Written Tutorials

     This page is of written tutorials or info on different subject matter. If writting or posting, make sure the subject matter is family rated and give credit to who wrote it if not done by you. This page is to answer in written form the questions posted on the question page.

Basic Exposure Guide

Simply apply to a film speed of 125, your shutterspeed will be 1/125. As another example, take the later film speed of 125, and these exposures would be the equivalents: 1/125 @ f/16; 1/250 @ f/11; 1/500@ f/8; 1/2000 @ f/4; 1/60 @ f/22

Scene: Exposure:
Sunlight with a normal subject in the sunlight. Basic Dayight Exposure (f/16 rule)
Sunlight with a dramatic effect or silhouette effect shooting directly into the sun. Basic Dayight Exposure minus two f/stops
Sunlight with bright snow or sand. Basic Dayight Exposure minus one f/stop
Sunlight, backlit subject, exposing for the shadows Basic Dayight Exposure plus two f/stops
Overcast with weak, hazy light, soft shadows Basic Dayight Exposure plus one f/stops
Overcast with normal, cloudy bright light Basic Dayight Exposure plus two f/stops
Overcast in heavy or open shade Basic Dayight Exposure plus three f/stops
When shooting the Moon for a lunar exposure Basic Dayight Exposure (f/16 rule), open 1/3 stop for 2/3 moon, 1/2 stop for 1/2 moon, 2/3 stop for 1/3 moon
When shooting skylines at a distance at night Basic Dayight Exposure plus thirteen f/stops
When shooting Neon signs or lighted signs Basic Dayight Exposure plus five f/stops
When shooting stage shows with bright light Basic Dayight Exposure plus five f/stops
When shooting stage shows with average light Basic Dayight Exposure plus seven f/stops
When shooting Ice shows lit by floodlights Basic Dayight Exposure plus six f/stops
When shooting circus shows lit by floodlights Basic Dayight Exposure plus seven f/stops
When shooting areas like Las Vegas, Times Square, etc. Basic Dayight Exposure plus six f/stops
When shooting fireworks displayed on the ground Basic Dayight Exposure plus six f/stops
When shooting buildings lit by floodlights, fountains, monuments, etc. Basic Dayight Exposure plus eleven f/stops
When shooting Indoor/Outdoor Christmas Lighting at Night Basic Dayight Exposure plus ten f/stops
When shooting Churchs, Tungsten lights Basic Dayight Exposure plus nine f/stops
When shooting plays on school stages and auditoriums Basic Dayight Exposure plus nine f/stops
When shooting store windows at night Basic Dayight Exposure plus six f/stops
When shooting candle-lit close-ups Basic Dayight Exposure plus ten & 1/2 f/stops
When shooting home interiors at night, brightly lit Basic Dayight Exposure plus eight f/stops
When shooting home interiors at night, average light Basic Dayight Exposure plus nine & 1/3 f/stops
When shooting swimming pools, indoors, tungesten lit, above water Basic Dayight Exposure plus eight f/stops
When shooting fairs and amusement parks at night Basic Dayight Exposure plus eight f/stops
When shooting baseball, hockey, bowling, etc. Basic Dayight Exposure plus seven f/stops
When shooting football, baseball, races, etc., at night Basic Dayight Exposure plus six f/stops

4 Responses to “Written Tutorials”

  1. Prepare for Summer

    The warm weather of summer offers more opportunities to get out and enjoy the sun than any other time of the year. Whether you’re enjoying a family vacation, boating on the lake, or relaxing on the beach, there’ll be plenty of memorable moments to capture. With that in mind, the PhotoImaging Information Council (PIC) offers ten tips to help turn these good times into unforgettable memories.

    Getting To Know Your Camera – Take some time to go over the camera manual beforehand. Being familiar with your camera features will help you capture every moment.

    Be A Pack Rat – Don’t forget to take extra film and batteries with you. Finding the right film and batteries while your traveling can be time-consuming and costly. Also, don’t forget to bring an extra camera for every member of your family, like convenient and easy-to-use single-use cameras.

