Fundamentals of DSLR Photography | Photo Essentials x Justin Bridges | Skillshare

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Fundamentals of DSLR Photography

teacher avatar Photo Essentials x Justin Bridges

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Understanding Your DSLR


    • 3.

      Balancing the Exposure Triangle


    • 4.

      Preparing to Shoot


    • 5.

      Studio Demonstration


    • 6.

      Deep Dive: Shutter Speed


    • 7.

      Deep Dive: Aperture


    • 8.

      Deep Dive: ISO


    • 9.

      Editing Tips & Tricks


    • 10.

      Final Thoughts


    • 11.

      Bonus: Buying Cameras & Lenses


    • 12.

      Learn More from Justin


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About This Class

New to DSLR cameras? Learn fundamentals for your best photos yet!

This introductory photography class is a smart, inspiring way to get up to speed quickly. Taught by photographer Justin Bridges, you'll learn how to manually balance shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to achieve perfect exposure, every time — and then hit the NYC streets to see it all in action.

Easy-to-follow lessons include how to:

  • Balance shutter speed, aperture, and ISO for perfect exposure (and conquer fear of "manual" mode)
  • Freeze and blur motion via shutter speed
  • Control background blur via aperture
  • Edit your photos in 5 minutes or less

Plus, you'll also learn Justin's go-to camera settings, must-have gear, and recommendations on a budget. By the end, you'll know how to master your settings, shoot in manual mode for total control, and create the pro-level photos you've always imagined.


Take the Next Step: Join Justin's intermediate DSLR Photo class & learn how to get more out of your lens!


What You'll Learn in Fundamentals of DSLR Photography

Introduction. Justin Bridges will go over the fundamentals of how to use your camera, discussing camera settings like ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. You’ll take a look at the “exposure pyramid.”

Understanding your DSLR. You’ll learn exactly what happens when you click the button to take a photograph and dive deeper into what is really meant by the exposure pyramid and its three elements:

  • Shutter speed. You’ll learn how to represent shutter speed as a number and how different shutter speeds capture motion.
  • Aperture. You’ll learn how aperture settings can affect the amount of light let into your photograph and dictate a distinction between the foreground and background of your image.
  • ISO. You’ll see why Justin calls ISO “the weapon of last resort” and learn how to avoid digital noise in your photographs.

Balancing the exposure triangle. You’ll learn how to balance the three elements of the exposure triangle. Justin will teach you how to choose a number for your aperture or shutter speed and how to gauge the exposure in your photograph before you take it.

Preparing to shoot. While you’re metering, you’re also picking your focus point. Justin will walk you through how to choose your focus point when photographing one person, a group of people, and a landscape. You’ll learn the term “focal plane” and explore the difference between digital photography files RAW and JPEG.

Studio demonstration. You’ll watch as Justin takes pictures of a moving fan to demonstrate how to adjust your exposure triangle to capture different levels of movement. You’ll learn how to freeze the fan blades and let them blur by adjusting shutter speeds and aperture values. You’ll learn how to use aperture settings to control the sharpness and depth of field in your photograph.

Deeper dive: Shutter speed. You’ll learn how to shoot in manual and TV modes on your camera in an outdoor, city setting and how to pan your camera with the motion of your subject.

Deeper dive: Aperture. You’ll learn to shoot aperture photography by setting your camera to aperture priority mode. Justin will show you how to pick your aperture value first and let the camera do the rest of the work for you.

Deeper dive: ISO. In an indoor setting, you’ll see how to play with your ISO settings to take product photographs in low light. You’ll learn how to adjust and set ISO ranges in your DSLR camera.

Editing tips & tricks. Don’t be picky about your editing software — as long as you can adjust such things as clarity, exposure, and contrast, you’ll be able to edit your photograph effectively. Justin will explain the benefits of editing RAW files while looking at faraway subjects, close-up images, and a picture taken indoors. You’ll also learn how to clean up digital noise.

Bonus: Buying cameras & lenses. Justin will explain the benefits of using a DSLR camera over a point-and-shoot. You’ll get some alternative camera recommendations and learn how to choose a lens.

This class is ideal for beginners and intermediate enthusiasts. Looking for more? Explore Justin's Skillshare classes for intermediate photographers: One-Light Setups and Shooting Portraits with Natural Light.


Looking for more inspiration? Head here to discover more classes on photography.

Meet Your Teacher

Justin Bridges is a fashion and portrait photographer based in New York City. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Justin began his pursuit of photography as a college student studying finance and economics. Although he opted for an early career as a finance professional at Goldman Sachs, he realized the need to align his career with his love of photography.

Justin's approach is to capture the untraveled moment and apply a feeling of art and thoughtfulness to each photograph.

Clients and publications include:

