Most cameras have a slowest exposure setting of 1 seconds, some modern
electronic cameras can stay open for 30 seconds. Sometimes that is
not long enough for time laps photography. The B setting on the dial stands
for bulb. In bulb mode the camera stays open as long as the shutter release
is held down. This is useful when taking photos at night sFcenes, lightning,
comets and other astronomical events, and many other uses. The bulb setting
also allows you to darken a room, open the shutter, then set off flashes as
necessary to properly expose a frame or show a stroboscopic effect.
One thing to keep in mind is that on long exposures is that even slight
movements will be noticed, especially if the subject is bright compared
to the rest of the scent. The bulb setting should ONLY be used on a tripod.
Two methods for limiting camera shake are the
Mirror Lock Up feature, or MLU, and the
Longer exposures allow camera shake to be noticed where it would not be at
faster shutter speeds. In order to avoid this problem the camera is often
placed on a tripod and a cable release is used to trip the shutter. A cable
release has a threaded end that is screwed into the shutter release. This is
making the assumption that the shutter release button is designed to accept
a cable release. If the camera is not designed for a cable release, there
is probably a different method, usually a remote control, either wired or IR,
that is used for manual release.
These include Black & White films which are designed to processed in C-41
(color) chemistry. Example: Kodak CN400, Ilford XP-2.
Film is often refered to by the color balance for which it is designed. As a
general rule, the higher the number, the greater the blue hues; the smaller the
number, the greater red hues. Fluorsecent lighting fills a range from 3500 K to
6200 K depending on its use. Flash tubes are often daylight balanced.
- 5500 K: Daylight balanced
- 3800 K: Tungsten balanced
Under some circumstances there may be a need to shoot film at an
Exposure Index other than the ASA rating on the film. This technique is known as
push or pull processing. Color Print films are not advisable to alter EI ratings but it can
be done. Slide film and black and white can be pushed and pulled with fairly
- Push processing
involves rating the film at faster than recommended and then increasing
development time because less light has exposed the film. This will increase the contrast
in the final image.
- Pull processing
the film is exposed at a slower setting and development time is
decreased. Images produced from pull processing should have an increased toneal range.
Also known as proofs, contact prints involve placing the negative directly on to
the photographic paper and printing this way. The print is then an exact copy
of the negative, except now it is a positive that can be used for quick viewing.
Many medium and large format cameras allow for the "backs" to be switched midroll
to allow for varying films to be used. In order to change backs a dark slide is placed
between the film and the outside world preventing fogging of the film.
Most film available on the market today is Daylight Balanced. Unless the film
specifically states that it is balanced for other lighting conditions, it will
probably be designed for daylight. This film will produce natural colors when
exposed under natural (outdoors) conditions or under normal flash. When shot
under tungsten lighting (incandescent light bulbs) there will be a reddish yellow
tint to the photo and when shot under fluorescent lighting there will be a green
Tungsten Balanced, Filters
The ability of a negative to allow light to transmit through it is a function of
the density of the negative. This is based on the density of silver oxide in
the negative causing light to not be able to transmit through a negative. A
very dense negative will be very light and lacking detail when printed.
Depth Of Field (DOF):
Aperture is the controlling factor in the Depth of Field of a shot. This
refers to the area, or depth, of the photograph that is in focus. The higher
the depth of field the more of the photograph from the foreground to the
background that is in the highest focus. The greatest depth of field occurs at
the hyperfocal point.
Aperture, Hyperfocal Distance
Depth Of Field Preview:
Some cameras contain a button or lever that, when depressed, will "stop down" a
lens to the aperture set to allow the user to see the depth of field that will
be seen in the photo at that aperture setting. Most focusing is done with the
lens open, or at the lowest aperture setting possible. Focusing is done easier
at this stage. Many of the automatic SLR cameras today do not have the DOF
preview feature while many of the older manual cameras do have it.
This process is also known as Polaroid transfer. During the development stage
of the Polaroid image the layers of the image are pulled apart to allow the
colors from the chemicals to be applied to a foreign substance such as silk,
wood, or other fabrics.
