I never learnt Photography professionally, am not a good photographer either. But whenever I see the breathtaking photos on National Geographic and Outdoor Photographer, an urge to learn photography takes over me.

Guides

   Photo.Net's awesome guides helped me a lot, in learning the basic tricks. Articles on Outdoor Photographer was also pretty helpful. In future, I'll set up some direct links which are a must read for beginners.

Tools of Trade

   I use a Minolta Maxxum (actually, my wife's camera, but I have taken over conveniently!!) for the regular film shootings, and a Canon Powershot A40 for Point-and-shoot digital photos.The A40, although primarily a point and shoot camera, has a pleathora of manual adjustments (Aperture, shutter speed etc). With the Minolta, I use a 35-80mm and a 70-350mm lenses. I have my eyes on a Digital SLR, as and when the price becomes reasonable.

Helpful Info

Following two tables, in my opinion, are the best friends of a beginner photographer who is meddling with SLR settings. The rule of thumb of shooting using these tables for beginner photographers is to follow these steps:
  1. Look around, find the lighting conditions that matches closely to one of the rows in LV (Light Value) table. [Skip this step if you have a light meter]
  2. Choose the corresponding Light value (say L). You can get the LV directly if you have a light meter.
  3. Calculate the EV from LV based on your Film's (Digital camera's setting's) ISO Speed. LV is same as EV for ISO 100 speed film. For each upstep/downstep in film speed, EV goes up or down respectively by 1. So, for film speed 200, EV will be L+1. Sounds complicated? I'll add a table for this soon.
  4. Refer to the EV table and choose one of the Shutter speed/f-stop (aperture) combination that matches your calculated EV. Based on the scenario you are shooting, you might go for higher/lower shutter speed and adjust f-stop to match.

EV (Exposure value) table


f 1.4 f 2.0 f 2.8 f 4.0 f 5.6 f 8.0 f 11 f 16 f 22 f 32
1 s 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1/2 s 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
1/4 s 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
1/8 s 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
1/15 s 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
1/30 s 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
1/60 s 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
1/125 s 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
1/250 s 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
1/500 s 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
1/1000 s 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

LV (Light Value) table


LV/EV Table for ISO 100
EV Type of Scene (Brightness)
1 Very Dark, Not Practical except for Timed Exposures
2 Very Dim, Total Lunar Eclipse, Moon Lit Scenes
3 - 4 Dim Indoor Lighting, Candle Light, Street Lights on Wet Streets
5 - 6 Brightly lit indoors, Amusement parks at Night
7 - 8 Well lit Professional Sporting Events at Night
9 - 10 Just after Sunset or Just before Sunrise.
11 - 12 Dark Overcast Daylight Scenes, Total Solar Eclipse
13 Cloud Covered Daylight Scenes
14 Average Daylight, Normal Side Lit Subjects, Partly Cloudy
15 Bright Daylight, Front Lit, Light colored Subjects
16 Bright Daylight reflecting off Snow or Water
17 - 20 Too Bright to be Very Practical
ISO Speed Stops: 12, 25, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800.
Each stop increases EV by 1 for same LV.

View through the Lens

Valley Of Fire
Valley Of Fire
Sunrise at Mono Lake
Sunrise at Mono Lake
Tufas at Mono Lake
Tufas at Mono Lake
North and South Domes at Yosemite Valley
Yosemite Valley
A Tree at Yosemite
Tree at Yosemite.
Alcatraz
Alcatraz Prison, San Francisco
Death Valley
Death Valley
African Elephants
African Elephants
Flemingo
Flemingo
Pelican
Pelican
GuestBook
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This page was last modified on: 06/17/05