Media: GQ, Details, Esquire, High Snobiety & Selectism, Complex Media, Hypebeast Magazine Fashion: Giorgio Armani, Public School NY, The Arrivals, Raleigh, En Noir, Ovadia & Sons, Alternative Apparel Client: Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, Barney's NY, Amazon, Cars... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: I'm Justin Bridges, I am a Fashion and Lifestyle Photographer based in New York City. Today we're going to be talking about, basic DSR skills will cover everything from exposure, to how to find them and then we use the camera to get the images looking for. I remember when I got my first camera, it was a small canon point and shoot. I remember not knowing anything about how to use it. It wasn't until I really understood the fundamentals of using the camera, that I was really able to capture images that I really wanted. Whether it be somebody in action or a really cool moody picture of a friend in a window lit room. The paramount thing about it, exposure is that once you dial in understanding Aperture, Shutter, ISO. You're going to be able to actually take control going from auto to manual mode and create the image that you really want. So, we're going to start in the classroom, we're going to talk about the Exposure Pyramid, we're going to talk about how those things work together, some of the benefits, some limitations, and then how you're going to use those on your camera. Then after we've given you all that knowledge, we're going to send you out into the wild and give you a chance to see how I put those things into action. So, two eight, coffees and perfect sharpness and you can barely see that the person behind it. Then we're going to come back in the classroom show you some of the images that we've taken and I'll show you some of those go to editing skills, to take a picture from raw, to really awesome and less than five minutes. I think that many people will pick up photography because they're similar to me, they need an outlet, and they want to do something that's fun and rewarding and enriching. Photography can convey so much with so little, that I think it's important that everybody get some exposure to photography. So, I can't wait to get started and dive headfirst into this class. I look forward to seeing your images. Thank you for participating. 2. Understanding Your DSLR: One of the key aspects of DSLR photography is exposure and exposure is basically how light or how dark your image is. In order to capture the images that you have in mind that you want to create, you have to understand exposure. So the question now is what goes into exposure? How do I get the proper exposure? Well, there's three things that go into exposure. There's aperture, there's shutter speed and there's ISO. We'll cover all three of these things in depth. But just so you understand fundamentally, in order, they get the perfect exposure these three things are going to move in tandem to one another. So if you change shutter speed now aperture and ISO are affected. If you change aperture, ISO and shutter speed are affected. So, these are the three things that go into exposure that get you the perfect image, not too bright not too dark they get you right in the middle and allows you for an image that you can work with in retouching or something that is going to be nice right out of the box. So, before we get started talking about the individual factors that go into exposure like aperture and shutter speed and ISO, I wanted to touch quickly on how the mechanics of a camera work. Very briefly, you have a camera and on the front of the camera you have a lens and everybody's familiar, I think most people know on a camera there's a button you push and that's how you take a picture. So, what happens when you put that button. First thing that happens is, there's an opening in your lens the whole time. When you click the button light is allowed to pass through that lens and hit a sensor in the back of the camera. So, you can see this little mirror in the camera that's why a DSLR is called that. It's a digital single lens reflex, which means it has a mirror in here that allows you to see through the lens. What happens when you press the button is the mirror flips up and it reveals the sensor and in film what would happen is the mirror would flip up and you'd see physical film. You put the button light passes through this lens makes contact with the sensor and how long that light hits that sensor is what determines your exposure. Let's talk about shutter speed. Shutter speed is the part that controls the duration or the amount of time that light is allowed to hit the sensor, which is where the images printed are captured. Shutter speed is always represented as a number. So, one over 500, one over 2500, and that is literally the fraction of a second that is allowed for the light to come through the lens and hit the sensor. So, remember the sensor is behind this mirror and light passes through this lens. So, if I leave the shutter open for a second, that means I'm letting a second worth of light come through and hit the sensor. If I leave the sensor open for one over 2500th of a second, that means it instant that light is passing onto the sensor. So, just to demonstrate, I'll show you the fastest shutter speed this camera will do and then I'll show you a slow one so you can see what's really going on inside the camera. So, the first shutter that I'm going to show you is one over 8000 and show you how quick that really is. You see that that's so quick. Now, at the other end of the spectrum we're going to do one second. It's going to seem like a lifetime comparatively. So, you're basically having a full second of exposure on an image. That's a big drastic difference and you want understand what those different ranges will deliver to your final image. One of the great things about shutter speed is it serves two purposes. One purpose as we just talked about is it will control how much light is allowed to hit your sensors so it can allow your image and look lighter or darker depending on how fast or how slow you manipulate the shutter speed. But the second thing it does it allows you to freeze motion. If you shoot with the faster shutter speed you can freeze motion. However, if you want to see some motion in your image, a slower shutter speed will allow you to obtain that. For instance, you're trying to shoot a friend walking across the street and you want to freeze that motion, you might want to be in a shutter range of one over 250 to one over 500 and you might be able to physically handhold that camera and really get a good frozen sharp image of somebody walking. Now, if you want to catch some something like a car or somebody running or jogging, you're going to need to shoot a little bit faster and that range is probably going to be around one over 1000 one over 2500 or maybe even a little faster. Now, on the other end of the spectrum, if you want to show a little blurb and also keep your subject sharp, you might be somewhere in the range of one over 30. Say you're taking a picture of a beautiful waterfall and you want to make the water look smooth and silky, you might be at half a second, you might be at a full second. If you're taking a picture at night and you want to show a beautiful skyline with the stars twinkling and be able to capture sort of lights moving as they drive through highways or intersections, and see that light trail, you're going to want to shoot even slower, maybe a 30 second exposure. So you can use shutter speed all along the spectrum to capture some really cool and creative photos, but it's about knowing those typical ranges and being able to hone in on that will allow you to really take control of the camera and the picture that comes out of as a result of it. The other benefit of shutter speed is it allows you to negate the impact of camera shake. For instance, I'm holding a camera right now and it's not on but if I hold this camera for two or three seconds, you'll notice or at least I can notice up close that the camera shakes a little bit. It's not perfectly steady, and the faster you shoot an image the less that becomes a factor. The slower you shoot an image the more likely you are to be susceptible to the camera shake and seeing that on the final image. Remember that not only can shutter speed help you in controlling your exposure, it can also help you with getting rid of camera shake, it can help you freeze motion, it can also help you show motion in an image. So, it's got a lot of impact that it can have on the final image that you're trying to shoot. The next thing I want to talk about is aperture. Aperture is basically the size of the opening through which light passes through the lens. Now how does that have an effect on exposure. Well, the bigger the opening in the lens the more light will pass through, and the smaller the opening and the lens the less light will pass through. So, directly impacts whether the image will be dark or light. Now, aperture is denoted as a number as well and it's called the F-stop. The F-stop controls the size of the opening. It's going to sound a little counterintuitive but the smaller the number the bigger the opening and the bigger the number the smaller the opening. So, this lens is a 24 70 2.8 meaning 2.8 is the maximum aperture. Meaning the biggest opening that the lens can have. Thinking about the final image if I shoot this at 2.8, all other things not being considered, I'm going to have a lot of light or a brighter image and if I shoot it at 22 the same lighting conditions I'm going to have a darker image as a result. So, not only can you use aperture to help control the exposure of your image, you can also use aperture to help with the creative aspects of your image. One of the things that gets mentioned a lot with aperture is depth of field, and let's do it in layman's terms. Depth of field is basically how blurry the picture ends up being beyond the thing that you're pointing the camera at. So, if I'm shooting a picture of a person right in front of me and I focus on their face, and I want their face to be really sharp and crisp, what does the rest of the images look like beyond that person? Is it really blurry? Is it in focus? That's basically our depth of field. The more blurry the image becomes beyond the subject is the more shallow the depth of field is. If the image behind that subject is really sharp and focus will say that depth of field isn't very shallow. When you're using a camera let's just use this 2.8 maximum aperture lens as an example. If I'm shooting at 2.8 the maximum aperture or the widest opening, if I take a picture of the person in front of me and I focus on their face everything behind them will start to look blurry because it 2.8 with the opening being so wide, everything is going to fall out of focus beyond the subject. Now, if I turn my F-stop to F22 and go really, really sharp, things behind that person are going to start to look in focus. So, how can you use these different aperture values to benefit your photo. If you want to take a really cool portrait of somebody and you want that really cool crisp sharp look where the face is really in focus but everything is blurred out which allows you to focus more on that person's emotion, you're going to want to shoot with a lower number or a higher aperture. So, somewhere in the neighborhood if you have a lens that goes all the way down to 1.2, somewhere between 1.2 and say 3.2. That's a good range to get a really good blur behind your subject, but to make sure your subjects still