Photography Fundamentals | Phil Ebiner | Skillshare

Photography Fundamentals

Phil Ebiner, Video | Photo | Design

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12 Lessons (44m)
    • 1. Introduction to the Course

      1:21
    • 2. How does a camera work?

      2:18
    • 3. Aperture

      6:30
    • 4. Shutter Speed

      5:31
    • 5. ISO

      3:58
    • 6. Exposure Triangle

      4:55
    • 7. Lights & Filters

      3:01
    • 8. White Balance

      2:44
    • 9. File Types: JPEG vs. RAW

      3:18
    • 10. Photo Resolution & Quality

      3:18
    • 11. Composition

      6:00
    • 12. What's Next?

      0:37
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About This Class

You want to take better photos, right?

If terms like aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and the exposure triangle aren't familiar - then this course is perfect for you.

Whether you have a DSLR, mirrorless, bridge, point and shoot, or even just a smartphone, you should learn these main settings and rules that all professional photographers use.

Understand how your camera actually works

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After taking this course, you'll know:

  • Aperture - Adjusting your f-stop, and what this does creatively to your photo
  • Shutter Speed - How to prevent a common beginner mistake with this setting
  • ISO - Preventing photos with digital noise and grain
  • Exposure - How to use aperture, shutter speed, ISO, lights, and filters to take well-exposed photos
  • Composition - Basic rules to follow... and when to break them
  • White Balance - Make sure your photo's colors look natural
  • Photo Quality & File Types - Best scenarios to use different file types

