Friday, August 5, 2011

Camera Lessons 101

This week my office had our annual staff retreat at Twin Lakes outside of Florence. Twin Lakes was so much fun - we canoed, climbed to the top of a fire tower, swang in giant swings, laid around in hammocks and pulled ourselves across the lake on a little tug-platform thing. We also did some goal setting and work stuff like that. We devoted one day to learning how to use our new photography equipment - Canon EOS5 and EOS7 cameras. A couple of people have asked for my notes so I thought I'd post them here. I think most of this can be applied to any digital camera (the settings may be called something different though):

M - Manuel
Green Rectangle - Automatic
P - Green with Power (giving you more control to change some things)
TV - Shutter Priority (use for spots photos)
AV - Aperture Priority (aperture is the amount of light you want to let in)

If the light is low, aperture needs to be open so the number for the aperture needs to be small. Apertue increases the depth of field.

On the Manuel and P settings, you can change the:

AF Drive - Auto Focus Drive
       IA - one shot at a time (the symbol looks like a small rectangle)
       Servo - multiple shots used for action photos (symbol lookls like multiple layered rectangles)
       H - high speed, multiple shots

To change settings rotate the small dial at the top of the camera or the large dial with your right thumb

To get a blurry background with one thing in focus: Press shutter 1/2 way down and point black square at object to be in focus, without letting go of your 1/2 way hold, frame the photo how you want it and then complete the shutter click. Keep in mind the rule of thirds - divide the frame vertically and horizontally into thirds, then anything positioned on one of these lines, especially where they intersect, will have more of an impact.

Our photo guru, Marc. Thanks for all the free advice, Marc! And letting me ask a zillion and one questions.

Use a higher aperture for the entire photograph to be in focus.

Sadly, I realized exactly how out-of-shape I have become because I was huffing and puffing by the time I made it to the top and hoping this thing wasn't about to fall down.

Best lens to buy for a Canon Rebel is a 24-105 mm.

Use a flash defuser when you have the flash pointed towards people to cut down on glare, or just point the flash towards the ceiling to bounce the light.

Don't be scared to use the flash when taking photos outside. Put person's back to the sun and use a flash = no squinty eyes!

 Facing the sun, sunglasses required!

Sun to our backs, with flash pointed at us. Besides the fact that you can see the sweat now, it's a much better photo!

If your colleagues jumped off a bridge, would you?

Apparently, in our office, the answer is YES.

Good websites & tools: (photography classes offered)

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