Camera info: Canon Rebel 350 D • lens 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
ISO 800 • f 20 • 1/125 sec
Hey my fellow shutter-bugs! It’s been a while since I had a lesson, so I owe you one – and it’s just in time for you to take all those crazy family pictures during Christmas! Previously, I talked about Aperture and Shutter Speed. Today’s lesson is on ISO, as well as answering the question: so what’s the point of all of this?
ISO (International Standards Organization), or as old-school photographers would say, Film Speed, is simply a measurement of how quickly the media in your camera can pick up light. For example, think about the last time you moved. If you had to pack a truck, how long would it take to fill if only you were working? How long would it take if you had a whole team of movers? These scenarios would represent low and high ISO settings, respectively. Higher ISOs “pack in” light faster than low ones, allowing you to shoot better pictures in low light. They also introduce film grain (pixellation) at higher levels depending on your camera.
So now you have all three pieces of the Exposure Triangle, every photographer’s rule to taking properly exposed pictures. The main point is to keep the triangle balanced. When you adjust shutter speed down, you may need to open your aperture or use a higher ISO. When you set a high ISO to shoot at night, you will need a longer shutter speed or wide aperture, etc. You will know these three are balanced when your camera’s light meter is centered.
Now comes the fun part: with this knowlege, you can shoot any camera in manual mode and actually know what you’re doing! 😀 You can try several combinations of the three elements, just remember how else they affect your photos (aperture affects depth of focus, shutter speed affects blur, and ISO affects noise). Also, you can use the Tv, Av, P, and any other settings appropriately. Just know that Tv lets you choose your shutter speed & ISO, and it will pick the aperture for you. Likewise, Av does the same with letting you control aperture. P is fully automatic except for the focus & flash.
Ok, your turn! Try taking some pictures and let us know your experience in the comments. Did you get the image you were going for? Do you know why/why not?
Camera info: Canon Rebel 350D • lens 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
ISO 1600 • f 4 • 1/100 sec
Don’t we look like FUN?!? 😀 The group of teenagers I traveled with one year took part in a street drama called “The Journey.” It told the story of a man searching for meaning in his life, and the different people he meets along the way.
This group of girls were the partiers. We drank a lot (ok, only pretended to), danced around with ribbon dancers, and generally made a lot of noise. It was fun… for a while. But eventually the partying took it’s toll. Those who had been drinking a lot got sick. Others got dizzy and tripped up our conga line. A fight broke out over the bottle of “booze.” Our party became a mess.
So the man moved on.
Even though we were just acting, I could relate to these girls. There have been many times I thought something looked like fun that turned out to be greatly disappointing. While I wasn’t much of a “party hard” type when I was younger, I chased after academic success, relationships, fame (part of me still wishes I could sing), financial stability, and other things that weren’t inherantly bad, but didn’t completely satisfy me, either.
I won’t give away the ending of the drama, you’ll have to watch it for yourself. But I eventually came to the same place as the man in his journey, and I found something worth putting all my effort into pursuing. And no, it wasn’t my degree in chemistry. 😉
What have you found that satisfies you and doesn’t leave regrets or disappointment?
Camera Info: Canon Rebel 350D • lens 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
ISO 1600 • f 20 • 1/80 sec
Ever want to try something crazy, just because you can? A friend of mine decided to have some fun while walking around a rural area of India. There was a random pole in the ground, and we still never knew what it was for. But looked like fun! The guy was quite an acrobat.
Ever want to try something crazy, and it goes terribly wrong? The rest of our group had looked away for a moment, when we heard my friend call for help. Apparently, he had missed when trying to get off the pole.
I bet it made quite a fond memory, having a bunch of teens try to help him get a pole out of his pants. At least next time we had a group sing-along, we had an extra soprano!
So what has been your biggest FAIL when you were trying to look good?
Camera info: Fuji Finepix A303 • Automatic Point & Shoot
ISO 100 • f 2.8 • 1/400
Is there still division of labor by gender in your country? Well, there sure is in tribal areas of India, and these workers are good at what they do!
The women in this week’s picture are weaving cotten blankets to sell in the market. The white, black, and red threads are embroidered to make intricate patterns, sometimes taking months to complete. They sell for what we tourists would consider a small amount (one even offered hers for $40 US), but it’s enough to sustain their families. Women in the area we visited always made the same cotton blankets in the black, white, and red pattern, but other tribes in the state specialize in other products. Silk sarees with gold edges and the famous “Madras Checks” pattern are also from Tamil Nadu tribes.
In the meantime, the men kept busy farming, raising sheep and other livestock, and carrying out religious roles such as priests or pastors. They were known mostly for their strength. In fact, one of the local men told our group that in order for a boy to be considered a man (and thus be allowed to marry), he had to lift a large rock and throw it over his head. The rock was selected by the girl’s father, of course, and its size would depend on how much he liked the guy. 😉 Many of the men in our group tried to throw a “medium” size rock the Indian man had pointed out, but few were able to even lift it! I guess they wouldn’t do so well living in Indian tribal country. 😀
Have you seen much division of labor where you live? What roles do men or women play exclusively?
What impression of this woman do you get from the picture? Is she tired? Lonely? Deep in thought? Does she have friends or family nearby she’s waiting on? Now go a little deeper… what’s her name? What’s her home life like? Does she believe in God? What does she do for a living? What are her dreams?
This leaves a lot up to the imagination, doesn’t it? If you assume she is homeless or a beggar, it’s easy to believe her family could be dysfunctional. What if you assumed she was just tired, worn out from a long day at the market with her friends and needing to rest her feet? Her life would seem joyful and exciting. What if you believed she was praying? Would you see her as a woman of faith? Any of these could be true.
Now think about the people you meet every day. What assumptions do you make about them? We often get partial information about people – we know their names, jobs, or families – but how often do we dig deeper? Do we really see what motivates those around us? Or do we make our conclusions based on what we’ve seen, coupled with the reasons we make up?
Ninety-nine percent of conflicts are the result of mismatched expectations. Often, we expect people to react to life based on the unconscious assumptions we make about them, whether they are close to the truth or far from it. So it’s wise to continually re-evaluate our opinions of others. Let them tell their story. Let them share their dreams & passions. Maybe you’ll see them from a different perspective.
When was the last time you made an assumption about someone and were proved wrong?