Great BEF Question

Great BEF Question

Great Question:
In your announcement at the beginning of the week you mentioned to reach out to you if we were having trouble understanding BEF.  I have tried going over it so many times in my head but I just can’t seem to understand.  Could you help me please?

 

Answer:
Let’s get you squared away now. 🙂 I am happy to help. Go get your camera so that you can dial in the settings as you read if you like. Take each part in stages. Understand each stage before moving on. Email me for questions.

We are going to start by going over a few things that you probably know but will assure we are on the same page.

As you know, your camera allows you to control how much light is going into it by controlling the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. The ISO determines how sensitive your camera is to light. The lower the ISO the brighter your light should be. This means ISO 100 is good for bright light like full sun. When you are shooting inside, you will want to bump up your ISO to something like 400 or 800. Every time you double the ISO (100 to 200 for example) you double the sensitivity of your sensor. You can think of it like having one light on and then turning on a second light of the same wattage on in your home. This is double the light. If you were to go from 200 to 400 ISO, this would be like having two lights on and then turning two more lights of the same wattage on to have a total of four lights. (Yup, it’s that easy.)

How long your shutter stays open is based on your shutter speed. So if you go from 1/2 a second to 1 second, you have left the shutter open twice as long on one second from 1/2 of a second. By going from 1/2 a second to 1 second, your photo will be brighter by one stop. (This is the same as going from ISO 100 to 200. The photo will be brighter by one stop.)

Our last tool is the aperture – a variable sized hole inside your lens. It works in stops values too by being able to brighten (or darken) your exposure. For example, if you are at f/11 and you open your shutter to f/8 you have brightened your exposure by one stop. Again, this is like going from ISO 100 to 200. When you go from f/11 to f/8, your photo will be one stop brighter.

You may have noticed with the aperture that the larger the number is the smaller the hole is in the lens. This is due to the aperture being a fraction. Think of a delicious pie/cake. If sugar and calories were not an issue, would you rather have 1/8th or 1/11th of a slice? Most people would want more pie and choose the 1/8th (larger) slice.

Naturally, the converse of this is true. If you go from ISO 200 to 100, or shutter speed from 1 second to 1/2 a second, or f/8 to f/11 your photo will be one stop darker because half the amount to light is getting to your sensor. Of course as you go up and down each control’s values, you will be jumping by one stop.

NOTE: Your camera is most likely set up allow you to control your exposure by a 1/3 of a stop. This means you will have to click each dial three times to make a full stop. This is why you want to learn the FULL STOP range for each control.  Below is an image of the full stop range for each with examples of how each setting might affect your photo. A larger aperture hole will give you less in focus. A slower shutter speed will allow blur to show in your camera. Higher ISO settings can create visual noise. Your camera and lens may not have ALL of these settings shown but that’s OK. It’ll have enough for you to work with.

controls-full-stop-range

Whew, with all that knowledge as our base, let’s move on to your question – how do you make all three of these controls work for together to create a properly exposed photo? This is where BEF can come in to help.

The basic exposure formula (BEF) is more commonly known as the Sunny 16 Rule. This means that on a bright, sunny day with sunlight hitting your subject your exposure will be f/16 @ 1/ISO. To dial this into your camera, let’s have your ISO set to 100. This means your shutter speed would be set to 1/100 of a second too. As we are working in full stop scales, we can see that the closest shutter speed setting in the attached image to 100 is 1/125 of a second. That’ll work just fine. So…

Bright sunny day with ISO set to would 100 = f/16 @ 1/125 of a second.

Does this make sense? If no, email me. (wadempsay@sbcc.edu)

Now, let’s change the ISO to 200. What would your shutter speed change to?  Again, here is the full stop settings to help or use your camera to figure it out.

controls-full-stop-range
….

Don’t read down for the answer. Work to figure it out yourself. 😉
….
….

Did you come up with a shutter speed of 1/250th of a second? If so, then you have figured out the correct exposure for a sunny day. (Yay!)