    In Your Face – Move in close and bring your subject right into the heart of your picture. Usually 3-5 feet is ideal.

    Watch The Glare – For the best results, avoid facing your subjects directly into the sun. This can cause your subject to squint or create a glare in your picture. Instead, position your subject in some shade or have them pose with their backs to the sun.

    Fit For The Occasion – Be sure to bring equipment that will meet your specific needs and conditions. For example:

    — A zoom camera is ideal for bringing the action up close during everyday or special events such as graduations or family vacations.
    — Try a compact Advanced Photo System camera for the perfect travel companion. Smaller than their 35mm counterparts, Advanced Photo System cameras offer three print sizes including classic, wide and panoramic, as well as easy drop-in loading.
    — If you’re worried about damaging your more expensive camera , bring along a one-time use camera instead. Pre-loaded with film, one-time use cameras are already set to start shooting. After all the pictures have been taken, simply bring the camera into the photofinisher. The photofinisher then processes the film, gives you the photos and sends the camera back to the manufacturer for recycling.

    Keep It Steady – Get a comfortable grip around the camera before taking a picture. A shaky hand can cause photos to turn out blurry.

    Catch The Action – Try to get some candid shots of people in action to catch the most natural expressions. Too many uncomfortable poses can make an occasion look dull or staged.

    Underwater Adventures – Whether you’re exploring the sea or your backyard swimming pool, you might want to consider a waterproof camera to capture the most unique perspectives. These waterproof cameras range from affordable one-time use models to more sophisticated ones that travel to depths down to 30 feet and capture above water opportunities as well.

    Different Perspectives – To capture the best perspective, look for unique angles. Try holding your camera vertically and horizontally for the best results.

    Never A Dull Moment – Memorable events can happen at any time. Have a camera with you as often as possible to ensure that you’ll be ready to get the picture.

    (Source: Photoimaging Information Council PIC)

  2. Depth of field and your digital camera

    Executive summary

    If you are very, very busy, and very much in a hurry, and you want to get just one, most important item from this page, jump straight here and be on your way… Otherwise read on. Or go straight to DOF tables generated for three groups of Olympus (and not only) cameras.

    What is depth of field?

    Depth of field is the range of distance (measured along the lens axis) for which the subject is rendered acceptably sharp in the photographic image. Sometimes by depth of field we mean the capability of a lens to render subjects placed at various distances acceptably sharp.

    Basic facts

    The calculated depth of field depends on what we define as “acceptably sharp” in the definition above. Depth of field increases as the lens is closed down (i.e., the F-number increases). Depth of field is greater for short focal lengths than for long ones. This difference is quite dramatic. Depth of field increases with the subject distance.

    What is “acceptably sharp” — circle of confusion

    A (hypothetical) lens without any optical flaws, placed at a given distance from the image plane (film or optical sensor surface) will create point-like images only for point subjects at one given distance (as measured along the lens axis). For a point subject at any other distance, its image will be a circular spot, referred to as circle of confusion.

    The acceptable size (diameter) of the circle of confusion depends on how the photographic image will be magnified in the printing or viewing process, and from what distance it will be viewed.

    Obviously, a smaller image created by the lens has to undergo stronger magnification to be viewed. For example, a frame from a 35 mm camera has the size of 24×36 mm. To print it as a 20×30 cm (8×12 inches) enlargement, it has to be magnified about 8.5 times. It has been generally agreed that an enlargement like that, viewed from a customary distance of 30-40 cm, requires a circle of confusion not larger than 0.25 mm (1/100 of an inch) to be deemed acceptably sharp. Translating this back to the film plane, we arrive to the circle of confusion diameter of 0.03 mm.

    (Various sources use here a value varying from 0.025 mm to 0.033 mm. This is already hairsplitting, and the value of 0.03 just looks nice.)

    To account for differences in format size and aspect, it is very handy to represent the size of the circle of confusion as a fraction of the diagonal of the film (sensor) frame. The value of 0.03 mm for the 35 mm format can be shown as 1/1440 of the diagonal.

    What’s so special about digital cameras?

