Monday, September 7, 2009

Lesson #6: Self-Timer--due September 20th

3, 2, 1, Snap!

  • Use the self-timer to capture self-portraits.
  • When using the self-timer, first depress the shutter button halfway to lock focus and exposure. Then fully depress the shutter-release button to trigger the timer.
  • When the shutter-button is pressed, the photo-taker must hurry into position…hopefully before the shutter goes off.
  • Many digital cameras let you select the time it takes for the self-timer to release the shutter, usually between two and 10 seconds.
  • A tripod comes in very handy when using the self-timer. If you don't have a tripod, you will need to find a level surface to rest your camera.
Let us know that you're playing along. In the comments, tell us which actor/actress you would choose to portray your character in a movie about your life.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lesson #5: Macro Mode--WrapUp

We gave Macro mode a try this weekend, but since it was Rob's and my first time getting up close like that, I'm not sure we've totally mastered the technique. We went for the more still life approach rather than the traditional flower approach. That's our style... and most of our plants around here are thirsty.

We kept trying to decide whether our photos were just zoomed-in photos or actually "macro." Rob thinks that he's more of an angles/perspective guy than a macro guy. And, well, I haven't decided what I am. I know that I am curious about how a Macro lens would enhance our technique, and I know that I am still in need of practice with Macro.

How did this challenge go for you?

From Rob of Jana and Rob.

From ljam.

From Jana of Jana and Rob.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lesson #5: Macro Mode--due August 23

Getting in close
  • Macro mode is used for capturing up close details of often small subjects.
  • Most cameras use a flower symbol to represent Macro mode. Sometimes it is also represented by the letters "MF," which stands for "macro focus."
  • Macro mode tells your camera to focus on a subject closer to your lens than the usual focal range, and will tell your camera to choose a large aperture (allow a lot of light in) so that your subject is in focus but the background is not.
  • In Macro mode, you have very shallow depth of field, so focus on the part of the subject that's most important to you.
  • A tripod comes in very handy when using Macro mode. If you don't have a tripod, you should practice holding your camera very still.
  • In Macro mode use the digital zoom function to get closer to the subject.
  • When you move close you should use the camera's LCD instead of the optical finder because the LCD shows you roughly what the lens is seeing and what will be recorded on the CCD. If you use the optical finder your subject will be off center because the viewfinder is, unless you have one of the newer digital cameras with an electronic viewfinder that shows the actual image that will be recorded.
From Jerry*69.

From Omar Eduardo.

From Licht~~~~.

Let us know that you're playing along. In the comments, tell us what your favorite flower is. Remember, photos are due to the Flickr group by August 23!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lesson #4: Leading Lines--due August 2

Following the Leader
  • Use leading lines to draw the viewer's eye through the photograph.
  • Lines can be horizontal, vertical, diagonal, or even curved.
  • Use leading lines to draw the viewer's attention to the focal point.

From hubertk.

This is our last composition lesson for awhile. For this week's lesson, take a few shots using lines to lead our eyes to the center of attention. Lines can be actual objects, such as a fence, or could even be shadows on the ground. Post your favorite photos on our Flickr site.

Let us know that you're playing along. In the comments, tell us about a road that you are looking forward to traveling down.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lesson #3: Framing--Wrap Up

I don't know about you but I was busy this week, and it was difficult to squeeze in the third photo assignment into my crammed schedule. Luckily a trip to the zoo and carrying my point-and-shoot in my purse allowed me to capture a couple of great framing shots.

But I'm going to keep this technique in the back of my head as we move forward because even with the few images that I captured, I can see how the composition is so much more interesting when the subject is framed by other elements in the environment. What great framing opportunities did you capture this week?

Here are a couple of examples that were posted to the Shutter School Flickr group. Good work, everybody!

From Rob of Jana and Rob.

From ljam.

From Jana of Jana and Rob.

Join us on Wednesday when the next lesson will be posted!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lesson #3: Framing--due July 19th!

On the edge!
  • Use foreground elements to frame your photo's subject.
  • Architectural elements work well (windows, doorways, arches, and so on), but you can find any number of interesting elements to use for framing your photos.
  • Make sure not to overpower the subject!
  • This might be a good lesson to begin practicing depth-of-field. (we will have an upcoming lesson that addresses this more fully!) D of F is the distance in front of and behind the subject that appears to be in focus. By adjusting your aperture and zoom, you can force the camera to focus on subjects farther back in the scene.

Spend this next week framing pictures in a variety of ways and post your favorite shots on our Flickr site. Remember that framing can be done in nature as well as with man-made things such as doorways and windows.

Let us know that you're playing along. In the comments, tell us about a door that you walked through that changed your life.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Lesson #2: View Angles--WrapUp

Woohoo! We completed the second Shutter School lesson.

This past week and a half we explored the world from a new perspective. We had to stand on chairs and get down on our bellies, but the photos from this assignment have an added level of intrigue. The unique view angles forced us to look at things differently, to consider them from another angle, to really understand how they interact with the rest of the environment.

Take a look at some of the photos we experimented with:

From Jana of Jana and Rob.

From ljam.

From Rob of Jana and Rob.

From ljam.

Join us on Wednesday when the next lesson will be posted!