Exposure Index (EI):
When film is shot at something other than its rated speed setting, or ASA, The
speed setting at which it is exposed is referred as the Exposure Index. For
example, if Kodak Tmax 100 (TMX) Black and White film is exposed at 50, the
exposure index for the film would be referred to as EI 50.
There are times when the main subject of a frame is not in the center of the
frame where metering is taken from. In order to properly expose the main
subject meter on the subject, then hold the exposure lock option, then recompose
the image to framing that is more suitable to the photographer. Often the
exposure lock on modern cameras is to hold the shutter release button half way
down after metering the scene, then recompose.
One of the necessary steps for Macro Photography is
to move the lens away from the focal plane to allow closer focusing. Extension
tubes are used for this purpose. They are similar to bellows except they are
not flexible and distance is often not adjustable.
Bellows, Macro Photography
One F-stop, or stop for short, is equal to changing the amount of light that
reaches the film by a factor of two. When changing the aperture from a 2 to a
2.8 the amount of light that reaches the film is 1/2 of the original. In
comparison changing from a 2 to a 1.4 doubles the amount of light. Stops are
also equivalent to shutter speed settings.
1/60th seconds allows
half the amount of light to reach the film as
Because stops are equivalent whether it is shutter speed or aperture, it is
possible to properly expose a frame with many settings.
1/125thseconds at f 2.8 is the same as
1/250thseconds at f 2.0.
This factor can be useful if one is trying to intentionally blur a shot such as
flowing water, or increase or decrease depth of field for a given subject.
The film is the light sensitive medium on which the photograph is recorded.
There are 2 main types of film, Print film and Slide film.
- Print Film:
Film which records the image in a negative format. The negative is then used to render
a print, which displays the positive image. Print film has a very wide latitude because
during the printing process the color can be adjusted as necessary to produce a pleasing
print. Print films often have a latitude of +/- 2 or 3 stops. Print films are also available
in Daylight Balanced and Tungsten Balanced
- Slide Film:
Slide film, also known as Chrome Film, records the image as a positive. Reversal paper is
used to make a print from this medium, and is more expensive. Slide film has a very narrow
range of proper exposure, usually +/- .5 stops.
Anything that is placed over the front element of the lens to alter the final
image is a filter. Filters range from circular polarizers, warming filter, star
filters, soft focus filters, and many colored filters to change the over all
color of a photograph.
Filters often used in Black and White Photography and what types of effects you may see:
Darkens blue skies and will improve contrast between clouds and sky. Not favorable when
photographing people becaue the red in the lips becomes very pale. Also necessary when
shooting Infrarad film. Red filters cause blue/green/yellow to be darkened
Will also improve contrast between clouds and sky but to a lesser extent. Yellow is also
used to produce pleasant skin tones. Yellow causes purple/blue/red to be darkened.
The most common use of a green filter is to produce a fair complexion in caucasion models.
Will also renders red/orange/purple to be darker.
Not used very often but can be used to darken skies to produce stronger contrast between clouds
and sky. Renders green/blue/purple darker than natural.
Blue is also not used to a great extent. A blue filter would darken reds/oranges/yellows.
When working with a flash in a situation where the final product is desired to
be of better quality than a snapshot and a flash is needed, a flash bracket is
a necessity. A flash bracket will allow the flash to be positioned directly
above the camera to help to eliminate the harsh shadows that are often seen in
simple snap shots. It can also be used to eliminate Red Eye.
Professional studio lights often utilize a centralized power pack to provide power to multiple flash
heads. These flash heads simply contain modeling lights, flash bulbs, and hardware to allow
connections for light modifiers such as Grids/Gobos,
umbrellas, soft boxes, or barn doors.
The maximum shutter speed which the flash can fire and properly expose
the full frame. Cameras which use a leaf shutter, such as a many twin lens reflex cameras
(TLR) and many medium format cameras where
the shutter is contained within the lens,
not the camera body, can sync at any speed due to the way the shutter opens and closes.
