General

There are a large number of cameras available on the market and it is important to make sure that you will be happy with the equipment you buy. The information on this site will assist you in making an informed choice when buying a camera and accessories. It is important to buy equipment according to your needs of future needs, so you have to make sure that the camera you buy has all the setting and features to assist you in taking the photographs you want.

This site gives information for the amateur photographer to improve his/her photography. Some technical information will be given to assist the photographer in determining the appropriate settings on the camera for better photographs.

For full details on settings, composition and different techniques used in photography, it is best to take a course in photography.

The importance of light

As photography is dependent on the reaction of the chemicals on the film to light, it is easy to deduce the importance of light conditions when taking photographs. As light is as important as indicated, one must also be aware that light can be reflected off certain objects, it can be absorbed by others, and it can be refracted by others. One of the problems in photography is that the human eye automatically compensates for specific light conditions. It is for this reason, that we use exposure meters.

Most of the cameras also have built in exposure meters to assist the photographer. These exposure meters however sample the complete picture in the viewfinder or only a selected area in the viewfinder depending on the design of the camera. For this reason other exposure meters or different techniques with your own camera can be used to establish the correct settings on your camera.

With the exposure meter readings the correct settings can be obtained for the optimum exposure . This is the setting that will allow the correct amount of light into the camera to expose the film optimally for the reigning light conditions.

The figure shows the basic colors which form white light and their complimentary colors:

Blue – Complimentary color = Yellow

Red – Complimentary color = Cyan

Green – Complimentary color = Magenta

Measuring light

Different methods can be used depending the situation you are in and the equipment you have available. In the normal situation, the amateur photographer will not have an external exposure meter available. Depending on the composition of the photo the following techniques can be used.

Normal (Average brightness or reflection method)

– The exposure meter reading on the camera is used as is, for setting on the camera. This will also be the same settings that the camera uses when on auto setting.

Tilting method

– Tilt the camera of light meter at an angle to prevent a bright background from influencing the readings. Set the camera manually according to the readings and take the photograph from the normal position.

Close-up method

– If the detail you want to photograph is in shadow and forms part of a composition with bright light, you can get a reading close to the object. The camera should be set manually or if Auto Exposure Lock (AEL) is available on the camera, this feature can be used.

Incident light method

– Used mainly for studio work.

In the photograph below, the close-up method was used to determine the camera settings. The television and the detail in that area is clearly visible, while the windows on both sides show a bright glow.

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