Transcripts

1. Introduction to the Course: you're here because you want to learn more about photography. Maybe you're just getting started. You just got a new DSLR camera, a mere list camera appointed shoot, or even just using your smartphone. But you wanna learn how to take voters properly? What I'm going to be covering in the next few lessons will really give you the basic foundation for taking your photo skills to the next level. We're going to be going over things like eso, aperture, shutter speed, the things that we use with our cameras to control how our photos look. We're also going to be going over basic composition and rules that you can get started with . So if those things sound a little confusing to you, if you hear something like F stop or aperture and you don't know what I'm talking about, this is the perfect mini course for you. If you do know all of those things that I just mentioned, you know exactly what the exposure triangle is, then this course might not be the best for you, but it could be a great refresher as you get going on your new photo adventures, and that's pretty much it go ahead. Feel free to continue with the lessons and I hope you enjoy from the bottom of my heart and from the team here at video school online. We hope that our courses, our website, all of the content we put out helps you become a better creator. Thanks so much and let's go. 2. How does a camera work?: the following lessons will give you a great foundation for becoming a better photographer, and it all starts with the camera. What is a camera and what is it doing nowadays? Most of us air using digital cameras, whether it's the DSLR, the mere lis, a point and shoot or something in between, or maybe even just your smartphone, and it's capturing photos digitally. But we have to understand what the original camera did to understand what our cameras are doing now. When photography exploded and everybody could get their hands on a camera, they were using film to take and capture photos. And what actually happens is the camera captures light coming through the lens of the camera and exposes that light onto the film. The film has crystals in it that actually exposed or react to the light, and depending on how much light there is, it exposes brighter or darker. Nowadays, this is all happening with a digital chip inside all of your cameras. There's a little sensor that captures that light, and so that's really what photography is all about. Capturing light light comes in different temperatures. It can come warmer, meaning it's a little bit more orange or cooler, which means it's a little more blue. We're going to be learning how our camera reads those different temperatures in a future lesson on white balance. And just so you can visualize what I'm talking about, remember the old incandescent light bulbs that we used to use in our homes? They provide a nice warm glow compared to the newer fluorescent and led lights that fuel white or cooler compared to those other lights. That's what I'm talking about in terms of color temperature. Don't worry. We're going to go into a little bit more depth in a future lesson. So that's really the basis of what photography is capturing light. Now our camera allows us to control that light in a few different ways with aperture, eso and shutter speed. There are also other tools, like filters and lights or flashes that allow us to add or decrease that light. That's really what we're going to be covering in this course. So following this lesson, we're going to go through each of those different tools that we have for controlling light 3. Aperture: it's easy to turn on your camera and switch it toe automatic mode. That's what most beginner photographers do, and that's great. When you're just starting out, you're tryingto figure out. How do you just use your camera? How do you focus it? How do you compose a shot? But as you get a little bit more advanced, it's important to start using your manual settings, changing things like aperture, shutter speed and I so on yourself, depending on the situation, because you can use these different tools to actually affect the creativity of your image. These three things make up the exposure triangle, and in the middle of that is your photo and your exposure. Exposure means different things, but generally it means you're photo is just bright enough to see and not too dark or not too bright. Now I'm making things super simple here in this little course, and so if you're really technical, there's different ways to look at exposure, and there's different ways to say what is exposure? What's good exposure? What's bad exposure? But what I'm talking about is basically having an image that's not too bright or not too dark, so back to aperture. What is aperture? Aperture is the opening inside your camera lens, whether you're using a DSLR or a mere list camera that has interchangeable lenses lenses that you can actually take off your camera like this one. Here's an interchangeable lens that I can take off and on and switch on my camera for a different size lens. The different size lenses are whiter, or they're more telephoto, which means they're more zoomed in. But even on a smartphone, there's a little lens in there with and opening that allows in light. That's the aperture, and this is also referred to as the iris or the F stop. And the F stop is actually a number that we use to refer to the size of that aperture the size of the hole in your lens. Now, let me ask you a question. If the whole inside your lens is larger, do you think it lets in more light or less light than a whole that is smaller? If you answered more light, you're correct, so I hope that's clear. If you go from a big hole to a small hole, your