Up until now I've been using a point and shoot camera (Sony DSC-H20)which has taken some pretty amazing shots. My wife surprised me with a Cannon EOS-60D because she would like to see me progress with my hobby. So my question is other than the manual that came with the camera,what is out there for material that will help me better understand the use of shutter speeds, ISO settings etc.....
Cycling Photography . . . sort of (OT)
"Riding is about rhythm and flow. It's the wind in your face and the challange of hammering up a long hill. It's the reward at the top and the thrill of a high-speed descent. Biking lets you come alive both in body and spirit."
Wow, haven't thought about that since my days with my old Cannon insert film, advance, press shutter button camera. Assuming the digital concepts are equivalent, I would think of it like this (forgive me if you already know this, you have posted some great shots).
The whole process of taking a photo is getting the right amount of light to "expose the film" and ISO, shutter speed and how wide the lens is open are your variables. ISO I think is the digital equivalent of ASA (if memory serves) and is a measure of the "film's" sensitivity to light. The higher the number, the less total light that is needed to properly expose the film. So, if you have a high ISO, you can either select a faster shutter speed, or opt to decrease the . . . damn, what's it called . . . make the opening where the light comes in smaller. In the world of film, this meant that the dots that make up your picture were smaller, which would result in a greater depth of field being in focus. If you wanted things to fade out of focus in the background, you could slow the shutter speed and open up that damn thing whatever it's called. On the old camera lens there was a ring with numbers that started I believe at 1.5 which was a wide open lens if I recall. I belive one click in one direction for one variable required a click in the other direction for the other variable to maintain the same level of light exposure. So, if you went up one click in shutter speed, you needed to open the lens one click wider and vice versa.
Basically, find the light level necessary to properly expose at your ISO level, then decide what's important, say, depth of field or a fast shutter speed to capture an action photo without blur from movement. If you can't get the shutter speed fast enough for an action photo, try raising the ISO so the "film" is more light sensitive.
Hope this all translates into the digital world. If it doesn;t jibe with your manual, just ignore!
one of the most fun and informative classes i ever took was a photography class at the local community college. it was back in the film days. i would get sucked into the dark room for hours. it was a blast. i would bet a digital photography class would be just as fun. lots of interesting artsy kids especially in the evening class. this was 15 years ago and i still keep in touch with the instructor.If you are not hallucinating, you are not trying hard enough
Aperture, the size of the opening in the lens. One click = 2x (or 1/2X) the light admitted. Smaller aperture number = more light. Aperature is denoted by "f", ie f2.8.
So, for example, 1/250th of a second shutter speed and f2.8 = same light admitted as 1/500th of a second @ f2.0. Typical aperture numbers are, as I recall, 16, 11.5?, 8, 5.6, 4. 2.8, 2.0 & 1.4. 1.4 is getting quire "fast" and requires a lot of glass and $$ (and lenses that open that wide are usually of poorer optical quality).
All this info was of use for a full century. Now? Don't ask me; I'm still in that previous one.
I was given an old Sony DSC-717 and love some of the pics I've gotten from it considering I know diddly of what I'm doing.
Large Pic: http://oi49.tinypic.com/121s8yw.jpg
Large Pic: http://oi45.tinypic.com/1zfqxya.jpg
Shot with the Sony Cybershot
Ben, AHA!!!! Yes aperature and the "f" settings. Thank you! Memory restored :-)
@Spud - As a Canon Professional Services member, you married a very smart woman! Have fun with that camera.
One of the sports that got me back into photography full time was cycling. Although I have a degree in photography, one thing I never forget is that shadow creates detail. That same shadow can kill an image if not properly exposed. Try to stay away Program or Auto mode and shoot in Manual or AV (aperture priority). With cycling, 200-400 ISO, AV mode, an aperture setting of f4 and a center focal point will stop action plus give you good depth of focus (depth of field) and an accurate exposure. I still rely on the histogram to give me the exposure I want to achieve. Another tool I use is an adequate on-camera flash (consider the 580), and in some cases I use a wireless controlled flash. Flash is a great way to fill in those pesky shadows and let the natural light (sun) do what it was intended to.
A lot of what you will learn will be trial and error. The best reading material are the images in magazines and on the internet. Look at these images with the mode of "how did the photographer achieve that image?". There are several good websites like http://www.thephotoforum.com/ or http://forums.dpreview.com/forums that can give you pointers.Life is too short to be small. - Disraeli
So, why not be petty? - The Short White Guy™
Not the pro like SWG, but second dpreview.com. They also have some good articles deep on the site. Be careful there though, a lot of the talk is on the minutae of the equipment and the best specs.
Good to learn about ISO, aperture (F#s) and shutter speed to get some of the basic mechanics you can control.
For example, SWG is making a suggestion for a cycling pic because of his knowledge of camera controls (And I am happy to be corrected by him). Specifically, that level of ISO is "relatively fast" - ie reasonably sensitive to light to capture pics in daylight more quickly but not so high that you get less sharp pictures. For example, in a low light restaurant, you might use ISO of 800 to capture a pic without a flash, but the shot will lack detail (and some call this "grainy:).
A mid-level aperture of F4 is reasonably wide so it lets good light in so you can get a moving shot like cycling to be in focus quickly, but also allows a lot of objects in the pic to be in focus (called depth of field - ie how much of your fore & background is in focus). A wider F stop or aperture like F2 means that your lens opens wider than F4, which is good in low light, however in daylight with a wide aperture that means a narrower area right around your focus spot will likely be in focus. Sometimes that is a pretty look, but it can be unforgiving with moving objects, etc. SWG may have other reasons, but perhaps that gives you a flavor...
Anyway, besides learning what ISO, aperture, and shutter speed do for you, composition (ie what you choose to place in your pic) is a good concept. Lastly, lighting which I don't know much about and need to learn more about!
Some good simple articles are available with some simple web searches and plenty of nice books on the topic. DPreview has some good ones.
Check out rule of thirds / composition article for a sample:
Thanks for the links guys. Appreciate all the helpful tips.
Timing of this is amazing. Good advice above. The local community college or city DSLR class is a great intro. Some
High-end camera shops still offer classes as well.
Just this weekend I was going through some old Kadachrome slides from the '70s and early '80s. No degradation in color or image quality. All were ISO 64. Most were outdoors motorsports shots or scenic in nature. Now that I have the. Out I plan to do some digital scanning to import to my hard drive and photobucket backup.
Enjoy the new camera! Bound to put another perspective on your cycling passion as well.
Take a boatload of pics, some with shutter priority, some with different program settings, see what produces images you like for shooting sports or whatever you focus in on. For sports, seeif you can borrow a good quality long lens, one of the canon white painted models, especially the 70-200 2.8. The improvement is amazing.
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