in focus. Now, at the other end if you want to do sort of a landscape or a group photo, you might want to shoot with a higher number or what we call a lower aperture. So, let's go with a group of three or four people and you want to make sure all their faces are in focus. I like to start somewhere in the neighborhood of 5.6 and then work all the way up to eight or 11. That will guarantee or we'll get closer to guaranteeing that all your friends faces will be in focus. Now, if you want to shoot image in nature, say that waterfall we talked about earlier and you're stepping back and trying to capture a big scene, you might sometimes want to go across above f/11 and go somewhere in the neighborhood of f/22, f/18 and that'll ensure that you can get the most of the scene and focus and very sharp and crisp detail. Now, for most of us, we probably won't need a go above f/11, and that's just fine. For a lot of nature scenes you won't need to go about f/11 either but those are a good sort of rule of thumb of what you need to do in order to catch these different instances. Remember the lower number will get that beautiful blur when you're taking pictures of your friends up close for portraits. The middle numbers five, six to eight will give you good results if you're trying to get a group of people in sharp focus and then things around f/8 and above are going to give you good shots if you're trying to look for those beautiful landscapes and good focus. So, the last factor on the exposure triangle is ISO. For brevity I'm going to just call it ISO. I like to think of ISO as the weapon of last resort. It's one of the things that you want to keep as low as possible, and let me explain why. So, ISO basically affects the sensitivity that your sensor has to light, meaning the higher the number, the more sensitive, meaning brighter. The lower the number, the less sensitive it is to light, so the darker the image. The reason I call this the weapon of last resort is, the higher the number goes, meaning it let's just say it bottoms out at 100 and it goes all the way up to 3200. The higher you make that number the more susceptible your final image will be to digital noise. Digital noise is similar to like in the film days of having heavier grain. Except unfortunately digital noise doesn't look so great. It's not black and white it's not monochromatic, it's literally these weird colors and grainy texture to your final image and you want to try to avoid that. So, that's why shooting a lower number is always going to be better, and that's why I also call this the weapon of last resort. Because if you are in a situation where there's not enough light and you already maxed out your aperture meaning you're shooting at a lower number a bigger opening inner aperture, you're shooting the slowest speed you can shoot on your shutter speed in order to handhold your camera but not deal with the camera shake. Then the last thing you're going to possibly do is affect your ISO. So, if you have to move your ISO to 1600, for instance, because you're shooting inside and the lights is not that great, you're going to have a noisier image than if you were shooting outside in bright daylight with an ISO at 100. So, you want to be aware of those things when you're shifting around the parameters of your exposure triangle. Most cameras in 2017 will be able to shoot anywhere from 100 ISO all the way up to 6400. I will caution you against ever maxing out the ISO. You can do it. If you're in a dire pinch and you really need to do it, you're in a really dark concert and you want to get the closing mash up at the end and you need to turn this on 6400 just to get that image, by all means do it. And maybe try to salvage the image in retouching. But if you can avoid it, most cameras that are of this quality, you're going to be stopped out at 1600, cheaper cameras probably 800, but I would probably to be safe try to stick to a range of one to 400. Now, if you do end up having a really awesome camera, and you have to shoot at 1600 or 3200, then we'll talk about what you can do later on in the course to clean it up and retouching. But as a happy range when you're outside, try to keep this thing at 100 ISO. If you switch to inside try to keep it between 400 and 800. And if you're in a dire situation 1600 will be the max that I would push your camera to get a really nice image. 3. Balancing the Exposure Triangle: So, now you have all the three points of the exposure triangle and keep in mind what we're trying to do is balance each side of the exposure, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, in order to get a well balance exposure. Now, for the purpose of this because I call the ISO the weapon of last resort. We don't want to touch that, we want to keep it as low as possible. So, let's think about the balancing of the triangle in shutter speed and aperture terms. Let's make this about more light versus less light. So, you can't just have a very slow shutter speed meaning we're letting a lot of light in and then have a really big aperture opening because we're flooding the camera with light. We have to balance those too. At the same token on the other side, we can't have a very fast shutter speed meaning we're not letting a lot of light in and then a very tiny aperture opening where we're not letting any light in either. So, how do we balance things? Well, if I want to shoot, say, a portrait and have that beautiful blur and I shoot with a very wide opening let's say 2.8. Now, I've got a big opening I'm getting a lot of light in. Now, how do I balance that against a shutter? Well, I make it faster. I cut off some of the amount of time that the light is hitting or passing through that opening so that I balance out the exposure. Opposite way, I'm shooting a very, very tight aperture opening, I'm trying to get everything in focus so I'm not letting a lot of light in through the opening. So, I need to let more time for light to pass through that opening by shooting with the slower shutter speed. Now, the way that ISO will interact with these is sometimes you're going to be in a low light situation for instance where you have to shoot with a very wide aperture and a somewhat slow shutter speed, and that still might not give you what you need in order to capture the image with enough light. So, you might have to tweak that ISO up in order to let more light in the camera. The goal is for all three things to be in balance. Everything's got to be in balance and in harmony in order to get the great and perfect exposure. So, how do you know if you're getting the right exposure? What you want to do is you're going to pick up your camera, turn it on and you're going to pick something to take a picture of. You're going to look through the viewfinder, find that thing that you want to take a picture of and then half press the shutter button. What happens is a bar is going to pop up along the bottom of the viewfinder and you're going to see a little arrow and it's going to go left and right depending on what you point your camera and focus on. Now, if it goes to the left into the negative territory, that means your settings are tuned so that the camera's going to shoot something dark. If the arrow goes to the right of the middle area, that means your camera settings are showing that it's going to be a bright image. What you want to do is play a game where we get the arrow in the middle so that you have a balanced exposure. So, let's use one example of how you're going to use this light meter to get the picture you want. So, say I'm taking that portrait of my friend right across from me, and I've decided because I want that really nice shallow depth of field and that blur behind him or her, that I'm going to shoot with like a 2.8, the max aperture available on my lens. So, I put the lens on, I'm shooting, I have it on 2.8, my ISO's at 100 where I want to keep it low as possible, and like I said before, you're going to half press when you find your focal point, you're going to half press this, that allows your camera to start the metering mode. Now, you're going to keep it half pressed as you keep it on your subject and it's going to show you, am I in the negative, am I in the plus side and it's going to give you a good base for which way you need to go. Now, if I've decided that my aperture is going to stay at 2.8 and the meter is showing me that I'm too bright, what do I do next? Well, I'm going to take my finger off the shutter and I'm going to use the shutter wheel to make my shutter speed faster, meaning less light because right now I'm too bright so I need to cut off some of that light. Now, the opposite is true. If I'm shooting 2.8 and it's showing me that I don't have enough light, then I'm going to try to slow my shutter speed down. I'm going to try to make that arrow go from the right to the middle or the left to the middle and I'm going to do that using the shutter speed because I've picked what aperture I want. Now, there are some cases where it's going to get too slow on the shutter speed where I can't handle this and I'm going to be subject to camera shake like we talked about before. Now, if I have a 2.8 and I can't go any wider on my aperture and on that say one over 200 and I can't go any slower with my shutter speed because I'm worried there's going to be some motion shake in my picture, then the last thing I can do is my weapon of last resort. I can grab my ISO and I can change that now to move the arrow back towards the middle. So, think about this. We're keeping everything in harmony. We pick where we want to start off with whether that'd be aperture or shutter speed and then we manipulate the other factors, ISO being the last one we touch in order to get that arrow from the left or the right back into the center. 4. Preparing to Shoot: So, now you understand the exposure triangle and the different elements of that. You understand that looking through the Viewfinder is how you're going to meter and figure out whether you're too bright or too dark. But at the same time that you're metering, one of the cool things is you're also picking your focus point. Now, every camera is a little bit different and every camera probably has a couple of different modes, so I suggest that you make sure you take a look at your camera manual to understand what those different modes are doing. For the purposes of this class, we're going to just use spot focus. We're going to use one single focus point to pick what we're going to focus on. You're going to look through the viewfinder and at the same time you're metering or the same time you're half pressing, it's going to meter and it's going to focus on your subject. So, if I'm shooting a portrait or a person, I like to pick the eye to focus on because that will put the whole person in focus. I pick the eye, I half press, I tweak my different settings aperture, shutter, and I sort of make sure I got the perfect balance. Then, I half press once again to focus on the eye, compose the picture, and then I finish by pressing the picture and I capture the image. Now, if you're shooting something that's not a portrait, such as a group of people for instance, you're going to want to pick the middle person or somebody that's where the most of the people in the same focal plane. If you're shooting a scene in the street and you've got a friend running across the street, you're going to pick a point on their body. I'd like to aim for the chest because that's a good mid ground for them and then you're going to focus, and take the picture. Now, it gets a little tricky