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03-09-2008, 09:13 PM   #1
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PART 2...Dedicated to all Pentax DSLR "Newbies" . Join the fun.

3/9/08

This is Part 2 of the post about Aperture, Shutter Speed and Sensitivity posted on 3/7/08. I am writing these posts especially for all the entry-level photographers. I know that it is over-simplified at times, but as photography skills develop, the techniques will come easy. Too much information at the beginning tends to confuse too much.

Combining all three elements described in my post of March 7th, 2008.

You can understand that to take a properly exposed photograph, one has to balance the aperture and shutter speed according to a sensitivity value (ISO). In the 35mm film era, the sensitivity would remain constant for the duration of the roll of film. In digital, the sensitivity (ISO) can be adjusted on the fly, making this third element more important and flexible than ever. Luckily, technology spares us from long exposure calculations. We can adjust one of these three elements, and the camera will adjust the two other automatically. We can set the Aperture, for example, and let the camera select the appropriate shutter speed. That is called Aperture Priority, (Av or Aperture value) on your camera mode dial. If the exposure is impossible at the chosen aperture, the camera will either suggest using the flash or increasing the ISO rating. Both of these functions can be set to make the decision automatically or within some preset parameters. Alternatively, you can decide to set the shutter speed and the camera will choose the appropriate aperture. That is called Shutter Priority (Tv or Time value) on your mode dial

Your camera (K100D and most of the Pentax 6MP - The K10D and K20D don't have the small icons) has many preset and automatic modes, represented by small icons on the mode dial. This further simplifies the decision making for the photographer. You set the camera to portrait, and the camera is already programmed by Pentax to use the standard settings typical for a portrait shot. You set it to moving objects, and the camera leans toward a fast shutter speed to freeze the action. You set it to landscape and the camera leans toward a small aperture for maximum depth of field. These settings are fine for the casual photographers and at the beginning of your learning curve as photographer, but sooner or later, you will want to have more control over the camera. Although the technical progress made in just the last decade is nothing short of astonishing, the human element is still far superior in decision making. Once you fully understand the three essentials items explained in the preceding post, you will take the creativity control over the camera.

Adjustments to consider


Choosing a small aperture can make the scene in focus from just a few feet or inches in front of the camera to infinity.It is very useful in landscape photography. This effect is proportionally accentuated when using wide angle lenses. However it will require a slower speed or a faster ISO. Tripods are commonly used in landscape photography.

Choosing a large aperture limits the depth of field, making your subject stand out with a blurry background and foreground. (It's really called selective focusing) It will likely require a fast shutter speed or lower ISO value. (P.S. Always try to shoot at the lowest ISO value as possible. It will always produce the minimum amount of noise) This is very useful for portraits. This depth of field is proportionally accentuated with telephoto lenses. However, with telephotos, it will probably require a faster shutter speed (because a telephoto that brings the subject say, five times closer, will also register the movements as being five time faster) or a higher ISO value, as the maximum permitted aperture will be smaller

Using a fast shutter speed can freeze the action and is often used for sports and fast moving activities. However, it will require a wider aperture, a faster ISO value or the use of a flash.

Using a slow shutter speed will allow taking pictures at night or will render a feeling of movement by deliberately blurring a moving area of a scene such as water falls, etc. You will likely need a tripod and perhaps a wider aperture and faster ISO.

You can shoot with a very fast ISO and capture almost any image with little effort, but the image will contain noise.

You must have realized by now that photography is indeed all about light. Modern DSLRs have other tools to further refine the art of capturing the images with the optimum results. Built-in meters give you the choices between multi-segments metering, center-weighted or spot metering. Auto focus modes in either single or continuous focus make your photos crystal clear and sharp despite you. Shake reduction allows using slower speed than most humans could ever achieve by hand-holding the camera. White balance control assures, most of the times anyway, that the color of the scene will be the same on the saved image or file. Instant view of the capture images allows you to retake the shot(s) if not satisfied. The use of memory cards allows you to take hundreds or even thousands of shots, at practically no cost other than the purchasing cost of the card. I tell you, with digital cameras, especially with Pentax DSLRs, we’ve got it made. Remember what they say; “practice makes perfect” or close to it anyway as I don’t believe that perfection can ever be achieved.

