Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Photography 101

As I'm preparing for my trip to Iceland, I've been getting a little photo training.

I'm no Jedi, no natural when it comes to understanding settings, composition and execution. I think I've got a good eye and can be patient to line up a good shot. But I'm weak in understanding the core principles that govern go
od photography.

I'm talking about film speed, shutter speed and aperture. Apparently, these all work together, or at least can work together, to create that amazing picture. But I can't quite understand how they all fit.

A good and very patient photographer at Brown gave me a crash course. He talked the photo lingo, and I tried to follow all he was talking about. I walked out of there after about an hour with a major headache.

I knew photography was involved, but I guess I didn't expect that it involved so much science – engineering, physics, even chemistry. Sure, the auto setting works just fine, especially with the more high-end cameras. But the more I hang out with photographers such as the gentleman who sat down with me the other day, the more I can appreciate the artistry and the technical expertise they bring to their work.

I took some pictures around the Brown campus today. I fiddled around with the settings, angles and all that. Some turned out pretty good, some better than I expected and others were just plain bad. Here is one that turned out better than I expected.

I wish I knew what I had done.

I may revert to that auto setting after all.

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