Cameras with a vertical or horizontal focal plane shutter, as in most 35mm cameras where
the shutter is a curtain which travels immediately in front of the film, have a maximum speed
at which the flash can fire. When a camera utilizing a focal plane shutter is fired, the first
curtain is released to travel across the film plane, then the second (or rear) curtain will
close behind the first curtain. Depending on the shutter speed chosen, this defines the gap
between the two curtains. In order for the flash to properly expose the film, the separation
must be great enough for the film to be fully exposed to the full duration of the flash. If the
shutter speed is too fast, then the rear curtain will beginning to close before the flash is firing,
causing either the left (for horizontal curtain) or top (for vertical curtain) to be underexposed.
Some of the current professional level cameras have very fast shutter of upwards of 1/8000
shutter speed. Most 35mm cameras can sync between 1/60th and 1/250th of a second. To
determine what speed your camera syncs at either read the manual, or look at the dial on
the camera and look for the shutter speed setting with the lightning bolt, or x beside the
number. If the camera has a pop up flash, such as a Canon EOS 2000, another way to
determine the max speed is to engage the flash, the increase the shutter speed until the
onboard computers force it to stop. Most will not let the camera be set faster than the
flash sync speed.
Focal Plane Shutter
There are two options of shutter systems available, one is the
Leaf Shutter, the other is focal plane. Focal plane shutters rely on either
a horizontal or vertical shutter curtain which lies directly in front of the
film, at the plane of focus. Focal Plane Shutters are capable of very high
speeds, in excess of 1/8000th of a second.
The disadvantage is much slower Flash synch speeds.
When a photographer talks about fine grained films, they are talking about the
smallest distinguishable component of a print. The slower the ASA rating, the
finer the grain, and the converse is also true.
To make a strobe light to appear directional, like the
light of the sun, a grid is used. It is basically a black honeycomb pattern
that is placed in front of the flash head to cause a directional effect and
minimize spillage of light causing a diffusion effect. Also called a Gobo or a Cookie.
Most flashguns for a camera list a rating refered to as a Guide Number, or GN. This number is
used for manual settings to determine the proper aperature based on the distance from the
subject. Guide numbers are also rated assuming ISO 100 speed film. If your flash has a guide number
of 120 and the subject is 12 feet away, chose the aperature closes to 10 (120/12=10), which would be
f/11. If the subject was 20 ft away, the result would be close to 6 (120/20=6), or f/5.6. This is all
under the assumption that 100 speed film is being used. If 400 speed film was being used, which is
2 stops faster film, meaning it requires less light to expose the film, the aperature would be
stopped down 2 stops, from f/5.6 to f/11. Instead of 400, if 200 was being used, then the subject
do camera distance would require f/8.
Halide Metal Iodine lighting uses special bulbs and power supplies to produce
flicker free lighting. This is useful when using slow digial scanning backs for Large
Format cameras. These scanning backs would take a few seconds for exposure, during that time
period the lights must remain flicker free to produce even illumination and constant exposure through
out the scan. Hot lights could not provide such a task.
Unlike a strobe which provides a quick burst of light, a hotlight is constantly
on and does not strobe. Because these lights are always on, metering becomes
much easier and a flash meter is not necessary. The disadvantage of hot lights
is just as they sound, they produce a lot of heat because of the intensity of
There are two methods of firing a flash, PC cord
or hotshoe. The hotshoe use, flash has a foot that connects to socket on top of
the camera which contains the contacts needed to fire the flash. Hotshoe
flashes can be used on a flash bracket with the aid of a off camera cord which
simply acts as an extensions of the camera's hotshoe.
The point at which the maximum depth of field exists. At any given aperature, the depth of field
extends twice as far behind the point of focus as in front of this same point. In order to have the
greatest possible sharpness through out as much of the scene as possible, focusing at the hyperfocal
point is necessary. To do this, the lens must have a focusing window which contains info on the
distance which the lens is focused, as well as aperature settings. If the object you are focusing on
is at infinity, simply note which aperature is being used, lets assume f/22. Simply focus on the object,
then rotate the focusing ring such that the infinity now lies at the f/22 mark on the focusing window.
If however, you were focusing on a tree which was 50' away (by reading the focusing window,
again, simply rotate the focusing ring such that 50 is now located over f/22, assuming the use of f/22.