photo is going to get darker. If you go from a smaller hole to a bigger hole, it's going to get brighter. So how does this work on our cameras? Every camera is different. You might be able to press a button and change the aperture. Maybe it's a dial that change the aperture, but you'll see it change according to the F stop scale or the aperture scale going from F 1.4 two F, 2.8 F four and up and up and up. Okay, I know that you're probably a bit confused right now, but I want to push a little further ahead with this because we're just getting to the confusing part. The confusing thing is that when you actually make that number larger, the aperture size decreases. So an F two, for example, is a larger whole than an F eight. And the reason is it's actually a fraction F over eight F over 16 F over 1.4. That f is the actual aperture, so let's recap. The aperture is the whole inside your lens, the bigger the hole, the more light is let in, meaning the brighter your photo will be compared to a smaller hole, aperture and f stop are the same thing. F Stop is really the number that represents the APA true size. This is a scale goes from 1.42 to 2.8 to four. But one thing to realize, too, is that not all cameras and lenses are created equal. Not all lenses can open up to an F 2.8. Some can Onley open up to an four point. Oh, and you see what I'm saying? I'm saying opening up because we're talking about opening up that hole inside of your lens , and the reason is because it's more expensive to create lenses with such wide apertures. So if you're going out and testing with your camera and you're saying I'll fill was saying that I can go to an F 1.4, but my camera can't do it. It's probably because of the lens you're using. Are we on the same page now you starting to understand what aperture is because I'm going to throw another wrench in here for you? Aperture also effects how your photo looks in terms of creativity, the depth of field of your photo. Now I'm breaking this down to the bare basics depth of field basically means what is in focus or how much is in focus in your photo. So a shallow depth of field has a very blurry background, whereas a deep depth of field everything in your photo from whatever is two feet away 200 feet of way is in focus. Does that make sense? You've probably seen those nice portrait's with the nice, blurry background. That's a nice, shallow depth of field dot A lot of photographers aim to get now. How does aperture come into play here? The whiter the aperture, meaning the smaller the F stop number, something like an F 1.4 and F two and F 4.0, those get more shallow depths of field mawr blurry backgrounds, the smaller the whole or the larger the F stop number, say an F 16 and F 22. The more will be in focus, the deeper the depth of field. And this is what I'm talking about before, how these settings can change the creativity of your photo and why this is better than just relying on the auto setting of your camera. Because if you want that really blurry background. You can't just set it on auto because your camera might closed down that aperture, meaning a very deep depth of field. You might have to go in there manually, toe open up that apple tree to get that depth of field. Who some of you. If this is your first time hearing about aperture, you might have to watch this lesson again. But I think I'm going to cut it off from there because we want to talk about the other settings, shutter speed and eyes so that also affect exposure. 4. Shutter Speed: next we have shutter speed, which I think is a little bit more clear than what aperture is. So we're moving into the camera now. We started with the lens. Now we're in the inner workings of the camera. The shutter speed is how much time light is let into the camera to be exposed. So in the old days, with film cameras, there was literally a shutter that opens and closes and lets light in, and it would open and close really fast. Nowadays, most of it happens completely digitally in our iPhone. For example, there's not a little shutter that opens and closes toe, let in light. Same with a lot of mere lists and digital cameras. What's happening, though, is it is still allowing light to expose to the sensor for a certain amount of time. And this is also represented by a number and usually is a fraction because for most of us were using a shutter speed that is a fraction of a second something like 1/60 of a second or 1 2/100 of a second or even 1 1/1000 of a second, or some people shoot longer exposures and longer exposures when you hear that term means a longer shutter speed, and without longer exposure, you might be exposing for 30 seconds or a minute or beyond. Now, let me ask you a question. A longer shutter speed, say 1/20 of a second. How much light does that let in? Compared to a shutter of 1 200 1/20 versus 1 200 The longer shutter would allow more light in. And so how does that affect our photo? It's brighter than the shorter shutter speed. So with the shutter to make our photos darker, we would crank up the shutter speed. We would make it faster. We would go from a 1/60 to a 1 1/100 to make it darker, too. Make it brighter. We would slow down our shutter speed. Now, just like aperture shutter speed effects the creativity of what our image looks like, not just the exposure or the brightness of our photo. Our photos are capturing motion, right? That's what photography is capturing motion, and usually that motion is still completely still. It's a incident that were capturing that's how fast are shutter might be just like that. And so if you're taking a photo of a moving car at a really fast shutter speed like 1 1/1000 of a second. The car doesn't move that much in that time, so it's going