    Digital camera sensors (at least in the cameras below $1000 or so) are much smaller. For example, the active sensor area in the Olympus C-30x0Z series is about 5.27×7.03 mm. (I arrived to these numbers based on the “35 mm equivalent” 32 mm focal length at the Oly 6.5 mm setting. Actually, if Olympus does not follow the customary rule of using the diagonal measure to define lens equivalence, the size may be a few percent different.)

    A frame from such a camera printed at 9×12 inches (23×30 cm; note the somewhat different aspect ratio) requires a 44x magnification. Therefore the acceptable size of the circle of confusion will be almost exactly five times smaller, close to 0.006 mm. The four-megapixel Olympus E-10 and the five-megapixel E-20 have slightly larger CCD sensors, what translates into the equivalence ratio close to 1:4 (more exactly, 9:35). The corresponding size of the circle of confusion for these cameras will be then somewhat less than 0.008 mm. This ratio applies also to all other sources of image unsharpness (optical flaws and diffraction). To put it shortly, your digital camera lens has to be, in absolute terms, five times sharper than a lens of a 35 mm camera.

    Digital cameras build images of discrete pixels, arranged in a regular grid. The pixel size is the size of the image in a given dimension (x or y) divided by the number of pixels along this dimension. This is not the same as the size of the single light sensor in the image: these are usually separated by some gaps, and a number of physical sensors (corresponding to various light colors) usually constitutes one pixel.

    If the pixel size is much (say, more than twice) larger than the accepted size of the circle of confusion, our calculations do not make much sense: roughly speaking, the unsharpness due to image pixelization is greater than that accepted as “in focus”. Therefore a quick sanity check is needed before we continue.

    For example, for the E-10, the pixel size is 0.0039 mm (6.67mm/1680px), while the circle of confusion size, defined as 1/1440 of the image diagonal is twice that number, i.e., 0.0077 mm. This means that he bottleneck in image sharpness is depth of field, therefore our calculations make sense.

    This is also true for any digital camera of two megapixels or more. Even for one-megapixel cameras both factors are close to being the same which means that we can still depend on the “classic” DOF calculations, albeit less strictly (i.e., some of the DOF may be “wasted” here).


    I expected the depth of field in digital cameras to be significantly greater than that in 35 mm models. Everybody and his mother knows that. What I didn’t expect, is how large the difference is. More, the relationship turns out to be quite simple. It can be summarized as

    The N-times-F Rule:

    The depth of field of a digital camera with a lens of the 1:N focal length equivalence ratio at a given F-setting is the same as that of a 35 mm camera with a lens closed down to the aperture number of F multiplied by N.

    For almost all digital cameras (except models based on modified SLR bodies by Canon, Nikon, Sigma, and Contax), N varies between 4 and 5.5, hence difference is quite dramatic. The rule is accurate for all focal lengths and subject distances (there may be some deviations at macro settings), as well as for all focal length ratios (N-values).

    For example, an Olympus C-4000Z (1:5 ratio) at F/2.8 provides acceptable sharpness in the same range as a 35 mm camera with the lens closed down to F/14 i.e., 5*2.8 (at the same equivalent focal length, i.e., image angle). The Olympus E-20 has the focal length ratio of 1:4, therefore its lens at F/2.8 provides depth of field of an equivalent 35-mm camera lens at F/11.2.

    Note–This rule was pointed out to me by a French visitor to these pages (thanks, Andre);I was also able to find it in a general photography manual from the Fifties. Those were the times when amateur photographers were supposed to know such things!

    Good news and bad news

    For most photographers the vastly increased depth of field in digital cameras is good news. Too many pictures taken with our 35 mm cameras were not quite good, running out of the depth of field. Especially in landscape photography it is very nice to have sharp foreground.

    Back in 1932 a group of great American photographers, including Ansel Adams, founded Group f/64. The name was derived from the small aperture opening the group members deemed necessary for achieving acceptable depth of field with use of large-format view cameras.