There are three black and white infrared films on the market today. Kodak's
High Speed Infrared Film (HIE) has the highest IR sensitivity of the three films
but sacrifices Grain size as the grain is very large.
Konica Infrared film has a lesser sensitivity to IR wavelengths but has much
finer grain than Kodak's. The last B&W IR film is Ilford SFX which is an ASA
200 film. The film is marketed as an extended red film, not a true IR film.
The film is sensitive to only a slightly extended IR range.
When shooting IR films a red filter such as a #25 is placed on the lens to cut
down on the blue wavelengths that IR film is also sensitive to. Infrared films
provide different results than conventional black an white films mainly in the
representation of foliage. Any plant that has chlorophyll will fluoresce in the
IR when in direct sunlight. The intensity of the IR light reflected bye the
plants is actually quite high so the leaves of a plant appear white or very near
white while the sky appears very dark because the filter does not allow the
blue wavelengths to reach the film. Human skin also appears to be much whiter
on IR than normal film.
There are four main film classifications today: APS
Standard Format (35mm), Medium Format,
and Large Format. Large Format basically refers to any film that is larger than
120 (MF). 4x5. 6x7, and 8x10 are the common large format films today. The
advantage LF has over the other films is the possibility of extreme enlargements
with very little loss in quality. Contact Prints Can be
made from LF negatives with out the need for a large format enlarger. Grain is
non existent on large format negatives as well.
There are a few films on the market today who are claiming a very wide latitude
of exposure with little loss of quality. What these film companies are bragging
about is the ability to have an Exposure Index of anything
from 100 to 1000 on the same roll of film depending on the lighting situation
for each individual frame. Films such as Gold Max from Kodak are becoming
popular among those who want a general purpose film without having to worry
about what their lighting changes will be. The sacrifice is slight color
differences between reality and the final print and grain size.
Lenses are available which haved the shutter mechanism internal are refered to
as Leaf Shutter lenses. The advantage of a leaf shutter over a Focal Plane Shutter is that a leaf shutter can Synch to flash lighting at any shutter speed. One
to the leaf shutter system is the maximum shutter speed is usually limited to
1/1000th of a second.
- Normal Lens:
Any lens that produces an image in the view finder that is the same as what the
eye sees is known as an a normal lens.
- Prime Lens:
A fixed lens, 80mm, 105mm, or 200mm lens for example, are considered prime
lenses. Primes are often considered faster than zoom lenses because there are
fewer elements inside thus a wider aperture is possible. Prime lenses often
produce a higher quality image than a zoom as well.
- Wide Angle Lens:
Any lens that includes more in the viewfinder than a normal lens is wide angle.
Wide angle lenses often have a very high depth of field and can yield very
interesting perspective shots.
- Zoom Lens:
These lenses are becoming very popular with the average person with a camera
because rather than needing to carry 3 or 4 lenses which all carry a high price
tag a user can have only one lens and one price tag. Of course, with the lower
cost comes slightly lower quality and often times are slower lenses than the
equivalent prime lens.
Virtually all cameras on the market today have a built in light meter. This
meter is used to gauge the amount of light present to determine the proper
aperture and shutter speed for a given frame. Hand held meters are also
available to use in addition to the camera's meter. The hand held meters offer
more features and greater accuracy. Meters that gather light reflected by the
subject like the on camera meters or Spot Meter are
known as reflected meters. Incident meters are placed at the location of the
subject and measure the amount of light falling on the object.
Studio Strobes or flashes are often placed to one side of the subject to prevent
flat even lighting. The Lighting Ratio is the ratio of the light from one side
of the subject to the other. Light fall off and shadows cause one side to be
illuminated more than another. A pleasant lighting ratio will have the darker
side about 1 to 1.5 stops darker than the bright side.
These films are sensitive primarily to blue wave lengths and can safely be
handled in red or amber safe lights. Use is primarily in the graphic arts field
because of its very high contrast.
Close-up photography is referred to as macro Photography. Photographing anything
very close so that it will reproduce on the negative from 1/3 size to 8x the
Some of the more advanced SLR cameras rely on a metering
system known as Matrix Metering. The camera divides the viewfinder into a grid
and meters separately for each square created by the grid. The readings for
each square is then compared against a set of preset values to determine the
proper aperture and shutter speed settings.