I will continue to post "simple to understand" Digital Photography lessons in the weeks to come. All of the advanced photographers out there, this may be over-simplified for you, but remember that there are many entry-level photographers that need such information. We all started by knowing nothing about photography, and learned Little by little. You can certainly and hopefully contribute to this post, but try not to confuse the "newbies" with too much technical information. Once the basic of photography is understood, the technical stuff will sink in better.

Thanks for reading.

Yvon Bourque

P.S.Anyone wanting to echo this post to DPReview can do so as I was unfortunately banned from their site because I posted the same generic article to the Pentax, Nikon, Canon, and Olympus forums and I guess it's not allowed. I wrote a dozen times to beg for pardon, but they are too busy, I guess ,to answer or do not ever revise prior decisions. Too bad, I really loved it there too.


Last edited by ebooks4pentax; 03-09-2008 at 09:32 PM.
03-09-2008, 11:41 PM   #2
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Well done, Yvon! Mercí beaucoup!
03-10-2008, 07:23 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by k10dbook Quote
P.S.Anyone wanting to echo this post to DPReview can do so as I was unfortunately banned from their site because I posted the same generic article to the Pentax, Nikon, Canon, and Olympus forums and I guess it's not allowed. I wrote a dozen times to beg for pardon, but they are too busy, I guess ,to answer or do not ever revise prior decisions. Too bad, I really loved it there too.
Yvon, I think I speak for many when I say I'm glad you're posting here & not over at DPreview or anywhere else
03-10-2008, 08:14 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by arthur pappas Quote
Yvon, I think I speak for many when I say I'm glad you're posting here & not over at DPreview or anywhere else
Arthur,

Thank you for the compliment. I would like to be able to reach and help all Pentax Users no matter where they are or which Forum they use. As a young man, I always wanted to become a National Photographic photographer, but I got into engineering school and never had the guts to leave that good paying career to pursue my real dream. Now, its a little too late for National Photographic but the internet has open many doors. I can be useful by helping other reaching their goals. There are certainly many photographers that are so much better at the craft than I am, but if I only help a few people understanding the process a little more, I'm happy.

Best regards,

Yvon Bourque

By the way all, I got my K20D today...awesome instrument.

03-10-2008, 08:53 PM   #5
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So, when will the new book be out? RH might beat you to it!
03-10-2008, 09:16 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by christinelandon Quote
So, when will the new book be out? RH might beat you to it!
I don't know who is RH but the more books the better. Actually, the K20D book is almost ready. I guess it will be released in about two to three weeks, I hope. Pentax were going to introduce the K20D in April but somehow they were able able to release it much earlier. Now I'm playing catch up. I just received my K20D. It's now just a matter of testing that the camera does what I have written.

Regards,

Yvon Bourque
03-10-2008, 11:05 PM   #7
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I guess I must be naive, but honestly, how does one write a book on a camera without having first tested it out? It must basically just be a cut and paste job on specs. I don't wish to sound rude, but I'm at a loss here.

"I just received my K20D. It's now just a matter of testing that the camera does what I have written."

Regards,

Yvon Bourque[/QUOTE]
03-10-2008, 11:35 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by k10dbook Quote
As a young man, I always wanted to become a National Photographic photographer, but I got into engineering school and never had the guts to leave that good paying career to pursue my real dream. Now, its a little too late for National Photographic but the internet has open many doors. I can be useful by helping other reaching their goals. There are certainly many photographers that are so much better at the craft than I am, but if I only help a few people understanding the process a little more, I'm happy.
Yvon, I'm curious as to what exactly these other photographers would be better at than you? You sure don't sound like you need help figuring out your camera gear. And man I tell ya I've read your posts here & you're likely going to forget more about this stuff than most other people are ever going to learn. So what is it, really? Look, I'm new here & I don't know anyone from a hole in the wall, so maybe I am speaking way out of line, but what you said to me sure sounds like 'comfort-zone talk'. Frankly, I think you know deep down you're as good a photographer as anyone else.
If you really want to shoot for National Photographic, then do so. I bet if I polled our entire membership asking who agreed with your sentiments I'd have a room of full pockets.

Respectfully,

AP

There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.
Ansel Adams

03-11-2008, 01:16 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by solar1 Quote
I guess I must be naive, but honestly, how does one write a book on a camera without having first tested it out? It must basically just be a cut and paste job on specs. I don't wish to sound rude, but I'm at a loss here.

