Freelance Photographer Cambridge - Blog | 58 - Party Tricks

May 30, 2018
Freelance Photographer in St Ives Cambridgeshire: Food & Drink Photography; Commercial Photography, Product Photography & Packshot Photography; Event Photography; Portrait Photography; Corporate Photography & PR Photography; Engagement Photography & Wedding Photography and Photography Training Courses in Cambridge, Huntingdon, Peterborough, Bedford, Ely, St Neots, St Ives and London. Professional Photography Services in St Ives, St Neots, Huntingdon, Bedford, Peterborough, Ely & Cambridge.    
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   Alistair Grant 

Freelance Photographer Cambridge & London

     
     

bokeh photographic: Blog No: 58

Freelance Photographer Cambridge Blog Image | Blog 58 | Party Tricks (A Canon camera demonstrating metering). © bokeh photographic (Alistair Grant): Freelance Photographer; Food & Drink Photographer; Commercial Photographer, Product Photographer & Packshot Photographer; Event Photographer; Portrait Photographer; Corporate Photographer & PR Photographer; Engagement Photographer & Wedding Photographer and Photography Training Courses, St Ives, Cambridge.Blog 58 - Party Tricks (A Canon camera demonstrating metering) | bokeh photographic - Alistair Grant | Freelance Photographer in Cambridge, Huntingdon, Peterborough, Bedford, Ely, St Neots, St Ives and London.Blog 58 - Party Tricks (A Canon camera demonstrating metering) by Alistair Grant. Food & Drink Photography; Commercial Photography, Product Photography & Packshot Photography; Event Photography; Portrait Photography; Corporate Photography & PR Photography; Engagement Photography & Wedding Photography and Photography Training Courses in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire and across the UK.

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Party Tricks

A point repeatedly made in the bokeh photographic Blog is how Introduction to Photography and the other training courses I offer are all about getting to know your camera. Cameras perform differently and so the rationale is that a comprehensive understanding of how your own camera works is an essential prerequisite to mastering photography. The emphasis is on practical hands-on training, backed up by essential - although simply explained - theory, to enable attendees to develop skills and experience in operating their camera. A popular component of all my training courses are various ‘party tricks’ where I get people to demonstrate how a number of basic camera functions can act as banana skins for the unwary. However, I always start with one simple yet absolutely crucial learning point. Although it’s a lot easier to cover in face-to-face training I’m going to attempt to explain it here.

Switch on your camera and (if your camera has one) remove the lens cover. It makes no difference which one but make sure you are in either: i) automatic (green square); ii) P (Program); iii) AV/A (Aperture) or iv) TV/S (Shutter) mode: anything apart from M (Manual) for the reasons explained below. Half-press the shutter button to activate the camera and look out for three numbers in either the: i) viewfinder; ii) top panel or iii) LCD screen. You should see something like 1/100 (or just 100); F5.6 (or just 5.6); and ISO 400. The actual numbers you see will almost certainly be different to these. This isn’t a problem. Moreover, if you don’t know what the numbers represent it doesn’t matter for the purposes of this exercise NB: what the numbers mean is, of course, comprehensively explained in the actual training. Point the camera: a) straight ahead; b) then down at the ground; and then c) up at the sky and notice how one, or perhaps two of the numbers depending upon what mode you have selected, change. What the number(s) change to is irrelevant: the important thing to note is that there is a change as you point the camera in different directions. This simple exercise reveals something important. It demonstrates camera metering: a feedback loop that is at the heart of how all cameras work. In essence, via the metering feedback loop, your camera is making decisions about how much light there needs to be in an image.

There are two important considerations to the metering feedback loop. Firstly, as you have just demonstrated, settings are changed in relation to whatever a camera happens to be pointing at. Cameras measure the amount of light reflected from a given surface and then compare this to a standard which all cameras are calibrated against. Dark surfaces absorb more light whilst light surfaces reflect more light so the quantity of light reflected back into the camera differs according to the reflectance of the surface the camera is pointing at. Whilst cameras are very good at measuring the amount of light they can be easily fooled by darker or lighter than normal scenes which can result in over or under exposed images. One of my party tricks ruthlessly exploits this. Secondly, you are stuck with this feedback loop. There is no off switch. However, you can make changes to your camera’s settings to compensate for situations where the feedback loop fails providing of course that you are aware of why it has failed. In addition to this I also teach clients how to take full control of their camera by: i) Formal Metering (measuring light using a reference tone) and ii) Proxy Metering: making pre-determined manual adjustments - specific to the individual camera - for scenarios such as the white of a bride's wedding dress. Just in case you have been tempted to try the above exercise in M mode and are thinking the feedback loop must have been switched off as numbers didn’t change - note that settings are ‘locked’ when shooting in manual i.e. although the feedback loop remains operational the numbers will only change if you manually change the camera settings.

I run one-to-one and group Photography Training courses all year round in various locations. If you are interested in getting to grips with your camera the next small group workshop is in St Ives, Cambridgeshire on Saturday 23rd June. Further details here.

   
     

Call Alistair Grant on 07775 365507, Email alistair.grant@bokehphotographic.co.uk or click Booking Enquiries if you have any questions or would like to make a booking.

   
     

bokeh: "the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens"


Freelance Photographer offering Food & Drink Photography Cambridge; Commercial Photography Cambridge, Product Photography Cambridge & Packshot Photography Cambridge; Event Photography Cambridge; Portrait Photography Cambridge; Corporate Photography Cambridge & PR Photography Cambridge; Engagement Photography Cambridge & Wedding Photography Cambridge and Photography Training Courses in Cambridge. Also covering: Huntingdon, St. Ives, Ramsey, St. Neots, Peterborough, Bedford, Stamford, Newmarket, Sawtry, Alconbury Weston, Brampton, Hartford, Warboys, Houghton, Wyton, Godmanchester, Hilton, Hemingford Grey, Hemingford Abbots, Fenstanton, Whittesley, Yaxley, Needingworth, Somersham, Chatteris, Ely, Bar Hill, Grafham and Buckden.

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bokeh photographic - Alistair Grant | Freelance Photographer | Cambridge, London, UK

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Tel: 07775 365507 | Email: alistair.grant@bokehphotographic.co.uk