Great Spot/Healing Tool Question in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR)


in class i was able to drag the brush around, not sure if that is with cc or extended edition, i’m only able to do circles

In Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) CC you can draw the healing/cloning brush around to remove or repair what you want.
In ACR that came with CS6, it is only a spotting tool.
To work around this in CS6 or earlier, open your image in Photoshop (not ACR) and use the Clone Stamp Tool (S) or Spot Healing Brush Tool (J).
If this is not fixing your issue, let me know.

Tutorial on how to use the in-camera meter of Canon’s Rebel T2i

Tutorial on how to use the in-camera meter of Canon’s Rebel T2i
To use the meter in your camera, turn it on and press the shutter button down half way.This will “wake up” the camera and activate your meter.Image of Rebel T2i showing shutter release button
Looking through your viewfinder, you will see a few numbers at the bottom but you are only really interested in these at this moment:

  • The shutter speed
  • The aperture
  • The meter
  • The ISO

Rebel T2i viewfinder screen

If you look carefully in the image to the right, you will see that the meter has a green line at zero. When using the meter in the camera, you have the choice to adjust the shutter speed, aperture, and/or ISO settings to get the lit line in your camera to “zero out”.In this case, the exposure at ISO 100, 1/125 of a second at f/8 should give a neutral exposure.Rebel T2i meter on zero
If the aperture is closed down to f/11 (one stop less light) the meter will give a read out that the exposure is one stop under exposed by making the lit line show up under -1.Rebel T2i meter showing one stop under
When the lit line is all the way to the left the camera is telling you that the exposure us at least two stops under exposed.(Same is true if the lit line were all the way to the right – only it would be at least two stops over exposed.)In either case, you may have to do a bit of adjusting of controls before you can get the lit line back to the zero position.

Rebel T2i meter showing two stop under

Remember, you are trying to get the lit line to fall back under the zero for a neutral exposure.Rebel T2i meter on zero
Once you have mastered how to control you meter, be sure to read this web page on how make the meter work for you if you are metering white or dark subjects.

A little bit more about apertures, shutter speeds, and ISO settings

For the Chair assignment you will need to turn in one stop manually bracketed images.  This means that you will be submitting a total of six images.  Three for each of the two scenes (objective and subjective).  Don’t use the auto bracket, I will know.  It is easy to shoot in manual, so please learn to do this correctly.Mode dial of a camera set to M for manual
Stops are just a measure of how much light is coming into your camera.Let’s think about it by looking at the size of the aperture hole in your lens.When you open up the hole in your lens one stop, you are letting in twice as much light.  When you close down one stop  you are letting in 1/2 the amount of light.  Depending on which way you adjust your lens opening, you will always be doubling or halving the amount of light that can enter your camera for every stop you move.

f/4 aperture hole
Twice as much light as f/5.6
f/5.6 aperture hole
Half as much light as f4Twice as much light as f/8
f/8 aperture hole
Half as much light as f5.6Twice as much light as f/11
f/11 aperture hole
Half as much light as f/8Twice as much light as f/16
f/16 aperture hole
Half as much light as /11
Now let’s apply this thought to actual numbers.
Go get your camera, I’ll wait………………………………..
Got it?  (Go get it!)
OK.  For now, don’t worry about the other dials, let’s just look at the aperture dial.   You should have numbers on it that look like this, but probably not all of these numbers:

f/1, 1.2, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22, 32, 45

If you don’t know where these numbers are at on your camera, then turn it on and push the shutter button down half way to wake the camera up.  Your LCD (liquid crystal display) will light up if your camera is on.  Now gentle and slowly start turning dials until you see these numbers (along with a lot of other numbers in between – don’t worry about those now, I’ll come back to them.)Some cameras require you to hold an Av button down (see third image below) while you gently turn the dial.Do you see these numbers?  That is your aperture dial. It is telling you that you want the hole in the lens to be a specific size.

Shutter release and dial on top of camera
Some dials are on the top of camera

aperature dial on the back of a canon camera
Some dials are on the back of the camera

Av button on back of camera
Some dials require holding down to Av button to activate the aperture change

OK, set the dial so that your aperture is at f/8.

Camera LCD set at f/8 at 1/250 of a second with an ISO of 200

Now close down the aperture one stop (-1) by turning the dial to f/11.  Congratulations!  You just stopped 1/2 of the amount of light from entering your camera.

 Camera LCD set at f/11 at 1/250 of a second with an ISO of 200

OK, go back to f/8 please.

