Instgtr's Guide To Photography
A Brief History Of Photography
While "pinhole cameras" (which would cast a temporary image on a wall or other surface) are known to have been used in China as early as 500bc, the first known "photograph" is of a view from a window taken in1826 by Joseph Niepce of France.
The photograph required 8 hours of exposure in broad daylight and is known as "View from the window - Le Gras" (Le Gras being the name of his home)
Due to the process involved in developing the photograph, which was a polished pewter plate covered with "bitumen of Judea" (an asphalt derivative of petroleum) the original image, which is on display at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin can only be seen under very low light conditions and at a specific angle.
What is "Photography" ?
The word "Photography" comes from Photo (light) and graphy (drawing) when combined, they provide the perfect description of photography, which is simply "drawing with light".
A pin-hole camera is nothing more than a box with a small hole in its side. Light enters the hole and "paints" a picture on the opposite wall. If you have some way of seeing inside the box, you'd see an upside down image of whatever is outside the box. The image below helps show why the image is upside down.
If you place an adjustable "lens" where the pin-hole is, you can take pictures that focus on objects that are up close or far away.
A "zoom lens" allows you to take pictures from a distance appear closer (Which can come in handy if you're on safari trying to take a picture of a lion or the Space Shuttle taking off from a mile away).
The pin-hole camera becomes more Sophisticated...
By adding a few things to the pin-hole camera, it becomes capable of doing some really nice things.
If you have some way of placing something that can "record" the image being painted onto the back wall of the camera (light sensitive glass, film or a sensor that can capture the image) you can create a permanent photograph.
All Those Controls Can Make It Seem A Little Scary
If you add an "aperture" control to the camera, you can change the size of the hole and allow more or less light into the camera.
When you "take a picture" the image only appears on the back wall for a very short time. A camera can adjust the amount of time the image is seen (exposed) by way of a "shutter speed" control.
If the object you're trying to take a picture of is moving, the image could end up blurred. Using a faster shutter speed can "freeze" the image, allowing you to get a clear picture. The "drawback" to using a faster shutter speed is less light gets through to paint the image with.
Using a wider aperture setting will allow more light into the camera which compensates for the faster shutter speed.
It's Not As Bad As It Seems...
If all of these controls and settings make your camera seem too complicated to use, you don't have to worry, because amid all these controls, you'll find one or two settings that make life a whole lot easier known as the "automatic" settings.
It's kind of like climbing aboard an airplane and seeing all of the controls for the first time, they may seem complicated but once you get familiar with them, it's as easy as driving a car...
There are all kinds of videos available to give you tips and suggestions when it comes to shooting photographs. Here Rick Sammon gives some excellent advice on how to make your pictures go from everyday snapshots to photos you can be proud of.
Rick Sammon's Top Ten Digital Photography Tips
Different kinds of Photography
Photography covers a wide range of fields a photograper can specialize in. Here are just a few of the many areas to consider:
"Specializing" in a given field (but not limiting yourself to just that field) can help you learn specialized techniques that can be used not only in your specialty, but can be incorporated into other kinds of photography. All of the techniques and "secrets" you learn can be used over and over again in a variety of ways.
Learn all you can from different fields of Photography
In the following video some of the top wedding photographers from around the world share some of their secrets. While the techniques apply to "Wedding" photography, many of the techniques can be used universally.
Becoming A Master At Wedding Photography
Learning how to use the different controls
While anyone can take good pictures with virtually any camera, learning how to properly use a camera (and all of it's capabilities) can turn your pictures into true works of art. The following video describes what "Depth of Field" is and how you can use it.
Understanding "Depth of Field"
Some Excellent Links on Photography
- Photography Made Easy: A Tutorial for Beginners
This website will help you get to know your camera and how it works. You'll also learn about composing your shots to make better pictures. The site will help you make "photographs" rather than "snapshots"
- Photography Tips, Tricks & Techniques
Learn better digital & conventional photography whether you're a beginner or a professional. Discover how to pose models, how to buy equipment and much more.
- How to Choose the Right Camera
Clear concise quidelines to help you find the right digital camera
- The Importance of Black & White Photography
Black and white photography is one of the most beautiful forms of art. As photographers go digital, the possibility that this art form will be lost to the technological revolution is a very strong...
- Developing Your Own Film & Darkroom Basics
This article looks at the basics of darkroom film processing, what you need and how to actually develop and print your pictures.
- The History of Photography
Photography has a rich history that combines several types of developments in the technology field. Many photographers fail to realize the history behind their cameras, development processes and techniques...
More by this Author
A few months ago my wife and I were at a friends house who'd recently learned a new card game they wanted to show us. I'm a little slow on learning new games, but we'd been playing the "same old games" for...