"I just received my K20D. It's now just a matter of testing that the camera does what I have written."

Regards,

Yvon Bourque
[/QUOTE]

Here are the simplified steps. I get the specifications and the features of the upcoming camera ahead of time. This is not easy as you have to get the permission of the manufacturer and earn their trust. I write a preliminary table of contents. I blend photography techniques of what I know with the camera's capabilities and specifications. I try to explain everything in laymen's terms. I get friends, associates, and family to read chapters as I make progress and see if they understand. If they struggle, I re-write the text in a different way, etc, etc. In the end, I have to read my book like I was a buyer and test everything I wrote against the camera in my hands. There are also the pictures that will be in the book. I have to take all the pictures and make sure they will illustrate the techniques I explain in my books.

If you imply that it’s just a matter of rewriting the OEM manual, the answer is no, but since I write about a particular camera, I have to know the camera inside out and all the specifications. That has to come from the manufacturer. My books are a product of my photography experience and my understanding of the specifications. I have been writing engineering technical books all my life. My books are a product of my profession as an engineer and my passion of photography. I can assure you, if it was easy, everyone would write books.

Best regards,

Yvon Bourque
03-11-2008, 01:29 AM   #10
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Very well written, Yvon, but I have failed to learn anything new. Does this mean I'm not a DSLR newbie?
03-11-2008, 01:30 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by arthur pappas Quote
Yvon, I'm curious as to what exactly these other photographers would be better at than you? You sure don't sound like you need help figuring out your camera gear. And man I tell ya I've read your posts here & you're likely going to forget more about this stuff than most other people are ever going to learn. So what is it, really? Look, I'm new here & I don't know anyone from a hole in the wall, so maybe I am speaking way out of line, but what you said to me sure sounds like 'comfort-zone talk'. Frankly, I think you know deep down you're as good a photographer as anyone else.
If you really want to shoot for National Photographic, then do so. I bet if I polled our entire membership asking who agreed with your sentiments I'd have a room of full pockets.

Respectfully,

AP

There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.
Ansel Adams

Thank you for your vote of confidence. I am not a famous photographer. I have no articles about me in magazines. I never earned my living with photography. I essentially have been an engineer all my life because it was a comfortable living but my passion has always been photography. I never made the jump. If I was thirty years old, I might give it a shot. Maybe I should have followed my bliss at a young age, but I will never know what the results would have been. So all young people out there, if you feel photography is what you really want to do, put all of your efforts in it. The photographic tools have changed and are more accessible to everyone. More people take pictures than ever before, but the internet has open new frontiers. Your clients are not just in your neighborhood anymore, they are all over out blue planet. I'm just happy sharing my experience and passion.

Best regards,

Yvon Bourque
03-11-2008, 01:42 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ftpaddict Quote
Very well written, Yvon, but I have failed to learn anything new. Does this mean I'm not a DSLR newbie?
At this point, with what I wrote here and on my blog, if you know all of it, you are not a newbie. We all have to start somewhere. Now, I will continue to put posts here and on my blog and the levels of discussions will get more complex as time goes by. Maybe you will learn something new and maybe not. In the end, all the techniques and knowledge do not amount to anything if you don't go out there and take pictures that people admire. In the end, it will not be about techniques and knowledge. It will be about your creativity as an artist.

Photography is painting with light instead of acrylic

Regards,

Yvon Bourque
03-11-2008, 02:24 AM   #13
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It is really great that Yvon has taken the time to share some very vital info with those in need of understanding the basics in photography.

A very kind gesture to say the least.

Ben
03-11-2008, 07:03 AM   #14
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Yvon, I guess I missed the missing "ne" and had always thought you were a woman - see, we always learn something new.
Would be nice if you quote a link to the original thread in the first post - as a reference point.

The other forum which banned you, are doing a great dis-service to their members. I for one, when I visited other fora, always went to the Pentax forum because that's what interested me but, in your case, the information seems to be useful to other brand users as well.

I've not read the other thread yet - my attention span is diminishing these days - but I'm sure I'll learn something - always do.

And one last observation or question. Does one have to be famous or published to write something useful or tutor someone else? I think not.

jc
03-11-2008, 08:33 AM   #15
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I have read your post and visited your blog and looked at your shots. You not only post some very good information but you also take some really nice photos. rick
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