to capture that car and it will make it looks still. But if your shutter is longer, say a two second exposure in a car drives by. It's going to capture that car in motion, going across your frame. It's gonna just be a blur going across your frame because for two seconds it's allowing in light and it's capturing everything. It's reading all of that data that out there in the environment, seeing the car move by and it's just going to be a blur, so you can use this to get creative. But this is also one of the main things that I hear from beginner photographers. Why is my photo blurry? It might not be because the focus of your lens it might be because you're slow shutter speed, generally the way that people move the way that things move. If you're using a shutter speed of faster than 1/60 or 1/80 to be safe, you're going to capture still motion. Once you start slowing down your shutter speed to 1/50 or 1/30 you might see a little bit of motion. Even when people are just laughing or talking or jogging or walking, you might capture some of that little blur motion blur. We call it in your photo. So if you want a sharp, crisp image, make sure that your shudder is faster than let's just say 1 1/100 To be safe in a pinch, you might be able to go down to 1/60 or 1/80 but let's try to stay faster than 1 100 The other thing, too, is that our hands are moving. If you're shooting with your hands and you're not on a tripod, even shooting at 1/60 of a frame, you might get a little bit of movement from your hands captured making your photo blurry. So that's another reason not just for the movement in front of us, but our own movement can affect our photo as well. That's why using a faster shutter speed is important. And that's also why if you're doing long exposures, you'll want to use a tripod to make sure that your camera is steady. So that's shutter speed, and we're almost there with our exposure. Triangle these air to tools that we have or two settings that we have available to us within our cameras toe. Adjust the exposure. So if you have your camera in front of you, start playing with those settings again with shutter speed. Every camera is different. It's going to be a different dial, a different button, something that changes that shutter speed number, and you might not see it represented on your camera as a fraction you might just see 50 or 60 or 100 but know that it's actually a fraction of that. Is 1/50 there 1/60 that your camera shutter is actually exposing. And next, we're going to be learning about the next setting inside of your camera that affects exposure. I S O 5. ISO: next we have I s O. I also think of it as basically the sensitivity of your camera's sensor. This is also represented by a number. You'll probably see I so 102 104 100 800 going up and up and up and the higher the I S O number, the more sensitive your sensor is going to be. So what do you think that means? If it's more sensitive toe light. Do you think it's going to make it brighter or darker? It's a little more confusing than with aperture or shutter. Speed is not a straightforward but a higher I S O means your sensors more sensitive and it will actually make your photo brighter. It will increase your exposure. You are telling your camera that Hey, it's too dark. I need to make my sensor more sensitive and I need Teoh brighten up my image. And to do that I'm going to increase my I s O. And that's pretty much what I eso is. But I want to give you a background on really where it came from. Remember how I talked about with the old film cameras? The film actually has crystals that exposed toe light or it reacts toe light and exposes your photo for you. And these crystals came in different sizes and this was referred to as the I S O. And so the larger the crystal, the higher sensitivity it had meaning that you can use a film with a high I s O with large crystals and shoot in a darker environment. So if you were shooting at night or if you were shooting at dusk or inside, you might use an I S O film that was higher, like 800 or 1600. Whereas if you're shooting out during the day, you would only need film at I s 0 100 or 200. And there was something else that kind of transferred from the actual physical film and crystals because when you shot with a higher isso on film meaning larger crystals, you actually start to see those crystals in your image. What do you think that waas? That is the grain you see in a film print. If you see an old film print and it's really grainy, it probably means that they were using a film with a higher eso with larger crystals that you're actually seeing on the print. Now the same thing happens digitally, so if you crank up your eyes so you might start to see some digital noise, we don't really call it grain anymore. But its digital noise that you might start to see less expensive cameras, especially smartphone cameras, where the sensor isn't as powerful as more expensive DSLR or merely cameras. You can really start to see that digital noise and grain in your images when you're shooting in a dark situation, especially if you're on auto mode. If you just go on auto mode and you shoot a photo in a dark room or at night and you open it up on your computer, you might not be able to see it on the little screen. But if you open up that image on your computer, you'll start to see all kinds of little dots, all kinds of little distortion. And that's because it was automatically cranking up your eyes so to try to expose properly . There are newer cameras with better sensors, and they keep getting better and better and better. That can practically shoot in the middle of the night. and not have too much noise or grain. You could literally crank up your eyes so into the tens or hundreds of thousands, and your image is still fairly clean. So that's what I eso is. It's the sensitivity of your camera's sensor. Ah, hire I e isso makes it brighter and a lower. I so makes it darker. In the next lesson, we're going to put it all together because now you know what these different things do. But how do we actually put it all together and get a properly exposed image? 