How Do I Work with BDE?

Great Question:
I also have a question about the basic exposure formula. I don’t really understand how I would set the exposures. Does the ISO determine the shutter speed and aperture setting? I’m not really sure how it works.

 

Answer:

Before I start in on BDE, let’s back up a step and answer your ISO question.  ISO settings tell your camera how sensitive to make your sensor.  If you have your camera set to ISO 100, then it is less sensitive to light and is best used in daylight or brightly lit areas that mimic daylight brightness.  When you double your ISO number, you make it twice as sensitive.  So 200 ISO is twice as sensitive as 100 ISO.  Imagine you are in a room where there are two lights with the same wattage right next to each other and both are turned on.  If you create a properly exposed photograph at 100 ISO, you could also get a same properly exposed result by turning one of the lights off and correcting only  your ISO to 200.  Because you made your sensor twice as sensitive to light, when you cut the light in half the photo will look the same.  Cool, eh?
This doubling of sensitivity is called a “stop”.  Continuing on from 100 ISO to 200, I would say that “my sensor is one stop more sensitive.”  If I doubled ISO 200 to 400, this is also considered “one stop more light” into the the camera.  (Technically, the same amount of light is going into the camera, but we photographers are not alway so technical in the way we speak.)  😉  Now a quick quiz for you…. If you changed your ISO from 100 to 400, how many more stops would you have increased you light into the camera?  Did you say two?  If so, give yourself a pat on the back.  Every time you double the ISO (100, 200, 400, 800, 1600) you are doubling the light sensitivity of the camera.  So, ISO 100 to 1600 is a change of four stops more light.  Got it?  Cool.
Now for something to pay attention to.  When you change your ISO from 100 to 1600 you are moving four stops, but this does not mean that you have “increased your light” by 4 times the amount of light.  Remember, you are doubling the each stop.  This means that you are creating the simple equation of 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 16 times more light.  (Ooooo, that is a good quiz question, don’tcha’ think?)  😉
We have been talking about doubling the light each stop and I have a feeling that you are starting to get your head around it so I am going to reverse the scenario for you.  Imagine that your ISO is set to 400 and you want to bring it down to 200.  What happens then?  Naturally, you half the amount of light.  So ISO 400 to 200 makes the sensor 1/2 as sensitive.  The halving of the half also goes into play when you move more than one stop.  How much less sensitive is 1600 ISO to 100?   If it helps, think like  you are using measuring cups.  You start with a full cup, go down to a 1/2 cup, then down to a 1/4 cup, then down to an 1/8 cup, and finally down to a 1/16 cup.  So when you change your ISO from 1600 down to 100 your sensor is 1/16th less sensitive.  This is like taking 16 lights of the same wattage and then turning them off until you are using one light.  That is a big change.
Whew, that was a lot of take in.  If you need to look up and take a breath before we move on, please do.  🙂  We are about to dive into BDE.
Ready?  OK, go get your camera if you want.  Sometimes it’s easier to understand what is going on if you dial in the changes.  If it gets to be too much, then just let it be a supporting friend next to you.  😉
BDE (basic daylight exposure) is pretty easy, but let’s start from the beginning.  In the real-world, BDE is known as the Sunny/16 rule.  Technically, BDE = ISO @ f/16 on a bright sunny day.  (This is another good quiz question.)  So on a full-sun day with no clouds nor haze blocking the sun’s light, your exposure when your camera is set to ISO 100 will be 1/100th of a second at f/16.  As we are working in full stops this term, we adjust the shutter speed to be 1/125th of a second.  (The tiny quickening of the exposure will not affect your exposure much.)  Essentially, on a bright sunny day, you will:
  1. Set your aperture to f/16
  2. Set your ISO to a number that feels good for you – usually 100 or 200 is better for full sun
  3. Then you will correct your shutter speed to match your ISO

Easy, right?