when you're shooting a landscape because if you're out in the wild, and you've got this thing on a tripod, and you're trying to take a picture of a big scene it's like, "What do I point it at? Do I point at the mountain in the background? Do I point it at this mailbox in the front?" I mean, what do you point the focus at? I like to point the focus at a point that's about a third of the way into the picture. So, let's set the scene. You've got a river right at your feet. You've got grass in between the river and a mountain all the way in the background. Where's the third? The third is where the back of the river meets the grass and I'll pick like a thing. It could be a tree, it could be a big giant rock that's in the scene. Pick something that you can focus on and then recompose and shoot that scene. By shooting a third of the way into the image, you'll be able to capture most of everything that you need in a good focal plane, which is how you're going to have a nice crisp and sharp image. So, the last thing we want to touch on before we head out and take some photos is what format you should shoot your pictures in. If you're new to DSLR, which you probably are, you probably have heard a lot of debate over whether you should shoot in RAW or JPEG. For the purpose of this conversation, we don't really need to go into what RAW is or what a JPEG is, but let's just keep it simple and short. If you shoot in RAW, you're going to unlock the potential of your camera. So, shoot in RAW, that's all you need to know. Now, if you're thinking, "Oh, RAW's too much of a headache. I kind of want to be able to take a JPEG and put it right on Instagram or use the picture right away." That's fine. What I suggest in a lot of new DSLRs will allow you to do, especially if you have a decent sized memory card, is shoot in both. There's a setting on the camera, consult your manual, you can shoot in RAW plus JPEG and that allows you to have both. But I would never take my camera without shooting in RAW because you'll find out later when we talk about retouching that if you shoot in RAW you have a lot more flexibility and versatility with the file afterwards. So, if you shoot something that's a little too dark or a little too bright, you can recover it, and still make the file usable, and it's still beautiful image to use for the future. So, use RAW if you can, and whenever possible, and if you don't want to just use RAW because you want to have the option of using JPEG, use both. Another great benefit of shooting in RAW is it will allow you to deal with a lot of corrections after the fact. So, for instance, we're going to shoot our camera with our white balance on auto and sometimes the camera or a lot of the times the camera is going to be spot on. But, sometimes you're gonna run into a case where the white balance is off. Later, we'll show you how to correct issues like that in retouching. 5. Studio Demonstration: So, I wanted to show some of the realities of shutter speed. So, freezing motion and showing motion in your photo. Now, we're in a darker classroom, we're using a little bit of light to illuminate this fan. So, right now, my camera is telling me to get a good exposure if I want to keep my ISO low at 100, that I need to be at a one over 10 shutter speed. I'm at 2.8 because that's the widest I can get my lens and one over 10 is as slow as I really want to go. I'm already on a tripod. So, we're going to show you what it looks like to shoot with a slower shutter speed and show you how that demonstrates motion in an image. So, I'm looking at the image and you can see that the fan blades, there's three of them, have now blended together to create one object. That's showing motion that I was talking about. This is the same trick or tool you want to use if you're trying to make water look smooth and silky, whether it be a waterfall or a running river. These are the shutter speeds you want to play around with if you want to free something while simultaneously making other things in the picture either blurry or look like they were holding a lot of motion to them. Now we're going to do the same thing except we're going to flip it the other direction. We're going to try to freeze the fan blades and that will demonstrate how you would freeze somebody that would be running across a street or a car moving across the intersection and that trick you can use later on as well. So, because this is a dark lit room, I'm going to do, I'm going to break my rule about ISO and I'm going to cram this thing all the way up. We're going to about 16,000 ISO. Again, don't do this, unless you absolutely have to, because it doesn't look awesome. So, we're still at 2.8 because as I spoke about earlier, sometimes because of low light, because of different, difficult lighting conditions, you're going to be forced into some of the aperture values or shutter speeds, even if you don't want to be in them. So, just keep that in mind. So, we're at 16,000 ISO, 2.8 aperture value and we're going to go to one over 2500. That should be enough to freeze these blades and make this look like a still looking fan again. So, let's take a photo. Great. So, I'm looking at the photo. Again, we've done the opposite of showing motion, we've frozen the motion. So this fan is moving at full speed. I'm using one over 2500 in order to freeze the motion and the make the fan look like a fan that's not even moving. That's the same trick you want to use if you're trying to capture people in movement or anything else for that matter. So next thing we're going to show you is how aperture works in real life and how that affects depth of field. So, we have a fan, we've moved in this bookshelf. So, you can have some context for what's in focus, what's not in focus. I'm going to work with three different F values or aperture values. We're going to shoot an image at 2.8, we're going to shoot an image at 11, and then we're going to shoot an image at 22. So, the first image we're going to shoot it at 100 ISO, I want to keep it crisp and clean. Because it's so dark in here, I'm going to have to shoot at about an eighth of a second. We're shooting all the way open at 2.8 to start off with. So, first image. So, you'll see that the fan is in, it's crisp, it's sharp, it's clean and everything behind the fan, everything behind the blades is absolutely blurry. Now let's see what we do when we jump halfway to our last value. We're going to go from 2.8 to f 11. Now the downside as we talk about, this exposure pyramid, is as we start to shift numbers around especially in low light conditions, luckily we have a tripod because we have to shoot slower to allow more light into the camera. So, leaving ISO the same at 100, and changing our aperture value to f 11 from 2.8, meaning the hole went from being like this to being like this. Now we have to shoot at, let's see what our shutter speed will be. About two seconds long of exposure. Don't ever try to do this by holding the camera yourself, you're going to need to put it on a sturdy tripod. This is my travel pod. Probably better to have a little bit more of a sturdy one but this will do for this experiment. So we're going to shoot our image at f 11. Now, again, same thing, fan blades are crisp, sharp, good image there. If that was your friend's face, it'd be beautiful popping off the frame. But you start to see in the background, we have this book called The Book of Palms. You start to see a little bit more resemblance, a little bit more sharpness in the book. You can actually start to see what the title said. Now remember, in the picture before at 2.8, you can barely, I mean it's fuzzy as hell. Now, we're at f 11, it's starting to look like I could read the whole title if I wanted to. So the next place we're going to go, is we're going to go to f 22. This is an aperture value that I seldom use, I definitely don't use it with people. But if you need it as your tool, you can definitely use it. So let's give it a shot, see how it looks and see if it's something that you might want to try on your own. So, we are going to go up to f 22. Again, this hole went from being this big at 2.8 to this big at f 11, to this big at f 22. So because I'm letting in even less light, I need and I left the ISO alone. I'm going to have to slow down the shutter speed to a even bigger number. So, we went from one eighth of a second at 2.8 to two seconds at f 11, and now we're at eight whole seconds for f 22. So, check this out. It's going to sound like the longest pause ever. So we'll only take one of these shots. Holy hell, huh? That took forever. But, here's the thing. Again, the blades of the fan, the fan is all sharp. But when you look in the background at the books, you really starting to see, a basically a sharp image through and through. At 2.8, it's fuzzy. At f 11, it's starting to get really clear, like I'm starting to see some things. In f22, I know exactly what the title the book is down to the author and the publisher. So, this is a realistic view of how you can use aperture to sort of control the sharpness in your photo, to control the depth of field in your photo, and it really start making creative decisions on how you want to capture your subject whether it be a person or some sort of scene that you're shooting. So, the last thing I want to show on the camera in this classroom is how ISO can affect your image quality. So, we're going to start off. Remember, this thing is a triangle, right? So, every time I move something, I've got a shift. So, right now, I'm going to shoot at a 5.6 aperture value. It's not what I shot the other things on. But for the purpose of this, I wanted to add in a little hint. That if you're looking for the sharpest image on most DSLR lenses, the sharpest point of the lens will be somewhere between five, six and eight. Don't ask me why that is, you can google it. But it is a good quick tip if you're out in the field and you're like, "I want this to be sharp and crispy and I've got great light out." If you wanted to be really sharp, five six, it's a solid start, a space to start. So, I'm going to shoot at 5.6. I have my ISO at 100, which is the level that I told you. If you can keep it there, you want to keep it there. Because of the lighting situation, not the brightest room, I'm at right now half a second exposure. So, I'm going to take a snap, show you what that looks like at 100 ISO, then we're going to turn this thing all the way up to something ridiculous and see how that looks as well. All right, so first picture, looking at it, everything looks nice. If I zoom in here, you don't see any digital noise at all. Not really. Maybe a little bit just because the shutter was open for so long but it looks really clean. It's a nice image. But, let's just say, it's really dark in the room and you have no choice, you're at your favorite band concert or whatever and the lights are so dim that you can't do anything about it. It's pushing you pass what would be acceptable like a 1600 ISO. We're going to wrap to this up all the way up to 1600, which I know, just sounds crazy. Put this on 16,000 meaning we're letting in more light, tons of light, leaving the aperture value at 5.6. Now we need to speed up the shutter, because we're probably letting in too much light. So, let's see where that goes. We're now at one over 250 shutter speed at a 5.6 Aperture and we're at 1600 ISO. So, let's get a shot and see how that looks quality wise. So you heard that. That was much quicker. We got the image and just zooming in here, and you'll see this on your screen. If you look on the brick, if you look sort of anywhere in the background, anywhere there's darker colors, especially in darker color areas, you're going to see this. I like to call it crunchy, but it's a digital noise. It's not monochromatic, it's got like two colors to it, like a greenish, purplish, reddish tinge to it. You'll see that, that's one thing we will talk about in retouching later. We'll talk about how to clean some of that up. But in the images shot this, with an ISO so high, you're going to lose almost all quality. Remember, you're not only suffering from digital noise but the second thing you're suffering from is a lack of sharpness, the higher you push that ISO, the less sharpness will come into the camera, will result on the image. So, be careful when you have to really push your camera. In many cases, you'll be able to get around this. So a fun fact, if you're only going to use your picture at a small size for something like your blog or on a website and you're not going to blow the picture up, you might be able to squeeze out at 3200 ISO, or 6400 ISO and then use a little bit of retouching to get rid of some of the digital noise but you won't be able to get it bigger than that. So, sometimes the web and the size of the final image is going to be your friend. But if you can at all ever avoid going up past 1600 ISO for really good cameras and if you can avoid going past 800 ISO or 400 ISO for a cheaper, more inexpensive cameras, then I advise you do that. But needless to say, if you need to capture an image in low light, a DSLR is going to be your best friend. 