Similar to large format, Medium format offers a great improvement in image
quality over 35mm. Common MF negative sizes include 6x4.5cm, 6x6cm and 6x7cm.
MF film is often referred to 120 (12 exposure) and 220 (24 exposure).
Mirror Lockup (MLU):
Photographs involving long exposures often require the camera to be as steady
as possible to get a reasonable sharp image. The Mirror Lock Up function
flips the mirror to the up position and holds it there while the shutter release
is depressed. When using long lenses at slow speeds, the shake caused by the
quick motion of the mirror can cause noticeable camera shake. Use of MLU can
lessen effects of camera shake, but not completely stop them.
Flash heads/Monolights usually incorperate a
modeling light into the unit. This light remains on almost constantly and is proportional to the light
which will be produced by the flash tube. This allows the photographer to visualize exactally the
lighting ratios, shadows, and other lighting effects before the photograph is exposed.
Any flash unit that is self contained, that is the flash head and power supply
and all necessary hardware to make the flash work is in the flash head, is
referred to as a monolight. Monolights can be used as a standard bulb or with
softboxes or umbrellas to diffuse
A single pole atop which a head or camera is mounted is a monopod. Monopods are
lighter to carry and smaller than most tripods but to not have the same
qualities as a tripod because the camera is still hand held. Monopods are best
used in low light situations where hand holding would not be steady enough but
a tripod is unavailable. Monopods are also useful with long lenses to minimize
the magnified effects of camera shake.
As the term implies, multiple exposures involves exposing the same frame of
film more than one time. Special effects shots can sometimes only be performed
with the aid of multiple exposures. An example is shooting the moon with a
long telephoto lens, then switching to a shorter lens to shoot a landscape.
This way the moon will appear much larger on the horizon than it would normally.
Orthochromatic Films - Films that can be handled under
a red safelight. Used primarily in print shops. Example: Kodalith
Films which must be handled to total darkness until completely processed.
Example: Kodak T-Max, Tri-x, Plus-X, Ilford Delta, Agfa APX.
Without the aid of a Ball Head or pan head, a camera
mounted on a tripod or monopod can only be used in horizontal format. The
addition of a pan head allows the camera to be rotated around 3 separate axes
independant of each other allowing fine control of camera placement.
Twin Lens Reflex camera use two lenses, one for taking the
other for focusing and viewing. At very close distances, the images viewed through the viewing
lens will be different than what the film sees through the taking lens. Beyond a few feet, the
angles caused by the separation of the lenses is minimal and will not be seen.
Twin Lens Reflex
Before the days of hotshoe flash connectors and TTL flashes, the method of
connecting the flash to the camera body was by PC cord. This cord if fairly
thin and can be easily broken but can fire a flash from a great distance if
For thousands of years the understanding that if light is projected through
a small hole, any image between the light source and the hole will be projected
through the hole onto a surface on the other side. This effect can be seen
when walking through the forest on a sunny day and looking at the ground where
images are being projected from holes in the leaves.
Pinhole photography involves making a pinhole in the end of a box, tube, or
any other object that can be made light proof and then placing film or paper
in the other end to expose by the light entering. Caps are also available for
cameras as well that have very precise holes cut in them at proper focal
distances. Pinhole camera's have an enormous depth of field due to the very
small aperture, enough that some consider photographs to be 3 dimensional
because nearly everything in the photograph is in focus.
Point and Shoot Camera:
A camera with no interchangeable lenses. The lens is perminately fixed to the camera body.
P&S cameras come with either zoom lenses, usually ranging from wide angles of ~30mm to zoom ranges
of upwards of ~200mm in the more expensive ranges. Typical P&S camera are 38mm-70mm or
38mm-120mm. These cameras are usually very simple to use and require little photographic knowledge.
Some cameras, mostly Point and Shoot cameras, allow the user to imprint
a date on each photo in one of the corners. This allows people to go back later and know
exactally when each photo was taken. The date is recorded on the negative at the time of
exposure and are on the negative. This feature can usually be turned off and on depending on
what the user desires. Some also allow pre-selected messages to be placed on a photo as well,
such as Merry Christmas or Happy Birthday.