Now I know what you are thinking, “Yeah, that’s easy, but what do I do on a heavy overcast day?”  Another great question, thanks for asking.
On a cloudy day we have less light making it to the earth.  The clouds are blocking, absorbing, and reflecting some of the sun’s light and we just does not reach us.  This means we are going to have to adjust our exposure so that we are allowing for this lack of light.  We can make this adjustment one of three ways:
  1. Increasing the ISO – 100 to 800
  2. Opening up our aperture – f/16 to f/5.6
  3. Slowing down our shutter – 1/125 to 1/15 of a second

NOTE: You only need to change one of the tree options, not all three at the same time.  Making all three changes will give you a completely overexposed photo.  You don’t have to trust me, try it out outside.

Back to the lesson: I am betting you noticed that I have let in three stops more light with my exposure for each of these options.  How do I know to ‘open up’ the exposure by three stops?  I checked my handydandy BDE cheatsheet found here –  http://wfs.sbcc.edu/Departments/GDP/photo109/htm/befcheat.htm – and in our Resouces section of Week 2.  For heavy overcast days, it tells me  BEF + 3 Stops.  The “+ 3” is telling me to add 3 stops more light to my exposure from the BDE.  It is a good idea to have this cheatsheet with you when you photograph so feel free to print it out and stick it in your camera bag or photograph it with your phone and then mark it as a favorite so you can access it easily.
Please keep in mind that you do not have to change only one option above to get the correct exposure.  You can pick and choose what you want to change, but you only need to brighten your exposure by three stops.  You can increase your ISO by one stop and slow your shutter by two stops.  You can also adjust all three by one stop more light.  Let’s take a closer look at this.  First I am going to set up a full stop range of ISO, apertures, and shutter speeds so that you can refer to them as needed as I make exposure adjustments.
                 ISO: 100  200  400  800  1600  3200
         Aperture:  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
Shutter Speed:  1′   1/2    1/4   1/8   1/15   1/30  1/60  1/125  1/250  1/500  1/1000  1/2000  1/4000
Here all some examples of equivalent exposures:
ISO 100 f/16 @ 1/125  – This is BDE for a bright sunny day before the adjustments for heavy overcast
ISO 800 f/16 @ 1/125 – Increasing only the ISO by three stops
​ISO​ 100 f/5.6 @ 1/125 – Opening up only the aperture by three stops
ISO 100 f/16 @ 1/15 – Slowing down the shutter by three stops
ISO 200  f/8 @ 1/125 – Increasing the ISO by one stop and opening up the aperture by two stops
ISO 400 f/16 @ 1/60 – Increasing the ISO by two stops and slowing down the shutter by one stop
ISO 100 f/11 @ 1/30 – Opening up the aperture by one stop and slowing down the shutter by two stops
ISO 200 f/11 @ 1/60 – Increasing the ISO by one stop, opening the aperture by one stop, and slowing down the shutter by one stop

​We can keep going with the potential equivalents, but I can see your eyes are starting to glaze over from here.  🙂

OK, that was a lot of information.  If you need to go through it a couple times, please do.  Once you have this down, you understand the backbone of creating properly exposed photographs.  As photography is based on the speed of light, this will never change.  🙂
If you have any questions on any of this material, please let me know what they are.
Take care,
Say

What Are the Basics When Buying/Renting a Camera?

Great Question:
I am working on preparing everything for the class now. I called Sammy’s and they were very helpful. I will go there tomorrow to check out cameras. Thank you so much for that. One last question about the camera. Is there any additional gear that is mandatory to rent with a camera? Or, if I wanted to purchase one, are there any special lenses I need to be aware of getting as well, or is everything usually included?