6. Deep Dive: Shutter Speed: Day 2 guys. We're out here talking about shutter speed. I typically shoot shutter speed on manual, but since for this class we're doing a basic introductory level, we're going to start in shutter priority mode. You're going to pick your shutter speed and let the camera do the rest of the work for you. All the heavy lifting will be automatically done and you're going to pick the shutter speed that will best help you either freeze motion if that's what you're trying to do, or just allow the right amount of light to come into the camera for the perfect exposure. We're going to go ahead and flip the mode from manual over to TV, which is also known as the shutter priority mode. For most cameras, it's just the top dial. You're going to push in and just turn it till you see the line on the top of the camera line up with the TV and that'll get you ready to start shooting. I'm going to start with a really slow shutter speed, just to show you what it looks like not to freeze motion. You're going to probably see a little blur in the image, you'll probably see a motion trail coming off whatever subject I shoot, whether that be a car or that be a person and that's just to let you know that if you aren't cognizant of where you're shooting at, you're going to end up with some motion blur. I just did two new exposures, I shot a couple of frames at 1/500, which is in that grayish area of where you can start freezing motion and then I shot another frame at 1/2500, which is going to be most likely to be able to freeze motion. One of the things I do if somebody is running past my lens, I will pan the camera with the motion. That just helps add to the ability for the shutter to freeze the motion. As you're shifting to manual mode, you're going to be in control of the three parts of the exposure triangle now. You're going to rely on your camera for the exposure meter, when you look through the lens it's going to give you an idea of whether you're a little too dark, a little too light. You're going to still use that, but everything else is going to be you. You're the computer now so you have your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO that you need to contend with. What I like to do as a good tip for people beginning with manual mode, is I like to decide which of the three things are more important to me as I shoot. Since today we're going to be shooting a couple of things moving and trying to freeze those things, the first thing I'm going to take aim at is the shutter speed. I'm going to go ahead and dial in something I know that will work and something that we shoot earlier that I know will carry out. I'm going to go with 1/2500, that'll give us a good starting point. Now, I do know that it's overcast, so the next thing I'm going to do, is I'm going to go ahead and look through my shutter, half press it to see what the exposure is like and it looks like it's reading like too stops, too dark. I already know that I'm going to have to ratchet up the ISO, so I'm going to throw it in the neighborhood of 400 because I know that was working earlier and it might even go to 800, we'll just see. Yeah 800 gets us way closer. Now that I only have one more tweak to make, it's only aperture. I'm almost at the bottom aperture, meaning the lower number that I can get to, I'm at 3.2. To make this a perfect exposure, I need to shift it down to 2.8 and that's how you problem-solve your way into the final exposure. One thing I did try on manual, which is something that some people try when they're shooting, say NASCAR races or something like that, is they purposely drag their shutter, meaning they use a slow shutter speed in order to freeze the motion of one particular subject while blurring everything else in the motion. This is where that panning thing that I talked about in the other part of the video will come into play. I put my shutter speed on 1/40, which is super slow, especially with light this bright. I had to jack my aperture up to 9, not very shallow depth of field and then I had my ISO on I believe 100. I picked a bicycle that was moving at a decent speed and instead of just shooting him from a stationary point with the lens, I decided to pick him and then pan with him. What that allows you to do if you do it right, and it takes a lot of practice and I don't know if I got it perfect. But what it allows you to do is it allows you to capture the bike, who you're moving with in the frame, keep him in focus, sharp, while everything around him is blurry. That's just one little fun trick you can play with, might not be the best for any of your photography, but it could be a fun thing to do if you happen to shoot a car race or a cyclist race or just something fun like that. 7. Deep Dive: Aperture: So, the next mode we're going to go over is aperture priority mode. This is again just like shutter priority mode except now you're going to select the aperture. So, you're going to pick the aperture and then let the computer or AKA the camera do all the work for you. One of the things to keep in mind is remember that a lower number will give you a very shallow depth of field and then the bigger number, a higher number, will give you a very sharp, less shallow depth of field. So, I'm going to go and turn my camera on and put it into aperture priority mode. So, we're going to start off by shooting a coffee cup in our subject's hand at the lowest that I can shoot on this lens, which is a 2.8, which should give us a fairly good bokeh. And which, by that, I mean, some pretty good blur. Cool and then let's 5.6. Let's go eight and then we'll try to get to 11. So 2.8, coffee is in perfect sharpness and you can barely see that that's a person behind it. At 5.6, same deal. You're starting to make out the face at 8 and 11, still pretty good blur but you're starting to see that those are two eyes. What happened when you back up about 15 feet or however far you want to be but far enough and you shoot the same coffee cup that's where your focus point is and again she's holding the coffee cup out, that depth of field starts to sort of narrow. So, the distance between the coffee and her face, which are the two things we are at once trying to separate started to come together because I've backed up. So when I back up at 2.8, you're starting to see her face a little bit more clearly than when you see her face at five feet closer. The same pattern emerges when you go all the way up to 11. Except when you start getting into eight and 11 at 15 feet away, most of her starts to compress into sharpness. So, it's a little counterintuitive but you'll find this out when you're practicing this routine. If you're in your house set up a coffee mug,whatever you want to get, try shooting something at different aperture values really close up and then go across the room and shoot the same thing with the same aperture values and you'll automatically see what I'm talking about. So, I'm going to switch back into manual. We're going to do the same sort of exercise. Manual is my favorite if you didn't know. As I was saying in the shutter priority mode, that when we switch to the manual, one of the cool things is trying to figure out like what factor do I start with. Do I start with shutter speed, ISO, aperture? I almost, let's go with 70 percent of the time, especially if I'm shooting things that aren't moving. I will start with my aperture because that really is going to determine my ability to capture things in focus. So, remember you pick the aperture that you want to be at. Like I said, I'm going to go with 5.6. Actually, let's go with 3.2 because I'm going to shoot this coffee cup and I want some nice bokeh. I'll go with 3.2 and now I need a saw for ISO and shutter speed. The great thing about this though is that the camera still, even though it's not changing the settings for you, it's doing all the work. So, you're going to look through, find your thing that you want to shoot, look at the meter on the inside of the viewfinder and it'll help you saw for those factors. So, at 2.3 I actually need to be at about one over 125 if I'm going to shoot at 100 ISO. Now, it's a little dark where I'm at and I want to shoot a little faster so I don't have to worry about camera shake. So, let's just say I up go to ISO 400 and at 400 that means I can get to about a shutter speed of one over 500, which is a pretty good handholds speed. I don't need a tripod and I can accomplish everything I need to do with that. So, I'm going to shoot the coffee cup again in manual mode. Then I'm going to back up again. I'm just going to show you the difference between 3.2 really close and really far away with nothing else change. Close up three two made a beautiful blur beyond the cup and at 15 feet, 3.2 same focal length made her starting to become in focus in the camera. So, she's still not perfectly sharp but she resembles more of a sharp image than she did when I was close up shooting the same object. 