6. Exposure Triangle: Now you know what aperture, shutter, speed and eso are and how they affect the exposure of your photos. But how do we put it all together to make sure that we have a properly exposed photo? Well, the first thing to know is about your cameras meter now, depending on your camera, it might appear differently. But on most DSLR or mere lis cameras, or even point and shoot cameras, you'll see a little meter. Whether you're looking inside the viewfinder or at the back of your cameras screen, it's a little meter. It has zero in the middle and on the left. It has negative numbers, and on the right, it has positive numbers. And then it has a little line that balances around that scale, depending on how bright or dark it is, or depending on your settings. And the goal is to generally get that line right in the middle. At zero, that means you're photo is exposed. Now you can get creative with this, and sometimes it's fine to go a little dark. Sometimes it's fine to go a little bright. For example, if you're shooting a silhouette photo, you might want it to be over in those negative numbers because you want things to be silhouetted, your cameras telling you Hey, this is too dark. It's black. I can't see anything but you, as a photographer might be saying, Well, yeah, that's exactly what I want. So you have to take that meter and use it with your own discretion. So that's the meter, and that's what you should be looking at to see if your photo is exposed properly or not. What about this setting is, though, How do we actually set those? There are a few rules of thumb, and I already talked about a couple of them, depending on how much depth of field you want, Which for me is usually one of the first things I think about when I go set up to take a photo that's going to determine what my aperture setting is. Because if I want a very shallow depth of field, I'm going toe open up my aperture to F four F 2.8. And so that means that we only have shutter speed and I s O to actually affect the rest of our exposure to Brian and or Dark and our image Let's get toe eso because there are some basic rules for that. You want a low I so typically because you don't want that digital noise or grain appearing in your photo. So if you're shooting outside or really wherever you're shooting, I start my eye so as low as possible. So I s 0 100 or so 200. It would be good to test your camera to see where you start to see that noise and grain. Because some cameras, you will only see it when you increase your eye soda above 1600 for example. And so it's good to know for your particular camera what the best I so settings are. But in general, stick to the lower end of your eyes of setting. So let's set to 100 just to start out with the shutter. Speed is generally my last thing that I used to adjust my exposure. So now that we have these two sets, I'll look at my meter. I'll see. Is it too bright? Or is it too dark? And then all adjust my shutter speed accordingly? If it's too bright, I'll crank up my shutter speed to make it faster if it's too dark. All slow down my shutter speed. Now. One thing you might run into in this situation, though, and this is why it's a balance of the exposure triangle is that it's telling you that it's too dark and so you need to slow down your shutter speed. But even if you go toe 1/60 of a second, it's still too dark. But I don't want to go slower than 1/60 because, remember, we're gonna get some camera shake from our hands. Whatever is moving in front of our camera might be a little blurry, so I want to stick at 1/60. And so then I'm gonna have to go back to my eye so and change that to boost up the exposure . Increasing the is so this is all a balance, and it's something that you can only learn how to do by going out and practicing. I often get questions from students who say, Oh, what setting should I use in this situation? Well, I have no clue what settings you shouldn't use because your situation is completely different than mine. You're using a different camera with a different sensor with a different lens in a different lighting situation with more or less light and depending on cameras and lenses and all kinds of things, your settings air going to be completely different. And that's why it's a balance. It's a balance between the technical side of using these settings, but also the creative site. So all I can say is to get out there and practice. But I haven't mentioned one other thing. We have other tools available to us to affect exposure not necessarily within our camera, but tools we can use, such as a flash or filters. And that's what I'm going to be talking about next. 7. Lights & Filters: Up until now, we've just been talking about the settings inside of our camera that we can use to adjust our photos exposure. But I haven't even mentioned other tools available, such as your flash or a filter if you're shooting a photo and you've got all of your settings set to the way that you want, but it's still too dark, you can add a flash or you can add external lights. You could open up a window. You can open up a door. You could turn on more lights. That's going to increase the exposure of your photo. And if it's too bright outside, for example, and you're trying to use the exact settings you want for a shutter speed and for aperture. But it's still too