Camera LCD set at f/8 at 1/250 of a second with an ISO of 200

Now open up your aperture one stop (+1) by turning the dial to f/5.6.  Congrats again!  You have now let in twice the amount of light into your camera then f/8 and four times the amount of light than f/11…. and eight times the amount of light than f/16!

Camera LCD set at f/5.6 at 1/250 of a second with an ISO of 200

Each number listed above is one stop of light.  It either halves of doubles your light each time you turn it a full stop.
Now, let’s quickly talk about those other numbers in between.  More than likely you will have two numbers in between each stop.  They may go something like:F/8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16
Sometimes half or double the amount of light is too big of an adjustment.  In these cases, you can turn the dial to one of the numbers in between to move 1/3 of a stop.  For example:  If you were at f/8 and closed down to f/10, you would be letting in 2/3 OF A STOP less light.  Not a full stop, but 2/3s of the way there.   Same goes for opening up your exposure too, but I think  you are getting the idea now.  If not let me know!  (Oh, BTW, you will not be tested on 1/3 stops, but you will be tested on FULL STOPS – like those listed at the top.)
OK, so that is the idea of a stop.  A unit of measure that either halves or doubles the amount of light you will let into your camera when you trip the shutter.  Pretty simple.You should also know this too….

f/5.6 aperture hole
Twice as much light as f/8
f/8 aperture hole
Half as much light as f5.6Twice as much light as f/11
f/11 aperture hole
Half as much light as f/8
The shutter speed works in full stops too.  Wake up your camera again and start turning dials until you find number that look like these (with other numbers between them).

1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, 60, 125, 250, 500, 1000, 2000

(Depending on your camera, you may or may not have a “1/” above the bottom numbers. For example, it may say 1/2, 1/4, 1/8…)
Did you find them?  Good, this dial controls how long your shutter will be open.  It’s pretty simple – 1 second, 1/2 a second, 1/4 of a second…  Notice how I am halving the amount of time here?  That is because your shutter is based off the 1 stop idea too, which is brilliant.  Photographers are not known for their long division skills, so keeping the math easy is greatly appreciated.
Pie charts showing a second, half second, quarter second, eigth second
The extra numbers are just 1/3 of a stop control like the aperture has.
Can you start to see how these two can play with each other for exposures?  If you take away one stop with the aperture, you can increase your time one stop with the shutter’s speed.
The last thing in your camera that works off the 1 stop rule is the ISO of your camera.  It goes like this:

100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200

The ISO determines how sensitive your sensor is going to be with the light you have.  800 is very sensitive and can shoot in dark areas more easily than 100.  800 also has a greater chance of noise though… but we will get into all that later.  I just wanted to let you know it was there.
One last-last thing.
Set your camera to ISO 200 at f/16 at 1/250.  If you are shooting with your subject in bright sunny light, this is a good exposure to start with.  Using your aperture only, what would this corrected exposure be?  Remember, you are opening the hole in your camera one stop………………………………………………….Camera LCD set at f/16 at 1/250 of a second with an ISO of 200
Did you get ISO 200 @ f/11 at 1/250?  If so, then you got it right. If you did not get this, go back and look how this happened.

Camera LCD showing f/11 at 1/250 with 100 ISO

When you bracket, your exposures could look like this in SB on a bright sunny day:
(Remember, Santa Barbara usually has a marine layer that is blocking 1 stop of light that reaches us.)

Camera LCD set at f/8 at 1/250 of a second with an ISO of 200

ISO 200 @ f/8 at 1/250 = 1 stop over (+1)
One stop too bright

Camera LCD showing f/11 at 1/250 with 100 ISO

ISO 200 @ f/11 at 1/250 = normal
Correct Exposure

Camera LCD set at f/16 at 1/250 of a second with an ISO of 200
ISO 200 @ f/16 at 1/250 = 1 stop under (-1)
One stop too dark
You could use the shutter to make the bracket it too – like when you are shooting images for HDR processing (you’ll have to look it up, we are not covering it in class.)
In this case, your exposure would look like what?

ISO 200 @ f/11 at 1/___ – 1 stop over (+1)

ISO 200 @ f/11 at 1/250 – normal

ISO 200 @ f/11 at 1/___ – 1 stop under (-1)
If you are more of a visual person, check out below.


Camera LCD showing f/11 at 1/250 with 100 ISO


Apertures? Shutter Speeds? What are those?

Apertures? Shutter Speeds? What are those?

Sometimes when you look at your new camera, do you feel that it looks like this?