    Now, most writers say F/64 gives you a huge depth of field. Let us have a closer look. A full-format view camera has a frame of (approximately) 8×10 inches. This means, that for a given image angle, it needs a focal length 7 times larger than that for a 35-mm camera, and 28(!) times that for the E-10/E-20.

    A quick application of Andre’s Rule brings us the bare truth: from the viewpoint of DOF, F/64 on an 8×10 camera is equivalent to F/9 on your 35 mm SLR, and to F/2.3 on the E-10/E-20 (or F/1.9 or so on most non-SLR digital models). In other words, the depth of field attained by closing a view camera lens all the way (with the resulting multi-second exposure times) is provided or exceeded by your digital camera’s lens fully open!

    Being able to work with wide apertures (small F-stops) allows us to use higher shutter speeds, thus eliminating another source of image unsharpness.

    Needless to say, Olympus engineers are well aware of this (although the camera manuals do not mention anything on the subject: remember, we are just mass-market customers, a bunch of illiterate idiots!). The program mode, especially for wide angle lens setting, clearly favors wide apertures and high shutter speeds.

    Now, whenever I’m shooting in aperture or shutter priority, I have to break my long-embedded SLR habits, and use apertures much wider than I’m used to. Usually there is no sense in using openings smaller (F-numbers greater) than F/4, when shooting at the wide-to-medium lens angle.

    Actually, small apertures, i.e., large F-numbers, may lead to image degradation due to diffraction effects. These depend on the actual (as opposed to relative) diameter of the lens aperture, which makes them especially painful for digital cameras. This is one of the reasons the digital camera makers limit themselves to F/8 or F/11, but not greater values, although these would be still quite useful in the macro mode. The topic, however, is out of the scope of this article.

    The bad news is that it is much more difficult, using a digital camera, to blow the background out of focus, which is a pleasing effect in portrait and nature photography. You will have to use the longest possible focal length, and keep your lens wide open. Well, there is no free lunch. I’m not retiring my 35 mm SLRs yet. (2002 note: I’m lying! In the last year I went through just two rolls of film.)

    In close-up photography, the greatly increased depth of field is a lifesaver. I never had so good, sharp tabletop pictures as I have now, in the digital domain.

    The tables

    Here are depth-of-field tables for three groups of Olympus Camedia cameras I know, like and use:

    The C-5060 with the EFL of 27-105mm (1:4.8 focal length ratio);
    C-series (C-3040Z, C-4040Z, C-5050Z), EFL = 35-105mm (1:5);
    E-series (E-10, E-20), with the EFL =35-140mm (1:4);
    C-series (C-3000Z, C-3020Z, C-3030Z, C-4000Z) with the 32-96mm EFL (1:5).

    The tables are also applicable to other cameras of the same lens range and equivalence ratios.
    Computation details

    The near and far distance values of depth of field can be calculated as

    d = s/[1 ± ac(s-f)/f²]

    with plus in the denominator used for the near, and minus — for the far value. The notation is:

    s = the subject distance (measured from the lens entrance pupil, see below)
    f = lens focal length
    a = aperture (or F-stop), like e.g., 2.8
    c = the diameter of the acceptable circle of confusion.
    Negative results for the far limit (i.e., with a ‘-‘ in the denominator) mean that it reaches the infinity.

    Of course I don’t have to remind you that the formula will work as long as you express all lengths in the same units (whatever they are: millimeters, inches, or nautical miles). The value of c was set to the 1/1440 of the diagonal of the film frame or light sensor: 0.03 mm for 35 mm cameras, 0.0061 mm for the C-3000/3030Z, and 0.0077 mm for the E-10.

    To automate the calculations, I’ve used the data buffer evaluation feature of my Kalkulator program for Windows.

    Nitpicker’s note:

    The position of the lens entrance pupil (i.e., the point from which we measure the distance) depends on the lens construction, the focal length in use, and even on the distance itself.

    Mercifully, if s is much greater that f, and much greater than the physical size of the lens itself (by much I mean a factor of six or more), we can ignore this dependability — it does not really matter from which point inside (or near to) the lens we measure the distance; the formula is more than sufficient for any practical purposes, regardless of the lens type, construction, focal length, or image size.

