Monday, March 19, 2012

Photography | Posing with Monkeys

Recently I have been reading an AWESOME book called Understanding Exposure by the fabulous photographer Bryan Peterson. I'm only on page 52, but boy have I learned a TON already! I'm starting to see the patterns between the different stops on my camera - whether it be my aperture, shutter speed, or ISO. I'm a really visual learner and I have to be hands on or else it doesn't stick. So, I decided to put my studying into practice earlier this week and used a stuffed animal monkey to demonstrate Bryan's (we're on a first name basis) method of "Creatively Correct Exposures."

In his book, Bryan teaches you how to get a perfect exposure every single time in your camera, but also pointed out the difference between a correct exposure and a creatively correct exposure. He explained that  you can get the same lighting in a shot if you use an f/stop of 4.0 or an f/stop of 32 - you just have to meter-up your shutter speed or ISO. But these two shots, although perfect exposures, are going to give off different creative views in your image because of the depth of field (DOF). You simply have to see what exposure works best for you!

{All shots are SOOC}

Alright, so you're probably thinking, "Okay, gee that's great Lex. You have two of the same exact pictures of a stuffed animal monkey. What's your point?"

Notice above that I have completely different ISO and shutter speed for each picture. Also notice that the aperture is the same ( you should always try to have a constant factor between all just is easier to change the other two) and that they have the exact same exposure. 

Each time you go a full stop up (in this case with ISO or shutter speed) you have to change the others (besides the constant factor) a full stop up as well. 
ISO 200 - 400 = 1/80sec. - 1/160 sec.

FYI: it is REALLY important to learn the full stops on your camera. It helps a TON!!!

Above: I wanted to show the difference between smaller apertures and larger ISO with a constant shutter speed of 1/100sec. Notice here that the blanket behind the monkey is getting more in focus and that the wood floor (although still blurry) is a little bit more defined than the first two pictures with an f/stop of 2.8. 

Most people think that you can't use super huge ISO numbers or really small f/stops, but you really can. Bryan explained ISO to be like worker bees. The higher the number of ISO, the more number of worker bees in your camera are working to bring more light into the image. So if your ISO is 100, then you have 100 worker bees. If your ISO is 1600, then you have 1600 worker bees (equalling more grain from the "bees" and more light).

I LOVE bokeh - which makes me lean toward wide open apertures like 2.8 on my macro 100m L lens. 

Well, I hope I didn't bore you all with this post, but I just thought I'd share what I have been learning! If you like what you are reading and want to know more, go get Bryan Petterson's book 'Understanding Exposure' - it will really change your photography!


Amanda said...

Reading this post is why I'm not a photographer!!! haha This was all quite interesting, even tho I had no idea about any of the stuff you were talking about. lol


p.s. that monkey is adorable. ;)

Lindsey said...

Thinking about getting this you recommend it?

Lexi said...

Lindsey, yes I definitely recommend getting this book. It is very easy to understand and gives you great information on how to get correct exposure inside your camera.