bright. You can use a filter called a neutral density filter, also referred to as an ND filter. This is a filter that cuts down light, and this is actually one that screws on the end of my lens, and they make these in different sizes to fit different lenses, and they also make them at different levels of cutting down light. Some cut down more light, some cut down Leslie Some cameras even have internal nd filters. But that's generally Mawr used when we're talking about video production and not photography. Most photo cameras. DSLR is Marylise cameras. They don't have internal and the filters, so these air other ways to increase or decrease the exposure of your photos. The ND filters in particular, are great for getting long exposures during the day because typically, if you're shooting a long exposure, say, 15 or 30 seconds out in the middle of the day with the sun shining, your photo is just going to end up being completely white, completely overexposed. But if we wanted to capture the motion of a stream running by or a waterfall rushing over a cliff, we can use an ND filter to cut down the amount of light so that there was longer exposures actually result in a properly exposed image. Same with the flash. Perhaps we want to set up a portrait photo with the sun actually behind these subjects head , which is what a lot of people say. Oh, that's why would you put the sun behind the subject's head? You're gonna put the subject's face in shadows? Well, this is a really creative and nice looking photo to do when you have a flash that you can shine on the subject's face and actually overpower the sun so that his subjects faces exposed properly. But they get a nice glow around the edge of their head and shoulders from that back lighting of the sun. Yet another example of a creative image you can capture using these tools. By now you know the settings and tools available to you to adjust the exposure of your images, which is really what photography is at its core, capturing light. But there are a few more lessons that you should learn to really build the foundation of becoming a better photographer that's coming up. 8. White Balance: remember, we talked about color temperature a while ago. Color temperature is like a scale like everything. There's a scale that goes from very cool light to very warm light. Ivo trick. I don't know, maybe a trick question. Some of you might not understand this, but what kind of light do you think the sun emits? Something that is warmer or cooler? The answer is actually cooler on our scale of color temperatures. It's the daylight temperature. So we have all of this light in our world, and our camera has to adjust to that light. And that's the white balance setting in your camera. For most cameras in most situations, the automatic white balance setting does a really, really good job. I would guess that most professional photographers just used the auto white balance setting . I do for most of my photos, but there are other settings that you can use to adjust, depending on what your situation is. These air usually represented just as a little icon. You see the sunlight you might see shade. You might see one with the little light bulb that refers to more warmer incandescent light , and so if you're outside, then you know you can use that sunlight setting If you're inside. You know you can use that little light bulb setting because your camera will adjust and read that light properly. There's also a custom Kelvin setting. I don't want to go too into depth, but the Kelvin scale is what this color temperature scale is. And so in a lot of DSLR or Mirrlees cameras, you'll have a Kelvin setting where you can actually adjust to the specific Kelvin temperature of your light bulbs or of the light outside or indoor. And if you go to your hardware store, or if you look at your light bulb package, you should see the Kelvin temperature of your light bulb. It'll say 5200 or 3200 or whatever temperature it is. And so if you know exactly what you're Kelvin light bulb temperature is, then you can use that setting on your camera. There's also a custom or a manual white balance setting where you can actually bring in a white card and your camera will adjust to the light depending on what it sees on that white card. And that's really what it's doing with color temperature with reading color. We want our camera to see white as white. We want it to see the colors as what they truly are. And that's why it's called white balance, because it's balancing to what White actually looks like at the end of the day, it's good to understand color temperature. It's good to know that your camera has different settings, but using automatic white balance should work for most of your situations. 9. File Types: JPEG vs. RAW: one of the last things I want to explain, because when you turn on your camera, this is a major setting that you'll have to do before you actually start taking photos. Is understanding file formats. Basically, there are two types of file formats compressed and un compressed. Compressed means that your camera, the computer inside your camera, is actually taking the data that it captures from your camera sensor. And it's making it smaller so that the file size is smaller and it's easier to handle. And the foul type that results in this compression is J. Peg. The UN compressed file type is called a raw image R A W. And depending on your camera manufacturer, the actual file type of the file extension is different. Canons are CR two files, Nikon and Sony. They have different file types for their raw images. The raw image file sizes are huge compared to the compressed J pegs. But why is this good? It's good because we have mawr room, toe edit and what do I mean by