    This effect, however, may be meaningful when the formula is applied to close-up photography, especially with comparatively large lenses (say, shooting at 20 cm, whatever that means, with a zoom which is 10 cm long).

    The hyperfocal distance

    Have a look at the formula above again. The far DOF limit (with a ‘-‘ sign used) becomes infinity for a single value of the subject distance, s, which is

    sh = f²/ac + f

    (many sources skip the final f, as it is usually much smaller than f²/ac). This is the so-called hyperfocal distance, and, as you can see, for any given focal length f it depends on the used aperture, a.

    Also note, that when we use s=sh in the previous formula to compute the near DOF limit, the result will be sh/2.

    Thus, another thing to remember:

    The Hyperfocal Distance:

    Setting the focus to the hyperfocal distance will result in the DOF extending from half that distance to infinity.

    Experienced photographers know and use this rule, which allows them to skip autofocus, and shoot reliably and quickly, without any autofocus lag. This works best for short and normal focal lengths; with longer lenses the hyperfocal distance may be too large for most applications.

    At the tender age of thirteen I have learned this simple principle: with a normal (50mm) lens at F/8 set your distance at 6m, and you’ll have sharp pictures all the way from 3m to infinity.

    Digital cameras, with their shorter focal lengths, have much smaller hyperfocal distances. For the most common focal length ratio, N=5, the “normal” focal length (F[eq]=50mm) is 10mm. Using this value (with c=0.0061mm), for the aperture of F/4 we arrive to sh=4.1m. Set your focus manually to this value, and you can take sharp pictures from two meters to infinity!

    Courtesy and Copyright © 2000-2004 by J. Andrzej Wrotniak.

  3. Art Ketchum’s Column

    I Own the Light!–Story by Art Ketchum

    I Own the Light! No! I am not speaking of owning the lighting equipment, which I do. I am referring to understanding light and being able to control it in every situation. Consider this, There is no Shadow! There is no Color! There is only Light, or the absence of light!!!

    Most of us know that bright sun creates pretty horrid photographs of people. An overcast sky creates a general soft light more suitable for portraits and people photography. But this means the light controls where and when you take pictures. I don’t know about you, but I am not satisfied with this arrangement.

    Let’s start with daylight, where most mistakes in photography are made. It is not hard to photograph a scene,basically because you do not have to control the light, just shoot it when you think the light is right. However, when you intend to photograph a person in daylight you must take control of the light. First lets look at what film or digital images see, compared to what our eye sees. When we look at a person with the sun shining on their backside, illuminating their hair and creating a natural backlight. The eye has the unique ability to see about 11 F: Stops from Highlight to Shadow, as compared to film or digital only being able to see slightly more than 2 F: Stops. Yes! I am aware that with Black & White film and Zone processing you are able to push my 2: F Stop rule further, but this article is about Lab processing with Color Slide, Color Negative and Black & White film.

    My style of lighting through the years has been to always try to create depth in my photography with the use of shadow and highlight control. To create the illusion of depth, I find using a hairlight or backlight in my people photography gives me this 3 dimensional quality or depth I am seeking.

    Want to create outdoor portraits that literally jump off the paper. Now that you understand the 2 F: Stop limit on film, it will be easy to create some of the best outdoor people photography if you follow my plan for fill flash. The one tool that is mandatory for good fill-flash is an incident style light meter, I personally use the Sekonic L-308 flashmeter, it is inexpensive and very easy to use. The Sekonic will meter Ambient light (Daylight or Incandescent) and Electronic Flash with the incident dome or reflected light without the incident dome.

    There are many other meters that will work as well but most are more complicated and also more costly.In bright sun, anytime in the day you can take great fill flash images. Start by having your subject face away from the Sun. Do not let the Sun light the face, use the Sun to create your hairlight or backlight. Use the incident dome on your meter to read the light falling on the back of your subjects head, point the dome directly at the sun or where the strongest light is coming from. On a bright sunny day , typically with 100 ISO film, your meter will probably read about 1/125 sec at F:11.