8. Deep Dive: ISO: Now we're going to hone in on what ISO is and how to use it for the benefit of your photo. So, I've already switched to manual. We've come inside this wonderful store called C'H'C'M'. It's in Soho, and I'm going to shoot sort of an assortment of product on the wall. The first thing you already notice is probably that the lighting is different. We're not in daylight anymore. It's tungsten, or whatever, fluorescent lights. So, it's a darker environment. So, in order to still be able to shoot at a faster shutter speeds, I can still handle my camera. I'm going to have to actually change the ISO, and as we spoke about in class, ISO is going to be the sensitivity to light. So by turning up the ISO, I have the ability to still capture things at faster shutter speed. I'm still going to leave the aperture all the way open at 28, but it gives me a little bit of leeway. Remember, the trade-off here is that if you have a higher ISO, you're going to start to introduce noise into the image. At a certain point, that might be something you don't want to deal with, but for Canon 5D Mark III, you're good to go all the way up to 1600. There might be a little trade-off in sharpness, but if you really want to get the picture inside or in low light, and you don't have any auxiliary light to use, you are going to just have to deal with it. So, I'm going to actually try to increase my ISO, just keep the lowest possible ISO but to also get a faster shutter speed, so I don't have any camera shake. So, I'm going to go ahead and dial this into 400, and see where that leaves me. If I go up to 400 ISO, I can get all the way up to 1/125. Now, that's good enough. That's fine. I have pretty steady hands because I've been doing this for a long time, but if you're not comfortable with 1/125 because there still might be a little camera shake, you can go ahead and ratchet it up to, let's call it 800, and at 800, I get 1/250, which is, that's plenty good, especially inside shooting inanimate objects. You'll be fine there. So, we'll take a picture and see how that comes out. So, as I thought, it worked out just fine. The things that you want to keep an eye on, so if you're shooting a person, and they're not close up, and you have a high ISO, remember, you're trading off sharpness, and you're trading off digital noise. The one thing that I always like to keep my own is the sharpness. On the back of the camera, the picture will look awesome because it's a small three and a half inch, or three inch screen. You won't be able to tell the difference, but once you get a full size image up on your screen, if you shot somewhere in 800-1600 ISO, you're going to see a degradation in sharpness of your image. So, be fully aware if you're shooting people inside under low light conditions, you might have to trade-off image quality there. There isn't an ISO priority mode, but there is one part of the camera that could really help you sort of dial in your exposure without trying so hard, so you can sort of still stay on autopilot. Instead of using ISO party mode which doesn't exist, you can use the auto function on the ISO adjustment tool. So, basically, on your camera, you can select your ISO from 100 all the way up to whatever number is the max, or you can turn it on A, which is auto, and you can just manipulate the other two factors, shutter speed and aperture, and then it will select the ISO for you. Now, one thing to keep in mind is that when you are in ISO auto mode, it will select whatever ISO value it needs to get the picture to be at the right exposure. So, in your menu, and you probably have to consult your guide for your camera, you can check out a way to bracket the ISO so it maxes out the value in which the ISO will scroll to. So, let's just say your setup here, and your ISO is in auto, and your settings are in such that it needs to shoot your ISO up to 6400, which is a really noisy ISO. You can max it out so it won't go above 1600 for instance. So, then it will force you into changing either your shutter speed or your aperture value to compensate for being maxed out at the 1600 ISO. Next up, we're going to hop back into the classroom, pick up a computer, start to look at the images. I'm going to show you a couple quick and dirty ways to edit a photo once you shot it. We're going to look at exposure, corrections. We'll look at a little bit of white balance, contrast, clarity, just a couple of basic things that help you go from the raw image to a nice cool image you can throw up on Instagram, or wherever else you want to use it. 9. Editing Tips & Tricks: So, now that we're back in the classroom, I want to go over a couple of quick and easy tips on how to bring your photo to life, and if you're concerned what software should I use, don't worry about that. If you have Lightroom, that's great, if you have Capture One, that's great. If you have any editing software at all, you should be fine and good to go. Some of these things are the same features that are available if you edit your photos in VSCO on your iPhone. So, don't worry about it. If you have access to contrast and clarity and all that kind of stuff, you're going to be fine. So, today I'll be actually working in Lightroom, and I wanted to also call your attention the difference between why earlier I told you we want to shoot in RAW vs JPEG. One of the biggest reasons, and I can only illustrate this probably with my hands explain it the best, is that, if you shoot with JPEG and you don't get the right exposure or you mess something up, your room to correct it is about this big. Now, if you shoot it in RAW, you have way more flexibility. So, don't be fraught if you did shoot with a JPEG, because some of these corrections will still work, but if you shoot in RAW, be excited that if you shot too dark or you shot to light, you can bring that picture and push and pull it back to where you needed to be in order to still look like a usable and beautiful image. So, we've got a couple images that we shot outside, and I'm going to just walk you through a couple different easy tweaks you can do to your photo just to bring it to life. Nothing too heavy lifting. So, one of the first images I got is, I saw a girl running across an advertisement on the street. So, one of the first things I like to do, is take a look at the composition and make sure it was how I pictured it. If it wasn't, I'll tweak it a little bit. For this image, it's a little off kilter. There's a section in Lightroom called transform that will automatically make sure the picture is leveled in and looks all even. So, I'm just going to click auto. That's really easy, it'll turn out for me, and now the picture looks like I shot it and I didn't have any tilt to my camera. Then, the next thing I'll do, is I'll jump up to the main panel on your Lightroom. Is the basic area where it deals with white balance, exposure, contrast, things like that. The first thing I'll do as we talked about before, is white balance. I don't know what the white balance was when we shot this. So, I'm just going to click auto, and let the computer guess where it should be. Below auto, there's an area that says temperature. Now that is directly related to white balance and when it auto corrected it, it was a little bit warm, and I remember the day being a little bit more cold, a little bit more blue in the sky. So, I'm just going to turn that down just a little bit so it doesn't feel too warm. I want it to be more realistic for this photo. Then, I'm not going to play with the exposure, it looks like we nailed the exposure, meaning we got the aperture, the shutter speed and the ISO pretty good. So, I'm just going to mess with contrast a little bit to make this pop, and just a basic definition of contrast. Basically strengthens the difference between your lights and your darks, it just makes the image pop a little bit. So, I'm going to turn that up a tiny bit, and then I'm going to go down here. She's wearing a black outfit, but when I zoom in here, you'll notice that everything looks like it's perfectly lit, so I'm not going to worry about whether or not I need to bring the shadows up. There's no crazy highlights in there, you see the white, it all looks pretty clean. Nothing is too bright, so pretty balanced exposure. So, I'm going to go down to clarity, and really make this punchy, you might not notice but at the top there's this histogram, and below the histogram it shows me my meta data, so it shows me exactly how I shot this picture. I shot it at 1600 ISO, I shot it at f/2.8, so, wide open, and I shot at one over 25 hundredth of a second. Because I did that, I had a tradeoff between using that ISO, and losing a little bit of my sharpness. So, because I lost a little bit the sharpness, I want to use clarity which is a smaller version, or more pinpoint version of contrast. I'm going to use that to sort a punch up, and make it appear to be a little bit sharper than how it was shot. So, I'm going to turn that up to like a 15. Maybe, for this, so it looks more drastic, let's go 25. There wasn't a ton of color in this picture, but I want to get a little bit more from the brick. So, I'm going to turn this up just a little bit, just to get a little bit more saturation. It's very very subtle. You can see that the blue is just a little bit richer in this dress behind her, her skin is a little bit richer, the bricks a little bit a little bit more reddish. So, it just adds a little bit more life to the photo. Then everything else, I pretty much skipped. Sometimes, I play around with sharpening, not always a necessity. Lightroom will give you out of the box sharpening. So, you don't really always have to mess with that. Now, the one thing that I do want to call your attention to, as we discussed before, if you shoot with an higher ISO, sometimes you're going to deal with the little bit of digital noise. So, I'm not sure if you'd be able to pick this up by zooming in, but we'll make sure you're able to see the image. When you zoom in here, and you look at some of the darker areas where there's a little bit more color concentration, you'll start to see a little bit of the green. Sometimes on my camera, I can shoot at 1,600 and you don't really see a lot of bad stuff. On a cheaper and more inexpensive camera, a less advanced camera at 1,600, you probably see a little bit more digital noise. On this image, is not really a lot, actually the noise that's in the picture looks a little bit like a good green, like something you'd see on film. But if you do have an image that you have to shoot at 6,400 for instance, I'll show you the area that you want to go to tweak that and to help your image out. There's a panel, if you scroll down on the right side of Lightroom, there's a panel right underneath sharpening that says noise reduction. Under noise reduction, there's a bar, a slider bar that's called luminance. That's the bar you want to use if you're seeing any, if you're shooting in a low light situation and you have to use that ISO. It really helps dial back and smooth out some of that digital noise. So, what you want to do is just drag this slider and it's just a taste. You don't want to overdo it, because if you overdo it and put it on 100, you start to lose sharpness, contrast, everything becomes like butter instead of sharpened and nice. It looks like you cooked the image if you will. So, don't go all the way to 100 ever, but I like to play around with this and slide it anywhere between like 5 and 25. That's a good safe space to get rid of some of the digital noise without doing too much damage to the picture. Then, there's other bars below it. There's one called detail in contrast. For the purpose of what you're doing, you probably won't need to touch that. If you do feel like this little tweak isn't helping, make sure you go up on the Adobe site, check out the glossary. It'll explain all these little tools and how to get the most out of them. But for now, just use the luminance slider underneath noise reduction, that will help smooth out anything from low light, and then the other side or under noise reduction to use is the color slider. Just like luminant, it cleans up digital noise, but what it does is it works more closely with any sort of noise that is entering in the color, the more punchier parts of the photo. So, if there was a lot of digital noise around this blue or in her skin, it will sort of attack that area instead of just getting the noises in the shadows or the darker areas of the photo. Same thing with this slider, I wouldn't push it past 50. You want to keep these items as low as possible. Just like ISO, any corrections