Makebelieve camera back

Just too many buttons and not enough directions? If so, take a breath; help is on the way.

A student once asked a question about what a five F-stop range was for the aperture and shutter on her camera. Being new to photography, how would she know if her camera would work for the class. This is such a great question, I knew others would want to know too, so here you go.

Starting with the basics and building up, you should know that your camera is more than just a light tight box.  It has a hole in the lens that varies in size where the light goes in. This hole is called an aperture and you have the ability to control just how wide open it will be when the photo is taken.

It may be obvious to say that the larger the hole the more light can enter your camera, so consider that said. What may not be obvious is how you control the size of the hole. This may take some looking around your camera to figure out, so go on and get your camera out. I’ll wait.

Got it? Great, let’s get started…

To control the size of the aperture in your lens you will first need to turn the dial on the top left of your camera to (M) for Manual mode so that it lines up with active mode line or dot. Doing this will allow YOU to completely control the exposure taken.

Next you will need to turn another dial to control the actual size of the hole when the shot is being taken. This may take a little looking around to do but here are a few ideas on how to find it…

Canon eposure mode dial
Start by turning on your camera and pushing your shutter release button (the button you push to take your photo) down half way. A screen on the top similar to the ones below with become active on electric cameras.

Nikon top panel
Canon top panel

See the 5.6 in each of the readout screens? That number is telling you that the aperture will set to f/5.6. While the one on the right does not have an “f” in front of it, rest assured they are both the same reading.

(If you are not using an electronic camera, go straight to Aperture Location Idea 1 below as your aperture control is on the lens.)

Now, your camera may have your aperture set to another number, so here are a few to look out for when you are rotating your dials to determine where your aperture control is. There may be numbers in between these, but keep an eye out for these numbers.

f/1, f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22, f/32, f/45, f/64

Now you just need to locate that second dial. Here are four helpful hints on where to look depending on the make and model of camera you have:

Aperture Location Idea 1:

Your aperture control may be right on your lens – especially if it is an older film camera. There will be a ring that will rotate around the lens like the focus does, but it will do it in clicks.

(Those numbers look familiar, huh?)

aperture numbers on lens
Aperture Location Idea 2:

The aperture dial may be a finger control found at the front right of your camera when the lens is facing away from you. If you have this, roll it around to see if the correct numbers change.

Nikon front dial

Aperture Location Idea 3:

It may be a thumb control on the back of your camera as seen here:

Note: If you have this dial, be sure you have the dial turned on by flipping the switch to the lower left of it.

Canon rear dial
Aperture Location Idea 4:

This last one is a bit more tricky. you may have to hold down this Av aperture button on the back of your camera with your thumb while you turn this front dial on your camera with your index finger.

Remember, you are looking for numbers like5.6, 8, 11, 16 to flash in your readout screen.

If none of these ideas work, then look up your camera’s owner’s manual and see what it has to say on the subject.

Canon Rebel aperture buttonCanon Rebel front dial


OK, I am going to assume that you know how to control the aperture setting on your camera now. Good job!

To make sure you have a camera that will work for this class, please be sure you have at least 5 of the numbers shown in the scale below. If you do not, email me and let me know which ones you do have.

f/1, f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22, f/32, f/45, f/64

We will go into how to select which aperture to use later, but for those that are too curious to wait, here is a quick idea of what the numbers mean.

Each number listed above is called a stop. A stop is a measurement of light that enters your camera.

Every time you change from one stop to another, you are either doubling the amount of light or you are halving the amount of light.

The display to the right here helps to show you what each number relates to and how they relate to each other. Again, we will go over this in greater detail later. Right now, we just need to know that your camera is going to work for the class.

Twice as much light as f/5.6
Half as much light as f4

Twice as much light as f/8

Half as much light as f5.6

Twice as much light as f/11

Half as much light as f/8

Twice as much light as f/16

Half as much light as /11

Whew, that was a bit of information to go through, but you are well on your way to figuring out how to control your camera. The next (and last) thing to look for is yourshutter speed control. As you can guess, it is another dial. 🙂

Start by holding down your trigger switch half way to make your readout screen light up again.

In the case of the screens on the right, the shutter speed is set to 20 and 125 respectively.

Nikon top panel

Canon top panel

Now just start turning dials again until you see the following numbers:

Shutter Speed:
1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, 60, 125, 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000

Much like the aperture, you may see other numbers, but we are looking for the full stop shutter speed numbers listed above. Once you have found them, just confirm you have at least five to work with in class. If you do not have five of the numbers above, email me and let me know the numbers you do have.