    Now set your camera on manual at 1/125th Sec and open the lens by one stop to F:8. Set your on camera flash on automatic but use the F:8 setting on your flash. You will get perfect fill flash images as long as you do not let the sun fall on the subjects face, and you must set your camera on manual, this will not work on Program or Automatic.

    Most of the small Sunpak, Vivitar or camera manufacturers dedicated flash units will allow you to set the flash one stop more open than the daylight reading. One word of warning, you can not shoot at a faster shutter speed than your camera will allow for flash photography. Many of the new 35mm cameras will allow you to shoot as fast as 1/250th Sec. for flash but many of the older manual focus cameras only sync for flash at 1/60th Sec. When shooting with a camera like the Hasselblad with a shutter built into the lens, you have the option to use any shutter speed all the way up to 1/500th Sec.

    Applying this same backlighting philosophy to your studio lighting will create the same dramatic results. Intensify background lighting stronger than the light falling on the subject and your images will appear to jump off the paper. Add a colored gel to your background light for some striking new effects.

    Create some simple backgrounds with fabric or muslin backgrounds, I use backgrounds from Backdrop Outlet, by calling 1/800/466-1755 they will send you a Free Catalog, and you can see more of my images, as I do the photography for their catalog. Try shooting with a Muslin, Canvas, Glamour background or Fantasy Cloth for real creativity. By using one of the small Morris Poplar brand mini electronic flash units (Backdrop Outlet sells this type of light in kit called the backdrop outlet combo for about $85, comes with a stand light socket, strobe head and colored gels). This will allow you to open up new dimensions in your photography. Pick your own colored background and colored gel background light to compliment your subject, the combinations are endless.

    You will own the Light, You will be the master of the light.–Art Ketchum

    The outdoor images in this article were created with a Hasselblad or Leica and all his more recent images created with an Olympus E-20 digital camera, all studio images were created with White Lightning or Alien Bee flash units.

  4. Adobe Photoshop is the perfect 2-D image editing program; however, though limited, you can do some 3-D effects or actions in Photoshop.
    First there is the Filter: Render: 3-D Transform (in Photoshop 7). This will allow you to create simple 3 dimensional shapes or wrap an image in a 3D shape. There are three kinds of ‘primitives’: sphere, cube and cylinder. Using 3D transform will simply distort the pixels and you may have to add a drop shadow to see the effect.
    In the 3D transform editing box are your primitive tools to create basic shapes and also basic editing tools; Select and Direct Select. Select moves the entire object and direct select allows you to drag the anchor points to make adjustments. You have viewing options such as the pan camera and trackball. These allow you to preview and move the 3-D render around from different angles.
    Remember that whatever filter you run (such as 3D transform) is going to apply to the layer that you are currently on. If you wanted to create some 3-D shapes, first create a new layer and fill it with a color. Then you’ll still have to create some drop shadows or darker shades of color fills on the 3-D shapes layer.
    The rest of your options come down to the Edit: Transform function. Here you can create some 3-D effects with text really well. All you have to do is use the different transform functions. It’s easiest just to free transform by using shortcuts: Alt (Opt) E: F (Edit: Free Transform) and then holding down the Ctrl (Cmd) key while you drag any of the ‘handles’ in any direction you want.
    If you are going to add filters or layer effects with a 3-D transform you’re going to want to rasterize your text layer first. Right click on the layer in the layers palette and choose ‘rasterize layer’. This will convert your text into a normal ‘layer’ which you can then do anything you want to it (as with normal layers vs. text layers). After rasterization, you can’t edit the text again so make sure to make a backup copy or be ready to retype your text with the text tool. Here is an example of a “3-D” transform.

    3-D effects with Photoshop
    The 3-D options are hardly anything compared to Alias Maya or other 3-D programs, but then again, Photoshop isn’t meant to be. We should be grateful there are some 3-D effect options available. With all of the file format options you can import and export 3-D files created in other programs for further image editing in Photoshop and you can still do some nice 3-D perspective transformations on your layers.


    Created by: Orion Williams

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