you do to the actual integrity of the image, you want to keep them minimal as possible. Stylistically though, like we said when we started off this image, if you want to play around with contrast, clarity, vibrant saturation, you can push them a little harder but just make sure that your image still has a natural feeling. You don't want people to know that you retouch. One of the key things about editing a photo is it not make people feel as though they're looking at something that was digitally altered especially if you're somebody that likes to shoot clothing or e-commerce stuff or food photography. You want to be appealing and make it look a little better than what it was when you shot it but you don't want to make people feel as though they're looking at a cartoon image. So, that's one image as you see there's nothing drastically different but it does add a little bit a pop to it, it comes off the page a little bit better. The next one I want to do is this coffee cup and no, this is not an advertisement for Gasoline Alley Coffee. Although, I was told the coffee was good. I had a tea. We're going to just play around with the same things we did. Again, I shot this one at ISO 125. I shot it at an f stop of 2.8 and I shot it at a shutter speed of 1 over 160. So pretty slow but no camera shake because it was still a pretty fast enough shutter speed to handhold and there's not a lot of noise in this one because we shot with the ISO so low. You see, I'm punching in really close. You can really see what the aperture is doing here. At 2.8, the only thing in focus are her fingers and the and the label on the coffee cup. Everything else right behind, you can't even tell that there's a person behind it. Everything else is really blurry. So, that's how beautiful aperture can treat your picture if you want to get a creative, sort of a spin on blur and depth of field. So for this image, it's already looks really great. I feel like it's a little on the dark side on the coffee cup so I'm going to punch up the exposure maybe 0.1 or 0.2, nothing big. I just wanted to sort of pop a little bit more and feel a little alive. Then I'm going to tweak the contrast a little bit. Maybe put like a five or an eight and don't worry about the numbers. The numbers aren't important. You're just going to season the dish to taste, that's it. I'm going to punch it up to about an eight. The blacks look really good so I'm not going to mess with the shadows at all. If anything, sometimes I want the blacks to look a little richer and I can turn the shadows down a little bit, but this one, it looks really great. The whites are good I'm not even going to play with the white balance, looks pretty spot on, and then just to punch up the coffee cup and the fingers on the glove, I'm going to use clarity again. I'm going to show you what it looks like if you do a lot of it. This is at 50, and see the difference between how that black and you start to see sort of the lights get punchier, the dark gets punchier here. Now, if I took this off, it's a little bit smoother. So you want to be careful. You don't want to let the pendulum swing too far. So, I'm going to go back to about a 20. That's sort of normal fine area, so that's a little punchy. The saturation looks pretty good but let's add a little bit because it's that red ring at the bottom of the cup and so that's a little bit of a richer, punchier cool image and then there's nothing else. We shot this at a low ISO. We don't need to worry about the noise reduction. Everything looks great there. This wasn't a building with lines in it or anything so we don't worry about it fixing any distortions or anything like that, and I happen to hold the camera correctly and straight. So the coffee cup looks nice vertically. This is pretty close to what would be a great final image. Let's go to a picture we shot with really, really low light. This image, I shot at 6,400 ISO, one that you want to stay away from but I'm going to use this picture 6,400 ISO, 2.8 on the aperture, one over 2,000 of a second for the shutter speed. I'm not going to do any tweaks here. I'm just going to call out to other things you can do in Lightroom that will help sort of polish off your image or if you're seeing any distortion. There's a section on the right panel called Lens Correction and sometimes, especially if you're using a wide angle lens or a zoom lens, there will be some barrel distortion or there'll be some distortion from the lens. What I like to do every time if I use a lens like the 24 70 to 24 105 is I go over to this Lens Correction section and I click on Enable Profile Corrections. We're not going to get into this but what you'll see automatically especially when you load your own pictures in is the image will seem to sort of open up. It won't feel rounded anymore, it will flatten out. So I'm going to do this one more time, I'm going to take it off and I'm going to turn it back on. So what it does is based on a lot of profiles, Adobe has all these profiles for Canon, Sony, all types of lenses and they have these formulas already baked in. You click it, it figures out what lens you shot with and it fixes all the distortion issues with your camera, no thinking required. So turn that on, it'll fix distortion and it'll fix lens and hitting, meaning the darkness around the edges of the lens, and it'll open up that picture. The other thing with this one especially if you're shooting something that's on a shelf or you're shooting a building that's from far away or from looking up at a building, you'll find that the lines aren't always straight in the camera. This is me shooting a bookshelf where it's feeling a little off kilter. So again, we'll go down to transform and just click Auto and if that solves your problem, you're good to go. If you want to click on a couple of the other things like Level, it's just horizontal, vertical is your Y axis, and Full will sort of do both at the same time. Auto will do whatever it feels that the photo means for you to do, and then Guided will allow you to work with some lines and figure out what lines you want it to correct based on. Don't worry about that, go with Auto. Ninety percent of the time, get a great image out of it or get a great fix to it and then you're good to go. So with this picture again, I'm not doing any sort of aesthetic changes. I'm really just showing you how to use the lens correction and transform tool, and you combine all these things, exposure fixing, white balance fixing, contrast clarity, saturation, and a little fixtures like lens correction and transform tool, and you'll be ready to start rocking and rolling with a picture to toss up on Instagram, your website, your blog, or wherever you want to use your photo. 10. Final Thoughts: So that's a wrap. I'm really excited we were able to go over all the basics of DSLR. We've talked about aperture, shutter, ISO. We've talked about the exposure pyramid, and how to keep these things in balance and in harmony to get a great exposure. We've talked about a little brief way to make the photos come to life. We've talked about focal points and white balances, and shooting in RAW versus JPEG. So you have, essentially, a great foundation and a great tool kit to go out there and take images that you can be proud of, and it's a great spot to start experimenting. I look forward to seeing some of your images. So post in the projects, let us know what you were thinking as you took those photos. So, if you took a picture using aperture priority, let me know why you chose 2.8 versus an 8 F-Stop. Let me know why you shot something slow on the shutter speed, versus fast. I love to see the way everybody's minds work, and how that ended up working itself into the final product. And if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in your project or in the comments. I look forward to talking to each and every one of you. 11. Bonus: Buying Cameras & Lenses: So, you're new to DSLR and you're wondering, "Do I need to upgrade? What camera do I need? Should I practice on this point-and-shoot? Can I use my iPhone?" The quick and easy answer to that is yes, you can use whatever camera that you have in front of you. But if you want to grow, if you want to learn, if you want to have more control and have a better image as a result of that control, the best thing you could possibly do is own a DSLR. Some of the great benefits of owning a DSLR is, number one, the quality. You can take a picture with an iPhone. I mean, I do it all the time. It's the easiest thing to do when you're on vacation or you're hanging out with friends, but the quality of the DSLR is such that, it will blow anything else out of the water below that kind of camera. So, whether it's an iPhone or a point-and-shoot camera, they just don't have the impact of the sensor quality that can deliver the kind of images that you probably wanted to take, which is why you're signed up for this class. The other thing that's really great about DSLR is the versatility. So, you can not only control the shutter speed, the aperture, and all these other things, but the flexibility within those ranges is a whole lot greater. So, for a point-and-shoot camera, you might be able to shoot somewhere in the aperture value of 3.2 and 5, 6, but with a DSLR, you can get anywhere from the best lens that could shoot at 1.2, all the way to f22 with the right camera and the right lens combination. So, there's so much more flexibility. There's more speed in the shutter. There's more flexibility in the aperture values, and there's a greater amount of ISO you can push out of that camera and still retain a great image. So, that's just so much more flexibility and versatility that it would sort of be limiting yourself to not at least try out a DSLR. And the last thing about DSLR is the size of the image. So, a lot of us are probably used to taking point-and-shoot pictures when we younger, and getting them printed out at the local drugstore or whatever the case may be. But, as you get further along in your career or in your hobby, you're going to want to print these things out, maybe put on the wall, maybe frame it, maybe share it in a photo album, whatever you might want to do. Being able to shoot with the DSLR gives you the opportunity to blow the things up. With a Canon 5D Mark III, which is what I was shooting with on this class, I can bold that up and make a banner. I could do my own advertisement, put it above a highway, and that's how powerful these DSLRs are, and you'll be hard pressed to be able to do something like that with a point-and-shoot or an iPhone without a lot of digital manipulation after the fact. So, a DSLR is going to give you so much more power at your fingertips. Even if you won't even harness all that power right after this class, you'll be able to grow into it, and it will be something that you'll be able to spread your wings with. So, one of the biggest questions I'm always asked is what camera should I buy? And I don't really have a solid answer about that, but I can point you in the right direction. The first thing you probably want to think about is what's my budget? Is it five grand? Is it three grand? Is it one grand? Once you figure out what your budget range is, then you can start to play around with like, what cameras in those categories should I play with? You can, one, easily type in whatever camera you're interested in, or type in the best cameras at 2017. It's a good jumping off point for getting acclimated with the words, and the lingo, and that sort of marketing jargon that comes along with