more room? That's such a typical thing that a photographer would say, but a beginner might not understand well, when you compress your image, and it's a J peg. Your photo is basically how it looks. You might be able to adjust the exposure and post production. You might be able to make it darker, brighter Mawr contrast, the less contrast E. What that means is, with more contrast, the darks actually get darker and the brights get brighter. You can add saturation to make it more colorful and vibrant, or you can decrease. But when you're actually looking at things that are very bright, the highlights we're gonna use another technical term. The highlights of your image are the bright parts. The darks and the shadows are the darker parts of your image. When you look at that with a J peg and you're trying to adjust that in post production, you're not going to be able to do as much with that without getting some sort of distortion in your image. With the raw photo, though you have a lot more room at it, you might be able to bring up the darks or the blacks that are in the shadows of your photo . If something looks over exposed, you might be able to bring that back. You might be able to make it less exposed so it looks nicer, so it's basically more creditable. A lot of modern cameras have the option to shoot just J peg or just raw or both at the same time. Why would you want to shoot both or either or if you're going to be shooting and editing your photos? I suggest shooting and raw hands down if you're never going to edit your image than just you, J. Peg, because the image file size is a lot smaller and easier to deal with if you are going to be editing. But you also want the ability to take your JPEG photo and quickly share on Facebook or Social Media without editing, Shoot Raw and J peg. That way you'll have the raw files, which are the original files. It's the full UN compressed file from your camera that someday you can edit, but you also have the J peg, which is quick and easy to share. 10. Photo Resolution & Quality: Let's talk about image quality. All cameras aren't equal. Some cameras shoot better quality images than other. Usually, when we're talking about quality, we're talking about image resolution and with resolution, what we're talking about our pixels. How many pixels are in your photo? A bigger resolution typically means a higher quality photo, and so that means more pixels typically. Now I'm putting an asterisk on there, and I'll explain later, but typically means your photo has, ah, higher quality or higher resolution. And that's because our photos are made up of little little tiny dots, little dots of color. And those are the actual pixels. And so if we can have a lot more little dots, the quality, the sharpness of our image will be better. You might look at your camera and see how many pixels that shoots, and it is usually represented as megapixels. Some camera shoot 2030 megapixels nowadays and in the future. Who knows how many pixels will be shooting back in the old days with our first cell phone cameras, we were shooting at 123 megapixels and what that means. 24 megapixels means 24 million pixels inside of an image, and they get that number from multiplying the height versus the with of your image with the modern cameras with 2030 40 megapixel cameras, you can print your photo out, put it on a wall, put it on a billboard, and it will still look very good. But most of us are never going to do that, and we don't need that many pixels. But you went out of smaller size. If you're printing out on a book or something like that, you would be able to tell the difference between a three and a 20 megapixel camera. But remember how I talked about all pixels not being created equal? It's a great way for camera manufacturers to market their cameras. New camera has more megapixels than ever, but just cramming more pixels into an image doesn't make it necessarily better. It also has to do with the quality of your sensor and the size of your camera sensor, something we haven't really talked about. But different cameras have different size sensors. Typically, a larger sensor will result in a higher quality image, but in terms of megapixels, a small sensor might be able to take this same photo with the same amount of megapixels as one with larger sensor. But the quality will be different, the quality of the pixels matter. And so don't get caught up on not having enough pixels. Don't buy into the camera manufacturer saying you need this camera because it has an extra 1,000,000 pixels For most of us, it doesn't really matter anyways, because we're sharing our photos on social media on a screen that people are looking about that size and so having more pixels doesn't really matter. And really, any modern camera will have enough picks holes for a great photo that you share on instagram. And at the end of the day, there are so many other things that go into capturing a beautiful image. The subject matter, the lighting, the settings you use, the composition of your framing, that pixels don't matter much 11. Composition: The last pillar of our photography foundation is composition, and with composition it doesn't really matter. What are settings are what type of camera we have. It's all about what is inside of our frame. What story are we trying to tell with our photo? And there are a few basic rules I'm going to cover that will take your photos to the next level. What does every new photographer do when they want to take a photo? They hold their camera just like this. It's about 4 to 6 feet tall. It's from this angle. It's from this perspective, and that's what they're shooting, their capturing what you're seeing with your eyes. But photography is much more than