Exposure Basics, lesson three?

Started Mar 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
rrr_hhh Veteran Member • Posts: 6,023
Re: All at once or nothing at all?

bob2 wrote :

So, we have two camps. One whose methodology is based on controlling the exposure that happens at capture time to determine the output tonality of their images, the other whose methodology is based on controlling it to determine DOF, motion blur and image noise. Add to that that many of the first camp take great pride in their advanced skills in 'nailing' exposure to determine the output tonality and that there are few who would like to evangelise their skills and it's hardly surprising that they take offence if someone comes along and tells them that their fundamental understanding is flawed. But it is.

I don't think this is right :

There are two camps, one that it pragmatic, starting with the three controls effectively present on a camera (well if we exclude dumbed down P&S) and which logically begins with the mere act of shooting the picture. This approach is pedagogically easier because taking the shot comes first and postprocessing comes later. Once the basic triangle is learned, they can add refinements considering postprocessing and whether this could impact the way one deal with the three parameters of the triangle at the time of shooting. Many who shoot only jpegs won't need to go to the second step.

As for the second camp, I don't really understand what they want, nor how they would start teaching a class of beginners ?

And there we have the problem. What I said the second camp wants is quite simple. They want to control exposure to 'determine DOF, motion blur and image noise'. That seems straightforward, but you can't understand it - not because you are dim, but because you thought processes are blocked by the idea that you use exposure to adjust image brightness.

Let's just be down to earth and speak of the three basic controls allowing you to take the shot you want. No need to split hairs !

The question is, how you define 'the shot you want' - in the end, what are the shutter and aperture controls for.

That is my point : no need to define it, to each his one; there are three basic controls each has an impact on the shot and you explain those impacts. Then it is up to the student to find how he wants the shot to be; this is a pragmatical approach : the student has a camera with three important controls; he plays with them to see how they interact together; it is up to him to find a result to his liking for each situation or kind of shot. At a later stage you introduce postprocessing and show how postprocessing can improve things and what impact this could have on the way he is controlling his camera.

What I mean is that learning photography is an empirical process. You start experimenting with those three basic controls. You continue with postprocessing, which may lead you to revise the way you deal with those three controls while shooting. End of story, no need to split hairs, just practice.. And if you are able to get it right in camera, no need to be ashamed of it : you will just be able to practice your art more effectively, whether as a pro or as a hobbyist.

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