cameras, but what I like to focus on is the sensor quality. When you're buying a DSLR, you're literally buying the digital film for the camera. So, don't get caught up with what every single button or functionality does, because that's just misleading. The other thing I don't worry about all the time is megapixels. Typically, if you're buying a really pro camera, such as the one I was shooting with today, the Canon 5D Mark III, they're all going to have the same sort of megapixel range. So, you don't really have to worry about that. Now, I was actually brought up on the Canon, so I can't really speak to what a Nikon is like, or what a Sony is like. But, I can tell you they all have quality cameras. The camera I shoot on, again, is a Canon 5D Mark III. I believe it's about 24 megapixels. The sensor is really great at this level. Like I said earlier, it allows you to shoot a 1600 ISO with a pretty clean file. So, that's a great camera, but it might not be a starter camera because, without the lens, it's just purchasing the body. It's going to cost you around $3,000. Now, an alternative to the Canon 5D Mark 3 and a Nikon that would fit that category would be something like the Canon 70. The Canon 70 has two versions: the Mark 1 and the Mark 2. The Mark 2 is the newer version, then that'll get you some really great features and really good quality, but stop down at maybe $1,600 or $1,700, which is a great spot to start and be able to grow into your hobby or your career. If you want to start off with an entry level DSLR, I recommend checking out the Canon Rebel series. They're usually fairly priced. It's probably around the lowest price point you can get for these kind of cameras, 750 to 1,000, and it will come with the kit lens. Although that kit lens won't be the best thing you've ever worked with, just know that you're working towards something bigger. So, start off with the kit lens in the Rebel series camera. You get the shooting, start learning the things you like, you don't like, and that will actually help better inform your eye, and your opinion on what the next camera you want to grow into will be, and what kind of features that you're going to need if you decide to take the professional route, so don't be discouraged. There's always going to be an option out there for you. One of the things I like to suggest to new students is, if you have a photographer friend or somebody that you look up to and love their photos, don't be afraid to ask them or send them an email, "What are you using? Why do you like what you're using?" A lot of us love talking about what we do, so don't be afraid to do that. The second thing I would recommend is make sure you stop by your local camera store and ask one of the sales people, "Hey, what do you recommend. I'm just starting. I know I'm probably going to be in this career for a long time. I wanted to have something I can grow into. Here's my budget. Here's my concerns. Here's the things I want the camera to be able to do." Talk to them and have them give you some advice, and last but not least, talk to the Internet. Because there's so many people that have probably tried whatever camera that you might be thinking about using that will have great advice or great experiences with it, or on the flipside, bad experiences and will keep you from making the wrong purchase for camera equipment. These things aren't cheap, so you want to spend your dollars wisely. When you're buying the camera and you're buying a lens, the lens is like putting on eyeglasses. You don't want to have decent eyes, and then put on really crappy eyeglasses, and then barely still be able to see the picture in front of you. That's why the lens is important. The center is going to do a lot of the heavy lifting. It's going to record the images. It's like the film that you put in that camera. But, the image is only going to be as good as the lens can provide to that sensor or that film. So, you're going to want to think about what lenses is going to be a right fit for my camera. My first recommendation for most shooters, like 95 percent of shooters, I like to tell them if they don't know exactly what they plan on shooting right away to get a good walking around lens. What is a good walking around lens? It's something that has a zoom to it, something that you can shoot wide and you can shoot a little longer. It gives you a lot of flexibility in your craft. So, whether you want to shoot people walking on the street, street photography, food photos, whatever you might want to shoot, you could probably accomplish it with a zoom lens. So, my number one recommendation if you're looking for something very premium would be the Canon 2470 f/2.8 Version 2. That's one of the best zoom lenses that Canon makes. If you're looking for a budget version of that, I'd go with the 24 105. That's a great lens. I think in some kits, they included it, but it's a great lens to walk around, with a great lens learned with in about probably a third or half of the price of the 24 70. Now, you can also go to a company like Sigma. They made great lenses that allow you to pay half the price, but get just as much quality as some of the market level Canon lenses and Nikon lenses. So, there's a lot of choices to make. The lens market is vast. It can be confusing. Again, talk to somebody at the local camera store. Look up the Google reviews. The world is out there for you to figure it out. When you are looking at a lens, it will probably say, blah, blah, blah. Brand name, focal length 24-70 or 50 millimeter, 85 millimeter, and then it'll have that F stop with the slash in front of it or behind it, and then a number. Now, that number on that description of the product is going to tell you the maximum aperture that you can use on that camera. So, you won't have any confusion when you put it on your camera and you try to go lower than that number or higher than that number that it says, "I can't do that. I won't do that. It won't comply." So, on my 24-70, it says 2.8 on the box, it says 2.8 on the lens. That's the max aperture I can do on the lens. I can't go to 1-2, I can't go to 1-6, I can only do 2.8 and bigger numbers. That is a key thing when you're buying a lens. You will see occasionally in zoom lenses and cheaper lenses, you'll see aperture range, something like 3-5 to 5-6. Usually, that's end for people that are professionals like me. We see that, and we go, "I'm not touching that." Because typically, glass or lens is made with a range of aperture tend to be cheaper, cheaper build quality, cheaper quality in terms of resolving your image that you're shooting, but don't be afraid. If you're looking for a cheap option and something to just learn on, those are typically some of the cheaper lenses you can find in every single brand makes them. So, don't shy away from them just because you're worried about the quality level, especially if you're not jumping right into a professional career with this camera. Feel free to spend the $200/300 to save yourself to buy, and get practicing in taking photos. Another thing that I think is an incredible learning device is using a fixed lens or a prime lens. A prime lens is basically a lens that doesn't zoom, is one focal length all the time. So, if you buy 50 millimeter, that's all it does. If you buy an 85 millimeter, that's all it does. My two favorite Primes are the 50 and the 85, especially if you're shooting portraits. These lenses are really great to learn on because it forces you to move. It really forces you to be an active photographer and not somebody that's asleep at the wheel and turning the ring every time they want to get closer or further away, and it really helps you practice composing things from one viewpoint instead of always being able to manipulate where you're standing, or where you're turning, or how far you are. So, a prime lens is a great learning device. Usually, the quality on them are so much better. Because when you buy a really high-quality zoom, they have to do more work around the glass to make it quality, both at the wide end and at the long end. When you buy a prime lens, you're getting just really good glass that hits that one focal point perfectly, and there's not a lot of room for error for those. So, if you're looking for a really great starter lens and you don't want to go with a really expensive 24-70, I like the budget 50 millimeter and 85 millimeter from Canon. They make this with Sigma as well. They have a cheap version, so the 50 millimeter, they make. I believe, a 1.8, or something like that. It's a really tiny lens, but it's very powerful and a very good learning lens, and I think it's about $150. They also make an 85-18, I believe. That's also the cheap version of Canon's more premium 85 and that's still, I believe, under $300. That lens is a great learning lens. It's also faster than the more expensive 85, and it's almost spot on with the quality of a more expensive 85 that Canon produces. Now, if you're a baller and have no budget or no constraints, the 85-12 is prime for that category and the 50-12. You're not going to beat the performance there. But if you are on a budget, go with the other lenses. I own them myself. I use them for jobs, and they have produce for me time and time again. Another great option to think about if your budget constrained or you're not quite ready to make the big purchase yet is to think about renting gear. The great thing about this new millennium is that, you can pretty much get anything you want. At a fraction of the cost especially if you rent it. So, if you live in New York, I like to rent all my gear from Adorama, but Adorama offers it, PhotoCare offers rentals, and online, there's great places to rent things. There's, there's, and these sites will allow you to either rent a package, so you can rent like a body and three lenses, or you can try the things that you're interested in. So, if you already have a camera body but a cheap lens, and you want to say you want to try the 85-12 to see if it's worth investing that kind of money, you can rent it offline. They'll send it to you. Keep it for a week for a certain price and you can try that out. Shoot your friends, try it out, and you've only spent maybe 50 bucks without having to spend the 3,000 to actually buy the actual products. So, renting is a great and viable option. If you live in a city that's not in New York, tons of rental houses across United States offer rentals, too, so just walk in. They probably don't offer it online because it's not as big a business for them. But walk into the shop, tell them you're looking to buy something but you might want to rent it first, and they'll tell you what kind of program they have to rent from them. It's definitely worth it. I've rented tons of equipment before purchasing it, the 24 70 that I used in this in this shoot. I had the first version. I was never happy with it, and I was like, "Should I really get the second version?" It's like [inaudible]. It's like a third more, and I've already got the first version. I don't know if I should do it and renting it so many times because I realized how good the quality was, and I realized that I would need it to use it in my professional work, allowed me to test it out, make sure it was the right lens for me before I pulled the trigger and spent $2,000 on it. So, renting stuff and trying it out first is a great way to get acquainted with new gear and to figure out where you belong, whether it be Nikon or Canon and what type of gear you need, whether it be professional or beginners. 12. Learn More from Justin: way.