About Me

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I'm a Guilford College graduate with a B.S. in Criminal Justice; I minored in Visual Arts Photography. My blog tracks the highs and lows of my experience in a Film Photography course during the Spring of 2013 and up to the present, as I delve into digital photography. I may even include other mediums of art such as acrylic paint, graphite drawings, etc. I'll talk about my experiences snapping photos or simply snapping from frustration as well as my successes and failures, tips and tricks that I've learned, and exploring the photography/art world through the lens of a Black woman.

21 May 2015

Digital Photography Flashcards and Notes

My digital camera set (purchased here) came with an instructional DVD which is basically "Digital Photography for beginners." The DVD is called "Focus Digital SLR Photography in a Snap: Jumpstart Guide." You can purchase it here if you would like. Naturally, I took some notes and screenshots while watching the film and decided to make flashcards to keep in my camera case so I can always have a reminder about ISO, aperture, depth of field, etc. when I need it. Thank God for this crappy matte photo paper I bought from Amazon. I used it to print my flashcards even though it was intended for prints. I didn't like how matte it was. A little bit of gloss would've been better than this cheap crap. Nonetheless, it was perfect for printing my flashcards.

I printed the screenshots I took on one side and then wrote my notes on the other side. There was no order to the notes or what went on the back of what image. Here are a few of the many notes I took (also in no order):
  • SDXC memory cards are for massive Hi-Def pics and vids that will instantly be transferred.
  • A faster read/write speed memory card is needed for shooting bursts.
  • Back up your photos before formatting your memory card to your camera.
  • Fine JPEG is a better quality than Basic.
  • ISO: how the camera interprets a scene once its passed through the lens.
    • ISO sensitivity determines how your camera will react to light.
  • A fast shutter speed is good for action shots (i.e. 1/1000).
  • A slow shutter speed is good for night shooting. Be sure to use a tripod.
  • Aperture is the lens opening. 
    • f/2 = much light is getting in.
    • f/22 = less light is getting in.
  • Only RAW files allow for adjustment of white balance after the photo has been taken.
  • Depth of field is related to aperture and how much of the image will be in focus.
    • f/1.8 = a small portion of the scene will be in focus. This is great for portraits and flowers.
    • f/22 = a large amount will be in focus. This is great for landscapes.
  • Fast shutter speed freezes action shots.
  • Use a tripod and move the camera slowly horizontally to pan and vertically to tilt.
  • Flash
    • Use a pre-flash setting to close a subject's pupils and reduce red-eye.
    • Turn flash completely off for shooting newborns and subject's behind glass.
    • Use rear flash for motion blur effect (i.e. moving lights).
  • Studio lights
    • Key light dictates the position of the other studio lights.
    • Fill light softens shadows and should be positioned mirrored to the key light.
      • For portraits make it 1/2 as bright as the key light.
    • Position the back light 45 degrees from the background in order to illuminate the subject and separate them from the background. It makes a subtle difference.
  • Life hack: Use a bag of beans as a tripod if you need one.
  • Wide angle lenses are good for panoramas.
  • Fish eye lenses are cool for photographing animals.
  • A Polarizer 77mm minimizes reflections and intensifies blues and greens.
Camera modes
  • Fully auto: camera handles everything for those who are intimidated by adjusting settings.
  • P(rogram): sets shutter speed and aperture; user can adjust white balance and ISO; avoid overexposing.
  • AV (aperture priority): use for adjusting depth of field.
  • TV (shutter priority): to stop action of a moving subject.
  • M(anual): adjust shutter speed and aperture.
  • AF-F: full time auto focus for a moving subject.
  • Subject focus: locks focus on a moving subject.
Depth of Field
Fast shutter speed
Low F-stop and Depth of Field
Narrow aperture and high F-stop
Shutter speed and Depth of Field
Shutter speed
Telephoto lenses
White balances
Wide aperture and low F-stop
Slow shutter speed


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