Answer:

Yes, the guys/gals at Samy’s are great!  Be sure to let them know you are an SBCC student everytime you shop there for discounts.
With the camera rental/purchase you will need:
  • Camera
  • Lens – No special lens needed.  A basic zoom will work or if you are on a budget pick up a cheaper 50MM lens
  • Memory Card
  • Battery – If you can get two, that would be better
  • Battery Charger
  • Cable to connect the camera to your computer or a Memory Card Reader
  • Camera Strap – then be sure to use it  😉
  • Camera Bags are handy
  • Camera Manual – can usually be found online
  • Proper lens cleaning cloth is also good.  Don’t use your t-shirt if you use fabric softener.  The oils in the softener will eat up the lens coating that you paid for when renting/buying a lens
​I would imagine that the good people of Samy’s would have you set, but it’s good to double check.  We all have our off-days.
Thanks for asking,
Say​

Resizing in Lightroom and Photoshop

Great Question:
How do I go about trying to save my photo to make sure it meets the assignment requirements?   I used Lightroom CC but was unsuccessful and proceeded to try Photoshop and it worked on there to just save it in the format required for the assignment. If I need to clarify please let me know! Thank you for your time!

 

Answer:

Quick Steps on Exporting Images in Lightroom:

  1. After you have imported and processed your photo(s), go the the Library module at the top right-ish corner of Lightroom
  2. Choose the photo(s) you want to export in the film strip at the bottom.  You may hold down the Command/Control key to select more than one photo
  3. Click the Export button at the lower left corner of Lightroom
  4. In the new window, work your way down
    1. Decide on your export location and if you want it in a sub folder
    2. Custom name the photo(s) to the assignment’s requirements
    3. Correct File Settings to:
      1. JPG
      2. AdobeRGB (1998)
      3. Quality is 80 or higher – the higher the number the better the quality but also larger files
    4. Resize to fit the Long Edge to 1920 pixels at 72 PPI
    5. Do not output sharpen
    6. Include All Metadata – but remove Person Info and Location Info if personal
    7. Do not watermark your photos for this class
  5. Click the Export button

Here is a sample of how the window should look.

Lr_Export

Quick Steps on Exporting Images in Photoshop:

After you have opened and processed your photos, you will want to resize them for submission.  When you resize in Photoshop, you are changing the actual size of the original image if you save it under the same name.  As we are sizing down, this means that your 1920 long images would not be good to print any bigger than a couple of inches in finished size.  To save your large files size, follow these steps.

  1. Process your large photo so that it looks like you want it to
  2. Save your large photo
  3. Go to File Save As and save your large photo again with the assignment requirement name
  4. Resize your photo by going to Image > Image Size in the top menu
  5. Change the Resolution to 72 PPI first
  6. Correct the longest side to 1920 pixels
    Ps_Resize
  7. Click the OK button
  8. Go to File Save As and save your now smaller photo as a JPG from the drop-down menu

Now all you will need to do is log into Canvas, go to the assignment, and click on the Submit button at the top right of the assignment to upload it.  Please remember to include your exposure notes in the Comments area of the upload.

 

How Do I Resize Photos in Apple’s Photo App?

Great Question:
The only app I have on my computer is the “Photos”.  I don’t have any apps that will allow me to size and save images. Would that app work or are there other apps you would recommend?

 

Answer:

Hi,
You should be able to file size in Photos.  Here are the steps you can follow:
  1. Highlight the photo(s) you want to export
  2. Go to File > Export > Export [#} Photos
  3. In the new window, click the downward facing carrot to the far right of Photo Kind
  4. Then in the expanded window, fill out your selections as below (You won’t be able to choose 72 PPI, but that will be OK.)Apple's Photos File Sizing Window
  5. ​Click the Export button
Let me know if this does not make sense.
Otherwise, you can download, install, and use GIMP (Links to an external site.) for free.
Hope this helps,
Say

BEF Exposure Adjustments

Question:
I have a question about the BEF Cheat Sheet you have provided for us in this week’s Module section. When the example exposure says “BEF + 3 stops” does that mean we should increase/decrease the stops for BOTH the shutter speed and f-stop, or just one of the two?

Answer:
Great question, thanks for asking.

When BEF tells you something needs to be adjusted with a + (plus), this means add more light. You can do this by opening your aperture (f/11 to f/8 to f/5.6 is getting brighter one stop at a time.) You can also add light to your exposure by slowing down your shutter speed (1/500 to /1250 to 1/125th of a second is getting slower one stop at a time.) OR you could open your aperture and slow down your shutter. When you do this, you have to be sure to count the TOTAL stops for both. \

So… f/22 to f/16 increases your exposure (brightens the image) by one stop. If you also went from 1/1000 of a second to 1/500th of a second, this too would brighten your shot by 1 stop. The TOTAL you exposure/image would be brighter would be two stops.

