Wednesday, March 5, 2014

How to use Manual mode-1


Food Photography tutorials email me - turmeric53@gmail.com

1- How to capture Steam in food photography
2- How to capture white objects on white.
3- Composition theory for food photography
4- How to shoot moody and intense images
5- Painting props for food photography
6- Personalized tutorials.
 
 
365 days of photography 

Thanks for the queries, it gives me a great push to keep doing these post. Please keep them coming. Email : turmeric53@gmail.com, or message me on Facebook 

Some of the queries I received:

How to capture smoke?
Go over the basics of photography Jargon/ basics of photography 
What is RAW files?
A little about artificial lighting? ( am afraid, I have yet to explore this….so as and when I learn)

I am no expert, but I learnt my basics with the help of  blogs and books online, Every bit of material played a role, reading the same things with different explanations/interpretation,  really helped cement the concept. So much material is available on blogs/internet about the basics of photography this is almost a redundant post. But then I thought,  my blog is about my experiences and if some of my friends have asked me to, maybe I should. So here I go….

Photography is all about the play of light, yes composition, color, harmony and framing plays a major role but if you have learnt to read light, you have realized the magic of photography. 

Even before we embrace on the basic of aperture, shutter and ISO..you need to understand light. It does not matter if it’s natural to artificial, you need to understand what kind of light you are dealing with, some basic questions….

It is harsh or diffused light?

What color is the light ? yes, sometimes light can be a golden hue - early hours or sunrise and late hours or sunset - called golden hour. 

Is it blue - some very cold snowy days it might have a mild blue cast.

What direction is the light coming from ? How do you want to use it, back lit, side lit, front lit - it will totally change the mood of the image. 

Where are the shadows? How intense are the shadows? How can you use the shadows to narrate your story. 

What time of the day are you shooting, light changes it’s character depending on the time and the season. 

Slowly, reading light becomes a second nature, sometimes I take a phone picture of the light - I write down the time of the day ( sunny or cloudy) So I now know that  on a sunny day at about 11 am I have a beautiful directional diffused light that falls on a chair in my basement, the other side of the chair is dramatically dark, so if I want to shoot a moody picture, that is a good spot. ( In fact, I have not had sun in a while and am waiting to use the light in that spot) So explore! Even if you use the pre-set ( program  mode) settings on your camera, a good light will help you paint your story.

But, if you want to take FULL control of all the possibilities and creative options you have with light, you need to understand these basic camera operations. Trust me if I can do it you can too. It’s  a journey, every day you learn and at least with me I feel every image needs work and could have been better. 

There are just 4 controls 

Aperture
ShutterSpeed 
ISO
White Balance

Aperture : is the size of opening of the lens. That determines the amount of light that gets into the sensor…in other words the opening is more, more  light. 

It is measured in f stops, am not going to go in depth about the formula of f-stop and how it is calculated, but let’s just say,  smaller the F- stop, the greater the amount of light that passes through the lens.  The number also depends on the focal length of your lens, so not all lens will go down to f/1.8 or go up to f/22. I am using those just to give you an idea. 

Here is an iPhone photo, don’t judge my sketching skills ;)


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With me so far? Simple? Aperture not only controls the light, but it also controls Depth of Field. 

What is Depth of Field?


DOF is the amount of your shot that will be in focus. 
Larger  DOF : More in focus 
Small/Shallow DOF : Less in focus 

How does aperture effect DOF?

Now let me show you images that will explain what am trying to say in words. See the blurred (shallow)background in F/1.8, how dreamy the blur looks…all you are doing is playing with light. 

F/1.8 : Full lens open : shallowDOF
F/18 : Lens very little open : larger DOF

That is DOF and aperture for you. Simple right?  Questions?  comments or emails. 
Let me know what you feel about this post, will do the other 3  fundamentals in my next post. 


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 Before I forget,  a BIG thanks to Meeta from What’s for lunch honey ? to feature my sorbet in her connect section! Thanks Meeta, am honored.  (a  fan of your work) :) 

Images from 365

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February 17, 2014 : 48/365 :  Another blizzard with brutal temperatures 
On the Snow image above I was working on White Balance and getting a good exposure so the whites are not blown, nor gray.

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February 18, 2014 : 49/365
The beads are a good example of shallow depth of field. 

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February 19, 2014 : 50/365 : my curry leaf plant 
Again both the curry leaves and the smoothie are examples of shallow depth of field, I wanted the second glass of smoothie to merge into the light …
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February 20, 2014 : 51/365: breakfast, homemade healthy spinach smoothie - recipe 

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February 21, 2014 : 52/365
In the cauliflower I played with the aperture, so as to capture the entire veggie and have the background blurred. 
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February 22, 2014 : 53/365 Pina colada sorbet - recipe 
In the sorbet I wanted a shallow DOF and pumped up the ISO to 800 to experiment with a grainy Portra 800 look,  It was a happy accident. 


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February 23, 2014 : 54/365
Just played with the light that was coming from the window, and loved the red reflection of the box on the harmonica. 
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February 24, 2014 : 55/365 Pina colada sorbet - recipe 
Again Shallow DOF and ISO 800 going for the Portra 800 look. 

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February 25, 2014 : 56/365: Every cloud has a silver lining, morning sun 
Simple 1-phone shot… 

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February 26, 2014 : 57/365: A bell from Sikkim, India 
Saw the golden reflection on my dishwasher, captured it giving a shallow DOF…so you see a touch of gold. 
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February 27, 2014 : 58/365


I am not that happy with this, trying out table top photography, I wanted the gold to glow…

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February 28, 2014 Cold snowy day is perfect for reading and a hot cup of tea
One of my favorites, I love to capture steam, back lit and a dark background, is always a winner with steam shots. 
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