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This is effing awesome. I just picked up a new Fuji FinePix S700 7MP camera so I'm hoping to test these techniques out with it. I've done shoots of my car before with it but never had any technique with it so they turned out horrible.


Awesome write up!
 

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Thanks RockSteady (and other contributors). That was a great read, and I'd forgotten about the rule of thirds! Time for some new photos I think.
 

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:drive: Some old pics of my baby.
 

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I just spent 30 minutes typing this up in another thread, it seemed a better fit here....
QUOTE (dane145 @ Dec 31 2009, 01:17 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1626437
when using an ISO that high (in combination with a quick shutter speed), what are the advantages of that over a lower ISO and longer shutter speed? is a depth of field kind of a thing only?
thanks for letting me know all this stuff..[/b]
ISO and shutter speed will not effect depth of field at all, only your f stop will.

Shutter speed is a time reference, if your shooting kobe dunking you need a short or fast shutter to "freeze" him in time. We all know he is moving, pretty fast, when this shot was taken but due to the very short shutter speed the photographer "froze" him in mid air for a great shot!

If you have ever see night scapes of the freeway with the brake and headlights gently streaming by thats a long shutter speed. Obvioulsy there were individual lights and cars, but this shot was taken over 3-10 seconds probably, maybe even as long as 30 seconds, and you get that pleasant streaking effect of the lights.


Aperture effects depth of field, a large aperture (small number) gives a very small depth of field and blurs the background but allows alot of light to hit the sensor, a smaller F stop (large number) allows a large field of focus with little or no blur but dose not let much light in. Thus if you take the same picture twice you might get the following, shot 1 taken at f2.8 shutter speed of 1/500 shot 2 taken at f4 shutter speed 1/125, so as that aperture lets in more or less light you have to expose the sensor for a longer period of time with your shutter.

This shot has a large aperture (small number) to capture the flower without capturing the cluttered and distracting background, thus it leaves the green behind blurred and feturless leaving the flower to be the sole focus of the image. It also most likely had a very fast shutter, 1/250th or faster.


This shot uses a small aperture (large number) so that the entire range is in sharp focus and detailed. this was probably taken with a relatively longer shutter speed, 1/125th or 1/50th.


ISO on the other hand is the great equalizer, it is simply how sensitive your sensor is, lower ISO will always give a clearer, sharper picture with truer color reproduction. But you cannot always get a proper exposure. The first part you have to understand is that a cameras sensor cannot handle the dynamic range your own eye can, nothing man made is as good as what your deity of choice gave you.

This is where ISO is your friend. ISO as stated controls the sensitivity of the sensor, the lower the ISO the better the quality the image because it makes the sensor very sensitive to minute changes, the down side is that it requires TIME to be so accurate. Higher ISO allows the sensor to be less sensitive so it requires less time but you begin to get grain and lose quality as seen below.

So given that how do they all relate, here is where that term stops i keep using becomes soooo very important. Every "stop" either lets in twice as much light or takes away half the light. So lets look at stops in terms of shutter, aperture, and iso individually.

In shutter if your shooting at 1/500th stopping down 1 time would get you 1/2 the light and net a shutter speed of 1/250, 250 is half of 500 right... if you stop down again you get 1/125, if you stop UP from 500 you would get 1/1000 so stops for shutter would look like this
1/2000
1/1000
1/500
1/250
1/125
1/60
1/30
1/15 so on and so forth, shutter stops are nice neat and mathematical, simple multiplication and division... and remember a longer shutter allows MORE light



For aperture the numbers arent as intuitive, i just memorized them, wish i had a better system. But lets start at f8, stopping down one stop would net f5.6, 2 stops would be 4.0, stopping up from f8 would be f11, so for aperture the stops are as follows:
f2
f2.8
f4
f5.6
f8
f11
f16
remember each stop here lets in 2 time as much light, so even though the numbers arent nice and neat, it works like shutter stops, so f2 lets in 2 times the light that f2.8 would and 4 times the light as f4 would.

For ISO you also have stops, these again go back to being nice tidy numbers, base iso on alot of cameras is 200, stopping up would net 400, one more stop would be 800, so the full range would be as follows:
50
100
200
400
800
1600
3200
6400 and so on, my D40 looses ALOT of quality above 800, some cameras, the nikon d700 for instance, can shoot at 6400 with amazing quality, it also costs 2700 dollars haha...

So lets say your in a dark gym, you wanna shoot your kid mid air shooting a 3 pointer, your shooting at ISO 200 you get a short shutter speed, most agree 1/125th is the longest possible shutter to still freeze motion so if you use 1/60th or something slower your going to see the ball streak and his shoes streaking as he jumps and shoots, remember though this is a poorly lit gym, so you cannot us f8 or f11, because it wont let enough light in and your image will be dark, remember small f stop (large number) lets in less light. So what can you do, set your F stop as big as possible, lets say f4. But its REALLY dark and your still getting images too dark to be usable, sure you have frozen your kid in the image but colors are dark, and its generally meh... and your camera wants you to shot a 1/60th of a second, whic his just tooo slow.... this is where you can use ISO, to get the image you want...

IF you shoot your kid at 1/60th and f4 he is going to blur to much even though the image may not be dark any more... you will have a nice bright blurry kid looking thing.... your lens wont go any bigger than f4 (lense that shoot f2.8 or f2.0 or f1.8 are (EXSPENSIVE) so lets just trade some shutter speed for ISO... We take our shutter speed faster to 1/250th, thats 2 stops 1/60 --> 1/125 --> 1/250th so we just up our ISO by 2 stops from 200 --> 400 --> 800 now we can shoot our kid, and most cameras will shoot very usable images at ISO 800, even just stopping our shutter 1 stop to 1/250th we could shoot at ISO 400 with should not be a problem on ANY current DSLR, even entry level!

Here is a cheat sheet for stops, remember if you add a stop to any of the three then you can take away a stop to one of the others and visa versa:



So to finalize my point the following settings would all be identical
Original exposure
1/500th
F4
ISO 400

SHOT 1
Trade 1 stop shutter for 1 stop ISO
1/250th
F4
ISO200

SHOT 2
Trade 1 stop aperture for 1 stop ISO
1/500th
F2.8
ISO 200

SHOT 3
Trade 1 stop shutter for 1 stop aperture
1/250th
f5.6
ISO 400

All of the above setting would next the same exposure, some difference in depth of field and quality with changing IOS and aperture, but all would be usable image assuming the starting exposure was correct.
 

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yes you have to use a picture website such as photobucket.
 

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Subbed to use later. Thank you to all of the contributors to this thread. INCREDIBLY helpful.
 
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