A couple of weeks ago at The Blog Societies Conference, Beth and I had the opportunity to teach some of our fellow bloggers a little bit about photography. It was so much fun to get the chance to get to know some new faces and (hopefully) help some of our fellow bloggers get a little more comfortable with a camera in their hands.
Since we’ve all gone home from sunny Charleston, we thought we should share a little bit about our workshop and the basic information that we shared, just in case anyone needs a refresher, lost their handout, or couldn’t attend all of the workshops that they wanted (there were SO many good ones this year). If you weren’t able to attend the conference this year, we still hope that you can get something out of our workshop. So, here goes…
Shutter speed is the amount of time it takes for the shutter to open and close. It’s measured in a fraction of a second, so keep in mind that the smaller the number on the bottom is, the larger the fraction is, so the shutter will be open longer to let light in. The larger the number on the bottom is, the smaller the fraction is, so the shutter will be opening and closing much faster and will let in less light. Indoor photos will need more light, so you want a larger fraction for your shutter speed. Outdoor photos will need less light, so you’ll need a smaller fraction.
Aperture / Depth-of-Field
Aperture is a measurement of the size of the hole that lets light into your lens and camera. The lower the number, the wider the hole. A wider space means more light can be let in. A larger number means the space is smaller and less light will be let in. Aperture is also known as the “depth of field,” or “f-stop” and controls amount of blur in the background of your photos. A wider aperture will give you more blur, and a narrower aperture will give you less blur with more of the photo in focus.
ISO measures the sensitivity of the sensor in your camera and how sensitive it is to light. The higher your ISO is, the brighter your picture will be. Always keep in mind that a higher ISO will add more grain to your photos.
Where to start
If you’re inside, a good place to start is with your shutter set to 1/100, your aperture at 2.5, and ISO at 400. Snap a photo and adjust from there.
If you’re outside, a good place to start is with your shutter set to 1/400, a low aperture, and ISO at 100.Base your aperture setting on what you’re planning to photograph. For example, if you’re photographing a more close-up detail shot, you will want your aperture lower than if you are photographing a full-body shot of an outfit or a tablescape.
This was the basic information that we began our workshop with, branching into more hands-on photo work and some examples working with natural light. If you’d like a copy of these notes, you can download our handout of basic photography terms right here.
One of my biggest questions was about wide-angle and zoom lenses for travel, and for photos when a fixed focal length lens just isn’t right. Personally, I shoot with a 50mm lens pretty much all the time, but I have done a little research on these lenses. Here are the lenses that have been recommended to me:
- Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8
- Nikon NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8
- Nikon NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6
- Nikon NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8
I want to say a big THANK YOU to Ink & Elm backdrops, who provided us with backdrops to use during our workshops so that we could do some hands-on flatlays and food styling. These backdrops are fantastic quality, and come in tons of sizes for any kind of photo that you need. That little #TBSCon discount didn’t hurt either, did it y’all?
Photo by Kim Graham Photography