Some cameras allow the user to look directly through the lens of the camera
to see the image being photographed. Other cameras have a window with a small
lens through which the users views the scene. These cameras are known as
Range Finder cameras. They differ from SLR's because they do
not display an image based on what the photographing lens is viewing.
As film is exposed to light, it becomes less and less sensitive. The longer
it is exposed, the less sensitive it become. On longer exposures, where the
meter says 10 seconds, depending on the film it may take up to 1 min to
expose the film properly due to reciprocity failure of the film.
When the pupils of the eyes are dialated, the light entering the eyes can reflect off the back
of the eye, causing the redness seen in many pictures. This problem is almost always caused
on cameras where the flash and lens are very close together, such as point and shoot cameras.
There are a few methods of alleviating this problem. Many cameras now incorperate Red Eye
Reduction methods which involve multiple strobes of the flash before the photo is taken. The
multiple strobes cause the pupils to close, minimizing the ability of the light to reflect back to
the camera from the rear of the eye. Another technique requires a Flash
Bracket which moves the flash to a greater distance from the lens plane, changing the angle
of incidence. Because the light is not coming from a source near the lens, light is not reflected back
to the lens from the back of the eyes.
Light does not always fall exactly where you want it. For this reason
reflectors are used. Reflectors are placed facing the light, reflecting the
light to an area of the scene that is a little dark and needs illumination.
Gold reflectors can be use to warm a scene because of the color changed caused
by the gold reflector. Silver and white reflectors provide nearly the same
color hue as daylight, with White more subtily filling shadows and the silver
providing more "punch" and contrast. Other colored objects can be used to
reflect colors differently. A slightly different approach is the use of a black
reflector. Rather than reflecting light to a specific spot, it absorbs nearly
all light causing that side of the scene to be darker than usual.
These rings allow you to use the filter mounts on the front of a lens to
attach a lens backwards to a camera body. The method allows for extreme
macro photography with out purchasing expensive equipment.
The disadvantage is that there is a very limited DOF and
loss of between 3 and 4 stops.
Portraits are often done with the model not facing directly towards the camera
but turned slightly away. If the lighting is such that the majority of the subjects
face is shadowed, this is refered to as short lighting.
There are times when a specific shutter speed is desired regardless of the
aperture needed. Shutter priority allows the user to set a shutter speed and
then the camera will chose the proper aperture setting based on in camera
The length of time in which the film is exposed to light is known as the shutter
speed. Faster shutter speeds allow for crisper pictures because camera shake
and subject movements will be minimized. Slower shutter speeds can be used to
create blurring effects or may be needed to properly expose darker subjects.
Single Lens Reflex (SLR):
The most common type of non point and shoot cameras on the market today are
probably known as Single Lens Reflex (SLR) Cameras. These cameras allow the
user to view the subject being photographed through the same lens that the film
will "see". This allows the user to avoid the parallax effect observed with Twin Lens Reflex camera as well as see in the view finder
exactly what the photo will look like.
There are times when multiple flash units will be used to light a set or scene.
It would become a complex array of PC Cords if slaves
were not available. Slaves come in 3 flavors, those triggered by visible light,
those triggered by infrared light, and radio slaves. All three serve the same
purpose: to fire a remote flash unit with out wiring. Light operated slaves
are triggered when light of a specific wavelength falls upon a photocell in the
front of the slave unit, causing the flash to fire. Radio slaves rely on radio
signals between a transmitter and receiver to tell the remote flash unit when to
fire. The advantage of the radio slave is that it is not line of site, flash
units hidden behind objects can be fired with radio where optical methods would
not work. Radio slaves also cannot be triggered by other flash units, such as
guests at a wedding taking snapshots.
A soft box makes the light more diffuse; a snoot causes it to be more
directional. There are times when a photographer desires the photo to appear as
if the light was coming from a specific point or to only illuminate a specific
portion of the scene. A snoot is added to the front of the flash head to
direct the light to the area desired.
