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Chapter 4 Assignments

The information covered in this chapter defines how you work with your camera from this point on. Granted, there may be times when you just want to grab some quick pictures and will take advantage of the Automatic modes, but to get serious with your photography, you should learn the Creative modes.

Starting off with Program mode

Set your camera on Program mode and start shooting. While shooting, make sure that you keep an eye on your ISO.

Learning to control time with the Tv mode

Find some moving subjects and then set your camera to Tv mode. Have someone ride their bike back and forth or even just photograph cars as they go by. Start with a slow shutter speed of around 1/30 of a second and then start shooting with faster and faster shutter speeds. Keep shooting until you can freeze the action. Now find something that isn't moving, like a flower, and work your shutter speed from something fast like 1/500 of a second down to about 1/4 of a second. The point is to see how well you can handhold your camera before you start introducing hand shake into the image.

Controlling depth of field with the Av mode

The name of the game with Av mode is depth of field. Set up three items in equal distance from you. I would use chess pieces or something similar. Now focus on the middle item and set your camera to the largest aperture of f/2.8 (remember, large aperture means a small number). Now, while still focusing on the middle subject, start shooting with ever-smaller apertures until you are at the smallest f-stop, f/8. Try doing this exercise with the lens zoomed out at the widest and then the most telephoto setting. Now move up to subjects that are farther away, like telephone poles, and shoot them in the same way. The idea is to get a feel for how each aperture setting affects your depth of field.

Giving and taking with Manual mode

Go outside on a sunny day and, using the camera in Manual mode, set your ISO to 100, your shutter speed to 1/2000 of a second, and your aperture to f/4. Now press your shutter release button to get a meter reading. You should be pretty close to that zero mark. If not, make small adjustments to one of your settings until it hits that mark. Now is where the fun begins. Start moving your shutter speed slower, to 1/500, and then set your aperture to f/8. Now go the other way. Set your aperture on f/5.6 and your shutter speed to 1/1000. Now review your images. If all went well, all the exposures should look the same. This is because you balanced the light with reciprocal changes to the aperture and shutter speed. Now try moving the shutter speed without changing the aperture. Just make 1/3-stop changes (1/800 to 1/640 to 1/500 to 1/400), and then review your images to see what a 1/3 stop of overexposure looks like. Then do the same thing going in the opposite way. It's hard to know if you want to over- or underexpose a scene until you have actually done it and seen the results.

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