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Focus, Exposure and Depth of Field
Resources
PhotographyUnderstanding these controls will result in great images. Learn how to use them and what they do.
Focusing the Camera
Manual Focusing: The Photographer uses the focus ring on the lens
Automatic Focusing: The camera will set the focus by using a complicated system.
Online Resources
B&H Photography HowStuffWorks Digital Photography School  
Aperture
The diameter of the part of the lens that allows light to enter the camera. The wider the aperture the greater the mount of light enter the camera.
Online Resources
Nikon Photography Life Peta Pixel Improved Photography TechRadar
Exposure
The amount of time light is allowed to enter the camera. Failure to understand exposure can result in pictures that are either too dark, too light or fuzzy (photographers call it "soft"). It can either be controlled by the photography or allow the camera to set it automatically.
Online Resources
WikiHow Canon EvatoTuts Cambridge Colour Digital Photography School
Depth of Field
Known as focus range or effective focus range, it is the distance an image will appear sharp between the closes point and farthest object. It is determined by the use of the correct film speed in traditional cameras, the aperture (f-stop) and the shutter speed a photographer sets in both the traditional and digital camera.
Online Resources
Wikipedia Mir.com Photo Tuts Cambridge Colors
ISO Shutter Speed and F-Stop Setting
These three features determine the quality and sharpness of your image.
1. ISO refers to the sensitivity to light in your camera. It is measured in numbers 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600. The higher number represent greater sensitive while the lower number represents less sensitivity to light.
2. Shutter Speed refers to the amount of time the lens stays open
. The longer the lens stays open the greater amount of light is allowed into the camera. It is like the blink of your eye lid. They are described in seconds and fractions of seconds 1,2,4,8,15,30,60,125,250,500,1000,2000 ie 1 sec,1/2sec,1/4sec).
3. Aperture or f-stop refers to the width of an open lens. It is like your iris. The wider the opening the more light it will allow to enter the camera. The dimensions are read in numbers such as 1.4, 2, 2.8,5.6, 8, 11, 16 and 22. The higher the number the smaller the lens opening. Check the F-stop Chart for the best setting.
The three settings must be used in correct combinations. My recommendation is to use a good light meter. Remember if you change the f-stop either up or down you must change the aperture setting in the opposite direction.
Online Resources
Nikon Light Stalking WaterMark Photography Life Joe McNalley Blog
Camera Modes Automatic
Modes Set: automatically adjust the setting of your camera internal meter.
P(Program AE) Rectangle Icon-The camera automatically sets both the shutter speed and the aperture.
TV (Shutter Priority AE) The Camera ill automatically set the aperture when you set the shutter speed.
AV (Aperture Priority AE) The camera will automatically set the shutter speed when you set the aperture.
DEP (Depth-of-Field AE) the camera will set the shutter and aperture so two objects will be in focus. You select the distant subject by pressing the shutter release. Then you select the near object the same way. The camera then sets the proper settings to put both objects in focus.
M (Manual Exposure) you set both shutter speed and aperture. Here is where you become the true artist.
B (Bulb Exposure) opens the shutter after the release as long as you hold the shutter release down. Great for night photography.
Multiple Exposure (icon two frames overlapping one another) stops the film for s double exposure.
Multiple Flash makes the strobe flash more than once on a frame.
Spot Meter (icon of a circle with a rectangle around it) takes readings from a small area of the scene. Once the the mode is set, press the shutter release half way down. The camera evaluates the light and sets the controls. Compose your picture and press the shutter release a second time. it is useful for subjects with strong backlighting close-ups and slide photography.
Exposure Compensation you override the cameras exposure. It opens or closes the shutter according the numbers you select. This mode is useful in correcting situations such as snowy days, deserts or beaches.
X(Flash Sync Mode) you can attach your camera to an external light source such as a strobe or flash by using the pc terminal or accessory shoe
AE Lock locks all settings for the shoot.
AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) the camera will shoot a series of pictures at different exposures automatically.
Exposure Compensation Mode you can force the f-stop up or down to correct for snow water or sand
Knob on most digital cameras to set modes quickly see list.
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