Oct 9/18 Session – Editing & Camera Controls

The first hour of this session will be devoted to two subjects. First: How to fix or enhance images with basic editing software. Second: Taking your camera off automatic and trying two semi automatic modes called Aperture Preference and Shutter Preference.

The second hour will be the practice part of “Taking your camera off automatic”. We have prepared several props under varying lighting conditions to learn what “Aperture Preference” and “Shutter Preference” will do to enhance your photography.

When you take your camera off automatic you need to take some basic decisions on how to set the shutter speed or the aperture on your camera. These decisions depend on the situation at hand and the “effect” you would like to achieve. Here is a diagram of the basic controls that affect the image when you press the release button on your camera. (We won’t talk too much about the third control: film speed or ISO setting. That will come later in the course)

Let’s have a look at the two semi automatic modes on a camera.
1. Aperture Preference and
2. Shutter Preference


First Aperture Preference. Aperture is a fancy name for lens opening. In the Aperture Preference mode you decide on how far you open up the shades to your camera, while the camera tries to automatically compensate the other two controls (shutter speed and ISO) to make a properly exposed image

So what creative control does Aperture Preference give you. Well Aperture gives you control over “Depth of Field”. Suppose you you want your subject to be “sharp” while the other objects further away are “fuzzy”. In this situation you would try to open the shades in your lens as much as possible. The reverse is true, when you want most of the objects in you image “sharp”. In this case you need to restrict the lens opening so that only the small central area of the lens lets light into your camera. The nice thing about this semi automatic mode is that you get to control the opening of the lens, while the camera figures out the other two variables (shutter speed and ISO), to give you the best exposure. Here are two examples.

Shallow Depth of Field – Notice distant objects out of focus – Aperture at f/4

More depth of filed – Notice sharp objects at front and end of the chess table – Aperture f/22

The other semi automatic control is Shutter Preference. Two extreme examples are freezing fast action, such as an action shot during a sports event, or intentional blurring for artistic purposes. Here you control how fast the shutter opens and closes while the camera itself automatically adjusts aperture and ISO to give you the proper exposure. Below a few examples.

Fast shutter speed freezes moving dog and to a somewhat lesser extent the background

Much slower shutter speed while following the dog, Background blurred.

Camera static but with slow shutter speed. Moving train blurs.

Slow shutter speed while moving the camera around relative to a static colourful background.

We will provide a number of props for you to practice on in the second hour of this session. We have a “zip line” with a flying fish to practice Shutter Preference. A number of tables with various objects to practice Aperture Preference. An example of how to create artistic images with Intentional Camera Movement (ICM), and a setup to show how easy it is to create a stage for close-up photography with simple lighting techniques.

A page for participant submissions will be opened up after the Oct 9 session, similar to the “walkabout” page for the September 25 session.