Of course, life does not give us only bright sunny days. Sometimes haze, clouds, and night rolls in or we could be photographing inside. This is where the BEF Cheat Sheet comes into help – http://wfs.sbcc.edu/Departments/GDP/photo109/htm/befcheat.htm

If you have a look at it, you will see that haze in the air will reflect back one stop of light. This means we need to add one stop of light (make it brighter) to our exposure Sunny 16 Rule exposure to compensate. You can do this with the ISO, or the shutter speed, or aperture. Choose one. For example:
We start out on a sunny day with an exposure of f/16 @ 1/ISO. This means that if our ISO is set to 200 our exposure will be f/16 @ 1/250. Then we notice haze is rolling in so we need a brighter photo by one stop. Let’s look at ways of correcting the exposure:

Sunny Day:
ISO 200 @ f/16 @ 1/250 of a second

Hazy Day:
ISO 200 @ f/11 @ 1/250 of a second – Opened aperture one stop
ISO 200 @ f/16 @ 1/125 of a second – Slowed down the shutter by one stop
ISO 400 @ f/16 @ 1/250 of a second – Increased the sensitivity of the sensor by 1 stop

You only need to make ONE of the corrections above to correct for the exposure. You choose which one by determining if you want less depth of field (less in focus) or potentially showing more motion blur or possibly showing more noise respectively.

Got it? If not, email me. (wadempsay@sbcc.edu)

We are going to move on to a brighter cloudy day. Looking at the cheat sheet, we see we need to open up (brighten) our exposure by two stops (+2). This means you can choose two of the above settings and dial then into your camera to get the correct exposure. For example a new exposure could look like:

Sunny F/16 Day:
ISO 200 @ f/16 @ 1/250 of a second

Bright, Overcast Day:
ISO 200 @ f/11 @ 1/125 = opened the aperture one stop and slowed the shutter one stop
ISO 400 @ f/11 @ 1/250 = make the sensor more sensitive by one stop and opened the aperture by one stop

I won’t bore you with all the combinations because I also want to go let you know that you can also make two stop changes to one of the controls. Here are the examples:

Sunny F/16 Day:
ISO 200 @ f/16 @ 1/250 of a second

Bright, Overcast Day:
ISO 200 @ f/8 @ 1/250 of a second – Opened aperture two stops from the Sunny 16 Rule
ISO 200 @ f/16 @ 1/60 of a second – Slowed down the shutter by two stops
ISO 800 @ f/16 @ 1/250 of a second – Increased the sensitivity of the sensor by two stops

OK, I have thrown a lot at you. Let me know where you need more clarity.

Best,
Say

Great Student Gallery Question

Great Question:
I was wondering, on your Week 1 Midweek: Just Checking In post, you said, “I also see many of you have your Student Gallery image in.  Well done!  This will be the only assignment that can be shot with a smartphone or in auto mode on your camera.  After this, we are going full manual!  Yay!

Does this mean that Student Gallery Image | Due Week 1 can be with our iphone? and we can upload that picture?

 

Answer:
Thanks for your question.

Yes, this is what this means.  You may use your phone for the Student Gallery assignment.   We know there are a few of you still getting your camera in hand so we built this assignment so that you can use a automatic camera.  What this assignment is working on is being able to resize your photos correctly, adding exposure data, encouraging you to be creative in your images, and giving you an opportunity to learn how to correctly submit photos in Canvas.
Take care,
Say

Multiple Submissions on Extra Credit Assignments

Great Question on Multiple Submissions on Extra Credit Assignments

 

Great Question:
Hi Say,
I was wondering if for the 2 extra credit assignments, if we upload at different times (with clicking “re-submit”), are you still able to see our previous submissions? Just wanted to make sure you are getting all of them.
Thank you !

 

Answer:

Thank you for your email.

Upload as many times as you like. I can see them all through a drop down menu for each upload date and time.

Take care,
Say

Which Photo Essay Should I Use?

Great Question:
I have two groups of images I can use for the photo essay, one with a stronger story, the other with stronger images.

What would you recommend I use for this assignment?
Answer:

Oughf, that is a challenging question and I want to congratulate you on creating enough work to have this challenge.  Both have merit and I can see why are you considering both.  Unfortunately, I can’t pick for you.  Editing (which is choosing which photos to show) is an important skill all photographers need to acquire or learn.  To paraphrase Jay Maisel (a reputable street photographer), “No one will know how great of a photographer you really are if you show them everything.  You must choose your best and show only that work.”
In the process of making your choice, this may/may not help.  All assignments after the Rules assignment will be graded on composition.  The new element with the photo essay is learning to tell a visual story.  Consider if the order in which your photos are presented will highlight the best of both works, then go with the one your gut tells you to use.
Also keep in mind, that all work submitted on time can be reworked and then submitted again for regrading.  Your grade will never go down by this process.  It can only go up.
Hope this helps,
Say

When I use Center of Interest Well, It Sounds Like I am Using Rule of Thirds. Is This True?

