Have you put in the time to really “Learn Your Craft”
- Aug 7th. 2012
- Posted in Portraiture . Studio Lighting . Tips & Tricks
- @ThomasShue . exposure trinity. . Learn Your Craft . Lilsamedia . lilsamedia.com . Make Better Portraits . reciprocals . sunny 16 rule . Thomas Shue . Thomas Shue Photography . tom shue
- By Thomas Shue
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Have you put in the time to really “Learn Your Craft
The topic of today’s blog post is going to be on how much time you spend learning your craft. If you want to be understand everything about photography, you really need to invest time in learning. There is so much to learn if you really want to be a good at it and even more if you want to be a great at it. The question is how much time do you invest to really learn your craft? Do you have a plan to learn or do you just flail along picking up pieces here and there if you happen interested?
I run into so many people that call themselves “photographers” that are pretty much clueless. They dont even know the basics of what I think are the very important and foundational aspects of photography. Do you fully understand reciprocals and how they apply with respect to exposure. You know all it takes is a basic desire to understand. The concepts are very basic, yet when I ask this simple question, “tell me what you know abut reciprocals” most people look dumbfounded.
I fully understand there are a lot of people that love the idea of making pictures and consider themselves a hobbyist, enthusiasts, or artists. Some of these folks I talk to really feel they dont really need to know the basics because they, “know what looks good”. I see them shoot, they are in auto mode, or program mode and just keep making changes and adjustments until they take a picture (note I said take not make) they they like. Well this may be all fine and good for a lot of people, however dont you think you owe it to yourself to fully understand the basic concepts of the craft?
If you ever want to advance your skills as a photographer you will have to learn how to envision an image in your mind, then create it. You will need to select the correct camera, lens and lighting conditions in order to extract that image (vision) from your mind. The goal is to turn that idea living in your mind into a tangible image that can be observed and shared with the world.
Ask yourself a serious question, Do I really know what I am doing? Do I really understand exposure? Do I really understand reciprocals and why they are so important? Can I really make an image from a vision. If you answered no to any of these questions, you should take a serious look at yourself. Ask yourself, Do I owe it to myself to fully understand the most basic of concepts of exposure manipulation?
I am happy to do a series of blog posts to help you learn your craft. But it’s really up to you. You see, there are some things you just need to memorize. These things are, F-stops, Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speeds as well as their reciprocals. Next you need to be able to instantly apply that knowledge to solve exposure problems when you are trying to render your vision.
I am from the old school (Film Cameras) and I used to use the “Sunny 16 rule” for calculating exposure. Hell I still do it in digital. I do it just to keep the juices flowing sometimes. Before light meters, hand held or built in the camera, the “Sunny 16 Rule” was the hot setup. Armed with the Sunny 16 Rule and the knowledge or reciprocals, you can begin to master exposure!
If you want to give it a try, set your aperture to f16, and set a shutter speed equal to 1 over the ISO (1/ISO = shutter speed). Example, you’re shooting at ISO 100, set the aperture to f16 and the shutter to 1/100th. If set at ISO 400 you would set aperture to f16 and shutter to 1/400th, and so on. These settings will produce an picture with the correct exposure if you shooting on a bright sunny day. This simple technique gives you the baseline for proper exposure, again with no light meter, if you try it you will see. Learning how everything is connected is work, but can be a lot of fun. When you fully understand it and how it applies to the rest of photography, it becomes much easier to realize your vision.
I hope I didn’t come off as some sort of know it all jerk. I really wanted this post to help you look inside and see if you are really committed to being the best photographer you can be. Invest the time in yourself, you are worth it. Thanks for visiting my blog today. Thomas Shue