Lightroom Export and Exposure Data

Question:

Hello I was emailing you to discuss our first assignment. I had a little trouble with it and would like some help if possible. After taking my photo I uploaded it to Lightroom and then exported it. When I exported it I went to change the dimensions of the photo. The 72 PPI was easy to set but the 1920 pixels was a little tricky. I saved it with the length and width each set at 1920 pixels yet it said something completely different when looking at it through my saved folder. I then went and clicked on long edge and entered 1920 pixels at 72 PPI and exported it and that is what I turned in but I guess it did not save that way. How would I do it? I have to admit I totally spaced on adding in the exposure information on the photo. But where would I find the aperture, shutter speed and ISO setting for the image? Just so I know where to find it for next time. Thank you -Rachael Waters

Answer:

Hello:
As you have submitted your work in on time, you have the option of making corrections and resubmitting. I don’t want to punish anyone for learning. I would rather that you know how to get it right. 🙂

Sometimes it is easier to show what needs to be done than tell.  Here are a few visuals to help with how to accomplish what you want.

Saving an image in Lightroom
exporting images in Lightroom steps

Using the Library Module to find the exposure information
lr-exposure-data-library-module.png

 

Using the Library Module to find the exposure information
lr-exposure-data-develop-module.png

Hope this is helpful,
Say

Question:

I had a question about the 1st assignment. You have provided us with a table to set our cameras for the correct exposure in direct sunlight.

Exposure settings for direct sunlight
ISO Shutter Speed Aperture Setting
100 1/125 f16
200 1/250 f16

Does this mean that when we take a picture in TV, AV, or P mode, we have to alter the aperture, IOS, and shutter speeds, or do we just take the picture and record those values that the camera automatically sets for us?

And if we do not simply record the values (for aperture, shutter speed, and IOS the camera automatically sets for us in the automatic modes)…and I wanted to take pictures around 4-7 in the afternoon, would I have to calculate the correct aperture, IOS, and shutter speed to use and alter them on my camera? I read that in dark or shady circumstances, you would need to increase the values by 4-5 stops. Would I have to do that f I am shooting in mid-afternoon/ shady locations?

 

Answer:

Great questions.  Thanks for asking.

The exposure settings are meant to have your camera on Manual (M) mode.  This means you control the light coming into your camera with your shutter speed (how long the exposure is) and aperture settings (how big the hole is inside the lens during the exposure.)

When you shoot in Tv mode, you are controlling how long the shutter is open.  The camera will set everything else based on how much light is available

When you shoot in Av mode, you choose how wide  you want your aperture to be and the camera will set everything else.

P mode is program mode.  With Program mode, you can change the ISO and it will stay at that setting.  It will then adjust the aperture and shutter speed for you.  If you want to change one of these two two, you can and it will work to recalculate the exposure with the other.  For example: if you are using Program mode while taking pictures at an indoor birthday party you can set a high ISO so you don’t need to use the flash, and your camera will choose a combination of aperture and shutter speed to get a properly-exposed photo. You can then rotate the command dial (on some cameras it might be pressing a button) to change these values if you decide you want a wider aperture or slower shutter. Essentially your camera says “Here’s what I think will be good,” and then you take over and say “Thanks bro, I’ll take it from here” as you shift the values of your shutter and aperture using the dial on your camera.

Now, for the first assignment,  the selfie one,  you are welcome to shoot in any of the camera modes listed above.  If you want full control of your exposure though, the camera will need to be in Manual mode.  If you are shooting late afternoon or in the shade, you will need to either slow down your shutter and/or open your aperture and/or increase the ISO to compensate for the lack of lght.  Choose one and play around with it.  (I encourage experimentation.)  Then choose another an experiment with it too.  🙂

Hope this helps,

Say