Great Question:
Hi Say,

I have read about both center of interest and rule of thirds and am a little confused between the two. I know for rule of thirds it is best to place the subject in one of the four intersections on the grid. However, center of interest also says that usually the subject is not placed right in the center, which kind of makes it rule of thirds, right? Are these two pretty much the same? If you could further explain to me the differences or similarity between the two that would be great!

Thanks

 

Answer:
Thanks for your question.

Center of interest just means having a strong subject or something of interest. Often, photos that have better eye movement throughout the photo when the subject is off center – like the rule of thirds. When you center something in the photo, it becomes more like a target and less like a subject in its environment. This means your viewer looks at only part of the photograph, not all of it. The idea of using composition well is to create eye movement from your viewer throughout your photo, not just the center of the photo.

We use ‘centering’ well when we want the subject to have a sense of isolation or the photo is of a product shot with a clean background…. or mugshots. In mugshots, the idea is to be able to identify a person and nothing else is important. When we photograph people in the center of the framing (school portraits is another example) it’s best to work to keep the eyes in the rule of thirds. Otherwise, try photographing your model off center (like the rule of thirds) and see how much more interesting your photos are to look at.

Keep in mind, composing a photo is all about experimentation. Sometimes when I photograph something I will bracket the composition. This means I will take the photo horizontal, vertical, using thirds, breaking thirds, move around to get a different angle. Often, my first photo is not the strongest. It’s when I start playing with the composition that I find I can create a more compelling photo.

In a nutshell, using more the one rule at a time to create a photo often creates a stronger photo that is more pleasing to the eye.  If this means that your subject (center of interest) is in the rule of thirds, then that is great!

Hope this helps,
Say

For the Rules Assignment, Do We Use the Same Subject?

Great Question:
I have a question about the Rules/No Rules Assignment. Do you want us to use the same subject/background for the assignment? For example, if I took a picture of a book using the rule of thirds, do you want me to take a picture of the same book for the composition that breaks the rule? Or can it be a totally different image as long as it breaks the rule?

Thanks!

 

Answer:
Great question. Each photo should be different. You can photograph whatever you like for each rule. When I think of this assignment, I think of it like a scavenger hunt. I look for something cool/interesting that I want to photograph and then I work to figure out which rule to keep or break well to create the photo.

Happy hunting,
Say

What is the Difference Between and Incident and Reflective Light Meter?

Great Question:
In the test, there was a question that asked:
“T or F
An incident light meter is the type of meter built into most 35mm cameras today.”

Please explain why this is false.  Thank you!!

Answer:
Hello and thank you for your questions

There are two types of light meters – incident and reflective. Let’s talk about the reflective one first.

Reflective Meter:
A reflective light meter is the type that is in your camera. It reads the light that reflects off of surfaces you are metering. A reflective light meter can be fooled as to what the correct exposure will be due to some surfaces being more bright or dark. A reflect meter takes whatever you are photographing and converts all the tones to 18% gray. So if you are photographing a white wall, the meter does not know it is white. It will give you are reading to make the wall 18% gray. As you want the wall to be exposed like it is white, you will need to open up (brighten) your exposure by two stops.

Conversely, if you are photographing a scene that is mostly black or dark brown/red/blue/green/purple/orange, the meter is still going to give you are reading for 18% gray. Fortunately, you are smart and can use this consistent meter reading and make adjustments by closing down your exposure (letting in less light) by two stops so that your 18% gray tones will get darker.

The best way to really cover your bases with important photos that have challenging lighting conditions is to bracket your photos – one taken at what the meter gives you, one or two taken at a stop or two underexposed (less light), and one or two taken a stop or two over exposed (more light). (In some challenging light situations, I will bracket my shots and then combine them later so that I have the exposures I want for each area which I brush in later in Photoshop with layers – but that is a different lesson.)

Incident Meter:
The other type of light meter is an incident light meter. This type of meter is handheld. You place it in the area of light that is most important for you to get correct in your photograph. An incident meter will measure the amount of light that falls directly on it. This is the same amount of light that would fall on your model/scene. The incident light meter will give you an 18% reading also, but as it measures the actual light falling on its sensor,you do not have to worry about making adjustments for light/dark environments or subjects.

Here is a link to an article on both meters that goes into the details a little differently:

https://www.digitalphotomentor.com/the-difference-between-reflective-and-incident-metering-and-how-they-work/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Let me know if you have further questions you want clarification with.

Take care,
Say