Exposure Basics, lesson three?

Started Mar 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 55,685
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,

Being pragmatic is one thing, not thinking about what you do is another.

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.

Whether it is 'pedagogically easier' depends on what is the end point of your pedagogy. I have quite a lot of experience teaching computer programming. There have been many students that started their way in Basic, because it's pedagogically easier. Many of those students become so attached to the 'goto' statement, and the model of flow control that goes with it that they find it impossible to even grasp what structured or OO programming is about. They construct a whole mental model which blocks further advance. The same is true of exposure. Once you adopt a mental model that exposure management is about output image brightness, further progress becomes very difficult...

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,

...as we see here.

nor how they would start teaching a class of beginners ?

From the correct first principles. That way people don't adopt the progress blocking cognitive models. I've seen all these arguments also in respect to the teaching of programming. People who started in Basic or Fortran and have never made progress (but still regard themselves as experts) will often opine that it is impossible for beginners to adopt any other model, and therefor Basic is the only possible starting point.

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 explain what the two 'basic controls' actually do.

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