Over cast days produce very soft lighting with little contrast compared with a
bright sunlit day which will produce harsh shadows and strong highlights. The
use of a softbox is to soften to light, make it less harsh. Softer lighting
produced much more pleasing photos when shooting portraits and product shots
where harsh shadows or highlights are not desired.
Filter used often by glamour photographers and occasionally by other photographers
to cause a slight bluring of the highlights into the shadows which produces a photograph
with softened edges. Filters are available for this technique but be warned, these filters
can be over used and can detract from the images.
Some scenes involve difficult lighting situations where a matrix metering or
center weighted metering system of a standard camera would incorrectly meter.
Spot metering allows a user to pick a specific point in the scene and meter it
only. This allows a user to expose for a specific point in the scene.
35 mm cameras are often referred to as Standard Format because the film and
cameras are readily available to almost anyone in almost any price range. Negative size
is 24mm x 36mm.
Unlike a monolight, a strobe requires a separate
battery or power unit to supply the head with power. Strobe heads are smaller
and lighter than monolight heads and can be used in the same fashion as
In order to create the sharpest photos available some sort of support device is
needed to steady the camera. One method is a tripod. Tripods vary from simple
one way swivel heads available at any local discount store to monstrous units
that could support small houses and are available for about the same price as
said house. A tripod consists of a set of legs and a head of some sort, either
a Pan Head or a Ball Head. Legs and heads
can usually be mixed and matched to get the combination that suits you the best.
Tripod legs are available in materials ranging to rugged and heavy steal to
lightweight ridged carbon fiber.
Through The Lens (TTL):
Metering system on many electronic camera systems which allows for the camera and a dedicated
flash unit to determine proper exposure based on aperture, shutter speed and flash power. Another option
is the Evaluative Through The Lens (ETTL) metering which involves use of 3D matrix Metering and a series of
per-flashes to determine the proper exposure.
Tungsten Balanced Film:
When and if you ever need to photograph a scene illuminated by incandescent
light bulbs, or tungsten lightiging, the use of Tungsten Balanced film is needed
because of the color temperature of the lights. Tungsten lighting has a reddish
yellow tint to it so all photos shot under tungsten lighting will be red or
orange. The Tungsten Balanced Film will compensat for the red/yellow shift of
tungsten lighting will appear more normal.
Twin Lens Reflex (TLR):
There are a few Medium Format cameras which have two separate lenses
on the camera, one above the other. These camers are known as Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) cameras.
These cameras use the upper lens for viewing and the lower lens for exposing the
film. The light is refracted through a prism and focusing screen to allow
the user to observe the image. One problem with TLR camera is known as the
parallax effect. When photographing objects close to the camera the
object that the viewer sees will not be exactly the same as the image the fill will see.
Another source of diffusing the light from a flash unit is an umbrella. The use
is similar to that of a Softbox except that the diffusion
ability is slightly lesser.
Most Large Format cameras are view cameras. Rather than
having a prism reflect light from the lens to an eye piece, or be operated like
a Rangefinger camera, a view camera projects the image
directly from the lens onto a ground glass focusing screen. Once the image is
properly focused and composed the film holder is slid into the camera in front
of the focusing screen. and the film is then exposed. The lens is then closed,
black cover is slid away from in front of the film, the shutter release is
tripped and the film is exposed. The black cover is the placed back in front of
the film and the film holder is removed. Each negative must be individually
loaded in a view camera.
To some people the Zone System is the only method that one should use to meter a
scene. The zone system involves the creation of 11 zones numbered 0 - 10 where
0 is the blackest black and 10 is the whitest white. A zone 5 is what a grey
card should render, or 50% white and 50% grey, and which reflects 18% of the
light falling on the object. By using a gradient scale between 0 and 10, each
zone change being equivalent to one f-stop, a
photographer should be able to meter the scene to be properly exposed for any
portion of the scene by realizing that a camera meter will meter any scene to be
a zone 5. Example: Human Caucasian skin is approximately a zone 6. If a light
meter metering the skin indicates that the proper shutter speed is
1/125 at f:4 then to properly expose the skin one would
need to overexpose by on stop, shoot at 1/60 at f:4 and
the skin should be exposed at the proper tone. If one were to shoot at the
indicated settings the metered object should render a zone 5, or mid grey,