that. It's not just about capturing what you see with your eyes, but it's about getting different perspectives. It's about getting down lower, getting up high, turning your camera around, pointing it down, pointing it up, changing the angle of your lands, meaning having a wide lens or a very telephoto lens that you could zoom in on something. It means getting up really close to get those details or getting super wide to capture an expansive landscape. So my first tip is to instead of just pulling out your camera and taking the photo from right here, change up your perspective. Get download, get up high, do something to make it different. The next tip is something you might have heard about called The Rule of Third's. Another basic thing that beginner photographers do is when they compose an image. They put this subject directly in the middle of the frame. Now, this doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad image. Sometimes I like symmetrical photos where everything is perfectly centered, and that's what I'm doing right here in this video. I'm putting myself in the center of the frame so that I am the center of your attention, and I'm hoping that centering me reinforces that idea, even if it's just subconsciously. But in photos, there is a natural balance that our minds like. And this is just something that artists and scientists have found over many, many years, decades and centuries. What I mean by that is you split up a photo into thirds both horizontally and vertically, and you see what's at the intersection of those lines. Our eyes are naturally drawn to those spots, and if we put a subject in that position. It creates this nice balance. It's just a very subtle thing that I don't know all the science behind it. It's just something that makes our photos a little bit more dynamic, a little more interesting. And so use the rule of thirds to compose your photos. Instead of just putting your subject in center, put them off to the side a little bit. You'll start to see as you do this that your photos look a little bit more professional. But you also realize that there are times when you want to break the rule of thirds. It's a rule that's meant to be broken. It's also a starting point that really you can fall back on if you're shooting Portrait's if you're shooting family photos. If you're shooting just anything out in nature, using the rule of thirds can improve your photos. A couple more quick tips that will improve your compositions. One is to think about the background of your image, especially if you have a subject in the foreground. Think about what's going on in the background. Try to not have so many distracting things right around your subject. Don't have trees or branches or wires or things sticking outside of your person's head or the subject's head. Don't frame up with your subjects head on the horizon line. That's something that looks kind of awkward. Either get down a little bit or get up so that the horizon is lower in their back or above their head and perhaps clean up the background. Use more negative space. Negative space means more empty space near photos. Sometimes when there's less in your photos, it actually says more, and it's more powerful. Also, think about depth of field with your background. If you want to get more creative and have a very blurry background, you're going to have to adjust your aperture to get that shallow depth of field that you want. Also, where your subject is comes into play. With that. If your subject is really far away, you might not get that shallow depth of field compared to if they you bring them closer or you zoom in on them with your lens. If it's a zoom lens and then you'll get more shallow depth of field by doing that, the depth of field is a balance of all those things, not just the aperture, but where your subject is and how close it is to your lens and how zoomed in you are because of the more you zoom in, it actually crushes the background more. It crushes the distance between things, and it creates more blur. If you're subject isn't really far away. So these are my tips for improving your compositions, and they're just things to think about as you start going out shooting your own photos. But the main key is to practice, practice, practice and just try to be different. Stay away from just the general shot from right here. I think that will be the best device that if you go out, you start changing it up a little bit. You'll start to see your photos get better and better. It also takes getting out there and going places and exploring the world. It's easy to sit on our phones and see these amazing National Geographic photos and think, How did they get that photo? They must be a very professional photographer. I mean, yes, they are great photographers. They're better than even me. But it also takes getting out there and going places. And even if you can't go far, you'll be surprised at how much beauty is in your own town in your own home. Even so, just get out there, see the world and capture it with your camera. 12. What's Next?: What do you think? You feel little bit more confident going out and taking photos yourself. You think that you can use the manual settings on your camera toe expose properly? Well, that's my goal with this little course. And really like I mentioned in the beginning, this is about building the foundation of your photography. There is so much more to learn, and most of it comes from practice. But if you do need a little bit more help, we're here to provide the answers. We have a number of courses here on video school in line that will help take your photography to the next level. Thank you so much for being here for learning with us and have a beautiful day.