Photography Class 5, Exposure Compensation, Composition, File Formats & Filing
This week we started off our class talking about the fact that the camera has no idea what we are photographing so in order to get a good photograph we need to remember to tell the camera what to do.
With this in mind our teacher gave us a demonstration, he asked us to put our cameras to the following:
- A – setting
- AP 5.6
- ISO 400
- Zero light compensation
- Auto focus to manual
He then rolled down firstly a white screen, then a black screen and asked us to photograph each. Both sets just came out grey. This is because there is no focal point of contrast for the camera to work with, so it will just look for mid grey. So in a snowy scene it will still show grey which is why you have to adjust your exposure compensation to direct the camera as to how much light should be let in, the same for dark against dark.
So in our homework we will be playing with the exposure compensation button which you can find as the +/- button at the top of my Nikon I think it is the same for ‘most’ cameras.
Most people when starting off photographing will be taking shots in jpg format. It is usually only later on that one moves on to the RAW format of file.
When you take a shot in order to distinguish which one is RAW you look at the following letters:
- Nikon = NEF
- Canon = CRZ
I had been searching for a while for this so it was particularly useful to find this out 🙂
Then we went on to discuss the pro’s and cons of each.
JPG V RAW File Formats
- File size is smaller
- You can open this file type with pretty much any software
- You can print from camera
- It gives faster continuous shooting
- It is easier to recover jpgs on a storage card if it becomes corrupted
- It is a processed image, which in fact to some is a drawback
- It is processed to doesn’t allow for full control
- Lossy image file format – (lossy looses quality every time it is saved as throws away information each time this happens, so it sacrifices/downsizes)
- Raw information from the senor is recorded on to the card
- The only setting that will influence quality on a RAW format is the ISO (noise)
- It is unprocessed
- We can process this file format to our liking
- Larger file size so affects storage 3.4 – 6 times larger sometimes, depending on the camera
- Have to process before printing
Then we went on to discuss RAW editing software, there is a free RAW editing software called Raw Therapee, which you can find here: Raw Therapee
After this our teacher went on to discuss re-sizing to save storage space, especially on things like blogs that are free and offer limited storage space. He recommended setting the image sizing on the long edge to 1200 or 1500. Tick resize to fit.
Filing & Editing
So there are many I expect programmes out there for filing etc and as a photographer you find the way that suits you. For instance our teacher hates folders, whereas I consider myself old fashioned and like to file away my photographs in different folders. I category them by year and have my edited folders and non edited. The trick is to keep on top of it all, which I don’t always do.
So there is a viewing & filing system that is free called Bridge.
You can then purchase Camera Raw which is an editing system through Adobe.
Or you can use Lightroom, which is what I use, but I also like Camera Raw.
With Bridge you can file, put stars of preference, colours etc on to your photographs and easily view RAW formats versus JPGS, lightroom also does most if not all of this too. Lightroom also edits, whereas Bridge does not, but you move your workflow on to Camera Raw and or Photoshop to do this. They are all Adobe products and most will provide free limited trials so you can find out which suits you best.
Homework – Composition & Light Compensation
This week was to focus on three areas of composition, that being:
If you wish to catch up with all my other photography classes I’ve taken then please click here: Photography Classes
So my next challenge was to actually take some photographs. I headed in to town and started snapping away just focusing on “oh there’s a pattern, let’s photograph it”. I then got to a stage where I was looking back at my shots and feeling totally uninspired. My friend said to me “it’s about finding the right angle or making something interesting or photographing and interesting piece in the first place”. So I took stock and decided “let’s take shots that might invoke a thought, something controversial perhaps, oh I should be so lucky”.
I headed to Soho, Old Compton Street and Carnaby Street.
I arrived at Old Compton Street around 11am, thinking it woulg be buzzing and full of life. It was like a ghost town, nothing going on except for the low hum of chatter in various breakfast places, the lure of which got the better of me as I succumbed to a Full English Breakfast!
As I wandered out with a sense of guilt from total gluttony a rather controversial chap peeped out from a shop doorway. I thought “ooh that will be an interesting subject matter, might trigger a conversation” I went in and asked if I could take a photograph of it. The shop keeper told me photographs weren’t allowed. I then went in to attempted journalistic mode and smiled, explaining the situation of my class and wanting to provide something of interest that might provide as much of a boost of awakening our minds as a coffee would. He said he would turn away and let me snap away, so I did and it would be sacrilege surely if I did not share it with you now?
NOTE: If easily shocked or offended please do not look further…
I decided to put two photographs I took together. The stark contrast between the two quite invoking, well to me anyway. The top obviously a fetish outfit, but with a mask depicting something similar to a gas mask.
The photograph below is Homage to Prisoners of War, Sculpture by Josie Spencer, Golden Square, London. Here I find the subject to be of war, perhaps some might wear a gas mask but he certainly wasn’t. I took shots trying to make the composure and content similar in some way but so starkly in contrast in another.
I was trying to also focus on rule of thirds here and texture. The shiny leather and PVC versus the stone, which in fact you would think rough but rather smooth to the touch in this instance.
The plaque which in turn provided me with some texture element in the photograph
Here I seem to have gone in to light mode, as in taking lots of lights, it’s amazing when you look up or down when photographing what you will find. There was lots of playing around with the light compensation in these shots, the day was dark and dismal, not providing much light.
I found here I got leading lines and repeat elements in the composition.
Then we went on to signs!
I had to slip this one in, the banner on a cafe. Perhaps some repeat element or texture elements here or am I digging to deep?
Certainly the Carnaby Street sign seems to provide repeat, pattern and texture elements don’t you think?
Then I moved on to vehicles or parts of vehicles. Actually I have no ‘actual’ interest in mechanics, but for some reason I thought these parts in a shop looked rather cool. Certainly the bike was, and I am an utter fan of minis who couldn’t be? The lines seem to provide patterns, shapes and textures.
Next I have shared the other sculptures that I found at the Golden Square in London, hopefully providing elements of texture and shape. Hopefully the most focal element is a sense of interest hopefully to you the viewer.
A little bit of street art. Love it. Providing patterns and texture.
Thank you for joining me on this journey and taking time to read this post. Until next time. If you wish to join in, as always please provide a link and comment below to a relevant blog post on this subject matter, the more the merrier. Justine x