the eye sees when looking around an interior. Entry-level compact cameras with their 30 or 35 mm standard lenses have an advantage...

Seven Commandments for better exposure

Use the following Exposure Commandments list as a guide to making better exposures. The metering system in your camera is a very sophisticated device and for the most part your camera will choose the right exposure settings for a scene. All but the most basic models will allow you to see the settings for shutter and aperture in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen. Start to take notice of these settings and recognize how your camera reacts to different lighting situations. 3. Off-center can mean...

Light source white balance settings

The Daylight Fine , Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy and Flash Speedlight options are designed for each of these light types. With this group of settings the camera manufacturers have examined the color from a variety of each of these sources, averaged the results and produced a white balance setting to suit each light source. If you know the type of lighting that your subject is being lit by, then selecting a specific source setting is a good move. Again, for the majority of circumstances...

Normal lenses and digital cameras

One of the factors that determines what is a standard lens is the size of the film or sensor in relation to the focal length of the lens. As most digital cameras have a sensor size that is smaller than a 35 mm frame, normal lenses for these cameras tend to have focal lengths shorter than 50 mm. This is even true for the SLR digital cameras that use the same lenses as the film camera version. To accurately compare the perspective of digital camera lenses, look for values that indicate the lens's...