*Bonus Movie*

Seeing the shutter in action is a bit mysterious in digital cameras, but you can watch this video by Paul Robinson to see one in action in a film camera. Notice how the longer time setting will allow more light to enter in your camera and less time will let less light in.


I tried shooting manually, but my images were all black.

Hello,You mentioned on my post to be using the manual mode on my camera. I tried using it for several hours on my Canon EOS 60D, and it would not take pictures. When it did, the images were all black and I tried working with it but the problem persisted. Could you please help me resolve this issue?
Thanks for emailing me.  I would love to help you.
If you images are black, this means you are not getting enough light to your sensor.  To get more light you need to do one of three things.
  1. Open up the aperture hole in your camera lens so that it is wider.  You would move it from f/16 towards f/11 or more for f/8.
  2. Slow down your shutter speed. This means you would move from 1/125 of a second to 1/60 or even slower at 1/30.
  3. Increase your ISO setting so that it is higher.  This means you would go from 100 to 200 or even more at 400.
So now that you know you what your three options are, let’s put this information into practice.
Go get your camera and turn it on.
Next rotate the dial on the top so that it is set in the “M” mode for manual control.
Go outside during the day where it is bright or find a bright room.
Hold your shutter release 1/2 way down and look through the viewfinder.
There will be a meter that will light up at the bottom of your viewfinder.  It will look similar this one below that is telling us that it is one stop under exposed.  (See how the black line is below the number one on the negative side of the line?)
meter-1-under (1)
If you were outside, photographing something in the bright sun, you can get your meter to look like the one below by setting your exposure to ISO 100  f/16 @ 1/125 of a second.
This is called a normal exposure when the line is below the triangle.  Depending on how bright the sun is during the time of day, if there is haze or are clouds, you may have to move you aperture, shutter speed, or ISO setting to make the normally exposed image, which is fine.  You are in control, so feel free to play with it.
Once the line is in the center, click your aperture or shutter three times one direction to see how the line moves.  If it goes to left and is under the -1, then you are one stop under exposed.  Snap off a frame here.
meter-1-under (1)
Lastly move your dial six clicks in the opposite direction to let in more light and you will have your one stop overexposed shot too for the bracketing assignment.
Play around with it and let me know how this goes for you.
Just a quick test, how many stops over or underexposed is the image below?
Hope this helps,

I have a question about the Chair assignment and manual mode on my camera.


I have a question about the chair-assignment. I was trying to do it yesterday and tried to follow the instructions and use the right ISO, shutter speed and aperture. So I was able to do it. But when I changed the exposure, it automatically also changed the shutter speed to smaller number. I wasn’t able to keep the right settings. I’m wondering what I’m doing wrong.

And also another question. We need two sets of photos. The first one is just a portrait of the chair. But is that correct, that you want the other one be more creative and maybe just part of the chair. And does it have to be in a totally different setting?
Thank you.
You ask great questions, keep them coming to me.
For your challenge with your camera acting up, my guess is that your camera is set to aperture or shutter speed priority.  The dial on the top on the top should be set to “M” for full manual control.
 If you have it set to any other setting, you will not be in full control.
For your second question:  Yes, you need two sets of photos.   The first will be like a portrait of a chair.  I like to think of it as a photo you would see of the chair in a catalog.  It is going to be objective.
The second set will be your subjective group.  These will be where the image is not about the chair directly, but rather there is more of a narrative or emotional impact from the image using the chair.
You do not have to stay in the same spot for both images.  You can chose scenes that best flatter your chair for each set of images.
Hope this helps.  Let me know if you have more questions.

Why have I only earned 50 points for the forum when I have turned in all my work?

I was wondering, why did I only get 50% of the Memorable Image-assignment, even though I posted my own image and commented on two other classmates photos?
Great question, thanks for asking.
Grading for the forum boards is not done automatically through the computer. All grades are hand posted to each forum post.  As posts are not due until Sunday night, and I weekends off, most forum posts will not be updated until Tuesday afternoon when I am done teaching my morning class.  I will try to have the grades on by Monday, but as Mondays are pretty busy for me with all my jobs, I don’t want to promise anything.
To add to this, the 50 points earned are most likely your first post.  I do grade the blog during the week.  Each additional post that is posted on time will earn 25 more points for a total of 100 points.
Just as a reminder, as with all assignments, if you post late, the percentage loss will be 40%.  This means your first post of 50 points will drop to 30 points and each additional reply post will drop to 15 points.  I recommend posting early when you can.
Hope this helps,